Friday, January 15, 2010


What do you think? Maybe I'm all gothed out (only a week into the project! Must be having an artistic moment here) but I can't tell if these photos are successful or not.

Maybe colored photos work better for this particular model?

What's this? Actual expressions?

This image strikes me as most typical of the shoot. The perfect surface and yet so...
The thing is, with my first goth model, Ross, I didn't have to direct much to get him to emote. His intensity came out naturally. But with a professional model I found myself suggesting all sorts of things to get a reaction (do you know any poetry? Any songs? Any acting exercises? How about we shoot here. Or here? Can you show me an emotion? Anything? Okay, let's go for boredom and indifference again, etc.) and still getting lots of pretty (but uninteresting?) shots.

Actually, I realize I like these photos. Some of these might make excellent paintings. I just hope they're more than pretty pictures. And maybe I set myself up for disappointment by hoping for another Ross. It didn't help that my painting has gone from iffy to maybe I should just paint over it. And I'm sending out another portfolio to Blue Sky today, a place I've long dreamed of working for. And I got a parking ticket Wednesday. And I had dinner with new friends last night and one of them was not at all nice to me in the way that women who want to appear nice while not being nice can be. (i. e. jellyfish comment. But so what? The others were great. Why focus on the jellyfish?)

Gosh, I'm being so serious. My project! My career! I need a trip to Paris toute suite! Ex-ney tout les egativeness-nay. Relax. Blogging things out, I feel better already. You see, this is why I'm taking a break from certain people in my life. I'm feeling vulnerable, I want more emotional support (but am not getting it from them) and need to nurture my lighter side. Think will call one of my happy friends. Or my sister. And eat some (or a lot of) chocolate. And then I'll get back to work.


  1. Cheryl, I gave you an award, if you are interested, come on over and pick it up.

  2. I think it's a good thing to distance yourself from friends with bad "juju" but still keep as friends. And women who can pull off that "nasty nice" crap irratate me!

    Okay, that being said, am I allowed to make a suggestion about the Goth models- a suggestion that involves an idea where to photograph looking Goth and "intense"? i don't want to over step my bounds, but if you want to hear it, let me know. And if you don't- I sure will NOT be offended. You're the artist and I don't know protocol, so I ask before offering.

    And I hope you don't paint over it because I'm DYING to see what you do!

    Enjoy to Happy Friend and the chocolate! I could use some myself!

  3. Alrighty, since you said it's okay... Now please keep in mind I just don't know the legalities and rules of HOW this would work, but if you want a genuine angst-y looking Goth, why not use actual Goth high school kids? You can't get more "angst" than that, and Goth or not, I bet they could give you good material. It might be worth a try. You could approach them at the mall or even call a local school, talk to the the Vice Principal (Dean of Students, Counselor, etc) and arrange something. Around here the Goth kids also hang at skate parks, and our public library.

    My other thought of finding a person who is Goth in look and would probably be approachable and have the personality to be photographed would be a person who works at the stores "Hot Topic" or "Spencer Gifts"- both usually staples at the local mall.

    Okay- that's it. i'm sure there would be a lot of kinks to work out with something like this, but it was a thought that might help you capture the "look" you want... And if it's not helpful, I completely understand since I don't know how this works!

    Good luck!

    (I'm tempted to snap a picture of one of my Goth students and send it via email, but I don't know what you're looking for, of course!)

  4. The images look great, Cheryl. Sometimes, we don't always immediately see what is there. Sometimes, we gather firewood and light the fire a little later. You may find this to be the case with this project. Wait a while and see. ;-)

    It sounds like life has thrown a few tests your way this past few days. Keep those positive vibes going, gorgeous girl. Sending you bright light. xx

  5. Hi Cheryl! I saw you were given one of Lizzy's awards and I had to stop by! Congrats!

    Your photos are very interesting to look at. My favorite in the bunch is the black and white of the goth girl sitting at the table. Her expression emotes, and I like the angle of her head. Hope that helps?

  6. I think your pictures look great. But I do prefer your paintings. Good luck with the new portfolio. I'm in the droledrums too. Time to take a little vacation.

  7. john ruskin.

    ever hear of him?

    maybe it's because i majored in english . . .

    i'm bringing him up because he had a very important philosophy about beauty, which was, at the time, pretty revolutionary.

    ruskin believed that "anything which elevates the mind is sublime, and elevation of mind is produced by the contemplation of greatness of ally kind . . . sublimity is, therefore, only another word for the effect of greatness upon the feelings; --greatness, whether of matter, space, power, virtue, or beauty . . . the sublime is not distinct from what is beautiful, nor from other sources of pleasure." (sorry to quote directly, but he can say it much better than i can translate.)

    your work, cheryl, is not only "successful", as you put it, but also, more importantly, sublime.

    at least, it has elevated MY mind.

    having said that, keep doing what you're doing. your greatness is not contingent upon the opinions of others.

  8. Thanks Elizabeth!!! :)

    Hi Maggie, that's a really tempting idea! I'm in SF today (an all day writing marathon, hooray!) and there are a couple of really interesting people I'd love to ask to pose for me here. And there are some interesting goths (high school age, I'm guessing), in my hometown which I could ask. So far I've just gone with craigslist ads, easy peazy, but it also means missing out on non-models off the street with great looks. I'd also be curious to see your goth students, just to see them, but for my work I need to do the photograph myself to get the lighting and look I want. Thanks for all your help, it's great getting feedback. It really helps me to work things out.

  9. Hi Carol Anne, as always you've helped shed light on things!!! Looking at the photos again I see I was wrong to be disappointed with them. They do work into my theme, but not in the same way the other models do. This model is more self contained, less emotive, but still interesting to look at. She expects to be looked at yet reveals little about herself.

    And thank you for that positive spin on the last few days. I was thinking, wait, I was doing so well, what did I do wrong? But life was simply throwing me a few tests. Thank you! xx

    Hi Stacy, thanks! Welcome to my blog! And that does help. It confirms my gut reaction to that photo. Her facial expression is really subtle, but it's still an expressive image.

    Hi Dedene, thank you so much for saying that. I was thinking the other day why bother painting any of these images when the photos are more accurate, less work. But I gotta paint what I gotta paint.

    Hi Lana Banana, I have heard of him! Though I've mainly only read what others have written about him. And thank you so much for saying that! :)

  10. As pure photo, I must admit that I would go for the coloured one here, but what you can do with them when you transform them in your way is of course different! ... and maybe I'm not sufficiently goth to have anything to say here!

    ... an right now, eat some nice chocolates and start planning for Paris! A goth model in the catacombs?

  11. I was the upstairs loft writer living above a few goth girls, so I hope its okay to tell you that the last two "work" more than the others. But if you don't mind the suggestions, goths may photograph better in groups. There's a lot more emoting and posturing when they're together. I went downstairs once and saw all of the young ladies dressed to go out- and they were watching Sesame Street and laughing like little girls. But when they strutted out together to hit the road knowning that the neighbors would be watching, they got together and fairly radiated negative, pouty energy. Anyway, hope that helps. Love your work, by the way, and I'm impressed with your energetic and thoughtful spirit.

  12. I think some of these photos are stunning. I don't, however, feel the "goth" in them. Perhaps it's because she is a model playing goth. Maybe a real goth would be better, but then you would have to direct (or perhaps it will just come naturally to them). It seems you had to direct this woman a lot as well, so might be worth a try.

    Good for you for going out with new friends. Just avoid the icky ones in the future!

  13. Hard to see the humor when you are in a funky place. I'm trying that these days too! Humor humor humor... you and me - we'll be laughing at all sorts of inappropriate things trying to find it again!


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