July 28, 2008

lost and found




PREFACE:

so i am editing my post about "problems".
i am going to remove the links to her flickr.

when i wrote this blog i was very upset and i felt very betrayed by someone i really enjoyed communicating with.
i took it too personal and allowed it to mean too much to me.
i also had no idea it would generate this much feedback. i assumed sharing my feelings on this subject would be helpful and good for me to vent. but as you can see it went a little too far.

so, for that, i apologize.
i do not apologize for speaking my mind in my own blog. if it really upsets "you" then don't read my blog. i also do not apologize for feeling concerned. there was a legitimate reason for it.



what i realize now is that there is a fine line between caring about your work and caring too much about your work.

so i am moving on.. to "finding something better to do" and "craving attention in a more positive manner" (as an anonymous commenter so eloquently put it in a message to me).

******

so i have been going back through a lot of my old photos from last summer, when i traveled around the world like a gypsy. i carried everything i needed on my back. i had no thoughts of internet or cell phones. i was just a no name girl, thinking on her feet, and seeing the world. i floated in the adriatic sea. i jumped off of cliffs where odysseous once stood. i ate foods i could not pronounce and drank strange liquors that burned like fire.
i was alive and things were simplified.
at this point in my life, i can now see that feeling free is a state of mind, not a place you go to.
somehow i am learning how to get there.
slowly
but
surely.

***this series of photos is some digital and some film.
the film shots are velvia 400 slide film. they have been processed to look like expired tz film.
the digital shots are edited to match the film.

July 26, 2008

my summer - one year ago


i wake up
there is wetness already forming on my skin
i am crammed between my friends on a bare bed
i can feel the light stream in through the window
it is warm but not hot
i begin to stir and toss and turn
until i can not stand it any longer
i slide out of bed and make my way into the next room
my steps are quiet
and deliberate
i stand on a patch of light that takes the shape of texas
i make mia cafe con nutelle
and survive on this for weeks

i perch on the balcony
like an eagle in her nest
i sit and spy
i watch life happen bellow me
i write down words in my journal
things to remember
i feel a pain in my heart
because i know words will never suffice this feeling
but it is the best i can do now

the others begin to stir
and move about
they are dressing and packing
we are leaving this place and moving on to our next destination
we walk for miles
down twisting roads
a stray dog begins to follow us but gives up halfway
he is tired
aren't we all

we continue on without him
because out here it's every man for himself
we reach the shores edge
the sand, which is not sand at all, is boiling
millions of tiny black stones smoothed out by the oceans tide
rests beneath our feet

i see our boat
we pile in and set sail
wind at our faces
hands grasping splashes
we anchor out and jump in
shock me
so that i am speechless
your icy depths sooth me
the mediteranean reflects more than an image
it cleanses
new beginnings happen here
oh sea renew me
baptize me
make me a believer
once more

July 25, 2008

problems





there is an issue i am having with flickr... well, flickr people to be more exact.
this issue can best be called "inspiration abuse".
here is my story:
months ago i received a flickr message from a girl in nyc, titled "jealousy - a trait that i am trying to rid myself of". immediately i was a little taken a back, but the message went on to say how she was inspired by my photos and was curious to my printing process and then there were the occasional uncomfortable compliments, like "you seem to have what i do not yet have." however, i thought she seemed sincere and so i messaged her in back in great detail about how i got into polaroid. i tried to encourage her as much as possible, telling her to stick with it, and most importantly - to find her very own, personal, and unique style.
in the months to follow she would comment on my photos, but never favorite them (which i didn't really care about or pay attention to ... until later when it began to make more sense). her photostream grew rapidly. it seemed she was taking pictures of everything and anything and posted up 100s of photos a week. it became hard for me to keep up with her work, plus i was very busy with the art show and getting ready for my road trip.
finally, the shit hit the fan for me a few days after i got back from my FL adventures. my roommate, kylie, was looking at the polaroids i chose to put up on flickr when she noticed a couple of odd comments by this particular contact of mine. so naturally kylie looked through her photos to see who this person was. surprisingly kylie found tons of photos on this girls stream that were exact replicas of ones i had taken, and i am not talking about "similar ideas", i am talking about "carbon copies"...
now i know this is quite common. in fact, i do it all the time. i will cruise through flickr and find something wonderful and inspiring and make my own interpretation of it.
mine (may 29th)

emilie's (april 23rd)

and

mine (may 21st)

mia's (may 11th)
the only difference between what i am doing and what this girl is NOT doing, is twisting the idea into something uniquely my own and more importantly citing the source of inspiration. what a terrible terrible thing to conveniently forget to do...
so, i end up calling her out on this in a message i write her. she denies it and says "great minds must think a like". i equate this as bullshit and an obvious lack of respect or creative consciousness.

i get more frustrated when i see a photo she has taken of her polaroids.

immediately i am able to point out at least 4 or 5 identical copies of my work:

the underwear, the chandelier and the self portrait, the bandana over the mouth... there is also one of the same exact fashion add i took a photo of (which i clearly title and tag as not my own). very ironic to copy a copy...

the inspiration abuse doesn't stop there. in the past few months, i have found my images posted on websites, blogs, other flickr accounts, etc etc without any mention to me or even an email requesting permission.

of course i am upset about all of this. wouldn't you be if your passion was to make art that expresses who you are as a unique individual?
it is completely discouraging for me and it almost makes me want to quit flickr entirely.

i addressed this issue in a flickr post yesterday and to my surprise i received overwhelming responses from other flickr friends who had either had a similar problem, or had been dealing with some other form of negativity from the site and it's members.

not surprisingly, i have yet to receive a message or comment from the girl who failed to mention or give me fair warning about these shots...
i truly have no intentions of writing a nasty blog about another person. nor is my goal to be hurtful. rather i want to shed some light on what the wrong way and the right way is to using other people's art as inspiration.
i also wanted to stick up for myself, as an artist, and as a believer in flickr as creative commons.

July 22, 2008

american girl





this photo was taken by my step dad, kurt. yes, that is me with the long and STRAIT blonde hair!!! dotingly staring at my mother, teresa.

i love this picture for obvious reasons - my mom looks super chic, it's vintage, and it's skillfully done...

but! what i love most about this photo is the story behind it.

apparently, we were on a family road trip in ohio when "american girl" by tom petty and the heartbreaker's came on the radio. my mom insisted we stop the car and get out onto the side of the road and dance. so we did.

can you imagine driving by and seeing this!!!

my mom and i are so similar that we don't even see it most of the time.

the more i live and grow to know her, the more i see her in me and myself in her.

she is my hero and i love this photo.

July 20, 2008

i am home




the time will come
when, with elation,

you will greet yourself arriving

at your own door, in your own mirror,

and each will smile at the other's welcome,



and say, sit here. eat.

you will love again the stranger who was your self.

give wine. give bread. give back your heart

to itself, to the stranger who has loved you



all your life, whom you imagined

for another, who knows you by heart.

take down the love letters from the bookshelf,



the photographs, the desperate notes,

peel your own image form the mirror.

sit. feast on your life.



- derek walcott



i am home now.

clean and unpacked.

i read this walcott quote today.

i don't know how in the world i found such a perfect expert for this moment in time... on second thought it probably found me.



what can i say about all of this? it's hard. it's hard to find a sum of anything right now. i am sad and overjoyed. i am exhausted but the most alive i've felt in a long time. i am sort of sitting here on my bed. staring. thinking. smiling. crying. knowing. i have done something long overdue.



from this experience i choose to take with me, the ability of not stressing over minor mishaps (traffic, dying phone batteries, gas prices, plaguing thoughts of undeserving boys, etc). i don't want to spend a lot of precious time on bullshit things, that inevitably will continue to resurface...

instead i want to roll the windows down in my car. i want to listen to a little bit more bowie. i want to lay in the grass and watch animals take shape in the clouds. i want to smile at strangers and check my watch less. i want to eat more madelines and learn another language. i want to take pictures for me, not for art shows, or flickr, or expectations. i want to see my mother more. i want to write again. i want to laugh louder. i want to wake up earlier and to see the world in the hazy am light. i want to be good to my friends. i want to meet someone who is honest and who will love me. i want to love him back, and i want for that to be okay. i want to give back my heart to itself and feast on my life.



i took this polaroid in a bathroom in indian town FL. it was the last shot, of the last film pack, on the last day. it is sx 70 blend film and one of my favorite shots of the trip.

July 19, 2008

lake okeechobee FL




spooky.

that is how i feel about my most recent polaroids.

this TZ film has translated my experiences into something surreal and haunting. i don't know what i think about this. i am unaccustomed to the power and agenda's of expired film.


imagine taking a polaroid of a sunshiny beautiful tunnel of trees - with green and yellow bursting through the shadows and it turning out like this.

or of a light filled room, casting a warm glow on everything it touches, even the floating dust in the air looks like specks of gold, but the polaroid decides it should be like this.


i am not convinced that TZ is my favorite film, like so many others are. in a way i feel cheated from the truth of the moment.

i know this is partly do to the fact that i am slightly a control freak.... and there is something to be said for letting go of the reins and giving the TZ film the creative control to do what it is known for doing - making beautiful surprises encased in silvers and blues and sometimes blurring the moment into complete oblivian.


the polaroid above and the other lake okeechobee shot weren't completely highjacked by TZ affects. the fog and overexposure is actually pretty accurate to the moment of the shot (very early in the am).

**in both lake okeechobee shots i used my sx 70 alpha and expired TZ (1998).

the runny away bunny. for ryan.




once there was a little bunny who wanted to run away.
so he said to his mother, "i am running away."
"if you run away," said his mother, "i will run after you. for you are my little bunny."

"if you run after me," said the little bunny, "i will become a fish in a trout stream and i will swim away from you."
"if you become a fish in a trout stream," said his mother, "i will become a fisherman and i will fish for you."

"if you become a fisherman," said the little bunny, "i will become a rock on the mountain, high above you."
"if you become a rock on the mountain high above me," said his mother, "i will be a mountain climber, and i will climb to where you are."

"if you become a mountain climber," said the little bunny, "i will be a crocus in a hidden garden."
"if you become a crocus in a hidden garden," said his mother, "i will be a gardener. and i will find you."

"if you become a gardener and find me," said the little bunny, "i will be a bird and fly away from you."
"if you become a bird and fly away from me," said his mother, "i will be a tree that you come home to."

"if you become a tree," said the little bunny, "i will become a little sailboat, and i will sail away from you."

"if you become a sailboat and sail away from me," said his mother, "i will become the wind and blow you where i want you to go."

"if you become the wind and blow me to you," said the little bunny, "i will join the circus and fly away on a flying trapeze."
"if you go flying on a trapeze," said his mother, "i will be a tightrope walker, and i will walk across the air to you."

"if you become a tightrope walker and walk across the air," said the bunny, "i will become a little boy and run into a house."
"if you become a little boy and run into a house," said the mother bunny, "i will become your mother and catch you in my arms and hug you."

"shucks," said the bunny, "i might just as well stay where i am and be your little bunny."
and so he did.
"have a carrot," said the mother bunny.

*this photo was taken by ryan. it is me.... while in indian town we picked strawberries and went to a yard sale. i bought 4 books - good night moon, the runaway bunny, and 2 andy warhole exhibition catalogs - one of which chronicle's all of his polaroids . yes indeed. it's amazing).


**the polaroid ryan used was my sx 70, the film is time zero - expired in 2000.


indian town has been one of my favorite stops along this trip. i have seen so much beauty here. i am only disappointed in the fact that i ran out of film, but as i have learned... you can't capture everything on a device.. sometimes you just have to live in the moment and record these wondrous happenings with an open mind and wide eyes.


i am alive and on fire here. everything is shining and blue and wrapped up in the warmest light that is hard to translate to film.


i will be home in 2 days, in which time i will have a lot of scanning to do... but i am not thinking about that right now. right now i am about to set sail on lake okeechobee, to become a fish, or a rock, or a trapeze artist in the air and get all caught up in the moment...

July 16, 2008

hello freedom - so nice to meet you




i've been driving down the west coast of FL for two weeks now. i know it isn't long, but it has meant a lot to me.

this place has been my home for 25 years.

as a little girl i spent my days tagging along side my siblings, bike rides and food fights, climbing the giant oaks, and saving fallen feathers.
my entire youth was spent here.
it was here where i first fell in love. my 16th year was filled with broken curfews and skinny dipping in lakes. that summer i refused to cut my hair and it grew past my elbows. it was wildly curly and completely unmanigable - a fitting self likeness.
it was this place where i sat with my father and watched him take his last breaths.

my 21st year i stood in the atlantic ocean and scattered his ashes from the shores of anastasia island. afterwards my sister and i sat on the dunes, smoked huge cuban cigars, and drank irish whiskey to honor all the love he gave us.
as i grew older i tried to forge a new life for myself. i finished art school and traveled the world. i studied in foreign countries and backpacked through 15 or more. i spent 3 years on the run, doing whatever i could to escape this place, thinking i would find myself.
the thing is, i couldn't find myself in places where i did not exist.

now i sit here, watching the sun settle into the atlantic, and i am grateful to this place and for all of my-self it has showed me.

i am learning the hard way (as i often do with everything else) that so much of my identity is rooted here: the heavy humid air, the barefoot shoppers in super markets, bike rides and water rafts, cold beers that get smuggled onto the beach in hand bags, and dogs with their heads hanging out car windows... this place is my freedom and i am desperate to take back.
that is why i am doing this.

only 5 days left on the road and i'm running out of film...
**the photo above is of me at beer can island.


***i used my sx 70 & expired time zero film. the double exp. is just cheap scanner tricks, but i like it.

something



is changing inside me.

July 14, 2008

life - coquina key island FL




this polaroid was taken with my sx 70 and time zero film, on coquina key island.
this is the most beautiful place i've been in a very long time. if i knew what paradise was i would venture to say that this is just that.

the sand is perfect - like soft powder beneath your feet. the water is clearer and cooler than anything i've ever felt on my skin. mangroves cluster at the center of the island. their roots, like fingers perched above the sand, sprawling out in patterns, leaving just enough foot room to blaze a trail through.

over 15 years ago hurricane andrew hit this island - shifting the island's shape and uprooting all of the trees that aligned it's coast. seeing them turned over onto their sides, bleached from the sun, bark worn away by the tide, roots sprawled out, and stretched towards the sky affected me... i felt the passing of time, slowly chipping away the seconds and minutes and hours of life. not just my life, but everything, and everyone that surrounds me. i felt like someone was shaking me awake and saying "hey! girl! this is really happening and every passing minute is another chance to turn it all around!"
it was tragic and monumental. so i did my best to take it all in. i studied the 100's of dead trees that guarded the shore in their slumber. i climbed over their lifeless trunks and brittle branches deliberately taking my time so that i could remember how warm and smooth they felt beneath my feet.

i did my best to wisely use the last 3 shots of time zero i had in my sx 70.

after photographing the tree seen above, i adorned it with shells and dried up sponges - as if to say, thank you life. thank you for this adventure. thank you once again for the wake up call.
i am ready to do this.

July 13, 2008

greetings from myakka FL




daily list of events:

1. wake up at 10 am
2. walk out to anna's dock and dip my feet in the gulf
3. drive to the dizzy peacock 5 & dime and buy some donughts and coffee for everyone
4. map out a route to myakka springs
5. get dressed and load up the car
6. blast brandon basino's cd that he gave me (which is such a kick ass story)
7. stop at a fruit stand and buy a massive watermelon
8. arrive at myakka state park
9. lay in the fields
10. fucking let go

***the polaroid above is of me in the myakka prarie. just living. it was shot with time zero film on my sx 70. more to come.

July 12, 2008

palmetto fl



i'm on the road right now.

driving down the sunny coast of Florida.

i am getting away from everyone and everything i know - other than kylie, who is navigator/dj.


we left orlando a few days ago, drove from ruskin to palmetto, and met with a friend who took us in and kindly lent me her computer and scanner.

on the road there is nothing but windows down and music up. the wind whipping my hair in a fury. tunes for days - the smiths, mt egypt, joni mitchell, and of course the new beck album!!! we stop at fruit stands and hover over peaches and grapes. we run through fields in the rain and photograph cows cooling off in the lake. we are escaping in search of a new reality. we are getting lost with determination. we will swim in the ocean. we will sleep under the stars. we will live freely in the briefness of what's left of our summer.



next stop is naples. i will try to post more as i go.



***this polaroid is taken with a sx 70, no filter, and 600 film.

















July 10, 2008

the past is present is past




today has been a freakin roller coaster of odd happenings!
first: i just found out i got the shot of the day AGAIN on polanoid!!! i can't even believe that crazy crap! i have never won anything in my life, other than a donald duck kazoo in the 1st grade spelling bee. i can't believe i got shot of the day twice in three days. it is one of the greatest compliments i've ever recieved. it blesses my heart and makes me smile, from ear to ear.

the second thing is even crazier. i just recieved an email from myself back in November 2007. yes. the past.
let me explain this a little better, so that i sound less weird...
there is this website called futureme.org where you write your future self a letter. the website saves the message until a substantial amount of time has passed (6 months, a year, etc.). then it randomly sends it to your email address. by the time you recieve it so much time has passed and life has happened that you have completely forgotten about the entire thing.
the best way to describe my reaction to the letter i got from my past self is like a reality-check sledgehammer to the head.

so here is the email:

The following is an e-mail from the past, composed on Sunday, November25, 2007, and sent via FutureMe.org- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Dear FutureMe,

don't fall in love with boys who are unattainable or impossible to be with. it's lonely.
go out there and live your life.
be open minded and smile more.
also, don't be on the computer so much. it's taking over your free time.
be around the people that make you happy, forget about what it will cost you in gas.
years from now you won't remember the gas prices or the money you saved by staying in - you will however remember the laughs you had with your friends and the moments you built along the way.

ok. go to work now :)

------------------------------------------------------------------------
mind blowing!

***the polaroid above is the first polaroid i ever took. it was taken with my sx 70, pre dirty ink roller days. i didn't use a filter bc i didn't know anything about filters then.
i took a selfportrait bc i had just spent a weekend with "the boy" and he was too shy to take one of me himself. i mailed it to him along with the sx 70 sonar he left at my house. i should of kept my first polaroid and the sonar...
oh well. no regrets!

July 8, 2008

essentials



today is just a day.
i went to work.
sat in traffic for 45 mins.
finished some prints.
i thought a lot about money
and how it is impossible for me to make ends meet.

i decided i was through thinking about the person i am always thinking about. whom, coincidentally doesn't think about me.
i feel good about it. i feel ready to wash my hands clean of this person.
it's difficult for me to explain this situation because of certain people who may or may not be reading this. what i can say is that i have cared about a certain boy for quite some time now. we went from friends to more. but because of the distance between us, and our conflicting schedules, and secret agendas, and the opposite lives we lead that might as well place us on different planets - we have gone back to being friends... and by friends i mean he's friends with me when it's convenient for him.
it hurts me mostly because of his complete disregard and how it made me feel foolish for hoping to see him again and wanting to be with him.
what i have learned lately from this, is that sometimes out of site truly is out of mind.
between being busy with the art shows, making prints, summer trips, crazy nights with friends, and working like a mad woman, i have somehow managed to let go of him... or rather the idea of him.

***the photo above is a collage of polaroids i've taken this summer with my sx 70 - moments with friends lying on couches for countless hours, the treasures we found on walks in the woods, and cloudless summer skies. these polaroids aren't my best, but i feel like they are stronger together.

July 7, 2008

abstract monday




today has been a really good day.
first off - it's my day off. so i got to sleep in.
secondly - it's abstract monday!!!!
i got a very interesting shot in my backyard this afternoon right before it started to rain.
i believe this is a fern leaf??? actually i am sure it is a fern. anyways, i love this because it reminds me of my childhood in bradenton. when i was much younger my sister and i used to make headdresses out of the ferns growing in my moms backyard. we would weave the fronds together, so that the fern leaves were sprouting every which way, attacking our faces and tickling our necks. then we would dance around like indian warriors and wreak havoc in the trees till our savage desires were fulfilled.

i did use the blend filter on this one. i think that is obvious with detail and color depth. i took a few shots earlier over the weekend without the filter and i got complete opposite results. it's hard for me to decide which ones i like more. i guess it is impossible for me to chose bc i like them both, but in completely different ways.

also, i got the chance to upload a polaroid i took of my friend at the beach from last weekend in jax.
i used expired blend film and the results really surprised me. i expected for it to not turn out at all. instead the exposure is very lite and there is this fuzzy, kind of matte finish to it, that just hits me as a dream sequence or something.
i was really amazed at this film. i lucked out i guess.
this shot ended up earning me the cover of Polanoid's Shot of the Day!
i have only been a polanoid member for less than a month and have already fallen in love with this site. if you are a polaroid lover please visit polanoid.net. what they are doing is pretty ground breaking.

ok. it's bed time for me.
i will post again tomorrow :)
nite nite xx

July 6, 2008

desire is desire no matter where you go




i want to be an adventurer, an explorer of hearts, fueled by the dreams and hopes of an unbridaled imagination, an extraterrestrial girl on fire who streaks across the minds of the few and far between, dazzling and enrapturing, pushing the limits, and testing the boundaries of everyone and thing that crosses my path.
i want to consider my every breath, to spin in circles, and paint my secrets. i want to sleep under a blanket of maple leaves, bow to an applause, and make living my cause. i want to love without expectations, to float above cities, and to sail my own ocean. i want to dance on thin ice, to care for others, and be like no one else. i want to love myself. i want to sleep inside the north wind, and say goodnight to the long day's sky...

summer in the fields 2




when i took this polaroid i wasn't sure if it would come out at all. between the low light (sunset) and the windiness of the day i was sure it would either be too dark or blurred. boy was i wrong. this is one of my all time favorite polaroids i've ever taken.

i hope that doesn't make me sound pretentious. i absolutely hate the idea of being arrogant. that air of ostentation... (which i see often in other photographers and music friends) is completely unbecoming and in my opinion, is completely counter creative.

there is this group of photographers i know of.. their work is really wonderful and very inspirational. they go on "photo trips" together and then document them on flickr. it's really a great idea, not completely original, but still very interesting. the only down-side to all of this is how acutely clique-ish they are. it's almost as if you aren't in their nerd-out group then you don't matter.

i personally don't give a shit about artistic ego's or the little nitch groups photographers identify themselves with. i just enjoy good art. unfortunately i have begun to enjoy it less and less as i see more and more self proclaimers.

there is this broken social scene song that i adore, and in the song kevin drew sings "never fall in love with what you make". i fully believe in this theory, although he is more than likely referring to something else...

sometimes i feel as though i can never be satisfied with what i make. i am always worried that my polaroid's are too typical - and typical equates to stagnancy which is defined as dull and lifeless, and any art that is lifeless... well... it's just gross.

i think i will always be somewhat unhappy with my art, and perhaps this means i am always demanding progress in myself. BUT what i hope for, even more so than artistic improvement, is to never ever EVER be full of unwarranted pride. i hope to always be humble, and caring, and filled with the desire to learn from others, and to keep pushing for a shared creative commons.

July 5, 2008

July 4, 2008

day dreams



today is day dream day.
from the moment i woke up till this very second, and even as i am typing this now, i am in reverie.

at 9 am i woke up and he was there. lying in bed next to me. not across the country, but near me. breathing on me. soft and warm. delicate and rhythmic. i lay frozen like a statue. still and watching him. listening intently. amazed at the impact of his respire. careful not to move in fear of waking him up. waking him and then waking me, to which reality would set in... and then the inevitable. he would vanish.

i watched his lips - open and parted. i had this impulse to touch them. to feel their chappedness. it welled up inside me. overwhelming me. and in their divide i was engulfed. swallowed whole by the lips that i adore. that i've tasted and felt. their softness on my skin, sliding up my arm and tickling my neck. the lips that i've heard. their whispers in my ear, forming letters into words, and words into deeds, that in time would be explored, and eventually exploited.


this photo is not a polaroid. i took it with my mac isight. then i edited it to look like a polaroid 450 with id uv film.
i do not actually own a 450 or id uv film, i day dream about it though.

someday.
soon.

**happy 4th of july.

July 2, 2008

skinny love





these two polaroids are not all that new. the first one was taken in february and the second one was taken in may. i finally got around to uploading them on flickr, bc i finally got around to liking them. initially when i took these polas i wanted to trash them bc they turned out overexposed and blurred.




now when i look at them i see the epitome of my summer: quick-fire moments, warm, beautiful, and fleeting. a boy i fell for but can hardly remember, on a day that faded faster than i would like to admit. a kiss and a touch so soft it's nearly evaporated.





i am never trashing these!!!




i guess i could call it polaroid hindsight. sometimes i can't appreciate a polaroid at first, bc i can't understand it's honesty of that moment. it takes time for me to see it. eventually after some time has passed i am able to look back at the polaroid and remember that moment. i realize how it reflects all the things i couldn't understand at the time.