Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Racing the Ruin

Chris provides "art attack" support for Robbie in the aftermath of our Leading Women of Central KY 2011 shoot. Definitely the funnest of many fun shoots. (20 portraits appearing in Business Lexington May 2011 )

Scene of the Crime

Working to frame up the most elaborate (though you can't yet tell) of portraits for 2011's Leading Women of Central KY, before the arrival of my very game subject, LexArt's Robbie Morgan. The 20-portrait series will appear in the May issue of Business Lexington.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tornado Season

I don't know why, but tornados seem to love western Kentucky (where I grew up) much more than eastern Kentucky (where I've lived for years).

Over Easter weekend, we were treated to extensive tornado watches and at least TWO warnings. Friday night, a tornado was reported to be headed — well — pretty much right for us, e.t.a. 11:18pm. Yeah — we went into the basement.

The weirdness outside (pounding rain and wind, followed by eerie calm, followed by pounding rain and wind), along with this radar shot (from my brother's iPhone), suggest that we may have been just plain lucky. Reports the next morning said that this tornado (the *TORNADO-shape* in the blue circle) veered away from us (the yellow dot right next to it) and touched down briefly somewhat to the north.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Framing the Shot – Carnegie Center

Setting up a shot for Jan Isenhour, the director of the Carnegie Center. The building has those titanic columns but I wanted contrast, and found it in this insane "art lectern" (maybe 75 lbs. and gangly) that they own. I sweet-talked a maintenence guy into helping me haul it outside and down the stairs, and then played peekaboo with the Sun. I'm afraid there's a "crazy dictator" aspect to this frame, but hopefully Jan's genteel nature can remedy that. Alert eyes will notice my new BFF, the Canon remote, in my right hand, tripping the shutter. (for Business Lexington's "Leading Women of Central Kentucky 2011" series, due out in May)

Leading Women Series background – Framing the shot

This was from a tricky shoot at the Prichard Committee, a revered educational lobby based in deeply-occupied offices in downtown Lexington. The wall is a memorial to the beloved founder, Ed Pritchard, which I tried to include in a portrait with this chair that I dragged out of a nearby office. Many things were dragged and rearranged for this shoot, and the staff was very, very understanding. (The actual image of Pritchard Committee director Cindy Heine will be featured in Business Lexington's "Leading Women of Central Kentucky 2011" series, due out in early May.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Leading Women photoshoot

Chris helps Robbie get completely wrecked for ART, dahlink. (and for my upcoming 20-portrait series, "Leading Women of Central KY" for BusinessLexington. Incredibly fun shoot! Thanks, SKO for officing us!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Good Things

(hypothetical from Pentagram Design's
"Blue Horse" campaign for Lex)
Today seems like such a great day. That whole TGIF thing has never particularly resonated with me, but I have often found Fridays to contain jewels in my life, often in the form of meaningful visits with inspiring people. I can't say why this often happens on Fridays, but I ain't complainin'.

Today, after a morning bike trip to the store, I stopped to visit with an inspirational couple, the Maddocks, who were outside working on the foundations of what will surely be an amazing urban farm, right in the heart of the East End. As we chatted under the glorious Spring sky, I was reminded of the absolutely amazing community growth that's going on right here, right now, in Lexington due to an incredible brew of amazing younger folk like them, who are cheerfully refusing to settle for inadequacies that many have come to take for granted in our town.

I've seen increasing evidence lately that the "old money" in Lexington (and maybe places like it) doesn't know how to change and is increasingly choosing to sequester away from outsiders, i.e. those who aren't moneyed, vast property owners and just … watch Rome burn, is how I feel about it sometimes.

There's not much I can do about that except feel disappointed by it, and look elsewhere for meaningful change. But that change IS happening.

After the CentrePointe controversy — which revolved in some general way around how much say our community had in decisions about our downtown landscape — my good friend (and inspiration) Griff said, with his unique verve, cheer and conviction: "Fuck downtown. We're goin' north."

What I took that to mean was: Why waste valuable energy, resources and inspiration on the traditional space we call "downtown," when there are spaces all over in every direction that are crying out for attention, for an end to the neglect that focusing on "downtown" had previously fostered.

And that's was exactly the kind of evolutionary thinking that's helping to bring out the best in Lexington, I think. As much help as the gray-haired rich-guy business types could help, as much as they could advance this city, they aren't doing it — seemingly out of a lack of interest or possibly because they're afraid or they just don't get it. Maybe they just don't know how to change. It's some kind of terminal bluegrass myopia, and it's corrosive to this city's potential. The question has been asked by smarter people than I: Why isn't Lexington … Austin?

But there is a new rising class of charismatic, smart, conscientious people coming up through the social and business ranks in this town. I've met too many of them to count. And they are changing this town for the better, without much help from "your daddy," Old Lexington.

It's very exciting, because these people are so inspiring. The Seedleafs, and the Broke Spokes, and the Cornbread Suppers, and the Distillery District folks and ProgressLex, and so many more, including the Mayor — they're not just on the way, they're here. And they're making this town so much better than it's been in decades.

I'm glad for that this Friday. That's my inspiration this week and next.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Goodnight, Kentucky… (Donamire Farm)

Montrose Daffodils 2011

LucyMick & Lucy CLucy CAn Old FriendThe Game RoomThe Game Room
The Game RoomMontrose Daffodils (re-pro)portrait re-prothe Game RoomThe Game Roomglasses still life
back doorkitchen ceilingOut backThe Lucysout buildingThe Lucys
Lucy CLucy CThe Lucys, The DaffodilsLucyLucyLucy

Montrose Daffodils 2011, a set on Flickr.

Had a magical visit to the enchanted Montrose farm for the annual Daffodil extravaganza. It was a beautiful day, made unforgettable by the hospitality and delight of John and Lucy.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Reflections on Drinking Very Old Whiskey

Did I really drink one hundred year old rye whiskey tonight? I did! 

The thanks goes to a friend who's family happened upon a forgotten stash of it—two cases—somewhere on the grounds of their glorious Kentucky horse farm. 

It tasted like expensive old furniture. And a little like Angostura 1919 Rum. It was AMAZING—certainly the most venerable spirit I've ever sampled. With the host's permission, I made two Sazaracs for beloved guests. Me, I drank it neat. What would I possibly mix with 100 year old rye whiskey? 

It was liquid gold! What an unforgettable treat! Thanks, "Bro!"