Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Saturday - Social Sketch with Courtney Cerruti at Two Hands - Always A Fun, Creative Time

After returning home on Saturday, I spent some time at home and then I headed to Two Hands Paperie to take part in the Social Sketch event with Courtney Cerruti. I took Ben with me since he had such a good time at the last Social Sketch event last November.
Courtney was in town to sign her new book and to teach a few classes. Earlier in the day she purchased an accordion book by mole skin. She invited people to sketch in it. I think that was my favorite part of the evening.

I also enjoyed seeing the art of other people. Alexi drew some bears hugging and I had a fun time painting them and adding the washi tape.

I also enjoyed checking out the new displays, as always.
As my friend, Natalie says, I am getting in as much art as I can this weekend.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Anderson Ranch - Welcome to the Carbondale Rodeo

On Thursday night the people from my photography workshop and I went on a photo shoot at the Carbondale rodeo. I was very interested to see how it would be different from the Snowmass Rodeo. We were also challenged to take photographs that tell a narrative, instead of the usual images. I was very quickly taken by the cows wearing horn bonnets, masquerading as bulls. It was a little odd and I felt sorry for them. Later, after watching them for a while, I noticed that they seemed to know the drill and what part they play in it.

They line up in a pen; somehow some of them even seem a bit anxious to get his or her turn.

From there they are released from the shoot. Two cowboys, or cow girls are eagerly waiting on tense horses to have a chance to rope the horns and the back feet of the poor beast. The aim is to get the faux bull on the ground. The cows seem to play his/her part with little stress and plenty of expectation. They run straight for a gate at the opposite end of the enclosure. Most of them are not roped. Once in that pen, they relax and eat.
Once that pen is full, they are sent back down a corridor to the starting pen. There is a bit more personality and drama in this passage.
Sometimes that seems to get a bit crowded and tempers flare. Others are more complacent about his or her position.
There were some nice people pictures to take, too. I just seemed more drawn to the cows wearing horn bonnets.

Once I began to go through the photos I took and picked out the images I wanted to edit, I could see that I had learned and grown a lot during my week at Anderson Ranch. I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to take a workshop here. My time at Anderson Ranch is always magical and transformative.

I am always a little sad to have the end of Friday arrive. Fridays are a bit intense and crazy in the photo workshops with the last push to perfect images, print like crazy, make a few last connections with other artists on campus and complete the workshop reflections. By the time my adrenaline cools down, I will be very tired. It was a blast, but I am also looking forward to going home to my family. I have missed them a ton. I am excited to show them my photos. I hope that they will be able to see the growth that I have made. I think I am on the road to being able to consider myself a real photographer. I just have to keep pushing myself, issuing myself challenges and stepping out of my comfort zone.

Thanks for reading.

Anderson Ranch - Making Progress

Today is the last day of class and I have more to do than I will have time for. However, I want to share a few of my recent photos with you. These are from the top of Independence Pass and Leadville. I hope you enjoy them. I feel like I am making a lot of progress.

Now I am going to go back to editing the photos I took last night at the Carbondale Rodeo. Even as I work on the images, I have the smell of the rodeo with me. It is a bit funny.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Anderson Ranch - Self - Portrait Challenge + A Dog and His Girl

We spent the afternoon in Aspen on Tuesday. Each of us were issued a challenge to move beyond "beyond the photograph that you would have taken yesterday and step out of our comfort zones." My specific challenge was to include people, especially myself, in my photographs. It was a bit uncomfortable, and a bit fun. Here's what I came up with:
And then there was this wonderful girl playing with her dog in the doorway of an art gallery. I wanted to capture a candid image of that playful scene, but I asked the girl for permission out of respect for her. She, and the dog, were happy to comply. I think they are both just so beautiful.
I don't know that I would want to print any of these images, but it does feel good to step outside of my usual self-imposed box. That ability to step out of our comfort zones, risking failure, but also knowing that you do it with support, is part of what The Ranch is about. After all, if you do not make mistakes, how will you move forward and find your own way?

What risks have you challenged yourself to take lately?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Anderson Ranch - Photographer's Eye - Day One, a Humbling Experience

This week I am once again a such a lucky girl - I am at Anderson Ranch art center for a second time this summer, and I could not be more thrilled. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here, bask in the awesomeness of the place, soak in some more creative vibes and continue to figure out who I am from an artistic point of view. This week it is clear that I have a lot to learn, which is good, but also humbling.

On the first day we shared our portfolios. Just preparing for that was a big learning experience. I figured out that my photos are used to document what we are doing and to be used as an item in another piece of art. I decided that I wanted to learn how to create beautiful photographs. I want to move beyond my mom style photography to something more artistic.

On the first day we focused on light. I also focused on learning how to use the camera in manual mode, instead of alway just relying on the program settings. I shot 115 images, many of them at the dead of the night. I needed to edit it down to ten or less images for the class critique the next day and none of those made the cut. Here's what did make the cut:

I took pretty pictures, but they are not much more than that, and they are all visual cliches. However, by the time that we got to my pictures during the critique session, I already knew what they would say. The instructor was kind and encouraging. By the end of the session I had given myself a few new assignments for our afternoon shooting session in Aspen. Anderson Ranch strongly encourages you to take risks, to give your self permission to fail and pushes you to go outside of your comfort zone. So, encouraged, I set off intent to take photos of the kind I have not done before.

I ended up with 119 photos, many of them predictable, again, but some that I am happy with. I will share those tomorrow.

On the way back to The Ranch, we came upon a doe and her fawn on the walk way next to the river on the campus. They were so cute and it was a thrill for Christine, the professor from Boston, and Jesus, a scholarship student from Chicago, to get such a close up view. I took photo, not worrying whether they were artsy, or not.