Thursday, April 28, 2005


Woo hoo! Today I received the Portraits book by Hellen Van Meene. You can also view some of her Tokyo portaits she did this year here. I can't wait to browse through her book tonight!

In addition to that book, I also got Day Trips With a Splash: The Swimming Holes of California. Not only did I buy this book for recreation, but I also got it for my underwater project. Ooohh, I am so excited! What a fun way to recruit friends to be my subjects!

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

2 Cups of Tea to Start

I meant to have an earlier start today because I have so much to do. Besides having to mat my work, I didn't realize that I have to spot almost every single one of my photos. Spotting can take a very long time (hours...days!) and I am terrible with the whole mat thing. I mess up with my measurements and waste copious amounts of board. The gallery called me yesterday and I told them yup, I'll bring by my work later this week.

Meanwhile, I've been thinking of changing the name of my blog. Maybe just place Studio Amparo up at the top of the site so that it is just an extension of my other site? Or maybe just name it something more whimsical? I also want to change the look of my site. I am ALWAYS wanting to change something because I can't ever make up my mind and I like variety. It's like that with everything; I can't even make up my mind for a simple drink at a bar. I'm a bit of a commitmentphobe and I always have a million projects going on. When I was a little girl, I used to always order the variety sampler plate.

This desire to revamp my website is reminding me that I need to COMPETELY redo the Happy Project site, but all of that will have to wait since I have more pressing things that need attention right now. Next week. It'll start happening next week.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Orange-Radish Salad

Yesterday was another good day at work. Mr. H told me that I made a beautiful lunch and he clapped after dinner. I love doing something that brings joy to people. My job situations have not always felt so satisfying and I am cherishing every moment of this time.

Here is an orange and radish salad recipe that I will share. Like most recipes that I make, it originated somewhere else and I tweaked it to make it my own. I don't really measure things out so the recipe is very informal. It feeds about 2 people so just do some simple math to fulfill your needs.

4 medium oranges
8 medium radishes
about half a small red onion
red wine vinegar
walnut oil
white balsamic vinegar
2 squeezes of lime (about 2 teaspoons maybe)
about a 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup (you can substitute honey)
maybe some cayenne

-Slice the onion lengthwise into thin long strips and soak them in the red wine vinegar for 5-15 minutes. Just use enough vinegar to cover them.

-Cut off the ends of the oranges and stand them on one end. Cut off the rind (including white pith) with a small knife. Now
you can cut into each segment with the knife. Hmm, how do I explain...cut into each side of a segment at a diagonal and then you can pull it out with the knife. Squeeze a little bit of the juice from a couple of the leftover membranes into a bowl.

-Cut the radishes in half and slice them.

-Mix the radishes, orange slice and onion together in the bowl with the orange juice. Throw out the red wine vinegar or save for another salad.

-Wisk together the walnut oil, white balsamic vinegar, and lime in a separate bowl. A typical ratio for oil and vinegar is 2/3 oil and 1/3 vinegar. I use a little more vinegar since I try to do things on the low fat side. So to follow that formula, use 9 tablespoons of oil with 3 tablespoons of vinegar to make a 1/2 cup of dressing. I just "eyeball" it.

-Shake in some cinnamon, add a little less paprika, and if you like a little spice, add a pinch of cayenne.

-Mix the dressing and salad together and serve on top of mild greens (i.e. butter lettuce) or by itself in a bowl. I seved it in a leafy-looking white bowl with a sprig of lamb's lettuce (mache) on top.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Blogs on Photography

There are two weblogs that I like to visit that comment and link to photography. They are Coincidences and Conscientious.
They have become my online photo magazines. There is always some new discovery.

I am sad to learn that Robert of Coincidences has stopped updating his blog. I loved seeing the images he posted along with his insightful commentary. I kept checking his site in the hopes that he would return, but it has been a while now. Please come back Robert! I miss my photo-browsing fix!

Friday, April 22, 2005


The following is a rant on my darkroom situation. It may make you snooze. Please move on if this disinterests you...

Why can't I find a decent, perfect darkroom? The one I have a membership with has a 5 hour maximum time limit which includes the wash time. That's not enough for me. My prints have also been getting dark spots on the back and I can't figure out what is going on. It has never happened in all my years of printing and I have now become superstitious. I even brought a clove of garlic and a bowl of salt with me during my last 2 visits. Seemed to work. But then again, maybe it was because I brought my own tongs. I asked for a partial refund and I don't think I'll be getting it. The guy pointed to some fine print that said that they are not responsible for any damage on their premises. Yeah, but what if I am expecting a certain level of working equipment and chemicals in their darkroom?? I was even misinformed and hadn't been placing my prints in the hypoclear for a long enough time. Thank goodness I called the chemical company and got the correct info.

I only have 2 other darkroom options at this point and neither one is perfect. The almost perfect one is 40 minutes to an hour away (depending on traffic) and it also only has a 5 hour time limit (but there are possibilities of being able to go over it if no one takes the next time slot). The other darkroom is way closer to home but is a little grungier. The guy running the place started looking at me like I was slightly neurotic when I asked him all of my questions...especially when I brought my own board when I rented his drymount press. He pointed to some paper that I could place between the dirty board, but I prefer my 2 ply museum board which is acid free.

I guess I am neurotic. So what? I must have high standards if other people will be looking at my prints and possibly buying them.

I miss my $5 per visit community darkroom in San Francisco.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Movie Recommendation

I *LOVED* Napoleon Dynamite. It is completely silly indie movie about a very geeky hero. He draws ligers and has awesome dance moves.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Job Satisfaction

Mr. H's nurse: So was dinner good?

Mr. H: Real good.

Mr. H's nurse: So you really liked the the food, huh?

Mr. H: Yeah, Amparo is really turning it out!!

Mr. H says this last line with his eyes closed and he doesn't hear that I have walked into the room to say goodbye. (He's quite deaf and everyone has to speak very loudly to him.) When he opens his eyes, he is surprised to see me there. I'm smiling and he beams back at me.

Blogger Bug

I give up. The image that I posted on March 14 shows up on my Safari browser, but not on IE. I contacted Blogger and they can't find anything wrong. What the f*?

Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Portland and Other Stuff

Wow, I have been MIA for a while. I wanted to stay away from the internet because once I am in front of the computer, I tend to stay there.

Photolucida was great. I met wonderful photographers and got good critical feedback. Just the act of showing my photos repeatedly clarified some things about my work. Why didn't I do this sooner in life?? I learned that both my Natoma Home and Beach series need some more development. I'm a little bummed about the Natoma series because I no longer live in San Francisco so I don't know if I will continue it. Hm, so much time and money went into that series, but maybe I just might let it go. If anything, I'll just place it on the back burner. Hell, maybe I'll just create a new series with my new knowledge.

People really liked the Beach series. They understood the quiet feeling I was trying to convey. I saw that this series could go in a few directions. I don't mind developing it further because it is ongoing and I am near the ocean. Although I regret not running out to the beach when it was stormy and cloudy about a month ago. Damn! I procrastinate too much.

Porland itself was fun. I got to see 3 different friends that I haven't seen in a few years. They are all very different and I am blessed to know them. My heart was especially warmed when I hung out with Sonja, because I haven't seen or talked to her in 5 years. We fell into our easy chit chat and I missed her when I returned home. She also has an adorable baby that I fell in love with. That has never happened to me before!

I must mention the Doug Fir Lounge. It's like a space-age lodge. I had a boysenberry martini and a yummy salad with goat cheese, hazelnuts, butter lettuce and boysenberries.

Last but definitely not least, I have some good news...The George Billis Gallery will be taking my Beach series on consignment. Which means I won't have a show but they will show my work to collectors when they come by the gallery. Wow! A real gallery will be trying to sell my work!! I am oh so excited!

This means I must be even more serious about my work. I must photograph more!! (That is another conclusion I came to while a Photolucida.)
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