…my new, coffee table photobook is now available here. it’s 72 full color pages of my photographs…of street art, murals, graffiti, tags, banners, posters, and stickers…taken during my photographic expeditions to the 18b…the las vegas art’s district.
…it took me a couple of days to handwrite everything that i needed to print, but couldn’t…but, it’s all done…mystery built and fate sealed…the cards and tray, plus accoutrements are boxed, addressed, and ready to walk out this door. i checked the local fedex website and they open tomorrow morning at 11 am. i will be out the door, package in hand at 10:45 am.
…tomorrow morning, i let the cards fall where they may and pass them on to their intended owner. all i can say is that i’m sorry!!
it was your party…i’m bringing it to you…
i made a gift that i put all of myself into. the gift filled my time, my imagination, and my heart. it made me happy to think about the person that it was going to and how it may or may not be used.
i spent three days. i used an old-timey ledger book and began by writing out all of my thoughts and ideas for the project. i focused on the person that the gift was going to. i listened to music.
as i created, i documented. i wrote everything of interest down. i took photos. i made simple animations. i made a playlist of all of the music that i listened to while creating. perhaps that matters to no one, but me… but, i will look back later and remember.
before deciding what to create, i meditated on that person. what i came up with was a deck of cards…a deck to do readings with. at the time, i had no idea if she was even capable or interested, in doing so, later i found out that she was.
in the beginning…ideas pouring out…
moving right along…gaining momentum…
entering the home stretch…
and there you have it…a labor of love…
as i thought about this person, my materials, and my overall vision for the project…ideas just flowed into my mind, one right after another. it wasn’t hard to know what to do. i can’t put it into words, i just felt it. one of my many gifts, is that of being a sensitive or intuitive. i am very good at reading people and energy, until self-doubt creeps in.
most of the time, i have absolutely no doubt in my gifts. it is only when i allow myself to become too close and emotions are involved that i even entertain doubt. in this project, i had absolutely no doubt. the person that i was making this deck of cards for has many gifts and skills of her own. when i thought of her, it’s what came to mind, quickly and easily.
when cards popped into my mind, i immediately thought of this deck. i have carried this deck with me in my backpack for the last two years and before that i carried it around in my car for the previous nine years. i bought this deck for myself the very first time that i ever went to montana. it was in 2006, with sarah…my mom spotted it and had me buy it.
the cards have been with me for the last eleven years. they’ve traveled with me through oregon, washington, idaho, montana, wyoming, colorado, utah, arizona, new mexico, nevada, and iowa. i never played with them. i used to take them out and just look at all of the dogs. they made me happy. they absorbed all of my good energy, travels, and history.
i thought about the characteristics of this person. i thought about what i wanted to relate to her. i thought most of all, i wanted her to see herself in these cards. i wanted them to be a reflection of her. that’s why i chose the materials, text, words, and phrases that i did. i wanted her to be able to read for others or herself, but to be able to be very specific.
i wanted her to see herself in these cards, the way that i saw her. i wanted her to be able to see herself and see the word/quality, right there smack dab in the middle of her own reflection…so that, she would have to confront the reality that she embodies so much more good, than bad…that she is more yin, than yang…and much more light, than dark.
i chose to utilize aluminum foil to accomplish the reflective element. the foil definitely gives a reflection, not crisp and clear, but ethereal and open ended. i decided that it would be up to her and her own sensitivity to interpret the reflection, along with the word, the number, the suit, and the placement of the card, thus making it very specific to only her.
i chose to utilize words and bits of text, as communication and conversation were always very important to both of us. we were both very avid readers and have a passion for books. we both were very verbose and possess a more than superior knowledge of vocabulary…both proper and slang. we both understood and utilized double and triple meanings quite often.
the gift was one of the most unique gifts that i have ever made. i put a lot of time, effort, good intent, great energy, and unconditional love into it. she knows that everything from the reflective quality, the word, the number, the suit, and the placement of the card means something, and she knows she’s the only one who will ever know exactly what they mean.
that all being said, this how the idea that i received broke down, when it came to the cards themselves:
the deck itself existed of 56 cards total. the standard 52 number and face cards. 2 wild cards. and, 2 advertisement cards. all cards were altered and embellished. all cards are meant to be used in conjunction with one another.
the suits and the qualities that they reflect/stand for:
hearts —> reflect/relate to feelings and emotions.
diamonds —> reflect/relate to worth and value.
clubs —> reflect/relate to domesticity and family.
spades —> reflect/relate to career and social.
the number cards of each suit and the words/phrases that they reflect/stand for:
2 = happy – shihtzu
3 = thankful – boston terrier
4 = loves – miniature schnauzer
5 = hopeful – old english sheepdog
6 = wonderful – american cocker spaniel
7 = curious – rottweiler
8 = gracious – welsh corgi
9 = accountability – chow chow
10 = nurturing – siberian husky
j = positive – jack russell terrier
q = passionate – saluki
k = compassion – border collie
a = genuine – akita
2 = safe – labrador retriever
3 = trusted – pomeranian
4 = strong – papillon
5 = smart – newfoundland
6 = creative – japanese terrier
7 = loyal – australian shepherd
8 = courageous – afghan hound
9 = solid – maltese
10 = amazing – english cocker spaniel
j = insight – bull terrier
q = honorable – bouvier des flanders
k = without fear – bulldog
a = confidence – golden retriever
2 = open – pug
3 = fun – dachshund
4 = supporter – german shepherd
5 = help – poodle
6 = mentor – basenji
7 = advisor – st. bernard
8 = productive – airedale terrier
9 = comfort – shiba inu
10 = empowering – lakeland terrier
j = responsible – french bulldog
q = diplomat – miniature pinscher
k = control – shetland sheepdog
a = commitment – irish setter
2 = beautiful – chihuahua
3 = excited – dandie dinmount terrier
4 = direct – basset hound
5 = engaging – yorkshire terrier
6 = focused – chinese crested
7 = reasonable – boxer
8 = pride – flat coated retriever
9 = winner – cavalier king charles spaaniel
10 = professional – dalmatian
j = resspected – polish lowland sheepdog
q = successful – bichon friese
k = competitive – leonberger
a = power – bernese mountain dog
the 2 wild cards and the 2 advertisement cards reflect/stand for:
wild cards —>
1 = prepared and in control
2 = calculating and composed
advertisement cards —>
1 = extroverted and quick witted
2 = zealous and vigilant
*** here’s the thing about the gift. i was told that it never arrived. so, i guess that the reason that i chose to write about it, is so that i can look back and see that i made something pretty unique. so, when i am much older and much greyer, i will know that i created something pretty meaningful and pretty extraordinary. so, in the end, i guess that i made the gift for myself…and, chose words that were a reflection of me…and, i saw the words in my own reflection…and, apparently they always were parts of me. i only wish that she would have received them, because i made them for her…when i told her about them on the phone…she was excited and happy…we went over every single detail of each meaning, of each card. and, i told her that if she didn’t want them, that she should take them to the roseman covered bridge, and toss them through the hole into the icy river below…and she asked, ” but why would i do that?”…i really don’t know why i said that, but it seemed apropos at the time, since that’s where she dropped her phone, and we had quite an adventure and history there…we will never know what became of…the gift.***
amalgam: a mixture or blend.
this evening i took some time alone, with one simple purpose…to create art. during the time that i worked, i thought of no more, than what i was working on. i remained completely present and enjoyed what i was doing. it felt good to have no worry.
this piece is called,”amalgam.” it is a mixture of the two me’s, inner me and outer me…the creativity that i feel behind my camera and the source of the creative thoughts…the adorable me and amazingly, beautiful me.
i utilized two of my photos, cut into strips, then wove together. i created a mat to border the piece out of one of my mri films. i attached the mat to the piece. i am going to frame, with a light behind it.
it’s very abstracted, the two images meld together as one, but each image can still be made out, if you stare at it long enough. it reflects how i feel fragmented, compartmentalized, and broken…tiny bits and pieces, of the whole.