January shoot always hits different…

I’m not off to [big city] this year for a new year’s getaway, but I gave myself some space today to create. January always feels magical to me. I guess that’s because I start each calendar year with my soul wide open.

Goals for 2021: live. Universe willing, live to the best of your ability. Be open & patient. Learn. Create.

Reflection for this week:

“You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation… and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.”

-Hermann Hesse

Wardrobe: lingerie by Agent Provocateur + Aubade, vintage robe & nylons, daggers by Badgley Mischka

Notes on settling down from an ex vagrant.

Just two years ago I didn’t own a piece of furniture. I was used to living in borrowed spaces: a grad school dorm, an Airbnb or a room in a house that I didn’t own. Then I was back and forth between [big city] & [little city] struggling to find a sense of “place.” Simultaneously I figured being attached to any one thing only meant anxiety about all the stuff I could potentially lose.

Feeling settled is new to me–owning a piece of furniture, living in a room that I can call my own & most importantly paying attention to the here-and-now. For me living in the now means no matter what is at stake, I don’t fret about all the things I could lose. For the first time I feel that lovely settled calm. I did something that I’ve been afraid of: I allowed myself to accumulate things. I settled down.

Two short years ago I would have said that was the worst thing. I had projected myself into some idealized future where I would travel from one city to the next with no roots in any place. I thought of material necessity as anchors that would hold me back–why own a bed when you could rent one for the night, etc? Don’t get [this thing] that won’t fit into your carry on. I felt a lot of anxiety towards a house, a car, a bed. My logic was “you can’t lose what you don’t have.” & “I won’t fret about all the stuff I own if I don’t own anything in the first place.”

In challenging moments ask yourself, “how am I going to interpret this situation?” Tolle reminds us that for every “up” there is a “down.” Being able to enjoy a good thing is a luxury we should never take for granted. & in times of adversity or even chaos, being able to see what is good in the here-and-now is a valuable meditation.

Universe willing, I’ll return here with more art, more writings in this new year. For now I leave you with this quote from Rumi that can serve as a mantra (particularly for the duration of the pandemic) but certainly for this coming year & beyond:

“Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?”

-Rumi

Wardrobe: vintage lingerie & daggers by Jimmy Choo

A little Softness: playing around with a wide aperture lens.

Last update of 2020!? Time really moved fast this year… I’ll do a recap of the year in my next blog post, & outline some of my plans for 2021. On to this week’s blog post:

I have always loved the results of a soft lens. I also love the juxtaposition of that dreamy softness with my favorite light condition: dramatic direct sunlight.

For the bulk of these images I shot at f1.4. I am planning to add an even softer lens to my kit at f1.2 in the near future. As always, the images I’ve shared here are rough draft as opposed to final product. I look forward to continuing to practice & work these ideas for upcoming projects.

Since upgrading my kit, I’m currently shooting with just one lens a Samyang 50mm f1.4. I’m missing shooting at a wider angle as in the past I was shooting closer to 38 mm (crop sensor equivalent). So as much as I do love this lens my preference is a wider focal length. What are your feelings about shooting with a soft lens?

Hope everyone is having a great week. & Merry Christmas! Not sure that I’ll make another appearance on the blog before the new year. For now I leave you. Xx

-ishQ

This & the following few images shot wide open at f1.4.
Using that very shallow depth of field to emphasize focal point.
This image & the following shot at f2.8 & intentionally out of focus.
Channeling Paul Strand’s fork image with my favorite prop.🌹Shot at f1.4.

Couple bonus images…

Wardrobe: corset: Gossard, nylons: Cervin, daggers: Giuseppe Zanotti, vintage necklace & long stem rose

More than anything create with soul & intuition.

Hello, all!

This weekend I tried out a concept, & I wasn’t satisfied with the results. This is part of the process. No big deal. I’ll continue to work through those ideas, practice, & reshape & work to come up with something I might be satisfied with. Or not. Or maybe the universe wants me to move on to something else. I always create with passion in mind. In the end, I trust my intuition. Enjoy the process. Even when things don’t turn out.

Here I’ve shown some images from the shoot I’ve tried out this past weekend. Enjoy.

Bedroom Therapy Part IV.

“Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.”

-Aristotle

I used to think I could exist as a singular, impenetrable force, but that isn’t the case. As Aristotle put it, “humans are social animals.” We need substantial social interactions. & as per Jung: For every suppressed human need there arises a neurosis.

Now I must be a wild beast . . .

-ishQ

Bedroom Therapy Part III.

On loneliness and ephemerality. Letter to a friend:

Only several billion years until our constellation.

It’s all done. You’re already there. Wherever you thought or knew you were headed. It’s happening simultaneously. The universe doesn’t know time. As far as it goes, we’re all already stardust. You’re not alone. All our particles are co-mingling in space billions of years from now. The woman you wanted, she’s yours-mixed up together with you in space. Every person who abandoned you. They’re all there too. In a billion years when we’re all stardust. We’re one and the same.

-ishQ

Bedroom Therapy Part II.

When the universe seems to be pushing back on you, be still. Go inward. When things are uncertain, remember that as long as we’re here the universe will give us what we need.

A lesson in stillness in a culture that praises productivity *capital. Since the capitalist system wasn’t built to withstand a pandemic shutdown, mass panic spreads over the inevitable collapse of the global economy in the wake of rising death tolls. I find it impossible to drown out my concern for the spread of the virus, and strictly obey CDC guidelines. The issue of morality over those who choose to ignore social distancing guidelines becomes an ongoing conversation. The slogan “stay home save lives” stands as a mantra for protecting those who fit into the high-risk demographic. As some begin to argue about infringement of their rights due to the lockdown, I’m reminded of this quote:

“I have discovered that all human evil comes from this, man’s being unable to sit still in a room.”

– Blaise Pascal

I move into input phase.

-ishQ

Bedroom Therapy Part I.

No matter what outside circumstances these actions are fluid: the need to create, the need to stay in motion.

My own quarantine is coming to a close shortly, so I’m finally ready to share my latest project: Bedroom Therapy Session–a series of images I created in the months during pandemic lockdown. This project which stems from the larger ongoing body of work, Philosophy & Lingerie, explores the importance of art creation as a means of survival and resistance.

I look to the body as a symbol of human vitality. The ephemeral reality of the body gives urgency to my desire to document it. The entirety of this project features images created in my bedroom space between March and September of 2020. As art creation is my main means of solace, I found the advent of the pandemic a call-to-action to exercise creativity.

Welcome to the bedroom therapy session.

-ishQ