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In Keeping It O'Keeffe Show

September 5, 2018

 

     Featuring Fred and I. I'm having my own backwall exhibit! It's an honor - for 6 weeks I will be featured at the Nevada Artists Association Gallery in Carson City! With Fred, a spectacular, distinguished photographer who's also the current gallery President!! So there's that! Being in good company with good counsel is such a gift!

     So while the aluminum panels I ordered from back east arrived in plenty of time, there's a heart*crushing, frustrating backstory. That's an entire blog in itself.  

     What I can share - the celebration of my In Keeping It O'Keeffe exhibit is that my signature piece is breathtaking! The flowers are beautiful. The hip bone is sun and sand bleached to perfection. The spray painted thigh bone placed behind the hip bone the (salmon color) makes the image pop! It was taken with calm, simple precision!

     Honestly, in my mind's eye the creation of this series was a long time in the making. Several years it built. It brewed. Each season revealed something new and I took time to notice. I walked miles and miles among the quiet sagebrush and thought of the O'Keeffe creative spirit each time I stumbled on a cool bone. She explored and painted alone in remote locations in New Mexico. While it wasn't Nevada it was the desert she loved. I get that. She'd paint an ordinary bone and today they are still among her most famous pieces. She also traveled to exotic places like Hawaii and that only makes me smile. I'd so love to explore Hawaii or Florida, and yet, I'm perfectly happy on my home turf. It's the solitude I love. It's the natural beauty of these northern Nevada mountains and back-roads that I seek most. 

      As a photographer and lifelong nature lover, I practice the LNT principles daily, but on a few occasions I've collected bones and skulls. My close friends can tell you how a "find" can instanly change the "walk" or "hike" *-* you'd think I'd have found a gold nugget. And yes, my Google cloud is full of those type of images. Skulls lying in creek beds and fields. Jaws and teeth half buried in snow and sand.

     It's not bleak or gross, again, for me, it's more about life than death. There's a certain awe and respect for both predator and prey. There's a certain pride in knowing what's happening my in world. I've watched the coyotes and mountain lions feed on a kill. By keen observation, I know the exact size of this year's herds, albeit wild horses, cattle, deer or antelope. The circle of life is clearly and beautifully evident on every trail or canyon I hike. 

     The flowers O'Keeffe used were larger than life and handmade with different types of fabric.  While I considered following that to a tee I went back to my thoughts of life.  Granted the roses, once cut are no longer living, BUT it gave me an element I needed. Several hours behind the lens and BOOM! I had this one image and it's one I'm proud of! 

 

side note: my neighbor thinks that the real story behind this photograph is that Olive, my faithful black lab, "helped" me by picking and choosing which bones she'd like to "steal" while I hunkered down behind the lens. I'd reach for a piece and end up chasing her around the yard like crazy. That we drew notice from the neighbor leads me to believe it was quite a noisy exchange. Now, Olive did not chew on them, but rather picked them up and designed her own "still life" near an area in the yard known as the Perfectly Good Sock Graveyard.  

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