Saturday, August 13, 2011

off the grid

Taking a break.
back after labor day REFRESHED!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Chicago's Filter Photo Festival 2011

Chicago's very own Filter Photo Festival is the creation of photographer Sarah Hadley. It its third year, it promises to offer something for everyone. There are wonderful lectures, workshops (one of which I will be teaching titled Developing your Personal Vision), portfolio reviews and exhibitions. If you haven't considered attending a portfolio review before, this might be the time! There is a great line up of reviewers and it provides invaluable feedback on your work.

August 9 ~ Morning Light

There will also be a juried exhibition called "Beginnings." The jurors are
Barbara DeGenevieve, Photography Professor, School of the Art Institute and
Christy Karpinski, Editor of F-Stop Magazine.

Surely you have something you can submit!

Monday, August 08, 2011

ON REVERIE by Raphael Enthoven

I am not sure if you saw the article On Reverie in the New York Times yesterday but it is too good not to share. I have posted an excerpt but you can read the full essay online HERE.

August 8

"Imagination, knowing and dreaming into the heart of the matter."

August 6, 2011, 12:46 PM
On Reverie

"It’s a sweet drug that plays with fire. A wasteland — forest of ruins or paved-over jungle depending on whether wakefulness or sleep tips the scales. An old city where the shadows still hold a trace of vanished occupants, where detailed buildings, patiently reconquered by nature, suddenly still are there, sand castles. Through the dreamer’s kaleidoscope where the absence of desire is taken as reality, birds slash through the twilight, cypress trees dive into the pool, stars sparkle in the sea, clouds take on shapes, water lilies bloom in the sky, plans become flexible, the limit to how far things can go relaxes, thought dances, light is lit by shade, opposites are juxtaposed, merge and become linked in a prelude to beauty: reverie is contemplation’s prehistory, the education of the gaze by the eyes of the soul.

Suddenly, the world before concepts.

Daughter of consciousness and sleep, reverie blends their realms. Like intoxication, reverie is lucidity without an object, an activity but one that’s passive, a search that begins by giving up and lets itself be dazzled rather than looking...."

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Candy Chang's Before I Die Project in New Orleans

Before I Die is the amazing brainchild of New Orleans artist Candy Chang. She is using blackboards that line the outside of an abandoned home in New Orleans to encourage people to think about their hopes and dreams. It is a symbol of rebirth and a testament to New Orlean's resilience and creativity.

In Chang's words...

"With support from old and new friends, I turned the side of an abandoned house in my neighborhood into a giant chalkboard to invite my neighbors to share what is important to them. Before I Die transforms neglected spaces into constructive ones where we can learn the hopes and aspirations of the people around us. This process (including obtaining official approval from many entities) has been a great lesson--more on that later. If you're in New Orleans, stop by the corner of Marigny and Burgundy (900 Marigny Street) to add your thoughts to the wall and discover what matters most to your neighbors. I believe the design of our public spaces can better reflect what's important to us as residents and as human beings. The responses and stories from passersby while we were installing it have already hit me hard in the heart."

The project has had such a positive response that Chang decided to continue the project online where you can add your dreams. Here are a few that have just been added....

Before I die I want to let people realize the value of equality.
Before I die I want to find true happiness. And channel that to the world..
Before I die I want to Save someone I love's live or die trying.
-- GUS
Before I die I want to feel accomplished.
Before I die I want to have a world tour with my parents.
Before I die I want to forgive.
Before I die I want to finally live on my own..
Before I die I want to be a great mother.
Before I die I want to see and eat everything in the world!.
Before I die I want to truly be happy..

You can read more about it on her website HERE. What an inspirational project. I can't wait to visit the site on my next trip to New Orleans.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Ralph Eugene Meatyard

There is a Ralph Eugene Meatyard exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago which is not to be missed. I was first introduced to Meatyards work when I started out exploring photography. I have plenty of broken dolls and masks that I too have collected and photographed but they never had the power of Meatyard's work. I found the photographs haunting and disturbing, offering up some truths about the human condition.

I work in several different groups of pictures which act on and with each other – ranging from several abstracted manners to a form for the surreal. I have been called a preacher – but in reality, I’m more generally philosophical. I have never made an abstracted photograph without content. An educated background of Zen influences all of my photographs.
— Ralph Eugene Meatyard, 1961

from the wall text at Art Institute show...

At the Lexington Camera Club, where Meatyard first seriously studied photography, his mentor Van Deren Coke urged students to "start in your own backyard." Later Meatyard recalled the value of this advice. "This backyard business was carried into our own work. Van believed that we could make most of our pictures around our own homes. In making any photograph, Van suggested, it was enough to find the appropriate background, be honest, and put anything you wanted to in front of it. I have found that this is still the best way, with an excursion afield from time to time."

Extract from the preface, by James Rhem of the Photo Poche

"In short, Meatyard's work challenged most of the cultural and aesthetic conventions of his time and did not fit in with the dominant notions of the kind of art photography could and should be. His work sprang from the beauty of ideas rather than ideas of the beautiful. Wide reading in literature (especially poetry) and philosophy (especially Zen) stimulated his imagination. While others roamed the streets searching for America and truth, Meatyard haunted the world of inner experience, continually posing unsettling questions about our emotional realities through his pictures. Once again, however, he inhabited this world quite differently from other photographers exploring inner experience at the time. Meatyard's "mirror" (as John Szarkowski used the term) was not narcissistic. It looked back reflectively on the dreams and terrors of metaphysical questions, not private arguments of faith or doubt."

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Last Night ~ Barack Obama's 50th Birthday Celebration in Chicago

Everyone singing Happy Birthday to the President, led by Jennifer Hudson

In case you were wondering how Barack Obama's 50th Birthday Celebration went, here are a few photographs from the night. It was thrilling to be there. The music was fabulous, the energy electric. They had a slide show with lots of people holding up signs "I'm In" for the 2012 race. He did say that today is his actual birthday and that he'll wake up with an email from AARP telling him to “call President Obama and tell him to protect Medicare.”

No SLR cameras were allowed on the floor

Herbie Hancock was so amazing. I can't begin to tell you how hot it was standing there. And then the music started and everyone forgot how uncomfortable it was. We were just mesmerized by the artistry of the musicians.

My only regret is not video taping Jennifer Hudson singing. Her performance got to the essence of the soul.

President Obama went out to shake hands with his fans...I was just too far back but did shake hands with our new Chicago Mayor, Rahm Emanuel

August 4 ~ my favorite photograph of the night

"Im In" ...are you?

I woke up this morning to a wonderful email from Michelle Obama.

Jane --

Every day, I see Barack make choices he knows will affect every American family. That's no small task for anyone -- and more proof that he's earning every last one of those gray hairs.

This has been a busy week in Washington, but today happens to be Barack's 50th birthday. I'm writing to you because this year, the girls and I would like to do something a little different.

I'm asking friends and supporters of this campaign to wish him a happy birthday by signing his card, and sharing why you're on this journey with us.

Your names and notes will become part of a book that tells the story of this campaign -- who's building it, why we're in this thing, and what he means to us. We'll deliver a copy to Barack and send one to our campaign offices across the country. I've known Barack for more than 20 of his 50 years, and we've been through quite a lot together.

It still amazes me that no matter how many decisions and distractions he's faced with every day, he's always able to focus on the bigger picture. One way he does that is by making time for stories and letters from people like you -- because he knows that this job isn't about him, but about the millions of folks around the country he's fighting for.

This day -- and this campaign -- isn't just about Barack, either. So our team put together a video telling the story of another one of our supporters born 50 years ago today, talking about where he wants to see our country go and why he's in this fight with us. Watch it, and add your note to Barack's birthday card:

This next year will challenge us all to work harder than ever before, but the crucial thing is that you're here now, early on, helping to build this campaign.

I know that, like Barack and me, you have your own reasons why, so I hope you'll take a moment to sign the card and share your story with him and other supporters of this campaign.

Thanks for being a part of this,


You can Sign The Card for President Obama HERE.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Happy Birthday President Obama

August 3, 2011 ~ image by Mr. Brainwash

Today is President Obama's birthday. He is my hero and I am going to see him tonight along with Herbie Hancock, OK Go, and Jennifer Hudson at the Aragon Ballroom, just a stones throw from home. It was disappointing to wake up to the morning newspaper headlines saying he has suffered politically from the financial fiasco in Washington. Running this country with so many fundamentalists is no easy task. Change is not easy and compromise a challenge.

I watched the movie Invictus this past weekend and it was truly inspiring. After 27 years in jail, Nelson Mandela (Morgan Freeman) is released in 1990. His immediate challenge is "balancing black aspirations with white fears", as racial tensions from the apartheid era have not completely disappeared. The title of the movie comes from a poem by William Ernest Henley, that was the spiritual cornerstone and support of Nelson Mandela's 27 year imprisonment.

"Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishment the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."

I couldn't help but see the parallels between what happened in South Africa and the divide that is deepening in this country.
Fear and misunderstand abound.

We must try to understand the other side, and at times compromise in an attempt to create wholeness.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Underpass

The 365 photos project continues to be a challenge. Some days I am really into it. Other days it feels like an imposition and/or a stretch.

The Underpass ~ August 2

I took this photograph after having been attracted to the space for many years. Because of the project, I made myself stop and shoot it with my iphone. Who knew I would be adding the text. I guess one just needs to be open to whatever arrives at your doorstep.

Monday, August 01, 2011


1. Produce or be filled with a deep, full, reverberating sound.
2. Evoke or suggest images, memories, and emotions.

August 1

what do you resonate with?

just out of the lake after a most pleasurable morning swim. the word resonate kept coming to mind. i am in full tilt when i am swimming in open waters. it is a meditation as my mind skims over the landscape, supported by a gentle caress as the winged do their morning greet hovering over the velvet undulating surface of soft muted light.