Doug Stockdale's Singular Images

July 6, 2018

Memory Pods – end of Season Four

Filed under: Memory pods, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 1:46 am

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Memory Pods, June 2018, copyright Douglas Stockdale

Now that the heat of July has come in full force here in Southern California, the Aloe Vera seed pods that I am photographing for my project Memory Pods are all quickly withering away in their own unique style. As I wrote earlier in April, this is my fourth year of working on this project and since I am not sure of how I want to publish this project yet, I will probably work on it again next year. I will give me self some more time to reflect. I am pretty sure that I can exhibit this project now, which is an option that might allow some feedback. Another aspect to consider.

Meanwhile, there are still a few parts of these plants that are still getting my visual consideration, thus I will probably shoot another couple of more rolls over this weekend. Then its time to call it quits for photographing my subject in 2018. I am noticing that I am much more preoccupied with other projects since I can’t see the ending for this one yet.

This was the year that I acquired my used 120mm f/4 Makro for the Hasselblad to photograph this project. My takeaway is that this lens did not focus as close as I had anticipated, thus I am back to thinking about another extension tube (yes, don’t remind me that I sold two and vowed never to use these things again). The upside to this current camera/lens combination is that these are really big negatives and I can crop these extensively to create large prints. One visual aspect of using an extension tube on the 120mm lens would create an even shallower depth of field, which I seem to leaning into at the moment.

Something to think about during the “off season”.

So now back to the project that does seem to have my intense interest; Gardening for Ordnance in conjunction with a secret project that is developing in the background. fun, fun, fun!

Cheers!

 

June 23, 2018

Expired film – Gardening for Ordnance

Filed under: Art, Gardening for Ordnance, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , — Doug Stockdale @ 2:57 pm

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Untitled, Gardening for Ordnance project, 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

While I am still in the midst of binding the remaining leporello artist books for Middle Ground (yes, book is still available, so message me for details) I have continued to work on two other on-going projects, Memory Pods and Gardening for Ordnance, both with an agenda of investigating memory.

One of my ideas for Gardening for Ordnance to under gird my narrative about history and memory was to use expired 120 film for this project, preferably chrome. Even though I have hoped for some radical visual effects using the expired film, the results have been minimal as I wrote a few days ago.

Nevertheless in the most current batch of processed film there were a couple of images mid-roll that has some striking visual effects (above). I am not sure if this was caused because of the film was expired (about 15 years ago) or the film was light struck somehow. I am thinking it might be the latter as there are only a few frames effected and those before and after do not appear to include this effect. Nevertheless, highly likely that this “defect” is still a result of the film being well used beyond is expiration date.

I think that this image works great with my concept for this project. So I continue to look for when serendipity and chance are introduced into this body of work. Oh, a friend quickly pointed out that with the CC version of Photoshop I can easily correct or substantially diminish this visual defect; NOT!

Cheers!

PS – I have not started a gallery for this project on my web site (have a link on the side bar to related updates for this project), and since I now working more actively on this as I finish the Middle Ground publication, probably a good reason to get one started. Look for an update on that shortly.

June 22, 2018

More Expired film donations

Filed under: Art, Gardening for Ordnance, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:26 pm

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120 Ektachrome & VPS expired film, 2018 copyright Douglas Stockdale

This was a good week for expired 120 film donations for me. I was starting to run a bit thin in my expired film inventory while working on my project Gardening for Ordnance and starting to get a little stingy in my film use. My idea is that while working on a memory project that dates back to WWII (1940’s) that using old expired film might add another dimension to my narrative. Especially if there are any serendipitous visual effects that occur.

So far I am not seeing a lot color variation in the final processed film results for the expired film I have been principally using which was Fujichrome that expired about 2006. This next batch of 120 film might provide a little more variation as the expiration date for the Ektachrome is 1996, 1997 and 1988. During the week I have already used a couple of rolls of the ’96 vintage, so it will be interesting to see what comes out of the soup next week.

I also received a small donation of some expired 120 black & white roll film that is even older going back to a 1984 expiration date, which means it was probably made about 1982, thus almost 35 years old. Very cool! I do not have a specific project in mind for the black & white film yet, but now that I have this film in hand, I will be a bit more receptive to my artistic muse.

Of course if you have some expired 120 film laying about that you would like to get rid of, message me ;- D

Cheers!

Ilford Pan F - expired 1984

June 20, 2018

Middle Ground – contextualized

Filed under: Art, Art Market, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: — Doug Stockdale @ 4:47 pm

Alternative Crossing

Alternative Crossing, Middle Ground, 2017, copyright Douglas Stockdale

contextualize; the artist intends to explain, justify and extend their body of work. What a gallery will attempt to accomplish with an artist work that might need to be re-positioned as to it’s artistic merit (as being collectible), e.g. a searing war documentary image as an artistic work (“documentary” photographs are not usually considered “artistic” and could be the kiss of death for an artistic body of work)

Part of my reason to reexamine my artistic statement for Middle Ground stems from the feedback during my artist talk at the exhibition closing reception and some comments from book review submissions. Although I see the symbolic potential for this project, most, if not all, do not. Or at least they sense something that they cannot seem to put their finger on. Middle Ground is mainly considered an ambiguous and mysterious urban landscape project.

Thus my underlying concept for this project is perhaps so subtle that it is not being perceived and I need to restate to my “roots” for this project as what pulled me in to want to create this project; I think is a fascinating urban landscape that typifies southern California and this subject is evolving to create a visually diverse and interesting environment.

Perhaps one comment that was made about this project helps place it into perspective, that it is beyond being banal, as this is an urban landscape that is not being noticed. Which I think I agree, these are snapshots of an urban American landscape that we frequently encounter yet remains relatively unseen, perhaps what lends some of the visual mystery to this body of work.

Similar to the recent photographs of the British urban landscape photographer Simon Roberts and those photographers featured in New Topographics, a landscape project with an attempt at a visual neutrality, presented as seemingly factual and in a non-romantic manner that one does not usually associate with an idealized southern California. Perhaps why some reviewers try to pigeon hole this project in the documentary genre.

Maybe why the curiosity about my photographs; I think it triggers a memory without the ability to find a mooring for it. As though there is something vaguely familiar about this urban landscape but lacking an identifiable context.

I still think that my conceptual idea provided the guiding rudder for my editing of the images and how these inspired my artist book’s leporello design. So I am not walking back on this aspect of my project.

In conclusion: an urban landscape study of a unique region of southern California with a mysterious dark undercurrent.

What do ya think?

Also a reminder that my artist book Middle Ground is still available for purchase; message me for more information. And yes, I am continuing to assemble the books with another visit to the post office yesterday for book homes destined in Hong Kong, Spain, Russia and Colorado.

Cheers!

 

 

June 15, 2018

Portfolio Review for LACP’s EXPOSURES 2018

Filed under: Art Market, Photography, Projects/Series, Workshops — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:58 am

2017 LACP Portfolio Review photo

Douglas Stockdale, portfolio reviewer, EXPOSURES 2017, Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP)

I am very honored to again to join the LACP portfolio reviewer team during EXPOSURES 2018 this July. I will be on-site providing portfolio reviews for both Saturday and Sunday this year. Similar to last year, my emphasis will be on photographic projects, editing and sequencing photographs and of course, assisting those who have a strong interest in publishing their work.

Registration is now open for the portfolio reviewers and the workshops.

EXPOSURES 2018 event: Friday – Sunday, July 20 – 22, 2018 at the Holtel MdR in Marina del Rey, CA (near the LAX airport in Los Angeles)

The Portfolio Review team includes (I did not include those who are already sold out): Chad Attie, Gallery Director, Eastern Star Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Sherrie Berger, Photo Consultant, Los Angeles, CA; Jonathan Blaustein, Contributor, NYTimes Lensblog and A Photo Editor; Kyle Bradley, CEO/Founder, Nava Print Studio, Chicago, IL; Susan Burnstine, Contributor, B+W Magazine (UK); Marisa Caicholo, Founder/Curator of Building Bridges Art Exchange, Los Angeles, CA; Catherine Couturier, Owner/Director, Catherine Couturier Gallery, Houston, TX; Chris Davies, Founder/Director, Fabrik Projects Gallery and Photo Independent, Los Angeles, CA; Michael Dawson, Owner, Michael Dawson Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, Crista Dix, Founder/Director, Wallspace Creative, Santa Barbara, CA; Christy Havranek, Photo Director, Huffington Post;
Virginia Heckert, Curator, Department of Photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA – (Almost SOLD OUT); Anne Kelly, Gallery Director, photo-eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM; Randi Kreeft, Gallery Director, the Loft at Liz’s Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; Dhyandra Lawson, Curatorial Asst., Department of Photography, LA County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; Douglas Marshall, Independent Curator/Appraiser; Kristina Newhouse, Curator, University Art Museum, Long Beach, CA; Cindy Rowe, Art Producer, Saatchi & Saatchi, Torrance, CA; Aimee Santos, Editorial Picture Editor, Shutterstock; Cheyanne Sauter, Executive Director, Art Share LA, Los Angeles, CA; Hannah Sloan, Founder/Director Sloan Projects; Sybylla Smith, International Curator, Educator and Consultant; Aline Smithson, Founder/Editor, Lenscratch – (Almost SOLD OUT); Mackenzie Stevens, Curatorial Assistant, Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA – (Almost SOLD OUT); Yessica Torres, Curator, Dab Art, Ventura, CA & of course, me: Douglas Stockdale, Founder/Editor, The Photo Book Journal.

Also some cool workshops, including:

Friday, July 20

10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Workshop – Now What? Re-energizing Your Photography Career with Aline Smithson
10:00 am – 1:00 pm – Seminar – Steps to Success for Photographers with Sherrie Berger
02:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Seminar – The Business of Gallery Representation with Crista Dix

Saturday, July 21

09:30 am – 5:00 pm – Workshop – Concept Aware: Enhance Your Creative Practice with Sybylla Smith
10:00 am – 1:00 pm – Seminar – Fine Art Digital Printmaking: Why and How with Cheryl Kelleher Walsh & Eric Joseph
02:00 pm – 5:00 pm – Seminar – Untangling The Web of Social Media with Paul-Michael Carr

Sunday, July 22

09:30 am – 5:00 pm – Workshop – Pushing Your Work Forward with Jonathan Blaustein
09:30 am – 1:30 pm – Workshop – Street Shooting on Venice Beach with Julia Dean 
01:00 pm – 4:00 pm – Workshop – A to Z Grantwriting with Linda Vallejo

So let me know if you have any questions, otherwise, see you there!

Cheers,

Doug

 

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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June 9, 2018

Middle Ground – featured on New Landscape Photography

Filed under: Art, Middle Ground, Photobook, Photography, Projects/Series — Doug Stockdale @ 6:42 pm

San Diego Point of Entry

San Diego Point of Entry, Middle Ground, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I am very happy to announce that yesterday my urban landscape project Middle Ground was featured on New Landscape Photography. Another nice validation of this project and the second time my work has been featured by Willson Cummer on his blog; with my Italian urban landscape project Ciociaria on NLP a few years ago.

Earlier this week I was at Fabrik Projects taking down my exhibition, which is a mix of melancholy and a bit anticlimactic. The show and my time in the sunlight is over for now. I will also have to say that I had not realized that with all of the media shout-outs, press releases, and prepping for & then providing an artist talk, it takes up a lot of personal band width. Perhaps I will dive into the economics of being a mid-career artist (which seems to be the artistic “category” that gallery’s classify me as), but suffice to say, getting an exhibition opportunity is really, really wonderful and I would not want it any other way, but the work by the artist has just begun. Small gallery’s and relatively unknown artist have to collaborate to try to get the attention of the few buying collectors that are out there.

I will provide some more thoughts about the exhibition & going forward with this project over the next few weeks.

Cheers!

May 31, 2018

Featured artist on Artsy

Filed under: Art Market, Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 3:15 am

Marker 168

Marker #169, Middle Ground, 2016 copyright Douglas Stockdale

I just found out that I am one of the two “artist of the week” featured on Artsy, one of the web based portals that are used by galleries to promote their represented artist. As a friend of mine stated, Artsy is a different platform on the web, and they act as an aggregator of art from hundreds of galleries.

Artsy claims that they have over 50,000 artist on their searchable data base, and have sub-categories of Emerging Art, Contemporary Chinese Art,  Contemporary Photography, Abstract Sculpture, Post-War European Art (not exactly sure which war), Contemporary Furniture, Post-War American Art, Contemporary Conceptualism, & East Village Art. As you might guess, Artsy is not restricted to just photography. Which is interesting as Fabrik Projects, which now represents me, is a gallery that does not exhibit just photography, but painters and other art media. For me I think that Fabrik Projects is a good fit, as much of my recent photographic based artworks do not seem mesh well with the straight photography-only galleries.

The other aspect of Artsy is that an individual artist/photographer can not gain access to their site and services unless they are represented by a gallery. So it is the gallery owner who makes a decision to have their gallery become an Artsy member, and then their represented artist become part of the Artsy searchable network. So this is another immediate upside to my representation by Fabrik Projects that I had not anticipated. Nice.

What I did not have a say about and now wonder why of the many images that I now have on Artsy as to why they chose the above image as a representational photograph/image. hmmmm.

I had been thinking that I was going to write about the new Artsy representation by Fabrik Projects after my current exhibition closed, but being featured this week sort of changed my priories in discussing this aspect of being a represented artist.

Cheers!!

 

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 26, 2018

America Memorial Day

Filed under: Art Market, Middle Ground, Photography, Projects/Series — Tags: , , , , — Doug Stockdale @ 6:25 pm

America

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

Here in the United States we are celebrating Memorial Day over this long three day weekend, a wonderful event for many reasons. As a kid it meant that we were going to be out of school shortly and the summer vacation was about to go into full swing. Also meant that the winter weather was gone, flowers were blooming, and it was going to get hot along with the evening swarm of mosquito, the nastiest of little flying biting insects.

As a child I had learned that this weekend was also about honoring those who served in the military, but as my dad and all of his brothers had survived WWII, understanding the underlying sacrifice was really lost on me then. Later when the Vietnam war was upon me and high school friends had gone to serve and then some did not come back, I really came to understood the full impact of what military service was about.

I have also come to celebrate this weekend in a much broader sense; a weekend to remember all of those who served as well as those others who have now passed through this life and a growing appreciation of all those still living among us.

Thus I felt very honored when my gallery used the above photograph, America, from my Middle Ground/En Medio Tierra project, as a memorial day weekend celebration announcement. In the context of Memorial Day I think that this photograph is a contemporary urban man-built landscape that metaphorically reflects on the current issues facing America. As our national anthem states That our Flag was still there, this photography visually signifies to me that we will get through this current political mess as individuals attempt to create barriers, impediments and divisions. That there is still hope for our country.

Cheers,

Doug

Photographic prints; 40 x 50″ (42 x 52″), 30 x 40″ (32 x 42″) , 22 x 28″ (24 x 30″), 16 x 20″ (17x 22″) available from Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles.

 

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