Friday, July 25, 2014

Flora Zine

I have always been drawn to plants and flowers. I am sure there are a million reasons why, from my childhood love of climbing trees to read books among the branches, to my high school education at an agricultural school. 
While wandering through the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers (yet again) I began scheming a new small photo book/zine idea incorporating quotes and writing about plants, flowers, and growing with my photographs. The idea has a long way to go but here I'm doing a bit of exploring.  

I like it better here where I can just sit quietly and smell the flowers. -Ferdinand the Bull

Bloom where you're planted. -Mary Engelbreit

We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses. -Abraham Lincoln

Every flower must grow through dirt. -Laurie Jean Sennott

Normality is a paved road: it's comfortable to walk but no flowers grow on it. -Vincent Van Gogh

A weed is but an unloved flower. -Ella Wheeler Wilcox

There are always flowers for those who want to see them. -Henri Matisse

Flowers and plants are silent presences; they nourish every sense except the ear. -May Sarton

To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow. -Audrey Hepburn

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Walking in the Woods

Lately I've been wanting to make artists' books instead of just blank books but, after so much technique practice, I'm finding myself rather stuck. The usual 'intimidating blank page' complex.

I'd like to make a book that makes the viewer reminisce about a hike or walk in the woods. To help get the creative juices flowing for this project, I went on my favorite hike in Mt. Tampalais-- the Steep Ravine to Dipsea to Old Mine trail loop. I think these photos just might be the start of something.  

Sunday, March 16, 2014

A Walk Around the Lake

Today was one of those rare days when I didn't work and had absolutely no plans or obligations of any kind. So, I took a walk all the way around Lake Merritt in Oakland. Here are some of the images I took along the way.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Southern Gravures

Chapel of Ease plate, it hasn't survived all that well

You may or may not know that I lived for a couple of years in Savannah, GA, when I first began my BFA. It turned out that the south was just not my cup of tea but I did have some amazing experiences there. 
My most common photographic subjects while I lived there were the numerous church ruins that could be found just over the border in South Carolina. The other night I had a dream that I was back there photographing. Strange, I know, but I just couldn't resist doing a little throw back and posting some images I took there. After moving to San Francisco, I turned the original large format negatives into photogravures (a long, complicated process that results in copper negatives that are printed on an etching press).

The Chapel of Ease was one of the easiest places to get to, being right off a main road. 

Old Sheldon Church was a little harder to find but possibly my preferred spot to explore and photograph. The church grounds are rather marshy and the ruins are surrounded by trees that make the entrance somewhat dark and gloomy. The ruins themselves are on a bit of a hill and in full sunlight, on a good day. You are so taken by this as you walk up, that you don't notice the strangeness of the trees, until you turn around to leave...

At some point in the past, the holes in the trees were bricked up. I am sure there is some innocent reasoning behind this but I always found them a little spooky, considering the ruins and graves nearby. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Letterpress Gift Tags

Earlier this week I got to spend a day in the letterpress studio at the San Francisco Center for the Book teaching my first ever letterpress workshop--Letterpress Gift Tags.

The workshop was an awesome 3 hours of printing gift tags on tabletop platen presses. 

We began with learning to set lead type and basic press operation. Then we got right down to business with printing.

 Happy Winter was my design. The typeface kinda reminds me of a beer label...

 This one was a warm up for the students at they learned to work the press

How could we make holiday tags without naughty/nice ones?

Class ended with rounding corners, punching holes and adding string, so the tags could be attached to gifts.