June 29, 2013

Duck Tales

This is my neighbor to the east, The Duck. Ambassador-at-large of North Point Douglas. Tucked under his right arm is Lana and under the left arm is Kat. For a man of many stories, having an incredibly talented/ gorgeous photographer on each arm makes for a pretty good story. Not bad Duck, not bad. Hard copies for all parties involved is necessary. Duckman is one my neighborhood muses. Those eyes! That ever-changing beard! Oh my stars.

Film stock /// 120 Ilford Delta 400-- my go-to these dazzze.

Hook & Ladder

Day in the life of a nanny and company-- the wonder years. This professionally scanned roll of Ektar 100 spells it right out: life is pretty sweet. On Wednesdays, my friend Rachel and I try to get our bosses together for a playdate. Leo and Desmond are pictured above and both lads are 18 months old respectively. They are pretty neat.

This sweet time in life won't last forever so I am trying to capture the goodness of it all. Opinionated Leo on the back stoop steps. Friendly Leo waving hello to the large and in charge mother and daughter duo at Vimy Ridge park. Leo and Desmond guzzling from each other's water vessels. Hook and ladder attendants to the rescue in matchy-matchy swim wear. Rachel is a real beauty and a wonderful nanny to Desmond. When I asked for her portrait, she gave her face wide open and I think it is my favorite shot of the year thus far. Thank you senorita.

Time flies.

Looking forward to shooting Ross and Pete's portraits from a father son shop perspective in a few weeks time. But before then, there are family weddings to attend, new cities to explore with Leo upon my shoulders and friends of the ages to wine and dine in La Belle Province. Upcoming travel brews on the horizon. What luck!

A damn wise woman once said: BEFORE ANY GREAT CHANGE, TAKE A HOLIDAY. Amen, Chanel. A bientot, bebe.

June 23, 2013

Shy Teeth

Baby's first GIF. This one goes out to Miss Lisa King who is busy being Princess of PRT out in the woods of Northern Ontario at the moment.

We decided to try trading smiles for an evening. Not so natural.

Miss you turd. Come back alive.

The Glint

Annie and her man. Roseisle, Manitoba / August 2012

Rain day \
Work day \

Turns out, all I needed to light the fire under my ARSE were six sheets of sparkly poster board from Dollarama and the '71 album from Sugarman Rodriguez called Cold Fact. Damn, what a listen.

The beat of the pouring rain against the roof of the lean-to kept me focused this afternoon as a new stencil crawled up the wall. And OH how long it had been since I had last been moved to make. It has been nearly a year since shooting the photo of the couple above (shot at the Rainbow Trout Music Festival). Annie and her man; never caught his name. It took many months to complete carving out a stencil from the 16"x16" hand printed photo enlargement to then project for the large work I had in mind as soon as these two entered my line of vision.

Giant wall hanging on army duck. Her little teeth. The worn curve of his jean pocket. The rose tattooed to her chest. His twinkle. Those beads.

Sharpened pencils at ready behind both ears, one in the mouth and a pair chasing the lines of projection at home on a Sunday. Working hard in a straw hat. If one can carve with two hands one should be able to draw with both too. Practice makes perfect so I hear.

The carving process is now underway. Not bad for a day's work. It is days like this that keep me coming back, keep me looking, shooting, printing, carving. The circle spins me towards the place I cry for longingly in the wintertime. There is a strong sense of purpose to this strange stencil practice I can't describe. All I know is that I have to keep going until my arms fall off.

And that feels good.

June 21, 2013

Pilgrimage in slides

Religious roses.
Watende colors his own beard. Represent.
Watende shot this of me while waiting to board a train. Soft looks.
Pink piƱata room. 

Color in unexpected places always catches my eye.
Scanned (home-job) 120 Fujichrome 100 / New Mexico / June 2013.

June 18, 2013

Babies be babies

Boys boys boys at Peanut Park. I love them all so much I could eat them.

Crystal and Donny's Rusty.
Colette and Matt's Leo.
Sara and Anthony's Jack.

June 16, 2013

Corpus Christi

I heard the parade before I saw it. Flower tending quickly trumped by trumpets. I ran up the stairs for the camera lying on the table which just so happened to be freshly loaded with Fujichrome 100. Slide film. Nice.

It did not take long to catch up with the Portuguese procession and when I asked two elderly gentlemen resting curbside if it would be offensive to shoot the celebration, they urged me on after sharing some background on their culture. They explained that in Portugal the parade is known as Dia de Corpo de Deus, a celebration of the body of Christ represented by the baskets of sweet bread carried atop the heads of the elderly women within the Catholic church. This moveable feast is celebrated annually on the Sunday following Holy Trinity toward the end of May or early June.

When I asked the woman in the first photograph for her portrait, she curtsied gracefully without hesitation and gave her face wide open. The basket of bread steady atop her head as she moved.

June 14, 2013

Terra Firma

Outdoor hostel dining in Albuquerque. New Mexico/ June 2013

The first meal enjoyed in the home kitchen after a time apart is the best. When I walked into my home after a late arrival from New Mexico I was thrilled to see my plants thriving, not doubled over as anticipated. The dill of my herb garden threatening to overtake the entire sill. Greedy greens. I took care of that guy by eating half of his foliage with my breakfast eggs. Three out of numerous pots growing wild, long arms reaching out for more sun, more sun, more sun. Maybe they were in need of a holiday from me and my tireless tending.

Five days of undisturbed sunbathing, how glorious.

It was glorious. I didn't take my new hat off once, except to slumber and to bathe. My photo trip to the desert was funny to say the least. Did you find what you were looking for? Craig asked me on the ride home from the airport. No. Did you shoot a lot of photos? Nope. And then I cried. That sounds pathetic but it was more funny than anything. In actuality I could barely fill two rolls (of twelve exp.)! Haha. I did learn that I don't have to travel 1128 miles to find inspiration. It is right here in Winnipeg, as well as within, and around, and all over just waiting to be flipped on its back like a rock.

I am no Ansel Adams, this much I know.

Aging face self portrait in Albuquerque. New Mexico/ June 2013


I'm just me, girl with a frying pan inked into forearm.

To search for something unbeknownst to me in that beautiful desert landscape that had long been trail-blazed by photography greats I admire was humbling. Every time I stopped dead in my tracks or skidded off the shoulder to climb on the car to shoot yet another rock face or rolling bramble, I would laugh and announce aloud: Who the hell do you think you are? I am not sure how to pen what I was expecting by traveling to New Mexico, but what I was expecting and what I came away with are two very different things.

Everyone wears a hat in New Mexico. Everyone drives a Toyota or a bike. My kind of place.

Two years ago, while struggling with the decision of whether or not to walk away from my photography studies at Concordia, this small passage (p. 16) from photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson's slim book titled 'The Mind's Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers' influenced me deeply both in my decision at the time and in my photographic practice now:

     To take photographs is to hold one's breath when all faculties converge in the face of fleeing reality. It is at that moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy. 
     To take photographs means to recognize--simultaneously and within a fraction of a second--both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning. It is putting one's head, one's eye, and one's heart on the same axis. 

To this day, I will not trigger the camera unless all three aspects--head, eye and heart-- are aligned and sharp. All together now. Cartier-Bresson was a wise man and continues to be, long after death. When these three inner aspects converge, there is a knowing spirit and stillness that overtakes me and from there, a strong foundation from which to build. I suppose this is what it means to me to be an artist and to be a photographer. Perhaps exactly that is what I set out to discover in the first place.

Shot from the train on my way to Santa Fe. New Mexico/ June 2013
What I found difficult to stalk in the desert was the happy marriage of form and subject within the frame. Without spirit, form, geometry or passion, there is nothing. I would rather simply look around then for myself, to take in the surroundings as they are and lay the camera to rest instead of shooting flatly for the sake of new work. Ha-rumph as Lisa would say.

With that said, off I go hi-ho to drop my single roll of slides off to process. Two contrast rolls recording the birth of Spring await and so does my travel laundry.

Again, as always, it is good to be home.

June 10, 2013

Loner in the Desert

My period of indecision is over--I a[m] going West.... it came quietly--naturally.... it is what I want to do for my work--and I have been so very well after the summer out there.... the country seems to call in a way that one has to answer it.

Georgia O'Keeffe    New Mexico 1930

View from the train en route to Santa Fe. New Mexico/ June 2013

Letters from the desert. The call came quite some time ago, and this week I was able to answer it.

Buenos dias from Santa Fe, New Mexico.

It is hot. That I like.

When I got to New Mexico that was mine. As soon as I saw it that was my country. I'd never seen anything like it before, but it fitted to me exactly. It's something that's in the air--it's different. The sky is different. The wind is different. I shouldn't say too much about it because other people may be interested and I don't want them to be interested.

Georgia O'Keeffe    New Mexico 1977

*excerpts copied without permission from the walls of the Geogia O'Keeffe museum.

Collected postcards scanned from home.

O'Keeffe says it best. While sitting on an adobe bench at the Georgia O'Keeffe museum in a funny straw hat early this morning, the sound of her very own voice in my ears affirmed that this is the right place for me to take a hike. She called herself the Loner in the Desert, and I think that suits me fine this week too.

And what a lovely holiday it has been thus far. To sleep and to rise, then to walk aimlessly from shadow to shadow in relief of the heat, and to eat and swim at one's leisure is some kind of luxury. It is good to be quiet and reflective in a new landscape.

Tomorrow I will be driving into the desert; just myself, the Kiev and the wind to keep us company.