West Coast Show!

Train Abstraction ©Jaimee Todd Available for sale

Train Abstraction
©Jaimee Todd
Available for sale

Hey, hey! Good news all around. I’m doing my first West Coast show this year. My cousin, Ric Todd, who is  a talented sculptor, curator, artist-extraordinaire, is curating a group show at St. Paul’s Cathedral called, Ric’s Eyes. Ric is the Cathedral Artist-in-Residence and he has put together a group show featuring artwork by his favorite artists who have captured his mind, emotions and socials senses, so you can imagine what an honor and a pleasure it is for me to be invited to participate :)

My photo, Train Abstraction, will be featured and is available for sale, so those of you in the San Diego area, please do check out St. Paul’s Cathedral located at 5th and Nutmeg. The show will run until the end of September 24th.

 

Painting with Photography

I’ve started messing around with ink again but this time I get to combine it with photography. For a while now, I’ve been wondering how to incorporate painting in with my camera work and I think I’ve stumbled upon something.

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

I’ve been looking for a detour from my usual street photography and wanted to do something more abstract. After doing some research on new projects to take on, I started to experiment with dropping colored ink (leftover from my inkblots) into water and photographing them with a new macro lens that I got last week.

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

The results are wondrous! Watching the ink hit the water and billow out into beautiful swirling clouds is hypnotic and relaxing. It reminds me of when I used to dip my paintbrushes in water when I would do watercolor and watching the pigment leach into the water. I used to stare at it thinking about how beautiful and graceful the patterns of paint looked as they slowly unfurled.

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

Here, I was doing something quite similar but I also played around with the lighting to give the imagery an other-worldly feel. I’m still getting the hang of technique and coordinating my shots but it’s such an enjoyable work in progress.

More to come.

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

And Then…

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Finally I get to luxuriate in doing nothing! My work schedule finally tapered off into something more manageable and I finally get my weekends back. I can’t tell you how good that feels. It took me a while to feel like I was going back to normal and in the process I’ve been enjoying the feeling of not having to be somewhere.

This past weekend, I curled up on my couch with some new reading, the brilliant Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and had the windows open with a gentle summer breeze blowing through my apartment.

My appetite for reading has come back and I’m delving into various books as a way of replenishing my creativity. I’ve already ordered Americanah and I’m also reading David Deutsch’sThe Beginning of Infinity, which is a stark departure from what I normally delve into. Highly recommended by my boyfriend, this book address a lot of philosophical and historical themes of our world from a physicists perspective. It’s a bit hard to grasp at first but it’s potential seems immense, especially since the writer contends the importance of creativity as way of ensuring human progress.

Right now I’m using this time to be open, to try and experiment with new things and it’s a nice place to be. I don’t feel under the gun to create SOMETHING under any kind of frenetic pressure even though people keep asking me when I’m going to do my next show. In time…in time.

Until then, I’m enjoying the remains of summer, although I think it’s going by way too fast, and looking forward to new ventures and experimentation.

No Justice, No Peace

Taken at Union Square, NYC. July 14, 2013.

Taken at Union Square, NYC. July 14, 2013.

I’m still enraged by the Zimmerman verdict but in spite of my furious anger, I wasn’t surprised. I spent most of Saturday evening venting my anger and disgust on social media and trying to find a tiny space in my soul where I could find some solace but found none. I wanted to do more than just make angry posts on Facebook.

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Apparently there were many New Yorkers that felt the same way because on Sunday, they turned out in droves to express their outrage over the Zimmerman verdict. I went to one of the peaceful rallies at Union Square in Manhattan. In the hot blazing sun, it felt so good to yell, to raise a fist in the air with my fellow New Yorkers to express our anger.

One of the most redeeming things that I love about my city is that it wasn’t just a sea of black faces shouting in protest, but waves of different colors: white, brown, yellow, all united to speak against social injustice. Many used this as opportunity to address other grievances of racially biased laws, such as Stop & Frisk and racial profiling that is rampant amongst the NYPD. It was amazing.

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I also spent a great chunk of time photographing the rally and it felt so damn good to document something so personally meaningful. For once, it wasn’t about photographing pretty skyscapes and architecture; it was about documenting a tide of new consciousness that I am so grateful to be a part of. This is one of those times when you realize that art can make a difference, that it can really open people’s eyes and move their minds and hearts, and I want to contribute to that.

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You can see more of my pictures from the rally on my Facebook page or Flickr. I plan on taking more shots at the upcoming rallies next week.

Until then, ONWARD!

 

Chocolate Girl

Chocolate Girl

©Jaimee Todd 2013

My boyfriend and I attempted to see the Femi Kuti concert at Central Park’s Summerstage but we ended up getting shut out because the concert was completely packed and they weren’t letting anyone in. I was totally bummed but I turned around and saw this adorable chocolate-skinned cutie chasing her young brother around while her parents danced and sang to the music from the concert. I couldn’t get over how beautiful and precious she looked; she was full of energy and exuberance and like any young girl, could not stand still for very long. Lucky for me, I did manage to capture her when she did take a minute to stop, look around her, and then like a bolt, she was off again.

St. Martin

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It’s hard to believe that a week ago today I was roaming the beautiful beaches and taking the amazing sites of the gorgeous island of St. Martin. My boyfriend and I made the big escape from New York and ventured down to the Caribbean for a little R&R.

To say that I was overdue for a vacation is a massive understatement. I had no idea how burnt out and tired I was until we finally got down there. Instead of having to hop subway trains and endure the honking of street traffic, all I had to do was sit in the sand and marvel at the turquoise waves that surrounded the island.

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

A little background: St. Martin is island shared by two countries; France and the Netherlands. We stayed on the Dutch side, which is more affordable but we often ventured to the French side by car. Even though the island is only 36 miles or so, you definitely need to get a car to get around because it’s ridiculously hilly. Thanks to our little Hyundai, we were able to power through the steep hills and get around town quite seamlessly (big thanks to the GPS gods).

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

The Dutch side is a little touristy feeling and probably caters to more American tastes while the French side feels less so. AJ commented on how much the island reminded him of Nigeria and even though I’ve never been to Africa,  it did feel like in a French-African nation

The other good thing about traveling ot the French side is that you got to see how people really lived. I’m not impressed by sterile resorts that are pristine and perfect and seeing how the native folk lived also shed light on the gross income disparity between the wealthy and not-so-wealthy. It provides a sobering reality and lends to a more wholesome experience.

While St. Martin is pretty diverse, the French side seemed overwhelmingly Afro-Caribbean. We heard French sailing through the air as we walked through Marigot and watched people fishing on the docks or saw them hanging out in tiny restaurants serving fresh seafood and Creole.

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

Of course, one of my favorite parts of the island was the Butterfly Farm, a.k.a, “Photographer’s Heaven”, which houses one an impressive butterfly collection all in a modest, but pleasant, setting. I damn near lost my mind running around trying to photograph these beauties, some of which were as large as my hand. In addition to learning about butterflies, people also have the opportunity to feed them and on rare occasions, have them land on them (AJ and I were not terribly fond of this idea when it came to those big butterflies).

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

I already miss St. Martin and can’t wait to go back to explore. In the meantime, I‘ll look back on the shots that I took with fond memories.

Desconstruction Junction

Within the past few weeks, I’ve been experimenting with my photography in the areas of deconstructing images and then rebuilding them into something new. I’ve been having so much fun with it because it really does feel like abstract painting with a camera. It also forces me to really focus on my environment and re-invent everyday objects and imagery that I encounter. It’s amazing how something so ordinary can be transformed into something beautiful and new.

Starting with this “4sale” sign that I spotted outside of Banana Republic in Midtown Manhattan.

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After splicing and duplicating the letters and symmetry of the sign, I blended the image so that it became this:

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

And then this:

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

I couldn’t seem to stop myself and pretty soon, I went on to stack these images together to create a unified piece:

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

Here are a few more before/after shots:

Before (a picture of a sculpture at Rockefellar Center):

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 After:

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©Jaimeee Todd 2013

Before (subway sign)photo-39After:

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©Jaimee Todd 2013

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©Jaimeee Todd 2013

 

Before (Shoefiti found in Queens)

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And then this. This one is actually my favorite:

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©Jaimeee Todd 2013

Doing these is soooo much fun and highly addicting. Additionally it probably makes people wonder what the hell i’m photographing random stuff for. I like to think of it as an exercise in learning how to see the beauty in the simple things.

Finally

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Finally, after weeks, I have found the time to compose a new blog post. You would laugh if you know how many times I’ve tried to write this one post with an update. As previously mentioned, the day job is keeping me on a constant work grind with little time for anything else.

And finally, I get to travel.

A few weeks ago I booked a trip to the Caribbean that I will be going on in April and I can’t wait. It’s embarrassing to think about how long it’s been since I’ve hopped a plane to go to another country given all the travel deals out there and the gaps of time I had, but I always seem to have a convenient excuse as to why I couldn’t go; I wanted to save money,

I wanted to go when the time was right, I didn’t feel like planning.

But then I realized that life was for living. There’s probably never really perfect time to go traveling and i didn’t have to spend and arm and a leg to go abroad. More importantly, I believe that traveling is just damn good for the soul. It’s a chance to get a change of scenery, a change of routine and see how people live differently from you. I desperately need a change from the everyday of the city. I’m hoping that all of these experiences will rekindle the creative fires.  (and I totally can’t wait to photograph the beautiful sights on my trip).

Pictures will certainly be forthcoming of this trip so be on the lookout in April. I can’t wait to share them with you.

Terrifying, Strange, Beautiful

This lovely collection of contradicting words is the theme behind Live Unchained’s upcoming awards ceremony that will be taking place this fall. The show’s theme was inspired by the British Somali poet Warsan Shire’s of the same title, which celebrates the complexities of womanhood. This exciting awards show will honor the complex, talented and multi-faced community of Live Unchained artists but for it to become reality, we will need to raise funds to cover costs. Check out the amazing campaign video at my favorite fundraising platform, Indiegogo and contribute today!