Friday, September 30, 2011

Dru Arstark, New York City, New York

title: Dru Arstark, New York City, New York
date: 2011
relationship: friends, art, met through Greg Parker
years known: 5-10

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Adventures in Portland - I used to be a bitch

This is a difficult  post to write, but it's been a difficult week for the project.  I've shot almost 200 friends now, and it has all been good fun - great to see people, great to catch up on lives and meet families, great to make new friends and rekindle old friendships.  I knew that at some point I was going to get into unfinished business territory, I didn't realize it was going to hit in a trifecta this week, nor did I realize how hard it would hit or how emotionally draining it would be.

I had my first outright "no" for a portrait from a friend of 15+ years, something I wasn't at all prepared for, assuming that all my close friends would want to be part of the project, and even if they didn't necessarily want to be, they would anyway because they know how much it means to me, and how it has totally consumed my life.  More than anything though, I got this sinking feeling that I had done something wrong, somehow unbeknownst to me I had offended said friend.  So, off I e-mailed to try and repair the damage.  Luckily, it was just a case of not wanting to be part of the project, but that made me ask myself the question, am I cool with that? I decided I was (at the very least its one less picture I have to make) because friendship shouldn't be based on cooperation with hair brained art projects, its based on mutual respect and trust.

Which leads me to friend number two of 15+years who I did offend unbeknownst to me, but I don't know how and have been trying to figure it out, apologize and repair the damage for the last year to no avail.  Since it's been happening for the last year, its not a new event this week, however its his birthday and seeing all of the activity around it on facebook made me really really sad not to be part of it.  I love birthdays.  It also made me sad because I've spent the last couple of years realizing how important friendship is.  This project is a testament to how the people who surround me nurture me and feed my creative process.  Especially those people that I have known for a long long time and who are artists, musicians and chefs whose creative lives have had such an impact on my own. 

I have a hard edge (my parents might say judgmental, my friends might say bitchy), admittedly.  But I've been trying to soften up a bit.  I've been reading the Dalai Lama (until we got in a fight about love, I don't know how I'm supposed to love everything equally.  I have to love photography the most) and going to forgiveness workshops. I'm trying to be a better person and a better friend, to not get so worked up about dumb shit,  and to appreciate life more.

Which leads me to friend number three, Denis, who I photographed yesterday with his kids, Elliot and Toby.  Denis and I were bestest friends for many years, we shared studio space and were inseparable - until the falling out.   Or as he told me point blank yesterday - until I disowned him.  Which, truth be told, is more or less true.  We were dealing with some heaving duty friend stuff and I was young and couldn't handle it, so I shut down and disappeared.  Portland is a small town, so we have seen each other over the last 10 years, and deep down, I always enjoy running into him and really enjoyed shooting him and the boys (now teenagers!) and catching up.   We talked about art and music (he is a composer) and life in general.  Thankfully we were able to laugh about our ruff patches and I think start to mend a long friendship.  He will correct me if I'm wrong, I have no doubt.

Then back home to L/A to be fed a nourishing meal and given a beer and a ton of love and lots of laughs by Kate and Matt, making the emotions fade just a little bit.

Karin Weiner & Barry O'Meara, Brooklyn, New York

title: Karin Weiner & Barry O'Meara, Brooklyn, New York
date: 2011
relationship: friends, art, met on FB via Jim Law
years known 0-5

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Andrew, Robin, Henry & Charlie Goldman, Brooklyn, New York

title: Andrew, Robin, Henry & Charlie Goldman, Brooklyn, New York
date: 2011
relationship: friends, met at Deering High School
years known: Andrew 20-25, Robin 0-5

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Andrew Zarou, Brooklyn, New York

title: Andrew Zarou, Brooklyn, New York
date: 2011
relationship: friends, art, met at Hampshire College
years known:  20-25

Monday, September 26, 2011

Why I live in Maine-Tribe Called Quest documentary, Lady Lamb the Beekeeper & Astronautalis

I scheduled my Saturday and Sunday shoots in Portland around the triple feature sponsored by Space.  First was Beats Rhymes & Life: The Travels Of A Tribe Called Quest at the Portland Museum of Art, then Lady Lamb the Beekeeper and Astronautalis at Space.   I dashed from my shoots to the studio, and from the studio back downtown to buy tickets for all the shows (after seeing on Facebook everything was about to sell out), trying to beat the clock to grab some dinner and a drink with Sarah who I hadn't seen in real life in way too long.

Those of you who are native Portlanders, know that anything goes when you sit outside at a patio table on Congress Street.  We flagged down Kate  who was innocently walking across the street, but were also accosted by many characters, including Norman who was a lift operator at Sunday River when Sarah worked there and did what I can only call a customer service performance piece with a forty in a paper bag.  He now works at the Hampton Inn and is apparently beloved by tourists near and far.  I apologize for no video but he is camera shy.

I had to pull a few strings and frantically texted but with the help of Sonya (who I am almost positive is responsible for all of this incredible music happening) the night went off without a hitch.    While I felt the Tribe documentary was a little disappointing, I was still elated I got to see it and PMA and Space collaborated to bring it. 
The show was sold out  and for good reason.  I was extra excited to see both performers because I have missed them every time they have played in Portland in the past and Sonya speaks so highly of them. I'm not blown away by much, but the energy and talent was amazing.  I felt like I was part of something real, something that will continue to feed me artistically.  Buy, download, like, see and support it.

Shout out from Inverno Invernado

Originally posted on Inverno Invernado:


Rachel Myers & Sean Healy, Brooklyn, New York

title: Rachel Myers & Sean Healy, Brooklyn, New York
date: 2011
relationship: friends, met through Nat May
years known: 0-5

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Adventures in Maine - Portland & Monmouth

The morning started off with Susie and her daughter, Bella.   She is my friend Noah's older sister, and I'm pretty sure I met her in the late 90's on a trip to Rockland to visit Noah.  She was running a restaurant back then but now she is a massage therapist and caters on the side.   We ran into each other recently at a Contemporaries event at the Portland Museum,  but I got to meet Bella and really catch up over a delicious cup of coffee.  She told me of her summer excursions to their sisters place up the Coast in Turkey Cove that I have very fond memories of because I started the windows body of work there.

Then off to June Fitzpatrick's place a few blocks away, also in the West End.  June is the mother hen, grande dame of the Portland art world, I can't think of any one as well respected (well perhaps Mark Bessire).  She has run at least one and often times two commercial galleries in the 17 years I've known her.  She has given many young Maine artists their first shows as well continuing to help and promote their careers.  She loves all of us artists, often greeting me when I stop by the gallery with a "hello sweetie".  I've been to many after opening parties that go until all hours at her place where the wine flows, the food abundant and the most interesting combination of collectors, artists, critics and curators you'll ever meet.  Needless to say, it was a true honor to be able to make her portrait.  And nice to sit in her gorgeous courtyard and drink coffee & eat fruit on a perfect fall day.   One of her artists Sequoia Miller was visiting from New York, so it was nice to catch up with him (I'm pretty sure we knew each other in our youth, but I can't be sure how).

Then off to Monmouth, about 20 minutes west of me to Amy's, also an artist and to meet her husband Mike and very entertaining daughters, Bea and Lilly.  Bea acted as my tour guide, whipped out a gorgeous little charcoal drawing, and gave me many hugs when I left.  Amy and I tried to figure out how we knew each other and which friend would of made the introduction way back in the old school Portland days, wondering if we actually had met in real life.  I'm pretty sure there was a bar or a party involved but the memory isn't what it used to be.  They live in a gorgeous farm house packed full of really cool stuff and Amy has one of the sweetest little studios (full of gorgeous drawings) I've ever seen in the back yard.

Justine Angelis, Jodi Miller & Scout the dog, New York City, New York

title: Justine Angelis, Jodi Miller & Scout the dog, New York City, New York
date: 2011
relationship: friends, art, met at Hampshire College
years known: Justine 20-25, Jodi 0-5

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Adventures in Cape Elizabeth, SoPo, the West End

Michael, Emily and Carter to came to visit last night and invited me out for an amazing dinner at the new Miyake and to stay with them in their hotel room at the new Marriott.  Michael even fetched coffee and baked goods from Standard in the morning!  It was remarkably fun being a tourist in my own town.
Then off to Cape Elizabeth (the kind of perfect fog days I used to yearn for when shooting the landscapes) to photograph Susan and her lovely children, Casey, Cara and Jack.  Cara excitedly told me about her analogue (!) photo class at Cape Elizabeth High School and that it was so competitive she had to get a letter of recommendation.  It made me really happy that the kids today are excited to shoot film, and made me think I should teach a high school class at the Bakery.   Susan is the editor of Maine Magazine and Maine Home & Design.  Although we have e-mailed quite a bit and been at many of the same events (as witnessed by pictures on the FB) we realized we hadn't actually met in real life, so it was extra nice she opened her beautiful art filled home to me on a Saturday morning.

 Then off to the a part of South Portland I hadn't been to photograph Beret, her husband Rick and their kids Rye & Tess. I know Beret through my years working in family law because we often refer people to the Kids First Center in Portland where she works.  Kids First is one of my favorite non profits - they do hard but very necessary work with families going through separation, divorce and post-divorce.  Beret is also a Hampshire grad, but before my time.

Then back to Portland to photograph Rob.  He is an artist that I have known for many years - I think we probably met an opening or through friends.  He lives in a very sweet studio apartment in an artist owned building on the West End and teaches art history at SMCC.

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