This is Willie the kitten. I’ll circle back to him, so bear with me. But isn’t he cute?
This week I began a new series of photo essays for Albany.Patch.com featuring folks who make art in their homes. It is timed for the holidays to encourage Albanians to shop locally, but for me it is much more than that. I love to learn about the many ways people make room in their lives for creativity. Literally. Albany is a community of mostly smallish homes. The artists I am meeting make time in their busy lives and space in their small patches of real estate to pursue their passions.
Some of them work other jobs too. Many have children to care for. Often they are active volunteers in the community. In other words, as the expression goes, they have lives. But somehow these women — and, yes, so far I have been meeting women — manage to find time and a place for their art because it doesn’t just make their lives busier. It makes them meaningful and satisfying. When they speak of their art and show me their work, their eyes light up.
It is a privilege for me to spend a little time with these talented artists, to hear their stories, and to have a place to showcase them. I hope you will follow along. Here you can meet Edith Morrow who designs and creates beautiful jewelry.
A new feature will appear on Patch every Monday. I may not be blogging about each one, but I’ll post links on my Facebook page. Next week I’ll profile Dawn Bensman, who lately often finds herself doing her art with 8-week-old Willie on her shoulder.
Willie, I’m curious too. And impressed by the variety and quality of art that is made in this community. But mostly I’m grateful for the creative people who make it. You inspire me.
What do you do when you have the opportunity to photograph three talented and beautiful sisters in their Oakland warehouse home? In my case, you just do your best to keep up. Erika, Rachel and Chloe Tietjen sing together as the T-Sisters. Check them out, and if you are in the Bay Area November 26th and 27th, come hear them play.
We had the best time together last Sunday. It was a just-for-fun photo shoot that turned into so much more. These young women even move in harmony. Before I knew it I was on the roof with them and (mostly) forgot to be scared.
Ladies, you amaze me. I so look forward to following your career. Thank you for letting me play with you.
Here are three of my favorite images from the day. You can see the entire gallery here.
On November 6th I had the opportunity to visit the Half Moon Bay area with my friend Gale Perry. I chose this photo tour because I wanted to try some new techniques and work with some equipment I hadn’t tried before. I packed my (very) few filters, rented a macro lens, and off I went. I forgot just how spectacular that bit of coastline can be in November.
First I must confess that I have not yet made friends with my tripod. We fought a lot that day, which was kind of exhausting. However when I see the potential that comes with slowing down the movement of water, I am determined to improve our relationship. I love images of milky water just that much. The macro photography wasn’t as interesting as I thought it would be. The shapes and shadows at Pebble Beach (not the golf one) were fascinating and I like some of the images I made, but macro work is not my favorite. It’s wonderful to find that out with a rented lens. It was a great afternoon for the tide pools at Moss Beach. Low tide uncovered a treasure trove of anemones, star fish, sea urchins, and rocky mussel beds. This was a Close to Home opportunity to apply some of the lessons from David DuChemin’s ebook Safari. Sometimes an anemone is just an anemone and I can’t make it an interesting image.
Following are some of the images from the day that I’m pleased with. The milky water one is just a sketch at this point, but I’ll be back. The day couldn’t have been prettier, so I’m kind of surprised that my experience was mixed. Darn that tripod.
I’ll be back to people pictures in the next post. I like people.
I have had so much fun over the past few days. I got to meet and spend quality time with three photographers whose work I truly admire. I have been following them through their blogs and websites for quite some time, and it was such a treat to meet them in person. Sabrina Henry, Ray Ketcham, Jeff Fielding and I spent Wednesday exploring San Francisco together. We walked a lot, talked even more (over a delicious North Beach lunch and later over much-needed coffee), and made photographs. Can I tell you how much fun it is to share thoughts on photography with people who are passionate, generous, interesting, and interested in the world around them? It’s really, really fun. And exhausting. It will take me a while to sort through all I learned. But I knew immediately that I had made some new friends.
(Hilary, I can honestly say I understand the internet thing now. When you meet the right online community — and I have — it’s magical.)
At one point we found ourselves in an alley in Chinatown where this barber plays a traditional instrument outside his shop. The sun was hitting him like a spotlight. This image makes me happy.
At the other end of the alley was a mural that I remember seeing before, on a day when I came way with no memorable images. This time I caught a moment. This one makes me happy too.
We also visited an exhibit at the SOMARTS Cultural Center called i live here: SF. The show runs through November 30th — if you live in the Bay Area I really encourage you to go see it. Artist Julie Michelle conceived of a project that “captures the faces and stories of the people who call San Francisco home.” Truly compelling stuff. And we were lucky enough to meet Julie. Another friend? I hope so.
It’s so nice when the people you admire turn out to also be people you like. I like my new friends.