Sunday, March 28, 2010

the roadtrip breakdown.... thus far

I'm finally here at Palm Springs, CA! Whew! It's been an amazing few days.

I've had great times and great conversations with my absolutely amazing hosts: Mark and Dee Dee. I cannot thank them enough.

Quick breakdown (I'll write more about my visits when I have photos of those said visits):

Wednesday was all day driving, ending up in Glenwood Springs, CO for the night.

Thursday was Arches National Park and Monument Valley.

Friday most of the day was at Antelope Canyon and the latter part of the day was the Grand Canyon.

Saturday all day was at the Grand Canyon.

Today was Joshua Tree.

Visual stimuli overload!!

Lots of music and thoughts in between. Figured out some important things I need to deal with when I arrive back home.

But now, its time to live in the moment, and appreciate every second I have here in Palm Springs.

So with that being said, I'm going to explore the town until it's well past dark.

Ooooh, and I know who I'm going to be rooming with tomorrow through Thursday morning. Yay!


R Michael Walker
. From last summer - my first time being in Joshua Tree.

guess I'm a fool for you

I’m a recovering under cover over lover
recovering from a love I cant get over
recovering under cover over lover
and now my common law lover thinks he wants another

and i'd lie for you
I cry for you
mm pop for you
and break for you
and hate for you
and I hate you too
if you want me too
I pray for you
crochet for you
make it from scratch for you
leave off the latch for you
go to the store for you
do it some more for you
do what you want me to
guess I’m a fool for you

I’m a recovering under cover over lover
recovering from a love I cant get over
recovering under cover over lover
and now my common law lover thinks he wants another

and i'd lie for you
and cry for you
pop for you
break for you
hate for you
and I'll hate you too
if you want me too
i gotta do
my love for you
drive to school for you
paint it red for you
it's true, it's true
thought I was through with you
guess I'm a fool for you

Erykah Badu is a new force in my life to be reckoned with.


My first band shoot. Hopefully I did them justice. Deepsoul Dieties.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Holding Still

My first session of figure modeling for life drawing last year was unnerving. I mean, I wasn't too intimidated - I had the basics down; you disrobe, pose for varying amounts of time, and some of those poses can be very long. Not a difficult concept. Because of my experience in front of the camera, I didn't feel like it would be that much of a jump to pose in front of students/artists instead of photographers.

In a lot of ways its not a big difference, and then of course, in some ways, it is.

It's really, really difficult to hold still for longer than 5 minutes. And that's even for the "easy" poses. You know, positions you usually imagine yourself holding more than briefly - such as simply sitting or standing. But I don't enjoy simple for simplicity's sake, I love complex things that have been designed or highlighted for their simplicity. Like the iPhone. Which I don't have. Anyway...

Longer poses require careful considerations. Primarily: "Can I hold that pose for that long?" And the answer probably is no - not without shaking or some limb falling asleep. I often tried to overpose, to give that 110%, but that would lead to the aforementioned shaking and limb-fallen-asleep-ness (hold on, there has to be a word for that. wiki says: paraesthesia) so over time I've learned to balance which poses will or wont be udderly arduous to hold (the yoga has really helped comfortably extend my holding times) and yet maintain a repertoire of cogent, expressive and diverse poses. However, during this learning curve for life modeling I never expected to learn another skill that would be much more rewarding in and of itself: Learning to hold still.

When I was much more unpracticed, less mindful, the timer was my prison. In the very beginning, I thought it would be best if I couldn't see how much time I had left to hold the pose. Good thought in theory. But turns out, I need to check in once and a while and modify my mindset, and make decisions on how to slightly adapt my pose for longevity. There is bliss in the tiny movements.

But in the spaces between check-ins with the timer, the pauses, is what I've had the most satisfaction in practicing. There was quite an adjustment from photography modeling, where I'm used to strobes flashing, music, directions and comments from photographer, and other distractions that I can usually divert my attention to for at least a moment. Not at all the case in the classroom or at co-ops. The only thing you hear consistently is the sound of many pencils drawing on paper. It's become a trigger for me. As soon as I hear that sound, my mind prepares itself for quietness. Stillness. It's become a very peaceful space. A very mindful space.

First I settle in to the pose. Then I pick a focal point for my eyes.
Try it. For 5 minutes. Set a timer, sit down and settle yourself.
Pick something to stare at.
Don't move anything, including your gaze. Don't scratch anything.

Tell me what happens.

Then, try it for 40 minutes.

I've had some amazing sensations come over me, and plenty of quiet time for clear, constructive thinking. Being blissfully aware and present in the moment. Even if I wasn't terribly passionate about contributing to art, these moments of stillness would be all the reason I need to stay a life drawing model for a very long time.

More on my thoughts about this later.


Sylvie Blum.

Monday, March 15, 2010

You can't always get what you want

but if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.

A few local things happening.

A new organization aimed to foster rewarding collaborations between the professional, creative forces of fine art figure photographers and figure drawing models has just been born here in the Twin Cities. It is called Phigural. Once I have more information, I will gladly pass it along here. I went last night to its first meeting, and it was very well received; I saw a lot of familiar faces and hopefully met some new people I will eventually have working relationships with.

So my original plan to get out to Palm Springs was to take a roadtrip down and shoot along the way before and after the workshop. That fell through because of the car's condition. I resolved to fly out there, and was gathering the capital to purchase the ticket when I was approached with an opportunity to travel with another Twin Cities photographer who just so happens to be taking the workshop that I'm modeling for. So I'm on another roadtrip, just not my own. But we will be hitting some marvelous hotspots, and hopefully get some amazing art out of this process. I know I'm going to be taking and shooting a lot of film myself!

My next week will consist of me preparing for this roadtrip and making sure I have all the necessary essencials without overpacking. But good news is, I can finally wear shorts again, as long as the weather cooperates. My legs need some sun.

Some amazing things have been happening lately, both good and bad. I'm just trying to sponge it all in, learn, and grow.


Chip Willis.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

...often go astray.

So, life has thrown another curve-ball. I'm no longer making the roadtrip due to my car's condition. It's a big letdown, which is a bit of an understatement. But I will still be making it to the Palm Springs workshop, I'll just be flying out there and back.

Figure/Life Drawing sessions have been picking up, which I'm very excited and grateful for. I just modeled at Hamline for the first time this past Tuesday. The instructor was wonderful (with British charm to boot) as well as all the students. So respectful, and very talented. I'm scheduled for more sessions there in the upcoming weeks, which will be great!

All for now!


David Winge.