Archives for category: Photography

As they do, this week went from “great” to “get me out of here” overnight.  And, so, I got out; out of my apartment, city, and head and into the desert and the awesome Desert X art show.  Desert X consists of 14 installation art pieces in the desert between Whitewater, Desert Hot Springs, Palm Springs, all the way east to Coachella.  And, being the Thursday after the Coachella music festival, I avoided both traffic and crowds and had much of the area almost to myself, a small miracle anywhere in Southern California.

I left LA at 9 this morning and headed to the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs to pick up a map of Desert X. Arranged like a scavenger hunt, the maps give you the addresses, intersections or GPS coordinates of each installation but it’s up to you which you want to see and how you do it.  And, since getting in my car with good music, my camera, and the goal of finding something interesting and/or beautiful to look at is basically my favorite thing in the world, this hunt was a dream.

IMG_8648

After leaving the Ace, I headed for the Palm Springs Art Museum and Jeffrey Gibson’s tall piece in the Sculpture Garden. It was underwhelming and I quickly left for Rancho Mirage and Sunnyland. Little did I know that Sunnyland is a famed retreat for Presidents and other important people and is where former President Obama presented the Chinese President with a carved redwood bench in 2013 (I sat on it).

IMG_8660.JPG

There, I saw Lita Albuquerque’s (nice last name Burqueños!) piece titled Earth.

IMG_8657

From Sunnyland I headed to Palm Desert and Claudia Comte’s Curves and Zigzags. It hurt my eyes to look at from afar, strobing and giving me a bit of vertigo, but in a good way!

IMG_8652

But, the highlight of the day turned out to be Doug Aitken’s Mirage. Located on a hill in Palm Springs, in a residential subdivision where, judging by the no parking signs, the neighbors didn’t seem happy about the crowds flooding into their neighborhood. Models, hipsters, and fellow Instagramers were just beginning to descend, but I got there fifteen minutes before their 3:30 opening time and was able to avoid some of the masses. It was the coolest. A house made completely out of mirrors, inside and out, reflecting all.

IMG_8650.JPG

Sometimes all it takes is a good scavenger art hunt, or day trip, to both get you out of your head and to get your own creative juices flowing once again.

Back in LA now and all is good.

If you enjoy these posts, please follow smagik.com and please share!

 


When the fabric of society begins to unravel, it will be the artists, poets, thinkers, and dreamers who sew those strips into some new, as of yet unimagined, patchwork quilt. It’s happening now. Creativity and Resistance are becoming, or maybe always have been, intrinsically linked and will only become more so moving forward. 

More to come soon…

If you enjoy these posts, please follow smagik.com and please share! 

I am writing once again from a cruising altitude of 30,000+ feet, on my way back to LA from Washington D.C.  How to sum up the electric energy of the past weekend? Well… it felt truly amazing and inspiring, creative and cooperative, loving and inclusive. I feel incredibly blessed to have been a part of the Women’s March on January 21st and to have seen our nation’s capital at its most capitally by arriving the night before the Inaguration. 

Exiting the deserted Metro on January 20th, just after noon, we were greeted by an onslaught of red hats. But, the sea dissipated quickly and the National Mall was actually quite empty. 

The next morning was anything but. 


Thinking we had given ourselves plenty of time by starting for the Metro at 8:30, hoards of men, women, and children were already packed into full cars and stations. As we rose to ground level, a sea of pink hats stretched as far as we could see. 

And so began nine hours of camaraderie, sharing, walking, not drinking water so we wouldn’t have to use the nonexistent bathrooms, people watching, and marching. 

Tiny hands, tiny feet, all you do is tweet, tweet, tweet. 


So, now what? 

Back home, how do we turn enthusiasm into sustained action, rather than curling up in a ball as everything we love about this country is dismantled before our eyes? 

Make it fun, somehow. Four years is a long time and if resisting starts to feel like drudgery, it won’t sustain. Find a community, create beauty and use humor, take breaks, and use the slow and steady approach. The signs at the women’s march were amazing, clever, and funny. Hundreds of thousands of people sat at their kitchen tables in the days leading up to the march with glue, markers, and paper and created signs which are now being sent to museums around the world. Many thousands of others sat in yarn shops knitting pink pussy hats. Use your hands to ground you. 

Resist, resist, resist. 

I stand with healthcare for all, reproductive rights, LGBT equality, Black Lives Matter, immigrants of all faiths and nationalities, Earth, science, art, children, Standing Rock, the rogue national park’s service, beauty, love, creativity, The National Endowment for the Arts, journalists, generosity, intellect, curiosity, joy, fun, NPR and PBS, books, the world, and love. It will always trump fear. Even if it doesn’t look like it at the moment. 

If you enjoy these posts, please follow smagik.com and please share. 


If only I could convey with words the smell of piñon smoke, sound of geese flying overhead, and cold kiss of snowflakes on cheeks.  The softness of wet earth under muddy boots and bright, red willows. Winter in Northern New Mexico. 

Sunrise

By Mary Oliver

You can

die for it–

an idea,

or the world. People
have done so,

brilliantly,

letting

their small bodies be bound
to the stake,

creating

an unforgettable

fury of light. But
this morning,

climbing the familiar hills

in the familiar

fabric of dawn, I thought
of China,

and India

and Europe, and I thought

how the sun
blazes

for everyone just

so joyfully

as it rises
under the lashes

of my own eyes, and I thought

I am so many!

What is my name?
What is the name

of the deep breath I would take

over and over

for all of us? Call it
whatever you want, it is

happiness, it is another one

of the ways to enter

fire.


Happy Winter Solstice!

 

img_5645

img_5640

Election Day 2016

 

“You don’t really like people, do you?” a coworker asked me yesterday upon realizing I would be making our final drive north,  to Colorado, by myself. 

“No,” I responded and smiled to myself, though that’s not entirely true. I do like people. I just like being alone in my car, with my music, camera, and thoughts, more. 

I had a flashback to the time I randomly decided to drive to New Hampshire to be a camp counselor after meeting the owner of the camp at a dinner party in Santa Fe. It was the summer of 2000, I was in college, and it seemed more fun than working in a restaurant, so off I drove. As one of only a few counselors who had cars, I would sneak away on my one weekly day off, hiding from the others who wanted to hitch a ride, and head up the coast to Maine, or into Boston, or down any small road that struck my fancy. Before the days of cell phones, GPS, camera apps, and blogs, I did exactly what I do now, but in analog form…. Postcards, my old Pentax K1000 camera, and scratched CDs ruled. 

Now, as I sit in the costume trailer on our second to last day of filming, the sun is coming up over the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Westcliffe, CO, it is fall, another summer has come and gone, and there is static in my ear from the walkie talkie headset. I slept in yet another motel, my eighth of this show, woke in the dark, and at wrap will look for somewhere to eat and drink a beer with my coworkers. 

It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just that 75 hours a week spent with 150 people is as much as I can handle. Upon wrapping this show, I look forward to my upcoming drives to California, possibly up the PCH once there, and to having time to myself once again. 

If you enjoy these posts, please follow Smagik.com and please share. 

img_5057

It was drizzling when I woke in Chama, NM, this morning and as I stepped through my screen door and onto the shared front porch of the Vista del Rio Lodge, it smelled like the mountains as rain covered newly fallen leaves and still blooming flowers.  After chatting with the women at the front desk and getting my free cup of coffee, I turned right and headed south, towards Santa Fe, to begin our last few days of filming.

The first day of fall, rain, Bob Dylan on the radio, another show coming to an end, many changes on the horizon… It was some combination of these factors that filled me with a mixture of gratitude and nostalgia.  Gratitude for all that has led me to this point and nostalgia for all that has been.  Never happier than when I am behind the wheel with my camera, good music, and no plan for the day, I felt full to the point of tears.

img_5053img_5054img_5056

If you enjoy these posts, please follow smagik.com and please share!

Packing, cleaning, and getting ready to head back to New Mexico. A last minute trip back up to Griffith Observatory, one of my favorite places in LA.