Dunga Brook Diary

The rural life through the lens of an iPhone and notes from the field…

Archive for new york

Art In The Palm Of Your Hand and a lesson from John Burroughs

Art In The Palm Of Your Hand and a lesson from John Burroughs

“The lesson which life constantly enforces is ‘Look underfoot.’ You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Every place is the center of the world.”~ John Burroughs

Today, I am packing my car with 7 boxes filled with 33 of my iphoneographic images printed on metal and heading to the Cherry Branch Gallery in Cherry Valley.

First, I’ll be driving to Brewery Ommegang to pick up the beer for my opening reception.

How cool it that?

If I want Ommegang beer (and I do) I just hop in the car and drive through their fortress of a brewery and pick it up. Right down the road. Just like that.

When I moved to central New York, having bought my old farmhouse off of Facebook, sight unseen, I had no idea Ommegang was here.

Or Cherry Valley with its bohemian artist culture.

I had no idea Cooperstown was here with its strong baseball ethos.

I had no idea I was a mere 4 hours away from NYC (of course, I had hoped I would be a little closer), I had no idea how beautiful it is (I had hoped for that, too), I had no idea how many cool people lived up here, I had no idea one of my best friends would move up here, too…

I just knew there was a little white house in the middle of nowhere next to a man’s house who’d be my only friend for awhile- a man whom I barely knew from a poetry class in LA.

Who does that?

Heeeeyyyyy!

I also had no idea I was going to pick up my iphone and photograph my way into this place and back out into the world.

I started with the ground under my feet. Literally.

When I first arrived, I lived at the KOA campground. Because it was summer and because baseball is king out here all of the house and apt rentals had long been booked by the families of boys and girls in baseball uniforms.

Camping was the only option left. I hadn’t camped since I was a kid. Now this wasn’t roughing it but it was living in a camper trailer in a camp ground surrounded by cornfields and cow pastures.

There was a walking trail through those fields and the first thing was take my two boys (dogs) for a walk.

And the funniest thing happened.

In the back of those fields was another field, a long, low field of clover, just like the fields of clover that surrounded my childhood home.

And there I was.

In the middle of a vast sea of green under a purple and orange sky on a warm summer’s night.

The sky was a bowl above me, the clouds were glowing with the light.

I fell to my knees in wonder.

‘Look underfoot.’ You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think.’

I lay on my back in clover. The dogs ran free.

My eyes stung.

Was I really going to cry?

I whipped out my iphone and took a picture of the clouds and the clover and the dogs romping.

I fell swoonily in love with central New York.

(Sorry, LA. Heyyyyy. But you just didn’t do it for me. I tried. I gave you 25 years. I really did try.)

Ah, New York!

And, I wanted you to see what I see. I wanted you to fall in love with it too.

This Saturday, almost two years to the day that I found my farm on Facebook, I have an exhibit of iphone photos.

Come see!

There will be Ommegang and a wall full of what I saw at ‘the center of the world’.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Cherry Valley, NY- Cherry Branch Gallery will be hosting an opening reception for central New York artist, Vicki Whicker.

Cherry Branch Gallery, 25 Main Street, Cherry Valley, NY 13320 / 607-264-9530

APRIL 6th, Saturday, 5-7pm: OPENING RECEPTION Live Jazz with Jeff Palmer, (pre-sales 12-4pm)

 

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4972379699741.1073741826.1006731279&type=1&l=9d1922dc22

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Love Letter To Central NY And Photographer’s Props

Show Announcement And Props From My Photog Friends

I am nervous as hell but, as they say, the iPhoneography show must go on!

If you are in the area, please come to the Cherry Branch Gallery this Saturday for my LOVE LETTER to central New York…5-7 pm opening reception (with booze and music, too)

**********************************************
Cherry Branch Gallery presents Vicki Whicker’s iPhoneography- Dunga Brook Diary: A Year of Seeing Differently

Saturday, April 6th, 2013….Cherry Valley, NY- Cherry Branch Gallery will be hosting an opening reception for central New York artist, Vicki Whicker. For the month of April, the gallery will feature a collection of her iPhoneography, Dunga Brook Diary: A Year of Seeing Differently.

“The Cherry Branch Gallery is tremendously pleased to represent Vicki Whicker and her iPhoneography. Whicker demonstrates a mastery of this genre through wit, heart, critical awareness, style, technique, and an infectious appreciation of her subject matter. Looking doesn’t have to get any better than this.” Kristen Henderson, Director, Cherry Branch Gallery

In 2011, Vicki Whicker left Los Angeles for central New York to renovate an 1820’s farmhouse that she found on Facebook and purchased, sight unseen. The rundown property, she would later learn, was named “Dunga Brook,” a once a thriving dairy farm spanning over 2,000 acres in Otsego county.

While waiting for renovations, Whicker explored the area using her iPhone to capture the world above and below her feet. It was this impromptu exercise that marked her personal awakening to the astounding beauty of New York State; beauty that has surely been here since Dunga Brook’s heydey.

Of the contemporary medium and her process, Whicker states, “iPhoneography as a mobile method for making art and as a creative movement was exploding around the world while I was stalking the flora and fauna of my new home.

Coming from LA, I was in a 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. The more I shot, the more I saw; the more I saw, the more I wanted to see…by the time my house was done 6 months had passed and I had produced over 20,000 images.

Through the lens of my iPhone I fell completely in love with central New York.”

Dunga Brook Diary: A Year of Seeing Differently, is Whicker’s first iPhoneography exhibit and features her evocative 8″x8″ limited edition images printed directly on metal.

Please join us for the opening reception on Saturday, April 6, from 5-7pm.

Cherry Branch Gallery, 25 Main Street, Cherry Valley, NY 13320 / 607-264-9530 Facebook: Cherry Branch Gallery / Twitter: @cherrybranchgal
Schedule of Events

APRIL 6th, Saturday, 5-7pm: OPENING RECEPTION Live Jazz with Jeff Palmer,
5-7pm (pre-sales 12-4pm)
APRIL 14th, Sunday, 3-5pm: Seeing Differently: Intro to iPhoneography Workshop w/Vicki Whicker. $45. Fee / Limited to 20 spaces
APRIL 20th Saturday, 5-7pm: Wine & Sweets, Poetry Reading with Los Angeles Poets and Writers Collective members, Vicki Whicker, Leslie Berliant and Chris Shearer
APRIL 27th, Saturday, 5-7pm: Closing Party – SALES CLOSE @ 7pm

“Armed with just her iPhone , a keen eye and a voracious appetite for making pictures Vicki Whicker roams these hills and valleys of Central New York. Everywhere is everything. Her photographs sing of color and light – dogs and flowers, land and sky. Peeling away each season of a year that collectively they represent. A journey unto itself – from nowhere to now here.”
Mark Reinertson, Professional/Fine Art Photographer, NY, NY

http://rnrtsn.com

“I’ve had the privilege of knowing Vicki Wicker for almost 20 years now, having first met her in Jack Grape’s writing class in Los Angeles. I was immediately struck by her honesty and vulnerability. She made me laugh, she made me cry, but mostly she made me feel. These were heady times, thick with words wrung from within. Vicki and I both came from the Midwest, originally, and Los Angeles was both a welcoming place and a hard place to warm up to. Through a sheer force of will, she flourished. But life’s circumstances has led Vicki on a new journey of discovery, ever a poet, she has taken up iPhoneography with the same zeal and power as her words.”                                                                                  Ellen Jantzen, Photographer/Digital Artist, St. Louis, MO

http://www.ellenjantzen.com

“Looking at Vicki Whicker’s work is like taking a vacation…whether it is a photograph of her dogs frolicking in the snow or a thistle at sunrise you are transported to a quieter time and place~ you are transported to Dunga Brook, I simply adore her work and can’t wait to visit!”
                                                       Susie McKeown, iPhoneographer, Portrait Photographer, Verona, NJ

http://www.susiemckeownphotography.com

“Clearly Vicki Whicker has a sophisticated eye and abundant design knowledge. But what I think is truly wonderful about her work isn’t her expertise; that is the underpinning. What is captivating about her work is its vivid, uncomplicated expression of joy and emotion laid bare. I think that’s why these photos resonate with people. With her Dunga Brook Photo Diary, Vicki captures the familiar that we all cherish–home, family, nature, community– and distills it. It’s gratitude in picture form. A celebration of what matters.”
Colleen Williams, Photographer, Montreux, Switzerland

http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/colleen-williams.html

Upon first glance it is apparent that Vicki Whicker’s talents are not confined to the page or brush (Whicker is also an accomplished poet & painter). Her images provoke an immediate emotionality. What strikes one, are the details she pulls into focus, the ephemeral beauty of nature captured, whether awash in texture or throbbing with color or sharp-edged and bare. Whicker compresses moments into jewels and holds them up to the light for us to reflect upon —in her images reality mates with imagination revealing layers unseen to the casual observer. The spectator is left aching with the recognition of just how fleeting and magnificent our journey is.”                                                                     Ariana Trinneer, Poet, iPhoneographer, Artis Rep

https://www.facebook.com/copiousmanagement

Quote by Paul J. Toussaint, Patron Saint of Iphonic arts…and one of my attempts…The Little Bird That Stole My Heart

Quote by Paul J. Toussaint, Patron Saint of Iphonic arts...and one of my attempts...The Little Bird That Stole My Heart

Today, I am having a wonderful conversation with Paul Toussaint a photographer who has completely embraced iphoneography…

“my artistic visual eye has developed tenfold. I want people to look at everything because EVERYTHING is art. All the so called rules should be broken when it comes to taking a picture because with this technology all perspectives can become extraordinary.

I study lighting and the texture. If an object has potential to be stronger, I’ll bring that element out or if the subject has a calm, soothing look, I like to make the average eye feel calm and relaxed as they view the end result. I also love to use enhanced textured paper to make the image “pop” and to even make the viewer ask the question, “Is this really a photograph?”

He is light years ahead of me but we both feel this way…

“phoneography has changed my life and vision. For over two years now all of my photographs have been taken, processed and uploaded with only the iPhone. With the iPhone, my artistic vision has allowed me to produce a portfolio that at one time I only dreamed of having.”

I LOVE FB for the connections to those who INSPIRE!

Please join me on April 6th at Cherry Branch Gallery in Cherry Valley New York for the opening of my Iphonic art show….

Dunga Brook Diary: An LA Woman’s Euphoric Iphonic Discovery of Central New York (ok, a bit wordy as a slogan…but working on it).

XO,

V

Dunga brook Diary: A Year of Seeing Differently

Dunga brook Diary: A Year of Seeing Differently

April 6th at 5pm, opening reception at Cherry Branch Gallery, Cherry Valley, NY.

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.”
~Ansel Adams

Leaving LA after 25 years felt like the right thing to do. LA was a pit stop, a very complicated, very expensive pit stop on my journey through life.

On the road from LA to NY, I followed my son in his truck and took iPhone photos through my truck’s windshield. Mostly of his tail lights.

I’m an old hand at leaving. But this cross-country move was different, I was uprooting someone else’s life.

Connor was off to college in the fall and somehow I’d justified it in my mind that moving the day after he graduated from HS in LA would be the best timing for both of us.

I didn’t cry during our going away party, I didn’t cry as we packed, when we drove away, as the hours and the miles across the deserts and mountains ticked by.

Across the plains, the skies were a cathedral of thunderheads, rainbows that went straight up and down, lightning that streaked sideways.

I took photos through my truck window of those things, too.

We landed in central New York to renovate an 1820’s farmhouse that I’d bought, sight unseen, from a post of Facebook.

As my new life began to take shape in the summer before Connor left for university, I took photographs of everything.

By the time the old house was renovated, Connor was at school and I had taken well over 20,000 photographs.

And I had carpal tunnel from uploading and editing all those photos but I couldn’t stop- the beauty of the land surrounding me was astounding.

I cried at night because my arm hurt so bad but the tears were different from the tears that I cried as I followed his red tail lights into those storms, heading east.

Those were tears of joy, realizing what a fine young man he had turned into, a brave soul, ready for adventure, a young man who faced the open road with open mind and heart.

My show at the Cherry Branch Gallery is a celebration of central New York and the life one can find in the middle of letting go.

First Sunday in March, dreams of May…and a splash of S.J. Perelman in your latte.

Dreams of spring...and  splash of S.J. Perelman in your latte.

“A farm is an irregular patch of nettles bounded by short-term notes, containing a fool and his wife who didn’t know enough to stay in the city.”
― S.J. Perelman

Friday morning dreams of summer in CNY with a drop of Thoreau in your coffee

mistybarn

“One must maintain a little bittle of summer, even in the middle of winter.”
~Henry David Thoreau

A little Erma Bombek and a little Margo In The Kitchen

white gown

Sausage day and she is all in…

“No one ever died from sleeping in an unmade bed.”
~Erma Bombeck

Dunga Brook Diary, 2/28/13

Yesterday, I sat with Kristen, the gallery director at Cherry Branch Gallery. Prepping for my show, we were scouring each and every picture I have uploaded to FB in the past year and a half, she’s picking her favorites and categorizing them.

There are about 7 folders of pictures so far, my favorite being the “I can’t live without” folder, loaded with pictures that make her sigh, close her eyes and drop her head in exhausted ecstasy. There are a lot of pictures to look through. She might just be tired.

When I see my photos through her editing eyes, I can see we are going to have a kick ass show.

One thing I don’t have many of are “people photos”. This is Margo, my neighbor, making sausage in her kitchen last summer, you can’t see Tim who is half-naked with a tattoo across his shoulder’s that reads, “Grace”. Margo is in this lovely white Grecian gown that looks like it cost about a dollar but you could take her anywhere.

Kristen would drop sigh, drop her head and close her eyes at this photo, too, but she hasn’t seen it yet. When she does she will drop into the folder “special effects” because I photoshopped it. She will ask me to find the original. She likes purity.

And I will. But I couldn’t resist photoshopping it last night, Margo is a work of art.

A big hug and XO to you, Kristen.

V

A little Steinbeck and a click of Dunga Brook last February

Dunga Brook, Feb 2012

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
~John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America

County Highway 19 and a tiny slap of Bukowski…plus Dunga Brook Diary in which I confess my Dream of being an iphone Ansel Adams…

County Highway 19

County Highway 19

“I loved you like a man loves a woman he never touches, only writes to, keeps little photographs of.” ~Charles Bukowski, Love is a Dog from Hell

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Dunga Brook Diary, looking back, spring/summer 2011…

I bought a farmhouse that I found on Facebook.

I bought a farmhouse that  I found on Facebook named Dunga Brook, the original homestead of  a 2,000 acre dairy farm built in the 1820’s.

I bought a farmhouse with an acre of land, in a place I had never heard of,  for $10,000, because of a post on Facebook.

Why did I do this? Because , because, because, because, because…

Because, I was on Facebook. Because back then I had that much money in the bank. Because I was without ties, because I was over my career in fashion, because I had a number one and only son who was going off to college in August, because if I didn’t do something drastic I would lose my mind when he left, because I had 25 years in LA under my belt (because 25 of those years had been spent wishing I was somewhere small town USA else), because, basically, I had to.

I wrote a poem once with the line, “the tragic leap is the only dance-step I know…”. Melodramatic, yes, but what I meant was, I don’t do things in half-measures. All in or all out.

My moves aren’t predicated on logic, wisdom, reality, time and space continuums, obligations, duty, society…when the voice inside my head says, “its time,” I dance.

So, when Tim Giblin, a man I  barely new from an LA poetry class, posted a picture of a farmhouse on Facebook somewhere in New York on an April morning in 2011, I bought it.

Dunga Brook was for sale by owner and Tim, who lived next door, wanted someone he knew to be his new neighbor.

Turns out, you want to like your neighbors in the middle of nowhere.

I don’t think I was what he had in mind but if he was disappointed, he never let on.

That summer, my son and I had to live in a campground while Dunga Brook was being renovated. God knows we couldn’t live in her, she had been torn down by the elements (rain, snow, rain, snow, wind, rain, snow) and had been sorely mistreated by the last tenants who were, literally, squatters.

The squatters had destroyed a few of the things that the elements hadn’t yet (like the stairs to the second floor and the electrical panel in the stone basement) as a good ole country FU and goodbye.

Seems, the owner of the house had called the squatter’s closest relative, an uncle who once rented the house, and told him to deliver this message…”get out or we’ll burn the house down with you in it.” They did get out.

The KOA campground was the only place left for long-term rental that summer. I had no idea when I bought Dunga Brook that she was in the middle of the Cooperstown Dreams Park baseball summer mania.

Turns out that this little nowhere land turns into baseball central all summer long- there are baseball parks, baseball memorabilia shops, The Baseball Museum, baseball Hall of Famers are inducted out here, and the families of all the little baseballers from all over the world rent every little home and hotel room there is to be found while they pursue their mini major league Dreams in that Park.

So, into the last  rental camper trailer at the KOA we went. Which thrilled my soon to be off to college son, Connor, to no end. His Dream had always been to live in a trailer.

That trailer magically led to a reconnection to my Dream. I practically grew up in a camper. My dad dragged us to every campground in the state of Florida and up the coast to Maine in back when I was a child. Camping is in my bones, my heart and my soul.

What camping meant to a shy little girl was hours and hours of roam time, commune time, Dream time with all the little creatures and plants and water bodies of the earth.

And here I was, iphone in hand, lucid dreaming in a land of such staggering beauty that I couldn’t understand what the big deal was with all that migration west . Who could leave this place?

Thanks to that migration, CNY – as compared to LA – was essentially empty, save the baseballers and their families crowded into Cooperstown Dreams Park.

Suddenly, I understood what I was meant to do with that iPhone in my hand. Take pictures. Take a million bazillion gazillion pictures of my Dream. Lay down in the grass with my face in the dirt and breathe. Look up to the sky at the clouds marching by and breathe. click. click. click.

Suffice it to say,  I took over 20,000 iPhone pictures that summer while I waited for that house to be rebuilt and not one human besides my son and my shadow got in the way of a sunset, a sunrise, a crystal clear lake, a wild flower, a you name it.

By fall, I had carpal tunnel. Turns out you can’t just take 20,000 iPhone pictures, edit them and upload them to Facebook, regale everyone with the beauty you have found, the Dream you have landed in the middle of, without paying a price.

I would lie in bed at night, my right arm in the air and cry, it hurt so bad. I googled iPhone and carpal tunnel and ah ha, yes, of course.

Luckily for me, there are a lot of great people up here, that is the yummy  little secret of this place.

Yes, it is in the middle of nowhere, NYC is 4 hours away, Boston, the same, the nearest Starbucks is 90 miles away (this is how a LA person views the world)…but the people who live up here are amazing, educated, brilliant, fun, artistic, earthy, gorgeous, adventurous, and exactly what I wasn’t expecting to find.

Somehow, between taking a picture of everything that did and didn’t move, I met all of them.

My carpal tunnel was cured by one of the best massage therapists I have ever met who also, to my great delight, somehow ended here. Cheryl Rosen of The Spring House Spa in Sharon Springs saved my life. Well, my arm. And a lot of sleepless nights.

This April, 6th, 2013, I have a *photography show at the Cherry Branch Gallery, two years from the day that Tim Giblin posted a picture of a little broken farmhouse named Dunga Brook on Facebook.

*Vicki Whicker shoots all her photos with an iPhone, edits them in iphoto and pic monkey and Dreams of being an iPhone Ansel Adams.

https://www.facebook.com/cherrybranchgallery?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/SpringHouseSpa?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/cooperstown.koa?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/search/web/?q=cooperstown%20dreams%20park&form=FBKBFA&wssk=FR0AS0&wssp=1&wspq=Cooerstown&wssrc=2&wssc=6-10&wsbp=6-1&fref=ts

 

 

Yellow flower with a touch of Keats for your coffee…

Widflower, Summer 2012

“Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and trouble is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” ~John Keats

 

Via Kevin Sessums: “John Keats penned this in 1819, to George and Georgina Keats in a letter that has become known as The Vale of Soul-Making.” 

https://www.facebook.com/kevin.sessums.7/posts/10151512124153708

http://www.mrbauld.com/keatsva.html

http://pinterest.com/pin/55169164157570691/

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