It’s Happening

yosemite1

It’s up and alive. My website, that is.

I have spent three-plus years working on this. By that I mean, three-plus years of over-annalizing, nitpicking, and weeding through the old and new. For some, showcasing their work is uncomplicated, for me, it’s emotional, unnerving and tortuous at times. It’s not that I am not confident in regards to my art, I am, but my work is so intimate not only to viewers but to myself personally. My art envelops me. I am as honest as my art and I’d have it no other way. Succeeding many hours of edits and sequencing, it’s happening.

 

 

Advertisements

So This Is The New Year

dip-red

I had given 2017 at least a solid twenty days before making my final assessment on it’s progression. I invariably overanalyze that last week of December each year to the degree of partial insanity, or at least that’s what my temporary seasonal dramatics make me feel like in the interim.

2016 was unequivocally the worst of my 27 full years, granted the first few years of my life weren’t quite memorable yet, but surely nothing too negatively vital of importance took place then. I’ll never know, I was a little one, but there’s photo proof that those years were a hoot, aside from the broken leg at age two. Last year wasn’t just miserable because of politics or because another year lapsed and I still hadn’t found that favorite ring of mine. I mean, you can only pray to St. Anthony so many times for lost things before you truly have to just give up and move on. It was a deplorable year for far divergent reasons. I fought like hell for myself, I challenged myself. For what felt like the very first time, I, in a genuine fashion, allowed myself to be truly selfish in a positive way. Sounds like an oxymoron, but as a matter of fact, it was in the form of empowerment, devotedly focusing on myself, applying all the time possible to surpass my weaknesses.

I evoked a desire to improve, not that this craving was new, but afore, I wasn’t strong enough or didn’t trust that I was. Slowly but surely I was making the calls taking the steps to ultimately funnel myself to the path of cerebral success.

The best analogy I can compare this pathway to is going bowling. You opt to get those bumpers put up to lessen your odds of failure, primarily because you have been down on luck. There is no guarantee will you knock all the pins down in the first few rolls, but that’s not the point. Wether your bowling ball bounces off the bumper 45 times down the lane or wether you roll a strait shot down the middle, the ball with eventually reach the pins either way. You’ll still get there, I will still get there. I am getting there. You rarely get there seemlessly in the first few attempts. But, we will get there.

So with a new year, 25 days deep, and last year’s lessons, learnings and staggering growth, I am hopeful for prosperity, self-motivated and hard-earned victory. I know I deserve it.

I’ve have been known to succumb when darkness prevails, but no longer will I falter.

Bridging The Gap: A Photo Series

I fled to California nursing a broken heart, yet with a tenacious subconscious sense of valiancy. I felt as if my emotions were on lockdown and they would remain precisely where I had last allowed them to stray. It took over two years of an unwavering battle between controlling where my mind kept trying to lead me, a ceaseless cycle of self-doubt and pensive overthought, and where I had worked so hard to be with the tools I had newly acquired.
I departed on a week long trip to New York City in August of 2013 to visit one of my closest friends, one I had not seen since my rapid departure post college commencement. This visit was very real, it wasn’t all light, airy and full laughter, it was heavy with heart, lust and some serious conversation. For the first time, in a long time, maybe ever, I allowed myself to be a little audacious. Being dicey isn’t of my nature at all, I am someone who wants to know all the possible outcomes before engaging in essentially anything at all. My days of spontaneity were long over from my teenage years as anything obscure had become invariably crippled by anxiety. This visit was different, I reconnected with a best friend, but I also allowed myself an experience that unveiled a part of me that I didn’t know was there, or near the surface for that matter.

I hopped a bus to meet a stranger in Kingston, yes, from the internet. Gasp! We had talked for a few months prior to physically meeting and spoke very candidly, about art chiefly. Our time was brief but momentous, at least for me, I didn’t wholly realize this until it was over. It wasn’t so much pivotal because I was seeing an impetuous side of myself, even in my own contradicting way of having a planned but impulsive encounter. It was memorable for me because it bridged a gap that I had indoctrinated myself for a few years to think would never transpire. I was fastened in a place that I wanted to move away from, but didn’t know what it would take to be able to surpass that slump. I had entered a new stretch of my life, one that certainly wasn’t going to be an easy or free-flowing ride, but one that in hindsight provided me innumerable learning opportunities, one that I am plausibly still in the thick of.

I vow that this trip was about more than meeting Alan, but he proved to be extraordinary. That term is used so loosely and so illogical often times, but there is no better adjective for this human. I remember my brief engagement with him as exciting, a breath of fresh air and a turning point of sorts, someone I wish to come by again. As I yearn to move into yet another chapter, for lack of an exceedingly better term, I remind myself of how I felt prior to that trip. I compare it to how I feel presently, not that same hollow situation, but another beast of its own with that familiar feeling of uncertainty on how to move forward, how to bridge the gap.

btg_01

btg_02

btg_03

btg_04

btg_05

btg_06

btg_07

btg_08

btg_09

btg_10

btg_11

btg_12

btg_13

btg_14

btg_15

Let’s Be Honest

 

blog2

P r e f a c e:

I began the draft below a few months ago but never published it, it didn’t feel ready or right. I pondered over it on several occasions knowing that I started this blog with great intent and that it was vital to perpetuate content. That being said, I refuse to publish something for the sake of filler as I want my content to have heart and a meaningful purpose. I wondered why it didn’t feel right as these thoughts and feelings flowed so freely when I was composing them, but in retrospect, I now see why there was a delay.

Last week a friendship was terminated. This friend was one of my dearest and for a couple years now, someone that I shared close to everything with. I received a vague message and then was immediately sealed out. I was bewildered to say the least, just when I thought that nothing could blindside me more than that untimely breakup with my first love, a new form of heartbreak presented itself. I could not make sense of it, nothing had happened to prompt this, I was overthinking and riddling myself sick with anxiety and negativity. I still am.

Long story short, the truth prevailed soon after. I am beside myself, I am devastated. I was not given answers or a single explanation by said “friend,” but one thing I do know was that I was lied to extensively and grotesquely. It’s hard to swallow,  but there isn’t another conceivable scenario, it was a slew of deceit. It was a web tangled so tight and intricate that either they were too cowardly to come clean and be respectful or they just didn’t give one single shit about me.

I feel this is why I was never able to publish my post below. I feel writing that piece was a foreshadowing event of my misfortune and inevitable fate, if fate is even substantive. As I a search for even the most meager amount of peace to move onward from this dispiriting manifestation of distrust, I know there is no better time for me than now to show myself pure and unfiltered anew, and to carry forward what I had started here in this space.

dip-34




 

For the duration of my intellective years thus far, I have been what I would consider elocuently honest. Integrity is incredibly important in maintaining my personal happiness. May it be staying truthful to myself, others or simply practicing ethical behavior, I have always made it a point to be a forthright but kind human. I remember myself this way for as long as I can remember. I remember being the token tattletale for I was the youngest of the bunch amongst my cousins. Being a telltale child has always been seen as such a negative thing, I can see why, but I also see this now as an early development in my truth telling skills. I would never snitch solely as a means of getting someone into trouble, I would snitch because I felt something was being done that I did not feel was right, snitch for my protection and wellbeing of all. I also recall the days that my truths came upon me a bit differently, days where little things like getting in trouble for being too chatty in class would send me into a gut-wrenching guilt. It was such a minor infraction, nothing would come of it, but yet I as soon as I jumped off the school bus, I’d go strait to the landline and call my mom at work. An eleven digit 800 number and one extention away from spilling my guts to my mother, about something that was so minor, a dramatization of a frivolous occurrence that had me guilt-stricken. All that mattered was that my conscious was clean, that I was honest about something, even if it was something that was unmeasurable and petty.

Fast forward, 24 year old Courtney? Mostly healed from a breakup that had happened 2 years prior, this girl plunges into the dating world. Mind you, the dating world is just short of insanity these days and I have been rejected repeatedly. Rejection isn’t the shocker here, why I had been rejected is. Of course some people I had met were better off friends, some had zero communication skills and others fell into the general category of being terrible humans, i.e., depthless assholes (figuratively not literally), complete deluders and birdbained specimens, but some really shocked me more than others. Their outright reason for not wanting to meet me or continue to date was, in so many words, but one time in these exact words, “you’re too honest.” I have been called unattractive, I have been called fat, I have been called insecure, but too honest? Really? It’s understandable if my honesty was delivered in poor fashion or if my so-called honesty was actually just an uneducated opinion, but I can confidently say that was never the case. I don’t actively speak in a way that I am thinking to myself, “hey, i’m gonna say honest things,” it’s just who I am and what I happen to divulge. I say what I feel and speak what I know. I can’t feel sorry about being a trustworthy person. I can’t be sorry if even my kind truths are unbearable to you.

The reason for this rant comes from a lot of longstanding feelings on honesty. How it’s such a profoundly desirable trait, but by some, such an ghastly concept. May that be in practicing ultimately what is a virtue, hearing something that you may not want to hear (again, even when presented kindly and contructively) or just having no consciousness of how poor actions effect others, I can’t emphasize enough the precedence this topic takes within me.

I write this as a declaration as to what a large part of my work represents. Of course I have made some work that is more in the conceptual realm of art, but the voluminous portion of my creations is in realism. Although, art this honest can be intimidating to share at times, I can’t imagine having a different overall photographic style. Art is always going to open to interpretation, to opinion, to criticism, but I want my work to at least always be perceived as the truth, my truth, the subject’s truth. I am not one to hide things, I am always eager to share. I find that through my art, I can ignite these sensitive feelings and questions with my viewers. I crave a symposium, at the very least an intimate engaging viewing experience.

DIP 35.jpg

 

Opening the floodgates.

I have been out of college for a whopping five years already. Big deal, considering how fast it had went by. I don’t mean that in the classically cheesy way, “it was just yesterday, that so and so did this and that,” but it truly is a bit unsettling, looking back on this time as a post grad. We all have this idea, often ignorant in retrospect, of where we will be in the coming years at a specific time. Once time passes and realize that we aren’t quite where we’d hoped we be, anxiety tides rise high. I know that we all go through this, I know that I am not alone, but why do we feel so goddamn alone as this unfolds? We compare ourselves with one another, with people that we aren’t too fond of, with our closest friends. It’s like a slow mental torture we allow ourselves to be submissive to. No more, no fucking more.

I have felt myself put off doing things that I know would benefit me the past few years. Like self sabotage, but largely subconscious. To lessen the blow when I realize what I have been doing, I remind myself that the past five years have not been easy. Not whatsoever. I wasn’t just galavanting  around the west coast hoping things would fall into place. In ways, I have worked my ass off. But, alas, I have been enduring, managing, attempting to cope with my own personal turmoil. I have spent what feels like the entirety of my cognitive years dwelling on the past, dwelling on today because of what I did or didn’t do in the past. Silly little things that don’t even matter, things that I thought I have made peace with. I can’t do that anymore, we good humans cannot do that to ourselves anymore. Easier said than done, boy do I know, but I aim to make a mindful movement towards a resolution. I don’t know what that will transpire from this, or how long it will take or if it will be something that I work on everyday, but I know that I will thrive.

That said, I created this platform as a step in the desired direction. I’m an artist, a respectable specimen, an accomplished person. Where I am today, as far as in my professional and personal life, does not dictate where I may be tomorrow. After a few years of hiatus from showing my art proudly, I am thrilled for my pending website update. Alongside that, I will be present here in confidently sharing my personal universe and all that it embodies.

The first post is the hardest.

Courtney, 27

This will be a space for my art, art influences, art I am stoked on.

This will be a place where I can express myself, spill my guts.

This will be the arena in which I bare myself completely as I see fit.

This will be the stage that I will muster up the courage to allow criticism.

This will be the canvas for which I will worry less and create more.

IMG_8793
Self(ie), June 2016