"18th Annual Piano Burn, Avra Valley, Arizona" (c) 2013 Stu Jenks
Dan is a master piano tuner (truly a magician what he did for my spinet), yet he (and others, I assume) find pianos that are just beyond all repair. They would end up in the landfill. But it just so happens a friend of Dan's has land in Avra Valley, miles from anything, so they burn these old pianos once a year.
I found it quite the moving, life-affirming experience. Circle of life and all of that.
The one thing I did say over and over again last night, was, "You just don't see this everyday."
"El Tiradito, Tucson, Arizona" (c) 1996, 2013 Stu Jenks
The above image was shot with a 1950's Rollei, using Fuji Velvia transparency film. I re-scanned the slide recently, and cropped and fiddled with the color a tad. I like the new photograph even better than the original image, and I like the original quite a lot. A lot, a lot. Why, you may ask? Because this image, this exposure in 1996, started the whole thing.
I had left my creative life behind, even though I had a B.F.A. from Carolina, and had been pretty good at Art. I stopped making art, due to a bunch of reasons, some based in reasonable fears, and others in unreasonable shame. Then my friend Sterling sold me his old Rollei for a song, and I had an idea I would like to get serious about shooting nocturnal photography. So I did, ignoring reason and fear and telling shame to go fuck itself.
After not too long, I thought it would be interesting to bring flame and fire into my night images, not enjoying flashlights and flash that much. And off I went.
Seventeen years later, my life is very different, richer perhaps not in coin but definitely in light, love and with some pretty good artwork too, if I do say so myself. And I own it all to Sterling and that old Rollei and this one image.
Now, I shoot mostly digitally, but I still pull out the old Rollei for those long star circles, and for the occasional hoop dance and flame spiral. Long live film, I say, and the ones and zeros too.
And, friends and neighbors, expect in just a few weeks, a brand spanking new www.stujenks.com website. We will be combining the old Stu Jenks website with the new-ish Fezziwig Press website to make one easy, simple place to buy my wares and see my work. And there will be a lot of new work for you all to see and buy. All eight books will be there, and my four music CDs, and, at this count, close to 600 images. Yes, 600 photographs.
Image: "Queen Esther Baptist Church, Lancaster, Virginia" (c) 2011 Stu Jenks (Just down River Road from Victoria's house. Love that luscious red carpet. And for you nocturnals out there, it was handheld. Rare for me.)
In this time of making photos on iPhones and Macbook Pros and only looking on screens, I forget I'm a old-school guy. I make a 8 1/2 x 11 work print on archival paper of EVERY image I make. EVERY one. It's the only way, for me, to accurately check for color shift, density, composition, etc. I really like my iPad screen but it's no way to make a good print.
And I have hundreds, if not thousands, of work prints artist proofs at my studio.
If you see an image of mine on The StuBlog or on my old website or on the Fezziwig Press Store or in any of my books, there's a beautiful small print in a box somewhere, perhaps with your name on it. And since I'm organized, I can find it.
Many of you can't afford my larger prints. I understand. I don't have an extra 50 or 100 lying around either. But I do have an extra $20 for stuff I really like.
So if you see an image of mine on any of my sites or in any of my books and you want it, it's yours for $25, shipping, handling and tax included. (I believe in paying taxes, sales and otherwise.)
Just email me at my facebook page or through the StuBlog or at firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell me what print you would like or just pull the jpeg and send that to me.
I was just watching the Tarhells lose today in basketball, working on images at my computer when I thought, 'I bet people don't realize I have boxes of work prints here.'
You all do now.
Love and light,
p.s. Ignore the catagories belows. The computer went wacky. Another reason why I prefer a print in the hand as opposed to an image in The Cloud.
The first draft of the novel is done!!! It came in at 149,000 words, 552 pages in my document. Yeaaaa! I can't tell you how good it feels. The ending made me cry, as I hope it does you. (Last word in the novel, which won't change in revision: Sighs.) I want to jump right back to the beginning and start revisions, but Mary Ann suggests I take more than just a couple days off. OK. I'll take off three or four days. LOL. But then it's fixing this and revising that, then off to the editors. And I have ideas for the next novel in this series, too. I have some pretty great characters, I think, and I want to see what they will do next. But first things first. Get this novel to print.
One serious note: It took about a year to write this novel, but it almost didn't get done. With Mary and Pamela dying and all, I didn't work on it for about six weeks and it was so hard to get my momentum back. But I did. But it was difficult. If you are working on a novel or a large work, I recommend you plow through, even if the field is frozen. I've been told I'm very lucky to have gotten back on track.
Speaking of track, good luck to Danica Patrick tomorrow in the Daytona 500 and in the rest of Sprint Cup and Nationwide races this season. I might just have to go up to PHX next Saturday to watch her race.
By the way, did I mention I finished the freaking first draft of the novel?