Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Ecotopia at the International Center of Photography

One of the reasons for my extended stay in New York is to see the art shows in town. On the top of my list was the International Center of Photography. And since I'm now a member at the Griffin Museum in Winchester, I get free admission. The current show at the ICP is a group show called Ecotopia on view through January 7, 2007. The biggest attraction for me to see this show was Catherine Chalmers, a photographer whose interest is primarily of ecology. I was introduced to her work by Ken, who gave me a copy of her book Food Chain. As I was doing some digging online just now, I found out that Chalmers' work can be seen at the current DeCordova exhibition Going Ape: Confronting Animals in Contemporary Art, on view until January 7th as well.

Ecotopia was one of the best photography shows I've seen. It showcases the work of 40 photographers around the theme of nature and our interactions with nature. Certainly there were subthemes that I expected -- the destructions of nature by humans. But there are also more subtle and neutral subthemes about the natural order of things in nature. Catherine Chalmers' exhibition piece turned out to be a short film rather than still photography. The film depicts a cockroach's emergence from a body of water, his journey through the woods, and eventually his demise by becoming prey to a frog.

I was also excited to find out that among the 40 participating in the show was Wang Qingsong. His website always seems to be too busy to load, and so I suspect he's doing very well. In an issue of Aperture Magazinen this year I had first seen Wang's work Come, Come, three staged images depicting waves of political protestors and the irony that they leave behind a mess of abandoned banners and other garbage--all this angry concern about China's polical future while neglecting the environment. Wang's work is full of irony and challenges herd mentality. He's one of the most refreshing contemporary Chinese artists who made his name known internationally. Most Chinese artists with international exhibits have a tendency to reinforce western stereotypes about China, while much of Wang's work is about Chinese identity and integrity in the face of globalization and commercialism.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

"Fashion Show: Paris Collections 2006" at the MFA in Boston

I'm a few weeks behind on my blog, but here is my attempt to capture a few thoughts.

Being a member of the MFA, I had free tickets to the current exhibit, "Fashion Show: Paris Collections 2006." Ken has no interest in fashion shows, and so I invited Sand T, who had been a fashion designer a one point in Malaysia, to come with me.

I couldn't tell what this show was about before I entered the Gund Gallery, and so I had very little expectation in mind. It really turned out to be literally a representation of the Fall/Winter collection of the Paris fashion show which took place in July, featuring ten designers: Azzedine Alaia, Hussein Chalayan, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, John Galliano for Christian Dior, Christian Lacroix, Maison Martin Margiela, Olivier Theyskens for Rochas, Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, and Yohji Yamamoto.

There are a couple of things that struck me most about this exhibition. First, I had never thought of fashion as fine art, but what really is fine art? After all, there are those who argue that photography is not fine art. Does it really matter? Not to be cynical, but I suppose it becomes fine art if a curator at the MFA decides to call it fine art. Admittedly, some of these pieces are truly works of art. One of the solid silver-plated wedding dresses by Viktor & Rolf looks more like a sculpture or an armor. Some of the Chanel dresses literally feature hundreds of hours of hand-sewn sequin work. But this is in line with the

Secondly, the last display screen right before the exit scrolling Q & A about fashion shows, most of which were specifically about the haute couture Paris fashion shows, was wonderful as an educational tool. I read my share of Vogue in my early twenties, but I had never known that haute couture was a official class of designers designated by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture of the French government. Upon knowing this, I couldn't help but snickered a bit. Of course the French government would regulate this as they would wines. And unless you're really in tune with the fashion industry, you're going ask the question: Do people really wear some of this stuff? The simple answer is: if there is a demand. Fashion buyers, the press, and celebrities are the main audience of the fashion shows. If there is a demand from the buyers, the designers would be willing to make them into ready-to-wear.

As a personal response, my favorite collection was the Olivier Theyskens for Rochas, which feautures an updated version of the industrial Victorian look--consisting of gray and black ensembles that I can see myself wearing if I had the money. I really don't like the John Galliano for Christian Dior collection as wearable items -- to which Sand T remarked, "People are not wearing these clothes; these clothes are wearing people. There's no respect for the human body." The idea of this collection is supposed to be an edgy combination of the Marquis de Sade and the French Revolution inspired by Hollywood. I found the execution of it heavy-handed, gimmicky, and pretentious. Dresses are imprinted or embroidered with the face of Marie Antoinette and words like egalité and liberté were strewn all over fabric. And, of course, there was plenty of black leather.

All in all, I like the show. But I can't help but dwell on my ever-persisting dichotomy between commercial and fine art. I am uncomfortable when others point out this distinction in the field of photography, but I do it myself. Bad habit. I have to remind myself that it really doesn't matter as long as I like it.

Here are some other interesting links about this show: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1124/p11s01-alar.html


Monday, November 27, 2006

Car Accident

There are probably more sleepy drivers on the road than drunken drivers. I was hit by one of them last Tuesday up in Danvers. It was around 3:45 during rush hour on 128 North. I was on my way to a shoot up in Beverly. Traffic in both lanes was sluggish (about 25 mph). Then, out of nowhere, I heard a sound in back of me, and before I knew it, a white Toyota Camry pried between the two lanes at about 30 mph and tapped me on my left front wheel and bounced off to the green Saturn in front of me, smashing it up pretty badly. It seemed to have sped up as it moved forward until it hit a pickup truck. An old man emerged from the white Camry and confessed that he fell asleep at the wheel.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Lowell & the Lowell Photography Weekend

Last weekend (November 11 and 12) was the Lowell Photography Weekend, which involved five participating galleries and their respective photography-related exhibitions. I visited Lowell mainly because of the Photo2006 Black and White Classic exhibition, where my one piece "View from Ladder" was displayed in the back section. The juror of the exhibition was Ron Rosenstock, who had studied with Paul Caponigro and Minor White for a number of years. The selected works were really, really wonderful. I can honestly say that I loved and admired every single piece there (and I was damned lucky to have gotten one piece in!). When you first walk into the gallery, four of Paul Wainwright's stunning pieces from his Spirals series (pictured above) are directly in front of you. I believe some of the prints in this show are not on his website. Paul Wainwright is the juror for the exhibition closing this Saturday November 18 at artSPACE@16, called PROOF: in Black and White (see my previous blog post). The Lowell Brush Gallery show is really wonderful, but its lack of publicity is a shame. I can't find an image for it on the web, but Meg Birnbaum's "Cowgirl" is a very memorable image. Meg's work is also exhibited at artSPACE@16. Another familiar name in this exhibit from PROOF is Silke Hase. I wished I could remember more names and I wished there is an updated page on The Brush Gallery's website, but there isn't. I understand that it's a volunteer-run organization and that website updates are not easy (I neglect mine all the time and do not update this very blog often enough), but one could only imagine that it must be difficult for the press to publish any content on it without even any information on WHO are in the show. I tried to obtain postcards for the show, but there were none left when I dropped off my work... *sigh* The biggest disappointment was that the juror Ron Rosenstock was not there during the opening reception. This show really is fantastic, but as far as I know, it didn't make it into the Globe. It runs until January 7th at the Brush Gallery.

My husband Ken and friends Joel and Maya accompanied me through all but one of the participating galleries at the Lowell Photography Weekend. Ken and I had visited Lowell for a Dar Williams concert over the summer one evening, but we had never walked around Lowell before. And I believe it was the first visit for Joel and Maya. I was surprised at how many museums and galleries there were in Lowell. The Whistler House Museum of Art has some good quality work exhibited in its main member's exhibition and its digital photography exhibition in the outer gallery and is worth visiting. On our way to the various galleries, we stopped by the Revolving Museum. The installation piece in the lobby and the kitchen walls filled with painted matzohs are some of its most impressive features. The current exhibition is "Race, Class, Gender ≠ Character." It's an interesting theme. One video installation that I almost didn't pay attention to turned out to be the most poignant piece to me. I think the title was "After the Smile." It candidly captures different groups of tourists posing for someone else's camera in front of some popular tourist attraction. When the posed shot is over the smile immediately fades and are often replaced by frowns, annoyance, or dejectedness. The Revolving Museum has one of the better websites of the above mentioned galleries and museums in Lowell.

The revitalized Lowell is a beautiful place with many old mills converted into modern luxury condos and museums. One can see that much money has been raised to make it beautiful, but how does it keep running as a self-sustaining economy? Does UMass Lowell offer enough consumers for its retail businesses? Are there enough art collectors and buyers to frequent its many museums and galleries?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

PROOF: In Black and White, artSPACE@16 in Malden

I've mentioned the current show PROOF: In Black and White several times in my blogs, but I haven't actually taken the time to talk about my thoughts on the show itself, artSPACE@16, nor Sand T -- the phenomenal artist, gallery founder and director.

Let's talk about the show itself. PROOF: In Black and White is a juried exhibition (for those not familiar with the term -- it means that the participating artworks are chosen by a juror, who is often an expert on the subject--in this case, photography). The juror is Paul Wainwright, a traditional black and white large format (referring those old large cameras that you use with a black cloth over your head) photographer. The requirement to enter the show is that traditional film and darkroom processing must be used to produced these images. On the jury day, Paul went around and picked the pieces judging solely on their artistic merit and without seeing the artists' names.

When I dropped off my work, I knew I had tough competition. The caliber of the work present was very impressive. And on the opening of the show, I felt immensely honored to be exhibiting my work among such wonderful photographs--and I learned a lot of their wonderful techniques. Here are some of artists with the most striking pieces and unique techniques. Paul Weiner's work shown here is one of them. He used a large format camera set on long exposure and flashed a flashlight over the room to draw patterns on the wall.

Chris Yeager's medium format studio portrait of singer-songwriter Rose Polenzani is shown on the left.

Silke Hase's Holga image (shown here on right) gives me new inspiration to try a Holga.

Erik Hansen's (left) abstract long/double exposure of a model set up in his studio.

Robert William Streeter
prints and processes a single image with multiple negatives--American Sarum is shown below right.

Elsa Campbell (left) brushed developer onto silver gelatin paper, instead of putting it into a developer bath as you would normally, thereby creating a unique print every time.

Now about the gallery artSPACE@16 and Sand T... This is the fourth show I've attended there, though it's the first time I'm exhibiting. For first time visitors who don't know anything about the place, they are often shocked to find that it is a converted garage in a secluded residential neighborhood in Malden. It's a hidden gem and well worth the trek. Sand T had pretty much converted her garage into a gallery using her own pocket money and created such professional exhibitions that got wonderful media attention. It is rated in the Boston Globe as one of the best galleries by Raphaela Platow, curator at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University. Sand T has worked tirelessly for years to bring this sort of attention to artSPACE@16. One can only imagine the struggle. Oh, did I mention that she doesn't even ask for commissions from her artists who make a sale??? I was flabbergasted when I heard this. She says she'll only hope for donations from the artists, and I can only hope that the artists know about this donation policy. Having just had a one-year project of a gallery myself (what was Pigmentia Gallery in Medford is now run by Marc Gurton and renamed 13FOREST Gallery), I know how tough it is to juggle the show schedules, getting money and time to have exhibitions. I am relieved that I'm on the other side now, but it certainly gives me a special appreciation for the gallery directors who put together shows for us -- and the commissions are justified.

As a person, Sand T is warm, generous, helpful and embracing to all artists around her. She is resourceful and can literally build walls and pedestals, paint and do anything to make any space look like a museum. When I first opened Pigmentia Gallery, Sand T introduced herself to me and connected me to not only the Malden art community but many artist communities all over Massachusetts. She is a very talented artist in her own right, though I know it must be hard to find time to do her own work with so many exhibitions going on. From this link you can see some of her work: http://www.artspaceat16.com/sandt.htm. Sand T crosses many media disciplines. She's an installation artist, sculptor, painter, and photographer. Just spend five minutes with her and you'll feel energized.

13FOREST Gallery

For those of you who don't know this, Marc Gurton, my accountant/business partner has taken on the gallery space and started 13FOREST Gallery.  The gallery has expanded its inventory to include many "beautiful, functional things" such as ceramic, glass, and fabric work by local artists and craftsmen.  His grand opening yesterday was a great success.  We're working on bringing his products online to help him expand the business beyond Medford Square.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Julie Thacker and Chris Yeager

I was supposed to be in NYC this weekend trying on bridesmaid's dresses for my sister's wedding. I got sick and just couldn't make it through a 5-hour drive yesterday. So now I'm home.

At SandT's b&w juried exhibit PROOF, I had the pleasure of meeting a very interesting couple -- Chris Yeager and Julie Thacker. Chris is a wonderful portraitist who is exhibiting at the same show (See Chris's work here at http://www.chrisyeager.com/new/slides/), and Julie is a writer (her website is http://www.juliathacker.com/).

I just read Julie's short story "The Funeral of the Man Who Wasn't Dead Yet." It is the first half of a novella currently published on AGNI, and it is beautiful.

There are several things that struck me about the story. The story wasn't actually about the actual funeral at all, but it was more about HOW this funeral came to be. Our anti-hero Houston Webb can be seen simultaneously as both a narcissistic womanizer and a freedom-loving spirit who misses his roots back in the Kentucky mountains. I dislike him but sympathize at the same time (it's hard to make a reader feel that way). Houston has moved to urban Ohio to make a living, but he's out of place there. He has high aims to be like Honest Abe and makes small gestures to be a father figure, but does not live up to his own expectations. He seems to want a funeral while he is alive so people can say nice things about him and give him affirmations about being a good person, not unlike how he needs the constant affirmations from Lana about everything he does. Another fascinating element is the setting of post-WWII America (late 50's/early 60's?), where women's roles changed drastically. Lana is progressive enough to divorce her first husband, but she's also human and needs love and companionship, which she hopes to find in Houston. And in order to make him happy, she succumbs to his temperamental mood swings and demands, even at the sacrifice of her children's happiness. Even though the setting is several decades back in time, the characters and their problems are timeless.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Grocery Shopping around Greater Boston

I had a moment of insight yesterday about grocery shopping around the greater Boston area--mainly Medford and Watertown, between which I spend most of my time.

My favorite grocery store over is Russo's in Watertown on Pleasant Street. Much of their produce is super fresh from New England farms. The prices are generally lower than the Stop & Shop right next door. You can even buy Chinese green leafy vegetables like snow pea tendrils and yu choy there. In the back room where they keep leafy vegetables, they have racks full of slightly older produce for a GREAT discount. It's not unusual to walk home with 2 lbs of vine ripe tomatoes for just $1 or 4 lbs of bananas for $0.59 (great for banana bread), but you would have to expect to throw out a couple in the package or just cut out bad parts with a knife.

I try to get fish once a week, and it's become so expensive almost everywhere. There are still a couple of places to get very fresh fish for a relatively low price. The Chinese supermarket chain Super88 in Malden, Allston, and South Boston all have fresh fish (you can usually look at the clarity of the eyes and tell). Some are even live and swimming in tanks (like the tilapia and eel). They also carry a larger variety that are seldom or never seen at Stop & Shop. I rarely buy meat at the Super88, but the fish is definitely fresh -- probably not fresh enough for sushi, but great for grilling.

For sushi grade fish, stop by either the Korean grocery store in Union Square or the Japanese grocery store Kotobukiya in Porter Square -- some of the fish may be frozen -- but if they're labeled as sashimi or sushi, then they're safe to eat raw. Their prices vary, but sometimes I think they're even better than Wild Oats, Whole Foods, or even Stop and Shop.

Wild Oats and Whole Foods (and sometimes Stop&Shop) have sushi grade fish -- I would and had in the past made sushi with fish from these places. However, they are definitely NOT considered inexpensive.

The worst salmon I've ever bought came from Foodmaster -- I had to throw it out because it smelled awful -- and I eat fish the same day I buy it.

BJ's also has great prices on very fresh fish and seafood -- if you don't mind buying a large quantity. HOWEVER, fruits are generally not fresh at BJ's -- I often find rotten moldy pieces whenever I buy a case or bag.

The best and cheapest meat can be found at McKinnon's in Somerville's Davis Square. They also have some farm produce (though it cannot compete with Russo's in that area).

I hated Foodmaster until I tasted their fresh baked Italian and French breads. I think they really have the best fresh baked bread there -- surprisingly!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Eventful weekend

I shot the last wedding of the season with Matt on Saturday. This morning, I tried to meet up with my clients at the gallery, but they didn't come, and so I stayed to help Marc out with his prep for the soft grand opening. Marc really did a great job on collecting some really wonderful and unique items in a very short time frame.

Ken and I each made three small watercolor paintings -- they were a really good exercise and I'm going to try to run them by Marc to see if he'd like to sell them. Mine are shown above.

We also went to see The Science of Sleep -- a good film overall but with a weak ending that is more depressing than Charlie Kaufman's other screenplays.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Got into another juried show!!! Woohoo!

I got accepted into another juried black and white photography show. This one is in Lowell at The Brush Gallery juried by Ron Rosenstock, who had studied under Minor White. When I dropped off the entries in person earlier this week, it was my second time ever visiting Lowell -- the first being the Dar Williams concert back in August. I was amazed at how beautiful Lowell is. The city really spent a lot of money reviving it. The art and culture there is really impressive.

The entry that was accepted was "View from Ladder" from the Anasazi Ruins series. When I took this image, it was a very significant moment for me, as I am deathly afraid of heights. This ladder was the top of a very long series of ladders that led to the cave dwellings of the Anasazis in what is now the Bandelier National Monument in New Mexico. I almost chickened out of climbing the ladders, but my husband Ken coached me through it. And so, if it weren't for all his encouragement, this image would never have come into being.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

On Fat

Where does fat go when a person goes on a diet and loses weight?

Last wedding of the season this weekend!

So, my wedding season is wrapping up for the year. I'm thrilled that
I'll get a break, finally!

This year has been the busiest year I've had since I became a photographer professionally. I have also made a lot of progress in my career in fine art too. While I'm a little sad that I had to give up my gallery, I'm also tremendously relieved that I will have more time to devote to really creating and marketing my own fine art. I found out this Monday that I was accepted into a black and white film photography show at artSPACE@16 in Malden, juried by large format, black and white photographer Paul Wainwright. I'm really thrilled because it's quite an honor.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I've been feeling very restless, running around so much that I had not had the time to sit down and reflect the happenings in my life. I realized that I hadn't posted a blog since July.

I'm looking forward to the end of wedding season, which would officially end after October 21st for me, but then the album rush starts... The Columbus weekend was pretty productive, as I got some client work done, as well as my own new fine art website.

Well, a lot has happened between July and now. For one thing, we spent two weeks traveling to Alaska and Seattle, and I think I shot about 10 weddings since then. I also read 4 more books, which brings the book count for this year to 12. They are NEVER LET ME GO, MORTGAGES FOR DUMMIES, SILK, and CLOUD ATLAS. I'm currently in the middle of FREAKONOMICS and GETTING THINGS DONE. I also have to read THE EMPEROR'S CHILDREN for my book club next week.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I finished reading my 8th book of the year -- Intuition by Allegra Goodman. I'll talk about this later because the heat is just too unbearable right now.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Wedding in Narragansett, RI this weekend.

I shot a wonderful wedding yesterday in Narragansett, RI. After so many days of rain, it was wonderful to have a clear weekend. Luckily, there were some nice clouds in the sky to diffuse shadows, creating some very dramatic portraits by the sea. AND incredibly, in the evening around 7:30 we had a rainbow in the sky -- without the rain! My assistant Amy and I posed the couple out on the deck of the Towers with the rainbow behind them. It was beautiful. The couple themselves were very photogenic as well -- here are the engagement portraits I took of them back in February. I didn't get back from the wedding until 12am and didn't get to bed until around 2am.

I woke up this morning at 7am and drove an hour west to North Grafton to meet my clients who are getting married on August 5.

Then Ken and I went to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2. I think Ken enjoyed it a lot more than me. I think it was a bit too long and neither as witty nor tight a script as the first one. The effects were fun, and there were great moments. An interesting discovery was that the actor who played Norrington was actually Jack Davenport, the same guy who played Steve in Coupling (a British sitcom that Ken and I absolutely loved). We had seen Pirates 1 before watching Coupling so we didn't realize it then.

I met with the book club this past Thursday and talked about Intuition by Allegra Goodman. I have 60 more pages to go, but I am enjoying it a lot -- I just keep getting interrupted. This is probably the best recently published book we read in the book club since I joined. Allegra Goodman is really skilled at character development -- she gets into every character's psyche and shows their different motives in this drama in a medical research lab. I know that doesn't sound too exciting -- a drama in a research lab, but in fact, it is. It's a story about overachieving young scientists trying to make something of themselves, and in the process, we get jealousy, politics, whistle-blowing, fraud, and sabotage--all stemming from the desire to achieve something great and having a successful career. I never worked in a research lab, but I had lived through my twenties in a corporate world just as competitive as the medical research world depicted in the book, and the Allegra really captures very well the mindset of someone fresh out of school.

Hoping to both catch up to Ken's recommended list AND satisfy my book club required reading, I brought in several books to recommend to the ladies, and I'm thrilled that they agreed on Silk by Allesandro Barrico. That will be the September book club selection! I'm already done with the August one because I wanted to hand it off to another book club member. The book for August is The G-String Murders by Gypsy Rose Lee. We had chosen this because Gypsy, a famous burlesque dancer, sounded so intriguing in the book February House -- an earlier non-fiction book we read on, well, the February House, essentially an artist commune in Brooklyn that housed Gypsy, W.H. Auden, Benjamin Britten, Paul Bowles, Carson McCullers, and Salvadore Dali, among others.

I would like to add Call of the Wild to my reading list for Alaska, but I have to first finish Initution, Silk, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. I'm searching for other books with Alaska settings too. I think it makes a huge difference when you're reading about a place that you're actually visiting. I think I loved All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy that much more because I was visiting Texas at the time.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

More Thoughts on Superman

Superman is probably the most boring of all the superheroes. Yet, I can't help but like him. It might sound corny, but I was moved when Superman went down an elevator shaft and raced through fire rushing up a building -- I thought of the World Trade Center and how nice it would have been if we really had a Superman. And same with the plane crash scene. I'm sure director Bryan Singer shot the scene this way with that in mind. It worked on me.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Superman Returns

We wanted to see Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest but ended up seeing Superman Returns because it was completely sold out.

A few thoughts on the movie. Kevin Spacey played a wonderful Lex Luthor. James Marsden's character is very much like Scott in the X-Men (fighting for a beautiful woman's love with the main lead--he ends up with her but she is still in love with the main lead). Branden Routh looks like Christopher Reeve. Lois Lane is stupid because she does not see a connection between Clark Kent and Superman--even though she slept with Superman, she never once sees a resemblance between the two. It's a bit frustrating.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thursdays are supposed to be my day off, but I had been bad and had not actually taken Thursdays off for a while (been working from home, but nonetheless, working). But I made a bargain with Ken to take one day off per week so he would stop chewing on his fingers, and I had to keep my promise.

I can't say that I rested very much today, but I did manage to do a few admin things--namely shipping out some eBay auction items I sold and delivering my darkroom equipment that I also sold in Mission Hill. I also had to stop by Dick Blick, an art supply store near the area, to pick up another print rack. Our current print rack (on loan from Michael Seif) is getting overwhelmed with too many prints. Then I drove to Everett and picked up a new can of white paint for the second wall (we spackled and repainted the first wall--the white is so much better than that creme color). We're preparing for a reception with artist talks July 27. Lots of exciting new works. This Saturday, we are also going to be at a community picnic at the Brooks Estate, selling some prints and cards and promoting our reception on the 27.

I should also mention that I started painting again. I've been taking some painting lessons fairly often from Adele Travisano in her garden--a beautiful, unfettered place overgrown with weed and flowers wild and intentionally planted. I love Adele's expressionist style -- so much energy, so free, just like her garden. When I take lessons in the morning, I feel so much happier. Painting is such a different medium from photography. When you paint from something that's live in front of you, you have no limits of the depth of field that a camera superimposes. It makes you appreciate every petal in a flower because you have to look at it for so long.

I also did some more work trying to recruit more volunteers to help out at the Medford Arts Festival (September 9) for the Medford Arts Center, Inc. of which I am now a board member. I've taken on the task of recruiting volunteers. I have 4 so far, but we have time.

This Saturday, I'll set up at the Brook Estate and then Marc Gurton, my accountant/business manager, will take over for me -- he loves talking to people. In the afternoon, I'm going to head over to SandT's gallery artSPACE@16 in Malden. I can't say enough good things about SandT. She's such an inspiration to artists. This woman converted her home garage into a non-profit art gallery that received many critical acclaims -- including the Boston Globe and the WBUR website. Not only is she prolific, but she's so generous in her moral and PR support for other artists. Her new show features 60 artists--emerging and seasoned.

SandT is also the reason for Malden's burgeoning art scene. She was a main proponent for Malden's recent church conversion into an artist community/live-in studio.

I just get so energized just being around her.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Okay, I'll try again to blog... I had forgotten my password to my inactive bloggers account and because I had to have a bloggers account in order to view Maya's Tunisia blog, I started a new account... So typical of me.

Ken and I went to Plymouth yesterday to check out the Plymouth rock and the history of the Pilgrims' arrival. Ken took lots of great photos with his new Canon S3 IS with his 12x zoom lens while I tested my newly acquired all-manual vintage Minolta film camera with my fixed 45mm lens. The meter on this camera does not work (I have yet to replace the battery) but I decided to shoot with the "sunny 16 rule," which is if on a sunny day, with ISO 100 film, you should be shooting on F16, bracketing at 1/125 and 1/60 of a second. This is really the first time I'm testing this camera and testing this rule, so I'm going on blind faith.

I broke my roll of film last night because I was rewinding the film the wrong way -- again very typical of my using brute force with everything... But we have great images from Ken's camera anyways.

I managed to succeed using and rewinding the second roll taken in Hingham at our campsite, so not all the images were lost -- though all the ones taken in Plymouth were in the first roll.

So, yes, we went camping for the first time last night. Originally we wanted to stay at the Myles Standish State Forest, but it was full -- we should have reserved since it was the weekend of the 4th. They sent us to Wampatuck State Park up north (35min south of Boston) in Hingham. It was pretty, but we were way too close to Logan Airport, and hence the constant sound of airplanes over head until about midnight, and again early in the morning around 5am.

A few valuable lessons: Our Quencha 2-second tent worked perfectly -- no pitching necessary. However, I now know never again to buy this same brand of insect repellent -- it had no effect at all on the mosquitoes, which were abundant and aggressive as all hell.

We went on a nice hike this morning and saw a doe. She ran when she saw us. We also saw a raccoon last night -- I think she wanted to come towards our picnic table but decided against it when she saw me. On our hike this morning, we also saw a variety of colorful mushrooms and lichen. I wished I had a zoom lens in moments like those. A fixed focal lens is very limiting. I forced myself to bring it so I could learn to compose better within these limits. But damn! A close-up macro shot of these would have been so nice!