Tag Archives: photography

Self-portraits, remembrance

Spring flowers


Besides the arrival of spring, March is remembrance month for me. On March 6, 2011, a very important person in my life died. Every time this anniversary rolls around, I wonder if I shouldn’t do something special in remembrance, but the truth is, that not a day goes by that I don’t think about all of the good times. That’s how I honor him.


WSJ ad

I’ve given this some thought before, but today when I saw this ad again in the Wall Street Journal, I decided it was time to go back and look at my photography class self-portraits. I’ve mentioned this class before. It was one of those between semesters short courses, very intense, and I loved it! We had a key to the darkroom and developed our photos. Remember film?


One of our assignments was to take self-portraits as objects.

Books from school for a degree in Spanish and Education

Since I was in school, I think this particular photo is self-explanatory. The next one includes a Wedding Ring quilt made by my aunt, a Raggedy Ann made by my mother, jeans, perfume (something that I know longer have in my house), and a book on childcare. This was the other half of my life at the time. School and family.

Miscellaneous objects

More self-portraits

Another assignment was a self portrait as a member of the opposite sex. Hmmm…these could be a bit Freudian.



Now obviously, at least to me, I don’t plan on weaving any of these images, but the one about objects that represent ourselves is an interesting thought to pursue. Going back to the WSJ ad…can you envision the outline of a head with images of objects that represent you? What would they be? Could color represent those things as well as the actual objects? What about various shapes? 

What objects represent your life right now? Think about what would have represented you in various decades of your life. How have they changed? Have any remained the same? I’m curious and would really like to know.


Bellows camera

You’ve seen pictures made from a bellows camera, especially here in the US. They were used during the Civil War to record history and people. I’m currently listening to an audiobook in which one of the main characters is an artist photographer. She uses a bellows camera for her work, after buying it on a whim at an auction. She then had to learn how to use it, so studied with another photographer to master the camera. Her process with this camera involves coating a piece of glass with colloidal silver, taking the picture, leaving herself enough time to get to her darkroom before everything dries. Frankly, the story is not very good, but I will finish it because of the artist character and her way of looking at the world as an artist.

In doing a little research, a bellows camera can take other formats, but this artist uses glass with silver to produce her photographs. This is the same method that Ansel Adams and other well-known photographers used. The Amon Carter Museum of American Art has an extensive collection of photographs, including some by Adams. The museum has also produced a pamphlet about the different kinds of photograph-making over time. We live in an amazing world! From the museum’s website, you can search the digitized collection and find lots of information. I typed in the word silver, and got this list. I love Laura Gilpin‘s photographs, but didn’t realize that she, too, used gelatin silver for her pictures. Do a search for Gilpin and see what comes up.

Note on the photographs here: According to Library of Congress and Wikipedia, these photos are now in the public domain. If this information is incorrect, I hope someone will correct me. The Library of Congress also has a whole section called Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints. Like I said, an amazing time. I just heard recently that all homesteading records for each state are being digitized.




Habits, photography, beaters


My photograph

Habits, photography, beaters–now there’s a combination!

In reference to my post about habits, there is good news. My morning walk has become enjoyable! Instead of keeping my eyes forward to the distance goal for the day, my mind has started wandering, often to design and weaving. Yippee! Years ago, I walked five miles daily. One of the best things about that was going out for my walk with some sort of problem in my head and returning home with the solution.



This is a picture (left) taken with a good camera, but you can see how dark the picture is at the top, but especially the bottom, which means I need to learn about lighting.  As I think about this, the top part is because I was blending yarns from different dye lots. There’s a really bad picture–taken with my phone–on the Habit post. It’s not the phone’s fault that the picture is so bad; it’s that I played around with editing it, and the original disappeared. Monday I got a professional photo made (right). Find differences? What do you think? Better? Not worth it? Chime in.



My new beater from Weaving Southwest arrived, and not a minute too soon. I am experimenting with weaving two small pieces at the same time, and this beater works better for this than the loom’s beater.  I love the weight, the length, everything about this beater. The old one is very beat up after being dropped on the floor too many times. I even glued a tine back on, but not successfully.

Do you see things graphically all around you? I do. Things like shadows, lines in a building under construction. Sometimes I detour to take pictures. Yesterday I saw a huge concrete wall being propped up with tall metal rods

Tornadoes Possible    West Texas Snowfall

Tornadoes Possible West Texas Snowfall

which crisscrossed each other. I loved the pattern, but unfortunately, while driving 65 on a busy highway, stopping for pictures is not possible. These small pieces are based on something I (we) see quite frequently on TV, in the newspaper, in social media, etc. I have no idea if they will be successful or not, but I’m experimenting with the rest of the warp on the loom, before I put a new warp of linen on. What everyday stuff appeals to you graphically? Keep a list and let us know.

ArtWalk 2014

Booth2014 Here’s how I spent my time over the weekend. ArtWalk in Fayetteville, Texas.

One of myneighbors was photographer Carol Lyon, who had this little guy in her booth. Meet Yarn Ball, who came home with me. I took this picture with my phone through the cellophane wrapping, so to see a really good picture, got to her website. I am in love with here bird abstracts. Going to have to get one next year. YarnBall

Everything went so smoothly this year that I kept thinking I must have forgotten something. The reason it all was so easy is because of Asana and my list making. Last year I used Asana to make a list of every possible thing I could think of that might be needed. When I got home from the show, I added to or deleted parts of the list. I even included a reminder to myself to make my hotel reservation. And it worked! No reinventing the wheel every year.

I’ve also been using Asana for other projects, like house renovations or garden changes. It’s a way to keep everything together in one place. Love it!