Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's All Downhill...

From Here...

(All pics. snapped on 5/26/12) big plan for yesterday, was to spend it mowing my grass...(I know. My life really is that exciting - don't be hatin'), but only about 30 minutes in - my stupid mower stopped working...which, in case I forgot to mention - is pretty much the way that it goes for me anymore. 

I had to be clean, dressed, and ready to be at a certain someplace by 5 that afternoon, so since I couldn't go off and get into anything too crazy - I decided to eat up the extra time until then, doin' a shoot, and then editing the pics.. Next I had to figure out what to do, and where? It was already shaping up to be as hot as blazes out, but because my most recent blog entry featured pictures in a creek - I wanted to steer clear of anything water-related, and yet come up with something that might provide some relief from the heat. While running down the list of places that I've scouted out, recently - I remembered this cute, little, abandoned church that I'd seen, not too awfully far from where I live. The sanctuary was locked, when I was there the last time - but I had been able to get inside of the cool, dark, damp basement...wait a sec...."cool"? "dark"? "damp"? BAM!  Those were the exact criteria that I'd hoped the day's shoot might could meet.

I didn't see any point in gettin' gussied up, since I'd havta do it all over again before the evening's big event - so I stuck with simply slappin' on some makeup, hair-tying my bed-head into a messy topknot, and leaving the costumes at home in favor of posing in the nude (imagine that). 

As I passed my favorite thrift store on the way to the church though, I thought, "Hmmmm...maybe I oughtta double back and stop in real quick, to see if there's anything on the racks that might launch an idea. And as soon as I got my mitts on the vintage, black jersey dress (seen in the picture above [sort of]) visions of a church lady ran through my head. I bought everything I needed to become a Bible-thumping, prim spinster...well...minus an actual Bible, but whatevs. 

The only real trouble with the get-up, was my hair. It was frizzy and had fly-aways because of the humidity and the fact that I'd foregone washing and slicking it back before I left. But a nappy, kinky rat's nest would never do for a church lady, so I improvised. I had brought along a bottle of diet lemonade, which luckily it turns out - worked beautifully as a smoothing product/hairspray. 

Pity that after spending $20 at the thrift store on things that I will most likely never use again, plus the thing with the lemonade and my hair - the church lady set was a resounding suck fest...

...and it didn't get much better after that...

(Nobody puts Baby in the corner)

I bet you anything when I ask my young son for his opinion of this post - he'll say that he likes the first pic., but the second one? Not at all. And his beef with the remaining three will be that I do all those poses too often...and he'd be right. But that's exactly why I ask him, because kids call it like they see it...they're too honest to even be able to blow smoke up your ass.

I'm not really sure why this shoot tanked, the way that it did. It's almost as if I was so tickled with the "chairs on the ceiling" group, that I got cocky...or complacent(?) I just expected to be handed a whole slew of cool pictures on a platter. But that's quite obviously not the way that things went down...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Up a Creek

(All pics. snapped on 5/17/12)

I've been staring at these pictures on and off for more than a week now, trying to decide what (or what not) to write about the blessed things. I mean, let's be honest here - these snaps are one-dimensional, homogenous, redundant...they're boring. Suffice it to say, I've not exactly been sitting here furiously composing poetic prose in their honor...quite the contrary, actually. Meh.  

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this lame-o group of pics., is that they tell nothing of the difficulties I endured while spastically trying to capture 'em. Ya' know it would be one thing if in them I was performing some sort of miraculous, daredevil feat(s) - because even if the photos still sorta sucked, at least my readers might give me an "A" for effort...out of sympathy like, "Aw, that's too bad...but hey, at least we know that you tried!". Chances are better than good though, that instead you guys are puzzling, "Tha freak made these self-portraits so hard to take?"

Please...allow me to explain...

Ok so first off - navigating my way through the briars, and baby trees, and waist-high weeds that had all but overtaken this abandoned lot - was a total bear, in and of itself (what I wouldn't have given to have had a machete with which to bushwhack a path from the house to the shed, as well as a weapon to wield in the event that I crossed paths with a SNAKE!). Once I did finally make it back to where the collapsed outbuilding sat catawampus in the water, like a freeze-frame of the Titanic as it sunk - it became clear to me that getting there had been the easy part...

Ever since I spied the old shed a couple of winters ago (while all that plant life was leafless and 14 months younger, mind) I thought that it might be cool to return sometime, to take pics. up on top of the shed's near ground level roof. So on this, my second visit - I went for it. I set up my camera, kicked off my flip flops, and took a test shot to see how things looked. Uhhhhh...I didn't even make it into frame. The toppled structure was so full of booby traps, that I wasted one or more of my precious 10 seconds on each treacherous, deliberate step. I worried about impaling my bare feet while climbing up onto the veritable minefield of rusty nails and other sharp, nasty bits. Plus the teepee shaped pile was made up of ancient, wooden boards that were either rotten and damp (so, soft and spongy under my weight) or alarmingly brittle and splintery. The sound of 'em snapping and crackling (even though I stepped as gingerly as I could) was not only disconcerting, but also loud. I kept waiting for the neighbors who I knew were within earshot, to appear and catch me in the act. Mainly though, the thought of my body getting "cheese-grated" as it ripped through the rubble on its way to the ground - convinced me to try something else.

I decided I might fare a little better, if I carefully climbed over all of that mess - and did my selfies on the backside of the shed, by the creek...and it was an improvement, but not much.

The mud in the creek was nearly knee deep, soooo...not exactly whatcha might call conducive to moving quickly between camera and pose. On top of that - the creek bed was lined with all the crap that had come off of, or out of the shed when it fell...once again, I got nervous about my feet. But when the platform that I was perching on became so wet and slippery, that I almost bought the farm several times in a row? I got pissed...and muttering, "Screw this!" I crawled back over that godawful heap one last time...

...and resorted to taking the easy way out...

...until my camera became so wet that it refused to let me set the timer anymore...

...thank the LAWD!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Just Listed!

(Snapped on 10/30/10)

A one of a kind, signed and numbered print of this image - is now available at auction, and also as a "buy it now" item on eBay: please click here to view the listing

paper size: 20 1/4" x 24"

image size: 16 1/4" x 23 1/2" is this one! You may click here to check out the listing for this photo

paper size: 20 1/4" x 24"

image size: 17 3/4" x 20"

Thank You!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Just Some Body

(All pics. snapped on 5/13/12)

A coupla weekends ago, while attending my friends' Kentucky Derby party - the hostess handed me a frozen margarita (yum), and then asked if I would help her choose a new paint color for her dining room. After we mutually agreed upon a pale, yummy shade of creamy cappuccino - she then asked if I knew how to paint, by chance. When I told her that I did (adding that I happen to be pretty good at it, actually) she offered to pay me to do the work, if I'd be willing. I was like, "Oh, hell yes!" cuz ya' see? I've been having this teensy weensy problem lately, keeping my bank account outta the red...I was grateful for the opportunity to pad my pockets a bit, as well as extremely eager to do so. I thanked my friend ("H.B."), and told her that I'd be back bright and early in the morning to get started.

As hoped, getting paid for the nine hour job did help me start digging my way out of the financial hole that I seem to be perpetually stuck in...but little did I know when I signed up for the job, that it would also serve as a means by which to keep myself productive and distracted following an argument that I'd had with my honey, shortly after leaving the Kentucky Derby party...the final disagreement in an absurdly long string of 'em, that ultimately ushered in the beginning of our end...yyyeahhhh...

H.B. was so pleased with the way the dining room turned out, that she wondered if I'd also be interested in painting her bedroom...and naturally, I was! So last Friday, I returned to tackle the second painting project - and once again I was thankful for the money that I earned, but even more so for the chance to keep myself occupied doing something more constructive than friggin' crying all the time... 

At some point that day, H.B. (who works at home) called me into her office saying, "Hey, LL - come here for a sec....I've got something I wanna show ya'". Pulling up YouTube on her laptop, she asked if I'd seen the video for the Gotye song, "Somebody That I Used to Know". I said that I'd heard the song on Pandora a few times, and that I really did like it a lot - but that no. I'd never seen the video for it. We watched spellbound, as Gotye gradually blended into the geometrically painted wall behind him...and at that point, H.B. told me that for some reason (perhaps because I was there at her house painting? I dunno) the idea that I try to do something similar in my pics. to what they did in the Gotye video - had literally just popped into her head...and I liked it!

My own rendition of the concept wasn't near as complicated as what I'd seen in the video there on H.B.'s laptop...regardless though, it was a fun and different shoot for me to stage (which I must say, I badly needed) 

And so along with everything else that H.B. did to help this pathetic, old gal out last week - I owe her a huge debt of gratitude for also inspiring me to try something new in my pics.. THANK You for being a really truly great friend!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Leavin' a Dark Place

(All pics. snapped on 5/09/12)

One of the things that I liked the most about this shoot, was that I rode my bicycle for the first time in 6 or so years, to the place where I took this set of pics.. My poor, lonely mountain bike has sat immobile out in the cold, damp shed - its tires dry rotting, it's gears rusting - pretty much ever since I broke up with my first post-divorce boyfriend, absolutely ages ago. But after this nice guy I know, gave it an overhaul recently - something kinda cool came to mind, and that is: that riding a bike to my shoots would allow me to sneak onto properties that are prohibitively difficult to access by car. 

What I didn't like about this shoot, was the fact that my face looked positively horrible from having cried myself to sleep the night before, and then woken up only four hours later - just to start bawling all over again (not a lotta face shots in this entry, you may notice). I basically cried on and off all morning, and up until about midway through this shoot. The least little thing (a hug from a friend, a song on Pandora, the cashier at the thrift store asking, "How are you today?"...a fond memory, or the thought of my foolish hopes and dreams) would cause my face to contort and twist, as I stoically tried (in vain) to keep my eyes from filling with water again...seemed I was powerless to prevent each inevitable deluge of tears from flooding the mascara-stained gorge that had carved its way through the stage make-up that I'd caked on my face for my pics.. I finally gave up even bothering with touch-up's, and trying to conceal my hideously red and swollen peepers...I was fighting a losing battle, as it were. 

The bike ride felt good, though - and after hiding my new favorite mode of transportation in the tall grass, and acclimating myself to my surroundings...I got to work.  

Initially I'd thought that I might be able to effectively incorporate my recurring crying jags into the day's shoot...and for the first forty frames, I did. The trouble was, I looked so freakin' heinous in the pictures, I knew there'd be no way in HELL that I'd ever let myself post 'em on the blog, with my self-esteem already at such a dreadful, all-time low...but even when I did manage to stifle the sobbing - I still couldn't erase the sad look on my face.

Aside from distant car traffic noise, and dogs barking sporadically in neighboring yards - the only sounds that I noticed during the first half of my shoot - were the constant buzzing of a bumblebee who apparently lived in the shed where I was shooting, my periodic weepy outbursts, and the beep of the timer on my camera. But when I heard the voice of a man close by - shout, "No! Come 'ere!" my heart leapt into my throat, and I panicked. Was he talkn' to me?! Shit! Had he seen me?! Where even was the guy? I frantically grabbed my stuff, ducked into the shed, and peered out through the busted door to see if he was coming towards where I was. 

Imagine my surprise and my relief when I discovered that it was nothing more than the man who lived next door, simply walking his dog to the mailbox...and when the dog tried to run off, he had hollered at him...not me...hip hooray and halleluiah...

Better than that though, was when I calmed down enough to realize that the adrenaline surge from the momentary scare had taken my mind off of feeling so sorrowful. I even chuckled a little bit about the brief interlude, and before I knew it I was attacking my shoot once again, but with a completely changed demeanor and attitude. It was almost like some sort of paradigm shift had occurred instantaneously, and completely without warning. Suddenly I was remembering how good it can feel to pour my energy, my love, and my heart into something that actually yields positive and plentiful returns - in this case,  my art...which I am becoming convinced, is perhaps the only thing (besides my kids) that will ever reflect more back onto me, than the amount that I put into it... 

My most fatal flaw in life (or so it would seem) is that I'm a fool for love...and I gotta stop bein' that way. I guess I should consider it an encouraging sign though, that I do seem to figure it out and deal with it sooner - each subsequent, miserable time...

Monday, May 7, 2012