Thursday, December 31, 2009

Rainy and snowy day perfect for studio work

Well, today is New Year's Eve...for some of you it is already 2010. Happy New Year to everyone and only good things for the coming year.

In NYC it was wet and snowy and gray. A very good time to just stay in the studio and make some pictures. I am working on a food photography promo and since the studio was empty I took advantage and did some new pics. I even ended up doing a bit of food styling. The rice pilaf is from the new Gordon Ramsey book titled Cooking for Friends. It was delicious. Just needed some salt. The pumpkins I had sitting around the studio from a shoot in October so their expiration date was fast approaching. The mushrooms we bought today at Whole Foods. I could not tell if the shoppers were excited or frantic or a combination of both. Everyone will be able to relax once the holidays are past and winter settles in for the season.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winter blues (and greens...)

Here are two pics from this week that seem to spell "winter" to me. The first was part of a food shoot for a client. We did a series of cheese pics. One of the shots had so many cheeses...15 varieties for a horizontal spread. But I liked this one little cheese all by itself the best. The light looks very winter to me (winter provided by Profoto strobes because the light left us at 3:30PM).

Then, yesterday morning at the frigid Union Square Farmer's Market I passed this stall selling organic dyed merino wool yarn. Catskill Merino sells both these yarns dyed with a subtle touch and lamb meat. Yesterday afternoon I ran to the studio and went thru the prop house to assemble a little still-life. This is real winter light provided my Mother Nature at 3:15PM on Saturday December 12th---winter doesn't truly arrive in the northern hemisphere until 12:47PM (EST) on Monday December 21st.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Now it is paintings...

Well, the sawdust thing with the surfaces got to me this past weekend when I was working on more surfaces for the prop house( up to I think 60 refinished pieces). Partly my fault since I bought a Ridgid belt sander and had never used one before and it turned out to be a sawdust factory. Sawdust was everywhere and it was a hassle to clean up the studio so I decided to take a break this week and work on some paintings.

Here are three I just did. This is for the prop house but I am now inspired to work on pieces for me.

And almost as great as the process of painting is the fact that I don't have to vacuum up sawdust when I leave the studio.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Everything Old is New Again

Yesterday made one of my rare forays, with The Stylist, to a flea market. At the 24th Street Flea Market (between 6th and 7th Avenues in a parking garage for those not familiar with this market) we saw these beautiful reproductions (two mercury-glass hurricane lamps and a large silvered, glass vase) for sale. The dealer told us that they were modern reproductions made in Europe. We both marveled at the craftsmanship and the design. Very Dusty Belgian Chateau we liked to imagine.

Well, this morning I got up early and took some pics. Not 100% sure they will stay here at the apartment. They might end up on the shelves at the prop house where I hope they won't look down on their less pedigreed neighbors...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chinatown Test with Joe Choi

Here is a quick little pic from a shoot I did wednesday in Chinatown. The guy I shot is Joe Choi with Red Agency. He also goes to NYU Stern School. How he manages both I don't know. I almost canceled the shoot...the stylist was 1 1/2 hours late and I was stressed out at the studio but of course once I begin shooting all is good...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Serizawa at Japan Society

I need to get to see this exhibit of work by Serizawa Keisuke at The Japan Society. What I have seen online is incredibly graphic and smart and yet somehow friendly and maybe even humble.

Serizawa worked using stencil-dyeing(?) and I want to see what that is and how it is done. He was a Living National Treasure. The work here was done between 1955 and 1961. It feels completely contemporary. The entrance curtains are called noren....I want one for my apartment! The kimono is described as "Pattern Imitating Glaze Dripping Down the Side of a Jar"...

Enough with the surfaces....

Yes. The surface saga continues. Still a little OCD about
sanding/painting/waxing pieces of wood for the prop house business.
Today I got to use a surface I refinished for a job. I had to shoot some
bread for a client and used a board I reworked to look old. Perfect
for floury and crusty bread.

And here are some new pieces...

Oh, yes. I am still very boring and being compeletly anti-social because I am spending
so much time in the studio. OK, the week before last I had a job in Miami for 5 days so that
required me to be more happy-smiley but my head was thinking about painting---soon
I am going to begin painting "paintings" I think once I get these surfaces out of the way.

Tonight a friend called and asked "Where have you been!". I told her I am like Big Foot.
Rumor has it I exist but the sightings are rare and unreliable....

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Well, this week when I should have been re-doing my portfolio or website or somehow working on my photography biz I found myself obsessed with refinishing surfaces for the prop house. First I started on a pine-plank "fence" we made a few months ago for a shoot that somehow never felt complete--the prop, not the shoot which was finished. So I went to Home Depot. There I dug down deep within myself to find my inner-handyman (which believe me is hidden very, very deep) and bought an orbital sander, wood filler, stain, paint and wax and headed back to the studio. Turned out to be super fun and relaxing. After I finished the fence thing every thing became kinda blurry and all I saw in front of me were things just begging to be re-surfaced. Next was a piece of wood just sitting there all sorta of plain I used "Fruit Punch" stain from Minwax and a reddish paint from Behr. Then a very old cutting board (don't worry we must have 25 or so cutting boards) and it I painted white. Next up was an old table with a ruined surface--magic markers, ink spill, etc. This became very reddish-orange. Then a maple piece also painted white and then another cutting board stained green with "Botanical" by Minwax and some dark forest green by Behr.

There is no stopping me now. I think I need intervention. This was all done in two days...

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A few new things for the prop house..

Went shopping yesterday to Soho and ended up at Ochre on Broome Street. Got some things for the prop house. A few plates by Daniel Smith, a british artist who works in ceramics and a dark resin plate. Today it was raining and it has been for a few. And cold. And where did fall go?

So of course it was a perfect day to spend in the studio taking pics of the new things which I like very much.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Anime Kids

Recently I was outside my apartment and noticed some people in costume. Then I noticed ALOT of people in costume. These people were going to the local convention center, Jacob Javitz which is just a few blocks from my place, to attend an Anime Convention. The next day I took two assistants and kinda talked our way into the center and set up a little mini-studio.

I have no idea who the characters are that these conventioneers were portraying but I loved how intense they were about their depictions. Of course for some it was fun but for others it was a passion.

I really fell in love with the intensity most of these kids had for the characters and also admired the craft some of them brought to re-creating(out of fabric and paper-maiche) the characters in their costumes.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Where did summer go?

The light has changed so much. I looked at the sunlight coming into my bedroom today and realized how the direction of the sun has changed now that fall is here. Then I went to Union Square Farmer's Market and everything seemed to whisper "summer is gone...". That is OK. I bought some fresh and delicious Honey Crisp apples and they seemed perfectly content to be extraordinary symbols of the new season here on my kitchen table. And a nice pics from apple picking two weeks ago when I was in Wisconsin.

And I want to introduce some of my new friends. Two interesting ceramic birds (one a chicken I think the other a very sleek looking owl) and a hippo.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Today's Lesson, Children: Orange

In Chicago for the weekend visiting The Stylist. Went to a store called Den on Central Street in Evanston. For sure the owner, Daran Puffer, must like orange. He had some very beautiful orange (tangerine?) and reddish objects. Two great orange suede covered Milo Baughman chrome chairs and lamps, lamps, lamps. Turns out that Daran is an ace at renovating lamps and chandeliers and sconces. We ended up talking to him for a while and we took a look at his workshop with the trophy marlin over his bench and the figurine lamp that looks like she is trying on lampshades as dresses...