I am so blessed to spend my days doing what I love. Yesterday I visited the UAB Women and Infant's Center to photograph two very special boys. These little guys have made incredible progress, and we're hoping they will go home in just a few weeks. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad spend a lot of time with them.
"To love what you do and feel that it matters how could anything be more fun!" Katherine Graham.
I thought I'd continue the Birmingham Rouge theme as I'm doing the same on my Paris Through My Lens blog this week. Today, we return to Blackjack Stables and Farms. LOVE this old Dr. Pepper drink cooler. Fun Fact: Dr. Pepper originated in 1885 in Plano, Texas but Birmingham also had a Dr. Pepper Syrup Co. Every Saturday, the Pepper Place Market is held in the parking lots around that historic building.
I heard that a million times growing up in the South. This is a view from Lake Martin, just south of Birmingham. Families all over are getting in their last beach/lake trips in before schools start next week. Too soon!
If you are my age, you knew immediately what this is. For the younger set, it's a hand crank ice crusher. My grandmother had one and always crushed the ice for our Cokes ( Coca Colas from a bottle). For memorabilia and much more, shop What's on Second that has relocated to First Avenue. You can't make that up. Who's on First? You know the rest.
Patient swimmers at Independent Presbyterian's Summer Learning Program. They spend 6 weeks at the Children's Fresh Air Farm in Bluff Park with academics in the morning and all kinds of wonderful enrichment activities in the afternoon. Swimming classes are a big favorite.
Queen Anne's Lace is one of my favorites, but let's face it, it's not a prissy garden flower, it prefers the side of the road. I've dug them up and lovingly planted in my yard to no avail. My friend Cathy Adams has an outrageous green thumb and they flourish in her garden. I can enjoy with my camera!
I hope you have enjoyed meetingCeleste as much as I did. She is a multi talented , creative, gentle soul, and I will enjoy following her artistic journey. I hope you will as well.
What place inspires you ?
"I love going into forests! especially old growth forests! I have had the good fortune to visit a few in my life... The Red Wood Forests in the Northwest... the Forests in the southern part of South America in Chile where my mother is from! These Forests have an energy in them that is very powerful and awe inspiring, These forests have trees in them that are much older than anyone alive. This is very special!"
If you could explore another medium, what would that be?
"Basketry. I love 3-dimensional work and I also love natural fiber! I think their is a lot of artistry in the weaving of natural materials! I would learn traditional techniques and then use those techniques to make the images I want to explore."
COMING SOON, painter and children's portrait artist Emily Morgan Brown!
One thing I learned hanging around with Celeste, printing is a messy endeavor but well worth it. First the paint is spread on a lucite panel, then smoothed with the brayer. The arranging of the plant material is fascinating to watch as she chose carefully but still managed to let her creativity lead the way. Then the fabric was laid over and covered with muslin. Cranking the big press took some effort. The uncovering was like opening a present on Christmas morning.
Creatively, what would you like to explore?
"I want to explore all the senses. When I make I am not just composing with my eyes, I am also composing with what the material feels like, sounds like, smells like!
So when I think about showing my work the ideal situation would be a entire experience. Their would be certain pieces you could touch..pieces you could get inside of...pieces you could eat?
I like creating these environments and especially like to collaborate and do it with fellow visual artists as well as musicians, dancers, writers, poets, any one really!
The hardest part, is that it takes A LOT of time and effort, financial and emotional investment...so everything has to align for these kind of creative experiences to happen or to be sustainable."
For these large printing pieces Celeste Pfau uses the printing studio at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. In the foreground you can see the natural materials that she gathers for her botanical prints. Many of these can be used more than once which I found interesting. Below, some tools of her trade.
Tell me about your creative space.
" My creative space is nomadic, I do different parts of the creative process in different places. For example I collect my natural materials anywhere and everywhere: when I am running an errand and I see a plant that has leaves that have fallen I go pick it up.If I am on a walk and and see a material I want to use for a print I gather it. If I am a passenger in a car or train or airplane I make sure the work on a piece of art or sketch! I also take photos often as a creative form of expression and that can happen anytime and anywhere and in any place.
It is very important to me that I never feel stuck or unable to create... I make with what ever I have around me..I don't think there are any good excuses when it comes to not making. You can always use what is around you at the time. My creative space has to be clean and neutral at during the beginning of the creative process, and then as time goes by and I get deeper into the pieces I am working on the space transforms as I am making my work. I am always expanding and contracting the space depending on what I am working on."