Yart Sale, Sunday, May 17

What, you ask, is a "Yart" sale? Yard + Art! 
The Mar Vista series is emerging from storage and will be featured in my front yard.
left: #15 [sold]                                        right: #31
Digital photographs printed on paper, 4x4" ©2006
Here's my statement about them:

From Mar Vista

I moved to Mar Vista six years ago into a suburban tract developed in 1953. I noticed that many of the homes have roofline embellishments that look very much like birdhouses. (The architectural term for them is dovecotes). I began photographing these as I walked around the neighborhood. Upon further study, I discovered there were six major styles of dovecote that could be subdivided into placement on roofline, coloration, orifice quantity and shape. My area of study was bounded by the following streets: Walgrove, Rose, Beethoven, and Palms. The photographs were shot from February 2003 – March 2006.

Photography is an integral component of my work process but I do not consider myself a photographer. I use the medium more as a creative tool to record scenes that interest me and to help organize my thoughts. When I shot these images (with a digital Nikon Coolpix 995), I was concentrating on getting as centered and symmetrical a composition as I could. My subsequent digital manipulation in Photoshop was minimal. I deliberately desaturated the colors to evoke a nostalgic feel - suggesting the look of old faded snapshots. I cropped and sized to mimic old Polaroids and to keep the encounter intimate. The final output is Epson inkjet on Epson Fine Art paper. 

Serial themes are a constant in my work - no matter what the medium or subject matter. Perhaps this arises from my work as a printmaker during my formative years as an artist, or perhaps it's my nature to organize + categorize things in multiples. Artists that work in this manner inspire me greatly -- from Monet's haystacks to Ed Ruscha's images of LA apartment buildings. I also have been influenced by Ruscha’s slyly humorous deadpan approach in his photographic work.

Many of the homes in Mar Vista are undergoing remodeling as new owners require more space. The 50's ranch homes and their whimsical details are steadily disappearing. I've recorded a few of them here -- for when I think of my neighborhood, the fake birdhouses are the first thing that come to mind.

Anne M Bray
April 2006


A-Z Challenge Accepted and Met

The April A-Z Challenge was a wild ride, to be sure.
The best part? Getting 26 new pieces done for my "Southwest Sojourn" show at TAG Gallery.
The worst part? Getting those 26 pieces done in a timely manner!

Mid-February, I was considering showing all older pastels for my April-May show at TAG Gallery.
Then a post by Thrift Shop Commando reminded me of the A-Z Challenge and over the course of several mornings' commutes, my concept gelled.

I feel a good sense of accomplishment over getting the new work done and creating blog posts with some of the stories behind the images. Having to work super-fast on the digital paintings kept my technique loose.

As far as the part of the A-Z Challenge where one reads and comments on as many blogs as possible, I failed utterly. For one, the list of 1516 blogs is daunting.
Second, it's all a hodge podge and very hit or miss. Better would be separate link-up sections for genres, so at least all the travel-themed blogs would be together. A "wild card" category could be included, for those that don't want to pigeonhole themselves.  All the linkups could and should still be on one page.
Third, I was way too busy with the day job, the art show, and the other A-Z posting that I was doing on my fashion blog SpyGirl. The A-Z links are all still up, however, so I will be able to explore at my leisure. Yay.