Monday, March 21, 2011

Super Moon/Vernal Equinox/Spring Storm

As I went to bed this evening (morning), I looked out the window one last time to see if I could see the moon. As I spotted the moon, it appeared as though it blinked at me. It took me a second of standing there before I realized that there was lightning nearby. Some clouds had just brushed past the moon and the lightning was coming from there. It was odd because it didn't look like the clouds were substantial enough to produce lightning. It was eerie looking but as the clouds quickly moved to the east I could see the storm a little better. After wasting precious time being dumbfounded, I grabbed my camera and took these shots. Very cool to watch a moonlit thunderstorm from my window!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

More Exploring: Peoria

To help myself deal with the feeling of being overwhelmed by the events in Japan and the multiple challenges I am working on in the studio, I did do some work to distract myself this past week. With the weather turning warmer, it was nice to get outside in the fresh air and do something different.

Third Photo Shoot (March 16)

My failed experiment from the previous week helped me to really consider how I was approaching one particular technique. While I don't think I resolved those issues yet, it did spur me to play and I did get another idea. That idea was to create a mobile set-up that would allow me to go out in to the environs of Peoria and utilize some of the lighting that exists there. This shoot occurred at Para-Dice Casino. This is on the way home to the residence house and thought it would be a good place to start since there was such an abundance of neon on their sign at the front of the property. I was really pleased with the results despite being hassled by two security guards towards the end.

Second Photo Shoot (March 16)

In addition to shooting photographically, I've also been trying to draw in the studio. Notice I said trying! I love the way drawings look but have been having trouble with my process and what I'm looking for in terms of a finished product. The exercise of drawing has helped me quite a bit creatively and I think that I have sorted through some issues in terms of the materials I am using and how I am approaching the work. My endeavors in drawing, which are inspired by my photographic work, are developing nicely and have spurred many other ideas. I will post some of that work later after it has been more fully developed. the images from this shoot kind of reflect some photographic ideas about drawing and the kinds of marks in which I'm interested.

First Photo Shoot (March 16)

You'll notice that my shooting schedule has slowed. Part of this is because I am in the process of exhausting my ideas and am challenged to really think about what I'm doing and the types of images I want to create. I'm also trying to avoid any redundancy, which is very hard to do. I have also been really affected by the events in Japan and how closely tied to water those events are. The tsunami grabbed my attention at first but then watching the developments with the Fukushima nuclear plant, I have been fascinated with the role of water there. From being used as a cooling agent in pools and the reactors (and somewhat of a lifeline) to being vented off as steam and becoming a vehicle of radioactivity, I have been captivated. These events have been stirring in my mind while I have been pursuing this subject and this project and, frankly, I've been a bit overwhelmed. I'm hoping that I've caught up with myself and can back on to a regular schedule.

Third Photo Shoot (March 13)

Second Photo Shoot (March 13)

These images were from the set-up where I was reacting to the tsunami images that I was seeing on the news. In these images, I was really trying to comment of the power of the water and the waves it created.

First Photo Shoot (March 13)

Third Photo Shoot (March 10)

Bubbles!...What else can I say. (They're so interesting!)

Second Photo Shoot (March 10) the first shoot for March 10 was awful. I had an idea of working with the idea of long exposures and flowing water, much like the somewhat cliché technique that I have used out doors. I built a model of a river and had some assistance from the Prairie Center's intern but I just wasn't getting anything I was happy with. The pictures I'm posting here are from my "second shoot," which occurred while we were in the process of dumping the tub that we had filled. While I would term the first set-up as a failure it did spark some other ideas that I'll share in a later post.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Inspired by the Tsunami

Tsunami, 2011 (shot in the studio 3-13, printed 3-15)

Excerpts from "From a Wave Into a Weapon," by Kenneth Chang
The New York Times, Sunday Opinion Section, March 13, 2011

Water, usually thought of as soothing and caressing, is surprisingly heavy – surprisingly destructive.

A typical bathtub holds 40 gallons or so of water. That is 330 pounds. A cubic yard of it, filling what at first glance seems a modest volume of 3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet, weighs nearly 1,700 pounds, as much as the Smart micro car.

And when water is moving at 30 or 40 miles per hour, like the tsunami that inundated Japan on Friday, the heaviness of water turns deadly. Imagine 1,700 pounds hitting you at speed, and each cubic yard of water as another 1,700 pounds bearing down on you.

Water does not act quite the same way as speeding cars. As a fluid, it can slip around some objects like round columns, while slamming full force when a large wall is in its way. It also gathers debris – dirt, cars, trees – as it flows. Those added projectiles can create more destruction as they crash into other objects. Even if the wave only comes up to the knees, the force is enough to knock a person down.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Source: Material Culture and Water

Terms and Objects:

~ water bed
~ water table
~ water board
~ water boy
~ wishing well
~ pitcher/ewer
~ bath tub
~ wash basin/sink
~ aquarium
~ water faucet
~ bubble maker/bubble wand
~ fountain
~ baptismal font
~ toilet
~ toy boat

Source: Works of Art and Water

Kanagawa Hokusai

JMW Turner

Clifford Ross

Gustave Courbet

Source: Tsunami Hits Japan

Woke up early this morning and, for some reason, checked my Facebook News Feed right away. Saw that my friend Junko was reporting about the quake/tsunami and was okay but she was stuck at her office. She reported that she could not go home because all transportation in Tokyo had come to a halt. Powerful evidence of the destructive nature of water!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Source: Contributions

From Amy Mac...Thanks!

This is water in an old cistern located near Hastings, Nebraska. I must have taken hundreds of photos--the reflections were so gorgeous and full of frogs and salamanders. The area is old farmland in a riparian bog that is being reclaimed and returned to nature by a not-for-profit foundation called Prairie Loft.

Source: Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater

Sorry, I couldn't resist!

Source: Drawings by Robert Gould



Ebenezer Drawings- "Black Water" Creating Space  by Robert Gould


I had some time to work on a collection of drawings last week. I started thinking about Ebenezer Creek again. I was looking at some photographs of a set up I did, and trying to figure out how to enhance the story telling elements. I want to create a emotion of the events there, an “atonement”, a non-literal representation. I thought about drawing over the photographs but I still haven’t found a convincing process yet. This time I am looking for a more abstract image. I started playing around with images of water. In particular the wave patterns on the surface. I have arranged the following drawings in the order that they were created.

All these drawings are on paper grocery bags. One group of drawings is in oil sticks and oil paint on top of prepared paper. The second group is Conti crayon, sumi ink, white house paint, & tempera paint. In the first session the work evolved in two stages. First stage I worked with images of water waves viewed as if you were under the water or from the side, looking forward. The first drawing I also placed a rock like form in the center. The sunken Ebenezer. 

Second Photo Shoot (March 8)