Sunday, November 15, 2009

Opening Night at MSY Gallery

My exhibit "Mates" opened last night at gallery@MSY in Pasadena.  It's a busy time of year so the crowd was small however, I found there are many terrific benefits of having fewer people at this type of event.
  • I was able to interact personally with nearly every person who came by the gallery
  • People could ask me a lot of questions about the work and we could have thoughtful conversations about individual images, their reactions to specific images and their own experiences with the art
  • I had time to catch up with friends I only get to see occasionally
  • there was plenty of beer for each attendee!!!  
I was really pleased with how the work looked curated in the space.  At the outset I was concerned about the mixture of  framed and unframed images but Catharine and Marilyn did a fabulous job of mixing and matching.  I also liked that people were able to see the work up close and personal enough to make comments on how the papers textural effects actually contribute to the feeling of the image.

Good news for those of you who were unable to attend.... We are going to have a closing reception as well.  The show is up for the next two months, (till Jan 7) so please drop by the gallery to view it.  Stay tuned for a closing reception date in the first week of January!  If you aren't on my mailing list, email me so that I can put you on it for  that announcement.

Curator Marilyn (with the ponytail)

Curator Catharine (l)

Mike sampling the interesting global brews (Big bottles only - No 6 packs for this crowd!)
Everyone's favourite guest - Dodger, Mike's black Lab!

Yes, the iphone geeks had to compare apps and out app each other!!!
There were also facebook status updates going on.

 Dodger is just trying to catch a few zzzz's.  Don on the other hand, he's trying out the cat sounds app to see if he can get a rise out of the dog.  No Luck.  Dodger is serious about his down time.

Jerome, asking brilliant questions about art of course!!

Anita and Catharine are friends, photographers, artists, neighbours and have tonnes in common,  but they couldn't help laughing hysterically at the blatant visual example, (shown by their footwear), of how very differently they present themselves to the world.   Anita's shoes are brightly coloured sky high heels with tassles and a funky zipper in the back.  When she's not wearing this kind of attire, she says she is barefoot.  Catharine's boots are weathered and worn in, comfy-looking low-heeled affairs one could wear from the paddock to the gallery.  Both women looked incredible and we had a blast with this visual!!!

Thanks so very much to everyone who came.  I'm always honoured by your support for my work and for art in general.  All the images are for sale through Catharine and Marilyn at gallery@MSY as well as on my Online SmugMug Gallery.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

New Exhibit

I've got a new show going up in Pasadena.  Opening is next weekend, Nov 14, 2009.  Please join me, I'd love to see you there.  The exhibit is some of my holga work from the mates collection.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

I'm a New Fan of Jill-E

I've been eyeing some new camera equipment and photo gear lately. Imagine my excitement when the very rolling bag that I had earmarked as "when I have a spare $300 bucks, THIS is the bag I'll get", was on for a ridiculously low sale price at Pro Photo Connection here in Orange County.

Introducing my new bag from Jill-E Designs....

And introducing the fabulous sale price....

Now ... where can I find me the new Nikon D3S on sale ??? Oh yea - It hasn't even been released yet!!!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Now Reading...

I finished A Thousand Splendid Suns a few weeks ago and sent it off to my mother who immediately started reading it. (Yes, that is where I get my love of reading from).

This week I started a few more books. I'm reading Buddha 9-5, which fits in perfectly with my current (and ever present), existential struggle between art and commerce.  In this business book,  Buddism's eightfold path is used as a guide to assist in enlightening one's workplace while improving the bottom line.  

The second book I started recently is Good Neighbours, Bad Times.  In this book, authour Mimi Schwartz, delves into her family's German-Jewish past and expolres the truth behind accounts of a village in Germany where, according to her father, "before Hitler, everyone got along".  

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Homemade Pizza

Bruce threw me the change up tonight. (I'm using a baseball metaphor to sway those of you glued to the TV during the World Series, towards my blog post instead!!)

I said I was making brown rice and roasted squash for dinner and he said how about homemade pizza instead? I love homemade pizza and I love Bruce ... so how could I resist?

I was so pleased with the results tonight, I had to photograph the yumminess. The crust was perfect, (my secret recipe with beer in the yeasted dough), and the toppings were divine. (if I do say so myself)

My pizza is always a creation of interesting elements from things we have in the garden, fridge and pantry. Bruce's pizza never changes. B's pizza has tomato sauce (not too much), pepperoni, black olives and mozzarella cheese. I couldn't resist being creative with even his "ol standard" tonight so I tossed on some provolone cheese and some pancetta. He loved it!!!

My pizza came together like this: fennel and red onion, (sliced thinly on the mandoline, then sauteed in extra virgin olive oil), fresh basil and rosemary from the garden, feta cheese and a bit of chili marinated fresh bocconcini cheese. Sprinkle a bit of coarse sea salt on top. And a final drizzle of the best olive oil on the planet before popping it into the oven on the hot pizza stone.

Bon Appetit!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pollution Effects 101

This is what I'm talking about people.... Birds eat our toxic garbage, feed it to their young and die in massive numbers. It is tragic and disgusting and completely anthropocentric and we are all to blame.

Stop buying and using so much crap. Be conscientious about disposing of the crap you have. Think about the long term effects of every single little thing you put your grubby little hands on and choose to have in your life. The birds and the oceans will thank you. And so will I. And maybe even our children, and their children.

All photographs copyright Chris Jordan. 

 See more of this amazing photography work called Midway, Message from the Gyre, here at Chris's website. Read about the tragedy of the Pacific Atoll, commonly referred to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, here. And then watch this video. Cuz you can't have too much information on this topic in your brain next time you reach for a plastic water bottle.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Contest ENDS Midnight Tonight – VOTE NOW!

Hey Animal Lovers and fellow Canadians (and if any of you reading don't fit into those two categories - I'm talking to you too!!) 

Please check out Battle of the REI Blogs and vote for Julie Broad so that she will win this contest and donate $500 to animal rescue/shelter efforts! It will only take about 60 seconds. All you have to do is type who your favourite blogger is (that's Julie Broad), in the Comment section at the bottom of the page.  It's that easy.  You don't have to log in or sign up.  Just copy and paste her name.  Do it now.  Do it for the Doggies.  

Thanks to all of you who have already voted!

photo: Julie Broad

Saturday, October 24, 2009

ViewBook PhotoStory Winners Announced

The ViewBook PhotoStory Winners were announced this week... I wasn't one of them but I wanted to follow-up and thank everyone who voted for me. The winning projects are very unique and I particularly enjoyed the documentary project called SAPE by Francesco Giusti which he shot in the Congo.  

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

now read this... (and a trip diary from San Francisco)

I'm reading two books concurrently right now.  They are from different genres but I'm passionate about both of them.
The first one is a photography book.  "Looking In" is the story of Robert Frank's most famous work, "The Americans".   It's a gorgeous hardcover with the entire collection of "The Americans" printed in it as well as many of Frank's contact sheets.

I bought the book when I saw the "Making of the Americans" exhibit in San Francisco at MOMA in July.  I've always loved this work but seeing the exhibit made me love Robert Frank and his photography even more.  I went to San Francisco with my sweetie, Bruce, for the weekend.  Although the exhibit was the impeteous for the get-away, there were many other amazing things we did in San Fran.

We stayed in a new part of town for us and it was really fabulous.  Our hotel was the Stanyon Park Hotel right at the entrance of Golden Gate Park and in Haight Ashbury.  My amazing partner not only took me to the city to see art but he wined and dined me too.  As soon as we got to town we checked into our hotel and then had to find food; we were starving.  We wandered up Haight Street and found The Citrus Club Noodle House.  Fantastic lunch time noodles!
Later we rented bikes and rode all through the park stopping at the Beach Chalet/Park Chalet for beers mid afternoon.  As the names suggest, The Beach Chalet faces the Pacific and the Park Chalet faces... you guessed it, Golden Gate Park.  The Beach Chalet was packed with tourists and The Park Chalet was packed with locals.  Of course we hung with the locals and faced the Park!!!

My fav dinner that weekend took place at Thanh Long also right on the edge of Golden Gate Park.  We ate the same thing that almost every table there gets....  the most amazing Roast Crab, (from their Secret Kitchen Dishes menu), and the An Family world famous garlic noodles.

Now everyone knows that San Francisco is freezing in the summer, (you know "the marine layer" and all that fog...), and I KNOW that San Fran is freezing in the summer and my husband grew up in the Bay area for crying out loud, and yet, we still did not pack enough cool weather clothing for a weekend in this neighbourhood.  With temps in the 50's, we had to go shopping.  Off we went to the Haight again.  Bruce and I bought jackets and I got a pair of jeans at Villians.  It was much groovier than any of the shops I usually purchase clothes in but hey, we were in the Haight!

Another thing I love to do when I'm in San Francisco is head down to the Embarcadero and visit the Ferry Building.  After seeing the Robert Frank exhibit at MOMA we strolled down Mission Street till we got there.  Along the way we saw some great public sculpture.  The work was by Ugo Rondinone who, it turns out, is a Swiss born artist!  I guess it was Swiss art day in San Francisco.   Anyway, I got in big trouble by both the security guard and Bruce for getting way too close to the art.  But I did get these shots!!

The Embarcadero was packed and we were tired (especially me carrying that hardcover Art book and another hardcover Lonely Planet Travel book I bought for Bruce as a surprise).  So we quickly snaked through the farmers market and snuck into a quiet back table at Imperial Tea Court where we refreshed ourselves from what was now the first hot weather of our weekend.  This part of town was 80 degrees and sunny!!! Of course, we were over dressed!  Regardless, I managed to pick up my favourite olive oil at I Preferiti Do Boriana and a few of the most delectable chocolates you will ever eat at Recchiuti Confections before we left the rest of the tourists behind and took the Bart back to our part of town.

Ah yes, back to the main topic of this post.....
The second book I'm reading is "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini.   This novel was recommended to me by my best friend Tanya on our whirlwind visit this summer to Powell Books in Portland.  The trip wasn't whirlwind but our time in Powell Books sure was.  Imagine two book nerds on their first trip to Powell's with only 45 minutes to shop before closing.... well you'll have to imagine till I get that story written!  Coming soon... Summer Road Trips along the West Coast of US and Canada.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Regular Daily Meditation Practice

I'm a fan/practitioner/friend of the practice of meditation but like everyone I know who "sits", sometimes I go days, even weeks without meditating.  I long ago stopped berating myself for these lapses in my practice schedule but I still like reminders of why regular daily practice is important.  This article on the Mindful Mom Website by Diana Winston is a great reminder about why it's difficult to sit regularly and why despite the difficulty, it's imperative to do so.  Enjoy the article and the journey....  Ohmmmmmm

   Sunrise, Angkor Wat, Cambodia, 2006          copyright: Cindy Schafer