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Best Photo of 2015

 

SID4-ER-22OCT2015-016
Sid

The best photo I took of 2015 had to be the photo of daughter Savannah and all her many activities. I call Savannah ““Multipotentialite.” She has this wonderful imagination about life. She often finds the adventure in everything and has this appetite to try everything. I wanted to create a fun photo showing all that emotion and really capture her identity. We set up the backdrop in my home in San Diego, Calif. We used different types of lighting kits, but I loved using the soft boxes. Savannah helped set up the shot on what she should wear and how she should place the books on her head and her soccer ball. She wanted to make sure we got all her activities just right…. a clear sense of balance into her life. I think I just enjoyed how my daugher and I collaborated, it was special moment.

I often find it hard to print my photos for the best quality. So this year I googled and found Social Print Studio. I love their Giant Photostrips and the metal prints! I found these to be the best print for our home and easy to hang up. I also like the different parts you can write on them. I plan to  use Social Print Studio  for part of my thesis project  for graudate school, that I am currently working on with Savannah. The series is called “Are you okay?” and comes from a project that Savannah and I started about two years ago.  Savannah has her own instagram called @Sids_world_  and it captures the everyday life of a kids world, it’s called #comeplaywithme. The series was inspired by Murad Osmann‘s photographic series called #followmeto. The reason I love Social prints Giant Photostrips, because it allows Savannah to write on the photos as well. They look great on our walls and are inviting for a fun perspective on things.

We often struggle these days with raising our kids to be the best and strive to introduce them to so much. Always college prepping and over booking every single detail in their day. We have become the generation of  “helicopter parents.” We forget that they are kids, and they need to have FUN! 

But this year Savannah wanted to choose every activity in this photo. (except swim.. she wants a swim team that swims in the ocean and be FREE!!) She wants to try everything and I respect and admire that about her. She is a resilient and tenacious kid and I know that she will find her niche and love what she does, but for now, I just want her to enjoy being a kid. 🙂

Yes, she is in Soccer, swim, piano, violin, Continuing Catholic Development, paints and draws and not to mention she is a pretty awesome Fourth Grader. She is amazing and often inspire me. She is the definition of what you call a “Multipotentialite.” This photo captures that and much more. It truly captured our year of 2015!

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Back to the Grind… In Boston.

Back to the Grind

I never thought I would reconsider going back to Grad school. I had such an awful first time experience and I had come to the conclusion that it wasn’t for me. However, I kept teaching part time as an adjunct, and it wasn’t until I realized how much my students motivated me to continue my own work, that I reconsidering going that route. My supervisors at CSUSM, continually pushed me and explained to me, that I couldn’t move forward in my teaching career if I didn’t finish my degree. But I also discovered, I wasn’t moving forward with my own work because I didn’t get the full experience of Graduate school. So here I was rebuilding a portfolio and reapplying to programs. I found two that I felt suited me and my situation. UCSD and Massachusetts College of Art and Design. I wanted a program that I could dive into, but work from home because of my daughter and work as an adjunct. I found Mass Art by just googling the internet. I already knew of UCSD because it was local. After researching, Mass Art was the program for me, just had to figure out how I was going to get there. There program is an intense 3 year program, with 3 Summer- 6 week residency and online classes and mentorship in the Fall and Spring. Its a called a low-residency program. For those of you who know me well, the attention span in class is very very minimal and I like to create on my own. This program was also perfect for me because it allowed me to be home with Savannah. As you can see, I applied, had a Skype interview anddddd long behold, I am here and I got in. I was like oh crap! Here I come Boston!

The first week, was overwhelming with moving into the dorms, meeting everyone and reviews. My reviews actually went pretty well despite how scared I was. Being back in a dorm situation is also a little funny too. But the other woman in the dorm with me are fantastic! They are all third year and have such an abundance of information. I enjoy the program most because of the interdisciplinary aspect of the program. Everyone has so much wonderful work and concepts, that its exciting to see on a daily basis! I love it. I love being surrounded by so many wonderful experienced artist. Below, I have listed a few of them and hope to continue to add more as time goes on.

My biggest goal for the summer is to really experiment with my hands and find a different way to show my prints. I grow so tiresome of just posting them on a big white wall. I have a paper making class, printmaking workshop, Graduate studio drawing class and Graduate seminar class. I look forward to keep you posted on this new journey and experience!

I really want to thank my loved ones for supporting me. I couldn’t be here without the full support. I grow homesick a little now and then, especially because its summer in Cali, but I love the new journey I am on.

Here are some fun photos from getting lost around the city.

Check out these artist and more to come:

William Chambers 

william-chambers.com

williamchambersstudio@gmail.com
Ashley Normal 

www.ashleynormal.com

Stephanie Wagner

https://vimeo.com/stephanieawagner

http://stephaniewagnersincrementalshaping.org

Colleen Pearce

colleenpearceart.com

Sara Wichterman

sarawichterman.com

Rebecca Barsi

mrsbbarsi.tumblr.com

Deborah Gray

deborahgraystudio.com

Facebook.com/debstinybookshop

Freedom Baird

http://freedombaird.com/

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Edward Weston’s Lost years in Los Angeles

Recently, this article was sent to me by a good friend. It was an article featured in the LA Times.  I wanted to share it those who like reading about other photographers.

Here is the link:

The Sunday Conversation: Beth Gates Warren

The author of ‘Artful Lives: Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather and the Bohemians of Los Angeles’ discusses the artist, his muse and his early years in L.A.

December 04, 2011|By Irene Lacher, Special to the Los Angeles Times

Beth Gates Warren, a former director of Sotheby’s photographs department, exhumes details about Edward Weston’s lost years in Los Angeles from 1906 to 1923 and his relationship with a highly influential model, muse, photographer and lover in her new book, “Artful Lives: Edward Weston, Margrethe Mather and the Bohemians of Los Angeles” (J. Paul Getty Museum).

Why was so little known about Edward Weston’s early years in Los Angeles?

He basically wanted it that way. He destroyed virtually all of his autobiographical writing prior to 1923 when he departed L.A. for Mexico. And most historians took their cue from him and began writing about his career as though he really began working in Mexico. And that was not the case at all. He actually spent a decade here in Los Angeles building his early career.

What piqued your interest in this?

I had read his daybook, which is what unpublished journals were called, and I learned that they had been heavily edited and that he’d destroyed a portion of them. And I became curious about why he had done that. And I also learned that a woman named Margrethe Mather had been his model in many of his early photographs, and yet he barely mentioned her in his journal. And I just found that strange. There was only one important mention of her in his journal and that was that she was the most important person in his life. And yet he made no effort to explain what he meant by that. And so that statement in combination with the fact that she appeared in so many of his photographs and the fact that he had destroyed so much of his own writing made me curious. I wanted to know why.

Who was Margrethe Mather?

She came to Los Angeles around the same time he did. She later told a friend of hers that she’d been a child prostitute and that she had to leave Salt Lake City because there were people who’d found out about her activities. In later years, she was a prostitute, but I doubt that’s why she left Salt Lake City. A friend of hers tried to find out more about her early life and couldn’t, but that was because Margrethe Mather wasn’t her real name, and I was able to track down several of her distant relatives and they told me her name was actually Emma Caroline Youngren.

When she came to Los Angeles, she became a member of the Los Angeles Camera Club and an amateur photographer. And she had an inherent talent for design and composition, so she very quickly became known because she showed some of her photographs in photographic salons, which were the only way photographers could get their work seen because photography wasn’t exhibited in museums in those days.

And so she met Edward Weston in 1913 through a friend and they very quickly became involved romantically, although Weston was already married and had two children. And she worked with him for an entire decade until he left for Mexico in 1923.

I had the sense from your book that you were at times more impressed with Mather because she was more focused on advancing her artistry and he his career.

Yes, that’s true. She was not a self-promoter. She did not need the kind of attention that Weston seemed to need, and of course he was trying to support a family and needed to build his reputation. She was on her own, but she was also less interested in fame and more interested in the art itself. And I think she was responsible for changing Weston’s attitude, because when she walked into his studio in what is now Glendale — it was an area called Tropico then — he was a very conventional photographer. And once he became more involved with Mather, he began to become an artist.

Did she influence his work more specifically?

I think her eye was in some ways more critical than his. She introduced him to the concept of arranging sitters in less conventional poses, and she encouraged him to utilize composition and line and texture to create a mood — in short, to think like an artist rather than a commercial photographer. And she was an excellent printer herself. And she influenced the way he looked at the world. She brought people from the literary world onto Weston’s horizons, and she was also a friend of Charlie Chaplin’s. She introduced him to dancers and actors.

Can you talk a little more about their circle of artists and bohemians?

There was a fairly large group of creative people who lived in Los Angeles in the teens and ’20s for a variety of reasons, and one of the key reasons was the movie industry, which attracted writers and designers and photographers. They came to California because they could actually make a living here. So the people who came here were after fame and fortune, and some of them succeeded, like Charlie Chaplin; others were not so lucky, like Florence Deshon, who was a reasonably well-known stage actress and model in New York. Samuel Goldwyn brought her out to become one of the premier actresses at Goldwyn Studio, but she did not persevere and she couldn’t make a living. She was involved with Charlie Chaplin for a while. But as soon as that relationship ended, publicity about her career also ended. And she wound up going back to New York City and committing suicide.

But some of the people who traveled to Los Angeles weren’t involved in the entertainment business. They were coming out here for political reasons. Emma Goldman came out to California on a regular basis. So did Max Eastman, who was the editor of two socialist publications.

Rudolph Valentino lived for a short time right across the street from Margrethe Mather. Boris Karloff lived up the block. There was an amazing array of talent descending on Los Angeles because of all the opportunities here. In a way, the area around Bunker Hill and Silver Lake and Echo Park was the Montparnasse of Los Angeles.

For a year Weston and Mather were equal partners in a photography studio. Why did their relationship end?

Their relationship came to an end because [actress] Tina Modotti walked into his life. Tina was then married — quote unquote, she wasn’t really — to Roubaix [“Robo”] de l’Abrie Richey. In spite of that, Weston never let a marriage license come between him and a romance. So he started a relationship with her. Robo went to Mexico and died there from smallpox. So now all of a sudden Tina wasn’t married or attached to anyone, and Weston thought Mexico was so appealing. Glendale he thought was dull and boring, and Mexico offered lots of artistic opportunity. So he thought that would be a good way to escape from Glendale and family responsibilities, and he and Tina went to Mexico in 1923.

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