Sunday, July 29, 2012

Bali on My Mind

I got back from Bali 5 days ago, and I think I left my heart there. As always, the beauty of the place and the warmth of the people are so touching. 

The lush landscape on the mountainous area.

Ceremonial umbrellas on Mount Batur.

Amazing sunset on Klating beach.

A priest's wife immersed herself in a sacred pond to draw some holy water.
An grandmother in her kitchen just finished cooking rice.
As always, it's hard to get back into the swing of things after such a wonderful time in Bali. But one must.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

First Show of My Monoprints

I've been charmed by handmade prints for the longest time, yet the chance to learn the art seemed to never have come around, until this past Spring. I was extremely fortunate that I got to study with one of the best artists and instructors around, Jaime Ursic.

Toward the end of the term, she encouraged all her students to submit our work for a show at UCLA Extension, and all my three entries made it in. Last night was the opening. It was great to see so many people I know and love in attendance, along with their friends and family. Thank you all for your support. You know who you are!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Forming Letters by Hand

I'm not a wordsmith, but I've always loved the act of putting words onto paper by hand. I love how my hand collaborates with the writing instrument to create a series of letters. This love has led me to take classes with Carrie Imai and obsessively poring over books on calligraphy, like Mastering Copperplate Calligraphy by Eleanor Winters and Calligraphy 101 by Jeaneen Gauthier, so I can learn to form beautiful letters.

Lately, I've been attracted to other ways of forming letters by hand, and just last week, I had the opportunity to explore handmade typography with one of the masters in the field, John Clark from LookingLA. From him I learned to craft and refine my letterforms made of paper. Here is my creation:

This gave me all kinds of ideas for where I want to go with this new knowledge and skill. I'm sure I'll be sharing them with you here at some point.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Walt Disney Concert Hall

I've been living in Los Angeles for more than seven years. Every time I see a photograph of Walt Disney Concert Hall, I say to myself, "I should get myself there and take my own photo of it." I've been there for a concert, without a camera. I've passed it many times, without a camera. Finally, this past Sunday, I got myself on the bus and went there with the full intention of making photographs.

And here are a couple of the images I made:

As I kept circling the building, looking up and down, I found a lot of pink floating around - a few blooming trees, a balloon someone left - and that gives a little twist to this otherwise monochrome icon.

Now I can say, "Been there, shot that." I'm happy that I finally did what I said I was going to do. And you know what made me even happier? All this was accomplished without the pain of carrying big heavy camera all day. All I was using was the light Sony NEX-5N. Definitely my favorite fun camera for works that don't need to be printed large.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Grace Before Dying

I have a fascination about the process of dying. I like the idea that it could be peaceful and beautiful. 

While death is a scary thing for most people, I've read about spiritual masters who faced their transition with such grace and calm. To symbolize this way of approaching life's transition, a few years back, I did a photo series of flowers towards the end of their lives. That body of work was shown in a small gallery in Boston. This is one of the pieces:

Recently , I was called to do it again. Here, I shot a purple dahlia, still beautiful towards the end of its life.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quiet spaces

I confess, I am someone who enjoys quiet time for contemplation. I get great doses of it by taking walks in the park and sitting in quiet spaces, reading and writing in the library before the after-school crowd descended. And, whether inside or outside, quiet spaces with a sense of mystery always intrigue me. And when they are unusually beautiful... I just have to take some pictures, too.

This was an ignored corner of a room while a party was happening at the other end of the loft:

...and a misty night in LA near my house:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I am taking a bookbinding class this Spring, taught by Erin Zamrzla who wrote At Home with Handmade Books. These long-stich books were a couple of the projects I did for class. Here, I used an old calendar for cover, drawing paper for pages, and embroidery thread to bind the pieces together. The artwork on the calendar is by Robert Kushner.

This one is a smaller version of the sketchbook above. The cover is from a promotional pamphlet from an Italian gallery that apparently says, "I come here from heaven." It's a luxurious cardstock from Gmund Paper.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Shooting Fashion in Bali

I did a job for a local hand-painted clothing company while I was visiting my family in Ubud, Bali. These favorite shots of mine represent that earthy feeling of being surrounded by lush landscape and going barefoot in Bali. 

Homemade Orange Juice in Movies

I always love to observe kids doing what they do, like making their own OJ... Actually, this was shot during the shooting of a short film. He wasn't really making orange juice, just acting.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Working Luxury

Beginning this summer, Alila Manggis is hosting the photography workshop that my husband and I lead every summer in Bali. When we're not working you to the ground to produce great images, you can immerse yourself in the cool water of the lovely pool or the ocean. Luxurious spa treatments are also available.

Here is the view from our room at Alila, Manggis:

One of the simple and deliciously healthy breakfasts we get to eat after our early photo excursion:

Here is Chef Santika, the man responsible for serving you the most amazing meals, also gives cooking lessons if you're inclined to try his recipes when you get back home.