Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Book Pull

For years I have been incorporating this simple but profoundly effective exercise into my teaching of mixed media. A book pull, introduced to me by friend and resident wise woman, Mary Kay Zeeb, is the practice of pulling a book off your bookshelf and opening it to a page-within that page a message will come through. It can be a word-a sentence-a paragraph-even an image that catches your eye. The practice in its original form is to hold the words in your thoughts. You will find their relevance will be revealed-it never fails. In mixed media, I have the students literally cut the word/sentence out of the book and begin to create a narrative from it. The results are always revelatory-taking you places you may not have gone before.
Today I did a book pull and here’s what I found:
“…..we need to dare to be sane, to take our craziness unabashedly and hold it with compassion, to face it, name it, and in doing so, be bigger than it…”
Coming To Our Senses by Jon Kabat-Zinn
book detail-artist- Cara Mcaneny

Saturday, February 20, 2010

It is about community

This weekend was a testimony to the importance of connection as the photographic community celebrated two unique and unrelated events that define the diversity of fine art photography.
On the local scene, newly created Bokeh Gallery ( in downtown Phoenix, mounted new work of one of Phoenix’s prodigal sons, Bob Carey (www.bobcarey). Bob, a celebrated commercial and fine art photographer from Phoenix, moved to Brooklyn several years ago to play with the big boys and girls. He has returned for an intimate showing of his ongoing series “ Ballerina”. You won’t find pretty pictures of young agile debutantes doing plies at the barre instead picture a 40 something huggie bear clad only in a pink tutu. The results are at once poignant, vulnerable and funny self-portraits of an all around loveable guy. The community came out in full support to celebrate both his homecoming and his talent.
In a more historical realm, The Center for Creative Photography opened the long awaited recreation of the landmark exhibition New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-altered Landscape — originally mounted in 1975 at George Eastman House. It was originally curated by William Jenkins ( ASU professor of photography) in collaboration with the artists Robert Adams, Lewis Baltz, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Joe Deal, Frank Gohlke, Nicholas Nixon, John Schott, Stephen Shore, and Henry Wessel Jr. Friday night the center hosted a panel discussion, with Bill Jenkins and Frank Gohlke, moderated by Britt Salvesen co-organizer of the current project. Sadly absent from the discussion was Joe Deal who had to bow out last minute but whose influence and presence was abundantly recognized. Most importantly, it seemed the entire southwest photography community was there to support and celebrate our collective history and to marvel at the longevity of our medium.
For a more complete explanation of this exhibition visit:

Thursday, February 18, 2010

It is the end of an era,the beginning of a new decade

Jim Hajicek is retiring from ASU!
(jim and dee barnes circa 1979)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

For James

The Almanac of Last Things

From the almanac of last things
I choose the spider lily
for the grace of its brief
blossom, though I myself
fear brevity,

but I choose The Song of Songs
because the flesh
of those pomegranates
has survived
all the frost of dogma.

I choose January with its chill
lessons of patience and despair--and
August, too sun-struck for lessons.
I choose a thimbleful of red wine
to make my heart race,

then another to help me
sleep. From the almanac
of last things I choose you,
as I have done before.
And I choose evening

because the light clinging
to the window
is at its most reflective
just as it is ready
to go out.

Linda Pastan

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

for this is love

Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.
Rainer Maria Rilke

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

is it or isn't it hip

Today, as I was walking down Camelback, I exchanged glances with a hip young woman with requisite choppy bleached hair, skinny jeans and yes…a fanny pack. I too, was sporting mine-just finishing up with a run looking not so fashionable in my running clothes which are just some faded black stretch pants and t-shirt. I gave her a thumbs up, feeling like we were soul sisters in the pursuit of hands free toting. (Okay-maybe the thumbs up occurred slightly after our momentary encounter)
After said observation I promptly switched my fanny packs orientation jauntily to the side understanding at that moment that position is everything.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

on being blond

Only God, my dear,
Could love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.

W. B. Yeats

Nicole at 14

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

On Being Blue

"Blue contracts, retreats, it is the color of transcendence, leading us away in the pursuit of the infinite."
On being Blue by William Gass