Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Magic Button — Make Everything OK

Ok...so this blog is about a lot of things as is mentioned in the title... Life, Love and the Creative Process. I am happy to share a website that pretty much sums it up, in case you were in doubt about anything. Just click on the blue text below.

The magic button — Make Everything OK

I will post the creative collaboration pieces on Monday, March 5th. If you have not sent your work in, please do and I will include a link to your website. If you don't know what I am talking about, check it out HERE. It is not too late to participate.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Critical Mass 2011 Traveling Exhibition

If you happen to live in Seattle, Portland or San Francisco, please consider checking out this exhibit. It will be wonderful. I will be attending the opening in San Francisco on May 10th. Also, Jennifer Hudson's portfolio, MEDIC, was chosen for the Critical Mass 2011 book award. I can't wait for it to be published. There is a post on her work HERE.

Happy Friday!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mardi Gras and Liminality

As Mardi Gras is in full swing in New Orleans, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the importance of celebration, when the ordinary gets transformed into the extraordinary.

We had a fundraiser this past weekend for Ragdale, a most amazing place that supports the creation of art making in all its forms. We went the full nine yards...Sazerac cocktails, Barq's Rootbeer, Abita Beer, crayfish boil, jambalaya, mac and cheese, roasted ham, pickled okra, braised collards, sweet potato pecan pie, king cake, pralines, live cajun music and a reading by award winning cajun poet, Beverly Matherne. We are still in recovery mode but savoring the after glow of a great celebration of art, food, friends and life.

In anticipation of the Mardi Gras celebration, I have been thinking in images and after some effort, I found 2 that nicely reference the concept of liminality, " a psychological, neurological, or metaphysical subjective state, conscious or unconscious, of being on the "threshold" of or between two different existential planes... "

"those in-between situations and conditions that are characterized by the dislocation of established structures, the reversal of hierarchies” ( from wikipedia)

The idea of masquarade is so embedded in New Orleans. Anything goes, especially during Mardi Gras season.

This past weekend there was a great article in the travel section of the New York Times on 36 Hours in New Orleans. There were some great suggestions for traveling there. If you can't get there for this year's Mardi Gras (which is happening now) I just discovered how to join the fun from afar...there is a Mardi Gras Webcam that is rolling today at 3pm to cover the Tucks, Proteus and Orpheus parades and tomorrow, Mardi Gras at 10 a.m for the Rex parade. Just click HERE.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Movie Recommendation ~ Pina

Haunting and Profound. A Tribute to choreographer Pina Bausch. Longing, Struggle, Love, Joy, Reunion, Despair, Strength. Truly inspirational. "Dance, Dance...otherwise we are lost~ Pina Bausch"

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tolstoy on What is Art

According to Tolstoy, art must create a specific emotional link between artist and audience, one that "affects" the viewer. Thus, real art requires the capacity to unite people via communication (clearness and genuineness are therefore crucial values). This aesthetic conception led Tolstoy to widen the criteria of what exactly a work of art is. He believed that the concept of art embraces any human activity in which one emitter, by means of external signs, transmits previously experienced feelings. Tolstoy offers an example of this: a boy that has experienced fear after an encounter with a wolf later relates that experience, infecting the hearers and compelling them to feel the same fear that he had experienced—that is a perfect example of a work of art. As communication, this is good art, because it is clear, it is sincere, and it is singular (focused on one emotion). (wikipedia)

Last night I watched the Grammys. I was spellbound by the artistry of Jennifer Hudson.

Friday, February 10, 2012

for Valentine's Day

You there,
Come with me into
the world of light
and be whole,
For the love you
thought had been
dead a thousand years
Is back in town
and asking for you.

Mark Strand

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Creative Collaboration ~ The Remix #1

"To compose a subject well means no more than to see and present it in the strongest manner possible." -Edward Weston

This post is the outcome of collaborative efforts by many fellow photographers whose creative spirit is exemplified in their unique depiction of the original photograph. Each person started with the same digital file. (see details of the challenge HERE) The multitude of interpretations is something to behold and very exciting to consider. Each rendering of the original image offers something new to the viewer. What is taken with the camera is often just the jumping off point of the final artistic expression. We can learn from each other's creative process. What are we bringing to the raw material? How do we go about pushing it to another level? What is our process? What are our thoughts that accompany the transformation of the image?

This has been so much fun to organize. I have been so inspired by your imaginative "remixes" and am very appreciative to all who participated. There is a wealth of very exciting ideas presented, offering much food for thought. Given the response to this project, I have decided to offer another round. Look for details which are contained at the end of this post. And now...

(chronological order)

original unedited file

Wills Glasspiegel

Mark Regester

Adrian Davis

Aaron Hobson"walking the moose"

Jim Digby

J Wesley Brown

Chuck Mintz "They Threatened to Close Saint Colman's So We Moved it to the Sticks"

Mark Berndt

Paris Carter

Spencer Morehead

Emma Powell

Oliver Pauk

Tim Messick

Jim Robertson

Hank Frentz

Karen Divine

Karen Klein

Pamela Zilly

Bob Sachs

Shaun Quinlan

Rob Castro

Michael Werner

Joyce Westrop

Ellen Jantzen

Ilona Berzups

Dan Gerber

Kristianne Koch "What Path Will She Pick?"

Loretta Ayeroff

Mark Hickman

Erin O'Keefe

Tyler Hewitt

Frank Grisdale


I would like to try this again as it has been so amazing to see the creative process in action.
I went thru my files and found another image that has many possibilities for interpretation. Feel free to work with the file that is on this blog or email me at photos@janefultonalt.com and I will invite you do download the larger file from my dropbox account. Then just return your rendition of the photograph to me by April 1st at 72 dpi, 1000 x 1000 pixels maximum, your name in the file and your website (if you have one) and I will post it.

Here is some advice on the creative process from Rainer Maria Rilke...

“Everything is gestation and bringing forth. To let each impression and each germ of a feeling come to completion wholly in itself, in the dark, in the inexpressible, the unconscious, beyond the reach of one's own intelligence and await with deep humility and patience the birth-hour of a new clarity: that alone is living the artist's life. Being an artist means not reckoning and counting, but ripening like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without the fear that after them may come no summer. It does come. But it comes only to the patient who are there as though eternity lay before them, so unconcernedly still and wide.”

Once again, have fun with it!

Saturday, February 04, 2012

A Creative Collaboration

So I heard about this singer who collaborates with other people to create songs. I was intriqued with the idea and decided to try something similar. When I was taking photography classes, one of the assignments was to take someone else's negative into the darkroom and come up with a print.

Well, I have decided to try something similar, only this will be with a digital file. If you are interested in participating, I will send you the original file. You can do whatever you like to the file. Then, at the end of the month, you will send me back a jpeg of the file and I will post all the photographs.

So here is the first image. I took this while in Louisiana and think there is lots for room for creative experimentation. Please email me at photos@janefultonalt.com for the larger file.
I will also post this project on my sidebar so you can access the project anytime.

A few thoughts about the project...NO JUDGING! Just have some fun with it! Feel free to alter it in whatever way you want. Experiment all you like. Push the boundaries.

When you are finished, please send back a jpg 72dpi 1000 pixels wide with your name in the title by February 29th along with your website if you have one and I will be sure to post.


Friday, February 03, 2012

More ramblings about New Orleans

One of the great things about traveling is dipping into new experiences. New Orleans was filled with them. There is a spirit and soul to the city unlike any other and I felt so privileged to partake in its riches. It is a raw city with the humanity spilling out into the streets.

When I first arrived I missed the turn off for the city and ended up in Algiers, where I took the Broken Steeple photograph in 2005, post Katrina. I photographed the church again with my iphone. Although much has been repaired and rebuilt since the storm, some things have not.

What you can't see in the photograph is a white tent that is located on the parking lot to the left of the church where services are held.

I visited the New Orleans African American Museum on the last day of the Prospect 2 show and it was there that I came across the amazing work of Harlin Miller. He was born and raised there and his work speaks for itself. It was riveting. The pieces are created out of newspaper print and speak volumes in a very quiet, understated way.

© Harlin Miller ~ Abandonment

© Harlin Miller ~ More Prayer Than Planning

Another highlight was hearing John Boutte sing Hallelujah at d.b.a. He won the Best of the Beat Awards and hearing him sing was truly a religious experience. The power of music is unparalleled as it is universally understood. New Orleans is where all the musicians are flocking and it is a true musical extravaganza every day and night. I told my father, aged 92, that if I ever return in another life, I would like to be a musician to which he responded "it's not too late, why don't you start lessons now?"

The Ogden Museum of Southern art had an exhibit of Will Henry Stevens's Louisiana Waterways. I loved his insights into artmaking...

"It has been my experience, and I think the experience of all serious creative artists, if they have the good fortune of working over a long period of time, gradually to depart from the representation of surface appearance and to develop symbols expressive of cosmic values. Art is based on emotional understanding, a feeling of that which lies back of appearance, and on the creative power to reconstruct in visual or audible terms the artist's feelings and moods. There is always the desire to express the harmonious inter-connection of each and every element, and to create a feeling of wholeness more satisfying than our ordinary experience in time. The practice of art is a way to knowlege, since the artist continually learns through experience."