Wednesday, February 18, 2009

it all started with this picture

car in the rain by "it" i mean a passion for collecting random mysterious photos. and by "mysterious" i mean either the purpose for taking the picture is unclear -- not obviously a portrait or vacation or "look at our new car!" -- or it's not clear why the photo was kept (it *is* obviously a portrait, but the subject is obscured or out of focus). my favorite ones so far are ones actually taken by family members who have passed on (so i can't ask them why they kept a portrait where the whole person is obscured by a sun flare). maybe the keeper saw the same beauty i see now...

i found that first picture in my maternal grandmother's things after she passed away in 1986. i am fairly certain that it was taken by my grandfather, who preceded her in death by a number of years, but who was apparently quite the photographer in his lifetime. there is no date or notation on the picture. the only context i have is where it was taken -- in front of my grandparents' house in st. petersburg, FL. it is pouring rain, and there is a car driving down the street. what was my grandfather looking at? the rain? the car? is the car driven by a friend or family member? is the occasion the end of a visit?

i don't know. but i've loved the picture since the first time i saw it -- a transitory moment preserved... a tempest and a traveler... a sense of trying to hold something which can not be held... an artifact, a vision left by someone lost to me.

my father's family were prolific photographers back in the day, and i recently found a treasure trove of photo randomness in a box i'd stuck in a closet a while ago. so, i've started an album. the original mystery photo will stay out on my dresser in the acrylic frame i've had for it for so many years, but i'm intrigued by the idea of treating this weird collecting impulse as a Project. like for sharing and stuff. keep your eyes peeled. more to come over time...

Monday, February 16, 2009

sketchbook project

oh, man, i was so distracted by wrong baby heads, i almost forgot to mention the sketchbook project:

bon voyage, little sketchbook

the sketchbook project is a touring art exhibit of hundreds of sketchbooks, each one by a different artist, based on a single theme (in this case, "everyone we know"). i thought it sounded cool, so i registered, got a sketchbook, filled it up, and sent it back. my sketchbook, along with hundreds of others, will go on tour starting feb. 27. maybe the tour will come near *you*. check it out!

i've posted some pictures and explanations of my sketchbook pages on the art house co-op website:

here's a graphic that never should have been made

much less employed for marketing purposes, say, for tooth whiteners. if i had a freaky green baby-faced tooth in my mouth, my only concern would be to GET IT OUT.
tooth from hell

a note to any graphic designers or aspiring graphic designers out there -- if you are thinking of putting a baby's face on an inanimate object to make it seem amusing or friendly, don't. it's like sad hobo clowns. creepy.

come to think of it, if you're thinking of putting a baby's face on anything that does not naturally come with one, do the world a favor and AVOID the impulse. you don't want to be responsible for something like this, do you?

wrong baby

i'm just sayin'. be kind. don't misuse baby heads.