When dreams become day jobs

My Cyanotype Project was an idea I got about a year ago. I’ve always been way into alternative photography, old processes and mixed media art and one day while daydreaming, they all kind of collided into this idea; mixed media cyanotypes! I thought about printing beautiful images on watercolor paper and then painting over them with bright, neon colors. I even thought of drawing over the images, or making double exposures… I just let my imagination run wild. At that same time I was in a pretty hardcore Sergio Leone phase. Spaghetti Westerns were all I was watching! So, that western influence trickled into my cyanotype/mixed media/alt photography idea. Another project I used to dream about was taking portraits of all of my girlfriends. Like, really natural, laid back photo shoots that celebrated the natural beauty of the women I know and love. At this point I had all the pieces and I just put them together; portraits of strong women printed using the cyanotype process, painted over or altered by hand in someway with a western vibe.

It’s been slow going over the past year. I began experimenting with paint and drawing to figure out a look and pallet that I like, I’ve been reading up on cyanotypes (which I will describe in detail in another post), and I’ve been compiling a list of supplies that I need to get going. I recently changed my schedule to allow more time for photography. I’ve decided to actually, actively give my dreams the fire they give me. Yesterday I did my first official photo shoot for this project and I couldn’t be more please with the images. This morning I ordered the supplies to build my own UV lightbox for cyanotype printing (construction of which will also be getting its own blog post). This thing is happening now, and it’s awesome!

 

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Negatives from yesterdays shoot

 

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Chapter 7: Back to Georgia

Hi there.

Remember me?

I know its been a while and I’m sorry about that.

But I’m back… in black… and better than ever!

Seriously though, a lot has changed since my last post. I’d love to share with you, if you’ll have me back that is.

The last time we spoke I was making jam in Asheville and it was summertime. Asheville sure was fun and it was a necessary change, a much needed adventure, but I began to feel stagnant by mid summer. The mountains can make you feel infinite at times, like they charge you with their immense power, but other times they can make you feel trapped and claustrophobic. After spending so much time in Connecticut away from my family in Georgia it seemed silly to move to a city in North Carolina where I didn’t know anyone… so close to my home in Georgia, yet so  isolated in my mountain town. I suppose the real issue was I needed to reconnect with my roots.

Move #7: Back to Georgia

In August I high tailed it back to Alpharetta, Georgia, the town I did most of my growing up in and also a place I only visited a handful of times in the past six years.

Life works in mysterious ways. This year began with a feeling; a feeling I needed to change my life, a feeling I needed to move, a feeling much like growing pains. I decided to follow my gut and I moved. I created a life that was truly and completely mine up in Connecticut, independent of my family and friends down south. I left all of that behind because something was telling me it was time to move on. The new path I fell onto was rough and I got hurt badly this past year but I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. I learned things in Asheville that I needed to learn. One of them being say goodbye when you feel it’s time to.

I had no idea why I felt the need to return to GA, but the feeling was so strong I could not turn away.

Almost one month after moving back I met the love of my life. Malcolm and I knew we were in love right away and it is like nothing I’ve experienced before. At the same time it is the most natural and instinctual relationship or even part of my life to date.

This year I learned to listen to my instinct and trust my intuition. It sounds cheesy but guess who doesn’t care? This girl. You know what you need even if you don’t know you know it. I finally feel like I’m the person I’ve always wanted to be. I love myself, I love the world, I see beauty all around. I love the hurt and sadness that brought me here. It was worth every second. I am in love.

When you know, you know.

abiandmal

 

 

Sometimes things break

So, I broke my laptop. It was the weekend before my birthday and I woke up super excited to drive to GA to visit my family. In a rush to turn off my alarm I knocked over a glass of water that landed on my poorly placed laptop. Didn’t think the damage was that bad… But It turned out to be pretty bad. Luckily, the lovely gentlemen at geek squad helped save my hard drive. Silver lining. 

Photo work has been slow going since the incident. Since I can’t edit photos right now I’ve been focusing on artist statements. I have a few almost completed bodies of work that are missing statements and it feels great to finally explain my intentions and flesh out my ideas. Finishing an artist statement is like putting on lipstick. 

Here are some photo sketches of a new series I’m working on, Urban Flora.   

     

Where does the momentum go?

You have a dream! Then you get organized and the dream becomes a goal, then you plan for your goal so that it becomes clear and obtainable. Somewhere along the way you lose that boost of inspiration and excitement that sparked the quest in the first place. Where did that initial momentum go? The law of momentum conservation says that whatever you collided with gained what you lost. So if you are colliding with your dream/goal/plan then that is where your momentum is! Boom!

Inspired again?

You should be. You are giving life to your dream. It is all to easy to lose sight of what you’re working for once you put yourself in the middle of it. It’s like looking at a garden and making up your mind that that is where you want to be and what you want to work on. But once you are in the middle of that garden, on the ground surrounded by weeds, it’s a lot harder to see where you should focus your attention. I say look down at what you’ve got and go from there. You’re heart may say start at the far corner and work your way back. There isn’t a wrong answer.

A friend posted this article by Sarah Von Bargan on facebook earlier, I think you should check it out: How To Actually Do The Stuff You Say You Want To Do. My favorite part of this post is the end where Von Bargan says doing begets more doing. Our potential is like a flower in that garden I mentioned before; once you start “doing” that flower grows more and more util it drops its own seeds…then more flowers grow.

I get really hung up on the financial side of things. I need some photography equipment that I can’t exactly afford. So I’m focusing on what I have available to me right now and I’m doing what I can. Last night I did this: BlindBanditPhotography.tumblr.com. Reaching people is so important to me. I’ve said before that one of my main goals is to inspire others to follow their own hearts and dreams. The web and social media make it so easy to reach people all over the world. So cheers to you friends from facebook, instagram and now tumblr! Go get ’em!

IMG_1958 This is what work looks like.

Dreams Don’t Work Unless You Do

Ya know those people who typically see the glass half full? They try to see the good in a bad situation and smile through the difficult times? Yeah, that’s me. Usually. I have been feeling a bit discouraged lately. Asheville is a magical place, but it’s true what they say about finding a job here… so… difficult. It’s been about two months and I’ve sent out more resumes than I can count. Oh, I know this too shall pass but every now and then even a happy girl gets the blues.

But don’t get me wrong, there is still plenty to celebrate! I was lucky enough to be chosen by the most stellar, beautiful and incredible art gallery to be their intern. Check them out, CastellPhotographyGallery you will love them just as much as I do, I’m sure. This is such an amazing opportunity and I feel so honored that Bri and Heidi chose me to be their intern. We spent this week installing a new show, Objects in Perspective, that opens this Friday at the gallery at 6pm.

I’ve had a lot of free time what with being out of work these past couple months, so I’ve been working on a new photography website (but really it’s a blog 😉 ). Check me out, BlindBanditPhotography! Once I get my feet on the ground here I have plans to experiment with multiple exposures and cyanotypes. This has been in the works for a while so I am very pumped about it and I feel like this is going to be a great year for my photographic efforts.

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So, sometimes life gets rough. It happens to all of us. But at the end of the day I still have so much to be thankful for. Going to visit my family in Georgia last weekend helped me to realize that. Reality checks are necessary and they aren’t always pretty, but there is no sense in drowning in self pity. I am making a promise to myself to face my challenges head on. Giving up is simply not an option, I’m only going to get stronger.