“The World is a Showplace”

The art and importance of networking and collaboration has been my focus this week. The Internet is incredibly awesome for networking. I have vaguely been familiar with a lot of people out there, but feel I have been too busy, or insecure to actually make the connection. I am beginning to meet so many people that are going though a lot of the same issues and struggles I am. Suddenly this blog seems to generate interest or curiosity in a lot of people. The first one, ten days ago, started with just a couple of friends and yesterday there were a hundred and ten. The model search is going coming along slowly, as it always does. I have been working the heck out of networking some of our local sites to connect with potential subjects. Monday I had three, but it all seems to take time. My goal is to begin working on new images next week, in the meantime I have become obsessed with networking and rallying with my artist friends and organizing and cleaning through the files on my computer, an arduous task I always do this time of the year when everything else slows down and I have some time.

I have always felt my art is collaboration. Working in theater was certainly a collaboration. When I work with a model; it’s us coming together to create the image. I always value others input into whatever I do. I think I am very good at taking criticism, and it becomes one of the greatest tools for growth and finding new inspirations. I don’t necessarily allow it to define my direction, but I do ponder the relevance of what is said and consider the source of its origin. I know the value of others experience and insight and hope and respect that they will treat me as fair as I will treat them. My life has been defined by my ability to adapt and change. I look to many sources for inspiration. I used to love to look at magazines and tear out the pages of images that excited me. I collected all kinds of images. Now that inspiration is the Internet. Sometimes I am drawn to just a line in the image: a texture, a color, a style, an eyebrow, a face, a pose, a connection, and a look. When I begin to work with new models I always suggest they begin to collect images they relate to, bring them in, and this become the basis for a common visual dialogue that becomes the basis from which to leap. It brings us to the same page. I am a very visual person and have a studio full of books and other visual references that fill my “creative well” from which I can draw. I don’t imitate others but rather draw and build upon them. I explore how it relates to my style and then find what will make it unique to me.

One of my new goals since I have begun this project, is to look at one new artist each day, connect with that artist and begin developing a relationship and dialog with someone outside of my world. To create a collective, yes sort of like the Borg, to learn and assimilate what wisdom and inspiration they may have and to impart some of that experience into these daily blogs. Thank you Internet! There is already a great host of artist residing in cyberspace on a site called Red Bubble. I joined it one rainy day last May and it has changed my life. I began to slowly filter some of my images, I had been working on in isolation for a decade, onto the site. Mind you no one had seen any of my images, except the individual models I was working with. I was dumbfounded by the response the images received by like minded artist on Red Bubble. Other artists began to comment on what I was doing and giving me feedback. A breathed a deep sigh of relief because I had always feared what the response might be if I ever revealed them publicly.  I live in a place in the universe where a great painting is a landscape with a snow covered mountain in the background. The new connection and feedback from others began to instill a confidence within me. Suddenly I had found a whole world of people who were just like me. I began to correspond and ask questions and make connections. Everyone was so genuine and heartfelt in his or her response and feedback. Then I got busy with all my summer projects and jobs and had to let it fall by the wayside. I tend to over work in the summers, save up and then feel secure enough just to focus on my creativity through the winter.  Hence this project was born. When I occasionally find time in my schedule to work with a model and actually do something artistic for myself, the results was amazing. The new found confidence was helping me to go beyond any thing I had ever created before. Every shoot was a step up from what I had previously done. It was almost like it had some purpose or meaning to what I was creating. It all began to click and I was bringing a remarkable quality into all my other photographic work: weddings, senior portraits, but the nudes are what really popped. So here I am on the precipice of something extraordinary and making the leap. For those who know me, you know my motto has always been, LEAP AND THE NET WILL APPEAR.

I found the perfect picture on Red Bubble this morning that captured that feeling.  BLIND FAITH  I hope Thomas doesn’t mind I made the link.

The bottom image by George Lynn Platt from 1954 became the inspiration for today’s image. Suddenly Dinah Washington came on singing “The World is a Showplace” and I know the universe cosmically is connecting to what I am doing.

I think of this blog as a collaboration. Obviously there are a lot of others drawn into my project and I would like your insight or perspective on topics or interest. We have so much in common that we can share with each other. I would love to hear from you and know more about who’s here. Feel free to ask questions or suggest things you would like to see or issues you would like to see me explore.