Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My week in photos

I did this illustration Sunday night. I was inspired by the work of Jonas Bergstrand (dot com) who combines computer drawn elements with photos (hand drawn, then scanned, in mine). I love the freedom and possibilities this approach gives you. I also love how quickly I can complete an image. This one took me about two hours. Hope this cinches the magic formula that lands me another creative agency (sent my portfolio out to over two dozen Monday). If not I will try again. And again. And again. I already belong to Emerging Blue (dot com). I'm even one of their featured artists. Nice people. Wish they had more clients...

I mentioned last week that I was going to the Academy of Sciences to take advantage of it's once a month free day. Well, I went. Didn't go in, though. Because of this line...
I asked someone in front how long he'd been waiting. "Four hours. We've been here since ten." What? After the Smithsonian museums, where even on crowded days one can just walk in for free ($25!!! at the Academy), I was incensed by how expensive museums can be over here, forcing many to wait in ridiculous lines during free days without any assurance of getting in. But remembering I was there to de-stress, not to find something else to rant about, I went for a pleasant park hike (in dreary SF summer weather) instead.

I don't take a lot of nature photos, but I was struck here by the patterns...

Afterwards, Japantown, the new New People store. Hmm, what do you think? I find this style utterly hideous and can't see it catching on here. But I might be wrong.

Friday, I took another 'day off,' this time to Half Moon Bay. In restless moody moods I sometimes crave the open ocean and sunshine. But I spent most of my time there wandering through cute little stores...
I want this dish set. I would love to walk into my kitchen at night and see my dishes glowing neon green.

Friday night, L. and I went here...
The Saddle Rack. I don't like country music, but this kind of dancing, the kind with steps with or without a partner, I do like. One guy there, must have been in his seventies or eighties, danced every dance with a new partner each time. I bet he gets marriage proposals.

Saturday morning at Peet's...
I love the expression on the face of the girl on the right. Priceless. It's like she's never heard this kind of music nor ever seen anyone dressed like that before.

Saturday night L. & I went to the picturesque little seaside town of Capitola for this landscape photography club meeting I'd signed up for.
Injured woman and her child on the Capitola esplenade...What would you have done? I took this photo because I saw a moving moment happening. But afterwards, especially after the friend or husband of the woman stepped in front of her (to prevent me from getting a clearer photo, I think), I felt guilty. Then again I was glad I got the photo. Ruthlessness for the sake of art. The child stayed there the entire time, even while the paramedics examined her, by the way. And the woman I presume, since she was allowed to go home, was alright.

I took this policeman's photo (I asked his permission first) because I'd never seen a policeman, on the job, in a wheelchair before. I had to ask (though maybe I shouldn't have) if he ever chased any bad guys (so to speak). Sometimes, he said. I tried not to picture it.
Hmm, that was kind of a mean thought. I should have asked him to be my apres goth model. What images would I have ended up with then? And I'd see him as more than a policeman in a wheelchair. An opportunity lost...

I did these squirrelized photos because I have too much time on my hands..
This is my adorable niece Vivienne. I just want to reach through the screen and pinch those fat, little cheeks. Hers of course.

Hey guys! Look behind you!

This is my favorite...
Something about the squirrel in contrast to Mr Dark Night of the Soul makes me chuckle every time. I know, I'm a child. But what's funnier than moody self absorption? ;-)

A cartoonized version of the squirrel...
Hee, hee, hee... Yah, too much time on my hands.


  1. Wow, Cheryl, you have been a busy bee! :-) I really like the new illustration. It's like combining two worlds - something that really interests me - and I can imagine that the possibilities here are tremendous. I can see lots of experimentation and exploration taking place! And I so hope that this helps to clinch you the work you desire. Thanks for sharing the photos and elements from your most recent experiences. As always, so fascinating! Keep being in the bliss, my friend. xx

  2. If this is what you manage to accomplish with "too much time on your hands" I am in awe of you.

  3. Your squirrelized pix are hilarious...

    watching more formalized dancing is pretty cool huh? Specially when there are people who are REALLY good at it...

    The Peet's girl IS very funny...

    Good luck with your portfolio! I love the new images with computerized people!

  4. Great illustration. I love Half Moon Bay. You have been busy. I like the squirrel, and that niece of yours, what a doll.

  5. I love the squirrel, Cheryl. The picture of the girl watching the busker is truly priceless. You should use that somewhere.

  6. Hi Carol Anne, me too, after years of working in a more or less realistic style, to work in a way that's deliberately unrealistic is very freeing. More like play than the drudgery of trying to get things right. I want to push it further, see how surreal I can go.

    We'll see what happens. I know a lot of it has to do with the economy and is therefor out of y hands. But I also know some people out there are still getting hired. So why not me? Just have to keep trying. And as ever, thank you for your support. It means a lot. xx

    Hi Beth, thanks, at least someone thinks I'm using my time wisely :) At least I haven't been laying around on the couch channel surfing.

    Hi Shanster, Thanks, I could use all the well wishes I can get. We'll see though. I don't want to get my hopes up, don't want to assume the worst.

    Yeah, I've never been to a country/western line dance club, but I really liked it. The music was a bit hard to get into, but since it's not the free form kind of dance one does in a regular club it wasn't a problem. We even, towards the end of the evening, got to do the hustle! That was fun.

    The PEET's girl, truthfully I didn't even see her when I took the photo. I should resize it so you can see her face more clearly.

    Thanks again!

    Hi Elizabeth, Thanks! Yes, I never bothered to explore Half Moon Bay until recently. But I love having small, seaside towns to go to when I'm sick of home. Thanks again, they were just for fun but I rather like them. And yes! My niece is overwhelmingly cute. I want one just like her.

    Hi Helena, thanks, me too. :) That had me giggling for a day or two, though now they're starting to lose their giggle effect. And thanks, maybe I will! I'll probably include that photo in my photography portfolio at least.

  7. See you are quite busy my lady :)
    That squirrel nearly killed me. I think I laughed my lungs out.
    Your niece is just a cutie pie!
    I have never in my life seen a policeman in a wheelchair. Good for him!
    The Saddle Rack looks like lot of fun. Did you get a marriage proposal?
    As for the creative agency: I'm crossing my fingers for you!

  8. I love that you describe what you see in the different photos that you took. It really allows me to understand why you are an artist and I am not. For instance, the yellow flowers...I liked the "colors". You like the "patterns". I would NEVER have even looked for patterns. I think its amazing how you think.

    And the fact that I totally loved the squirrelized photos probably tells you what an unsophisticated mind I have.

  9. Oh yeah, and I totally wish you Good Luck on your job prospects. They'll call!!

  10. Hi Dutch Donut Girl, hee, hee, hee, thanks! I'm glad you thought it was as funny as I did! Yeah, the policeman...L. and I theorized that he must have been injured on the job (maybe chasing a bad guy) and they let him stay on. The Saddle Rack was fun, a bit expensive ($10 before 9 pm, $20 after) but worth it. The guys there are way more polite than they are in regular nightclubs. No worries about being bumped and grinded there.

    Thanks! Need all the crossed fingers I can get!

  11. Hi Theresa, then I'm just as unsophisticated as you! I thought they were hilarious.

    Seeing like an artist: It took me ages to develop a more artistic eye. I remember thinking I'd never get it. Only thing about it is I can't turn it off now. There's no after work for an artist. I'm always working, even when I'm not being paid for what I do. Not that this is a bad thing, just different, I guess.

    And thank you so much for your encouragement! I hope encouragement turns to congratulations soon...

  12. Wow, so much to comment on here. I'm sure I won't remember everything!

    The first illustration is cool. I love the way you captured their butts!

    I don't like country music much, but love dancing to it (as well as other types of partner dancing)!

    The girl looking at the musician is priceless!

    The shot of the woman/child is great. I'm always too chicken to get shots like these, but I go photowalking with people that are ruthless and just do it too!

    The Policeman looks nice. I'm glad he agreed to let you take his photo!

    I don't even know what to say about all those squirrel shots. Ha!

  13. So, you found a Swedish artist! :-)

    Looked at Emerging Blue which looks like a nice site. It seems however that the search tool only allows you to see the first artist on line (Albertico). Or maybe I missed something...?

  14. Hi Maya, I know, I stuffed a lot here. Should do more posts per week to avoid this but the thought of spending more days than I already do on blogging is, I admit, a bit daunting. I'm glad you liked the photos and illustration! I'm dreaming, though, of getting a fancier camera than what I have now (an 8 mpx Panasonic point and shoot). I love my camera, esp. how light and easy to use it is, but one of those big fancy cameras would be such a fun, new toy to play with.

    The woman child - my brother (also a photographer) is pretty ruthless. He'll go down on his knees and focus right in the person's face in order to get the shot he wants. One good thing about my point and shoot. I just...point and shoot then skedaddle out of there.

    The policeman - yeah, I so wish I'd asked him to model for me! I've even considered driving down there just to ask him. Next time, must be on the ball.

    Hi Peter, Yes! and an utterly amazing one at that. I saw his illustrations in Layers magazing, then went online to view his entire portfolio.

    EmergingBlue.com - if you go under talent pools > find talent > find artwork from other Emerging Blue talent, you'll see my work under illustration and storyboards. The agency started in March and took a while to start finding work for their artists. Unfortunately I haven't been one of them...

  15. Ola Cheryl, you overwhelm me, so much talent, and energy, and imagination! Everywhere you go dull things become incandescent, pimply boys turn into dark angels, a little cute shop has green crystalline objects, dancing, music, even an intriguing pieta photo of the barefoot woman with the child. That is a very strange photo, and I know what you mean, an old art teacher once told me "art has no mercy", if it makes a good photo, you dont hesitate.
    Your entry is a kaleydoscope. Well done!

  16. Hi Celeste Maia, Thanks! Now if only I could stop berating myself for all I don't get done or don't execute as perfectly as I can in my imagination. I fear you are being too generous - not that I'm complaining! I only wish I weren't so hard on myself. Ugh...

    The photo - yeah, I think it was worth it too, even if I did make someone mad in the process. I never thought of it as a pieta photo. I like that, though it is turned around, the mother who is injured, instead of the son.

    Thank you!

  17. Hi Cheryl!
    1) Love the new direction... very exciting this kind of collage of hand and digital. I believe your creation here (first photo) expands your artist experiential universe two dimensions, one to the experience of the observer, and once again in observing the observer. It's like you've leapfrogged (or done a double backward ninja flip) to "own" your milieu. Very impressive, mind-expanding, and (I would expect) therapeutic.
    2) Yikes! That winding (or "Z"ing) line, and 4+ hour wait makes a dreary weather walk seem gloriously exciting.
    3) The flowers seem to be either trying to dry their freshly painted fingernails, or gesturing "Uh-uh, no girlfriend, you are not taking our picture". (I know, I own this psychology)
    4) I can actually imagine the trend... These dresses on a pretty little Empresses on chilly winter SF days. Just hanging there, though, it looks like a piece from a history museum.
    5) Yes, yes, yes... I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU on the loving "to walk into my kitchen at night and see my dishes glowing neon green". Right there with you, YES. ambiance both exciting and soothing.
    6) Country bar line-dancing get-together's were not so long ago de rigueur in our neck of the woods. UGH!
    7) Banjo man and girl photo just had me tickled pink with laughter... you have captured a shot so incredibly priceless... HAH! I'd frame and hang this. Beautiful. !
    8) Would I have felt guilty? Yes. But this scene is so compelling, I see why you felt drawn to photo. I'm glad she seemed alright.
    9) Great photo... I'm getting to greatly appreciate your heightened ballsy curiosity. A few beats later, all I could think of was the episode of Family Guy (one of my many disparate tastes) where Joe, the wheelchair bound policeman neighbor of Peter's chases down a criminal. That association is criminal, I know.
    10) Those beautiful cheeks are highly pinchable! Probably why they're so rosy, huh?
    11) The squirrel perfectly balances the very sinister looking goth pose... now I can smile at it. Thank you. And the second of goth and squirrel is pure shtick... I love the giggle factor.

    Yes, too much time on your hands... but I benefit, so I'm not upsetting the coconut cart.

    Lovely post,

  18. Hi David, yeah, I've been searching for a lot of things lately, direction in my artwork, my career, my life. All signs, and my intuition, seem to be pushing me towards making big, bold changes. Don't be surprised if I suddenly start writing from another part of the world. I guess this search for a new direction is showing up in my artwork. And why I'm feeling compelled to go even further.
    2. Next time, (if I'm still in this area and unemployed) I'm getting there super early, with a big cup of coffee and a pastry.
    3. Thanks! I like the way you look at things!
    4. God, I hope not. It's so ugly and unflattering. It's fine for kids who are into the goth/french maid look (like they were in Tokyo eight years ago) but for most people this look is not flattering.
    5. Yeah, would go with my red walls. I love the retro look.
    6. Did you do any country line dancing????
    7. Yeah, the girl's age, I think, is what make the image humorous. Not sure I'd want that on my wall, though, but maybe someone else's wall. I've been thinking of an Etsy shop or similar where I'd sell prints of my work.
    8. If only I'd gotten a clearer photo. I was walking and hurrying to take the photo at the time.
    9. Thanks, he would have made another great photo shoot model.
    10. Her tummy is pretty cute too. She's a round ball of cuteness.
    11. And it was a way to make fun of my own occasional self absorption, too. A state of mind, unfortunately I am in the midst of once again.
    Thanks David, you'd make a good therapist. :)

  19. Thank you for your interesting comment. You will fly when you are ready.What the "when you are ready" means is when you know without hesitation it is time to go, just go, no more excuses. But if doubt is still holding you back, then wait a little longer, but not too much longer.

  20. Let's just say I plead the 5th on the line dancing thing... ;)

  21. WOW,
    I don't know where to start! You have been one busy woman. Your talents are amazing and I'm so glad that you have have the attitude that you will not give up, keep sending and sending and keep sending. It is a tough business to break into, but you know that. I have all the confidence in the world that you will not only break in, but be a huge success. I really loved the concept of Jonas Bergstrand, your first photo is great. The rest are too, you niece is so cute. The squirrel shots made me laugh, very funny.
    Keep shooting and keep drawing. You have talent, you are going to be going places!

  22. You may have too much time on your hands but your squirrel photos made me giggle. hee hee.

    I also like your nature photo of the cute red trumpet flowers. From where I am sitting in cold, wet Scotland your adventures look exciting to me, possibly with the exception of having to wait for 'ten hours' in a museum queue. Nothing is worth waiting ten hours. ???

  23. Hi Cheryl,

    I really liked this post .. The top photo is very interesting and I've never seen this type of art before.. Looks like another door is opening.. It's always fun to learn something new, isn't it?!

    Anyhow... I read the post and it seems as though you had a busy time... and fun...
    For the injured woman.. I guess maybe you got caught up in the art of photography... which is easy to do.. I may have asked if I could help out in some way... I have a hard time taking pictures of people I don't know... I feel like a voyeur for some reason... Even if I do it inconspicuously... Oh.. that's just me, though...
    For the police officer... Well, I've worked in special education for 7 years... and I may have said something similar to him, in total jest.. as I joke around a lot.... I don't think it's mean... I think you were trying to add some humour, perhaps... Maybe he saw the humour n it too... That's great that he is a police officer who uses a wheelchair... I'm glad the force employs people with disabilities... : )
    Take care and have a great weekend...
    Ciao, Leesa

  24. PS-- Thanks for the important comment/inquiry on SM... FYI, I replied to your comment on the post.

  25. Thanks Cheryl: I went back to Emerging Blue and found something by you (your "portrait"...). ! I would however suggest that there should be a possibility to see more easily all the artists under their name. :-)

  26. i like the piece that you made! and i love the photograph! and you are so good and so strong to persevere with your art and find a way to make it work! kudos to you for that, and i know it isn't always easy.

  27. Hi Celeste Maia, I think I am confusing where I am physically with where I am currently with my life. I think the answer is not to pick up and leave, though I do have that option, but to define even more clearly what my goals are and to work towards those goals with 110% effort. To stop pouring effort in things that do not serve me. Thanks for your advice, I thought about it all weekend, trying to see if I was making excuses anywhere in my life and if so where. It was frustrating, but after pushing through the frustration I feel more focused and hopeful today. Thank you!

    Hi David, :-)

    Hi Cheryl, Thank you, I certainly have to believe that myself - otherwise who else will?! !! It does get frustrating at times, and I wonder if I'm wasting my time, but then I go back to work, whether someone is paying me for it or not, and I get better with each image, and I know this is one of the things I'm supposed to do. Thanks for the encouragement! xx

    Hi Sharon, thanks, I'm really glad you liked the photos, especially the flower one!! And cold and wet weather sounds wonderful to me right now. California seems to be having the strangest weather lately, how and humid here - and it hardly ever gets humid here - cold and dreary the very next day.

    Hi Leesa, great to hear from you again! Yeah, I feel weird sometimes taking photos of people that might seem too intrusive. But, then again the best photos are the ones I took despite that apprehension. I suppose ti depends though on what kind of photographer you want to be. I tend to think. oh well, I'll never see that person again!

    Hi David, thanks again :)

    Hi Peter, yes, the site definitely needs some updating. I'm hoping they put up my newer works soon, along with a link to my site. Thanks for taking a look, have fun in Sweden! :)

    Hi Drollgirl, thanks, I appreciate that :) Yeah, it's not always easy, but then again it's not always so bad either. I should appreciate this time more because, with steady effort, I won't be in this situation forever. It's a great opportunity to learn new skills and improve my capabilities without having to answer to anyone.

  28. what fun fun and totally interesting things you have been doing!
    I love the glow in the dark tea set, and that squirrel is too funny.

  29. The picture of the woman is compelling, but I understand why you felt conflicted in posting it.

  30. Sendak exhibit at the jewish Museum in Downtown San Francisco also free on Thursday evenings I believe...I have seen the banjo player on Piedmont Avenue also, her appearance is somewhat unsettling.


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