Jan

22

and other sundry things– golly, for an offseason this has not been too bad for me!! i have been working a bunch on the boats of late. good for the pocketbook indeed, and a bonus– i truly love diving!! but this has meant i have had to shoehorn in a lot of other stuff– seahorses, for instance

in my last blog i spoke about the difficulties in making the waxes for my new design– the larger seahorse pieces– they are technical and picky things that often don’t come easily, and these ones have required quite a bit of concentration and energy. i got a big burst this morning and afternoon, and for all intents and purposes i finished them up.

there is still some details to be put into the pieces, but the waxes have become very fragile and i figure it will be much easier to do this work in the cast pieces– the tails are only somewhat detailed, for instance. however, i am happy with what i have and anticipate an excelent piece when completed. of course, this is assuming i do all the soldering work well too– there is a LOT of room for disaster here, and i shall needs be sharp when i get there.

now, my wedding– well, it really wasn’t MINE, but i thought about it as such. a friend of mine asked me to shoot a wedding she was organising for some of her clients, longtime friends, and she managed to talk me into it. i’d never shot a wedding before, but i have a lot of experience in portrait work and an eye for the shot, and at a couple months’ distance it sounded like an interesting project. of course, as the time got VERY CLOSE i began to fret and wonder what the hell was i thinking of, trying this??? something more to have anxiety about. i have never thought of myself as an adrenaline junkie, but now i begin to wonder– i may not jump motorbikes over long lines of cars nor tightrope across canyons, but this comes close– it’s life without a net, and failure is not acceptable.

the hotel was marvellous, and i was impressed over the two days i spent there with the service and acumen of the management and workers– they really put themselves out for this group. i met the bride and groom and they began introducing me to their friends and i began to shoot the first of maybe 500 images. i shot all day long, having to put on my “mr social” persona– really i am a somewhat private person who can, at times, open up and be garrulous, but it is not my normal self. of course, aboard the boats one must be outgoing and indeed somewhat of a character, so i can at times put it on like a dinner jacket– but to do it all day long was a stretch. luckily for me, all the guests and family and friends were very open and made me comfortable, as i tried to do so for them, lulling them into a false sense of security so that i could shoot their photos.

there was a fiesta dinner in the sand and palm trees along the beach, it is pictured above, and i shot portraits for the next day– everyone got themselves a personal photo for the wedding, and i think i did as good a job as was possible with the lighting and such. wish i could show some of them, many of them excellent, but they are really not my property as such– sorry.

the wedding itself was to be held in a gazebo overlooking the ocean, and the view was pretty great– we had the rehearsal and i was running around trying to figure out where to stand and how to shoot things and interesting angles. it took a little while, but the weather was wonderful and tropical and we all had a good time i think.

time compressed. wedding day. grey skies. occasional rain. low temperatures. i felt like it was still going to be a great day, as so often happens down here in cozumel, so i had faith, but others were looking pretty uncertain. not a lot of photos to be taken in this light, but i did my best, and even managed to sneak into the walk-in fridge with the baker to see his creation– i was first after their crew, and they were proud indeed– the biggest cake they had ever made at the hotel.

time was running short and suddenly it happened– just like on D-Day, there was a sudden break in the weather, and just like then we all hit the beaches with everything we had. it wasn’t fabu weather, but everyone was relieved and it seemed as if time had given us a real break. we made the most of it, and i thought that the ceremony was a fine one, full of the excitement and pomp and energy that is so often lacking in these events. i could tell that the bride and groom had a great time, even though the whole experience had been a little overwhelming.

of course, when it came to the reception, the rains came, and the dinner plans were thrown to the wnds. the hotel rose to perform yet another herculean task. they walled off half of their elegant restaurant, pulled all the food in from outside, and created a nice space for everyone to have fun and enjoy themselves, and damn if the filets weren’t excellent.

well, “never let an artist talk” is a fond saying of mine, and i have truly blathered on here, hope all my audience is still awake. so much for the large seahorses, so much for my big fat wedding– i’m out of here for the day and making my escape, there is a big fat gin and tonic waiting for me somewhere. til next time

Jan

2

we saw our protagonist, he was busy trying to breathe some zest into his painting, living on the knife edge between craft and art, and generally having to gird his mental loins to go beyond what had come before. in the end i got to a point where i thought it was pretty finished– and so, i let it lay fallow for a week or so, just so that i could find a little distance between me and it, so that i could begin “seeing it” once more. it seemed to work, too– suddenly i got an urge to do some small things, and it quickly exploded into three days of intense painting and thinking– and then, as they say in the movies, it was over.

i finally had the time a couple of days ago to pull out the lights and everything in order to reshoot the piece with my trusty digital SLR and a good lens, to take the wowing out of the image, and this is what it shows– “peach abrigo”– 2010, acrylic, 55″X27.5″– i hope that you like it as much as i do. more than a couple of days have passed since i finished, and as the process fades from my mind, i like it more and more, especially during the morning hours, the light enhanced by the light of the day.

i could now say “on with the next crisis”, as i am fond of intoning, but really the past few weeks of my life have been spent almost every day that the port has been open diving. there have been a fair few people in town this last bit, and with it comes the work. the diving has been good to excellent of late, and i have had the opportunity to go to the north once in a while to do “the eagle ray tank”. a couple of days ago we went there and saw a formation of a dozen eagle rays, out along the wall and slightly above us, their wings almost unmoving as they glide forward against the current. glorious and graceful dancers, they!! quite the show really,

magical and magnetic– we couldn’t take our eyes off them!! they finally passed by, and broke up into tinier formations of twos threes and fours, passing below us, and finally coming up and along the wall right alongside us, passing us and then circling around behind us– a truly dazzling display!!

in my few spare moments in which my brains still were inhabiting my body of late i have been working on several things– a tshirt design for a boat and also my newest piece of jewellery, the large seahorse. in the end i plan on working in a sea star along with this piece, and some pearls as well, but for now i will begin with the seahorse itself. a technical thing to cut, as i have to do it in two halves, to keep the weight down as much as possible. each half will need to be very similar, so that when i solder them together they don’t look like the dog’s breakfast. this will also enable me to make them into earrings. first i took the drawing you can see up above, and then i cut a “stencil” of it out of sheet silver (really the best material i had around– “spare no expense, give the cat another canary!!” as my mother was known to say), which i used to draw a form onto the wax itself.

you may be able to see the lines in the blue waxes shown above, as i slowly begin to carve them down into a “cookie cutter” shape, after which i shall further work them to give them a much more 3-D look– you’re going to have to wait to see that though, as i am still elbow deep in the process– and tomorrow i must go out and dive again, the eagle ray tank– will send you some eagle ray energy from there.

until then, happy new year, everyone– let’s hope it is a good one