Tag Archives: Wichita Falls Texas

Gayle Stevens and Judy Sherrod: Nocturnes

Photo NOLA is about to gear up for an amazing week of all things photography, and one of those events is the exhibition, CURRENTS 2012: NOPA Members Showcase,  at The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, featuring work by sixteen members of the New Orleans Photo Alliance:
Thom Bennett, J.T. Blatty, Lee Deigaard, Nell Dickerson, E2 (Elizabeth
Kleiveld & Eric Julien), Frank Hamrick, Christopher Harris, Vivian
Keulards, Eleanor Owen Kerr, Maria Levitsky, Colleen Mullins, Donna
Pinkley, Rylan Steele, and S. Gayle Stevens/Judy Sherrod.

Today, I am sharing the work of two of those sixteen,  S. Gayle Stevens and Judy SherrodJudy is the box-making partner in the Nocturnes project. She  designs and makes all the cameras used in her collaboration with Gayle, ranging from two and one-half inches square to forty by forty inches. She drives from  Wichita Falls,Texas to wherever making photographs and schlepping equipment and chemicals with her constant companion, a very funny dog named B. 

The cameras in action….

Gayle Stevens has worked in antiquarian photographic processes for over fifteen years. Her chosen medium is wet plate collodion and she exhibits extensively across the United States, in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Gayle received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and was the artist in residence at the Serenbe Institute in Georgia in August 2012. Named one of the Critical Mass Top Fifty Photographers for 2010, and a finalist in 2011 and 2012, her work has been featured in numerous publications and held in significant collections. Northlight Press is publishing a book of Stevens’ work in their 11 + 1 Signature series in 2012. Christopher James will feature her work in the third edition of The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes. She is also a member of the When Pigs Fly photo collective and divides her time shooting in Pass Christian, Mississippi and Downers Grove, Illinois, where she resides. 


Nocturnes 
Nocturnes 8



Our Nocturnes series began as an experiment, an adventure, a collaboration. A pinhole camera-maker and a wet-plate collodion artist collaborated to produce mammoth plate tintypes, echoing the work and process of the early survey photographers. Carleton Watkins, William Henry Jackson, and Timothy O’Sullivan, surveying the expansive landscape of the western US, found themselves at the mercy of nature. James McNeill Whistler, inspired by the visual melody he found in dark skies and seas, titled many of his paintings nocturnes. In turn, these paintings provided inspiration for the orchestral nocturnes written by Debussy, musical impressions which ebb and flow.

 Nocturnes 9



Inspired by these artists and the waters of the gulf in Pass Christian Mississippi we too found ourselves at the mercy of the tides, our images determined by the capriciousness of the water before us.
Because of its infinite depth of field, the pinhole camera conveys the vast expanse of the sea while the collodion-silver emulsion flows across the plate like the waves across the sand.
The plates delivered an unexpected serendipity –a daytime nighttime, a sunny moonscape. There is ebb and flow between night and day, dark and light, as silent sentinels watch waves writing verse in the sand. This push and pull of tides, this melody of the waves, this lyric creates a visual dialogue that is the inspiration for Nocturnes, a little night music.
 –Judy Sherrod and S. Gayle Stevens

Nocturnes 1
Nocturnes 16

Nocturnes 17

Nocturnes 18
Nocturnes 19

Nocturnes 2

Nocturnes 3

Nocturnes 4

Nocturnes 6

Nocturnes 7

The 2012 Lenscratch ANIMALS Exhibition

Needless to say, we all love our animals, and this exhibition is evidence of what they mean to our lives. Thank you to all who have submitted to this call–you’ve given us insightful and delicious images to enjoy. Don’t forget about the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day call for submissions…a great way to celebrate those in your life who have meaning — old family photos are fine too!

The 2012 Lenscratch ANIMALS Exhibition

Bootsy Holler, The Egg, Los Angeles, CA

Angela Bacon-Kidwell, Frog Day, 2011, Wichita Falls, Texas

Carrie McCarthy, Gorilla Blues, Albuquerque Zoo, NM

Shawn Gust, Floating Deer, Fernan, Idaho

Sally DeFord, Surprise Rooster, Grand Junction, Colorado

Gina Kelly, Wicket, Burnsville, Minnesota

Santiago Vanegas, Iceland #354, Iceland

Zach Lynch, Sonia, Greenfield Center, NY

Janella Mele, Mya, Byfield, MA

Meg Birnbaum, Roslindale, MA

Cynthia Wood, Oh sweet bird of youth, South San Francisco, CA

Malina Chavez, Together Forever, Nashville Zoo, Nashville, TN

Lori Bell, Dog with red mittens, Greenwich Village New York City

Dan Gerber, ps:009 (playscapes), Stillwater, MN

Marc Ward, At The Beach, various TN & FL locations

Christa Blackwood, Schlomo & Mister Softee, Austin, Texas

Karen Carson, Street Kitties, San Francisco, CA

Vicki Hunt, Sister-Girls, Prattville, AL

Sean Pietzsch, Untitled, Panama City, FL

Yvette Meltzer, Medusa (Sea Jelly), Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, IL

Brian Van de Wetering, Off Leash, San Diego, CA

Kay Larkin, Watch Out, Portland, OR

Patricia A. Bender, Oed’s Tail, Somerset, NJ

Margot Wood, Buffalos In The Mist, Yellowstone National Park

Dianne Duenzl, Shearing Day, Santa Fe, NM

Sarah Lokenvitz, Lick in Time, Charles City, IA

Ben Barnes, Black Cat, New Orleans, LA

Bronwen Hyde, fur from flesh, Hospitalfield, Arbroath, Scotland

Jo Ann Chaus, Dogs on Patrol, Wellington, FL

Kristin Zabawa, Symbiosis, Deer Island, OR

Jamie Johnson, The Monkey and the Monk, Katmandu, Nepal 2012

Mary Jo Hoffman, found in my backyard in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Alicia Goodwin, Mi Hijo, Akumal Pueblo, Mexico

Lisa Bevis, Red Dog Black Dog, Monterrey, CA

Claire Mallett, Flamingos, Los Angeles, CA

Ivan Urate, Like Animal, Alava, Spain

Cat Gwynn, SIT, from Dharma Punx/ Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, Los Angeles, CA

Emma Powell, Dusk, Ames, IA

Ray Carns, Bison, Grand Teton National Park, WY

Carol Watson, Silly Llama, Johnson City, TX

Garry Loughlin, Untitled, Siena, Italy

Deb Schwedhelm, Hairy Escape, Tampa, FL

Alessandra Tecla Gerevini, The skull, Garnett, SC

James Luckett, Suginami 11, Suginami, Tokyo, Japan

Dennis Stewart, Gidget, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Lacey Terrell, from The Passing Ring series, on the road with the Culpepper & Merriweather Great Combined Circus

Paris Visone, Tigger mad at Bella, Peabody, MA

Mary Ann Lynch, Homemade Sausages, Brooklyn NY 2011

Asia Kepka, Theater Bear, Berkshires, NY

Alice M Waraxa, This is Too High, Milwaukee, Wi

Deena Feinberg, Bunny, Columbia County Fair, NY

Sarah Malakoff, Untitled Interior (fur wall), Boston, MA

Carl Bowden, Elk in RMNP,, Rocky Mtn. Ntl. park 2009

Patrick Cobb, Untitled, Minneapolis, MN

Kat Kiernan, Untitled, Boston, MA

Mark Page, Dalmation, Manchester UK

Pamela Zilly, The Horse Before the Cart, Antigua, Guatemala

Tori Ashton Quemada, Brutus, Austin, TX

Sara Fields, Nevermore, Austin, TX

Randy Karg, A Face Only a Mother Could Love, Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, Mound City MO

Panos Lambrou, Red Iguana, Cozumel

María Beatriz Núñez, Smile, Monterrey, CA

Ryan Hoffman, Trout, Bear Canyon Lake, Arizona

Suzi Livingstone, Fawn, Alexandra Palace, London

Lori Pond, Lakshmi’s Feet, Pondicherry, India

Lisa Blair, Roosi, Santa Fe, NM

Martín Batallés, untitled, Arequita, Uruguay

Gabriela Costoya, untitled, Punta del Este, Uruguay

Alan Leder, Heels and Hooves, San Miguel De Allende, Mexico

Frank Biringer, 11san10-5547, Stord, Norway

Carol S. Dass, The Albany, Colorado Springs, CO

Erin Malone, Modernist Cats, San Francisco, CA

Robert Welsh, Mendo and Cissy, San Francisco, CA

William Dunn, Taxidermistry, Kremmling, CO

Laurie McCormick, Frenzy, Alaska

I-Hsuen Chen, Untitled, from the series Nowhere in Taiwan, Taiwan

Lindsay Blatt, Icelandic Horse, Iceland

Winky Lewis, #1 from the series, “Shy Dinosaurs”, Portland, ME

Susan Barnett, The Elephant, Venice Beach, CA, 2010

David Severn, Dogs and their owners playing in the snow, Pleasley Pit Nature Reserve, former Pleasley Colliery (Derbyshire, UK)

Cynthia Bittenfield, Dog and Sandals, Oaxaca, Mexico

Anne Arden McDonald, Natural History Museum, NYC

Ellen Toby Slotnick, Brown Lemur (Eulemur Fulvus), Andisabe, Madagascar

Nelson Armour, Under the Tree, Amboseli National Park, Kenya

Harvey Hanig, aardvaark, Brookfiled Zoo, Riverside IL

Anne Berry, Hippopotamus, New Delhi, India, 2011

Monica Denevan, Mythical Lions, Burma

Ellen Rosen, Butterflies, San Francisco, CA

Rana Nicole Young, Seagull Eating French Fries, Seaside, OR

Bea Fresno, Untitled from the project “Santa Teresa”, Durazno, Uruguay

Robert Norbury, Doberman and Friends, Mill Moor Road, Meltham, Holmfirth, England

Terri Gold, Racing with the Wind, Wyoming

Emma Kisiel, Dead Dog Off Highway 160, Outside Tuba City, AZ, on the Navajo Nation

Nataly Rader, Pig, San Diego Sea World

John Goldsmith, Visitors, New Westminster, Canada

Rachel Broad, Eye To Eye, Crowborough, East Sussex, England

Jim Robertson, Have You Seen Me?, Lexington, KY

Consuelo Mendez, Dreamlike lizard, Maracaibo, Venezuela

Joanne Coates, Pretense, Evil Gallery, East London, U.K

James Campbell, Patience, Silver Spring, Maryland

Andi Schreiber, Pet, Scarsdale, NY

Michele Wambaugh, Found in Patricia’s Garden Houston, Texas

Gina Randazzo, Jaipur, Jaipur, India

Linda Alterwitz, Prize, Las Vegas, Nevada

Valery Rizzo, Twins, Park Slope, Brooklyn, 2009

Mark Mason, Natural History #1, Milan, Italy

Matt Ebbers, Polar Bear, St. Paul MN

Emily Amesbury, Lola, Bristol, United Kingdom

© James Friedman, from Self-Portrait with Jewish Nose Wandering in a Gentile World, Toledo, Ohio

Rosie Knightley, We Need Coats, Worthing, West Sussex, UK

Mary Defer, Hooves, Garrettsville, OH

Cheryl A Townsend, Pet Me, New Orleans, LA

Donna Rosser, Dog Times Two, the bedroom

Francesc Solloway, Tiger in the Wild, Hampshire – England

Zoran Milosavljevic, Cat Vancouver, Vancouver Canada

Adriana Bonifasi, Str(ap)ped Inside, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Elaine Minionis, Those who stayed., from series: “Our Neighbors”, El Hatillo, Caracas/Venezuela

Bucky Miller, From Today’s Special, Great Barrington, MA

Shawna Gibbs, Easter Bunny, Claremont, NH

Brian Faini, Untitled, Penland, NC

Grant Gill, Bad Morning, Milwaukee, WI

Julia Kozerski, Shadow, Milwaukee, WI

Fran Forman, Wolf, Cambridge, MA

Dominic Rouse, The Gathering, UK, Argentina, Thailand,

Angela Cappetta, Arabian Horse, Peterborough, NH 2000

Oliver Pauk, Parkdale Polar Bear, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Lane Shull, Fig. 15: Unicorn. c.1997, Columbia, SC

William Richards, Untitled, Hampshire, England

Craig J. Barber, Harvest, Woodstock, NY

Rhonda Prince, Winky, Rossville, GA

Faustinus Deraet, Equus, Antwerp, Belgium

Valerie Patterson, Kona, Los Angeles, CA

Amelia Morris, White, Indianapolis, IN

David Simonton, Philadelphia Zoo, Philadelphia, PA

Shannon Rowland O’Connor, Lucy, Venice, CA

Anita Masterson Johnston, Captain and Toenails, Voyageur National Park, MN

Bryan Winter, Scared Bird, Brooklyn, NY

M. David Farrell, Jr., Henrietta, Carbondale, IL

Mary Anne Mitchell, Peek-a-boo, Atlanta, GA

The 2011 LENSCRATCH Masks, Costumes, and Halloween Exhibition

Halloween happens to be one of my favorite celebrations. For the past two years, I have set up camp outside my house with a backdrop and camera and photographed every single tricker treater. I am total sucker for a kid in a costume…and any excuse to eat candy. I’m starting off the roster with photographs by my friend, Steven De La Cruz, who has a new series based on favorite horror films, and mine just happens to be The Shining.

Thank you to all the contributing photographers for their wonderful images and interpretations. I hope you have a wonderful Hallowed Eve, full of fun, treats, and a few good tricks.

The 2011 Masks, Costumes, and Halloween Exhibition

Steven De La Cruz, The Shining #1, Los Angeles, CA

Steven De La Cruz, The Shining #2, Los Angeles, CA

Alex Nichols, Self Portrait as a Werewolf, Brighton, Michigan

Laurie McCormick, Whitney Bones RIP, Brentwood, CA

Linda Posnick, Untitled, Forever Hollywood “Dia Los Muertos” Festival, Hollywood, Ca.
Oct. 22, 2011

Sarah Hadley, Hawaiian Horse Witch, Lexington Heights, Michigan

Theo DeHart, Untitled, Salton Sea, CA

Susan Swihart, El Fin, Hollywood Forever Cemetery

Brad Buckman, Backstage, Burbank, CA

Eva Frøkjær Ersland , Mask, Bomio, Norway

Rebekkah Linton Gillett, A Little Tied Up Right Now, Glasgow Zombie Walk in Glasgow, U.K.

Sheri Lynn Behr, Lucha Libre, Olvera Street , Los Angeles, CA

the cinemascapist, mule-deer stag party ritual, Lyon Mountain, NY

Kate Wilhelm, Dress Rehearsal, Guelph, ON, Canada, 2009

Warren Harold, Dr. Zahm Bee, Houston, TX

Cynthia Wood, Kinky, Treat Street, San Francisco, CA

Emily Joy Zeller, Still from Myth #2, Rochester, NY

Judith Steiner, Unitled, Marin County, CA

Brian Luman, Peka, The corner of my room, Liberty, OH

Ursula Sokolowska, Doll #6, Chicago, IL

Angela Bacon Kidwell, Glowbath 9/13/11, Wichita Falls, Texas

Joseph Verrastro, Zombie Walk, Buffalo, NY 10/31/09

Larry Torno, Masquerade #944, St. Louis, MO

The Large Format Group, Untitled from the spirit series, Brattleboro VT

Kaity De Laura, In Limbo (From Masked Series), New Jersey

Eduardo Florez, masked, El Medano, Canary Islands, Spain

Eleonora Ronconi, Blue Eyes Blue, Santa Clara, CA

Zeren Badar, Red Lips from the series Invasion, Fire Island, NY

Rodolfo Vanmarcke, Fox I, from Modern Solitudes, Caracas, Venezuela

Ken Rosenthal, Maquillage, from the series That Was The River, This Is The Sea, Tucson, AZ

Kramer O’Neill, untitled, New York City, NY

Matt Licari, Children Playing, Bronx, NY, 2007

Winky Lewis, Elvis in the Window, Summer 2011, Isle au Haut, Me

Bruce Morton, Orb, Rural West Central Illinois

Gina Randazzo, Twelfth Night, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY

Rolfe Ross, Halloween Parade, New York City

Sara Jane Boyers,Taking Over, Your Studio, Los Angeles, CA

Chere Pafford, Twins from The Fair series, Boise, Idaho

Valery Rizzo, Blue woman, The Mermaid Parade, Coney Island, Brooklyn

Jeffrey T. Baker, Come Out (That the World May See), 2011

Curtis Koshimizu, Ultra, China

Paris Visone, Last Scene – Blondie-Mother, Kingston, NY 2010

Bootsy Holler, King Baby, Seattle, WA

Heidi Lender, Smith & Wesson 2011, Garberville, CA

Ryan Hoffman, Halloween Frog, Mesa, Arizona

Leslie Burns, Sam as Frank, Lamar, SC

Jamie Johnson, Deja vu, Sherman Oaks, CA

Deborah Parkin, The Cat on the Bike, UK

BJ Lloyd, Queen of the Recently Undead, Danbury CT

Scott Hubener, Emi as Vampire, Asheville, NC

Joni Kabana, My Friend Smith, Portland

Consuelo Méndez, ¿it is a dog, my lady?, National Gallery of Art, Caracas, Venezuela, 2010

Jeff Carr, Killer Corn Dogs, Oakland Cemetery; Atlanta, GA

Pat Morrissey, Weathered mask by John Neville, Stirling, Scotland

Chuck Mintz, Isaac and Jill, Cleveland, OH

Panos Lambrou, Halloween, West Orange, NJ

Stan Raucher, Man in Mask, Barrio de Jalatlaco, Oaxaca, Mexico

Heidi Kirkpatrick, Mask, Portland, OR

Sebastian Shuster, Things to Come, Flowery Branch, Georgia

Robbie Kaye, India Goul, Los Angeles, CA

Shaun Hines, Untitled, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK.

Karen Janas, Escapee, Chicago area, Illinois

Sandra Louise Dyas, Susan with the Red Tomato, near Andrew, Iowa

John F. Martin, Bird Face, from the San Francisco Opera production of Rigoletto by Giuseppe Verdi

Danielle Kelly, Masked, NYC Halloween Parade, NY

Lilith, Action Lilith: On the edge (self-portrait) 2011, The roof of my house (The Netherlands)

Donita Simpson, Halloween Window, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Sandra Chen Weinstein, blanc, New Orleans.

Leonard Correra, Ready to Roll, Tustin, CA

Jeff Friesen, Masquerade, Venice, Italy

Cheryl Koralik, Masque Dan, Grand Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire

Jane Gottlieb, High Flying, Santa Barbara, CA

Elias Davis, Los Angeles Halloween, Los Angeles, CA

Joseph Brunjes, Family Portrait, Wilmington, North Carolina

Paul Romaniuk, Jack O’Lantern Graveyard, Victoria, BC

Deborah Yun, Carnevale di Venezia, Venice, Italy

Russell Joslin, Untitled, Minneapolis, MN

Mark Berndt, Megan with Mask, Los Angeles, CA

Harvey Hanig, Suburban darth vader series: suburban darth carrying groceries, Grocery store lot in Aurora Il

Larry Brownstein, Halloween Carnival, West Hollywood, California

Aileen Reilly, Seven Witches, Two Characters, One Princess and A Dog, Oakton, Virginia

Lilliana Johnson, The Wolf, Sherman Oaks, CA

André França, Scream Redhead Girl, London

Javier Sánchez, She’s a zombie, Mexico City

Amo Passicos, Carnival of souls 2, La Grande Motte, France

Connie Conway, Day of the Dead, Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, CA

formento+formento, Getting Along from series Fashion Furry, Brooklyn, New York

Lori Bell, Little pumpkin man, Pacifica, CA

Bruce Long, Grrrr and Brrrr, Hanau, Germany

Ron Kern, Frankie, Southwest Michigan

Gina Kelly, Sean and Fionnula, County Donegal, Ireland

Dan Porter, Wings, Vancouver, Canada

Ali Donnelly, Trickery, North Carolina, USA

Patricia A. Bender, Mask (2), East Lansing, MI

Charlene Hardy, Homemade, Kennewick, WA

Carol S. Dass, Have some Cake, Wet Plate Collodion, Hollywood, CA October 2011

Carolyn Hampton, Where Evil Lurks, Los Angeles, California

Joanne Barsanti, Scary Halloween Props, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Susan Weingartner, The Joker, Los Angeles, CA

Matt Chmielarczyk, I’m With Him I’m With Him, New York City Halloween Parade 2008,
New York, NY

Mary Ann Lynch, October Angel, NYC 2010

Heather Oelklaus, Circus Princess, Colorado Springs, CO

Issa Sharp, Cedar, Los Angeles, CA

Success Stories: Angela Bacon Kidwell

What seems like a lifetime ago, I spent a quiet afternoon down the rabbit hole of looking at photographs and came across the work of Angela Bacon Kidwell. I think I was on Flickr or some photo sharing site, and I discovered imagery that was powerful, unique, and compelling. I contacted Angela immediately and over the years, we have become friends and supporters. I have featured Angela’s work several times on Lenscratch, but when she recently shared her new work with me, I literally got the chills. Her work was breaking new ground and I knew it was time to highlight Angela’s many success stories.

Having a ringside seat at Angela’s trajectory, I have watched her professionalism, her artistry, and her thoughtful approach to the photographic journey take root and soar. Her photographs have fans around the world; she has garnered award after award, most recently, winning First Place in the Texas Photographic Society International Competition, is one of the ten finalists for the John Clarence Laughlin Award, and has been nominated for the Santa Fe Prize for Photography. Her work is exhibited all across America and featured in numerous magazines. Born in Dallas, and now living in Wichita Falls, Texas, Angela draws inspiration from her life and experiences, her family, and surroundings. She’s a thinker, a dreamer, and a true artist.

Her new series, Traces of Existence, combines emotion, travel, the unknown, and the new, all mixing into new ways of working and seeing.

from Traces of Existence

The motive in this body of work is to mend the tension and tragedy created when conflicting emotions meet. Walking through the highs of my recent travel to China and the lows of significant personal loss, I have been searching for a visual level of communication that would unite traces of my existence. I have become increasingly fascinated by how tenacious life is and yet how in a moment survival ceases. The fragility of life is represented in this work by a personal language of symbols. I want all my images to have real meaning for me, even if it is not easily read by the viewer. By working more abstractly, the dissimilar images connect to one another in unexpected ways causing a thought or idea to evolve. The juxtaposition of death and despair, represented by skeletons, old age and holes connected to a joyous life filled with children, birds and Ferris Wheels examine the complicated and chaotic ways in which life contracts, expands, converges and divests in our personal journeys. By stretching the image to near disintegration by burning, freezing and submersions I seek to release my emotions and give respect to a life that has been fully lived. The emotions I sought to bandage together resulted in a somber, but completely liberating experience.

Process: Numerous layers of hand painted photographs, drawings and resin make up a single image. The final results are a complex layering process and not complete digital manipulations. The image is printed and re-photographed under various conditions in one final effort to heal the tender wounds that bind my own existence.

You state that the work was created as a way to “mend the tension and tragedy created when conflicting emotions meet. Walking through the highs of my recent travel to China and the lows of significant personal loss, I have been searching for a visual level of communication that would unite traces of my existence.” Has the process of creating the work been therapeutic for you?

The short answer is yes, but let me give you a little background on how the work evolved and share a simple quote I stumbled across while in China that helped lead me in producing this body of work.
“You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair”. — Old Chinese Proverb

Over the last several years, I’ve been working on a series that address the complex stages of grief after a death. During this time, of searching and gathering my ideas I was simultaneously processing two events in my life: First, the joy of my travels in China and second the loneliness that followed significant personal losses. I decided to take a detour from the new series and move in closer to some of specific events and emotions in my immediate space. The decision I made was to limit myself loosely to the photographs I took in China, personal effects from my grandparents’ home and images my son and I took the last day we occupied their home. My vision was to create a new object that would tie and seal my recent experiences into a single ambiguous memory. And, to keep those nests out!

The process of creating the work became therapeutic because it forced me to work abstractly with the subjects and that helped to create order, distance and a bridge between my internal and external worlds. The work took a considerable amount of time and energy to create, and the more layers an image embodied the more “new” life it took on. The long process of creating each image allowed much time to pass, and you know the saying “time heals all wounds”. It helps.

Did your trip to China change how you see and how make work?

My trip reinforced by belief that images have power beyond what we are able to communicate verbally. There was clearly a barrier in my communications with the people in China but our understanding of visual language provided an alternative to the lack of verbal ability. We are all much more similar than different. This reaffirmation helped me to explore a new way of creating and I sensed that the work would be able to communicate universally. At least I hoped it would.

Your approach is totally unique—hand painting, resin, photographing…can you describe this process?

Once I decided to shape the photographs and objects into a new story or expression the path became quite clear. I wanted to experience an emotional release with each layer of the image. I felt like many times creating the work I was going through certain stages of grief. There are many stages of grief, and they don’t follow a systematic order. They are messy, and this work was messy to create. I printed hundreds of images and began to deconstruct them by cutting, tearing, layering other objects, drawing and painting. The assemblage of the work allowed me to experience different emotions: the tearing and cutting was aggressive contrasted with the painting and drawing that was contemplative. There was a dance that I went through with each individual image- pushing it to near disintegration and then rescuing it again till I was finally ready to let it be. The final stage consisted of defrosting images, and at times allowing my son to interact with the melting image, submerging an image in water for days while adding oil to the water and watching it move, and burning the image. I re-photographed the images going through a new metamorphosis before the image would cease to exist. The final step was a visual and emotional closure.

Was there a reason for working in Black and White?

Honestly, I never considered approaching this work in color. I saw it in black and white.

How does living in a small town in Texas, without the influences of a metropolitan experience and an active physical photo community, affect making work?

I was raised in Dallas, Texas and even though that is a large city I always felt I would move to a larger city such as LA or NY to pursue the arts. Instead, thirteen years ago I moved to Wichita Falls, Texas and this city has boosted my artistic spirit. I do believe that I could be creative anywhere, but I feel where I live is truly conducive to the way I work. I’m a receiver type of personality, and I absorb the energy that is going on in my immediate environment so high energy cities tend to drain me over a period of time. I’m much more productive and peaceful in a small town. The city I live in has a rich, and talented artistic community, and many of my early mentors live here, and that brings about a feeling of safety for me which helps keep me centered.

Your son Bleu has been integral part of your image making. How does he feel about being part of you photographic journey?

Since the moment, he was born I knew I would no longer create in solitude but with a partner. The last six years with Bleu have been nothing short of amazing for me, and I’ll take it so far as to say he has had a pretty interesting, creative childhood.

But, I’ll let him answer that question for himself.

How do you feel about taking pictures, Bleu? from Angela Bacon-Kidwell on Vimeo.

How do you juggle your ever growing success and the demands of motherhood?

Without a doubt, my husband and son are my biggest supporters-on a good day. No, honestly my husband although not a creative being and I know I drive him crazy at times is always in my corner. He understands me and my need to create and explore. He calls me the “white tornado” because I have a ton of energy and I’m rarely still. I can get a lot done! My focus the last eleven years has been on my work and family and one would not succeed without the other. They work in tandem so to speak. I feel very blessed and thankful and would not change a single thing about my life.

What advice can you give emerging photographers, especially on presentation, on networking, on consistently producing excellent work?

The best advice I can share is to attempt to be in a constant state of graciousness. We all have so much to be thankful for, and if you can believe that where you are at the present moment is exactly where you are supposed to be then you are free to create and enjoy what is around you in the present. I started out sharing work via different photography, and social networking sites and my involvement with this media allowed me to gain exposure. The feedback I received from all around the world was crucial because it gave me a boost in confidence to present my work to reviews and competitions. I know networking via Facebook etc… is relevant, but it is also crucial to devote the majority of your time to your own creativity and sometimes too much networking steals precious time. I feel I’m getting closer to my truer self in recent years, and that comes from having a quieter mind and, tweeting etc… is not harmonious with peace. I also think that if you are being honest with yourself then the people that can help you show up in your life at just the right moment without enormous effort on your part. You did that for me years ago, Aline. Thank you!

To be consistent at anything in life you have to keep trying different avenues of expression- it’s all in the doing and doing a ton that produces better work and better work attracts a larger audience. It is a numbers game.

What opportunity took your career to the next level?

Without a doubt, Photolucdia and Review Santa Fe in 2008 opened up some wonderful doors for me and allowed me meet some amazing fellow artists. I think it is also very important to surround yourself with a few caring individuals that support you and your vision. Even one is fine.

Do you ever have periods of self-doubt and feel creatively unmotivated?

Yes, but I don’t focus on those feelings. Every fiber of my being is about creating so I paint something, make something, do something. I’m never without a creative project going on in my life even if it has nothing to do with photography the act of making always impacts the next artistic endeavor. Most people think that being a creative person and living a creative life comes easily but it is a ton of actual work. Of course, there are moments of unique vision but those are fleeting- it is work and for unknown reasons it must come out of me. Annoying sometimes but I wholeheartedly accept it.

And finally, what would be your perfect day?

Finishing this interview is a nice day. Now back to doing. If, the doing goes good today than it is a perfect day!