Crazy, Crooked Road I'm On...

Top off that cup of coffee... Turn up some good music... Grab some candy (I suggest Milk Duds, because they are f***ing awesome) and get ready for a massive update filled with funny stuff, pretty pictures, and the formal introduction of my significant Canadian (because no one has real names here...)

Much Needed and Long Art(ist) Updates:

This is what the living room looked like when Hubby and I laid our all my best sketches to put into a portfolio. Why? Well, if not soley to have my most recent, favorite works of art in one place rather then in this folder here, that sketchbook over here, in the brown cover sketchbook- dammit I have four of them... Shit. Well maybe it's in the purple folder with the unicorn on it... Nope it's in the sketchbook I take to work- duh... But because I am playing with the idea of a tattoo artist apprenticeship. Carving my art into flesh on paying victims. There is a tattoo shop next to my work and the guys have "busted" me (as I call it) doodling away in my sketchbook during slow shifts. And they like my art. Like really like my art and they want me to work for them.

I am hesistantly thinking about this. Pencil on paper, traced with sharpie, filled in with color pencil- totally different ball game then stencil machine the line drawing, paste to skin of client, filling with needles and ink. I'm slightly terrified. Does the money sound good? Hell yes! Would I be able to make my own hours, work when I want to, and have more tattoos and rainbow hair without some bullshit corporate ruling telling me I can't? Absolutely! Anyhoo- I have some time off in November and I told them I would have made my decsion and will come in with my finished portfolio.

This is the beginning and ending of a piece I just finished a couple weeks ago. I thought it was neat to take a picture of what the paint looked like when I put it on canvas followed by what it looked like done.

Soon to be additions to the portfolio. I guess I can draw human-like things. Sure, I can do skulls.. But an actualy human-like face... Honestly didn't think I had it in me. 


Weekly Doodle Ideas...


Hubby has decided that with the help of my friends and himself that I should be doing a drawing a week with a specific concept. First Up. Koi. Took me three days beginning to end. Next concept given to me by my significant Canadian- Bees, Bee Butts, and Flowers... Flowers- I can do. Bees? um... I've drawn possibly three. Challenge accepted. I will probably open up weekly doodle challenges so more then four people are giving me concepts to test myself with over on Inkblot Arts


Yesterday, Hubby and I loaded up the back seat with three pieces made for an art show in Allendale. It's a good sized art show called Colors of Community. I entered it one year, but felt kicked in the teeth hearing people look at my painting saying "It's bright and colorful, but I don't get it..." Dude- I don't either, it just happened! "What's the meaning of this piece??" Seriously? It's a three foot by four foot rainbow covered in doodles... There has to be a meaning? There are a lot of Artprize "rejects" each year and I felt my stuff isn't good enough to compete. I still don't. It's just something I do to relieve stress and bad moods. Doodles. That's it. But people around me tell me stuff is good. This year I entered three pieces- two paintings and a photo print. I was so nervous surrendering my photo yesterday I damn near puked. Awesome right? Sure- I'm a big high faluenting artist, kicking back the vomit burps while someone attached number tags to my pieces yesterday. Blasting the internet with my photos and having random people share my photo posts on the wild open internet- one thing. Actually having complete strangers view my work and judge it--- and I'm stopping there before the nausea sets in again...


And sometimes- I get bored with pencil and paper and draw on leaves found in my yard...

Photography Updates:
Far more vast and detailed then the artist update. Sometimes I get bored being home alone with the camera on my phone and play around with boring stuff- sometimes creating art...

But... I can take a wicked selfie... But let's be real- the Prisma app helps.



October 10th through the 14th- my significant Canadian arrived. There was a lot of planning, prepping (as in cleaning the house about six times, making sure my camera gear was spotless and perffect- why, I haven't a clue other then I am insanly anal retentive). My Model Coordinator skills running at full tilt booking models, scheduling models, having models bail, checking the weather forecast four times a day, running on plans B, C, and F*** it, let's try this... It all paid off in a huge way!! Day One- he and I went to Mejier Gardens and snapped our fill of non model things. Like Koi. I like Koi... They are awesome...






Something he taught me- be away of reflections... Think I caught on.





The turtle... I like turtles (que a bunch of you reading this to load the Youtube video of the Turtle Kid- here's the link- Zombie Kid likes Turtles). He's what Hubby and I call "long piggin'" here in our house. Guinea's do the same thing when they are super relaxed being held- they stretch out one hind leg and have a look of utter happiness on their face. It's pretty cool.





Day Two of the Canandian Invasion- we worked with Boots. She's amazing. She's this happy bubbly red headed Gazelle that bounces through the woods in cowboy boots and fishnets, dropping F bombs and scrambling up wet moss covered trees saying- "I can climb that!"




On an after thought as we were packing gear before leaving the house... Canadian tossed a 20 foot long piece of red fabric into the go bag. It's a significant thing as he was best friend's with my mentor and they loved working with fabrics during shoots. Finding new and wild ways to use a simple 20 foot long piece of red fabric, Or blue, or white... Didn't matter. They have some amazing images with a model and a piece of fabric as the center focus. So we played with it too. In the middle of a forest, with a crazy model game for anything... And magic happened.

Then my brain kicked into gear. Having been bordeline obessed with trying to incorporate a high fashion feel to some of my more wild off the cuff work- Boots climbed up the damn near verticle shear of  hill, tucked one end of the fabric into her shorts and I laid in out, caressing the dark hillside with this bright punch of color.


Then another idea hit. And I'll be honest- niether the Canadian or I thought it would actually work but we had to give it a shot. I explained what I was thinking to Boots- and she ran away and up to the bridge. He and I rolled up our pants once again and got into position in the center of the frigid cold stream and watched her unfurl the fabric. We thought there was no way it was long enough, but when the end of it hit the water...


There was a quick flurry of shutters snapping on both cameras from the two of us. He said Larry would be proud and continued to snap away. I lowered my camera- took in the whole thing, and for a couple minutes, once I realized fanning my face like a giddy girl wouldn't stop the tears I let a couple fall, hopefully not being noticed by anyone other then me. Crazy ass ideas are amazing.


Then after lunch we came back to my house and filled the afternoon with more crazy ideas. 






What actually happens behind the scenes on a shoot...



Day Three- Mica. I've never worked with her, however will certainly be working with her more now in the future! She's amazing! And she's cool with running with wild ideas... Plus- she brings her own wings...



Red Fabric day two... It was gloomy and windy as hell (because god forbide Michigan gave us more then one day of sunshine...) Yes- there was assistance in these images... Carefully cloned, healed, and blurred out of the edge of the frames are a set of hands helping the fabric float in the wind. Regardless- the images are powerful. Shooting with the fabric for a second day helped me figure out what I will be creating lessons plans for when I take my turn at being not only Model Mommy at SWMCCC next year, but also Instructor. I'm thinking the calss title should be something like "10 Ways to Use Fabrics..." 



The shot as I took it...


How it looks when an image like that is taken on my kitchen table..


Me- "How would you like to play with this concept running around in my head. It's involves ripping apart a pomegranate- getting the juice all over..." Mica- "Let's do it!" Canadian- head shaking and a look of curious wonder on his face.
GAME. SET. MATCH.

I have had the quote below scribbled in my photography notebook for about a month now... Finally put it to good use... 


New Photography Life Goals...
There are few photographers (that I don't actually know) that I admire the work of. I used to love Annie Leibovitz. She was a powerful, boundary smashing female photographer. And she still has wonderful work, but I am finding my admiration tastes falling away from the big budget productions that are filled with heavy light and baroque velvet back drops. I falling back more towards Suicide Girls photographer's that I loved- Dwam, Lavonne, Sunnie... I tend to love more raw images. More "lifestyle" like photography. Enter photographer Jason Bell. He's the newest photographer to have the honor of shooting the British Royal family. He's primary photographer for Benedict Cumberbatch. And pretty much the most astounding photographer to have his work grace the pages of Vanity Fair Magazine. I love his work, I aspire to shoot like him. Hell- even after watching Youtube videos of him working not only do I wish to someday have a budget and gear like he does- but I see similiarities between he and I. We work the same. We're very much both into the "Hell... Let's try it." mindset while shooting. We both like the challenges of difficult ideas, concepts and have a lot of fun while trying to achieve the shot we want. Yes- I am fangirling here... Get over it.

Facebook's Amazing Way to Rip Out Your Soul...
Most days... "Here's your memories from 1, 2, 3, 4, .... blah blah blah years ago..." pops up on my phone at 7am. Most days- it's hahaha... that's funny. Or damn- I was really having a rough day. Now- Sienna's fuzzy little face pops up and I am sobbing in tears. The past few days my "Facebook Memories" have been throwing back into my face something I am crucially aware of- the passing of my mentor last year. All the hurt is still there. It's just been hiding in the shadows while I try to force life to move along the crazy crooked road I'm on. This morning's memory was the piece I wrote with the intention of reading at his funeral but completely lost my nerve to actually read as I was rendered sobbing and nibbling on candy to sooth myself in the bad kids/model section during the service.
With the new news today that the old studio has again been sold (buyer unknown, new location unknown, lots and lots of unknowns) I find it fitting the end this blog waxing nostalgic about my mentor and posting what I had written...

"... Larry intimidated me when I first met him about five years ago. He was big and blustery with that booming voice. I was escorting a model to a group shoot in the old Monroe studio and he was nice enough, after a few digs at type of camera I had, to let me snap a few shots myself. That was the beginning of his being a great friend and valued mentor in my life. Within a few months, I was his “special effects girl & model comic relief” for his graphic novel “New Blood”. I was the one cracking up the tired models, and quite often Larry- his Ed Grimley meets Pee Wee Herman laugh bursting from his chest- during our two in the morning shoots somewhere in the dark nook and crannies of Grand Rapids. At one shoot- he and I were both carrying in pillows, for what shot I don’t recall, but he turned around and I stepped into him. Ever since- he’d cheer me up by saying “We’ve bonded for life, we’ve touched pillows…” with a wicked smile.

Larry taught me so much about photography, he answered my silly questions, was stern and stubborn when he had to be, helped me with ideas, even proof read one of my novels once. I had a smile on my face for a week straight the first time he said, “Damn kid- that’s a great photograph.” To me- that equalled the Pulitzer award for photography. He encouraged me to get into the Model Coordinator position, actually he said, “You’re doing this because you’d be great at it…” and helped with advice when I may or may not have needed it.

The studio won’t be the same without his wise cracks, that laugh of his, or his blue polo shirt and suspenders. I already miss his “I certainly must say…” Ed Grimley voice. I miss his dry humor. I miss my friend. There will never be another guy that could utterly tick you off and make you laugh at the same time like Larry could. I wasn’t done learning all he had to still teach me about photography. But I will smile every time I see a squirrel and think of him. I will miss his friendship more than simple words could convey- but I will cherish the memories and the friendships I have because of him..."






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