Archive for country life
These are the ghosts of the wild tomatoes that (each summer) rise from the loam and take over my yard. The pig jaw is from my neighbor’s carcass pile. Out here, that’s a thing.
The picnic table they rest on is a nice pallet that the very same neighbor let me take home in the back of my truck. The pallet picnic table is held up by two junk-store sawhorses that cost me less than 5 bucks. I live in an old farmhouse (gussied up in navy blue and a red metal roof) made cozy upon my arrival by a top to bottom renovation.
Yes, Virginia, house-poor is definitely a thing.
LA was my base for over 20 years before this- I miss my friends and my salary and my hairdresser, but not much else.
Besides, this middle of nowhere life gives the most unusual gifts- bones and broken china and musket balls that rise from the muddy hills at the first thaw, a laboriously slow Spring that gives birth to furious pink peony blooms, a too brief Summer that passes in a swoon of greens and swirling blue skies, Falls that arrive with a riot of ripe vegetables and trees all gussied up in crimson and golds, and the winters… those old man winters…with bony white charm and eyes full of menace…one minute gifting lovely snow flakes and the next, slapping with ice…but mostly he’s toothless and doddering and by March, April, May, he’s well overlong with his stay.
I’ve met lot of nice friends out here, all artists and poets and musicians, all outliers.
When I first arrived, I dated the two-horse town lawyer (a most respectable gent) and followed him up with a crazy young crazy lover who came but almost didn’t went.
I’m good now, I’m good, I’m good, I repeat with the wind as it howls down the tired old hills to knock at my windows like a ghost who’s not sure if they’ve been missed.
I’m good now, I’m good, I’m good, I repeat while he huffs and he puffs but he can’t blow this old house down…anchored as it is with a lovely stone foundation from the 1820’s and a lot of dollars from heaven.
Winter arrives…the temperatures drop, winds begin to howl, there’s a pink to the atmosphere, heralding, perhaps, a coming storm. I’m ready for a wall of snow. I’ve been waiting for the winter of all winter’s ever since I moved to the Northeast. Five years, I’ve been waiting. I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t enjoyed these mild winters, but something deep inside cries for a tempest.
This is an unusual winter day, in central New York…wet and windy after a night and morning of torrid rain. We continue this winter’s pattern of unusually mild weather with spikes of freeze.
The rainbow was a nice surprise, Henry and Valentine sauntering beneath it, too.
Ah, winter in central New York…
Just over five years ago (after too many years in LA), I moved to central New York to renovate an 1820’s farmhouse that I had bought sight unseen off of a Facebook post.
Central New York. The beauty of the area, the seasons, the open spaces…brought me to my knees. Literally. It was what made of me an Iphonographer.
It was as if, so far into the middle of nowhere, I could see again.
That first winter was mild and wet, too. I wondered where the fabled heavy snows and ice storms of the NE had gone.
I remain grateful for the reprieve…as do Henry and Valentine. Their endless foraging continues unhampered by pesky ice and snow. Miller (not pictured) continues to lay eggs.
And I continue to take photos with my iPhone, unable still to use it as an actual phone..in the middle of nowhere.
Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love — that makes life and nature harmonize. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot, letter to Miss Lewis, 1st October 1841
My third Fall in Central New York!
Yesterday, I drove to Sharon Springs for the HarvestFest and took back roads, it was a blue sky day, the leaves are changing, the corn is blonde.
I LOVE this place. This is the kind of thing that turns me on- a perfect crisp Fall day.
When I left LA , three years ago, I had no idea what to expect. I knew I was going to the east coast, I knew it was somewhere in the middle of NY state. I knew one person, the guy who posted the picture of my house on Facebook (neighbor, Tim), and I knew that the house I bought sight unseen from that post was waiting to be renovated.
I didn’t know where I would work, I didn’t know how far away a grocery store might be (12 miles). I said goodbye to Starbucks (nearest one, 100 miles away) and all the trapping of a city.
Because I had no expectations everything is a bonus.
I am in the middle of nowhere but there are great people here (always great people, no matter where I roam)- Tim has a girlfriend Margo, whom I love and is my photography muse- one of my muses, out here I have so many muses.
The guys who demo’d and rebuilt my house, a fun group of rag tag gypsies, all turned out to have hearts of gold.
I found a job with Beekman 1802 (wholesale director).
I’ve met a fantastic group of women (Leslie, Cheryl, Susan, Carla, Tina, Margo, Kristen, Marjorie, Rose Marie…on and on).
I’ve found a thriving artists community that has a long and storied history from Ginsberg’s beats back to The Hudson River Valley School and before that, settlers and, of course, native Americans artisans.
Recently, I’ve gotten to know one of the rag tag gypsies, the tall one with the long hair, the one with the tattoo on his bicep, the one with the sexy smile, the one who can repair a stove when the mice have taken over, the one who can play guitar, sing like an angel, chase me like the devil, the one who is sweet sweet sweet…he is a handyman if there ever was one.
The beauty and fun of this place never ceases to thrill me.
Dunga Brook Diary
Infused Metal Plates
Float Mounted, Ready To Hang
Art comes into being in that abstract interval between a thought and reality, and no one – not even the artist who created it – can remeasure the influences that caused it.” (Edgar A. Payne)
“One of my mentors, Miss Pamela des Barres, imagines that if my images were music they would sound like Beethoven, Sinatra and the Beatles combined. I’ll take that.
It is my intent to deify and illuminates the ordinary and my desire is that you might find the beautiful in the ordinary, too.
Each photo is imbued with the mystery of love at first sight, infused with my present and my past and my daily rebirth into a new freedom, a swan dive, if you will, into the deep end of the pool, lit by color, texture, and emotion.”
If you are interested in being a collector, thank YOU!
There are 5 in a series, some near sold-out, email a description of your selection.
Credit cards/Paypal, shipping- West Coast $15, East Coast $10
A portrait! What could be more simple and more complex, more obvious and more profound. ~ Charles Baudelaire, 1859 I am an iPhoneographer shooting with natural light. I document the rural life of central New York- those things that are closest to me…the flora, the fauna, the people. With people, I like to capture the portrait in a nano second, even if the sitters are posing…I wait for the moment between breaths, the second where the guard drops in order to capture the essence in front of me. iPhones are tricky in situations with movement so patience is key.
BANK Gallery presents Vicki Whicker’s iPhoneography
Dunga Brook Diary: On The Road
204 Main, Ste. B
Sharon Springs, NY
“This is my Love Letter to Central New York.”
BANK Gallery@Decades Showroom is the location for the Friday night, May 31st, opening of iPhoneographer Vicki Whicker’s exhibit, Dunga Brook Diary: On The Road.
Dunga Brook Diary: On The Road features evocative 8x 8″ limited edition photo images of Central New York infused directly to metal and float mounted. Each image sold at the opening will be signed and numbered and will be on exhibit at BANK Gallery for the month of June.
“Coming from LA, this is another paradise- the lush trees, the long country roads lined with Queen Anne’s Lace big as pie plates, the crimson and gold fall leaves, those first pristine snow flakes of winter.”
Dunga Brook Diary: On The Road is opening, Friday, May 31, from 6-9pm at BANK Gallery@Decades Showroom, 204 Main, Ste. B., Sharon Springs, New York. http://www.DungaBrookDiary.com
Praise for Vicki Whicker’s Images
“Looking doesn’t have to get any better than this, Vicki Whicker demonstrates a mastery of this genre through wit, heart, critical awareness, style, technique, and an infectious appreciation of her subject matter.” Kristen Henderson, Director Cherry Branch Gallery, Cherry Valley, NY
“Vicki Whicker has an eye and a heart that go together to create images which are both profoundly moving and beautiful. She has an especially fine and original take on micro images, showing us in close up magnification the glory of nature around her, things we would never see on our own.” Ronee Blakley, Actress/Singer/Songwriter, Los Angeles, CA
“Such an eye! We are blessed that Ms. Vicki Whicker is able to capture and reveal the glory of natural reality with such exquisite precision, taste and charm. If her photography was music, it would sound like Beethoven, Sinatra and the Beatles combined…”
Miss Pamela Des Barres, Author, Founder, Groupie Couture, Venice Beach, California
“Coming from nearly 20 years as a professional graphic designer and now a full-time, fine arts painter, I have always appreciated the style and care in which Vicki has portrayed in her photo works. Her images transcend the usual “pretty picture” snapshot… capturing another level of thought passion and narrative. They are scenes that I can get lost in and the more I look, the more they tell me. Truly works of art and passion.”
Steve Curry, Fine Artist, Ojai, CA
“Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again.”
Lately, I have been pushing myself to get better at black and white photography. A good black and white photo seems a poem compared to the novella you find in most of my color photographs. Simple is better. Clear, clean, brilliant, illuminated and ecclesiastical helps.
Here are my most recent attempts.
A few thoughts from Brent of Beekman 1802. Happy Birthday, Brent!
“It seems like virtually every employee that finds their way to Beekman 1802 has creative streak that cannot be suppressed. Even the long days and hard work at a fast-growing company cannot deter.
At Beekman 1802, we love to see artists and artisans that interpret the traditional in a modern way.
Vicki Whicker’s work demonstrates that all of us have a profound tool for creating art literally in the palm of our hand.”
~Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell
Summer 2011. Tally Ho, the local diner and a pic of Connor as he studied the daily special.
The sun was on my back, it was early enough that the birds were still singing in the trees. I stood transfixed. My heart like a weight.
We’d spent a glorious green and blue summer in central New York after moving from brown and beige LA. We were days before Connor was to leave for college in the midwest .
I’d gone back to the car to find my credit card. I don’t know how long I stood there, all I know is this is my iPhone photo.