2020 End of year wrap-up

LSTa9799 Douglas Stockdale copyright 2020

Wow. This year ended up like no other that I have ever known. No need to check back on my game plan for 2020 that I had developed at the end of 2019, perhaps with one exception; get rid of the orange sociopath con-man who with the help of Russia stole the White House in 2016. Bye-Don!

Then came a pandemic and due to the pathetic ineptitude of the WH orange sociopath con-man, America got the worst of it and the terrible impact will still linger well into 2021. But now there’s hope for some democracy, science and sanity in 2021. Bye-Don!

Okay, got that off of my chest. sigh. Nevertheless, I think I still made some interesting lemonade with the lemons that were thrown at us. With a stay-at-home order in place, I did not have anywhere to go when the new cycle of alo vera bloomed this year, so I did more development of my Memory Pods series than I have the last couple of years. The fruits of that creative labor will be in a solo exhibit next February, see details below.

Likewise, I continued working on my Gardening For Ordnance project, developing a version of diptychs and then realizing that this was not as effective as the singular images. I also had some plans to create some new images, but what was planned was ka-boshed by COVID; I did not think photographing individuals wearing masks is in line with my intent for this project. LoL. So a post-pandemic project for next year, perhaps in the Fall of 2021.

Meanwhile my fictional mystery, Trabuco Flats, is on hiatus as well. I need to re-write this story line.

My book development workshop with Medium Photo was delayed, then converted to a virtual workshop that I led on Zoom, which occurred last October. One seat shy of a sell-out, so Medium has signed-up to repeat this workshop for the Fall of 2021. One result of this pandemic is being comfortable teaching a workshop on Zoom. Who knew. For those who have an interest in developing a book dummy sooner than next Fall, I will be leading a similar book development workshop again with LACP this March, details below. Sign-ups are open!

For me the big surprise for 2020, largely due to the pandemic shelter-in-place, is getting comfortable with my science-nerd side. When finally we were allowed to walk-about on the local park trails, masked of course, I started performing some experimental/play and when looking at the results, I was visually amazed. When trying to understand why I had the visual images that I did, it dawned on me that it was explained by Quantum Mechanics and some of the laws of particle physics. As an engineer/scientist I enjoy reading about the various trends and development related to Quantum Mechanics as a form of trivia pursuit. Little did I think of applying the practical side of this science to my artistic endeavors but that’s what happened this year. So now I am using the working title of Quantum Elements for this new series. Who knew??

Likewise, with a lot more time on my hands working from home, I had opportunities to chase other trivial facts, one of which became a bit inspirational; the Light & Space (artist) movement that occurred here in Southern California in the late 1970’s and into the 1980’s. Although this was a Southern California version of the Minimalism of NYC, the artist worked with emerging technology and engineering materials and looked to technology to explore aspects of light and space. Cool! Something a materials engineer can relate to. Thus I started experimental/play with some new materials to print my Quantum Elements images that might increase the luminance and physicality of the resulting artwork. I can diffidently see how these concepts will continue into 2021.

Case in point is the image in this post, above, that I created this week. Earlier I wrote about some changes that I needed to make with my next set of experiments for my Quantum Elements series. The opportunity came up to try these experiments out a couple of days ago and judging by the image above, I think it was pretty successful. Regretfully there is still a little bit of hit or miss as I make the various adjustments to account for the dielectric medium, light conditions and subject matter; nevertheless I am really, really happy with this result. It actually accounts for two different light refractions at the angle of incidence as predicted by Quantum Electrodynamics (QED). I have been able to capture one or the other of the possible light refractions in the past, but it has really been difficult to capture both in an esthetically interesting way (to me anyhow). Done!

Final artwork for this is 24 x 48″ (2 x 4 ft), printed on Rag Metallic, edition of 5 if you are interested.

Cheers for the New Year



Featured artwork, above; LSTa9799 (Quantum Elementscopyright 2020 Douglas Stockdale


Exhibition, Portfolio Reviews & Workshops

January 21 – 24th, 2021; Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP), EXPOSURE WEEKEND, a series of virtual portfolio reviews, and I will be on the team of available portfolio reviewers available that weekend. Sign-ups started December 1st. More information here. You might want to sign up for me if you would like some feedback on Project Development, Editing, Sequencing your work, Book design & layout and Publication advice.

February 20th – March 20th 2021; Photographs’s Eye gallery, Escondido, CA, a solo exhibition of my Memory Pods series (lens-based photography). Exhibition reception February 20th, 3-7pm.

March 13-14, 20-21, 2021; Developing Your Creative Photo Book, a workshop that I am leading again in collaboration with Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP). Workshop dates are March 13 – 14th, and March 20-21st from 9am – noon PST. Four days, two consecutive weekends, a virtual workshop on Zoom, with time between sessions to develop your book dummy. Sign-up here.

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