I am spending a lot of time in the darkroom lately. No, not A dark room, THE darkroom – to be specific, the Asheville Darkroom, which is an amazing nonprofit that allows people like me to spend much needed hours in the dark inhaling dangerous chemicals and creating fucking amazing art. No, seriously. I mean, mine probably isn’t all that fucking amazing – YET – but it’s getting there and I’m loving every single step along the way. This, on the left, is a solarized portrait of my friend Jodi. Is it not amazing? It never met a microchip until I just now scanned it. Nope, that right there is your basic free range hand crafted artisanal photography, direct from my 35 year old East German camera to Kodak Tri-X film to the darkroom to my house (where it briefly got stepped on by dogs but then, what doesn’t?)
I am learning a lot. I have taken a class and a workshop on cyanotype – also totally fucking amazing and I’m going to be doing a lot more of it as soon as I brush up on my math skills so I can mix the chemistry for slightly less than the sixty images the bottles recommend. Next Sunday I’m taking another workshop, this time on, basically, how to fuck with your images right there in the dark (although for some strange reason it’s not called that, go figure) and I will be making even more cool things. For the last 4 months I’ve been spending at least four hours a week in the darkroom, just printing and printing and having the time of my life. So I’m going to put up a gallery of my scanned images, bit by bit, as I remember how to do that. You can buy them, if you like! You can ask me to go places with my East German camera and take brooding, grainy black and white pictures of you and I will probably do that – assuming you are somewhere I can get to in less than half an hour in an 18 year old car with no air conditioning.
ART IS GOOD FOR THE SOUL and since David Bowie was apparently holding the world in balance and his loss has thrown the entire thing down the tubes, we all need a little help with our souls.
In other news, Theo is the world’s healthiest 14 year old dog despite being deaf. I really – no really really REALLY – like living alone even if my room does smell alarmingly like mold and it turns out that I am, in fact, kinda messy even when all alone. I am healthy aside from somewhat high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which seems unfair since I’m vegetarian. Also I’m fat and need to quit smoking, but we knew that. All the animals are doing well, I’m still toiling grumpily away in the book mines and I think that is all the news that’s fit to print. Keep an eye on this space because, I swear, soonish there will be a new gallery – a gallery of artisanal photography. Whee!!
PS you should give all your extra money to the Asheville Darkroom; they really need it. God knows I give them mine because, while I could have taken up a less expensive art form, like solid gold sculpture or something, this is where I’m at, and I couldn’t do it, or not well, without them. And you can do it too! Or just send money.