Work was a little more normal today. Most everybody's back in the office from their extended holiday, and I'm feeling a little bit more present. By that I mean that I'm starting to recover from workshop brain--for better or worse.
Yesterday I rearranged by basement dye studio and did some work to improve the lighting. Among the things that I learned at Peters Valley is that my work table is woefully inadequate. The surface isn't really padded correctly and I don't have enough depth or the proper subsurface to pin into. The tape thing just isn't cutting it because I'm not able to put the fabric tight enough to print well. I've scoped out the insulation board at Home Depot. Now I just need to figure out how to get it home.
I've also been reviewing a couple of years of digital photos, looking for reoccurring subjects, colors, textures. I'm starting to get a descent handle on some of the basic dye, print, screen, discharge, etc. techniques; and I think I have some sense for color. What I feel I need though, is some more formal reflection on the content/subject matter of my own personal imagery and color palette. What is it that makes my work mine and recognizable as such?
Some of the photo subjects that I found are:
- Old buildings
- Urban scenery
- Things with interesting textures or patterns
- Water (fountains, rivers, lakes)
- Moss (lots and lots of moss)
- Leaves of all colors
- Just about anything in the desert
- Vast expanses of clear blue sky contrasted with almost any foreground subject
- Close focus shots (almost always of plants)
- Interesting spots of color that stand out against their background
- Compositions that play with short depth of field with the focal point either close or mid-range
- Car tail lights at night shot from a moving car, jerky and out of focus
- Thousands of pictures of our cats (they are so patient)
- Random household objects (I found a forgotten study I did of a dirty coffee cup with dried cappuccino residue.
Subjects that are conspicuously missing were:
- Sunsets, other than those taken on vacation (I mean, it's practically a holy obligation on Santorini)
- Children who are not my niece or nephews
- Cars/boats/planes (That's Dan's department)
- Sporting events (yawn)
- News and hardcore photojournalism
So, I've been thinking about this stuff for a while and I'm going to try to sort it out, try to make some meaning out of it. Just what I need right, more self examination. When I was writing yesterday's post I was looking at Jane Dunnewold's site to get the name of one of her CDs. I noticed that she has co-authored a new book titled, "Finding Your Own Visual Language." (At least I think it's new). It sounds like a good structured series of exercises, and pretty much exactly what I'm talking about doing. It's on the way. We'll see how it goes.