December 23, 2006

Shows Are On!

Class is over for this fall...almost. The actual classroom portion is finished, ending with a potluck gathering and art show at the home of one of our classmates, who very graciously opened her home to us. (BTW, her home was high, high, high up, with a breathtaking ocean view. Wow...!)

This class has been an unusually fantastic learning experience. Our teacher, and fearless leader, Tom Lamb, went way above and beyond, teaching us real-world skills for preparing our work in a series format, printing, matting, framing choices, publication and presentation options, and ultimately, he has made it possible for us to showcase our final work at two different galleries!

Arranging for us to have a gallery show is something that we most likely would have had to work toward for a very long time. You don't just walk up to a gallery and make a reservation to show your work. There is much involved, from photographing each piece, preparing slides for submission, and preparing a presentation (the easy part), to finding a "common thread" (person) to help you get a foot in the door to even meet with gallery owners/managers. With Tom's help and connections, we were able to leap past these obstacles, and I will be ever grateful to him for this opportunity.

Tom Lamb is a fantastic aerial, architecture, landscape, ethnographic, and panorama photographer, who teaches in addition to his ridiculously busy schedule. He has an incredible amount of talent and experience, and shares it gladly with his students. He's also the newly elected secretary on the Board of Directors, as well as the chair/ liaison for Art Education and the Art Exhibitions and related activities (having exhibited at the FOA for almost 18 years!) for the Laguna Beach Festival of the Arts. I can only imagine how much of a contribution he will make to this already wonderful organization. They're so lucky to have him.

This is another reason I love going to school. Granted a lot of the people are very cool on just a Wow-I-really-like-them-and-would-love-to-hang-out-sometime level, but there are also many people who really catapult you to another level completely. I've been fortunate enough to have met several of these people, who, in their kindness, afforded me opportunities and connections that would be impossible or improbable to make on my own. I only hope that someday I will be in a position to pay these kindnesses back or forward.

I have to say in all humility, that everyone in our class was a great talent in their own style, and there are some really great pieces that will be shown. The variety runs the gamut from film to digital, black and white to bold color, and from classic florals to edgy tattoo art...something for everyone!

I'm crossing my fingers for a packed house. I'm sure everyone who comes will be pleasantly surprised and feel their time and money were well-spent.

Feeding My Addiction...

Previously I mentioned that I was addicted to taking classes. It's true.

While having a moment of strength and determination, I hopped on the wagon and decided to take only an online class in order to free up some more time in my life. I signed up for my online class, and was somewhat shaky in my resolve, but ultimately felt comfortable with my decision and plotted course.

But then I fell off the wagon...

After not signing up for the Photoshop class I had originally selected, I heard from my teacher (and pal) , Bill Agee, who asked me what I was planning to do this coming semester (since I had not signed up for his class yet). I told him about my epiphany (learning too much, doing too little) and that I was planning on taking an online HTML class so I could spend more time shooting.

Bill disagreed with my decision, and explained that HTML is something that I can teach myself in a few hours. I suspected this, but since I'm a school addict, I thought taking a class would provide a more complete education in this subject.

He then struck a nerve in me.

He said that as a photographer it's important for me to be with other like-minded types, and that spending hours a week with 29 other people who have the same interest was a great sounding board and would only help further my skills. Also, he knew I'd miss all my friends and acquaintances once the first class ended without me. That was it. I immediately dropped the online class and signed up for the original class I intended to take.

So, now I am out of school for the fall semester, but happily looking forward to improving my Photoshop skills under Bill's pedagogy, and seeing some familiar faces, and some new faces, this coming spring. :-D

December 12, 2006

"Coastal Access" Photo Series

I just finished my photographic series called COASTAL ACCESS.

I've always lived near the ocean, and it has been a constant source of peace and replenishment to me. With this series, I'm hoping to raise awareness in my own small way that we must keep our beaches clean and unpolluted so everyone can enjoy them. A portion of this series will be shown in two different venues this coming January. More details to follow on that later.

The complete series can be seen on my website:,

Here is an excerpt from my artist statement...

"You can tell all you need to about a society from how it treats animals and beaches." - Frank Deford

COASTAL ACCESS is a reminder that we are free to access our beautiful shorelines, but also that we must remain vigilant to preserve their beauty. The oceans and beaches have been a source of calming, cleansing, and replenishing since the beginning of time, and it is only with our conservancy and perseverance that future generations will be able to share in this gift. We must respect and care for our beaches and oceans, and remember that we are only temporary guests.

With this series, my goal is to direct the viewer's eyes to the simple and ever-changing beauty of nature. In doing so, I try to gently remind people to have perspective on what is valuable in life; the non-tangible, such as love, friendship, compassion, and appreciation for Gods' gifts, and to realize that nothing else is permanent. Every "thing" has its season and evolutionary cycle.

A portion of the proceeds from all sales of COASTAL ACCESS items are donated to Surfrider Foundation.

November 26, 2006

A Beautiful Thanksgiving...

Once again we were blessed to have a beautiful Thanksgiving meal together as a family, compliments of my sister. She always manages to make the best food, and plenty of it, and does it with lots of love (her secret ingredient). The table was gorgeous, as usual, and although I can't prove it, it seems that she never uses the same dishes twice!

I'm so thankful to have my family. With all the hustle and bustle in my life, I don't get to see them as much as I'd like, but I'm working on that. My sister said if we'd drive up once a month she'd be more than happy to make a nice meal for us so we can all spend more time together. I'm going to try and make it at least every other month (it's quite a drive).

My mother has always been worried about my being a workaholic, and she said something very wise to me a long time ago; "Don't find yourself an old woman one day with no fond memories." Ever since she said that to me I've tried to take the time to live my life more fully. I keep the quote "Memento Vivere" [Remember to Live] as a reminder not to be so busy that I forget to live and make happy memories.

I'm also very thankful my friends; old friends, new friends, and future friends. It's nice to get those holiday greeting emails and phone calls from well wishers. Just the fact that they are thinking of you and care enough to take a moment to wish you well is something I never take for granted. I've always loved to make friends and share in people's lives.

My mom is spending the week with me. It's really hard to let her go home again once the visit comes to an end. I always feel like I'm a kid again when my mom's around me. I was lucky enough to have the perfect childhood and wouldn't change a single thing about it. I think this is the greatest gift my mom has ever given me.

Yes, I am blessed to have so much to be thankful for...

November 18, 2006

I'm Joining the [blog] Party...

Welcome to my blog!

I'm an "emerging professional" (don't you love that term??) photographer on the road to "full emergence," and invite you to join me on this adventure of mine. I'll be posting some of my photos, my thoughts on different subjects, interesting quotes, notable people, places and things I come across, and anything else I feel like sharing with you.

A little about me...

I've been studying Photography and Photoshop for a few years now, and just attended the Photoshop Power Tour in L.A. (which was AWESOME). I have to admit I'm somewhat [totally] addicted to taking classes; in part due to the great information I get, the fully equipped labs at my beck and call, and also because I just love the people I meet. I've gotten to know some of the coolest people at school, and while I keep in touch with some of them "on the outside," there are others I only see on campus. Hence, my "addiction" to school. That said, however, I'm opting for an online class this semester to brush up my HTML skills, and to free up more time for shooting and working on series development.

Fate and good fortune have allowed me to learn so much from some amazing artists, and I've been fortunate enough to assist some of the best photographers in the business. In addition to my own photography and assisting, I'm currently working part-time for a high-end wedding photographer, whose talent is unbelievable!

Canon is my weapon of choice ;-) I use Canon F1 and A1 for my film photography, Canon 20D for my digital photography, and a Holga camera for my fine art photography. I process my own images, and enjoy the creativity, control and uniqueness of both wet and digital darkrooms.

My other photographic interests are hand-coloring, digital hand-coloring, restoration and digital art, and I am currently exploring infrared photography.

I hope you enjoy my blog, and welcome to my journey...


Memento Vivere