Besides climbing to the rooftop and making images of some incredible Arizona sunsets…I’ve been busy readying the studio and starting my “storied objects” project. As some of you are aware this is an important personal project…one that involves photographing my family and travel treasures.
Why so important? Because there’ll likely come a day…years down the road…I simply may not have the space to keep it all. You see…ever since I was a small child I’ve collected memories. I still have the white dress my mom made me when I was six for my baptismal…the set of dinnerware I ate from since I learned to eat with big people…my grandmother’s depression glass collection that was plucked from large boxes of oatmeal or detergent during her young days…the antique camel saddle bag that I found high in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco…the Inca pottery from the Andes of Peru…the wooden elephant bell from Myanmar or the cow bell from Switzerland…the batik pieces from Vietnam…a peach seed carved into a basket from a dear family friend given to me when I was five…or le coq (the rooster) from the south of France…the list goes on and on and on…a memory created with each and every object. The second reason it’s so important? The concern of memory loss. It’s inevitable with the aging process…regardless if it’s age related memory loss, dementia or full blown Alzheimer’s…this book will be a visual stimuli regardless of my path.
What I’m learning so far is how time consuming this project is! Perhaps it’s the perfectionist in me? Don’t know…but I do know I can spend hours – from designing to shooting the images – for just one storied object. That doesn’t even include writing the few sentences about the object. Thank goodness I have time! An unexpected pleasure? The process – the power of touch – as I design and shoot…moments of reminiscing…so wonderful!
My grandmother was an excellent and experienced knitter and crocheter, not to mention having an amazing green thumb…her backyard was filled with annuals and perennials. It was fascinating to spend time in her flower gardens and I’m sure it’s why I adore flowers to this day. Anyway, this afghan has been in my family since I was a small child. Today’s it’s riddled with moth holes which to me is part of its charm. I love that my mom still had the yarn, needles, and the beginnings of a new project, as well as the perfectly matched piece of depression glass. I tossed in a little desert globemallow that I collected on a morning walk here in the desert…a perfect compliment.
My mom grew up cooking southern…and a staple in our house was a pound cake. That aroma…the crustiness on top…the first taste coming right out of the oven…precious memories. Her cake pan…worn from years and years of making hundreds of pound cakes…complete with farm fresh brown eggs and flour sack towels…the real ones…a treasure.
I love planting dill and cilantro in my flower gardens for a delicate and whimsical feel. Can you believe I cut these from the garden over two weeks ago and they are still as fresh (well almost) as the day I cut them!…not to mention their aroma…perfect for the kitchen. The chair is from the infamous Bianco Pizzeria in downtown Phoenix, Arizona – the owner – Chris Bianco – a James Beard award winner discarded a bunch of old chairs from his restaurant oh some 15 years ago…well of course I had to take one home! The vintage French florist vase was purchased from a plant store in the Biltmore area of Phoenix, Arizona when I first moved into my current home some twenty years ago. The gauze…oh that star stamped gauze from Portico Bed & Bath in Soho, NYC – oh gosh…purchased back in 1989! Too bad they closed…loved that store. And of course the buddha head…another to add to my ongoing collection…one of many that I’ve collected from my excursions.
I will continue to include a storied object every once in a while in my future blog postings, but if you’re on Instagram I’ll be under the name of @storied_objects as well as @thegothamgirl. It’s just a place to compile them all and especially useful when it comes time to produce a photography book now that there’s more and more choices to make them directly from Instagram.
And speaking of making a book, I came across a wonderful resource – blog2print. As some of you may recall, I had an on-line journal to document my father’s Alzheimer’s as well as my artistic journey. I was able to document some memorable times with my dad before he passed, but for the rest…my travel schedule made it hit and miss so I eventually stopped posting. So instead of losing all those entries, I used blog2print to creative a permanent archive by creating a pdf document. For $8.95 and unlimited pages, I now have my images and stories in one place off-line. I can’t speak for the hardcover book making part of their business, but I was extremely pleased with the pdf outcome. Such an easy process to marry up the postings from the wordpress blog platform (or blogger, tumblr or typepad) with their printmaking capabilities.
And speaking of Instagram…I came across this article from the art world…Study Finds Millennials Prefer Instagram to Museums. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I love Instagram. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of inspiration I receive from this particular social media platform. And if you sell your art? This is a good article to read.
On another note – as if you didn’t know – I’ve been a little obsessed with Georgia O’Keeffe of late..which of course I’m blaming it on Alfred Stieglitz…one of the masters of photography. Well as I’ve learned more about her, I’ve also learned about Mabel Dodge Luhan. Attended a wonderful documentary titled Awakening in Taos that told her remarkable story. Keep an eye out for it if you’re interested in learning more about a woman that was 100 years ahead of her time. An activist for women’s rights and social change, as well as influential in the world of music, literature, and art. Plus it’s always an excuse to spend a little time in downtown Scottsdale…and make new discoveries such as the Western Spirit – Scottsdale’s Museum of the West. I’m not a big westerner fan…but there were some good looking chaps and spurs hanging out…
p.s…The workout and diet plan continues…muscles are aching, but coming around! On my third week. I’ve had a little setback because I pulled a muscle…ready for it…photographing! Yep, my fault. Didn’t drink enough water during a two hour walk and an hour or so afterwards I did a squat to get the angle I wanted and OWEEEEeeee. But it’s on the mend and I’ve learned to drink more water as I increase the exercise routine! Every day there’s a lesson to be learned!
p.s.s…Thanks always for your notes and comments. I want each of you to know how much your visits mean to me. Even though this is my life’s journal – and first and foremost I update this for myself – I’m fortunate to have you along for the ride as well…encouraging and supporting me…thank you so much!