Wednesday, February 29, 2012

magic wand/

I originally chose this image with the thought that this is what my magic wand would look like if I was to have one now. My 3 year old niece is a fan of the magic wand and so we play...but it got me to thinking about the whole concept of the magic wand. To my niece it is about instant  dream and wish fulfillment. But who wants that? The wonderful part about dreaming, and the reason why getting them fulfilled feels so good, is that much of the time there is work, care and love that goes into them. Right now I am scheduling shoots in Europe for my next book. It is not my favorite part of the project process, but I wouldn't use my magic wand to skip over it. It is part of the process. Part of the story. The bumps, bruises and woes as well as the joys and triumphs all go into making realization of dreams so very sweet. Nope! No magic wand for me. I want to savor every single second...

PS - quote of the day "Action is the antidote of despair." -Joan Baez

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

moving day/pt.1

lucky me...a 2 day moving extravaganza! But I will triumph!

Monday, February 27, 2012

moving stirs things up/

I've been moving out of my studio this past weekend and setting up an archive at the same time. Rather daunting. It stirs me up to look through so much past work - going through job files from the beginning of my career. My first job was a portrait of the cartoonist Daniel Clowes for Raygun shot on my 126 camera. It seems like ages ago (and it kind of is), but it also feels like yesterday. And frankly, I would love to shoot a portrait of him again. On my 126 camera!
No real commentary on todays image. Just like it.  ; )

Friday, February 24, 2012

summer cravings/

What can I say? It was 70 in San Francisco yesterday and I did not get a thing done beyond keeping my meetings. I mean...I got some stuff done but all I could think of was summer. Swimming in lakes and even batting away mosquitoes. At the very least I am going to bask in the sun like a cat this weekend...
hope you take some time to do the same. Kisses friends!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

bay bridge/

A lovely day yesterday in San Francisco. Crazy beautiful, as you can see...but what is that weird gate on the Bay Bridge. I always notice it and finally got a shot of it. So weird. I love it.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I love the thought of nature taking things back. Years ago while traveling in the  deep south I came across a man, Francis (a fantastic story in himself, but I digress), clearing Kudzu off a house. I was in a panic because a day before I had driven by and just had to shoot it. But it was night so I planned to come back. And when I came back they were clearing it...eeeek! I still got the shot (see below), but the thought of the house wrestling with the wildness of nature had stayed with me. Taken root. I just like that idea. And then awhile back I took some scouting shots of a house in Berkeley and noticed the wisteria growing inside the house by sneaking in the window. I felt secretly joyful. Go wisteria, go!!! We coexist with such wildness and beauty on this earth and so much time is spent trying to tame things. How boring! Let the wildness in.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

wallace neff/bubble house

I shot this lovely image of the only Wallace Neff bubble house in the US a few years ago for a book that is finally out! Such a fascinating story...I mean , I think of Wallace Neff I think LA Mediterranean style houses. But this chapter in his career is fascinating! Jeffrey Head's new book No Nails, No Lumber: The Bubble Houses of Wallace Neff is worth a look.

Monday, February 20, 2012

maria moyer/

I've been editing through the images I shot of Maria Moyer's home this past summer. This image of her hallway is quickly becoming a favorite. You are all going to laugh when I tell you why. I am dying to know what that thing is under the door. What is in the closet? Usually I notice these things and move them because it distracts me, but that day I didn't apparently. I know she would let me look, but no...I don't want to look. I want to follow the stories that are starting to form in my head.
On a more technical, geeky, photo note, I also love this image because all the details are compositionally around the edges - the glasses, the cool blue light from the outside back door, the picture on the wall - they are all sneaking into the frame, just for flavor. And I am in love the the cool blue of her hallway. Ok, is that enough reasons to love this image?
Of course it is no secret I love Maria with abandon. Her work is sooo beautiful! I wear my porcelain necklace she gave me at every public speaking event I do. The sound and the feel of it in my hands makes me calm. Check out her work here on her website. And she has a fanpage on Facebook now...finally! Up today! Click here to be her fan. I already have....

Friday, February 17, 2012

los angeles/neutra

Spending this week in LA shooting and visiting a few Neutra's has had an odd effect on me. I used to live in LA for about 10 years and I have inadvertently visited all my old neighborhoods and haunts this week. This Neutra is one of the Strathmore apartments in Westwood. Apparently I lived about 5 blocks away from this when I was 19 and had no idea. Of course, my interest in architecture was not what it is now. In fact I was not even a photographer at that time. I was studying French. But through this experience in Westwood as well as speaking to the graduating class at my alma mater Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, I have not only visited places where I used to live, I have visited the girl I used to be at those times. I am happy to say it has not made me at all nostalgic (a shocker) it has only made me appreciate where I am. I loved my years in LA and wouldn't trade them for the world. They have gotten me to where I am now. A deeply happy place.
Have a beautiful weekend friends.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

humble objects/

I sometimes run across scenes like this, found in a stairwell, and feel a overwhelming surge of happiness. You are probably wondering why. Well,  I have a love of humble, utilitarian objects and seeing that ladder basking in a beautiful pool of light?  I just think that ladder deserves it! My mind goes to how much things like a ladder or can opener or a whatever (insert unglamorous object here), are important to making our everyday lives easier. This ladder is a workhorse and not beautiful in design so it is overlooked. But what would we do without it? So when I stumbled upon this scene all I could think was, how nice that the ladder gets to take a little nap in that beautiful pool of light! And how beautiful it looks with the light glinting off it like that. A beauty finally equal to its functionality.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

neutra/last shot

I have been in LA shooting a beautiful Neutra for the past couple of days. This was my last shot yesterday. The house felt more like a treehouse. Pretty nice.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

rational beauty Q&A/kay sekimachi

The lovely Jeanette Abbink of Rational Beauty has just posted a Q&A with me so I thought I would share that today. The link is here for all for you that are curious. I had fun answering her questions...
It made me think of the project Jeanette and I worked together on for her last issue as creative director of American Craft Magazine - a story on Kay Sekimachi. This image is one of my favorites of her upstairs loft. Kay has an exquisite eye, doesn't she?...

Monday, February 13, 2012

june schwarcz/

I spent a lovely afternoon last week with June Schwarcz shooting some of her new work. Her house is an oasis.

Friday, February 10, 2012


I admit it...I wish I was going to do a little of this today. Just drive away for a bit. Sit under a tree and stare at the sky. Fall asleep reading a book. All those things that seem completely decadent to me at the moment.
But no rest for the weary! I am heading to LA for a couple of really interesting shoots! Maybe I'll get a nap in there somewhere...
Have a beautiful weekend friends!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

lieb house/new york times

So excited that the images I shot in December to accompany Pilar Viladas' wonderful story on the Lieb House is up on the TStyle website! Go here to see and read!
This is one of my favorites from the day. An unquestionably sublime setting...and you all know by now I have a thing for water pictures...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Thanks for the love letters from Germany, Scotland, the UK, and a couple of US cities about the blog. Quite a little flurry of the nicest notes. much appreciated!

irving harper/

I have been wondering what Irving Harper's Barn is looking like lately. Are there more sculptures in there? Have these disintegrated more? There is something so sadly beautiful in how these pieces of art he made are slowly just falling apart. Soon there might just be the skeleton hanging there and a pile of string on the floor. Wish I could shoot that...

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I know, I know...this is a little blurry, but I ran across it yesterday as I was clearing images off my phone (it won't take anymore pictures til I do!) and I had to share. Years ago, when I was well off the beaten path in Pennsylvania looking for locations for a job I was on someone told me about this old school house. It was the most beautiful building in this town (whose name I cannot remember). So I head up to the hill it was on hoping to find an great place for a portrait. A software company had taken over and one of the guys that ran the company used to go to school in this building! the amazing thing was, the lower floors were like an office building. But he offered to show me the upstairs. The attic floor was left exactly like this. I swear my heart skipped a beat. LOOK AT THE WALLS!!!! and chalkboards! My goodness...I almost started to cry this place made me so happy. I would have loved to photograph the portraits I was scouting for here, but the client would never have gone for it. Alas, I have these images...and I think if I look back in my job file I can find the name of the town. I wonder if it is still there...

Monday, February 6, 2012

mankas/martha stewart living

Two more from Mankas in Inverness today because I am so in love with that place. I dream of writing part of the new book there when I get to that point. Can you think of a better place to write than at this table? More of Mankas in the February  Martha Stewart Living.
PS - does anyone know exactly what type of net this is? Just curious. It is fascinating and beautiful, isn't it?

Friday, February 3, 2012

chairs/charles bello

What is it about chairs? I was at Charles Bello's last weekend and I shot this chair again! Every time I visit I shoot it...but I think this shot finally does it justice. It is somehow rustic Rietveld...

PS - Thanks so much to everyone who came out for the Slideshow at Gravel and Gold last night. It was fun telling stories about shooting Handcrafted Modern. And a special thanks to Cass and Co. at G&G. Such a lovely cozy space for a on to the European book...

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Handcrafted Modern Slideshow tonight at Gravel and Gold/

Hope to see you all at Gravel and Gold in the Mission (SF) tonight for my (dare I say it?) last signing and slideshow of the project. Come up and say hi if you stop by! More info here.

early work/journals

I went to the Francesca Woodman exhibit at SFMOMA one rainy day a couple of weeks ago. I really wasn't ready for the flood of feeling that show brought up for me. I would site Woodman as an early influence of mine, especially when I was in my early terms at Art Center. But instead of my work, it brought up all these feeling of being a young artist and the questioning and lack of acceptance of my own process. There are quite a few parallels within the way we printed and loosely in subject matter (although I was not such a self portraitist as she). I remember getting such grief for printing small. I forgot she printed small as well. It is funny to think of now, when all these things have been figured out to some extent. Or maybe it is just that confidence and sureness in my work and vision is unquestionable now. But those feelings were so easily and unexpectedly excavated at that show. So today I share a couple of pages from my creative journal with you all. All early work of a young unsure artist. My journal was my place to do anything. And for years no one saw them - they were for me alone. I feel like starting one up again. It is invaluable to have a safe place for oneself to just create. What do you do just for yourself that nurtures you creatively?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

mankas/martha stewart living

I am obsessed with this light. I shot it for the "Stealing from Hotels" story in February's Martha Stewart Living (you'll see it in a wider shot in the story).  It is at Mankas Inverness Lodge. I had heard about Mankas for years and having spent so much time in Inverness shooting at the Blunk House it seemed kind of crazy that the MSL job was the first time I actually crossed their threshold. Mankas is a little slice of heaven. There is no other way to put it.  On a chilly, drizzly day like today, I wish I was tucked into one of their cozy rooms next to the fire. A girl can dream....