31 August 2013

Kamerakind and Where is Waldo?

As one in her mid 40s, I am STILL stopped dead when I see a challenge to Find Waldo! And NOW... is it possible?... There is one photographically created! The artists at Kamerakind are my new heroes!!!

you must look at this AND Find Waldo!!!

Have fun!!!

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30 August 2013

A reboot

Recently I have to admit,  have been wallowing in self doubt and pity. I have been unable to find work, and I am beyond frustrated AGAIN about the situations I have been dealt. Then my non-narcissistic piece of the undamaged part of my brain kicks in and I realize that I have been very lucky.

I have been trying to make a go at being an artist. I enjoy having my studio. I enjoy being able to work on whatever project my heart directs me. I enjoy the peace. Today, I gave one of the other artists a large pile of art paper and books. They were my Dad's, and I was holding onto them for deal life. I think I was holding on in hopes that if I sniffed them hard enough I would smell him. Perhaps he would speak to me through them. What I must be honest about is I have still been in denial that he is gone. He is always in my heart and he is always in my thoughts. But, I need to make the memorial I have in my studio into a functioning work space for myself.

Today I spent the day playing with cameras. I was going to work on grant letters and additional paperwork. Tighten up a syllabus I have been changing and so on. But instead, the cameras and paper and toys and light drew me into a different space. I have been working on pinhole and more abstract styles AND I have been shooting with my Mamiya with the Polaroid back on it. Throwing the little strips all over the floor and watch Milo chase them as the fan blows them around.

willows - 2013 © Elisabeth Neville

I needed a day to reboot. I am not going to make it so my days are a forced effort to go to the studio, but I am going to be more faithful about doing what I do. After all the expense of my schooling and the "achievements" in a field in which I did not belong, should I be doing this? After all of the hopes and dreams for financial success, my Dad supported me at anything. He KNEW when I was through in a field where I worked too hard for nothing. For this I am thankful. NOW, I need to make him proud and pull myself up from my bootstraps, and get myself back on track.

Off to the studio!

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26 August 2013

A fun day playing with the cameras

It has been a while since I have had a good time just PLAYING with my cameras. No focus, no plan, no show, no "shoot". All for me.
I have to say, it was a lot of fun! I got to play with my medium format. I also got to, once again mourn the loss of Polaroid as I used the medium format. Ohhh Polaroid... why have you left me?  I guess I will be going to Fuji. I guess.

The house across the street - Polaroid - 2013 © Elisabeth Neville

Onto other things, I started playing with the macro lens. And nope, I was NOT photographing people! Nope, no pores, no eyeballs. Nope! I thought I would shot some of the things I randomly collect while I am out walking Milo. I KNEW there was a reason for it! It really was a fun day.
The end of the hydrangea - 2013 © Elisabeth Neville
 So, what will be the plan for tomorrow? Maybe I will work on the idea I have for my "next" project. Just so everyone will expect it... I MAY be short a finger, but I will TRY not to. I will be building! yup! BUILDING STUFF!

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13 August 2013

The grass is always greener / The color is the same?

The other day, I was sitting on my deck looking down on a group of youngsters (about 12 or so) walking, talking and laughing. A thought crossed my mind and I really could not find an answer. In my typical way, I attempted to troubleshoot my thought, now question, and figured I could come up with a logical answer. But, I was unable. So, what were the questions/thoughts?
What is it like to grow up in a neighborhood where everyone is of your race? Do you think about it? Does it ever come up in conversation?
I realized, more than any other time in my life that I have NO idea what it is like to be one of a village of my "racial peers". I grew up in an entirely Caucasian neighborhood, then went to a church, of the same .. and I went to prep school of, the same. Oh wait, I DID have other students in my high school that were from out of state and part of a program whose activities were closed so I was not allowed to participate.

Marblehead Harbor - 2013 © Elisabeth Neville

I grew up during the times of busing in Boston, yet I was in the northern suburbs so I was not affected. I was in the safe environment of a prep school filled with many of the families that I am sure (or I was told) were the blue bloods or originals from the long lines in EU. I, came from a family of strong, proud Nevilles that formed a fierce sense of family and loyalty. The ONLY issue with this, is I was not in the locality of this family, I was on the outskirts.

So again, what is it like to grow up in and live in an environment where you match.

I asked a friend and hoped for some sort of description or simple black and white (no pun intended) answer. This, I did not receive. How does one answer this? I am not sure of the answer that makes the most sense. Is it simply the grass is always greener? Is it different fitting in with a group of neighbors that all have something in common simply based on melanin? Does that make the conversations different? Other than the Black women and men they use in commercials acting loud, and intimidating and obnoxious (I can think of a few that cause Dave to change the channel so he does not have to listen to me complain) to sell insurance (Poor Flo!) or answer the phone and be a "real person" on the other end with their neck switching. You can almost see the slippers shuffling, robe flapping, hands on the hips and bandana covering the curlers and big butt flapping across the screen.

Mind you, my experiences have been with beautiful, articulate, artistic, athletic Black folk that are gainfully employed, socially responsible and civic minded and are my mentors. They are all different shades and I am VERY lucky to have met and worked with and known and on and on with them all.
Larry Pierce (artist) Gallery at the Piano Factory - Black &White Opening

I actually have to say, I yearn for a chance to fit into a group. I am not sure that I would know if I was there. Would it just be so warm that it would be seamless?
Would I just walk down the street with my friends talking and laughing? Or wait, I already do that, I just do not "look" like anyone else. But, does anyone?

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04 August 2013

Sea Monkeys and friends

Today, Dave and I spent the day with Banafsheh and Jamie. So much fun and laughter. I have to say it has been a very rough week and I have truly become a poor, starving artist. 

But, during brunch, I looked down at the table and saw a little glass cube shaped bowl. Inside there were little things moving around. What ever were they? They were "rescued" little shrimp. Rescued from the sure death by fish feeding, by Banafsheh. 
I laughed at her and called her "Koo Koo" but, I have to say; there was some sanity in there, as well as pure kindness for all living things. 
Of course I could not let them just sit there, so I took a photo. Yup, with my phone. And then, the topper.... I put it through Instagram. Yup! Talent I tell ya'! Talent!!

Something else to clarify... When I was a kid and sent away for those little guys, MY Seamonkeys just didn't have the same vim and vigor. Ah well... Lessons learned. 

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01 August 2013

A drive to Plymouth

On the way down, I looked up and thought: I could just reach out and grab those puffy clouds!

Though it's not possible, I do think the sky is beautiful today. 

Now, back to the regularly scheduled traffic. Have a lovely day!

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