My garden has been my inspiration for most of my cyanotype and lumen printing work, and most of the pieces have been photograms of objects found in nature. In this piece, I wanted to do something more elemental. I limited myself to paper, chemistry, and sunlight in evoking my garden rather than depicting it. I started with a grid of various values of cyanotype blue created by mixing traditional cyanotype chemicals in different ratios, while adding water, beet juice, a turmeric mixture, and the liquid from soaked walnut hulls. Those base pieces were developed normally in water and dried. Then, in a series of additional manipulations, I painted, sponged, splashed, sprinkled, and sprayed the work with more cyanotype solution, washing soda, & powdered vitamin C. I also selectively toned with coffee, green tea, and black tea. There were a few splashes of cochineal also thrown in for good measure. Each piece in the triptych measures 15’x22”, 20”x30” framed.
Practicing the Blues #1
Practicing the Blues #2
Practicing the Blues #3
“Even in its most trivial and commonplace moments time remains irreversible.” ~Wim Wenders, Once
On Aug. 11, 2018 my husband had a very sobering brush with death. The experience has had a profound impact on both of us in ways large and small. If I once thought I treasured the ordinary pleasures of each day together, I treasure them twice over now. This series of pinhole images is intended to capture the ordinary, the every day - lives lived in precious ordinary time - juxtaposed with the fact that the very act of capture pulls the moment out of time. The ghostly, surreal quality of the pinhole process draws attention to the metaphysical while capturing the physical. It also reinforces the ephemeral nature of the ordinary moments that we inevitably take for granted.
I intend this to be a long project, with images gathered over the course of the next year, or, God willing, the next twenty years.
8/28/2018 - David was siting on the bench on the front porch and I walked out to ask if I could take a photograph of him. Surprising me, he said, “Sure.” Perhaps my surprise and eagerness to get the shot before he changed his mind explains why I didn’t secure the camera better. I just sat it down on a hassock, oblivious to the strength of the breeze. So, in addition to the ghosts of his movements, the buffeted camera captured inanimate objects in ghostly movement as well. Or, perhaps it captured the breeze itself.
8/28/2018 - David proves illusive, exiting the scene before the exposure could be completed, leaving only his ghostly imprint behind.
8/28/2018 - Wanda stages a self-portrait, capturing herself “with her head in a book” as my mother used to complain when she wanted me to do my chores.
11/17/2018 - Wanda prepares the winter garden on a golden fall day.
11/22/2018 - David and Wanda spending Thanksgiving morning in front of a fellowship fire at the Oasis, our favorite get-away spot in the little strip of woods at the northwest corner of our property.
Garden Dreams Series 1
Deep exploration into long exposure, wet cyanotypes.
As I began the series, I was more conservative. The exposures were done with fresh plant material, spritzed with water, on freshly coated wet paper, and were left in the sun for hours - certainly a departure from the traditional cyanotypes I had done, but conservative relative to where I wound up. By the end of the series, I had gotten very experimental with the liquids I used before, during, and after exposure. The images carry with them the sense of delight I feel in my garden, and that I found in the making of the prints themselves.
The last images were set out for exposure in the face of a cold north wind blowing in fury ahead of our first frost of the season. This series is truly my long goodbye to the garden of 2017.
The images are available as original pieces of art, 11x15" in size, or as archival pigment prints, 9x12" image on 11/15" fine art paper, signed and numbered, in an edition of ten.
Garden Dreams Series 2
Homage to summer's end and the advent of fall while pursuing the secrets of lumen printing.
In the choice of papers, processing, and sequencing, my intent has been to depict the transition from the clear, bright light of summer to the golden colors of autumn. From a riot of flower and foliage to the changing of the leaves in the last flash of glory.
In this series, the lumen prints are not fixed, and in some cases they have been deliberately allowed to continue to change lying face up in indirect light after being taken from the frame. I scanned the changing images at different intervals, and then used these scanned artifacts as a negative might be used - dodging, burning, layering, and compositing the scanned images in the digital darkroom to arrive at the final work.
The images are available as archival pigment prints, 8x10" image on 11x15" fine art paper, signed and numbered, in an edition of ten.
The title of this series stems from the fact that the first pieces reminded me of a chocolate sundae. That, and the fact that all the pieces are on 5"x7" paper, suggested the name, and it fit. These images were made in a very quick, spontaneous, gestural manner. They are small bites of pure creative play.
These images are chemigrams, made with a variety of resist, developer, and fixer mixes and choices.
Cyanotypes from my first "blue period".
Inspired by some Rothko notecards purchased in a museum gift shop years ago, and begun in the first blush of my love for cyanotype, these images are an exploration of the density and depth of the cyanotype response, using layers of found materials and distressed digital negatives.
Most of my attention is devoted to handmade, alternative processes - work that is slow and meditative; work in which failure is somewhat frequent and always disappointing. The quick, spontaneous shots captured with my phone, edited there with a few clicks, and kept or discarded with summary judgment have become a welcome foil. A few hours spent at the other end of the spectrum in pure play among digital trinkets is rejuvenating and frees my spirit.
Bright Spot From the Hospital Window
The Road Home
Garage Double Exposure
Grandmother Bois d'Arc
Little Town on the Prairie
Landscape of My Heart
I grew up in rural northeast Texas and left as soon as I could with nary a look back. I proceeded to live all over the country and to be at home in a number of large cities. After thirty-five years, life brought me, suddenly & quite unexpectedly, back to the place of my roots. To my surprise, it has been a true homecoming. These images express my sense of place and my heartfelt connection to my native soil. They map the open spaces and nooks and corners of my heart.
By eliminating color, I am reaching for something fundamental, the essence of what each place, each situation means to me deep in my core. The images speak to an emotional response beyond the verbal.
Flag Spring's Barn
Honey Grove Grocery Store
Ivy Home Place
St. Mark's Window
Wolfe City Gin
Old Spring Hill Church
Me & My Shadow
in 2013 and 2014 I worked on a project that took me to the Czech Republic for several long stretches. Collected here are some of my favorite images of the magical city, Prague, and my sweet home away from home, Brno.
Tree in Mendel's Garden
Place of Peace & Beauty
View of the Cathedral
Old Jewish Cemetery
On Petrin Hill
All About Color
When I first took up a camera, I was drawn to the sheer delight to be found in color, and in simple somewhat graphical compositions. This style of work was my first love and despite my excursions into other styles, still a source of deep satisfaction.
My camera has been a force in my life for slowing down and looking, really looking at my surroundings. It is a force for mindfulness. Each of these images represents an occasion of being completely in the moment, absorbed by the color, texture, and pattern of the scene before my eyes.