Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Universe Is Speaking To ME!

I had three of the weirdest things happen this week within about 36 hours. I wrote an inquiry about a workshop last March. I knew a couple of people who had gone to the workshop last year and it really sounded interesting to me. I didn't hear back and actually I was busy and I forgot about it. This week I received a reply from them and my inquiry was attached but it didn't show a date in March. Instead it indicated that they had received the inquiry on June 18th. I have no idea where it has been. I guess floating somewhere in cyberspace.

Okay, so that is one of the three things. The second one was that I happened to hear that Keith Carter was in SMA and I contacted him and I had lunch with him and some of his friends. Keith will be one of the instructors at the workshop. I've always wanted to take a workshop with him but it has never worked out.

And the third one is that I had been thinking about maybe taking a photography workshop but one with more of a retreat atmosphere so I'd been looking on line the day before I received the reply from the workshop to see if anything interested me. Nothing did. They all seemed too structured. Too much travel from place to place. I wanted something that gave me time to stay put in one place and dig deeper. Something that gave me time to work with images that I made. Something that gave me time to play with some ideas and techniques. Something more hands on.

The workshop is Spirit into Matter. The whole workshop takes place in a small village near Florence, Italy in a renovated Villa. The instructors are Keith Carter, Kate Breakey and Jace Graf--all people whose work I know and admire. The other thing that some people might not like but I love the idea is that participants are assigned some times to help out in the kitchen. I hear the meals are made with local produce and that they are fabulous. So in addition to photography I'll get to enjoy a "cooking lesson" or two.

When the Universe speaks to me, I listen. I'm going!

The photograph was taken in Italy when I was in Sicily in 2015.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Father's Day

I wanted to post some pictures of my sons and their boys so I started looking at old photographs. It took a long time because looking took me on a trip down Memory Lane.

This picture is from July, 2003 when Mike and his family came to visit us in San Miguel. It was a giggling wrestling match on the couch. 

This is Doug and his boys and it was made on June 17, 2006, ten years ago. June 17th is Doug's birthday and the picture was made in the morning.

Good Fathers. Wonderful Grandsons. I'm a lucky woman.

Happy Father's Day to Mike and Doug.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Now that the renovation work on the house is basically done, I have lots to do in going through stuff and either getting rid of it or finding a new place to use it or reframing pictures and the list goes on. But what am I doing? I'm playing with the iPhone.
This is a Costco Orchid that I bought this week just to have a flower in my bedroom. They last for weeks and so it ends up they are cheaper than buying a bouquet of flowers every week. I took pictures of it and then I sat down to play with photo apps.
It isn't exactly "right" but there is something about it that keeps me thinking about it and where I could take the idea.
"What you need to know about the next piece is contained in the last piece."
Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

My Latest Obsession

You may not have picked up on my latest obsession but I'm afraid that I am becoming addicted to Orchids. I've messed with them before but that was many years ago and I thought that the move to Mexico's high desert with low humidity had cured me. But alas, there is a gang here in San Miguel called the Orchid Club and it looks like they have lured me back. Last Fall, I was invited to their annual dinner so that I felt obligated to go to the Orchid show the next day. Between their kindness and generosity and the beauty of the orchids, I was forced to buy two. And that turned me on. I had to have more. Now I'm afraid that more is never enough.
Two weeks ago I was in Mexico City for the Orchid Expo....and I bought two more. I decided if I'm going to grow orchids I needed some help so I ordered a beautiful book, Understanding Orchids by William Cullina.  Today I talked friends into going to Celaya, can you believe it...on a the Celaya Expo de Flor. I bought three more orchids, a violet and a gorgeous white hydrangea. See, an orchid addiction just leads to other flowers. Now I have two violets because I bought one sad looking little violet at Home Depot earlier in the week.
The hydrangea? I don't know why I bought it. I've tried growing them here before but the soil isn't right for them so it is a battle to keep them nourished. But a white hydrangea is such an elegant flower and makes me think of lovely old southern homes with porches where you sat in a white wicker rocking chair wearing a pale blue linen dress in the late afternoon and drank tea, I really, really do have to try to get this hydrangea to grow so it can paint lovely pictures for me.
I do not know what kind of orchids I bought today. The one you see above is in a pot, one is on a piece of a tree and the other is mounted on a board. At least the ones I bought in Mexico City came with pedigrees.    

Monday, May 2, 2016

Construction Zone

I'm in Port Aransas and since I was last here in October it seems like construction has doubled. The first thing I noticed is that across the street from my hotel has been paved. The construction sign says that soon there will be 100 RV parking places. Last October it looked like it was part of the salt marsh. Maybe a bit higher than the land around it but not much.

As I have driven around Mustang Island I'm really shocked at all of the home construction. The picture above is a development of beautiful houses. They must be building at least 10 more with construction trucks parked on both sides of a new street. Just like you would see in any subdivision that is going up.  Most of the houses you can see in the distance are occupied with lovely landscaping and window treatments already in place. People are living there.

This isn't the only change that is happening but the thing that really hit me today is how fast the Island is changing. I am really glad that I started photographing for the book I'm working on in conjunction with the Mercer Logs some time ago. It is going to be harder and harder to find landscapes and things that connect me with excerpts from the logs.

I know I'll sound like an old Fogey because I hate seeing these changes but the lyrics from Big Yellow Taxi came to mind.

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got til its gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

Thursday, April 28, 2016

La Selva Orchidia

A most wonderful morning this week. Bill Bartlett is a friend of mine but I had never been to his Orchid jungle before but now that I'm joining the Orchid Club in San Miguel and I'm going to try to keep some alive, I wanted to see his renown collection. I knew that groups scheduled tours to see it and now I understand why. Bill has had some of his orchids for decades and I am overwhelmed with the beauty and variety in his Orchid jungle. I could have made a 1000 images of the orchids that were in bloom, and there were many varieties that were blooming, but I was so busy listening to this expert and trying to absorb a bit of his knowledge that I didn't have time to make lots of photographs.

Bill is going to come visit me in San Miguel this year. I just hope that by the time he arrives I haven't killed off the few orchids that I have and that I have a bit more knowledge than I do now. I'd love to have a tiny Selva Orchidia like Bill's and I'm hoping I can figure out how to do that in the patio.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Twenty-two Years Ago

This week I had a panic attack. I was looking on my hard drive for a series of work I did in Pozas, the Surreal Garden. I didn't always keyword back sometime in 2000's and that was when the work was shot with a Holga camera and medium format film. So using keywords wasn't helping. Running through folder names wasn't working either. Oh, I have backup hard drives but the panic starts to set in. Could this hard drive be dying? What else could be missing? What will it cost to have it restored if it isn't on the other backup drives? That is, if it can be restored. Finally I noticed a folder name, FotoFest 2006. It was inside the folder for the year 2006. My file plan is to put images in yearly folders and then in sub-folders chronologically by date made. These images were not made in 2006 but I opened it and there were all of the images I had been searching for. I melted back into my chair.

I guess at the time when I named the folder, FotoFest 2006 and put it inside the year 2006 it seemed like a reasonable thing to do because these images made up my Goldesberry Gallery FotoFest show in 2006. But it wasn't logical in 2016. It gave me quite a scare. And it caused me to look back at old images just to be sure they were still there.

This particular scanned negative was made at a festival in Ocotlan in the State of Oaxaca in 1994. Twenty-two years ago and yet when I look at these young men running through the crowd with the fireworks exploding from the structures over them, I can still remember everything about that night.

I've been a photographer for a long time.

Twenty-two years ago. Isn't that something!