Spoke with a good group this week with Dr Gary. Felt like a therapy session. Got to a few things that needed attention. Not to be too hard on myself, which I have a tendency to do. So decided to take the advice and just work on putting together the Oral, Portfolio, and the CRJ. Submitted a few days early this time. Was better prepared editing wise with having all the information organised. Some good reminders from Mick, what we had spoken about at the F2F, getting back to why I am doing this. – to make some changes in the photographic domain, which has become very stagnant I feel. Mainly for myself and the work I see out there. Get over the judgement aspect of it and submit my own work out there for criticism.

Also a reminder from Gem to see if my ideas had changed since we last spoke about the state of my practice,  it has not, though had the temptation to do more representational images, but over-came that by sticking to the abstracts. May broaden the term abstract which will include representation, instead of only images that have nothing representational in them.

Still working on the CRJ as I write. Catching up and get it done today.



Had a good talk with Dr. Gary this week. Again getting down to the essence of the work and get out there photographing, experimenting with the camera. Went out with my old 35mm Nikkormat and +HP5. Going out to-day again. Need to venture past the entrance to HWY 138.  Symbolic of crossing the threshold. Had a good talk about the passion of the image making process. Asked Dr. Gary if for five million dollars he would put down the camera and never have anything to do with image making process again? Said he’s going to anxiously mull it over. Still having course anxiety, feels like information overload, trying to get it all done in the time allowed and not succeeding.

Had a good 1-2-1 with Jesse. Good conversation, but 20 minutes way too short. Much to my dismay session was not recorded. Spoke about some interesting things and would have liked to revisit the recording. Discussed CRJ and contemporary photographers in context of “new to me” as apposed to new to the scene in present day. Suggested I look at the work of Bromberg and Channarin. Who took a piece of photo paper crumpled and exposed it them developed it into an image.

Course is very anxious ridden for me right now on a creative level as well as on a personal level. Creatively, still struggling with making it all into a co-hesive whole, putting the pieces back together after tearing them apart. Much like a puzzle dropped onto the floor, then having to put it back to-gether again if I can use that as an analogy.

Caloric restriction report: Up to Saturday 8/11

Caloric restriction going very well. Lost three pounds. So I am down 12 lbs since I began around 7/09. Walked 5 miles average this week. Bench Pressed 2X this week. No food cravings, average around 1500cal per day sometimes a little more sometimes less. Very happy with progress, Been 5 weeks so far little more than than 2 lbs per week which is what is recommended.

Charts courtesy of:  www.myfitnesspal.com



Tough this week past. Missed office hrs and meeting with Dr. Gary and  Dr.Stella. Both times to getting times confused with difference between Los Angeles and London. Strange how this happens, but need to figure a way to prevent this from happening again.

Still on Caloric restriction 1500/day average. But did not loose any weight this week?? (Still at 226) Maybe too high empty carbs?  Walked 5-6 miles and did weights 3 X per week. Little disappointed but feel I need to look a little closer at my “eat anything” approach. Maybe 1500 calories of certain foods may not respond in the same way other foods respond. Will test out this week.



This last office with Dr Gary was good as always. Again the discussion on getting out there and ‘making’ work as opposed to thinking about it was the theme. Experiment and try new things, like forcing the camera, forcing the medium, to become involved in playing with it in a creative way. Was nice to be able to link the work of Flusser to my own work, so it’s becoming clear how to apply this stuff to my own practice. I have  a good idea of them separately but now it seems as if I am finding a way to link it to my own practice. Would be analogous of painters copying the old masters at the beginning of their careers in order to improve their technique and a way of practicing the art.

Dr Gary also suggested to attend the seminar of  Laura Nissensen, and glad I did. Had a few questions I had asked her and it seemed to me that she answered it truthfully. One question was was about the difficulty of explaining abstract art. Ans mentioned to read about the process and experiences of others in the field. And if one got stuck to read and go to exhibitions. She also recommended a few books to look at and to read.

This weeks 1500/day calories restriction way of eating, is going well. I lost another 4 lbs. Again not thinking of the end result, but about enjoying the experience that it’s working so since I started 3 weeks ago, I am down 9lbs from week of 7/06 where I started out at 235lbs. This going to be a parallel of my FMP, just to go out there and experience and enjoy the present as I move forward.

Walked 5 to 6 miles. I do a mile walk every evening 5 to 6 times per week. Do bench press 3 times per week; 50lbs 3 sets of 10. may increase more times per week.

Average calories per day around 1500 sometimes a little higher and sometimes a little lower. Noticed on days that I stated out with having ‘Treats’ early in morning or at lunch, where the days that my caloric intake increased, so I compensated the next day or two a little. Better to have snacks later after dinner i.e. apple/fruit, yogurt and candy, seems this way daily caloric intake is less. Strange but do not feel hungry and feel that 1500 perday is very comfortable for me right now. Seeing results are encouraging. Watched a documentary on Fasting and Circadian  rhythms and recommended not to eat late, as this caused weight gain, I have not been eating my dinner too late around 6/7  but do my snacks late, my weight is still going down, so I may keep doing what I do for now.

Thinking how I can tie this into my FMP,  still in incubation period for now maybe it will come to me, but in the meantime moving forward with it. be funny if this became my FMP!



Had an early morning seminar with Dr. Stella and a few of my co-horts. As usual it was very stimulating seeing the work of others and being able to present my own work in progress. I mentioned that I am attempting to get in touch with Ed Rusha. Dr. Stella said she met him in Santa Monica when she was there at the 18th Street Art Centre as an Artist in Residence.  https://18thstreet.org/about/ He was DJ’ing a gig. So that may be a nice story to tell him.


Ed Ruscha’s – Every Building on Sunset Strip.- 1966                                                                                                    I was very stimulated by this piece, and figured something like it may be very valuable to me for my own project: “Pearblossom Highway (HWY 138) Start to Finish.”  It’s still a working title so I am going to incubate on it for a while. Conceptually it will be a physical and metaphorical journey into the California Desert and out the other side. Hopefully more productive, opened minded, and a little self discovery won’t be out of order either,  My 1500 calorie/day fast is a spiritual preparation for the journey. This is week two

Had a response from Dr. Gary about my CRJ, commented on light text with dark background, not ideal from computer screen. I changed it to light background with darker txt. Looks good. waiting for comment on critical content.

Fast going well. Have a weigh in tomorrow and see how it’s going.  Will set up a report of the process.  Had a good “office” with Dr. Gary this week. Honed in on some of my images for HWY 138. Quite surprised that he was so knowledgeable and perceptive to the information on the image such as the DSC code and the Zoom position.

DSC= DSC Digital Sony Code. The top railway track is the Zoom position. Very strange indeed as this is a very early ‘LEICA’ camera,  the Digilux Zoom made in 1998. Also it was made for Leica by FUJI, using sony parts.

I heard somewhere once that SONY is the ruler of the roost, and in this case it seems to be so, especially if the code, maybe even the chip is a SONY product.

Dr Gary used a strange word. He described the image as “Stinging” in other words it pricked his attention. I found the word odd, but liked it as opposed to the regular old:  “Good, nice  or I N T E R E S T I N G….” (the worst in the bunch) so Stinging was a way of describing it that I particularly liked. I may even appropriate  the use of it my self.

Fast is going well. On week two. Down from 232 to 230 lbs this week.

Graph courtesy of Myfitnesspal.com
Graph courtesy of Myfitnesspal.com

Down 5lbs total since starting two week ago.




This week has been a little slow going, not photo wise, but course wise, can’t seem to get ahead.  I have had to think deeply about this blog and how to categorise it in a way that it is easily navigable and understandable. I prefer to figure this out through a few questions from tutors as opposed to friends,colleagues and co-horts. The reason being is that I am not looking for other peoples way of doing it, I’m looking for a way to figure it out through self discovery, experimentation and incubation. I really want to improve my understanding and knowledge of this course and learn to be able to express my feelings in words. This translation and transformation is difficult for me. I understand it conceptually, but discovered that I need a framework to give me a better understanding of how to transmute from one form into another.  Stella gave me some valuable advice and I am waiting for Gary’s input.

It seems that I am getting a better understanding of it, and hope that things will improve as the course progresses. I am not going to go back to fix past errors, I would like to be able to look back and see my progression as the course moves along. I had one 1-2-1 tutorial with Stella, I enjoy that kind of communication. Unfortunately there is only going to be a one maybe two more this module. I hope there will be more in the future.

The webinars with Gary are a lot of fun and insightful. I missed one this past week. Need to take more care with the times. That 8-hr difference throws me off. I think I have the times memorised, however, I have been wrong a few times with this. I need more discipline in this arena and need to make a special effort to pay more attention to the times and make sure I get the time difference figured out well before hand.

The course is going well. Have my moments of ups and downs, but I remember a talk with Simon at the F2F and he told me it’s too be expected. Very pleased to have had that chat with an advanced student, because “Simons Said” has become my mantra when I feel I’m at low tide.  I am so pleased I attended the Face to Face (F2F), it has helped me in so many ways. I highly suggest ALL new students make the effort to attend the first one. It has been helpful on so many levels, and has made the program feel much more legitimate, especially as it was held at the Falmouth Campus. A lot of that F2F experience is starting to pay off now in this second module. In particular, having met fellow students, the professors as well as having portfolio reviews (even though I did not have a portfolio, I just put some work together last minute) and many other pieces of advice gleaned from my time there.

I have also decided to have a ‘sub plot’ if you will, to my FMP and that is my weight loss project. I started last week at 235lbs. I am not going on any specific diet, only a caloric consumption of around 1500 calories a day. I’m doing it as a process. . . a journey, with no goal, and commit myself for the same period as the MA course and see what the outcome is a year and a half from now. I am considering doing my FMP in the same way, i.e. as a process.  This week I walked 6 miles and kept around a 1500 calories per day for the week. I have lost 3 LBS.

Calories Consumed for week on daily basis. Courtesy of My Fitness Pal.com
Weight Drop for the week. Courtesy of My Fitness Pal.com



The audience is a critical part of an artists work, without them, is a work of art real, does it exist? From the old adage “If a tree falls in the woods, and no-one hears it, does it make a sound?  Personally I think artists need to consider the audience, but specifically what type of audience? For me it’s more of a tribal audience, in the fact that I like to make certain kinds of work, and would like that work to appeal to my tribe. I’m not interested in a global audience. I like to do work, and hope that a certain type of audience will respond to it. I do not make work specifically to attract and audience.

The same applies to a curator. I would look for a curator that appreciates the same ‘Genre’ that I like to work in  that being ‘Abstract and Happenings’ then do work an approach them. If they are successful, selling and exhibiting works, and they have a criticism of my work, I will listen, evaluate, and make a decision based on a bed of logic, reason and intuition. If I come to a conclusion that that are right and changes need to be made, I will consider and base changes on that.

Curators are the gatekeepers, and necessary  to an artist getting their work appreciated and sold in the public realm. I think as an artist, if a problem with the work arises, both sides should air their views and them come to a conclusion based on facts, evidence as well as intuition should be made. A curator is a partner in a way, no two people have exactly the same views, how ever in any working relationship it’s a give and take on both side. My feelings are:  A single person has the power of one person. Two people have the power of four, power is quadrupled with two people working at something.

This week I posted my idea of having my exhibition out in the desert. I had a single positive feedback. so I am going to go with it. As far as my methodology goes, I have become more open to outcome as opposed to have a very focused view of what I want, this has given me a lot more confidence, not being so worried about a specific outcome, and it is making the process a lot more enjoyable.

Personally, besides abstract, I enjoy happenings. I am considering doing my FMP project as more of a happening that a series of abstract images.  I may incorporate abstraction into the happening, thus satisfying two aspects of my work. Moving forward, I am going to experiment a more in this direction.


Been able to make headway this week. Did my window/mirror test.


It was a lot of fun trying it out. I had given it quite a bit of thought. A few things changed from idea to action.

  1. Location. I originally wanted to go out into the desert to make the images but did not.
  2. I incorporated a few of my paintings into the image (Black,White,Yellow and Red) amazingly they fit perfectly into the  back of the frame.


This week’s webinar was very enjoyable. I saw the street work of another student and the contrast of people who live well vs those on the street and the question why this is so?

As far as my own work goes, I presented Gary with my ideas for my portfolio for this module. (Window and Mirror) a device I am in the process of constructing that I will enable me to photograph through and look back at the same time.

Gary suggested that I get going on the device and the photography.  Not getting too hung up on theory.   Experiment and make the device without delay. He also did not suggest any reading material, to stop me from getting too bogged down with theory and concentrating of the action and experimentation stage of my practice.

He mentioned something about next weeks work and how its going to relate to what I was talking about. I mentioned that I have been having creative experiences where I talk or think about something creative and later it appears as an article, or in some ways relates to what I had in mind. This is what Jung referred to as ‘Synchronicity’ I am interested to see what week 4 will bring?

I am enjoying the course very much, but am still finding it very challenging in trying to put all the work into context with my practice. I’m working on my blog to get it more orderly in the categories. I will improve as I go, as opposed to going back and fixing past problems. The reason for this is I want to see my own progress change from confusion to getting a better understanding of the categorisation of the course.