Weekending

The holiday came and went and for me it was quiet. I watched fireworks from my living room window - they looked small but still magnificent.  

In Japan during the summer fireworks are a regular occurrence.  It was the perfect weekend to flip through this book once again and study these photographs.  Something about the deliberate randomness is striking me.  I sat with the book over coffee, over tidying up and still it's on my desk.  I see lights in the sky in my mind.

I painted a firework this morning from memory - I love the inherent sense of happy and joy they bring. 

 

SUMMER NEUTRALS II

Summer neutrals by Naomi Yamada

I am not the best shopper anymore.  I am easily overwhelmed with the amount of product out there, but at the same time I have become even pickier in my choices.  Even though I know I'm not a trend type of consumer, it does not stop me from wanting to look at everything, I may know it's not my thing but I want to see it anyway.  For some reason, I have yet to fully embrace my style methodology, maybe because it kind of sounds boring (neutrals, solids over prints, no synthetic fabrics and flattering cuts/shapes).

So I was pretty pleased that my search for some summer neutrals was a solid success.  After some devoted internet searching... Voila!  I found a few things I am already putting to good use.  It started with the perfect light cashmere blend tee, the most comfy sneakers (in the perfect shade of nude) I have ever owned in my entire life (maybe it's because these are leather?) and a gold hair pin that helps me make a semi decent messy bun.

Pairing it up with classic aviators, my go-to nail color and a choker necklace that wakes up any tee.

I should just be true to myself and accept, neutrals and beautiful basics make me smile. 

 
 

A BOOK I LOVE

 

When I worked at the Getty Museum, I became mildly obsessed with the GRI (Getty Research Institute).  It is the ultimate art history library - they have everything!  or they have access to everything!.  I would visit often because it always expanded any idea I had.  Many books were in foreign languages, some books had the most beautiful covers or typography.  It was easy to get lost in there - not to mention the building was beautiful, especially when it had an Andy Goldsworthy sculpture that I still can't believe got washed away due to a plumbing accident.  That experience turbo boosted my already growing personal library, it made me look at visual material of all sorts differently and my collection grew.  I now have binders and binders, all types of magazines and tons of books (I have given so much away, but there is still plenty and as much as I let go of I get more).  I have digitized a solid amount but there are a few that would loose some of its magic if digitized.  This book is one of them. 

Found at a Paris flea market and just beautiful - I love looking at this over and over.  I never tire of its beauty. 

Hermes book about an encounter on the nile by Naomi Yamada
 

SNAPSHOT

Naomi Yamada Weekend Mess
 

A few things I have set aside for the weekend.  A film camera (cool Rose Bowl score) I finally got working and some black and white film, my current favorite candle that I am addicted to, peonies (instant mood lifters), the best nude polish for my skin tone and the book that makes me wish Instagram was around during my Getty Museum days - all the cool photo opportunities I could have had. Such a fun/great/inspiring book - I love how she sees the specialness in the ordinary and the sensuality of light in her images.  See more of her beautiful images here.

 

...& below a sneak peak at something I am working on this summer...

 
 
Naomi Yamada Peony Desk Mess

SUMMER NEUTRALS

Naomi Yamada at Mohawk General Store
 

With many sales in full swing, I am in search of some classic summer neutrals.  A non-denim high waisted short, a solid tee in something other than white and of course the ever evading me perfect summer pant.  I thought I was 'on it' being early to peruse inventory on my favorite sites, but my size is sold out in many of my top selections. Only having mild success with this, so feel free to send any leads my way.  Thank you!

 

OBSERVING

Boys playing kickball in Paris by Naomi Yamada
 

Over a holiday weekend it is great to honor the observance and to relax or in my case...  finally catch up on things.  Plenty of reading, family visiting, a little bit of shopping, some delicious eating and finally watching a documentary I have heard so much about for so long.

'Finding Vivian Maier' sparked ideas, admiration then tinged it with a bit of confusion, peppered it with bewilderment - and topped it off with a renewed sense of excitement for the act of observation.  This basic human function most of us are lucky to do all day long, but some people take to another level.  I wondered even more about her life and her drive to photograph. I wondered if it feels freeing to shoot the world around you with your camera at your waist instead of covering your face.  A slight alteration that must allow for a different kind of interaction, if any interaction at all.  Does changing how you shoot change the way you see?

It made me think about observing vs watching vs noticing. What is the difference between them and how does it impact your artistic choices (the philosophical art historian in me never leaves).  It made me reflect about my own observation.  How sometimes it is more astute than others and how sometimes it is lazy, and I know I am just missing good things. Here are two photos (above and below) where I was shooting things I would not normally shoot - a ceiling fan from D&D in Soho and boys playing kickball at the Palais Royal in Paris.  They are simple subjects, but that is what I love about them - their ordinariness.  Both of these images are a couple years old.  Locating them reminded me that I have drifted from photographing ordinary things just because I saw something cool in them.  I want to bring this back into my way of observing and document my love of the ordinary ♡ 

Which is never really ordinary....

 

 

ART NOOKS

One of my favorite things to do in Los Angeles is visit Paris Photo LA when it arrives.

This year I noticed how enthralled I am by the little areas/nooks gallery staff make for themselves in their space, where they keep personal, admin items, art info and a glass of vino of course.  Probably sounds odd, but in the midst of everything being so pristine in it's presentation, I love seeing these more 'real' moments.  Sharing a sampling above.  Paris Photo LA fun below.

Note: My video from last year's Paris Photo LA.