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In Honor of Sunshine

February 22, 2010

I was recently chosen for a sunshine award by my friend Pete at world sketches I will be posting my own sunshine award winning blogs in a later post.

This morning I took my camera with me to school to capture moments of sunshine, hence the post title. Before I get to the photos permit me to wax philosophically for a moment. The sun is the giver of life. Plants, trees, animals, humans, we all depend on the sun light. Even on a chilly Seattle morning just stretching my hand out into the warm sunlight causes me to think this is what life is about. Nothing can replace the tickling feel of sunlight on one’s hand in the middle of a cold, crisp morning. Nothing can replace the the burning glare of the afternoon sun in the middle of summer’s heat. Nothing can replace the last cool breaths of sunlight at dusk when the sky glows pink and the clouds break for one last ray of paradise. Memories are made of this.

Currently Listening To: Johnny Cash – That Lucky Old Sun


Chris Doyle, A Man With God’s Eyes

February 12, 2010


Chris Doyle is a world renown cinematographer best known for his work with the equally amazing Chinese director Wong Kar Wai. Together their aesthetic captures something completely temporal, be it the transitive nature of the modern city or the fleeting emotions of love and lust, and translates it into imagery that will make itself immortal in your mind’s eye.

But back to Chris Doyle, he is not only an amazing cinematographer but also a writer and photographer. To that end one of my favorite books is his film diary Buenos Aires done while making “Happy Together”. The book itself is about time and change, the temporality of experience, and the struggle to create. In fact this book was one of my inspirations for this blog. If you own a copy of this book consider yourself lucky as it can be difficult to track down. If you are a fan of Wong Kar Wai or Chris Doyle’s work, then do yourself a favor and find this book. If you care about photography, what the medium can accomplish, and how far the medium can be pushed as a visual art, then get this book.

Why am I writing about this then? What Chris Doyle routinely achieves through film and photography is what I hope to achieve in my art someday. That is I want to be so good or lucky as to capture a fleeting moment, a mood, an emotion and seal it forever in a visual medium. This in particular is my aim for photography. I want to push the limits of the camera, of the photo and capture in that strained space something permanent about human experience. Obviously the thought of achieving this goal is a long way’s off. But for the time being this could be considered a sort of artist statement. Like my version of George Orwell’s “Why I Write”. And Chris Doyle truly is a man with God’s eyes.

If any of this interests you I strongly recommend checking out Wong Kar Wai and Chris Doyle’s work.

Currently Listening To: Shigeru Umebayashi – Yumeji’s Theme

You Can Spend The Night Forever

February 9, 2010


How do we measure time? I don’t mean by minutes, hours or days, I mean what kind of events or experiences mark a significant passing of time? People go through different phases, moods, periods. Often times it seems like two people sitting right next to each other are in completely different time zones. Time for me is usually marked between finishing artworks. That is the time and space between one significant or successful artwork to the next makes up a period worthy of reflection in my own mind. Unfortunately that means this current span of time looks to drag on for quite a while. Or perhaps life has been so cluttered lately that my internal clock has ceased to function properly. I feel I have been relegated back to measuring minutes and hours as a meter for time with days having almost no meaning at all.

Days fade into one another, sun rises signify nothing but another phase in other peoples’ lives. More accurately, I think minutes, hours, and days themselves have no meaning at all. What matter are the things you get done between them.

Currently Listening To: Charles Mingus – Moanin’

The One With The Duck!

February 8, 2010

As I take more and more pictures I find myself also becoming equally more comfortable with carrying my camera in my pocket everywhere I go and whipping it out at random times. As for whether or not I am getting better as a photographer that remains to be seen. I do think though that I am developing a more critical eye for photo opportunities. Still sometimes straining for the right shot or trying to snap a moving object feels like a desperate struggle. Case in point, a swimming duck. And in an effort to balance out the relative emo of my last few posts let me say that photography is definitely an entertaining challenge. Also I just love the way water moves. Feast your eyes on these babies!

Currently Listening To: Nina Simone – Suzanne (Leonard Cohen cover)

Waiting For Something To Happen

February 4, 2010

As I write this I am sitting in front of my laptop with a bottle of water, cup of coffee, and a much too long list of things to do. Assignments don’t notice how tired you are, or that you have to go to work right after class, or just that you’re a human being. School is endless. Reading Hemmingway leaves me exhausted. My muse has left me and my mind is too distracted with tax codes to care.

Art is neglected, essays pushed aside, books closed, and nothingness sets in. My coffee cup is cold now and so am I. I dream of better days and can’t help but remember a song that does the same. “The Bends” by Radiohead is god in this moment. Below are more photos from recent days. Hopefully they capture my current mood. If not the song definitely does.

Currently Listening To: Radiohead – The Bends

As Days Go By

February 3, 2010

I decided to keep my camera with me for a few days and take shots of scenes from my life. Its fun trying to find interesting ways to capture the rather routine nature of student life. The hope of these photos is that they should communicate life in a kind of dull, yet aesthetically pleasing fashion. Of course sneaking a few shots between classes means these are more or less done on the fly. I am continuing this experiment and have taken well over a couple hundred photos. It will take me some time to look through them and pick the best ones to share. With this in mind photography will probably dominate my posts for the next few days. The song I’m sharing this time is “Waitin’ Around To Die” by Townes Van Zandt. Listening to that song I can’t think of anyone who hasn’t felt like that at one time or another. Its a great folk song, one of Townes’ firsts. The song evokes a deep well emotions, none of them too pleasant. Still it is definitely worth a spin. Peace.

Currently Listening To: Townes Van Zandt – Waitin’ Around To Die

Further On Down The Road

January 27, 2010

Continuing my work on “The Bold and The Brave” I kicked things into overdrive with underwhelming results. Every once in a while I work and work on a painting or drawing that just never shapes up the way I want it to. This is looking like one of those works. Before I get to the pictures I want to do a run down of the “progress” or more accurately, changes made. The background has been heavily modified, colors added, and painted over. This was done, largely, to make the palette of the background be more similar to the figure. On that note, I have also started work on the fist/arm. This is probably my biggest gripe with the painting. I have begun work on the fist only to discover that this painting has been done a million times before and done better a million times before. I knew going in that this wasn’t the most original idea. Instead it was just a stop gap, something to get me back in the flow so that I could take on my next challenge, which is substantial. As it stands I am prepared to call this work over. It will return from whence it came, my pile of canvases waiting to be reused for some greater purpose. I will take that title “The Bold and The Brave” and stick it in my pocket for another day as I quite like it. What follows below is the damage.

Currently Listening To: Steve Earle – To Live Is To Fly (Townes Van Zandt cover)