January 27, 2015

Young Aviators

Through these portals
pass our most
ingenious mortals
for there are no limits
to the things they can do    

January 23, 2015

Chico Diaries

Cold shoulder.
A path before me.
Guy Ni for Dusen Dusen.
Damn good Manitoban exposure.
Winter is magic.
Exploring together.
For Jer,  the King of (capturing) Ice.
Stone cold slumber in Altamont, MB.
Jump the fence, let's party.
Ten points for this old show.

New year wander about. We crawled out of our valley solitude to breathe in some fresh air. We cruised around and I drove for a while with a big, idiotic grin while traversing the plains. Everything was encased in ice; every branch in sight drooping from the weight of it all. I kept thinking 'Fuck! I should be shooting color!' but now that I have looked closely at the negatives, I am thrilled by the contrast. Winter is a magical season. I tend to forget to observe it deliberately at times. These short trips out of the city rejuvenate my soul, sharpen my senses and clear my head.

I like graveyards but have no intention of being buried. Toss me into the river, pour one out and light one up. Read any Anne Michaels poem. That'll do, that'll do.

The horse draws me in like no other.

The Usual processed at home. Scanned by Ashley of Photo Central, Winnipeg.


January 18, 2015

Presto Chango

And now, an excerpt for you the Reader on this wild, stay-home Saturday night from one of my favorite books unearthed at long last from Box Mountain in the basement. This piece of writing caught my eye while thumbing through Miriam Toews' latest literary work of wonder: All My Puny Sorrows. What a wizard she is, a real Queen of Transmogrification. I should be knee deep in my studies at present, but I simply cannot resist the lure of page after page of underlined genius. I like to read with a black ink pen in hand, at ready. My copy is heavily marked to say the least.

Below, a sliver of great wit taken from pages 317-318 of Miriam Toews' All My Puny Sorrows.


           Remember the way mom used to swim beyond the wake and bob along to god knows where, the deep and choppy sea, until someone noticed and came to her rescue? What do words mean Elf? Everything or nothing? They can't just mean something. By the way, I finally checked out your beloved D. H. Lawrence. Remember when you expressed incredulity at my not having read Lady Chatterley's Lover? God, you're a snob sometimes. Well, I read it. And yeah, the sex was hot. I'd find time in my busy schedule of needlepoint and flower arranging to visit that guy in the woods too. I wonder if Frieda wrote those parts for D. H. and then just had to keep her mouth shut while he racked up the fame and lived in fancy hotels in France with hippie girls. Anyway, you're right about the first paragraph. I want someone to project it on the front of my house in giant letters made of light and shadows. And if they flickered a bit, that would be the best. And of course they'd disappear in the sunshine because everything does. And that would be perfect. 

           "Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We've got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen."

          And thanks for keeping all my secrets. Remember that midnight cavalcade I led through the wilderness to get to the boys' camp? You are now the official keeper of my secrets.


January 14, 2015

Tony Chestnut AW14

Margot Pollo very much for Tony Chestnut. My friend Jill has been making stuff for as long as I have known her. I consider myself a kind of kid sister to her creative process. Her own kid sis and I used to sneak into Jill's various cool bedrooms just to look around at her paintings and general creative going-ons. Quiet look-sees for two inspired girls. I am unsure if she ever knew of these visits, but she never made us feel like we needed to KEEP OUT. Her home today is the exact opposite of everything that is the KEEP OUT sign; it is an open door leading to a warm and welcoming gathering place for all. 

Tony Chestnut has been around for nearly a decade. It is just Jill, making unique clothes at her dining room table that are practical, utilitarian and chic all in one beautiful go. No fuss. These clothes don't scream, grab or beg for anything. They speak humbly and let the wearer do the interpreting. I like that about Tony Chestnut. When I choose clothes, I seek out quality pieces with a slight nod to masculinity in simple and chic fabrics that make the woman in me feel strong and ready to hustle. Somehow Jill's latest collection for Fall / Winter delivers these far-flung demands with ease IN EACH INDIVIDUAL GARMENT. Whoa. Her humble company has grown substantially over the last five years among crazed Winnipeg women especially! 

From an inspired artist's standpoint, I must say how special it has been to be invited into Jill's homespun process for her last two seasonal collections (by way of photography). It is an honor to work alongside someone who entrusted me with her vision from the get go, no questions asked. As the photographer I am there to capture her magic frame by frame. During shoots, she keeps up a sharp-witted banter with the subject in front of the camera which in turn keeps the energy and laughter genuine. Nothing easier to photograph than genuine laughter. All I have to do is frame up the beauty playing out before me. I especially love Jill's appreciation for 'off' composition, raw beauty in motion and her sense of humor that comes through her clever styling. 

Working with Jill and model Lane Delmonico Gibson was a damn treat. Lane took to the clothes immediately and threw on her own hats to top off a narrative we all delighted in. To wear clothes is one thing, but to move in clothes in such a way that brings them to life is another story. Lane brought Jill's vision to life. Looking so forward to the new crop of Tony that will be turning heads come Springtime.

To order your own Tony Chestnut, meander over to Jill's online SHOP for your own quiet look-see. 

Here are some photos I felt free to capture of Tony Chestnut AW14--- a beautiful collection of black magic: cotton, leather, wool and silk. Enjoy.

* Contrast - 35 // 120 Tmax 400
* Color - 120 // Portra 400, 35 // vanilla 400

January 13, 2015

Magic arrow flies precision

"I need a record" says Donnie as she swipes her hair away from the eyes.
"Yup" says Buck with a sigh as he settles into his found orange chair beside the vinyl cabinet.

Paul Simon fills the room, on cue.

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Two cold beers for two followed by one hot bath for one.

Poolboy comes in and out of the warm bathroom to refill my whiskey. I rock out in the bath to Guided by Voices. Four orange candles of various shades. Winter light slinks away with a slight wind and all is well. Night comes slowly. The bath empties itself slowly and I refill it again and again with hot water and drops of eucalyptus and cedar.

Welcomed scents.

Dirt roads are good roads.
Iain tunes up on a slow Sunday.
Dayna readies the tree.
Extended Ross family with Frosty.
O's latest tattoo.
While on a walk, we came across this fallen trunk.
Yummy Yucky and routine nighttime laughs.
Trying my damn best.
Portrait of a man/dolin.
Iain shot this of me concentrating on a game of Scrabble.
A good spot as any.

Here lie some photos I felt free to capture while hauling my Nikon F2 in and out of December 2014. I am currently sitting at my desk listening to an old Timber Timbre record feeling quite content even though the quality of my photo work seems to be regressing at an alarming rate. Perhaps I should stop processing every last goddamn roll as Tmax 400 and live a little.

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In other camera news, I recently picked up a new-to-me Pentax 67 from a wonderful Manitoba gentleman. He called me "nuts" for picking up his old 70's gear. Little does he know what I am used to working with! I am moving on up one Kijiji score at a time. My insides were grinning while handling that honkin' beast as he ragged on and on about the death of photography. It's as dead as you believe it to be! I believe it to be quite alive and well thankyouverymuch. My work with film has just begun! Had to laugh again today at his word "nuts" circled my thoughts while holding my breath as that enormous mirror clattered up and down mid shot. Impromptu color portraits of JJ on my shoulders in my Tony Chestnut dotty dress in his family bathroom. 22 months and growing like a beautiful weed.

Negatives growing from 6x6 to 6x7cm! 

Live and learn.
Live and learn.
Live and learn.
Live and learn.
Live and learn.
Live and learn.
Live and learn.
Live and learn.

There is so much to learn in this lifetime. Handling that 67 makes the Kiev feel like a doll's toy. Slowly bumping up my negative size, one centimeter at a time.

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Time to put my hands to work. Its been too long since I last sat at that light table and put some muscle into the stencil lying there, waiting. Self determination. How hard can it be? Just do it.