Visiting Austin

I had the opportunity to visit my friend Austin Dodson last week. I am an avid reader of his appropriately named blog Visiting Austin. He's moved out of the big city of Philadelphia to be a care taker at the Wallingford Community Art Center 20 minutes in the suburbs. He's been living and working on the grounds of an old mansion turned art center/potter's guild. I grew up taking classes here and helping my Mom out when she used to teach there. It always brings back my most favorite memories of getting lost in the woods and appreciating the beauty of that area.
My favorite time is during the fall. The smell of the dying leaves, the way they collect on top of each other in the creak. Even the trees reflect sound differently. I saw two (maybe the same one twice) red tail hawks migrating, one small fox and the usual squirels, cardinals and robins that are pretty abundant around here. So there I was camera in hand and Austin with his new dog Maddie chasing the moment and taking time to explore.




I breathed in Sand/Salt/Air for a few days
swirly sand
dried seaweed skeletons
low tides
deceiving dune bushes
bald eagle
baby deer
vinny vulture singing "fly like an eagle"
woody woodpecker
spanish moss
cluster birds nesting
wife lovelying
look closely to the spiders
L + M getting hitched



Two Cats and a Sea Lion

Two Cats and a Sea Lion!

Cape Cod

I'm catching up. Now that there is this Blog to tend to I find it rewarding and burdensome to let the 4 people that may or may not be reading this know what's happening. If anything else its a great snapshot for myself in where I'm at in my life with creativity.
So with that in mind I present to you a peak into an amazing trip I took to Cape Cod, MASS. I wish there was such a thing as smellovision because that was probably the first thing i remember. Piney-saltwater-seaweed-mildew-cedar. And quiet. No city sounds just osprey crows and seagulls fighting for position. I fell in love with the moment. The photos are a whole other process and really don't capture a lot of what I saw but I do love the framing and position in each moment with the light and breeze off the ocean.


Kites and Sun

Its boring to me just to document all the time. Luckily I haven't really heard for a while "get your camera and take a picture of this Jim." I don't feel that that's why I always take a photo. I've been happily shooting with this crappy webbie cam that Sony makes. Its portable not complicated to operate. I enjoy abstracting the simplest scene and extract the color and texture that's in front of me. Having the ability to move the camera and create moving images is a bonus in this situation. Now I'm confronted not only by the image but what direction I'd like to move the camera, how its going to zoom in and out or just stay stationary on a moving object.
For added pleasure I've been able to sneak some music into the videos. I've always loved sneaking music into a visually occupied viewer. The image is often what keeps someone in their seat while, before you know it, they are injected into the song. Its easier to dismiss a song or music if they are just listening and not relaxed or captivated by something at that second.
The subject in this instance was the fourth of July 2010.
The first one includes some fireworks (5:04) that a friend of mine was firing off in the adjacent neighborhood to the east of fairmount park and we just happened to catch it! I also had a kite tied to my belt for a long time.
The second video is a song I wrote about my wife Beth when we first started dating.


Austin's Housewarming

Happy new digs to Austin!

Wissahickon Spring League Tournament 2010

Reasons to go and see some sloppy old dudes try and play hockey:

-95 degrees outside 45/50 degrees inside
-meat on grills (I got food poisoning but got through it like a real man)
-stuff that happens on the other side of the dumpster
-heckling from the bleachers
-bad hockey skills met with great slip ups and unexpected moments of greatness
-lots of scoring
-fireworks on the way home courtesy of "Sunoco/Wawa/Goo Goo Dolls' Welcome America"

See you all there next year!


Portraits in the spring of 10

I've been having an interesting time loving photography again but in a much newer (to me) context. Departing from my previous experience shooting for the sake of a moment captured, I'm purely shooting it for the print. I haven't had such a good time "printing" since the early darkroom days. There's a sense of not knowing what these blobs of area are going to really look like until I lift the stencil up. There's a magic in that moment for me.
I can see it on the digital camera display when I shoot it. I can see again it on my computer screen, networking sites or whatever. These pieces hold for me an unmatched example of my love for the process, the creation of color, and the selection of negative space.


Supreme Demeanor

This Friday I'm showing a few new works of art. I've been consumed by the idea of stencils lately and converting a photograph into a print. See where I went in the first exciting chapter. The "paint ship" is lifting off. Consider this the opening ceremonies.
The show is $7 to cover the bands and beer (beeeer)
Friday June 4th 7-11pm
Studio 34 (4522 Baltimore Ave)

Thanks for the support


Made the Magic Happen

Last night was an extremely magical night. The last performance of Full of Sharp Places took place at the Philadelphia Magic Gardens. If you don't know about this place yet just hit the link.
Beyond the obvious aesthetic and history of this place and the amazing person that is Isaiah, I believe that this is one of the best musical venues in Philadelphia. Every note and vibration caries around the curved tile walls and then shoots right out into the sky. While performing the four of us were really able to wip the notes through the outside maze of tile brick and bottles. The threat of rain loomed over us only to start up 10 minutes after we finished. Thanks for everyone that made it and if you couldn't I'm sure there'll be another incarnation of such music in the future.
Thanks to Beth for shooting. I think she really understood the space and the sound through the maze enough to take some real nice footage.

I'll add more footage as I go just check it out through my youtube account.


From the Land of Polite

The churches here are huge.
Texans are polite.
Set out on a study of the music industry. This festival is a portal for the part of the machine that is trying to verse itself to the world. Record companies either hook you up or you play a free show and pay to get there and be heard.
Or do both.
It is a unique opportunity for bands to ever get a chance and do this. I'm not so sure I was sold on a lot of the bands that had gigantic lines to get in. Considering how much of it I was nonplussed by, I was wondering if either I was delusional or they were feeding into some sort of music marketing drama.
Free dirt lots, back of homes with goats and make shift barn stages were what we clung to. Occasional festival venues we actually had to pay to get in. Seeing so many bands last week did something to my ear. I feel desensitized from the sounds of all the instruments and little nuances that everyone made. Along with that, I have evolved from a lot of what I've been listening to or better yet, how I'm listening to it now.
The whole week had a great falling on the moment vibe. It felt like we magically found our bikes at a pawnshop. We won 25 tacos at Gringo Bingo. Countless other little moments made assured me that we still know how to travel in the moment. I don't think I'd ever move to Austin but maybe someday I'll revisit with more of a performance purpose.


In it for the fourth period

A couple of nights ago I traded photography for beer. The wissahickon hockey league had a kick off scrimmage for the season and I was on it. Not having ever shot sports like this before I was somewhat hesitant. I learned a bit more about my camera's AF features and auto exposure settings. There's definitely things in that little black box that I had no idea it knew how to do; like a sensor that detects movement and then focuses constantly around the exposure field. I could have benefited from having a longer lens but that's getting a little ahead of the game. I spilled beer on my camera at one point and Nikons seem to come with a guzzle switch. You can actually take the batteries out and pour beer on it and it still works!
Everyone that's been on the ice the whole time have this mental image of their cold, beer-filled cooler waiting for them at the end of the game. The stinky sweat filled locker room cools off instantly with a hi-life in your hand. They hang out talk about the game, the janitor kicking them out, music, or whatever else top secret conversation that can't be repeated outside the locker room walls.
This season has promises of classic rock and roll band themed teams. I personally feel that a more aggressive punk theme would have fit better with their style but that's just me.


Given Me Know Wa Wa

Phil Spector, George Harrison, and the mental frustration I put myself through on a daily basis I owe this to.


W + RJ's Digs

I visited friggin paradise. The photos here only reflect the first hour or so before the batteries ran out in my camera. I was thoroughly inspired. It was deeper than the beauty of the house and the surroundings. It was the moment it created. Hopefully this truncated photo set continues ideas through the winter and spring. I'm taking note especially of the colors I found near the spring.


Alone with the cats

The house has been quiet do to E.M.S.C. going to school and leaving me to my own devices with the cats. New minimal soundings. Excited for where this might take me. Recently lost interest in all the pedals and chords that have taken over my studio. This may only be temporary. More to come soon...