Saving a badly-exposed Polaroid-a good thing.

I hardly ever do it, and I don't even really agree with it, unless I'm feeling frustrated with my Polaroid. It happens. Bad shot after bad shot, money going down the drain, it happens. Sad, but true. I am definitely not a film/analog elitist, (I don't think I'm an elitist anything) and far from a digi-hater. I actually like Photoshop. There. I said it. I try very hard not to use it though, as I feel really awesome when photos are great SOC (straight-out-of camera), whether analog or digital.

I love using the manual setting with my digital (Olympus PEN E-PL1). It's super-fun, seriously, but these are not digital shots, these are Polaroids. (Were Polaroids) I saved them from nothingness, from being dismissed by me and the viewer, aka you. Whether an exposure issue, or a composition issue, I believe it's all good to use whatever means necessary to make an image special.

That said, it's never, ever okay to try to fool others about process, in my humble opinion. Meaning it's not cool to be dishonest and pretend that any particular photo just came out that way if it didn't. I don't understand why anyone would want to be dishonest about their art anyway. Aren't we all searching for truth to some extent? Process is such an important part of creating an image, might as well own up to it, that's what I say.

Photoshopped Polaroid print (Fujifilm FP-100b)


Photoshopped Polaroid print, (Fujifilm FP-100c)



Tuesday morning.

We enjoyed Regina Spektor during breakfast and beyond.

I don't understand this. haha

So happy to finish a roll.

Bee's watercolors as they are right now-she's in the middle of something.

Always wonder how things get piled-up...

I really need to recycle those empty Polaroid cartridges. 

Advertising...where shall I stick these?  I want to support the Impossible Project, it matters!  I already put one on my luggage...

Color palette + mixing experiments.

Golden fluid acrylics doodles.

From last portrait session with Bee.

Cleanliness is Godliness.

My mom's old pastels vs. my pastels.

Perfect mason Ball jars + high school coil clay jar.
Beloved dress form.

Left-handed embroidery by Bee.

Lovely threads.

Researching a professional medium format set-up.

Confusion...no, I don't need a Contax T3, I need a professional system for work-portraits and events-*sigh*


Drawing in-progress, the first of a new series.

 Today I began working on a series that will consist of 10 drawings.  This is the first, and will determine (more or less) what direction I will take with the next 9.

I love the illustrations in the classic Dick and Jane books by William S. Gray and Zerna Sharp, and have been incorporating them into my drawings for the last few years.  Three artists worked on the series, including Eleanor Campbell, Keith Ward, and Robert Childress.

I like referring to these iconic children's books because of their initial purpose-to teach children to read, and about proper social behavior and morality.  Also of interest to me is that they belong to an era (1930's-1970's) when social change was at it's peak in America.

I am attempting to intertwine the elements in the stories to the issues that I care about.  The main theme that I'm currently working with is the overt sexuality used in advertising and the media in western society, and how it affects the development and psyche of females.

Very much still in-progress: 15 x15", Watercolor and colored pencil.

Detail-just 2 layers so far...I feel it needs at least 2-3 more at this point.

Detail-beginning sketch of the girl character in the books, Jane.

Our mermaid dreams.

We are counting down the days until we can go swimming...3 weeks left. I can go, but I feel for my little Bee. I promised her I would wait for her so we can jump in together. These pictures are from yesterday. I found our goggles and my swim caps, and loaded my camera with the only Type 100 instant color film I currently have-Fuji FP-100c. The light was too low, and the framing all wrong, but at least I renewed my interest in double exposures. I forgot how fun they are with a Polaroid pack film camera. This film does need bright light, unless using a make-shift tripod or a self-timer. My self-timer #192 decided to stop working...it is my third one. There must be an easy way to fix them. I need to look into it.


How Polaroid changed my life...

Polaroid 340, (Fuji film) FP-100B.

I have made a very comfortable space for myself in the dark little corners of my mind.  I am happy in those dark little corners.  I have carefully constructed an elaborate shell that allows me to live in the world, in a way that closely resembles what is perceived to be normal. 

I like being by myself.  I don’t feel that qualifies me as being a hermit, but sometimes my conscience raises questions, and I think maybe it’s too weird to not feel the need to be social on some concrete level.

 I have always enjoyed the company of one or two, at the most, but feel my feet begin to lose their grip on the ground when confronted with more than that.  That is, unless those people are children.  Children have the opposite effect on me.  It has something to do with their openness and honesty.  Not that they don’t lie, because they do all the time, but they do it rather badly, and it’s easy to see beyond the words, as they have not yet had time to master the coupling of words with gesture. 

Children don’t make me uncomfortable, but adults definitely do.  With adults, my senses go off and there is too much complexity involved in most situations.  My mind spins around the questions, what do they think about me, what are they are capable of, what pain do they keep underneath the surface of a smile?  I am a good friend when I feel I can be.  When I feel strong enough within myself.  I am a good listener, and feel I understand, and can relate.  I cry too much, though!  Those closest to me know this.  It’s a quirk…

The world is full of chaos.  Greed and violence are part of life as we know it, but the rational part of my brain reminds me that there is also beauty and grace.  Art and photography help me see the lighter side of it all.

The magic of Polaroid has been such a powerful thing in my life.  It has sincerely changed my perception.  Analog instant is not the same as digital instant.  They can’t be compared.  Analog instant makes me pause.  I need that break, the still potential of the moment.  Sharing makes me happy.  The Internet has been such a haven in that regard.  The photography community is amazing, the Polaroid/analog photography community, specifically.  You all are my people.  I love you!  See you at 'Roid Week 2011!   It's better than Christmas, and better than my birthday, too.  I always think that...  


Hello Braids.

She is winning the Let's Grow Our Hair to Our Waists race.

Summer Portrait of Bee
Polaroid 340 camera, Fuji film, (FP-100B).

Let Freedom Ring

Self-portrait, Polaroid SX-70, PX70 Colorshade Push film.

I was a quiet little girl.  I hid behind my mom and dad in social situations, and didn’t like playing with the neighborhood kids.  When they came to the door, I asked my mom to tell them I wasn’t able to play outside that day, for reasons I can’t recall.  There were times when she would make me go, and now I understand why.  I feel terribly guilty these days when I don’t feel like doing kid stuff with Bee, and wish there was someone her age in the neighborhood that would come over and ask her to play.

The only thing I really liked to do was read.  If I was forced into an uncomfortable situation where I had to play with neighborhood kids, I preferred to climb trees or ride bikes.  I always felt better in nature, or reading library books.  Not much has changed since then. 

It surprises and interests me when people tell me they never would have been able to guess I was innately shy.  Maybe because once I reached high school, alcohol and drugs turned me from introverted to extroverted.  That, puberty, and recognizable bipolar symptoms changed my personality in strange ways for the next few decades.

To exist within a certain level of awareness, and to be able to decide your own path of recovery from this or that is a powerful thing.  Whatever the issue or malady may be, to continue living each day as it comes can be a struggle.  Self-medication is a risk, but lithium + antidepressant cocktail is, too.  Choices must be made in desperation, prodded by survival instincts, and the outlook is dire, dismal, and very expensive at the pharmacy.

I am waiting (rather impatiently, but I have managed to function alright regardless so far) for the day when I will be free to decide which pharmaceutical (s) can help me feel more at ease in my own skin-in a socially responsible, educated manner.  I am so tired of the hypocrisy, capitalist intervention, and self-serving politics involved.

It’s time for change!  Decriminalization is the answer.  Congress needs a way to put a dent in the deficit.  The threat of national bankruptcy should scare them straight!  Hopefully, it will scare them more than the drug cartels murdering thousands of people across the border, in Juarez, Mexico, just a half-an-hour away from where I live in El Paso, TX.

I have faith that the right thing will be done, possibly, hopefully in the next decade.  I am a very patriotic girl, always have been.  I love my country.  I’ll still be singing the Star-Spangled Banner on the 4th of July, like the good American that I am, because I do have faith, and will continue to hope for true freedom.  


I got new paints, soooo happy!

I really have not been happy with my watercolor experience, so I finally broke down and bought a little starter set of Golden Fluid Acrylics. I already had been using Titan Buff, the metallics, and their mediums, but I had yet to drop cash down for the colors. I needed something with more vibrancy, something more substantial, yet capable of holding both opaque and transparent qualities. These are the answer to it all. I love these.

Golden Fluid Acrylics 1/2 fl. oz.,15mL in each mini-bottle.

Titan Buff is my favorite, and the metallics are also nice.  Fluid Matte Medium alleviates gloss.

I like having two water jars, one for warm colors rinsing, one for cool colors rinsing.

My source film still for a practice piece, Michelle Williams as Cindy in Blue Valentine.

Started with a rough sketch in blue, my favorite color.  

I never care to make a drawing exactly like the source photo, except for the mannerisms of the people.  I just adore Michelle Williams, she is absolutely brilliant, right? 

In-progress.  I don't know if I will complete this into a final drawing...I really wanted to just try these new paints.  I always like to end up using colored pencil for details.
I live at this table.


Saturday afternoon at home.

Saturday afternoon, making messes, having fun.  The abstract crazy piece up near the ceiling is collaboration with our left hands from a few days ago.  I'm trying to build Bee's confidence so she can have fun without getting frustrated. I got started on a watercolor while helping Bee with her embroidery. I really need some good watercolors. I hate the cheap kind. They don't have nearly enough pigment in them.

Me having fun with my digital.
How I love a sweetly shallow DOF.

Bee was sad to have to change her cast in the end.  When she first saw her white cast upon waking up from surgery, she freaked out.  She sobbed giant crocodile tears that came from the worst kind of disappointment imaginable.  She begged me to have them take it off, she begged the nurses and the Dr., but they just did not understand how much it meant to her to pick the color of her cast.

This is not a girl who loves pink.  The Dr. hasn't cared to ask her what color she prefers, which is pretty disappointing to us both.  She has a good attitude about it, though, considering.  (After I promised her I would do something *spectacular* on this one, too.)  I'm still thinking about how to go about using such a hot pink as a ground.  More on that tomorrow. 


We are confused.

We are officially stuck in-between little girl and tween.  I catch myself telling Bee, "You're not a baby anymore," when she is getting herself in trouble, or slacking on her chores, only to later refer to her as "my baby girl" during her bedtime routine.

Bee posing for me, age 5, Holga CFN

Being a mama is so hard.  I know it's not cool to say that publicly, as it has a negative connotation, but I don't mind admitting it.  I feel less than ideal at least 50% of the time, actually.  Balance is not happening around here, although as long as I'm working towards some level of it, I believe I must be okay.

We saved room for snow cones today.  I have a pretty strong will when it comes to eating right, and that means Bee is right there with me in my eating-right-boat, but since our summer fun times are limited with her broken wrist, we've been enjoying more cold treats than usual.  Have you ever had a coconut cream pie snow cone?  Heaven!!
It may appear that I littered there, but I assure you, I don't litter.  This is Texas, you know.
(Polaroid SX-70, PX70 Color Shade Push film)