Field Notes: Walk with Me

2/24/18

 

Walking along,

Don’t know what I will encounter.

I can anticipate, but not know.

I can expect and may receive.

I can grow or die.

 

This light, this heat, the air on my skin,

Touching you,

You are soft.

Is this moment forever?

No.

 

Look here, not there.

Reaching for you, but you are gone.

With you wherever you are.

Are you gone?

No.

 

Walk a little further.

Blister more.

Your heart is strong.

Mine is strong.

No.

 

Walk with me

Back in Black (and White)

1/13/18
2017 was an incredible and tumultuous year for me. I started a new and completely different chapter in my life. Everything in my personal life has changed beyond what I ever thought was possible, for the good mostly, but not without immense pain. I discovered dark truths about people I’d considered family for over a decade, and chose to be true to myself and to what I know is right.

I went into a bubble of isolation from most people and from my work for the past year just getting through the day-to-day and dealing with the grieving.

I’ve been in survival mode.

I never thought I could live through the loss I did last year, but I am trusting that love and truth will triumph in the end and I’m ready and to move forward in my life and in my work.

05-01 - Grasping_Gina DeGideo

o5/01 – Grasping ©Gina DeGideo

All year I’ve been looking at my unprocessed film and fresh packs of photo paper, knowing I need to get back, so it’s time for New Years Resolutions!

2018 Goals:

Finishing my Along the Way film processing and printing

Complete my writing and book for the project

Exhibit Along the Way as a solo show

Get back to blogging regularly

Process my new 4×5 film and keep shooting

Resolve Flex series printing

Down the Rabbit Hole…

9/20/15

"Found" ©Gina DeGideo

“Found” ©Gina DeGideo

Years ago, I made this photograph on a family day trip up to small rural town in northern Arizona for my nephew’s fourth birthday party. My son, along with a couple of his cousins and I, ventured down a pathway leading from the party for a quick walk. I carried my small point and shoot digital camera to take some snaps of the boys by the creek. I had remembered that down this path was also an amazing tree house my cousins and I had grown up climbing and playing in.

Just minutes into our hike on the trail, often used as a roadway for everyone in town to ride quads, jeeps, and dirt bikes, I stumbled upon this completely flattened and decomposing rabbit in the sand. The animal’s fascinating form, preservation, cleanliness, fluffiness, and unfortunate situation demanded my full attention. I responded to my found object by photographing it (how could I not) including my foot. Its perfect face and form make this one of my favorite photographs to date.

The American Southwest at 75mph

7/25/14
I finally was afforded the one-way opportunity to be a passenger, instead of a driver, on our most recent road trip from Arizona to California. I am a natural observer of the land and I love to look! It has always interested me how while passing through the world at such a high rate of speed your eye creates a visual pattern of objects in your view. You know this to be true if you’ve ever driven by a cornfield in a car. When passing through the desert, my gaze is always focused on the far-away mountains and the curious things I can see in the distance. On the trip I found myself photographing with my cell phone. What was revealed were the patterns, shapes, colors, and alien objects that exist in the middle of nowhere. Looking at all of the images together worked even better to affirm the idea of a deconstructed view and an abstracted landscape.

SW LAndscape at 75mph WEB

 

Back to (ART)Work

12/11/12
Last week I finally made the commitment to getting my behind in the labs to make some art! I was printing and tying up some old loose ends when I discovered these forgotten little stained men in my drawer!

MUSCLEMEN PAPER NEGS NEW

…getting crumpled and torn, my muscle men have been neglected. This is the third sign this week that I need to return to this project and see its completion. I hope soon I will have more of these little treasures to share. In the meantime, this is an interesting photograph.

Daily Photography – Leaving the Hospital

10/8/12
The concept of daily photography is one that I think can be helpful to some. Although it is fabulous to get those creative juices flowing, I think I must side with my former professor Chris Colville in that it results in a lot of really crappy photographs that I get tired of looking at. While the exercise is valuable, I don’t know that posting all is valuable to the viewer. What do you guys think?

Instead of committing to a daily photograph, I use my cell phone camera to capture anything I see as interesting. I keep these as visual notes and I feel they do improve my more artistic shooting. However, I am a fan of editing – not of digital manipulation that is, but of editing out terrible shots. From now on I will post some of my mobile pics as I see fit and hopefully you all will feel inspired… or at least think they are of interest 🙂 .
* * * UPDATE: You can now find my mobile shots on my Instagram * * *

Leaving the Hospital

Chillin in the Batcave

8/26/12

ImageBlack sheets + Construction Paper Bats + Batman Masks + Flashlights = Fun for 5 year-olds

Little man just turned 5 (oh dear God I feel old,) and because he wanted a Batman themed birthday party we did it up, fort style. Me and hubby transformed the livingroom (luckily already pained gray) into a batcave for his sleep over and these lil monsters had a blast! These are some of the awesome pics I took of them wildn’ out last night 🙂 .

ImageImageImageTracking movements with light and time

ImageImage

One Man, One Tutu, One Goal

5/24/12

I had the privilege of meeting the world renowned tutu man, Bob Carey and his wonderful wife Linda a couple of weeks ago. I learned about their ambitious goal of publishing a book to promote happiness. Linda is a breast cancer warrior and Bob is a long-time photographer. He began a project focused on an alter-ego of a happy-go-lucky hairy man in a tutu (my own interpretation) while examining issues of body consciousness. His photographs appeal to everyone’s inner-child and you cannot help but to feel joy when viewing them. Aside from their comical oddity, the images feature gorgeous landscapes and wonderful decisive moment shots. The pictures become even more astounding when you realize the vast shots and impeccable timing are controlled by Bob Carey himself via cable release, and are self-portraits.

As Bob tells it, the idea for the project began when Linda shared the amusing photographs with other women as they waited for chemo treatments. It brought a smile to the women’s faces. This prompted Bob to create a book Ballerina filled with the images, which could be in every hospital and cancer treatment center in the country… or even the world!

What was born from this is The Tutu Project! Bob and Linda are raising money to publish the book by selling pre-orders of the books with a print inside, t-shirts, separate prints, and by taking donations. After the book is published on September 1, 2012, the proceeds from the book sales will be put in a foundation that the couple is starting for financial assistance for things like medication and transportation for breast cancer fighters. Help me in supporting this cause, visit TheTutuProject.com for more info.

Utopian Reflections

A few months ago I began a photographic project based around the idea of Utopia and the Utopian living being created in certain neighborhoods near where I live. I‘ve been shooting a lot and have a large pool of photographs. During in-class critiques I’ve been getting a lot of feedback from my peers, but it seems like more questions of me and my intentions are being asked. A lot of suggestions for where other people would like to see my work have been brought up, but I do not want my ideas to be misinterpreted.

Because of this, I’ve been reflecting on my desires for this work a lot lately. I’ve been re-grouping, which is sometimes needed for artists like me who can deviate from the plan. Some blurbs I want to covey: Approaching this place/questioning conformity, under-workings, expectations of the American dream, dream-like/fantasy land, use of space and highly-manicured dead space. I still have so many tangents of this work I want to explore soon, but I need to remember to complete one project at a time. I think now I am back on track for completing this work and I can’t wait to get this work up.

Organizational Systems for Artists

11/21/11

As a photographer, most of my work is 2D. For digital work I usually shoot considerably more, which I immediately uploaded to my computer after a shoot. When working digitally, certain challenges come to light such as where to put all of these images and how to keep them organized.

My computer now serves as a digital library of my work. I have pictures located in separate locations according to their purpose, labeled: My Pictures, School, and Real Estate. The School and Real Estate files are where I store images pertaining to visual aids I used for either my real estate business or a class assignment (non-art related). The My Pictures folder holds an array of other photo files including categories of family, parties, bands, art, and travel to name a few. Here I can categorize my work to make it easier to find. Within these files, such as Family I might have other sub-folders with certain birthday parties or Christmas snapshots. Under the art category I have a sub-folder for each project I am working on and also for imported scans of work or images of my 3D pieces.

I don’t know that I’ve mastered the technique of organizational systems yet, but I have picked up a few helpful methods for digital artists. I feel like as an artist, there is enough madness in my life and some things should be structured, for both my productivity and my sanity! Here’s my list, and if you feel you can improve on it please add!

1)      Import pictures from camera or other device to a temporary folder or space.

2)      Do NOT delete them from your camera yet, just in case something goes wrong during import.

3)      Preview all images and delete any unusable pictures or unwanted duplicates.

4)      Categorize which set these pics belong to or create a folder just for them.

5)      Make the folder title relevant/descriptive so you will know what it contains.

6)      Back, Back, Back it up! Save it on to 2 other external drives of some sort – 3 back-ups is ideal!

Hero of Photography

10/24/11
As a photographer and artist I think it’s important to realize where our roots come from. Bill Jenkin’s Understanding Photographs course at ASU is really great. Its lecture based discussion helps us to realize the unique artistic style that photography brings to the world and how we as the photographers can harness its infinite and distinctive powers of relaying messages.

One man, whom I consider to be a hero of photography, is someone who helped me going to school to study photographic art even a possibility. The godfather of artistic photography, Alfred Stieglitz led an artistic reform based around the novel concept that taking a photograph was more than just simply recording what was blankly in existence. This is still something that a lot of unsuspecting people cannot overcome; the idea that the camera and a picture reveal truth.

Alfred Stieglitz

My position on the subject is more of one that the photograph shows us what is there and what is possible. It can illustrate light or motion too fast or too slow for the human eye to register, to tell of what is true, but maybe not seen by us. Photography is so appealing because people assume that what is shown must be true, must be real because it was not fabricated with paint, but registered with a machine! This is the advantage I am in love with! Forget Photoshop for a moment; forget dodging, burning, and multiple exposures! Sometimes even an interesting angle or vantage point can alter reality and convey the message of the artist. At this point in my work I am so interested in the straight photography that is telling of our times and the human way, without any trickery.

Hats off to the founding father for working so hard to make photography an independent form of expression, and for adding a much needed layer of thinking to the human experience.

The Perfect Age

One of my best friends once told me that kids make life more colorful. I think this is probably the best analogy I can think of for how inspiring and amazing having kids can be for us adults. I mean as a boring old adult, when do u ever stop to sit and run your hands through the sand in the sandbox or entice your dog to eat the bubbles you blow, or just run… just for the hell of it? My little man is now at the perfect age. He just turned 4 and every day is an adventure. He constantly keeps me smiling and is so creative
and smart, it is astounding.

Batty

As a photographer I can see why some moms I’ve worked with can’t get away from shooting their children; they are so inspirational. I love lil man, but I am more amused by the hilarious things he does as self-expression. These are the things I sometimes photograph often with a camera phone… in a snapshotty mom kind of way.

An original masterpeice by little man

Super Ninja Man

Steal Away…

A package arrived at my doorstep last week addressed to someone else. I left it on the doorstep for UPS to come back to pick up. When I came outside this morning the package was gone, but 2 small bubble-wrapped objects were left on my front porch.

I unraveled the gifts to see why they were left behind and discovered an old framed photograph and a small funeral service card. The thief did not leave the pictures because they were useless to him, because he even took the worthless cardboard box. It actually appeared that the person had opened the package and brought only the photos back.

It seems that the importance of photographs on the human psyche is immeasurable. It is an odd thought to me that someone who is stealing your valuables decides it is just not right to take your personal memories as well. A personal image can evoke more emotion than words could ever and this is a very powerful tool to have. Perhaps the haunting title of the holy card passage Steal Away also had a little something to do with the objects return!

Utopia

Hundreds of thousands of gallons of water spray across empty, but perfectly manicured lawns in the desert each day. Sprinkler heads pop up from their hiding spots to create lush green grass in this arid landscape. Natural desert is torn away so agave plants, tan rock, and mesquite trees can be arranged for a more appropriate desert landscape. We relocate 100 year old cacti from their native homes to be propped up on the sides of freeways.

Does anyone ever stop and think this is odd? Why is this happening? I can understand aesthetically appealing, but is it to such an extent that we need to manufacture or re-create an entire ecosystem for our visual pleasure? Not only are the man-power and resources needed to maintain such an illusion mind-boggling to me, but in some cases these severely altered terrains have left this Arizona native feeling like I just stepped into the Twilight Zone.

While traveling around, I have come across many disturbing housing/business/recreational areas that I feel are so far out of the realm of desert life that I’ve decided to highlight them in my upcoming photographic series… Utopia.