Saturday, December 02, 2006

More of winter...


A cow and her yearling bull came into the yard to dig around in the remains of the garden under the snow and eat a frozen pumpkin. As moose don't have very long necks, they often kneel down to eat. Here, the cow is standing and son is kneeling...




As we moved around in the house, they would perk up their ears, listening. Two neighborhood dogs came down our driveway and barked furiously at them. The moose merely looked at the dogs, seemingly non-plussed. At one point, Mama lowered her head and pulled back her ears---menacing moose face. The dogs immediately jumped back and cowered, only to resume their barking when she went back to eating some willows along the drive. Frommage opened the front door and yelled at the dogs, who ran. Moose glanced our way, uncaring of the noise.



After hitting every gallery in town (five) for the First Friday opening parties, we went to what is turning into our family hang out bar, The Big I. This is Frommage's longtime family friend sporting the Rasputin look----and didn't mind me taking pictures.



Today was spent working on grant and artist residency applications. Hours and hours in front of the computer. We tried to go skiing this morning, but -11F and slow snow made us give it up as no good. Still, I got in one moment of bliss, which I seem to always get while out skiing.....

I was double-poleing along the road back the car, headed right into the 11:00 sunrise. The light was breaking over the world, searing through the cold air. Everything was sparkling with frost. Skiing into the sun, I felt like I was going to slide off the edge of the world.

Some people meditate. Some people take drugs.

Me...I ski.
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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Winter life...


Sunrise from the bedroom window. Daylight is later and later every day...and less and less as we slide down towards solstice. I think our maximum daylight (officially) is about 3 hours and 45 minutes or so on Dec. 21st. Of course, one hour at the beginning and one hour at the end is a bluish twilight, as the sun never rises too high above the horizon.



Post Thanksgiving Christmas decorating is already in full swing all over town. These were on a tree at school---photographed before I went to class last night. I've always loved night photography.....long, still exposures, finding details in the shadows of an image....



And of course, the playing around you can do with a digital camera at night! I did about a dozen shots like this, waggling and circling and jumping the camera around during the exposure. I LOVE the effect---it's like perfect, glowing, gestural drawing! Reminds me of some paintings by Jim Dine that I saw at the National Gallery in D.C. last year.

I've found that digital is much less forgiving in low light situations and night photography than standard camera shooting----what I think of as 'hard copy photography.' It's amazing that I got a degree in photo just 10 years ago, and everything I learned is now obsolete in the professional photo world. I can still respect negatives, however finicky and frustrating they can be to work with....if you think about it, the negative was actually there, at the scene, at the moment, the place, the second that the image was shot, sucking up the light and shadow of that day. Sure, maybe in digital the compact flash card or whatever was there....but it's not the same thing.



This is a photo from last winter; a ski party with friends out near Chatanika. I've been so wanting to get everyone together for more Saturday skiing, but the conditions are pretty bad: cold weather and very little snow. At the local University trails, my usual favorite place to ski, grass is sticking up through the snow! Every week, the forcast promises 'chance of snow,' but nothing doing.....

Regardless, I've been skiing every day by myself this week---skate skiing at the 'professional' trails in town. The trails are wide and groomed, but with so little snow, cold temps and heavy use, it's like skiing on concrete. My skate skis slip around more, my balance is off and my falls are dramatic and probably pretty comical to anyone watching! But hey----I fucking love skate skiing. I'm taking a class with a former olympian, Aelin Peterson, and it's got me so inspired. It's a little lonely to ski alone every day....I just don't know anyone at my skill level that has the time to do it. The past two days, I've showed up at sunset around 3:00 pm, just when 2 full busloads of high school ski teams are unloading. Yikes! I try to find an out of the way trail to practice on so I don't look like a complete fool with my non-matching ski gear and elaborate pratfalls.

Today, however....must be spent in the studio. I'm finishing up 3 small paintings for a show opening on Friday and I'm framing a big painting to trade with a fellow artist for one of hers---a lovely little blue painting with scored wax/encaustic work.....it's gorgeous. Honestly, I would sell my painting for more than she would hers, given the size and type of framing, etc., but the truth is that my painting has been sitting around in my studio for 5 years. It's time that it just got out of the house, out into the world. I'm learning better how not to hold onto things so tightly, especially art. (Especially when it's a trade for something really scrumptious.) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Going out, staying in...


We got an impromtu invite from friends to meet at a local bar, the Golden Eagle. Many friends, many margaritas...



It was great to see everyone. This is a crowd I used to spend a lot more time with, but...well, people drift apart. The theme of the evening seemed to be people having relationship troubles and breaking up.



The new painting is revving up---I've used up all of the gold leaf I've been hoarding in my art supply stock for....um...eleven years? Yes, I think that's right. I'm now awaiting the first funds from my grant to jump on some major purchses for the next series of paintings. Gold leaf! Gesso, too.....totally out. These large paintings are going to use up some serious lbs. of materials. I'm looking at this painting in my studio, and I get ideas for 100 more paintings similar to it---a whole raft of paintings for this series. There is another series bubbling up in my mind, however. Something that's been taking root very quietly and subtly for several years and now.....I think it's time has come. It's taking up enough room in my mind that I have to let it loose. (But how to start? Yikes! That's always the crux....)



Old cat on the yellow quilt. He's doing better since I lowered his dosage of kitty glucosamine. For some reason, he had a pretty strong reaction to it and instead of feeling better/younger/less creaky....it had the opposite effect. Very Strange, his vet said. Posted by Picasa