Sunday, November 16, 2008

ugh i hope that idiocy didn't show up on anyones blog reader, shit

Monday, September 22, 2008

Strings (and things)

beginning

This is the start of something I want to work on. Its going to get bigger than this, its going to be more complicated than this, but this is the beginning of it. Part of this is about how we connect what we see everyday to our own existance. Its also a little bit about fragility (my own? nawww). Also, its about whatever it makes you think about. What does it make you think about?

beginning-1

I have a question for you, my readers (all five of you!): Do you ever feel that the closer you are to someone, the harder is it to talk about certain things? For example, I've never been able to talk about my art with anyone I was in a romantic relationship with. Its much, much easier for me to talk about my work to people I am not close with. My boyfriend is a really talented musician, and I think he is the same way. He'll play something for me and we'll nod and not say anything else. If I try to give an observation or compliment, it feels insubstantial. He has told me he feels the same way about my photos. He doesn't hate my work, he just isn't sure how to talk to me about it. Mostly, this is a relief. I feel don't have to explain all these tricky things to him, I can just work in peace. This doesn't just apply to my boyfriend either, I am the same with my best friend. I feel like I fumble around with explanations of things that are usually a more muddled, emotional side of me. Maybe this addresses my own desire to keep my demeanor as controlled as possible. Maybe that's why I make art in the first place; I'm incapable of articulating the more complicated aspects of myself and art is my way to let those things out. Maybe that's cheesy as hell. But, as I told Aurora (whose work is awesome, by the way) the other night, "If I was good at saying this stuff, I would be a writer instead of a photographer."

In other things, this past Saturday I went out with Adam and Aurora to a bar in Visalia to see some of Aurora's paintings and to see some bands, and I was impressed by how cool downtown Visalia is. I also felt a little cheated. How come no one had ever told me how cool it was? How come I had to move to San Jose before I could know how fun Visalia could be? Fresno, take a tip from Visalia: you don't need Sammy Hagar to be cool, you need some local, independently owned restraunts, bars, and shops that are open past 9 o'clock (I'm looking at you, downtown).

Well dang I have hell of gone off on a few things.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ok, I'm going to try this again.

Alright, I'm going to try some more of the blogging stuff. I'm going to branch out a little bit more I think, talk about more things.

Sometimes I feel like I have really inappropriate emotional reactions to things. Strange things (images, parts of stories, news) will make be inordinately sad. For example, I was looking through the blog Sexy People and I found this picture (which has been reposted in a couple other places too):


Alright, so I am aware that the concept of that blog is funny. A lot of the other pictures on that site were making me laugh. But for some reason this picture was different. These guys (who look like brothers to me) looked so earnestly happy and proud that I because really sad thinking that someone was laughing at them. These look like nice guys and I am honest to god tearing up right now thinking about how mean it is that they are probably being made fun of without them knowing it, when all they wanted to do was to take a picture together to give to their mom or something.

Before you go off on me and tell me how sensitive and weird I am, let me point out to you that I am aware of how stupid and really strange my behavior is. I'm not going to rally against this blog, like I said, I thought all of it was funny except, for some strange reason, this picture. I am trying to understand why I behave this way seemingly out of the blue. (Don't even try to blame it on hormones either, its not the time for that)

Here's another example: In the book The Grapes of Wrath, the chapter where Steinbeck describes the two gas stations had me bawling. The yellow paint? I couldn't handle myself. Not any of the other sad parts in the book upset me nearly as much as that part. And I'm not a book-crier either, so I don't know what is going on in my head.

I guess I should study my reaction to things more. Why do I feel the way I feel? What triggers emotional response, anyway?

Edit: when I looked at the blog again, I saw a few others that made me a little sad too. But maybe I'm just in the mood now. These look like nice people. I mostly get my kicks out of laughing at jerks, not nice people. Still, this one is pretty good. And in general, Olan Mills-type portraiture cracks me up. This stuff is funny. And yet, I fear I'm turning into one of those ladies that complains about people's feelings getting hurt. Save me from that, please.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Things These Days

leef-6

Lately I've been taking quite a few pictures of leaves. Basically, it is the only thing I have been shooting.

leef-7

Well, I've been trying to shoot other things, but the only things that I end up liking are these leaves. I feel like this is a subject matter that could quickly turn boring to the viewer, but to me it is an endless source of fascination. When I take these up-close images it is like I'm exploring this new landscape no one has seen before. I know that's not really true, but hell, I've never seen this kind of thing before.

leef-9

I always try to figure out why I'm drawn to certain things. For a while it was making images transparent (I'm still into that), and then there were all the bugs, and now these leaves. I guess it all started when I went through a time when I would photograph nothing but trees. I get suck in these modes, but I've made good work from all of them so I guess it isn't a bad thing at all.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

I shouldn't have left you without a dope beat to step to

I haven't written in a while, obviously. I'd almost given up on this while blog thing, I didn't feel like I was making a very good contribution. To be honest, I was getting frustrated by art making, and scared, too. There were some things I didn't want to think about, so I just stopped thinking about art for a while, but then I just became miserable.

Sometimes I get really worried-- How will I survive doing what I do? How will having a degree in art help me out at all? Will I be able to stay happy this way?

And there are more questions: Am I good enough? How do I get people to pay attention to my work? I want to be in shows but I have no idea how to get my work there, and in this business that so centers on who you know, I know no one.

These are all things I can never really get myself to come out and say to other people. I guess it is mostly from pride, I don't want to admit to anyone that at times I am terrified that I will fail. I want to do well, and I love creating and the discovery that is within that, but lately I'm been very concerned about my potential for success.

This sounds so whiny, but I feel like everyone is doing better than me at this. What does it take? How do I do this?

---

In other, non-whiny news, a customer at the camera store I work at gave me her broken camera, and it takes pictures like this:

magical realism camera

That's because the light sensor inside the camera is broken, but I kind of like what it does. I secretly call it my magical realism camera, although it really is nothing like that. I mostly want to make Achewood references on the internet. I was thinking that a series of self-portraits might be fun with this.

Also, because the economy kind of sucks, people have been buying fewer cameras, so we end up doing things like this:

eyeballs-6

That is because we are productive, intelligent young people. The promise of tomorrow is in us! (Those are film canisters and that is Justin, btw)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Pitfire! (with lots of pictures)

So, the culminating event for my wheel-throwing class this semester was to do a huge pitfire in the middle of the Santa Cruz Mountains. For some reason I was possessed to shoot it all with my fisheye lens. The way it works is this:

1) Dig a really big hole:


2) Fill the hole with sawdust, salt, and pots:



3) Cover the pots with wood:

4) LIGHT IT ON FIRE

5) A few hours, a few beers, and several rounds of free-form scrabble later, this is what is left:(none of these are mine, sadly)

6) My pots!

(they look better in person, I swear)

I'll take some regular non-fisheye pictures of these later, these pots are really cool looking. This technique is a traditional Native American method of firing vessels, and you can't control the pattern the fire puts on the pots, which I love.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

another list

spiders
fingernails (broken, ragged)
waiting
long necklaces
laughing
by your self
fridays
nighttime
friends (lack of)

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Something will come of this, I think. Eventually.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ideas

Things that have been bouncing around my head:

-Book-binding. I want to make a nice-looking book for the final project in one of my classes. Here are a few good sites I found today:
Bookbinding For Beginners: A reproduced text from 1917 I believe, a little dense but good instructions.
Making Books With Children: I'm probably going to do some of these projects first, they are written for kids so they are pretty simple but still have lots of potential.
Rag and Bone Blog: A really awesome blog written by a bookbinder. It also has lots of art-inspiration type posts.

-Embroidery! I embroidered a set of napkins for my mom for her birthday, which I forgot to take a picture of, of course. They each had a different animal that could be found around the farm. I'm trying to think of a way to fuse my photographic interests with my sewing and embroidery skills in a way that isn't hokey.

-Rini Templeton mostly made art as activism. She referred to her work as "Xerox Art" because she made her bold, simplistic images with the express purpose of having them put on fliers and posters, so she wanted them to be easily reproduced. Her work is available to use even now in fliers and pamphlets (find out more on the website), but its her simple nature scenes that I really like. They would make nice tattoos or embroidery patterns (jeez aren't those on two ends of the spectrum?)


-Lists. I am a list maker, but not in any way that actually keeps me organized. My sketchbook is filled with lists like this:

vodka
extra hours
runny nose
warm skin
warm bed
brown eyes
waking up
cold light
glass of water
soup

They just appear. I don't know why.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Home

home

Sorry its been a little while since I've posted. I've been working really hard at school, I recently made a little photo album with pictures of ghosts in it. Unfortunatly, I had to turn it in before I had a chance to scan it, so when I get it back I'll post it here. The reason I bring it up at all is that I am interested in making a book for the final project in one of my classes, and I was wondering if anyone had any advice or knew of any websites that have good info on book binding. Any help would be most excellent.

I took this picture last time I was visiting home in Fresno, and it is a good example of the beauty that surrounds that place. If there had been some way to stay home and do what I am doing now, I would have done it. I lived in a paradise, there was a forest behind my house with acres and acres of room to explore and draw inspiration from. This isn't to say that I am unhappy where I am now or that I don't want to be here, but I do miss it dearly.

I am, however, glad I left. I'm a much better artist (and person!) for moving up to San Jose, and I've met someone I love with all my heart. I just hope that someday I can create a home that is as loving and amazing as the one I grew up in.

This post turned unexpectedly sappy, I guess I miss my family. However, how can you -not- miss a place where these little guys are made?

bunnycake

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Bowls!

bowls-3

Here are some bowls I made in my ceramics class. I've been having a good time making these, but I think glazing is my favorite part. Wheel throwing is so different from photography. I've always felt that photography is the most attention-deficit of the art forms, especially now with digital photography you can immediately see what you've done and move on to the next thing. Yes yes, there is post-production work in Photoshop and whatnot, but it is nothing compared to throwing a piece, waiting a few days for it to harden up, trimming it, waiting for it to dry some more, then bisque firing it for a day before finally glazing it and firing it for three to four days!

bowls-1

Ceramics is definitely teaching me to be more patient. It is also something that takes quite a bit of work and dedication. Generally I have been throwing all semester and these are the first things I have made that I am genuinely excited to show other people.

Its also very different to make objects that will be used. Photos are just to be looked at, where as with these, people can eat out of them! They are useful, too! This isn't demeaning my photographs in any way, but its just a different way to view things.

bowls-2

Here I am eating lunch out of something I made myself! That, by the way, is macaroni and cheese, something I make very well.

bowls-4

This one is probably my favorite. That shape is an imprint of my own hand on the glaze. :) Here are a couple more. Is this post too image-heavy?

bowls-5

bowls-6

What do you think of them? Which one is your favorite?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Flashback

progress

This is an older piece I did when I was still going to Fresno State, so its probably almost three years old. I promise I'll get some newer work up soon, but I found this piece the other day and it kind of hit me with a lot of emotion. I did this with the idea of double exposing a portrait of my mom with something that was descriptive of her; her name is Robin and she has lots of little bird figurines all over the place. First I shot the roll with the pictures of various birds around the house, and then rewound the film and started taking my mom's piture.

Normally my mom doesn't really like having her photo taken. And whenever a picture of her is taken, she's smiling and posing for the camera. I remember when I was shooting this roll of film she did the same thing throughout most of the roll, she smiled and faced the camera. Finally, when I was almost done with the roll, my dad made some loud noise outside the door she was standing near, and she frowned in his direction. I snapped this last shot right before she said, "We got into a fight this morning."

My parents normally get along very well, so that was disturbing enough for me at the time. I remember printing this, feeling funny about it, putting it away after I turned it in. Now that I look at it, its not so disturbing as it is surprising how I was able to capture my mom in such a way, and that the double exposed image underneath happened to be a pair of birds. (That always reminded me of my parents together)

This might be an interesting idea to visit on again, but this time doing a portait like this for each of my family members. (Dang that would take forever, I have 4 siblings) I don't know how effective that would be in a fine-art aspect, I mean I don' t know how many people would be interested in seeing pictures of my family (as amazing as we all are). But maybe it would be a nice gift for my family, something to put up somewhere in the house.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

More Closeups

lateprint

I found this guy while I was on a walk with my sister and her boyfriend. After I took the picture and showed it to them, Syd gave me one of the best compliments I have ever received. He said, "Now, I would have just walked on past this, but you see stuff like this and make awesome pictures from it."

Soon I'm going to make a post about how exactly I make these pictures. It involves too many adapter type things, that's for sure.

Tomorrow I'm going to work on an assignment for one of my classes, its an exposure test for the ZONE SYSTEM, which sometimes I think is an awesome way to go about things, and sometimes I think it is defunct. Minor White, one of my favorite photographers, was all about it, he even co-authored a book about it (which I own and have read the first 10 pages of, heh). Anyone else have any feelings about the ZONE SYSTEM?

Also, please recommend me some good blogs, your blogs and other people's.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Closeups

dragonfly

I found this dragonfly, dead, in my parent's driveway this past summer. I was borrowing Felix's macro extension at the time, and taking these pictures has radically changed how I approach making images. There is something about this technique that fits my mindset about art perfectly.

At the risk of sounding cheesy, I am constantly amazed at what I see when I photograph. I am filled with a wonder at what goes on around everyone all the time, and Ihope that some of that comes through in this work.

I buried the dragonfly in the garden after I was done.


Also! If you are in the Fresno area, go to the Yoshi Now flea market this weekend! My friends Adam and Aurora are both selling excellent things there, and there are snacks also, which is always a bonus.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Something to start with

insects1

This is a part of a series I did last semester. I feel like I am an explorer with my photography, I'm trying to understand things through my work. Just like a scientist discovers though study, this is my way of studying.

What do you think?

So I'm starting this thing.

I want to hold myself accountable for making more art work. I want get more feed back on my work. I want my art to be more visible than it has been. So, I'm starting a blog!

I'm trying to immerse myself in my ideas. So often I think of things and nothing comes of it. I want my ideas to have more life.

If you're here and you don't know what/who I am, here's a little bit of that: My name is Centa, I am mostly a photographer but I like to do other things too. A little bit of pottery on occasion, and I also love to sew and embroider, which sometimes makes it way into my artwork.

I'm thinking that I'll post work in progress and finished work, along with an occasional (maybe weekly) artist that I enjoy. If you have you own blog, send me a link, I'd love to check it out!

So here it goes, get ready for some Centa-blogs!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

lookit

so, i made one of those blogs