Monday, December 21, 2009

Portraits and Self Portraits

A few images I made late in the summer.
Still a lot more touching up to do on them.

I was thinking about artists today. What is the motivation for making art? I'm sure it's different for everyone. I know some of it must have to do with the aesthetics of art. But is it more than that? I think about the images of Kiara above and wonder, what is the point of me making them (besides the obvious quality of the light)? Will those images ever become something more than ink on paper? Will these images (or future ones) create change? Do they need to?

I remember having a critique from Dawoud in graduate school. He said that I needed to make 'good' pictures. That the point of me being in Cabrini would be a waste if I didn't come out with 'good' pictures. I know he was right. Even though I learned a lot about people and developed relationships that I will cherish until the day I die if I didn't make 'good' pictures, I would have nothing to show for it.

I stopped photographing in Cabrini because of one person. I'm okay with it because that person is important to me. But now I feel as though the work I'm making is no longer important. I'm not out to prove anything with these images. I don't even know quite what they mean.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

High School

Took my AfterSchoolMatters class to the Lincoln Park Zoo yesterday, and here are a few shots I took with one of the point and shoot cameras.
The weather was amazing. I've missed the sun.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I've been thinking a lot about community recently. Partly because I have been writing about my Cabrini work for a review binder I'm putting together, and also because I have been working on making images of community with my ASM teens.
I am so attracted to community and people. Unfortunately my busy schedule has kept me isolated from the people I want to be around most. Hopefully that will soon change.

I have recently been reading books by Chaim Potok about the Jewish community. One in particular: The Promise. This is a book about relationships, and the psychology of people. I can't do it justice by writing a summation here. All I can say is that I was changed by this book.

Currently I'm reading: No Compromise, A Keith Green Story. This book is about the life of Keith Green. It takes the reader through his trials and journeys finding faith. I find it interesting his pull towards Jesus, and all the circumstances that led him there. His music has always touched me. He died in a plane crash at 28, and was married with 3 kids and one on the way. What I find interesting is that he was only a year older then what I am now, and seemed to have a much more fulfilling life then what I've had.

I am unhappy working so much. Perhaps I'll be happier with less jobs, less money, but more time to involve myself in a community. Why else are we here, if not to make relationships with one another?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I have 3 slight variations of one shot. The one on the left is the first one, and the two on the right have yet to be color balanced. Which one has a more interesting composition? I can't get rid of the shadow on the far left of the original, because it's from a wall.

Bill posed:

Why would anyone else care about pictures of your family? (paraphrased)

Why would they? I am interested in that change that takes place in the family dynamic after you left home and then start returning as a guest in that very home you grew up in. I am also interested in the physical change that takes place. I think that is easier to see.
Are these two separate ideas?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I've been putting off writing a statement for my new work for a while now. Partly because I will actually have to focus and make work according to that statement. I think that commitment scares me for some reason. Being out of grad school and not having the feedback on projects that I'm used to has been hard on me.

Here goes:

My childhood bedroom now stores boxes of my grandparent’s photo albums, my sister’s belongings from college, my mother’s wedding dress, and my father’s random supplies. With the exception of a few photographs hanging on a mirror and the yellow painted walls, nothing in that room reminds me of my years living there. This place that I once called home is no longer my home. My life has been in somewhat of a transition state since college. I have not considered any of the places I have resided in as home.

I am interested in the changes that have taken place since I have lived in that house. I am interested in the objects my family surrounds themselves with as well as my constantly evolving relationships with those family members.

Family Photos, Doug Dubois

His images are full of tension. The family seems unhappy and almost overwhelmed. They rarely interact with one another. Often, even though there may be more then one person in the frame, they are usually not acknowledging one another. The rare acknowledgment by one subject is almost never reciprocated by the other. I think his portraits use light nicely, but some of his candids seem static. I don't always understand how some of the interior shots fit in with the rest of the series other than the fact that they have been taken within the home environment.
The series is interesting. It has gotten me to question what kind of photographs I'm trying to make of my family.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Crit last night

Thanks to Amy, Bethany, Bill, Chris, and Nate to a wonderful crit last night! I enjoyed the viewpoints and fresh pair of eyes. I am looking forward even more now to shooting again, and making a tighter edit of the work.

It was refreshing to talk about work that is on a much higher level then Photo 1.

I'll be working on a rough artist statement and hopefully posting it sometime in the near future.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


This is where my ancestors are buried. Folk who came from Sweden, whom I've never met and yet I feel a connection to them. We went to the farm my grandmother grew up on and it was strange to think that she set foot on that same ground many years ago. A place that I had never been to; yet was as familiar as home.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Some newish ones

I still need to edit through these. I like the one of my dad, but I don't think I will use all the rest of these. Perhaps the banana one (although I don't know if I like this one or the one from the previous post) and one other.

I wish I had better access to an imacon. I have so many other images to scan, but I can't right now. Spent all day Monday painting my mom's kitchen with her and my sister. I took a few images from that. Hopefully something will pan out.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


I have a better image of this that i still need to scan. My mom spreads bananas out on the table to keep them ripe longer. A quirk of my parents house.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Coming Home

I went to the art institute a few weeks ago and looked at some landscape paintings.
I took this image at my parents house yesterday between classes while the snow was melting. My rendition of a landscape painting.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


Lately I've been uninspired photographically. I miss making pictures, and I have come up with many excuses not to. I need to come up with more excuses to make pictures. Teaching wears me out. I wish my art could stand alone as an income, although I would miss the classroom time with my students.

I made this image on Friday at the high school I work at. This kids inspire me to be a better person. I have really enjoyed working with them over the past two years.

I've been reading a book by Chaim Potok called 'The Gift of Asher Lev'. It's the sequel to 'My Name is Asher Lev'. It's about a Hasidic Jewish boy who is interested in art, and makes art that shuns him from his Jewish community. It's about his struggle with his desire between Art and Religion. I find it fascinating. The book has been talking a lot about Picasso, and in the book Asher actually went to the Picasso museum in Paris. I've been there. I want to go back. I think I need a trip to the Art Institute.

I took all the pictures I made off my wall. It felt like a baptism. I completely rid my walls of my old ways of thinking.

Time to make new work.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


I'm posting a newer photograph from my Was Once Home series. I had an crit with some grad friends today, and the response to this photograph went well. I sometimes feel as thought the thoughts I can't express through words always come through in pictures. I'm glad that happens.