Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ok, I know I disappeared

Hello everyone.

I know that from all appearances that I have disappeared from the face of the planet, but, in truth, I am still alive and actually doing quite well. I have been pretty busy recently, so excuse the lapse, and I am going to try my best here to start posting a lot more often.

Things have changed a lot for me. When I got home from Greece, I was pretty burned out from having worked so hard before I got there and then working so hard while I was there. I was very happy to have the opportunity to help take care of Jared and sleep a lot and get things ready and set up for my next greatest adventure.

In that time I

1.) Got set up and got all the supplies ready for me to paint.

2.) Built an entire darkroom in my closet that is going to work very well for the professional work.

3.) Worked very hard to get some photography jobs and got at least one! I am going to be working to do a wedding for a friend, and that is very exciting. Though it poses some interesting problems!!!!!

4.) Made my husband very healthy so he is off and running on his job and just generally doing very well in life, which is more than I can ever ask for.

5.) I signed up to take two college classes this summer, Geography and Poetry. They are two more core classes that I need and I am very happy to be working on them. I love college, so this should be another step on the path of me getting me degree, which will prove useful I KNOW!

6.) Paid off the last of my student loans regarding my high school education.

7.) Unpacked our house so that it is now beautiful and in use, my favorite!

8.) Cooked, A LOT!

9.) Worked on a course in Professional Photography and have almost completed it. I must complete it by June 24th, and I've got a ways to go! Wish me luck!

10.) Made arrangments to return to my beautiful country of Greece WITH the husband.

11.) Turned 21.

12.) Bought a bike that I use to ride everywhere. It is my new best friend, and I really like it!

13.) Started to work at the church for 40 hours a week, this is really good.

With all of these things in total combination, I am quite possibly the happiest person I know! So, that's the update on me. I will continute to write, so now, please do keep checking!


Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Thank you John Pack


I've been meaning to write you an email to tell you how much going to Greece meant to me, but I just kept getting sidetracked, and here today I realized that I needed to say hello at least.

I know that people are going to start leaving for the semester tomorrow. I will and do miss that group so much and I think you for bringing us together.

I'm doing very well here. I have built my own darkroom here in my house, and I really enjoy it. I also have photoshop on my computer and I'm working on getting set up to do digital things.

I have been asked to do two exhibitions here in Portland. One in August and one in September. I'm so excited to do them, but I've never done one before so I'm going a little crazy trying to figure it all out. Not to mention what I want to display and getting them all ready. It is exciting. And also, rather than go back to a mundane job, it looks like I'm going to make it as a freelance photographer at least until I return and finish up the rest of the semester! I've got two weddings lined up too!

I wanted to thank you so much for the experience over there. I can't really put it into words, but I've been back for a month now and there are some definite changes in my life that never would have happened without your help. You are one of the most wonderful people I've ever met John Pack and I'm just sorry that my experience with you had to end so abruptly. I have made several very needed changed while I was in Greece including making the decision that I can make it as an artist. I have more direction and determination in my life. Not to mention the fact that I am hopelessly in love with that country and I WILL return many times in my life. So thank you.

I went through some notes that I wrote while I was there and here are some quotes to express my thanks.

"On the art side of life, I am making some pretty incredible breakthroughs in all areas at once, and it is overwhelming to me (in a good way) every day when I am in class. I realize how much I have progressed, and I am just so happy to know that I am making such incredible progress. I still wonder what I am going to look like on the other side, but I know that if I progressed no more at this point that I would be incredibly happy."

"The help of the people here at the Center is so incredible and I am ready to forge ahead with where I am going now."

"It’s just incredible, and if you could see the difference in my work now and…ever, you would be so proud of me."

And here is a piece that I wrote after you showed your portfolio to us all.

War with Art

When I was younger, I was at war with art. I had this understanding that it was an unnecessary thing in society that children were forced to study because it was something that our less sophisticated ancestors did, and the tradition needed to be continued.

I was deeply, deeply wrong.

Since the beginning of time, people have described religious experiences. These have occurred on many different levels including seeing a physical spiritual being. For the most part, however, these have consisted of deeply personal and inexpressible moments in time that shape our lives forever.

Somewhere in the middle of my high school career, I realized that there was something missing in my life, so I took up pottery as a recreational activity. I didn’t really realize that I had been mastering an art form until one day my friend invited me to attend a seminar where young artists get together and develop their skills further. I reluctantly joined, but realized that it would be at least half-fun when I realized that one of the people I admire most in the world was going to preside the meetings.

This was the thing that was going to fill the hole that I felt in my life. However, I didn’t realize how gaping the mouth was and how deep the crack until I began this weekly ritual.

I believe that I will never be able to describe what happened in that room. This was the first truly spiritual experience that I ever had. I passionately consider each second of these meetings week after week to be deeply-spiritual, religious experiences, and they have shaped my view of the world and of myself permanently.

Several things came from that:

· I realized that I am an artist at heart and that is what I do every morning, I get up and create what will happen that day.
· I realized that I can create beautiful things that communicate to other people and that they can appreciate.
· I realized that everyone on earth is an artist in his own way and that he strives to create in one way or another—some people just happen to make a profession out of it.
· I gained the confidence to really be an artist.

This shaped me in ways that I can’t explain, but it patched a big hole in my life and set me up for the rest of my life, or so I thought.

I actually had a spiritual experience today that I hold at that level. It struck me by surprise because I guess somehow I felt that I had received my allotment for my life.

I decided to study at The Aegean Center for the Fine Arts to continue my studies in the arts and put final touches on my ability to create art and get it out into the world. I never dreamed that I would experience something on a higher plane, and here, three weeks into the program, I’ve had such a profound experience that I can’t help but believe that this again will be one of those life-defining moments.

In producing my art, I got pretty stuck in the mundane technical aspects. You put this type of paper in this developer and it comes out like this and you could do this or that to it to change it and make it perfect. I think that I got pretty stuck in the fact that I was just making an image and it was going to create an effect, and I guess I felt like I had no more control after I hit the shutter. Bam! That photo was made.

I met someone today that really loves the process. This man had a communication to deliver to the world and he knew exactly what it was the second that he clicked the shutter. He had the technical aspects down so well and all that was going on was the fact that he saw the world in a new way or he had a new experience that he was interested in sharing with the world.

I also discovered again that through the things that the artists have been saying through history, they really have effected the changes in this world. Through the things that they are saying results are created. People become aware of the artists view of things and they realize something deeper there and change.

I guess I kind of forgot about that part. It all came and hit me at once. As he sat there going through photo after photo showing us the things that he had to say about the world, I realized that that was what I had been missing. I was being sucked into the technical aspects of what it was that I was doing. Of course, I needed to be patient and do whatever it took to get the effect that I was trying to create, but what WAS the effect? What was my communication? I was trying to say something when I was pressing the shutter. My frustration with the arts shattered, and I realized once again that I wasn’t trying to duplicate reality exactly. I have something to say, and I’m here studying how to get that thing said!

I love your Center and the experience I got.


I hope all is so well with you, Jane and Gabriel.


Chris Anderson

My Own darkroom

I've been a photographer for the past five years, and have ever so conveniently lived at a school that had all of the darkroom materials necessary. It was great. However, I moved three months ago, and the darkroom was something that I was going to need. In addition to that, going to art school really put the flame under me to get something set up.

On our patio, we have a closet that is very small. It is probably 5 feet by 5 feet at the most, and it was filled with the stuff that we weren't using in the house. I decided that I was going to convert it into my darkroom. I took everything out, took the entire shelving system down and started from scratch. I painted it, carpeted it and then put the whole shelving system back into it. Then I set up the darkroom with everything I need. These are the things that I still need.

8 8X10 or 11X14 Developing Trays
A safe light, though it is possible to work without this.
2 or 3 more packages of paper to print on
A grain focuser or magnifying glass
Some Selenium toner
4 or 5 gallon chemical holders

Other than that, I should be all set up. I am totally excited about it.

In addition to all of that, I have my own digital darkroom as well. I've got my new printer and scanner and I have Photoshop on my computer. I'm really ready to start promoting myself as a photographer. It is DEFINITELY an exciting thing!