Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Seduction of Color

The chapter in a photo book I’m reading right now is The Seduction of Color. The author relates that he often asks his students, “Have you tried this in black and white?” He instructs that any element that does not add to a picture detracts from it. With those thoughts clanking around in my head, I took yesterday’s image back into Lightroom and played with it to create this:


And I’ll repeat yesterday’s version:


What do you think? What are your reactions? Do you respond differently to one compared to the other?


Winter Shadows


Printing, Matting, Framing


Oak Leaf in Grass

I’ve been spending some time getting pieces ready for a group show at the 3rd on 3rd Gallery in Jamestown, NY.  It’s always so hard for me to decide on a theme, to decide on images, to decide on a format, to decide on mat and frame colors…  I get panicky and I second guess myself all over the place.

And so, I asked my oldest daughter – a confident decision-maker.  I told her I wanted to do something from my contemplative series.  She picked 6 images – pow!  Just like that.  What a load off my shoulders!

It reminded me of a time when my sister-in-law and I were in Toronto.  I was there for a workshop; she was on vacation.  After my workshops ended, I joined her vacation.  We saw a show, ate in fine restaurants, found a bar with live music.  It was fun.  The best part was a tiny, swank, family-run Italian restaurant.  We sat down and looked at the menu and couldn’t bear the thought of having to make a decision about what to eat.

We closed the menu and told the waiter to choose for us.  He brought bruschetta and wine to start us off.  I think the main dish was some kind of fish…  I can’t remember exactly.  The point is, we gave over the decision-making to someone else and it was glorious.

Thank you, waiter dude.  And thank you, Emily!

(getting un)Stuck



I have felt Stuck and Lost and Unfocused of late.  I could blame a lot of it on the busy-ness of the holidays, or the fact that a daughter has moved back in (with her Boy), or the crazy-ness of stuff at work, or any number of things.  Truth is, I’m just stuck in general as it happens sometimes with each of us.  Thank goodness there are forces Out There that work to get us Unstuck.  Here are a few:

A Retreat (not mine)

My friend Deb went on an artist retreat this winter.  I was (not so secretly) envious of this chance to get away.  I moan and groan about never having enough time or the right space to do my work.  She got a whole week in a house where others cared for her, made her meals, tidied up and left her to do her work.  I advised her to live big during her residency because I would be living( vicariously through her (as would many of her other friends, I suspect).

Thanks to the miracle of the  internet, I kept up with Deb’s residency through pictures and posts on her blog.  In the end, I was surprised to read in her “Wrap Up” that while she enjoyed the week, this type of retreat was not for her… that she missed her messy studio and the company of her husband and fitting her work into the small slices of time she is able to carve between home and work.

Deb’s experience reminds me that what’s important is doing the work, not where you do the work.

I still want a retreat, though.

Steal Like an Artist Book Cover

Steal Like an Artist – by Austin Kleon

A Book (not mine, either)

I subscribe to a nonprofit marketing blog to feed me ideas for work.  Often, the ideas help outside of work, too.  Katya’s tip for January 8th was to read Austin Kleon’s Steal Like an Artist.  I liked the sound of it and clicked directly over to order it for my daughter’s birthday.  It arrived today and I read it cover to cover before wrapping it to give to her.  I liked it so much, I might have to order myself a copy.  It’s inspiring.  I think I’ll subscribe to his blog for a while, too.  (There.  I just did it.)

By the way, don’t tell Maddie until after her birthday that I got this book for her!  And Maddie – if you already found out… well… you know I’m terrible at keeping secrets.  And by the way… if after you read this book you decide you don’t want it, I’ll take it back!  Gladly.  (Update 1/25/2013:  NEVER MIND!  I bought my own copy.)

A New Computer (mine)

I have never had a new laptop all my own, except at work and that doesn’t count.  The one I had been using was 6+ years old, took forever to boot up, started giving me all kinds of strange error messages, and has a screen that likes to short out.  So, I just up and bought me a new laptop.  I’m excited about it because I have been avoiding some work for fear of losing it to a dead or dying machine.  Now, I have no excuse.  It’s time to delve more deeply into Photoshop and Lightroom and see what they can really do!

An Email

Last summer’s talk/walk about Contemplative Photography was well received.  I’ve been asked back.

A Phone Call

Several months ago while visiting a friend’s show at a local gallery, I gave my name to the person in charge asking for the opportunity to show my work someday.  I was told that they were booked quite far into the future, but she would contact me.  I forgot all about it.  Today, she called and offered me a spot in April of 2014.  I’m excited about this lead-time.  I envision myself shooting extensively in April of this year so that my exhibit the following year will be right for the season.

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All these affirmations from Out There may just serve to get me unstuck. Which is a good thing. Since I need to prepare 6 or so works for a March 2013 show!