I have returned home, and the orchids have bloomed, the snow has melted, I’ve swept the house of all it’s dust–one big collective sigh of relief after a few months at a grueling pace. This home and everything in it is feeling absolutely blessed. I’ve missed posting here, feeling connected to all of you, and am truly making a commitment to write more often. I am missing my friends from WPPI…I returned home having made so many wonderful new connections with brilliant new people, and of course, found so much comfort and strength in old friendships I made long ago. What a wonderful week of laughter and tears, incredible conversation, late nights and early mornings, martinis and lattes, nerves, prayers, and celebrations. I even met Nigel Barker. :)
I judged prints the first two days with some wonderful contemporaries, and we battled it out over some really wonderful images. It’s always exciting to see inventive, imaginative new work, and I truly love to be part of the commentary. I submitted one of my images from my ‘Baptism’ series, and three images from a brand new work in progress entitled ‘Flora.’ I am so humbled, and so pleased that the work was well received, as it is both terrifying and tremendously exciting as an artist to show work for the very first time. Three of the images received a score of 100 in the exhibit, and the fourth the score of 95. The prints were granted two first place and one second place award in their categories, and two overall grand awards for the Portrait and Illustrative categories. I am so very grateful for these accolades, but more than anything, that the work has been effective, and moving for people…that is the very best, everything I can hope for.
In September, my parents and I traveled to San Francisco for the opening of a group show at the Rayko Gallery that included six of my bromoils from the ‘Baptism’ series. During our visit, we made an excursion to Alcatraz, took the guided tour, and found ourselves both haunted and humbled by the isolated, towering walls of the institution. I was most fascinated by the pristine, lush gardens that were present nearly everywhere, and seemed to surround the prison with a sense of growth and renewal, and a spirit of resilience, however small. I learned that during the time of operation, the many prisoners actually tended the flora on the island, and that several of the plants they had nurtured were indeed still intact and healthy this day. I photographed all of the flora on the island, bit by bit. I created this new body of work, inspired by the spirit of human resilience, determination, resistance, and growth. Enjoy the images I have posted here, the remainder of the images will be posted on my website soon, as I am currently finishing the work. I have also posted ‘Prayer Machine’ from the series ‘Baptism’ which I entered into the illustrative category. The entire ‘Baptism’ series is on my website, if you care to visit and view the rest of the series.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who joined us for our platform program during the convention. In the whole of my career, it was the most moving experience I have had as a teacher, and having each and every one of you there with us was truly a blessing. Thank you to all of my wonderful friends who attended, seeing your faces in the crowd made it that much more special to me, and that much easier too, as it was a difficult program to give. I hope that you will all keep in touch and keep your charge, and we can all become better artists from here forward.
Sigh. Goodbye for now, I will be here soon with updates on the Medic project, and more news about life. Many thanks to you all for reading.