Singular Images

January 7, 2019

Memory Pod exhibit sold-out; great start for 2018

Filed under: Art, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 7:00 am

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Untitled (Memory Pods) copyright 2015 Douglas Stockdale

A little more validation that my Memory Pods project is the one that I need to focus on in 2019; earlier this week when I went to my L.A. gallery (Fabrik Projects) to pick up the remaining photograph from the Holiday exhibit I was told that the last photograph had been sold earlier in the day. Wow! Apparently someone arrived while the exhibit was being taken down and they still wanted to walk the remaining exhibition. They were smitten by and purchased my last remaining photograph. Very, very nice.

My first ever sold-out exhibition!

This is a very great way to start the year and a strong validation of the Memory Pods project. As I posted earlier, I will continue to further develop this project in 2019. Appears that the gallery director really liked this body of work and perhaps I my have another solo exhibition in the works.

Over the holidays I had started to re-examine this project, such as the redevelopment of the currently untitled image in this post, above. I had photographed this still life composition in 2015 and the image had continued to hold my interest. Until recently I was unsure of how I wanted the final image to appear. Over the recent holidays I started to work on it again trying to place further emphasize on the fading and decomposing qualities of memories (memory pods) as an abstract process. I think that this is a stronger version of this photograph and more in line with my pre-visialization.

I also added a black edge border to the photograph as part of defining the limits of the image as one might think of a using a matte to outline a framed photograph. Another visual aspect to consider (yes, I also have a version of this that does not have the black border). So far, so good.

Cheers,

Doug

January 1, 2019

Holiday working on my website – Middle Ground

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Alternative Crossing (Middle Ground) copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

This Holiday weekend I found myself working on an unexpected task; while making my end of the year posts, I wanted to link-up my various projects on my web-site. Except when I went to link up my recent artist-book project Middle Ground, this project was not on my web-site. What!!. Then it dawned on me, I was wondering what was missing when I made the recent SquareSpace transfer for my web site’s back-bone; now I know; I had not included the transfer of Middle Ground project.

I guess what I might call a Freudian-slip; spending so much time with this project recently I must have been on a bit of over-load and forgot it, OR a bit disappointed with how this book and project did not resonate as a social protest project against the Trumpian-fourth-century-barrier along the US-Mexico border (yes, think how effective the Great Wall of China was for the Chinese. Hint: it wasn’t).

So the fix is in and I now have the Middle Ground project up on my web-site; here. This will of course help a tad bit with some of my gallery and exhibition submissions that I am planning for this year ;- )

Cheers & Happy New Year!

Doug

December 31, 2018

Best wishes for a Creative New Year in 2019!

Filed under: Art, Memory pods, Middle Ground, Projects/Series, Trabuco Flats Mystery — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 12:45 am

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Untitled (Memory Pods) 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

In my last post I recounted my accomplishments for 2018, which is the first half of my end-of-the-year two-part series, while today’s post is the second part that is more about looking ahead at 2019. At the end of 2017 I did not announce very many stated goals for 2018; essentially I wanted to self-publish my artist book Middle Ground. That appeared daunting enough and I really wanted to focus on that publishing task to make it a reality.

So a few goals for 2019; one part is developing deeper relationships with my friends while looking forward to new connections; one part is moving at least two of my long term projects forward and third part is making some infrastructure investments that support my creative processes.

I realize it is very easy to get wrapped-up working on projects in the studio so I need to work on getting out a bit more often in conjunction with doing a better job of staying in touch with all of my friends, family and new acquaintances. A friend of mine reserves at least a couple of hours each Friday as a stay-in-touch day; of course this was started a bit before the advent of social media. So I am going to try to do that each Friday; phone calls and maybe emails and Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn do not count. I am also going to expand my Friday task list to work on increasing my collection of gallery rejection letters; like the lottery, if you don’t play, you can’t win. So I need to make regular submissions and more networking for my various projects.

Last year I think one of my un-stated goals was after self-publishing Middle Ground to start working on the publication of my next book; either my project Gardening for Ordnance or maybe Memory Pods. I had this grand idea of finishing a book each year, only because books were something I could work on in the background while doing my day-job. The recent gallery representation and selling my art-work at Fabrik Projects this year has turned that idea upside down. I can now anticipate getting my projects exhibited and obtain more feedback while developing these projects into a book; I think the publication will happen, but may just take a little bit longer to develop. Which is a good thing.

The continued interest in Memory Pods is bringing this project to the forefront going into 2019, such as the revised image above with this post. One thing I would like to experiment with this year to support this investigation is acquiring a short extension tube, probably 21mm to start, for use with the 120mm Makro for the Hasselblad. I think that the Memory Pods project is one I will be basing a lot of my gallery submissions on this next year. After four years, I think I have a nice body of work for this project, and I will be adding more to it this year. Kind of struggling with the publication pre-visualization of this project for a while now, but perhaps I might make progress on this as well this next year.

I have the introduction of my Trabuco Flats project pretty much worked out and much of the body of this project but unsure of how to close the project. I also have the book concept developed and a local printer who thinks that they can print and bind this book as I have intended. One thing I think I need for this project and hope to acquire early next year is a moderate wide angle lens, probably a 50mm CF f/4, for the Hassleblad to use conjunction with my stash of very expired film. So I will continue developing Trabuco Flats in 2019 as well. Appears that this project is taking precedence over Gardening for Ordnance for a while, although these two projects overlap a bit, so working on one can support the other.

The other investment I need to make is going to be a new larger printer since my 14 year old Epson 4800 printer is working only about 75% of the time (which is to say that one out of every four prints does not print well, with the trailing edge of the image banding). I have my eye on a 24″ wide Canon, but I will need to move a lot of things around in my tiny studio space to make this happen. A 44″ wide printer will just not fit, so I will defer to my friend Mark to create the 40″ x 50″ prints when I need these. Hopefully I will need Mark’s printing support more often this next year ;- D

So I want to close this year with a big Thanks to you all for reading what I irregularly post here from time to time, your comments and feedback and wish you all a very creative New Year. I know that I am going to do my best!

Cheers!

Doug

December 28, 2018

2018 End of year wrap-up

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Loss (Memory Pods) 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

It’s the end of another year, so time to celebrate new friends, closer relationships, accomplishments and good times. So today I am looking back and in the next day or so, I will be looking ahead as to what I would like to accomplish for 2019.

The life of an artist also has its ups and downs, sometimes success and sometimes not. Earlier this year I wrote about dealing with stress, which for many folks goes well beyond being an artist, so worth reposting the link. I also find looking back at all of the year’s accomplishments to help keep things in perspective; life is best lived one day at a time and that living is a process of putting one foot in front of the other, whether at a crawl or a sprint. Interestingly, of the many things that went well this past year, only one or two were really anticipated, while many of the others were great opportunities that materialized and I was ready to take advantage of the situation (maybe another good post for next year; be like a Boy Scout and “be prepared”).

So Chronologically, here are some of the really nice creative things that happened this year.

Middle Ground; self-published my limited edition (E of 99) artist book last spring, which I had in development for the past year and half. I also learned about the vexing intricacies of leporello (accordion) book binding. I had not anticipated that my living room was going to be a dedicated book production area for almost two months.

Solo exhibition, gallery representation and an Artsy.net featured artist for my project/artist book Middle Ground at Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles at the end of Spring.

Book designer for Christine Kaplan’s self-published photobook On My Walk that was launched at the UCLA Health’s “Back-yard Concert” & fund-raising event during the summer.

Started another new project, Trabuco Flats, while working on my Gardening for Ordnance project when I happened upon what the OC Sheriff called a “suspicious circumstance” (what they thought looked like an old sunken shallow grave). Start of a mystery investigation. So I now have three long term projects that are on-going. Yikes.

I attended a number of Los Angeles area art and photo exhibitions, book events and art fairs meeting up with old friends while making numerous new friends and acquantances. The Jasper John’s retrospective exhibition at the (Los Angeles) Broad Museum was one of the highlights of the summer.

Provided artist talks and portfolio reviews with a number of local artist organizations, including LACP, Palos Verde Art Center PADA, and during my solo exhibition at Fabrik Projects. I also inked a book design workshop with the Medium Festive (San Diego) for next March 2019 (limited space still available).

Ended the year with the Holiday Sale exhibition at Fabrik Projects and very honored to sell the two photographs (including Loss, above). I quickly framed another edition of Loss for the gallery exhibition (I can now talk about this as it was someone’s special Christmas gift) and provided a third framed photograph that was in reserve, both of which are still available for a special price until the end of this year (yes, a couple of days from now). The sale of these two photographs from my Memory Pods project has reignited the creative flames and I have been working on this over the holidays.

For my photo book review site, The PhotoBook Journal, we had some nice accomplishments as well. This is the tenth year of publishing this book review e-zine and in conjunction with the growing editorial team, we have published over 500 contemporary artist and photo book reviews. Wow.

I am sure that I have missed something, but overall, I think it was a pretty good year and now getting ready for 2019. Yes, I did purchase some photographic equipment, such as a new (used) lens for the Hasselblad, as well a bunch of new brushes for my acyclic painting (that I resumed my interest in painting might be another subject to post for next year). More about what I would like to accomplish for 2019 in another post shortly.

Cheers!

Doug

PS (update); also realized that in 2018 in conjunction with Gerhard Clausing, we started to curate a series of on-line exhibitions with the Photographers Exchange, a group of photographers who meet monthly at the Irvine Fine Arts Center, Irvine, CA. I curated three on-line exhibitions for 2018 and I will have another, “Water & Ice“, in early January 2019. We are planning to continue this series through 2019 and probably beyond.

below: cover of Middle Ground (Note: copies of this artist book edition are still available)

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December 18, 2018

Book workshop with Medium Festival – revised dates & special Discount available

Filed under: Art, Photobook, Projects/Series, Workshops — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:35 pm

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Guide book-dummy, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

First; my Developing a Creative Photo Book workshop dates for Medium have been changed to March 23 & 24th, 2017. Thus the workshop has moved to bit later, one weekend exactly, from what I had announced last month. This should still be a wonderful spring weekend to spend in San Diego having some creative and intense fun to help you move your artist book forward. You will have a chance to spend some quality time at our destination hotel for this event: Lafayette Hotel & Swim Club in San Diego.

Second, if you act fast and register before December 25th, 2018, you can obtain a 15% discount! Okay, actually you can obtain a 15% discount for any of the four 2019 workshops, including mine, being provided by the Medium Festival, which include Susan Burnstine’s “Developing the Personal Narrative”, Brandon Thobodeaux’s “Bridging Fine Art & Commercial Photography” and scott b. davis’s “Advance Platinum/Palladium Printing”. good stuff!

As a reminder about my workshop: The goal of this workshop is to discuss each photographer’s vision, mission and objectives for the publication of a photographic project and then to gain an understanding of how these conceptual aspects translate into a book object. Fundamental to the book development process is learning aspects of the editing, sequencing of the body of photographs and in the context of a book design to shape and narrate a story. The purpose of this workshop is to provide photographers with the building blocks to move from a complex unorganized mass of images into a refined edit and subsequently sequence to create a pre-visualization of their book concept.

Registration and more information can be found here.

Let me know if you have any questions, and please take advantage of this holiday discount. Just saying….

Cheers!

 

December 13, 2018

Annual Christmas card rite – 2018

Filed under: Art, Photography, Picture Postcards — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:45 pm

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Vail, Sandstone Creek, February 2018, copyright Douglas Stockdale

It is the time of year to send out the Holiday cards, which for us is a Merry Christmas (greeting) card that also includes the best wishes for the New Year. So spoiler alert, our photo this year is not the one above. Rather this photograph was cropped into a horizontal format, posted below, for the reasons I will soon reveal.

So as I posted last year and the year before as well as the year before that, we do not live where it snows, or at least not at our home. We can see it on the distant mountain tops, but Southern California near the beach is not known for its magnificent snow fall. Rain, yes, snow, no.

Thus it is my duty that when we go visit the snow for our annal ski trip, usually in Colorado, which has lots and lots of snow, I need to make the annual Christmas card photo for the following December. If I fail to find something, then I need to dig into my past ski photographs to find an alternative. Fortunately this past February the ski conditions were great and while I was out-and-about along my favorite creeks side, I created some photographs that had great potential. I will admit, these are not my project photographs, but more in line with a fun photo assignment to bring back the “Hallmark Christmas Card Photo”. Which means it should have some lyrical potential.

One troubling aspect of having heavy snow, which is really, really great for skiing, is that everything looks pretty stark and graphic: lots and lots of white with little bits of dark. So the challenge is to find a little bit of color that I can worked on later in the studio.

So while hiking up the side of the creek I spied this little leafless bush poking out of the snow which had some potential. The resulting image was made with a (normal) 50mm f/1.4 lens on my 5DMk3 in conjunction with a tripod. The exposure was with the lens pretty wide open to allow the background to go slightly out of focus, but with enough definition to know that there is a creek back there and retain some foreground snow texture. I also like that this photograph has a hint of abstract qualities; the focused graphic lines of the branches in the foreground in conjunction with the softer lines and shapes in the background.

Why the vertical versus the horizontal format?  As you might suspect; which was the photograph format that was the best fit for the card template that I wanted to use? If I wanted one of these two alternatives of this photograph for an exhibition; I would probably go with the horizontal layout. I like the open view point of the horizontal composition and the horizontal framing feels just a bit too constricting in the way some of the outside branches are turncated. Nevertheless, the horizontal photograph looks great on the printed cards (by the way, I used Dual Graphics, Brea, CA to print these cards)

At the very bottom of this post is a photograph that I had in initially in mind for the card. A close second for this year.

Merry Christmas & the very best for the New Year!

Doug

Btw, if you enjoy these photographs and you would like to purchase a print, message me as to the sizes that are available or the size you would like to acquire.

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December 11, 2018

Trabuco Flats – still evolving

Filed under: Photography, Projects/Series, Trabuco Flats Mystery — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 11:44 pm

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Trabuco Flats, 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

After recently making the changes to move my website operations to SquareSpace, I have been taking some time away from working (photographing) my Trabuco Flats project. Some needed reflection time. When I find myself unsure of how a project should look (revisualization), I think it is best to slow down. I have been doing some journaling about this project and see how it reads. Fictional, semi-fictional or a bit documentary? At the moment, I am moving from the entirely fictional to more of the semi-fictional and not sure that this will become a documentary type narrative. Perhaps a bit like the Pine Lake and Bluewater Shore projects.

The photograph in this post was made earlier this year and I now think might become part of this project (from another project in the same vicinity). Interestingly I had photographed this same location earlier in the day without any shadows and then later when I observed the shadows, this aspect seemed to add another mysterious dimension to this composition. So I made another series of exposures and now happy that I did.

As you can see, this is a “straight” color image and in line with this earlier post about the use of straight black & white, color or highly manipulated images. I think I am getting a handle on how all of these different visual styles might mash-up in my book design which will support my narrative concept. Also means that I am getting closer to the book development phase of creating the first version of my book dummy (marquette).

I also need to get my printer fixed (again) as well as it’s time to upgrade my color management system. More about that shortly.

I just finished my end-of-the-year big task selecting the “Interesting Artist and Photo Books for 2018” for The PhotoBook Journal. The 12 books were just announced this past weekend, so I spent a bunch of the last couple of days promoting it on the various social media channels. Meanwhile we still need to continue reviewing photobooks. This year I have three more book reviewers joining the TPBJ, so a bit of my time coaching them on how we have been doing the book review process.

Meanwhile, it is time to enjoy the holidays and I will be discussing my Holiday Christmas card very soon.

Cheers!

November 29, 2018

Fabrik Projects 2018 Holiday Pop-up

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 4:45 am

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Loss, Memory Pods, 2014 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I will have a couple of framed photographs on exhibit at Fabrik Projects for the month of December as part of their “2018 Holiday Pop-up”. This is a group show that will feature artwork that is reasonably priced for the holidays. My photographs are from my Memory Pod series, and Loss, above,  recently garnering an Honorable Mention at IFAC’s “All Media” exhibition.

The exhibition opening reception is this Saturday, from 6pm to 9pm at the gallery, located at 2636 South La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, California and the exhibition extends through the end of December.

Joining me for this group exhibition are a diverse group of artists, including Amadea Bailey, Yuri Boyko, J.T. Burke, Jessie Chaney, Martin Cox, Betsy Enzensberger, Cia Foreman, Astrid Francis & Bob Francis, Rob Grad, Sarah Hadley, Maureen Haldeman, JJ L’Heureux, Elizabeth Kitchen, Brandon Kusher, Patrick Ramsey, SameSource, Marilyn Sanders, Linda Stelling, Jane Szabo, Sharon Weiner, Glen Wexler and Nancy Wise.

Let me know if you would like more information about these photographs.

Cheers!

Doug

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November 26, 2018

Website Switch up to SquareSpace

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Trabuco Flats, copyright 2018 Douglas Stockdale

For those who might have followed the link to my website these past few days probably had a bit of a visual surprise when you were greeted with a brand new home page. So while I was taking some time to evaluate how I wanted to proceed with my Trabuco Flats project, I decided it was also time to put into play something that had been bothering me for a while with PhotoShelter, the back-bone host for my domain name.

As an artist, I have a lot of photographs and art work to share and I must admit that PhotoShelter did a great job of making me look pretty good. Since I also create artist books and other publications to sell, PhotoShelter was not so hot. In fact they do not have an effective way to allow you to show the books, least help with sales. Even after I called their technical support, got the sorry story. Bummer.

It’s always been part of my game plan that I would work with small photobook stores to partner with in order to sell my books, thus I did not make the sales options for my web site as a very high priority until recently. In today’s artistbook and photobook market it seems that many, if not most, small bookstores get a constant deluge of new titles. Thus I realizing to effectively sell my books, I need to have the option(s) to be able to sell directly.

Thus I used the time to evaluate some alternative sites that might be able to host my domain name, have a great ability to show photographs and products (artist books) and the commerce infrastructure to take orders. I had evaluated SquareSpace when I made the earlier decision to go with PhotoShelter but the buzzzz seemed to point to recent changes in how SquareSpace could be developed (I am NOT a IS programmer! So it has to be pretty simple). It quickly appeared to me that SquareSpace was now a good potential to check all of my boxes.

One nice thing about SquareSpace that sucks you in is there FREE 15 day offer to develop your web site and see if it seems to work for you. Wow, what a difference in bringing all of my website parts together; easy. Perhaps even the Big Easy. Also an improvement in how they manage and subsequently display photographs and art work. Still a few quirks in how SquareSpace does things, but since I have been poking a lot of blog sites, etc for my social media, I assumed that certain things could be done; so it was just a bit of a learning curve on how to do it.

I decided on the option of having a landing page that would announce something in particular and then a big ENTER to make sure you know where to proceed. This allows me to keep the focus on an event, such as my up coming workshop with Medium Festival for Developing a Creative Book that will occur in San Diego next March 23 and 24th. I then can decide where within the website you will first subsequently land, which for now is my project Trabuco Flats. So far, so good.

Thus just before Thanksgiving my web site was pretty well designed on SquareSpace, so I decided to pull the trigger and transfers my domain name from PhotoShelter. I did not upgrade to the commerce capabilities yet as I still want to make sure that all of the things were in place and learn a little bit more about their formatting tools. I also want to poke some of the other sites on SquareSpace that use the selling tools to get some ideas of what I want to implement. Not that anybody was looking to buy my artist books for Cyber Monday!

Maybe I missed a big sales opportunity this year, but there is always next year while going slow and easy at my own pace keeps my stress levels down. I need to enjoy the day.

So I put enough hyper links in this post and if you have not taken the bait yet, then check it out now.

Cheers!

Doug

November 12, 2018

10 years of photo book inspirations

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Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book, 2017 copyright Douglas Stockdale

As many of you know, in addition to writing this photo-blog in which I discuss my photographic projects and other odds and ends, I am also the Editor of The PhotoBook Journal. I started The PhotoBook Journal (TPBJ) shortly after starting this blog back in 2008 when I noticed that there was an extremely strong response to the book reviews of the photobooks in my personal collection. At that time there was really only one other photobook review site by Jeffery Ladd, which he has since ceased contributing to. So now 10 years have passed and we just passed the 500th photobook review! That’s a big Wowzer!!

Meantime, I have continued to acquire more photobooks in my collection, as well as receive donations (aka submissions) for consideration, photobooks that either I could not afford or not sure I would acquire. I realized that one aspect that I could provide with TPBJ is to review a broad and diverse range of International photobooks to expand the potential creative consideration for artists, photographers and collectors.

In turn this diversity of books has also inspired my photographic and photobook practice. I will also admit that writing the TPBJ has forced me to think a little clearer about the intent of a photographic project. Likewise I think the editorial responsibilities have drastically improve my writing skills; no longer an engineer writing a cut and dried specification or technical report, but now thinking of how to create an informative and inspirational narrative. Wow. I think my high school English teacher would be stunned by the transformation.

Likewise, I have been able to hold some of the most inspirational and brilliantly designed and printed photobooks that have published over the past 10 years. I also think that we have also helped to launch a few photobook artist careers, as the only prerequisite for consideration on TPBJ is a well thought out and executed photobook project. Thus many, many photobooks that personally inspire me for my own book practice; the books in my collection set the bar pretty high as well as provide some very creative alternatives. This led to Ciociaria being published by Edizioni Punctum (still available), and my three self-published limited edition artist books; Pine Lake (sold out), Bluewater Shore (just a few left) and this year, Middle Ground (still available).

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Middle Ground, published 2018, copyright Douglas Stockdale

Which in turn has lead to my photobook design workshops and subsequently to mentoring other artists, photographers, and publishers as to how to move their personal or business practices forward. Such as the photobook by Christine Kaplan, On My Walk, that I provided the book design and editing which she self-published this summer. The workshops and mentoring led to the publication last year of Guide to Self-publishing an Indie Artist Book last year & which is still available ($19.95 USD plus postage; message me if you would like a copy of this or the others doug@douglasstockdale.com)

All in all, the last 10 years has been an inspirational and wonderful ride; thanks for supporting me on this interesting artistic journey!

Cheers,

Doug

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