Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

June 12, 2018

Feedback – Artist talk at Fabrik Projects

Filed under: Art, Books, Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:10 pm

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Douglas Stockdale, Artist talk, Fabrik Projects, photos by Kasey Taylor

Having an opportunity to having an open discussion with those interested in your work is a great chance to create a dialog as well as get some really honest feedback from your work. Really honest. Yes, there was what one person called afterwards a little bit of a “heated discussion” between a couple of individuals who had different takes on this project.

For my part, talking about myself and my project is not the easiest thing to do, makes me a bit nervous, so I did not think that I provided the most eloquent presentation, but almost everyone else thought that my talk and subsequent discussion was very informative. Perhaps this event for me was similar to participating in a portfolio review, except it was live, on-stage and with a whole lot of people involved, all providing input at the same time while I did not have a chance to write notes. A bit intense.

So some take aways:

First and foremost, when asked what others thought that this project was about before I told them about my concept, they almost all agreed; an urban landscape that was mysterious and since they could not figure out the place, ambiguous, and in the consistent way it was presented, very intriguing. They were all really curious and wanted to know more. Which was totally in line with my initial framing and idea for this project. So that was pretty cool!!

Regretfully what no one was talking about was if this body of work could be considered a political parody of the Trumpian Mexico border wall. Or if it could be a metaphor for injustice or political/social/cultural issues rising out of blocking and stopping segregation or other types of impediments. I think that this point underlies one of the issues of conceptual art, sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. Especially if the concept is abstract enough and the underlying idea is not presented in a way to visually connect the message with the images, which I understood was one of the concerns with my project; it does not shout-out a strong political protest narrative.

Nevertheless, having my underlying concept did help me in how I created this body of work and I believe helped to inform me on the artist book design and layout. I also appreciate that this concept helped me create an intriguing and mysterious body of work.

So some other things that came to light; here in California the concrete structures that are the base of these barriers are called K-rails, while apparently everyone else in America call these structures Jersey Walls or Jersey Barriers. Interesting.

Many of the beautiful blooming plants that I photographed, such as the one on the cover of my artist book, are Oleander, which is actually a very poisonous plant. The physical barrier is actual multi-faceted and more complex than I had realized, thus creating another dimension to my project that I was unaware of. Perhaps another reason for this project appearing mysterious and having another darker dimension and undercurrent as to what appears as beautiful.

All in all, it was a really wonderful opportunity for some interesting feedback on my project, which I appreciated very much. Oh, and if you are now more interested in my artist book, editions are available from Fabrik Projects, Arcana book store (Culver City) or from me.

Cheers!

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May 29, 2018

Artist talk June 2nd at Fabrik Projects

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Middle Ground exhibition, photograph by Don Webb II

One of the requests that apparently reoccurred during my opening reception is for an artist talk about this exhibition and artist project. The artist talk is now scheduled to coincide with the exhibition closing reception at 4pm on Saturday, June 2nd (2018) at the Fabrik Projects gallery.

To talk about myself and my art projects is not always the easiest thing for me to do. To write about it as I have on this blog is okay, perhaps something I am more comfortable with in that I have an opportunity to develop what I write and the edit before I commit to publishing it. Even then when I have some second thoughts, I can come back and edit what I wrote. I am also very comfortable teaching a workshop about a subject that I am very familiar with, such as my book development class with LACP. Talking about myself and my art projects, perhaps not so much.

What does help if I start taking some notes to outline what I want to convey, then leaving plenty of time for questions and answers. I am going to try to cover the basics about this artist project: what, where, when, how and maybe the most critical; why. I also suspect that this will be a walking talk, not a formal group sit-down, which will help me a little bit more in that it’s a bit easier for me if I can walk and talk about the exhibition.

The photograph above is the exhibition space that I had envisioned for this project in how the photographs (barriers) would ring around the room and thus surround the viewer. One of the many exhibition trade-offs; larger prints but then less images in this space. It will be interesting to get some more feedback during my talk as I already plan to defer to some open ended questions for the group.

Location: Fabrik Projects; 2636 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles (near Culver City)

Artist talk & reception: Saturday, June 2nd,  4 -7pm

Cheers & hope to see you there!

 

May 23, 2018

LACP exhibition opening Friday, May 25, 2018

Filed under: Art, Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:59 pm

America

America, Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I was pretty excited that two of my photographs from my Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra project were selected by Scott B. Davis for the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) annual Fine Art Exhibition. The two photographs are America, above and the photograph San Diego Port of Entry, below.

The theme for this year is Expanding Boundaries. Although my project has as it’s primary subject a series of barriers, a form of physical boundary, the series also documents how these barriers are deteriorating and include passage ways that allow access. Thus providing an element of hope to individuals in order they might contemplate that they can overcome any barrier that they might encounter in life.

The exhibition opening is this Friday, May 25th, 2018 at the LACP facility in Los Angeles from 7pm – 10pm. LACP is located at 1515 Wilcox Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90028

The LACP exhibition will is available for viewing from May 25th thru June 22nd.

I am equally excited that this exhibition of Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra is overlapping the full exhibition of this body of work at Fabrik Projects. Another two-fer for this body project! As a reminder, my artist book of this body of work is available from me or from Fabrik Projects as well.

San Diego Point of Entry

May 10, 2018

Artist book making: now fully engaged!

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Books in Boxes, Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra 2018 Douglas Stockdale

After meeting with the Dual Graphs pre-press team to provide the final tweaks and approval of the art work, the job went to the press. I also did a quick assembly of the hard copy prints to create a trial book dummy just to really, really sure that everything was going to plan.

Well my book not only has gone to press, I also picked up the various boxes of sheets and covers to start my self-publishing book production! Earlier this week I drove up to Dual Graphics in Brea to pick up my printed book parts that I would be using to hand make my limited edition artist book Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra. I was taken back a bit when the guy at will-call pointed at a pallet of boxes and stated that it was my print job. Fortunately it was a small pallet and I was able to load all of the boxes into my SUV.

I then laid out the 11 boxes of the leporello book parts along with two versions of the cover in sequence in the garage. wow.  Then after a quick inspection of the printed sheets, I brought these into the house and set up my book “production line” in the dining and living room. With a book interior that stretches out over 21 feet, I needed all of that space for this book binding effort.

It is taking a little while to hand glue each of the leporello connections for each book. So this might turn out to be my month of May project. Yesterday, I took two of the first books up to Fabrik Projects in order that they have a finished book to show and take orders, if not sell these. I am working on the next batch for the artist opening on Saturday evening and then start filling the book orders.

Yes, the book is still available and if you are interested, I will still cover the US shipping cost and part of the International shipping cost. So here (again) are the artist book publication details:

Self-published, publication date; May 2018 (concurrent with exhibition at Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles, CA)

Stiff covers with flap-over French fold, Leporello book design

Pages: 66 pages (blank verso)

Photographs: 31 Images, color

Printing: 4 color lithographic printing

Leporello binding: hand-bound by the artist

Book design and layout by the artist

Artist book, edition size 99 + 5 A/P

Book trim size: 6-1/2” x 8-1/4” (165mm x 210mm)

Acknowledgements & Colophon, without essays, captions or pagination

Cover paper: 18 pt C1s Tango

Interior paper: 80# GPA Uncoated Text

Text: English and Spanish

Retail price: $59.50 USD

So ping me if you are interested in a copy of this edition! doug@douglasstockdale.com

Cheers!

May 4, 2018

Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra – Trial Proof

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Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra book binding 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

After spending the morning at Dual Graphics looking at the hard proofs earlier this week, I returned with three interior sets to develop a couple of Trial Proofs (T/P) of the assembled artist book.  FYI, the T/P is a version that is made during the developmental stage but which the printing is not right yet, a term from the printmaking practice when a plate is inked and then proofed to see if the resulting image is acceptable. When the resulting image is acceptable and ready to print, this would be an Artist Proof (A/P).

This also gave me an opportunity to practice my gluing technique so that I did not totally screw up the appearance of a book. One take away; this is going to be a slow process. The second? This might also be the last leporello artist book I assemble! It’s going to really look awesome, but what a pain to get everything just right. sigh.

Why it’s an artist book, as each one is going to have some unique differences.

We also decided to exhibit in the gallery my extended book dummy, all 21 feet, as a unique work of art. Then hang underneath the book dummy a finished edition book. This should look pretty cool. The team at the gallery are doing the final print and book hanging today. I dropped off prints and books yesterday, but the walls of the gallery were still being prepped for painting from the last exhibition.

Opening tomorrow: Fabrik Projects, 2636 S. La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles

Exhibition: May 5th – June 2nd

Artist reception: Saturday, May 12th, 6 – 8pm

Artist book is still available for purchase from me.

Looking forward to seeing the exhibition!

Cheers,

Doug

April 24, 2018

Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra – Pre-order now

Filed under: Art, Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:40 pm

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Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra (book dummy) 2018 Douglas Stockdale

I am very excited to announce that I am now ready to accept pre-orders for my artist book Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra! The books will be ready to ship by the middle to end of next month. As I shared before (transparency!); I am doing the binding and it may take me a little while to do all of the binding for each of these artist books.

So here are the artist book publication details:

Self-published, publication date; May 2018 (concurrent with exhibition at Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles, CA)

Stiff covers with flap-over French fold, Leporello book design

Pages: 66 pages (blank verso)

Photographs: 31 Images, color

Printing: 4 color lithographic printing

Leporello binding: hand-bound by the artist

Book design and layout by the artist

Artist book, edition size 99 + 5 A/P

Book trim size: 6-1/2” x 8-1/4” (165mm x 210mm)

Acknowledgements & Colophon, without essays, captions or pagination

Cover paper: 18 pt C1s Tango

Interior paper: 80# GPA Uncoated Text

Text: English and Spanish

Retail price: $59.50 USD

I can process your book orders through Paypal. Until May 5th, for those in the United States, the price will include my shipping costs. For Europe, I need to add an additional $15 to the cost of the book (if it turns out that it is more, I will absorb it).

Note: since the book will not been printed until next week, the book images are from my book-dummy.

Cheers!

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Douglas_Stockdale_Middle_Ground-En_Medio_Tierra_1

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April 15, 2018

LACP Faculty exhibition opening reception April 13, 2018

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 5:10 pm

04-13-18 Douglas Stockdale America photo by Gerhard Clausing

Douglas Stockdale & framed “America” 2018 copyright Gerhard Clausing

Last Friday had a wonderful evening at LACP for the Faculty group exhibition opening reception. Top line; it was nice to see my Middle Ground print on the wall, a continuing validation of this project. Second it was really enjoyable to see some friends in that we do not usually have a chance meet-up often enough. Lots of shared stories and updates. Also wonderful to hear from some past workshop participants and current photographers who I am mentoring on the progress that they are making artistically. More information about this reception can be found at Clausing’s SoCal PhotoExchange post.

It was also a chance for me to obtain some more feedback on my Middle Ground book-dummy, which was really interesting and insightful as I listened to their comments and suggestions. First, a confirmation that the soft/fuzzy lower left corner of my images created by the back bracket issues of the Canon 5DMk3 needed to be addressed (this really irritates me every time I need to work on these images as a result of the inadequate Canon camera body construction). Thus my big project for yesterday was identifying which images needed modifying, typically with a slight different cropping that emphasized the right side of the image to crop out the bothersome lower left issues. That resolved all but one image and now I am figuring out which image to use as a replacement.

Today making the final changes for the book printing files for the printer, revised images for the book dummy and new Epson exhibition prints.

All of this while under a little bit of a deadline as I have appointment tomorrow morning at a gallery in Culver City (LA) about a potential exhibition opportunity. So stay tuned, as I may have some exciting news very soon.

Cheers!

04-13-18 Douglas Stockdale - Elaine D'Mello photo by Gerhard Clausing

Networking with Elaine D’Mello (photo; Gerhard Clausing)

April 1, 2018

Kickstarter, GoFundMe or ??

Filed under: Art Market, Books, Middle Ground, Photobook — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 9:48 pm

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Middle Ground, book dummy 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

So while my Canon 5D Mk3 is undergoing “flange back” repairs at Canon, I will have some time this week (hopefully repairs complete this Friday) to evaluate some fund raising alternatives to produce Middle Ground.

The big-daddy of book fund-raising appears to be Kickstarter with it’s all-or-nothing process. Seems like the big contender to Kickstarter is GoFundMe with it’s process of you get what-ever you can raise. Both have various fees, so that has to be taken into account for the amount being raised, so if I up the ante by 10%, I should have the fund-raising expenses mostly covered.

I will have to admit that since I will do the binding of Middle Ground book the actually printing expenses for a small volume leporello book are not that bad. Nevertheless, pre-selling the book to have most of the expenses covered is nice. Likewise, both of these programs might also broaden my presence and open some new book and print markets for me.

I have been following a couple of recent photobook Kickstarter projects (I will also have a couple of really nice photobooks as a result) which have recently been fully funded. This gives me an indication of what incentives and rewards seem to work better than others.

I cannot start a Kickstarter program until I obtain the 5DMk3 and it’s capability to provide HD video, which an info-video appears to be a necessary part of Kickstarter. I might need some help with making this info-video as well, so something else to noodle this week.

The GoFundMe from what I have seen are individuals liking what you are doing and then supporting you get there, with a lot of social driven causes. What I don’t see in most of the GoFundMe projects are any kind of rewards, e.g. books and prints, for your donation such as you find on Kickstarter. So having rewards might be an alternative if I were to go that route.

I have been reviewing some other artist fund-raising programs, but most of these do not appear to help the sponsor achieve their financial investment goals. Not a great prospect for investing the time.

So I have the week to work on this fund-raising strategy, which pushes out my publishing date a little bit.

Cheers!

March 28, 2018

En Medio Tierra – Middle Ground

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 10:03 pm

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Middle Ground, book dummy 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

When I was re-examining my Middle Ground project in the context of how symbolic the subject was to the issues facing the DREAMers, I realized that another way to underscore this concept was to have the book’s text in both English and Spanish.

A gringo process to complete the translations is to go to Google translate, but I understood that this process could only provide a starting approximation. Thus I leaned into my cousin Ashley and her husband Ralph Hernandez to help me get the Spanish (Espanol) translation correct, or as they say, what sounds right to the Spanish ear.

For the most part I did not want a literal translation of my English words, especially the book’s title, but I still needed something accurate for the book’s Colophon/Colofon.

Thus we played with some various alternatives and synonyms for the book title as to what might be related to both the words Middle and Ground would work with my concept. So after some back and forth, we settled on En Medio Tierra as “in (between) the middle ground (earth)”. Ralph, who will be the Text Editor for my edition, had the final say and now we were good to go for the book’s title!

Cheers,

Doug

PS Let me know if you want to be placed on my growing interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for Middle Ground. More news about the final price and fund raising campaign shortly!

March 25, 2018

Middle Ground Book-dummy #4 – ditto

Filed under: Books, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:31 pm

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Middle Ground, Book-dummy #4 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

Last weekend during my LACP mini-seminar on photo book development using my book-dummy #4 for the Middle Ground project, this book design really gelled for me. It was now time to move forward to the next phase; book printing. Fortunately Craig Evans, my printer representative for Dual Graphics, was also exhibiting at the LACP event so we had an opportunity to meet and allow me to discuss the final design tweaks with him.

Evans asked me to make a second copy of the book-dummy #4 (affectionately called “Ditto), and add post-it notes for reference to what was going where. He suggested to plan to meet up later in the week and bring my pre-press image files. I was ready to move from a physical book-dummy to the e-design (probably InDesign) in preparation for going on-press.

After assembling and gluing the previous book-dummy’s, I was pleasantly surprised that Ditto came to life relatively quick. I am still learning the ropes about binding a leporello book, but I feel that I am coming up the learning curve.

Thus week I completed the pre-press image file changes: sized each digital file to the image size for the printed page (now termed a plate) at 300 dpi, converted to sRGB from AdobeRGB and saved as high quality JPEG image (quality 12), and then labeled as to which plate number for the book printing.

I also prepared the draft Colophon as one of the few text pages, as well as the interior title page. As stated previously, I may only have the book title printed on the book’s spine. Now time for a little consideration as to the appearance of the back cover;s exterior, which might just repeat my name and web site at the bottom. All of this was delivered yesterday to Evans.

Next step in preparation for the printing is to have the InDesign completed and reviewed as a soft-proof PDF. Still a bit more to do, but getting a whole lot closer!

Reminder: Let me know if you want to be placed on my growing interest list (doug@douglasstockdale.com) for Middle Ground. More news about the final price and fund raising campaign shortly!

Cheers!

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