Sketches: Revolution

A two-fer today. And some word play and double entendres.

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I’ve been watching and following the developments in the Kiev, in the Crimea, in Caracas, in Bangkok, and other places. People demonstrating in the streets; people protesting, attempting to right some wrongs; people attempting to write the future of their countries. People clashing, protesting, resisting, fighting against overwhelming – and man made –forces. People hoping. People dying.

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Sketches: Distress

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Liam realizes his brother has claimed the last piece of watermelon.

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Sketches: In The Beginning

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We had a visitor last night…

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Sketches: Slow Burn

Each year Autumn makes its slow burn to winter.

A wistful time.

A transitional time.

A time all of itself.

Each person’s Autumn has its own timbre,

its own scent.

A last breath.

Inevitable.

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Sketches: Out of the Fog

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It has been a while.

I thought posting here once a week would be easy. It is not. But, that is the nature of anything worth pursuing, no? If it were easy many would be doing it. The challenge pushes us; demands of us; holds us accountable.

And so I’m being pushed, and being demanded of, and being held accountable. Mostly by -  and to- myself. Not long ago I wrote about managing one’s inputs. About having higher standards for what is allowed into our lives, and how that affects our art; our living. My challenge to myself was to expose myself to better art, better literature, better movies. To separate the wheat from the chaff, as it were. I think it is working. But it has also left a hole here where I try to showcase my work.

I’ve been working. I’ve been shooting and learning and growing and challenging to work with the limits currently affecting my shooting time, my processing time, my editing time. I’ve been focused on exploring my projects more deeply and not giving in to the temptation to post.

My work hasn’t been up to par for myself lately. I haven’t been satisfied (welcome to the artist’s life, I am told)! I’m still not, but the fog is lifting a bit. And out of the fog, comes a dog.

Big Dogs, Little dogs.

Black and white dogs.

Go, dog, go!

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When Comes the Rain

As you might imagine-with New Mexico being a desert and all-rain is scarce here. This year especially we received less than an inch during the first 6 months of the year.

Drought? Perhaps.

Desert life, mostly.

We are fascinated with rain here. We have drainage channels (Arroyo’s) that stand dry most of the time with associated folk tales warning of their dangers (La Llorona). We have levees, we have storm drains, we have firemen specifically trained in water rescue. In the desert.

For when comes the rain, it comes. Hard and fast and cold it comes turning the dry arroyos into raging torrents, flooding streets, and breathing life into this desert community.

In my young children’s lives rain is an oddity, and an opportunity.

The summer rains came the other day.

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An Honored Request

Not too long ago I received an invitation to provide some prints of my images to the University of New Mexico Hospitals Child Psychiatric Services. It was a simple enough invitation: provide 4 prints, on a somewhat quarterly basis, that represents the population this hospital unit serves (New Mexico youth and families). The goal is to hang images in the conference room that is used to hold meetings with the families of patients.

Ultimately I chose the 4 following images and I thought I would share them here. The prints have been framed and delivered but I have not yet seen the final installation as that is in the hands of the physical services of the hospital.

All of the images were printed at 11 x 14 sizing on a 16 x 20 inch matt and frame. I look forward to being able to see them installed and will hopefully post a picture of their final presentation in the future. In the meantime I hope you enjoy them!

Stay tuned for future installations as well. This is an ongoing effort.

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“Dancing Cowboys of Pie Town”

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“Indian Finals Rodeo Cowboys”

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“El Caballo y La Tradicion”

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“La Muerta” y Las Flores”

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Soft Summer

I am just returned from vacation. A family trip, to visit family. Time by the lake. Play in the water. Tubing, swimming, paddle boarding. The sound of children laughing, cousins playing, music on the stereo, motorboats, ice cream, bonfires, glow sticks, and s’mores. The things summers at the lake are made of.

But the morning rose slowly, softly. The visual accompaniment to the childhood snores emanating from the children’s’ room. A mist blanketed the lake and seeped through the trees.

Quiet held off the advance of day as long as she could.

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At Work In The Work

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Life brings its seasons, on its own time, on its own terms. We humans challenge that, don’t we? We, I, would like nothing better than to control the terms of life – at least to a great extent. But here we are, at the whim of the vagaries of life. It can be a rocky path.

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These days my photography is a challenge. It isn’t flowing to my satisfaction. I am not flowing to my satisfaction. And so the rewards of making images – those feelings of success, the accolades, the sense of satisfaction, are lacking, wanting. It is a frustrating time. It is also a time of questioning my reasons for photographing.

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Do I photograph for accolades, for those positive feelings? Honestly, much of the time I do. But that is a risky proposition. For then my continued photography rests in large part on the good graces and expressed good feelings of others in response to it. Is that really how I want my art form (whatever that truly is?) to be dependent on an external locus of control? Or is photographing, and art in general, really supposed to be the expression of an internal response to life, a reaction to life and its mysteries, joys, heartaches, and wonder?

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Of late my web presence has decreased significantly. I am posting less, social media-ing less, and being much more selective with my inputs. Work and family commitments have dictated this in large part, but it was time really. I strongly recognize the importance of managing one’s inputs as it has an enormous impact on one’s life. And I have chosen to be more choosey with my inputs, encouraging myself to select higher art forms like well regarded photography, fine art, fine literature, really creative movies, good music, better food. The changes have been significant in a short period of time.

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But a word of warning should you choose to embark on such a journey as well – you might well become disappointed in your efforts at your own photography, at your own art. Higher levels of input let you know where you stand; higher art shows you exactly where you are mediocre. It takes some fortitude to face this. It can be a tipping point. This is the point where some push on, strive, grasp higher, tenaciously hang on for the long term. This is also the point where many pack it in, throw in the towel, quit.

Time for some grit.

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