(All pics. snapped on 4/04/11)
Hey, remember an entry that I posted this past February - in which I blabbed on and on about wanting to simplify my cluttered life, with the first order of business being - to sell my land, house and studio, and move to a cottage on the river? Welp...not so surprisingly, after a couple of months - it became glaringly apparent that I would not soon sell this place for anything close to the (more than reasonable) asking price (thanks very much, economic downturn). What was a bit surprising however, was that I did not pout and sulk and stomp my feet when things didn't go my way, nope. And rather than begrudgingly resign myself to the fact that I had no other choice, but to take my house off the market and stay put - for the first time in ages, I began to appreciate how lucky I am to live here.
Around the same time that I pulled up the "For Sale" sign, and tucked it away and out of sight - Spring had begun to well - spring. And as the grass, and weeds and trees started sprouting, I realized how unkempt my property had become. Over the entire last growing season, I'd been so engrossed in online dating, which then segued to a growing and eventually even more consuming obsession with dash photography - that even though I'd managed to keep (most of) my lawn mowed, unfortunately that was the extent of a whole year's worth of yard maintenance. All of the flower beds that I had previously kept meticulously manicured, were now thick plots of overgrown weeds. It was upsetting to realize just how far downhill I'd let this place go, and in such a short period of time.
So. Over these last couple of weeks, I've put most of my energy into getting everything back in tip-top shape. I've barely touched my lonely cameras, haven't written much at all - but I have spent practically every free hour of daylight - bustin' my butt in my gardens and yard. I'm on a roll, you guys - like I'm (almost) not embarrassed when peeps drive by, anymore. The thing is though, there's still tons more to do...but when I did stop for a second, and noticed that it had been over a week since I'd posted anything new on The Big Ugly - I knew that I had to take a break from workin' in the yard, and tend to the other things that are just as (or even more) important to me.
I thumbed through the loads of self-portraits that I'd stockpiled, before being bitten by the gardening bug - in an attempt to pick up where I'd left off, a few entries back...and it was the darndest thing. I was not terribly motivated to write about any of my pics.. At the time that I took them, I remember being so damned excited...couldn't wait until I had the chance to tell their stories. But somehow in letting a little time go by, their luster had kinda worn off. What tha freak?!
Take for example, the pictures that I settled upon writing about in this post. The day that I snapped 'em was one of those magical days. It was early April, but 85 degrees out...I was proudly sporting my most recent thrift store acquisition - a froofy, 1970's bridesmaid's gown (presumably)...and the owner of the historic, brick structure (out front of which most of these pictures were staged) had kindly agreed to let me shoot there. (Thank You, THANK You!)
I spent hours in the middle of this teensy, sleepy town - posing everywhere that my little heart desired...and I felt as if somehow, I was truly living out the nonsensical story that I was pretending to document.
Some pretty cool stuff happened while I was on this shoot, too...
...I performed in front of a thin but steady flow of car traffic, oftentimes at very close range - which was awesome cuz I could clearly see the puzzled expressions on the faces of onlookers...something that always gets my heart racing that much faster.
An unexpected freight train came by while coincidentally - I happened to be posing beside the tracks. It was one of the longest trains that (I believe) I've ever seen, and the beauty of that was - it allowed me to squeeze in a good dozen or so pics., before it barreled down the tracks and out of sight.
At a little after 5 o'clock - the few folks who actually work in the town, closed up shop and left to go home...giving me the freedom to do pretty much whatever the hell I pleased...
...which included wading across the cold but refreshing creek...
...slipping out of the now-soggy, red dress...
...and posing in the sparkly water under the warm, late evening sun.
But in reviewing and deciding on which photos to post here, it was as if time (or selective amnesia?) had erased all the fun that I'd had the day I took them...and the pictures themselves did literally nothing to jog any memory of how well I'd mistakenly believed that I had done. Curiously, I found the same thing to be true - no matter which group of pics. I perused.
I reckon it makes sense that in regards to self-portraiture, a certain degree of homogeneity could be expected...but that doesn't mean that it has to be accepted.
I'm not sure if I'm maybe growing weary of constantly staring at (and working around) my temperamental, fake boobs and rapidly, aging face (the two main things that consistently ruin otherwise decent images) or if I'm afraid that artistically, I've become a one-trick pony. It's probably a bit of both, and what I'm guessing is something along the lines of this: just like my poor, neglected yard needed a major overhaul, so too might my approach to self-portraiture...