Thursday, June 25, 2015

Week 25 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 169
Shards of glass material

Four years ago when I first started the 365 day photographic challenge I seldom went out and sought photos to take. I just did what came up in my ordinary day. But I can encounter a herd of elk driving to the store. And have.

The photos in this week's collection were taken between Friday and Sunday and while engaged in artist stuff. I am helping put together a video for raising funds for A Permanent Home for the Arts in Angel Fire. And I was taking a weekend workshop on tempered glass mosaic in the neighboring town of Cimarron. Busy three days. And June is a very busy month. So if it does not jump out in front of me (like that herd of elk) it doesn't get snapped.

Day 170
Across the court yard from where the workshop was held

Because of 365 day challenge I almost always have my camera with me. In fact, the other day I grabbed the camera bag but not my purse when making a run to the hardware store. June is hardware store season. But I made a special effort to take my camera to the workshop. And in part because it was in Cimarron which is a very picturesque community.

Day 171
Lawn ornament at the gallery where the workshop was held

If there was any particular focus on this three days with camera it was people. This has been a recurring theme of late, which frequent readers may have noticed. I was taking the workshop to push the envelope. And I am taking pictures of people for the same reason.

Day 172

These are by no means official portraits and please nobody ask me to do that. Or weddings. I do not do weddings. These are candid shots. Captured some really good ones of Carl Swanson painting, and members of the tempered glass mosaic workshop. Artists are great subjects because they are so focused on what they are doing they are not even aware at times you and your camera are there. And what serious artist does not need another photograph for their Facebook page or website. Especially for free.

Day 173

But beyond the portrait of the artist was the capturing of the hands. I love these three photographs because of the hands. Hands engaged in creation.

Day 174
 The hands are seldom still so not always in focus. They are hands doing things. In the above photo we were working on a group project. And having to take turns putting in our pieces of the puzzle. Everyone was laughing.

And on the way home from the workshop it rained. For too many miles I was behind a flatlander who had obviously never driven mountain roads especially in the rain. My mind was a buzz from all the information it had absorbed over the weekend. So I amused myself taking photos of the rain on the windshield. Added benefit was I had to drive slow enough to do this the tourist car got ahead around the bend in the road.

Day 175

This was probably a photographic exercise a step too far. But my eyes were on the road and not on the view finder.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Week 24 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 162 - Apache Plume

I love Apache Plume shrubs. It has a delightful white flower which I almost always miss. It is the feathery pink fruits or seeds which first attract my attention. With this wet spring they seem to be everywhere creating a pink haze above the greens.

Day 163
Purple Robe Locust

This week it seems it was flowers which caught my eye. When I set out to attempt to identify those I had captured with my camera I found myself wishing I had paid more attention to my mother. She had the green thumb and always said mine was brown. Ergo why know the names of flowers I was going to kill. But something must have penetrated my thick head because I knew the flowering tree above was a locust. But obviously not a honey locust because they have yellow flowers. But I was close enough to google.

Day 164 - Coneflower???

I am not in the same good space with the the wonderful plant above. I thought because of its center it was a coneflower but the foliage is all wrong. This is getting past just identifying my subject because I would love to have this flower in my yard. Somewhere in the back of my brain sprung Bishop's Hat but it isn't that either. If you know please leave a comment or I will be running around with a print from nursery to nursery.

Day 165

At the same location as Purple Robe Locust and the mystery flower was this light fixture. It was not turned on. But the angle of the sun shining down through it made it glow like it was on.

Day 166

People in the flower garden at Ojo Caliente Spa seemed every bit as colorful as the flowers. I am practicing taking photos of people. At one time the candid shot of people at rallies or parties was my forte. I got hired to record such events. And quite loved to do it because it put the camera between them and me having to make small talk. I also excelled at taking portraits of people. Not the studio type but of my subject in gardens or forests. What you do not practice you lose. I am sneaking back to being comfortable with two legged creatures.

Day 167 - Wild Iris

The wild iris are everywhere this spring because of the rain. During the drought they almost vanished from southern Colorado and northern New Mexico. But now there are great spills of them running down the low washes from the mountains. I look forward to recording more of them this year.

Day 168

The snow is vanishing from the peaks. Noticed yesterday there was less snow than when I took this photo. Note to self: Go to this same location and take another photograph.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Mag 274 - Wrong Number

Sarolta Ban Photograph
Visual prompt provided by Magpie Tales

The phone rang
My stomach clinched
Already he was too
An invasive
Strangling me.

I backed away
as if it were a snake
stretching across
And miles
to bind

An innocent call
from a long ago friend
phone to reconnect.
terrifying me.

The answering machine
recording his abusive threats
Pick up you BITCH
Answer ME
my life
was no longer mine.

J. Binford-Bell
June 2015

His name was Elliot and once we have been great friends within a group of friends. I have no memory of doing things just with Elliot. He was just one of the six or eight of us who hung together.
He was always somewhere in the circle as the Tequila was passed.
We lost track.
Life moves on.
He called to say hi having gotten my telephone from one of my very public art websites.
That call was fun. Sharing old memories.
Call 22 on the next day was not. I turned off my cell phone. Stopped answering the land line.
My stalker had invaded my life.
My police report. And restraining order. Cleaning all my guns.
Three years of terror because Google maps and my website let him know where I lived.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Week 23 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 155

Mostly a landscape week. But I had a couple pictures from the Aztec mill in Cimarron, New Mexico I had not processed yet. It is not all about finding the time to take the photographs. But like in the film days there is darkroom time to factor in. Now we call it dry darkroom. And when time is short I have the tendency to rate my photos and then do the best, or those which I think are best, and save the rest for when I have the time. It is summer and between art community activities and gardening there does not seem to be adequate time.

Day 156

And summer is when I like to take my spare time driving around with my camera. The rains have made the plains green and the wild flowers bloom. But June is that month in the high country when we seem to be balanced between the remains of winter and the hints of summer.

Day 157

We are currently already building up for an early monsoonal season. It is one of my favorite times in New Mexico because the clouds are so varied and changeable. Believe it or not when you a a photographer cloudless blue skies get boring.

Day 158

And noisy skies make the best black and white photographs. I am a lover of color as anyone who is familiar with my paintings knows. I came late to black and white in digital photography. Of course when I was studying fine arts at the University of New Mexico all we got to shoot in photography was black and white. And Ansel Adams made New Mexico famous with his black and white photographs.

But the subtle colors in the mountain scene below are also a favorite. Once out of school and with color film I used to seek out the monochromatic or close to monochromatic landscapes. I loved the Blue Ridge mountains because they are blue. Distance does that. The mountains in the photograph below are between 30 and 50 miles away in Colorado.

Day 159

On the same day I took the majority of this week's photos I visited the Dawson Cemetery. I particularly loved this cast wrought Iron cross painted silver. It and the white painted iron crosses behind if marking the graves of the victims of the Dawson Mine collapses made a perfect black and white composition. There is an almost other world silence about the Dawson Cemetery.

Day 160

The morning with the heavy moisture from the wet spring shrouded the Palisade Cliffs. It was the one element always missing in previous attempts to record this geologic landmark. They are awesome but look flat in the New Mexico sun. The fog game them distance and size.

Day 161

I have taken several of the photographs I took of the cliffs and transformed them to black and white. But I loved the shades of green in the photograph from the deep blue green of the firs to the bright new spring green of the cottonwoods and the yellow green of a low bush in the foreground. The pink and peach of the cliffs is a perfect offset to the greens.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Mag 273 - Stupid People Trick

Stupid People Trick
Prompt by Magpie Tales

Are people more stupid?
Or is it we just stupidly record them?
Is it the fault of the smart phone
used by dumb people?
Or the social media
which urges us
to Top This.

Am I getting old?
Because I do not see this as funny?
Have I lost my sense of humor
because my mind knows
what can go wrong
with getting out
of this?

I know I see things differently
I look at the open hole beneath his pose
and imagine kindling a fire
adding water to the urn
to create a broth
stir till it boils
then snap.

Maybe it is the witch in me.

J. Binford-Bell
June 2015

A Home for the Arts in Angel Fire

Carol Rupp Gallery

Angel Fire and surrounding areas this side of the mountain have some very talented artists working in a variety of mediums. We have worked to establish an 18 studio art trail, founded the Artists Guild of Northern New Mexico, and provided rotating art exhibits at the Angel Fire Visitors center for two years. But due to rough times we have seen the demise of two art galleries and a couple studios.

But the talent available here has created a demand for workshops and exhibitions and events. We have been unable to comply because we have no space available. Several of us give lessons in our studios which are restricted in space. I thought building a 336 sf studio was going over the top. I wish it were double that. I can maybe handle three students at a time.

Binford-Bell Studio

The artists guild members tried to figure out how we could comply with requests and put on a workshop program for just two weeks this summer. We looked and looked for available space to rent for a short period. The Angel Fire Community Center is no longer available if you are not a sport. We found some other "meeting spots" at the Chamber of Commerce, or the charter school, etc. We were doing what the Moreno Valley Arts Council has been doing for years - scrambling for a space to beg, borrow or steal. This in a town which currently has 18,500 sf of available retail space currently unoccupied.

We went to the Moreno Valley Arts Council to see if we could somehow join forces on this and the plan was developed to buy a space we could not be kicked out of or scheduled on top of or lost in the shuffle. We have a few empty spots in mind. There has been a business plan developed. The state is supporting fixed locations for the arts with grants. We just need the start up money. Wish us luck. Or better idea, make a donation. And we will invite you to our new home and the workshops and performances and exhibits. We will even throw a party.


Exhibit at the bank building

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Week 22 - 2015 in Photographs

Day 148

End of May into the first of June. Winter into Spring. Getting the mower ready to run. Picking up all the dog bones and dog toys where the snow had covered them up. And this year watching the water rise. I am not even cussing late season snows on the tops of the mountains, or the mud the dogs track in.

Day 149

I am suppose to be inside my studio painting but outside with the camera is oh, so much more fun. The cows in the fields are calving, the ponds are cascading down the falls, and fog cloaks the cliffs.

Day 150

There is no theme, no order, and no reason for this week of photographs. Except maybe just joy. Like joy could ever be a just thing.

Day 151
Loved the mists and fogs in Cimarron Canyon and they helped me get one of my best photos every of the Palisades. And back in the green house the orchids decided to bloom.

Day 152

And every rain in the valley was snow on the peaks.

Day 153

And the clouds are back.  New Mexico has such great clouds. They and their shadows upon the land add too every landscape.

Day 154

Monday, June 1, 2015

Slipping Away

Image by Toni Frissell
Provided by Magpie Tales: Mag 272

Slipping away

As the sail boat
She tried to remember
What it was her father had said
about floating.

It had been so easy
In a Fiesta Blue pool
Where she could so easily put her feet
on the firm bottom.

But it was all
Everything she knew about floating
With the ship slipping to the bottom.

J. Binford-Bell
June 2015