the art of food

I have made a point this season to buy local produce and to cook a lot of my own food. I have always loved food and enjoyed trying new recipes- but this summer I have taken it to the next level. I do not have a garden at my little woodstock home, but I am a member of a local CSA (community supported agriculture) which provides me with plenty of fruits & veggies and lots of inspiration for new dishes. So every week on my days off I make an effort to bake and cook to the extreme. It has been awesome but also very challenging. I never realized how little attention I have paid to where my food comes from. Typically if I feel like eating tomato- well, I buy tomato, even if it is has been trucked in from thousand of miles away. So, I have been attempting to wait for things to be in harvest in the area, but it is not easy! I have had some help...

I am also lucky because the Woodstock Farm Festival is on wednesdays (one of my off days) so I have been going there regularly. It includes lots of new york state produce, cheeses, dairy, meats and honey and has live music. I highly suggest checking it out.

Another great resource is my friend Lauren Tamraz-Judson's blog. She is from Gardiner, NY and is an incredible person! She talks about her experiences with her garden and homestead. She posts recipes, ideas and great pictures of her harvest. It has become one of my daily reads. Eatlocalfood.org is another valuable resource about regional food, farms and opportunities. They post information about workshops, meetings and events that relate to the education of this topic.


my workshop ramble

This is an image of "The Mad Chemist" in CPW's classroom.

Some notes, comments and experiences as the workshop manager at the Center for Photography at Woodstock....

This past weekend's workshop "Blackening your Fingertips: Intro to Wet-plate Collodion Photography" was taught by Michael Mazzeo, artist and owner of Peer Gallery in Chelsea. This is a timely, labor intensive, and unstable photographic process- you have to mix chemistry, work with toxic materials, cut glass, coat the glass correctly, stay out of warm temperature, make long exposures, process the plate quickly, dry it over a dimly lit oil lamp etc... but it produces out of this world imagery that cannot be replicated anywhere. And, because of this extensive process, you really feel like you are part of the image you produce. It was a great weekend and Michael was the perfect teacher for this- enthusiastic, passionate and helpful.

ambrotype: wet-plate underexposed on black glass produces a seemingly positive image.

ambrotype by Michael Mazzeo

The tools used for this process are beautiful. Take a look at a few of them....


iconic images recreated

Thanks to a blog by Leslie Brown, I discovered this awesome Flickr page with Lego recreations of iconic images. These are great! You can see more here.

Vishniac photographs in Amherst, MA

I just heard that a traveling exhibition of Roman Vishniac's photographs called "Children of a Vanishing World" will be on exhibit at the National Yiddish Book Center on the Hampshire College campus in Amherst, MA. This will be on view until August 31st. I actually just bought one of his book's for my grandma's birthday...she recognized and reminisced about many of the places in Eastern Europe that he had photographed in the 1930's. He is an incredible artist who I have always admired and i look forward to trying to see this show.


my workshop ramble

It was a really special weekend around here. A new and experimental workshop was taught by the wonderful Ernestine Ruben. We have been conversing about it for months and I was thrilled to see it in action. It was called The Female Eye: Women Seeing Women. This was an all female figure class focused on discussing how the female gaze is different from a male gaze, how it is formed through our experiences and how to express it in photographs- especially when making images about the nude figure.

Overall this topic is very important and can be explored in numerous ways. Hopefully this workshop is the start of a new yearly (if not more often) tradition.


local exhibition alert & last chance to win!

Randy Green , Untitled, n.d. , Dye transfer print

Ready to get all hot and bothered? Then go see the new exhibition at the Dorsky Museum on the SUNY New Paltz campus. Co-curated by our very own E.D. Ariel Shanberg from the work in CPW's permanent collection.

And...it is your last chance to enter to win a print in celebration of my 100th blog post. You have till Friday to be entered into the raffle!


my workshop ramble

Fawn Potash showing Charles a technique.

CPW workshop interns Josephine & Amanda hard at work.

Encaustic: also known as hot wax painting, involves using heated beeswax to which colored pigments are added. The liquid/paste is then applied to a surface — usually prepared wood, though canvas and other materials are often used (like photographs).

The simplest encaustic mixture can be made from adding pigments to beeswax, but there are several other recipes that can be used — some containing other types of waxes, damar resin, linseed oil, or other ingredients. Pure, powdered pigments can be purchased and used, though some mixtures use oil paints or other forms of pigment.

Metal tools and special brushes can be used to shape the paint before it cools, or heated metal tools can be used to manipulate the wax once it has cooled onto the surface. Today, tools such as heat lamps, heat guns, and other methods of applying heat allow artists to extend the amount of time they have to work with the material. Because wax is used as the pigment binder, encaustics can be sculpted as well as painted. Other materials can be encased or collaged into the surface, or layered, using the encaustic medium to adhere it to the surface.

This technique was notably used in the Fayum mummy portraits from Eqypt and other early icons, as well as in many works of 20th-century artists, including Jasper Johns & the Starn Twins.

The CPW/R&F Encaustics & Photography workshops are helping to educate people how to use this medium combined with their photography and basically challenge their perception of what a photograph really is. I think we often limit ourselves by believing that a photograph has to be a 2 dimensional framed image and cannot have actual depth, shape or form. This workshop definitely defies that idea.

The crazy piece I made on Monday.


Local Exhibition Alert

Tonight from 5-7pm at R&F Paints in Kingston, NY is the reception for Mixed Images: Celebrating 5 Years of Collaboration with the Center for Photography at Woodstock. The work in this show was created by participants of our Encaustics & Photography workshop, which has been going on for the last 5 years. They were able to submit work made during or outside the workshop and Danielle Correia and Fawn Potash (the instructors of this workshop) curated from that. Please join us at R&F's beautiful gallery- it will be lots of fun! For their address click here.

It just so happens that this weekend is the start of our first 2008 Encaustics & Photography workshop. So, check back in on Monday for my workshop ramble and I will talk more about the process and how the collaborative class is structured.


my 100th post - enter to win a print

This is my 100th post! Wow! I am very proud of myself. I never thought I would get so into blogging...and here I am, obsessed.

A celebration is in order. Send me your name and some way of contacting you and I will put you in a raffle to win an archival inkjet print of this image, which is used in the blog title. I will pick the winner next week and mail it out to them. There is no time to waste- enter this awesome free contest.


workshop ramble

what a nice, mellow and interesting workshop weekend here at CPW. Getting Known, Being Shown is taught by our Executive Director Ariel Shanberg and artist and board member Gerald Slota. This class is all about learning how to present your art to the world- may it be your local coffee shop or a well known gallery. Ariel and Gerald cover so much relevant ground- they discuss artist residencies, commercial galleries, non-profit art spaces, museums, art consultants, artist communities, international organizations, websites, blogs, how to present your portfolio, write an artist statement, resume, submissions and an incredible amount of additional info that can make your head explode (in a good way, that is). On Sunday they conduct portfolio reviews to help each student personalize their approach- who to show their work to, how to present themselves, what project to continue on with etc...

For myself and the interns it is a treat to have Ariel & Gerald teaching because they are so conscious of what the students need- which leaves little work for us! They are also a riot. I do not think I laugh out loud that much during any other workshop. They are kind of like the Odd Couple...in the funniest way.

In all seriousness, if this workshop helps people feel more confident in their quest for artistic recognition, than I am a happy camper. Because it often seems like a dark & scary world out there for an emerging artist and I want people to see past all of that and still pursue their passions and dreams. I know that I sound a bit corny, and I accept that about myself. Ultimately the things we are chasing after- galleries, collectors etc., might become obsolete in the future and we should not depend on them alone for support and recognition. This particular group of people can help introduce us to only a very limited world of art viewers (though no doubt an interesting group). There is a lot of world out there that has not been taken over. As artists we can create opportunity for ourselves and do not need someone with an established institution to make it for us (though it can help make the ride an easier one). All I am ultimatly rambling on about is- let us all continue to make art for the love of it and not get too burned out by the game that surrounds it.


Nature & Contemporary Art

I spent part of this July 4th exploring the Sloan Gorge which is part of the Woodstock Land Conservancy. Most of this gorge was formed by the rushing waters from the melted ice caps during the Ice Age. It is a beautiful trail and we got to see loads of fungus...at least 6 different varieties (one of them is pictured above). Since we went right after the morning rain we also got to see lots of bright orange nutes and frogs which were all very cute.

This hike (among a few others I have taken recently) have forced me to think about nature's representation in modern art. Over the years I have been drawn to work about the complexities of society, politics, history and culture though I have never felt overly interested in the art being made about nature (despite all the "politics" surrounding it). I have always felt that it is too romantic and does not reflect the way I see the natural world (which is a little dark- being that it is so huge and unfamiliar). So I am on a mission to learn about contemporary artists who deals with issues of nature and all its complexities. Help me out people- who do you look at that relates to this?