If you’ve got a blog, might as well blog…

Welp, I created this blog about a year ago with the idea that it was going to be a space for me to share my photographic and musical machinations with the Internet at large. To the extent that I’ve put anything up here, that’s exactly what I have done, but what’s up here doesn’t nearly reflect my output in that time.

Fact o’ the matter is, I just can’t be arsed to get my creative work into the digital realm consistently. I spend enough of my time at work and at home staring unthinkingly at one electronic device or another, and so the creative work that grabs me is stuff that gets me away from these glowing rectangles. Work that engages my mind and my body and my heart and my soul and my senses in something real.

If I’m not gonna blog my creative work in se, I maybe should do something different with this space – so here we go. But first, as an offering of my creative work: a terrible scan of the contact sheet for my shoot with Dave Tobey, proprietor of the Spill, which I did at the beginning of August. (Click image for the full-res version.)

Dave Tobey Contact Sheet

Well, now what? I figure I can use this space to capture the thoughts, processes and feelings around my creative work. But first: ain’t been nothing up here in the last 8 months, so let’s get started by recapping 2013 thus far with all its curses and blessings.

First on my mind, I’ve been involved in just about every capacity with The Darkroom Project, a non-profit community darkroom operating out of the historic Roy Studio space in downtown Peterborough. I’ve had a (barely) functional home darkroom setup since last fall, but the space the project has eked out is truly something special. I’ve always been of two minds about the nuts & bolts of non-profit governance, but being able to engage my analytical and organizational skills (such as they are) towards something that I really believe in and find personally rewarding – that’s a real treasure.

As a corollary to above, it’s time for a career change for this boy. Been with my current firm for almost 5 years, in my current position for more than 3. On the one hand, it’s a blessing to have fairly stable, full-time, decently-paying work in this town. On the other hand, I a) have enough class consciousness to know that “Hey, this is pretty good, considering…” is a dangerous thought for a working person to accept, b) am just about out of interest in putting my time and energy into an organization where neither the company as a whole, nor the majority of the people I work closely with, share my values, passions and priorities about what we do and how we organize, and c) realize from all the other amazing things I’m involved in just how much more there is out there for person to engage themselves in.

But the job market in this town is dire. There was one good opportunity I was excited about, and the position went to a very deserving and capable person who’s not myself. Ah well, hammering my resume into shape and going through the process was a good thing to do, and the organization doing the hiring made a good decision, so I can’t be fussed.

An unreservedly positive thing: three photographs of mine are going to be part of Artsweek Peterborough 2013. Two – one of Dave Tobey, from the same shoot as the above contact sheet, and another of Allan Dunn of Allan Dunn Vaccuums – are part of the Peterborough Storefronts Photography Project, and a third is being included in the Peterborough Neighbourhoods Anthology that Jeff Macklin is putting together.

Artsweek is going to be the first time I’ve had my visual art exhibited or published in any “serious” capacity, which is exciting in its own right, but being involved is a significant accomplishment for me further to that. As part of Artsweek 2012 there was the Gallery in the Truck deal – I was just starting out as a photographer last August when the call for submissions went out, and I was nowhere near ready for that. I resolved to myself to be involved in Artsweek 2013 in some capacity, so it’s huge to see a year-long goal come to fruition.

All in all, my photography is proceeding apace. Whether I’m shooting, developing film, printing in the darkroom, or scanning in negs and prints (above contact sheet notwithstanding) I’m feeling and seeing real improvements in my skills and my expression, and that’s pretty bloody gratifying. I’m excited about what lies ahead.

On the music front, No Pussyfooting did a nice long session at Michael Grundy’s Leadfoot Studio in Toronto, working on our next album, which is due sometime in 2014. The studio is a great place to work, and the tracks are something special. Again, gratifying gratifying gratifying. There’s still plenty of work to do with finishing the recording, and post-production and hammering out manufacturing and distribution, as always. My feeling is that this is going to be the opportunity for NPF’s “big push” into something above and beyond the wonderful fishbowl we’ve been swimming in for the last 6 years or so.

Also, the new Trent Radio season is starting up in a few weeks, so I need to get my program proposal in. I’m itching to get back to my weekly live folk program, and there are tons of new and exciting folkie ideas bouncing around my head for the months ahead: maybe an hour-long program instead of 30 minutes, and then there’s new instruments to learn, and maybe a Rob Hailman folk album in a year’s time or so.

And finally, because the personal is political, or whatever: I struck up right at the head of the year with a woman who I’m quite enjoying cavorting with. Not much to say here with respect to specifics, except that the shape things take aren’t always what you expect, and sometimes that comes down to something wonderful. My life is so often full with things, good and bad, beyond my capacity to keep on top of things and process them – or so it often feels – and so being able to find a good rhythm with someone who gets that, lives her life to a similar extent, and is down to share good connections in and beyond all that … yup.

There’s a million more things to say – probably another 1000 words on music and photography themselves, and then another 10,000 on the ideas and emotions bouncing around my internal state – but I’ll be darned if I’ve not already spent too much time writing this up. Kudos if you’ve made it this far. Maybe there will be more to come – just maybe.

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