hollow space

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Three years ago I made a photogram of a spoon. I did a post about it here. The post doesn't really have good photos, just over filtered Instagram shots, but I still like the writing:

"And I went into the darkroom (semi-begrudgingly, it's like going into a hole.) and put this plastic spoon on some photo paper, and made some photograms. Purposefully underexposed, they turned out beautiful and erie. Metallic? X-ray? Non-spoon?

Hollow space."

I've been meaning to make more photograms like that ever since. Whenever I was strapped for ideas I thought about it, I really need to get back into the darkroom and make more photograms, I thought. But I never did it.

But then, probably because I moved into a new studio and needed to at least appear as if I was making new work, I did it. Ironically only a few weeks after I left Newspace and wrote my sad darkroom essay.

So I found myself back in the hole, with the same agitation method as always, still not able to wait before one print was through the fixer to put new one in the developer. Still mesmerized by the reflection of the safelight on the trays of chemicals. Still myself.

I had been holding onto some broken cups, the last remains of a set of juice jars I found in free box on SE 28th. My dad was visiting at the time and he helped me carry them home. They're the thinnest glass, so delicate that they would break if they fell over in the sink. I had two left the first night I was in my old studio. One broke. I put it on my desk with it's little piece of glass inside. And then I was down to one. I staunchly refused to put it away and kept using it, mostly as a wine glass. Until, of course, it cracked. Now it lives at the studio too.

The other thing is just a jam jar, but the bottom broke out of it in such a way. And I like the idea of broken vessels. Something that's meant to hold things, that can't hold things. So broken. A broken purpose.

These are the artifacts I arranged on photo paper, cracked cups, and broken shards of glass. Remains of something. Non-mattering. Non-cups. Like an archive. A record.

early bird

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

One of the things I'm learning about myself is that I (sadly) can no longer call myself a night owl. Sure I like to stay up watching Game of Thrones or reading a book or looking at the Instagram. But I never get any late night work done.

I used to get so much creative shit done after hours. Even if it was just thinking. Now I'm left as a puddle on the couch if it gets too late.

And so I need to transition my working habits to the morning. Starting now. I'll leave you with this image, and I'll post more about it tomorrow morning.

ink stains

Friday, December 11, 2015

The middle three fingers on my right hand are stained blue with ink from addressing our save the dates. This is what happens when novice calligraphers attempt to address envelopes. Will attach photograph tomorrow. 

sky story

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sky story from today. It's been a solid few days of rain, and today was the first day the clouds couldn't decide what to do. Captured via snapchat, which I am now attempting to bumble through using. I'm not sure this is really what it's intended for, but today was the first day I was excited about it, so maybe that's alright. Follow me at brittanyvchavez if you wish.


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

"I have lost the Post-its or can’t quite make out what my fragmented notes refer to. Details escape me, and sometimes it seems as if the harder I try to hold on to them, the more blurry they become.

That used to drive me crazy. Shame on me, I thought, to gather so many stories, only to let them go like water through cupped palms."

Alisha Gorder, for the NYT. Read the full piece here.

A customer dropped this article off for a coworker of mine. I snuck it out of it's envelop and photocopied it. It's been sitting on my studio desk ever since and I finally wrote out the above quote and hung it on my wall. The quote is quite out of context, you should really read this full piece of writing. But I like what it says about memory, about trying to collect stories, and trying to hold onto them. I like the rest of the article too. It made me feel very thankful for my day job and all of the lives I've been a part of in a small way, and all of the flower shop stories of my own I've collected.


Somewhat unrelated is the image, which is of some experiments for my newly instated zine club. Which I swear I will talk about in more detail later.

crazy and merry

Monday, December 7, 2015

Let me set the stage for you. I just took a bath. Came in to the room all nice and cozy, the Christmas lights are on. Got some clean sleep clothes on and coconut oil on my legs. Set my alarms. Crawled into our bed with freshly washed sheets. Grabbed my phone and this conversation transpired:

Me: Sorry, I have to post a blog.
Steele: It's okay, you can write about how I'm getting really good at Tomb Raider and shooting guys in the head. 
Me: ...
Me: That's not a nice thing to write about on my blog. 
Steele: I shot crazy bad guys in the head. 

And it was all Merry & Bright. 

things about this photograph

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Thing about this photograph:

Ali on the bed
In her sweater
With it's perfect fabric wrinkles
Turning a page
Two blue squares
One big, one small
The open window
And the tiny white room
The calm warm light
On the outside
And the inside

snug life

Friday, December 4, 2015

This morning I woke up alone. Steele had left for work already. Ali had spent the night and I could hear people walking about. I'm kind of a sleepy beast in the morning, and it takes me forever to actually wake up. If I have the time, I'll spend an hour in bed after I wake up, just laying there, looking through my phone, adjusting to being alive. This morning though Ali peeked her head around my door and came and snuggled with me. And then Julia joined us, and tried to get Ali and I out of bed to get bagels. We're kind of stubborn though so it took a while.

It was entirely ordinary.

I have the feeling though, that it will be the kind of morning I'll look back on with a little bit of wonder. It wasn't perfect. It's not perfect. Friendships are hard. But I know it will never really be like this again. We're in that sweet spot where we're adult enough to pay our rent but still end up laughing and squished in bed together.

Evidence of Something

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A year ago I wrote about showing a few Constellations at a Newspace Pop-up. I had already been working on the body of work for six months, but it was the first time I had hung them on the wall. I wrote that they were rough drafts. And they were. They were rough drafts for a body of prints that I call Constellations, a body of work that I titled Evidence of Something.

I really want this space to be a place to document my art. My process. They tiny things I'm working on. I love looking back on my thesis year and seeing those ideas develop. It's one of the things that I miss about daily blogging. But because I'm a linear person, I want to talk a little bit about this work before I jump ahead to the things I'm working on now. So, these are a few Constellations from Evidence of Something. This is what I showed at our show Self-Similar in July. It was an amazing culmination to the year I had spent making this work. To see this work on the wall, to see people at the opening, so many people, was so gratifying. Truly any expectations I had were blown out of the water.

If you've been around for long enough, you know that this work is a continuation of my thesis. It's really about memory. It's about constructing a narrative for our lives. About stringing things together and making sense of them. About building a story. Building a life. More on the website. (It's a little hard to see the proportions here because the background is also white, it's much easier on the website so I'd recommend clicking through there.) I also made a little zine that I gave for free at the show, and I still have a few left so if you want one send me your address and I'll mail it to you!

wax candles

It's 12:01. Technically the third of December. But Steele and I are in bed burning down the number two on our advent candles. So it's really still the second, if I can indulge myself. And I can. It's my blog after all. 

Today was a little rough. Mostly for a bunch of banalities. But a little bit for some deeper seeded feelings. And maybe a tiny bit because being a human is a little rough sometimes. 

For now this tiny paragraph of text will have to be enough. For tonight, this will have to do. 

a small account

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It's 11:37 pm, December 1st, 2015.

Because posting an account of all the recent changes (small & large) in my life seems a little daunting, instead I will post an account of my day.

I woke up with Steele curled around me. Somehow drug myself out of bed, and into clothes, and downstairs. Where there were leftover pancakes waiting. Steele and I left the house, and backed out of the driveway, and drove in opposite directions. (In a very suburban feeling way.) There was a crash on the highway, and it made me about ten minutes late to work. But then I was there, at work, just for a short shift today. I left at 2, and I did some somewhat successful Christmas shopping. And then I came home, and Steele and I left the house together to go to my studio, where we made the Save the Dates for our wedding. After that, we came back and made dinner, and decorated our tiny bedroom Christmas tree. Did the dishes. Steele left for fustal. I heated up a cup of apple cider, and put on a movie. And now we're here. It sounds a little boring, all written up like that. These are the boring things that make up a day.

But it was a good day. There was the pre-dawn light, and the sun rising in the morning. There were flowers. There was a moment in my studio making the Save the Dates, one of those moments in all of this wedding planning where I feel a little spark of wonder, still, that it's happening. And of course there was the Christmas tree, and the Christmas socks, and the Christmas lights.