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Friday, January 31, 2014

Cornering the Clown

Happy Friday everyone.  I hope you will be looking forward to the weekend as much as I.  I spent a bit of my Thursday this week continuing to test my new little point and shoot Panasonic camera.  There has been this idea for a little toy scene bouncing around in my head for a few months.  So, I thought why not do a trial run with the new camera.  I like these as environmental type scenes.  The first one is named "Cornering the Clown".  I find clowns to be a bit creepy by nature and so this was one of those out my nightmare kind of scenes.  A giant clown, giant to the army guys anyway, being cornered.

I shot this on my bathroom sink with natural light coming in from the window.

Here is a scene with a little toy replacing the clown that is a different kind of creepy.  This Siamese twin kind of rabbit character is more odd than creepy.  But, I wanted to capture the old 1950's B movie feel with this one.  So the colors are more muted here.  I suppose a pure black and white would have worked better for this thought but, I wanted to keep the lavender color of the twins.

Hope you have a great Friday and a great weekend to come.  I hope to get some much needed art and house work done.  Thank you for stopping by.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Hair, Beautiful Hair

Today is a beautiful sunny day in Codyland.  I am feeling lots better now.  Good thing about stomach bugs is they usually don't last too long.  Mine was about a three day affair.  Glad it is on it's way out.  So, to celebrate I am showing a few of the dolls that I am working on now that they have some hair.  I have three on the worktable here.  But, there are five more waiting in the wings.  My goal for the next couple of days is to get them in their costumes at long last.  I am getting a bit itchy to get the photo shoots started for my Ladies in waiting.  There will be a fine collection of Ladies, Duchess', and assorted other characters who inhabit Codyland getting the royal treatment.  A grand portrait in all their splendor is the object of this shoot.  It should make a nice collection.

Stay tuned, and thanks for stopping by.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to Spend Your Time When You Are Home Sick

Today I am at home under the weather as they say.  One of those tummy virus things that can stop you in your tracks.  It is near to impossible to work with this kind of thing.  So, I called off which is very rare for me.  I think my boss knows that I must be sick if I do take a sick day.

Besides rest what can one do while recovering?  Well, I thought I could at least post from the comfort of my sick bed to show you some photos taken with my new point and shoot camera.  The above image is of one of the female models Natasha as she has decided her name is, sitting on a window sill.  I love the natural light that comes through the frosted glass window behind her.

This is a photo of one of the male models, Mas as he chooses to call himself, standing on the window sill.  He has just realized how far down the floor is from his vantage point.  Again, I love the diffused light that comes from the frosted window.  I chose to render these images in black and white to focus on the light and textures of the image.

Well, besides being a bit ill, I am surviving the cold pretty well.  I am certainly looking forward to spring and warmer weather.  I want to be able to smell the clean air and feel the breeze through the windows again.  It's also a great time to photograph nature as it comes back to life after this long harsh winter sleep.  Hope all of you are surviving too.  Thank you as always for stopping by.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

I Remember Mamma

On this day some 45 years ago my mother was killed in a horrific car accident.  That day was not unlike this one as far as weather goes.  It was a cold snowy Sunday in 1969.  Unfortunately I was also in that fatal car accident.  It was a day that would change my life forever.  Despite that terrible experience, my life has evolved in a positive way.  It started off a bit rocky.  I went through many years of anger and mistrust of everything.  But, I did eventually find myself again.  Today I am taking this opportunity to honor my mother and all she gave us three kids.  But, most importantly she gave us love.  Love is the greatest gift, the greatest energy in the universe.  Without love there is no light or life as far as my concept of it is concerned.

The above image is of a rose I won in a contest a few years ago.  I took this picture earlier this summer when I got my new DSLR camera.  It was one of the first images I made with the camera.  I named this rose after my mother.  So, my Geneva rose grows gracefully in my side yard facing the south and sends blossoms of love out to greet me every year.  I look upon this rose as a grand example of how beautiful my mother was and is to me.  Her spirit is with me everyday of my life.  I am so grateful for the life she gave me to experience and grow and become a wiser soul.  She gave me the chance to discover my soul, which is discovering yourself and ultimately discovering the universe.

Today is a bitter sweet day.  But, it is one that I am grateful for and am humbled by.  I remember mamma and all that she is and was to me.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Snow, Snow and more Snow

It's been a long and very cold winter here in Codyland.  Many years since I can remember this much snow and below freezing temps.  Most likely an effect from the warming of the earth.  I have taken the opportunity to try and capture some of the snowy places I visit with my camera.  The shot above was taken at a local cemetery and park called Spring Grove.  It is considered a national treasure.  There are many great things to photograph here.

The above image here is taken at Spring grove as well.  I decided to give this one a cyanotype like processing as it had a great deal of blue in it anyway.  I think it gives this image a rather other worldly feel.

Finally, we have an image of a small house or crypt.  I call this one "The Other White House".  It was a beautiful sunny day on this past Thursday when I took these shots.  Today however, more snow very windy and cold.  I am supposed to be at work at 11 am.  Not sure the buses are running on time today, so I may not make the 11 am start time.

On another note, I did manage to enter both of this months Manifest shows which fulfills part of my years goals artistically.  Now it is a matter of waiting patiently to see if I make it in either of them.  But, it isn't getting in to these shows that is of utmost importance to me.  It was to try and keep a goal.  I am loving the birth of this passion I have for photography.  It is like no other art form for me.The lens becomes an extension of my creative soul.  It feels almost like a prosthetic lens in a way.  Helping to augment what my natural lens can not do.  I think that is the most amazing thing ever.

I hope you all have a great Saturday.  I am going to try and plow my way to work.  Thank you for stopping by for a visit.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

New Camera, Synchronicity, New Projects, Life

It's a bitter bitter cold day here in Codyland.  Lot's of thing peculating in the old noodle.  The past couple of days has seen an increase in the number of synchronicity type events happening. This always gets my attention as it usually means some things are about to make themselves known to me.  Fortunately I feel they are good things coming my way.

I recently decided to upgrade my take along camera from a little Nikon Coolpix, which is perfectly fine for basic stuff, to a more sophisticated point and shoot style.  I went with a Panasonic lUMIX dmc-f270.  Today since I was off from work, I thought it would be a good time to take it on a test drive.  So far, I really like the handling of this camera.  It isn't a pocket camera, but it allows me to save the big Nikon for studio work and this one for on the road inspiration.  It will be fun learning all the little bits and bobs this baby will do.

Up above is one of the first images I have taken with this new toy.  It was taken at my bathroom window and with one of the model cousins.  I call this one Lonely and Frustrated. The frustrated part is from my own feelings sometimes of not having enough time to do what I love.  But, it is all good.  The lonely part is contemplating ones place in the universe.  Sometimes the way I think believe and feel makes me feel so alone at times.  I know I am not truly alone.

On another note, I have been revamping my journaling lately.  Most of the time I just use it as a daily or almost daily diary of my life.  Something just seemed so empty about that.  I have been doing this for a few years and finally I realized that my best experience with the journal is when I incorporate visual imagery.  So, I started out by drawing mandala like images using this little spirograph like gizmo I got as a gift years ago.  I am calling these little drawings soul flowers.  It is a great kick starter for writing.

Well, that is about it.  I am contemplating entering yet another Manifest Gallery show with the deadline looming of tomorrow.  Yes, I know I need to get on with it.  Just need to decide which two images I will submit.  This is the year of big change for me and I am liking it so far.  I am juggling several projects in my head to do and I need to get them going before I explode.

Have a great rest of your week everyone.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

It's There Can You See It?

There are things that go unnoticed by us all the time.  Only to those who stop to look can they see it.  My partner told me of a small little birds nest in one of our huge rose bushes out front.  He was amazed a bird would have built one so close to the sidewalk or so low to the ground.  My thought is that they, as in the birds, will make do.  We don't go out of our way to interfere with them.  I love nature and like knowing that even in the deep urban wasteland of the city, life outside of humans exists  So, my question to you is, can you see it?

Have a great Sunday.  I am off to spend it with some of my best friends eating, drinking and playing cards.  Ah, life is good today.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Me and the Girlz

This afternoon it was the girls turn to discuss their roles in the upcoming creative projects.  The new cousin has settled in quite well.  She loves this country and especially enjoys listening to the great mix of eighties new wave playing on the studio Pnadora station.  My cup of coffee, a nice Mexican organic, was quite delightful.

So, I told the cousins that it might be nice to have a name associated with each of them.  They didn't feel that was entirely necessary but, agreed it would make stories a bit easier to follow.  The boys aren't here at the moment so their input may be irrelevant on this topic.  The girls did say they wanted better wardrobes and I told them I would have to see what the budget would allow.  The snide little ladies said I could make them some amazing cloths if I had half a mind to do so.  Perhaps they could manage the extra time for me.

Well, as you can see things are rolling along here in Codyland.  Hope your weekend is going well.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Time to Start the Conversation

This week I have taken it upon myself to begin the planning and start working on the characters and props for some upcoming photo projects.  The cousins are fitting in nicely.  I shot this picture of our morning conversation over a cup of coffee.  The cousins lament not being able to have coffee.  They are very curious about all this human stuff.  Even though they look like humans, being made of plastic has it's disadvantages too.

We were discussing what sorts of stories we could tell for them to play the roles. I told them that there are other plastic people similar to them but not as complex.  They were rather perplexed.  I will be making introductions later on in the process.  These guys are quite likable and will be hard working assets to the studio.  Codyland Studio is finally starting to get some action going and I am looking forward to seeing what comes out of the art machine in the weeks ahead.  My biggest dilemma at the moment is choosing the first show of the year in which to apply. I promised myself I would make a go at entering at least one a month if I can, to get myself out into the art world again.  We shall see how that goes.  Wish me luck and I will report back on how it goes.  Thanks for your interest in Codyland.

(Update): I just sent in my application for the Manifest Gallery show called "Tales Told".  Fingers crossed we shall see what happens.  I only have to move in the direction of my dreams and the Universe will respond.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

On My Workbench

It occurred to me today that I hadn't shown any actual art pieces or whatevers in progress in ages.  I am actually working on figures for a series of photos I am brainstorming in my head.  But, the putting together of the characters from scratch is a bit time consuming.  I will show you why.

This is a shot of all the current figures in progress that I am making from scratch.  There are eight in total here.  I had nine but one of them just wasn't working out for this series.  So, it will be turned into an art piece for something else.  Each one of these figures will become one of a series of impossible saints.  I have this curiosity about what attributes and reasons someone becomes a saint.  Mine may be a bit tongue in cheek.

I have also been collecting lots and lots of 1/6th scale dolls and figures to use in another series.  This will most likely expand to include altered toys and dolls that I create for more characters.  So, the hundreds upon hundreds of photographs I have been taking over the past 8 months or so have been to hone my camera eye and photography skills.  I really want these couple of series of images to be really major pieces for me.  I am planning on entering a number of shows this year.  I decided it was time to show the world my twisted wacky world.  Hope they are ready for me, cause her I come.

Of course you all will get sneak peeks of all the pics as they come along.  I am going to try and log the progress a bit more closely as a sort of documentary.  I just love those when I see them about other artists work.  I am going to have my partner shoot some video as I make things and maybe do one of those time lapse sequences when I start building the sets in my studio away from home.

The excitement and anticipation is building in me to see this thing get kicked into high gear.  If there is one challenge for me through all of this it is patience.  That runs in short supply for me.  Ideas come fast and furious and if I can't keep working on something without lots of interruptions I loose focus quick.  Now I am just wishing for a bit more time.

Thank you for following along on my journey.  I hope you stay tuned.  Have a great week everyone out there.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Epiphany A State of Being

E-piph-a-ny: 1. A revelatory manifestation of a divine being. 3. a. A sudden manifestation of the essence or meaning of something.    b. A comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization 

There are a few times in one's life that a special thing happens.  A flash of insight or knowing that changes our lives forever in some way.  This change can be small at first.  But, it inevitably grows into something greater than we expected. Friday January 10, 2014 was one such occasion for me.

On my way to work Friday morning something very curious happened to me.  As I was traveling down an alley between streets towards work a man dressed in a business suit approached.  He looked up at me and I at him.  Our eyes met and he offered a smile.  I smiled back.  At that instant this thought that was as loud as a voice entered into my head.  "He is dressed for his job.  Look at Him and see how he is living his part."  I was a bit startled at this and as the man passed he smiled again and went on.  Again this voice spoke to me.  "Who are you and where are you going/"  I immediately knew that I was a photographer/artist on my way to my studio carrying my camera bag.  I thought of what I was going to be doing that day.  I was that person in that moment in that reality.  After I had taken about ten steps I snapped back into the reality I was originally in and became a bit sad knowing that I was instead on my way to the art store. 

 This story is significant because I have been working really hard at visualizing and doing what I can to make my dream of being a full time artist a reality.  I am tired of working for someone else's dream.  It is time to work for my dream. So, I look upon that epiphany I had yesterday as a positive sign that I am indeed going to realize this grand dream of mine.  This also brings me to another conclusion that I have reached about myself and my art.  My first love in the arts actually was music.  I started out playing in the school band when I was in sixth grade.  I was in the band every year after that until I graduated high school.  I really wanted to go to music school but, instead was pushed to study something more practical.  Music school was too expensive and wouldn't give me a job once I graduated.  That was the logic my guardian presented to me. Needless to say, I didn't pursue music.  Once in college, I tried to follow the path of a career that would give me a more traditional job.  I hated it and my grades reflected that.  I dropped out of college for a year and a half.  I wanted to get my act together, clear my head.  I then returned to school and this time tried a variety of classes and directions.  Eventually, I settled upon fine art and theater.  I excelled at these and loved being in that world.  Eventually I graduated and moved on with my life.  I had a variety of jobs that were not directly art related or creative.  Each one chipping away at my soul creating this intense longing.  I threw myself into making art on the side.  Fitting it in wherever I could.  Painting, doll making, sculpting mixed media you name it I did it.  Along the way I documented this with photography.  But, even though I enjoyed the art I made and the process, I never had a true burning passion for it.  Not like what I felt with music my first love.  So, I decided as part of some project I had been planning, that I would need to take a photography class.  I wanted to make portraits of some friends for a gift.  In the spring of 2013 I signed up for a portrait photography class.  Then after that I signed up for another photography class.  I had been taking hundreds of photos during this time.  I became consumed by it in a way that I hadn't felt since my days playing music in high school.  There was this burning passion beginning to shine from deep within me. In my minds eye and my heart I could see the true potential of my artistic vision.  I had found my artist soul at long last.

Where this path will lead I do not know.  But, this time I am listening to my own inner voice and will follow where it leads.  I want to keep experiencing the true bliss of living my joy each and every day. All the hard work of healing and spiritual transformation over the past five or so years has paid off in many amazing ways for me. It calls to mind a lyric from a song.  It may be corny but, it is how I feel at this moment.  I am walking on sunshine and it makes me feel good.

My hope to all of you out there in blog-o-verse that you can find your bliss.  It may surprise you but, will uplift you and make you whole.  Thanks for allowing me to share my story with you.  I look forward to many more amazing discoveries ahead.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Sunday Gray Sundays

You just never know what will happen on your work table when you are not at home.  Sundays around here can be hit or miss for action.  But, I found this scene taking place in the studio.  Mail order cousins have arrived for the two artist models.  They have been unpacked and given some clothing since they arrive a natural.  In the meantime there is a bit of catching up to do and they were also joined by a neighbor living in the next toy box over.  Her name is Girtty.  She is the one with the wild pink beehive.  She's one of those throw backs to the 1970's and loves her Daisy Dukes. Never mind she is in her 60's.

But, no one can figure out who the creepy little girl is that just appeared out of nowhere.  Can you say children of the damned?  I mean what the heck.  There is a bit of discussion going on about her and the little girl seems oblivious to it all.

Well, I had better get back to see what's going on.  You never know with this crowd.  Hope your Sunday is going well.  I am having dinner with some friends tonight.  A nice way to cap off the weekend.

Saturday, January 04, 2014

Revenge of Winter

The above picture was snapped while on a layover waiting for the next bus to take me to work.  The temperature at the time was 8 F and all I can say is it was cold.  I loved how the rising sun lit the smoke coming from the power plant at the University Hospital.  Got to love that early morning light.

Today it's lunch with two very dear friends and also hopefully a parcel carrying the mail order cousins of the artist models.  I ordered a back up pair.  Yes, I am getting obsessed with collecting all these dolls and models.  Can't help myself.  I look at it as my acquiring the tools I need for my artistic vision.  Several friends in the doll making world came through last year with lots of Barbie and Kens and they are waiting in the wings for their roles in my upcoming artistic endeavors.  Many of them are destined to become altered  in some fashion.

One bit of observation I have realized, that all this photography play and daily shooting is really helping me to hone my lens eye.  People have asked me why I haven't shown any work in shows this past few years.  I tell them I was in a deep state of experimentation and discovery.  I will serve no wine before it's time kind of thing.  It is a kin to rehearsing a new theatrical production.  It has to be just right before you put your name on it.  But, the journey is most of the fun for me.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  It will be COLD here in Cincinnati.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

A Snow Day Means A Studio Day

Well, technically I am off from my job today.  So, it really isn't a snow day but, it is a great excuse to be in the studio.  I have been playing around with some ideas.  Rethinking some directions a bit and looking at some of my started projects with a critical eye.  The problem for me is I have several running story lines or ideas in my head.  I constantly bounce back and forth between them.  Hence a lack of real focus.  But, the point for today was to take a good look at what I have started and decide upon a plan of action.  I did want to get some work done in the studio today.  I have some help sort of.

Two of my models were eager to help me clean up the work table today.  However an argument quickly ensued.  I am not sure if these two are meant to be together.  I snapped this picture of Mister model wielding one of my clay shaping tools.

But, quick as a whip Miss model turned the tables and snatched the tool from Mister.  He grabbed the closest thing he could find to protect his assets. I was amused at the situation and had to capture it with the camera.  Having a pocket camera handy at all times can come in quite handy.

Well, I need to get back to the studio before these two do serious mischief to themselves and my studio.  Have a great day everyone.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

A New Year and Renewed Focus

A very happy new year of 2014 to all of you out there in the land of blogs.  I hope your holidays were good.  Now that the season has come to a soft close for me, it is time for renewed focus and goal setting for the year ahead.  Most of the art I am hoping to make involves photographing dolls and figures in a variety of scenes and situations.  I have decided that using dolls, toys and such helps me to detach any direct human likeness to the subject.  I have been loving how I can use dolls, or other figures of that nature create a sense of dialogue without making it too personal for any one person.  Plus, dolls don't require contracts and payment.  So, to me this is a great match for my evolution in creating.  Last year saw some major decisions in regards to my art making.  I know I face more challenges in the year ahead.  But, with usual "I don't give a damn," fortitude I will move on.  One challenge is the snobbery of photography in the fine art circles here in Cincinnati.  I don't know if that is the case elsewhere in the country or world.  But, for some reason photography is still seen here as not that serious of a medium. So what's new, dolls weren't either.  I am used to forging new frontiers.

On that note, of regrouping and digging in my heels, I am sharing a few experiments.  I apologize up front for showing a doll I have shown before.  But, I have been trying to capture a more artistic expression with the image.  I am trying to make the image an art piece in and of itself.  Since I plan on using dolls and toys as my subjects, what more perfect one than my most recent pieces.

Here is an image of my Little Cody doll I made last year.  I decided to try and make it have a slight painterly feel to the image.  One of the things I am planning is to make cards and little magnets with the images.

This is a close up shot I decided to try a similar post processing treatment on to get the look I wanted.  What a cute albeit slightly creepy cutie. So, there you have it.  My creative fun for my new years day.  The tradition goes that what you do on this day will be a sign of what you will be doing the rest of the year.  So, hurray for me, creating is it.

Thank you as always for stopping by to see what is up in Codyland.  I am working on the series of dolls I had started late last year.  Just had too much going on the month of December.  But, hope to be back at them and get some more cool photo illustrations going.  Have a great rest of the week.