Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Real Food Nation is happily open again - having taken a week's well deserved vacation over Christmas - and still has its Christmas window decoration-paintings in place: flowers with loose gummy petals, and these swirls of paint: like ferns, like peacock feathers, like the kind of designs I used to make with combs, on the paint / water / oil - or was it glue - surfaces when I once made marbled paper.   But that was a long long time ago, and something that I have entirely forgotten how to do - indeed, looking it up on line, it seems to involve alum, and gelatin - ingredients that I'm sure weren't to be found in abundance in rural Cumberland in my childhood.

Having been reading, at long last, Patricia Bosworth's biography of Diane Arbus, I can say with almost total confidence that she's a woman whom I would have found it very difficult to get along (something that always creates a very prickly response when reading a biography).   But I was struck by Lisette Model's assignment when Arbus was just starting out on her path as a solo photographer (as opposed to acting as part of a fashion-photographer-team with her then husband), and she took a course with her: that is, to have each member of the class photograph something that they'd never photographed before - which seems like an excellent challenge to keep looking and looking.   It meshes, too, with the dictum of Alexey Brodovitch, with whom Arbus also took a workshop: "If you see something you've never seen before, don't click the shutter."   As I head towards this blog's two year anniversary, I think that I should emblazon these precepts in neon.

1 comment:

  1. Correction - that should read - "if you see something you've seen before ..." delete the "never" - which makes much more sense ...Serves me right for posting late at night.