On Brunch and Deliberate Acts

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Brunch is something I've written about a few times on the blog. It started as a way for Ali, Julia, and I to get together before working on our thesis papers. We would make this brunch, and hash out the gossips of the weekend, and then spend a few hours in a cafe or on Julia's porch working on our papers.

Sundays quickly became this little pocket of joy, every week. I live (lived, another blog post about my recent move soon) about a ten minute walk away from Julia's house so I would always leave right before I needed to be there, and grab some flowers on the way, and show up to Jules in the kitchen getting everything ready. We usually decided what to make beforehand. Sometimes it was elaborate, sometimes it was simple. But always beautiful because the life we live is beautiful and something that has grown out of my friendship with Jules is an even bigger appreciation for taking the time to make the  small details beautiful and deliberate.

Two weeks ago we had brunch on a Saturday, because Steele and I were leaving early the next day. Jules had things started and I picked some green hydrangeas on my ways over, and walked in and entered the pocket of joy. We decided to make eggs benedict, which means, Jules decided to make eggs benedict. Jules has an amazing way in the kitchen. She pays as much attention to making a hollandaise sauce as she does balancing three panes of glass against each other. Usually Ali and I just kind of hang around. Ali always makes the drinks and cuts the fruit. And I take the pictures. (These particular photographs were taken with 35mm film.)


And even though this post is written in the past tense, and these Sunday brunches were one of the best parts of my past year, I know they will continue. I will live in a different place and maybe it will take longer to get there. We won't be working on our thesis papers and the events we're rehashing won't be about school. But there's more holding us together. Those things aren't the glue. 

This deliberate act is the glue. 

Summer Adventure No. 1: Film




I impulsively decided to make a film of our adventure. Film is not my strong suit. I tend to hold a video camera and record something still for 20 seconds. Basically, just making a photograph. But I love the idea of having a little home movie for each of these adventures I go on. So, this is my real first attempt.

Like with anything, it is not objective. This tiny film would have been so much different had Ali been shooting and editing it, or if Steele had been. This is our adventure through my lens.

Summer Adventure No. 1: Photographs

Friday, June 28, 2013

Below are some images from my recent trip back to Colorado from Oregon. Ali came along with Steele and I and we lengthened the trip from it's average two days. Traveling by car is such a strange thing. You are in a little bubble moving through landscapes. It's even stranger when you're only the passenger. You can go to sleep, or read a book for a while, and wake up in a completely different world. I suppose that's true of all travel. 

We drove down through Oregon, spent a night with a good friend in Ashland, and then made our way to San Francisco for an afternoon, followed by a stay in Salt Lake City, and then finally a last night spend in Canyonlands, Utah. Then a day drive back into Colorado.








I was glad to make the trip last longer. Coming home is a process that I go through better slowly. You have to fit yourself back into the person you are when you're home. It's a bittersweet sensation, being in that old shell of a person. There's small comfort in knowing things are the same, but there's an equal sense of panic. Like no matter what, things are going to be here, unchanging. It's a sense of defeat, that you yourself will never be able to change. And then in the next moment you can be standing on the pine needle covered ground and feel so solidly that this place will always be a part of you. That you belong here. Homecoming. 


the book heart: no. 1 (man walks into a room + the solitude of prime numbers)

Saturday, June 22, 2013



I just spent the past week traveling by car from Portland back to Colorado, where I'll be spending the rest of June. Car rides for me mean a few things--napping, reading, and staring out the window. These are two of the books I managed to read on the drive over: Man Walks Into A Room by Nicole Krauss, The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano.




This is not a book review. I don't really want to rehash the plots in any specific details. I just want some record that these books deserve and hold a place in my heart. I could give you some quotes here, because both of these authors do such a wonderful job of describing small moments. But I won't. What happens with me, with a good book, is that all the details melt together and form a single sensation. I would highly recommend both or either of them. They both moved quickly and were quiet and introspective without being boring.

And of course, if you guys have any further recommended reading, I'd love suggestions. Next on my list is The Infinite Tides by Christian Kiefer and Death Without Interruptions by Jose Saramago. 


(The book heart is a place books go when they move you. It’s a place for you to keep all of those books, all of those plots and stories and all of those little moments. This is a series I will be starting chronicling the books that have become a part of me. I hope you'll enjoy, and that maybe these books can become a part of you as well.) 

365/365 (!)

Friday, June 14, 2013


Yesterday was day 365. So, true to the form of this project, I'm posting it today. 

Yesterday I got my first tattoo, a friendship tat with Julia. I got home and was sitting in bed when I got a facebook message from Crrr commenting on the fact that it was the last day. And that's when I realized it was day 365, hahahaha. Not when I was getting my first tattoo. That just happened to be pure coincidence. Which is lovely. 

As much as I would love to do a recap on the past year, my life at this moment doesn't really allow for that. Right now I'm at a cafe with Rubes, figuring out some last minute things for the 31•13 show. My apartment is half-packed. The moving truck is being loaded by Steele and Ali. (Thanks guys!) And I will return home, to finish packing. 

There's a lot of growing and changing to do from point, but right now there's nowhere I'd rather be then right here. I am surrounded by the best friendships and the strongest people. I hope this tattoo always reminds me of the places I belong. 

364/365

Here are two circles from day 364.



I spent the afternoon and evening and night with Jules, hanging out on her porch drinking tea while it poured summer rain. We made macaroni and cheese and ate a little too much. Spent the night exclaiming and proclaiming and just enjoying things. 



363/365

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

oldtears--newtears



Digging through and unearthing all of this paper evidence of my life is a bit like digging through many different layers of rock. It's strange, I'd somehow had the feeling nothing had really changed, many things in my life are the same as they were 5 years ago. I'm still with Steele. Crrr is still my best friend. My parents, well, they're still my parents. But reading through all these notes and letters, I feel this big pull, like I'm revealing something from a whole other lifetime. Like all these memories are trying to surface, but they don't really get any closer then the evidence I'm holding. 



362/265

Yesterday I didn't take any photographs.

But here is the moment I wish I had photographed:

I am sitting at the desk at Newspace (my last night working there before the trip.) and the sky is fading to that inky blue. In that area, there are a lot of telephone poles, and streetlights, and things that generally make it so you can't see the sky without some line criss-crossing over it. There is a small yellow streetlight that is just turning on, it's a warm yellow, against the blue sky. The lines are criss-crossing around it and it's just staying up, a bright little ball of light against the huge wide sky.

360/365

Monday, June 10, 2013

I made a small zine with a small story. This is something I would like to keep doing. Sometime to motivate me to keep writing, and to see it through to a finished product, so to speak.




359/360

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Yesterday, I went and got coffee at Powell's with a friend, Catherine, which was really nice and afterwards I stayed and said hello to all the books. The best way to say hello to books is to walk up and down the aisles of a bookstore, Powell's, and gently touch their spines. Then a few books, you can pick up and flip through. The things you're looking for when you pick up a book aren't just the words. Sure, you should read a few words, but also, here are some important things to consider:

  • How easy does the book fall open? Is it floppy or tight? Everyone has a personal preference regarding this. Myself, I prefer a really floppy book. One that kind of just wants to lay flat. Those tight books, I never really feel like I can read them. 
  • What does the cover look like? Is it nice? Does it have a pleasurable type-face? Would you want to look at it for a long time? Like, even if you bought it and never read it, would you still enjoy looking at it?
  • Same questions, for the spine. Infact, I can almost overlook a bad cover if the spine is nice. Half the time, that's all you're going to see for the rest of your life anyways. 
  • Size! Of course, size. It should be large enough that the type doesn't have to be tiny, but you also don't want a giant hardcover that you can't take anywhere. Somewhere in the 5"-8" range is about where I head towards. 

Sometimes when you're saying hello to the books, you just want to grab one and walk around with it for a bit. Even if you don't buy it. Just walk around with it, see what it might feel like to be the proud owner of that book. 

These are some books I carried around and said hello to. I cannot attest to their insides, to the actual book-ness of them, but they sure are nice objects and they appear quite promising due to the points made above, and the small bits of words I read. 





358/365

Friday, June 7, 2013

I can't post a blog tonight, I just can't. 



So have a non-blog. 









357/365

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Finally starting packing and going through things today. I found this photo strip that I thought I lost a few years ago. I remembering getting it out of the machine and being a little bummed that the top photo was over exposed, but now I really like it. 

Packing up your life is such a strange experience. We define ourselves by stuff. Our objects, our letters, our photographs. All of these sentimental things that we hold onto. Or I hold onto, in this case. A part of me wants to just let this stuff go, to be the person who has only a hundred possessions. But I do love these things that I have picked and surrounded myself with. 

We'll see how it goes, in the next few days. My biggest challenge is sorting through papers--notes, letters, images, school things. I have to decide what it's worth to keep. What I should hold onto. Romantically, I have the thought that it would be nice to have only a single suitcase of sentimental papers. My mom had a suitcase full of them. Of course, she also had a dozen boxes additionally.



356/365




355/365



Tuesday, oh Tuesday.
I spent a lovely Tuesday with Melina and Ali, sitting in Powells for a second, and then spending the night at Ali's house.

I wonder when I'll outgrow sleepovers.
I hope never, especially if they continue to involve quality films such as Cruel Intentions.


354/365

Monday, June 3, 2013



I spent most of today in a coffee shop with Rubes, working on my website and drinking blissfully cheap drip coffee. The website, as you might notice, has a new little circle link on the homepage. It is done. I say done knowing, of course, that it will be an ever evolving thing. 

I can't believe I have a website. Or rather, I can't believe it's taken me so long to make it a reality. 

It always seemed like such a big hurdle. Like it would tip me into the world, professional photographer.  That's not quite the case, obviously. Just as I successfully jumped that hurdle a dozen more seem to have appeared in front of me. Namely, what I will do for work. 

The wonderful thing about getting an education from OCAC is that it lets you focus, 100% on your own art. In the best sense. It's sometimes isolating, but mostly you get to spend so much time in your own head that at the end of it, you know how your brain works. You know how you work through problems and what your weaknesses are and what your strengths are. 

The terrible thing about getting an education from OCAC is that at the end of it, you have been in your own head for four years. The real world is fast approaching and despite that good old class, Professional Practices, it kind of seems like the real world is about to slam into you hard, run over you, and never let you get back up. 

To be dramatic. 

Anyways, the point, the website. Right. Well it is there, now, it exists, it is a real thing. I would love for you (yes, you) to look at it and enjoy it. It is a tiny tiny selection of the ever-growing archives. 

And of course, feedback is appreciated and welcome. I'd like it to be as clean and clear as possible and so any comments are good and useful. 

http://www.brittanyvchavez.com

(Look, how official.)





353/365

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I just had a little argument in my head about what we pay less attention to--the space below us or the space above us. It's a strange thing, but we exist in this weird little 6 foot tall band of space. Or in my case, a 5 foot and three inches tall band of space.

I wonder if it's why there are so many photographers who just simply rotate their photographs, so the sky is facing downward and the whole space is confused. Because it's a way to get out of that typical band of space we inhabit.

Or, it just looks cool. ;)

I'd like to look at the sky more. And look at the ground more. And observe all those tiny little things, those things that aren't in my precise band of space.

Things like, the strangeness of the symmetry of flowers. And what magical things can happen when you simply mirror a photograph.


352/365

Saturday, June 1, 2013


The clouds understand me today. It's blue sky's and sunlight, and the clouds are fluffy and spread out, with their black dark undersides. They're so far away. There's just something about clouds. They're proof of how far the atmosphere exists. But they're also held so close to home compared to the possibilities of space.



This night might have been the last that I spend in this space. A space that is so broken, and janky, and held together by any means. But a space that has held my dreams for a brief period of time. 


351/365

Today we deinstalled the show. Took all my images down. Pulled all the pins out, unstrung all the string, left all the text written on the wall. Little fragments that don't match up. They don't connect anymore.


It is strange to not have something in front of me. To not have this self-righteous show to prepare for. There's just something so certain about putting together a thesis show. But now, I don't have that. I just keep thinking about an episode of America's Next Top Model. It was a reunion episode, and there was an interview with the girl who won the first season. She was talking about how when she won, she just expected all of this success to come her way and it didn't and she was pissed as hell and sent an angry email Tyras way. 

Maybe that's how I feel, a little. Like, wait, I just won America's Next Top Model. I want to be the TOP MODEL. Where's my badge that proclaims me an artist? Where's my solo show? Hmm?

Of course. Of course, I don't expect that. 

These days are my introduction to the real world. The world wherein I do not have a thesis show pushing me forward. The world in which I have to push myself forward, motivate myself, and grow on my own. 


I really like all these images of Ruby. She's very photographable. I'm not sure what it is about this one. The color palette. The ladder. Symmetry and asymmetry. Gray and gray and grey blue and slate and warm grey. All those greys and grays. I love it. 


350/365

A tiny blip spent with Ruby and Molly which resulted in the discovery of this most excellent hallway.