Long time

Posted on: October 5th, 2017 by Gretchen Phillips No Comments

Hi Friends,

Long time, no write.
What a world, huh?  Where am I gleaning inspiration to go on?  Well, I’m getting solace from two sources: the Bhagavad Gita translated by Eknath Easwaran and the Eames movie entitled Power of Ten.  You might take a look.  I’m finding them helpful.
It’s been a really wonderful thing to get to teach B&W photography at the Dougherty Arts Center in Austin.  This is a city-run arts facility with performance space, gallery, classrooms and a variety of classes.  There’s a well-appointed darkroom where I first learned how to process and print.  I learned there and I want to give back to the community.  So, I’m in the midst of my third 4-week session teaching the very basics.  So far so good.  I hope to get Austinites excited about the process of processing and about the magic of turning silver halide crystals into images.  It’s alchemy!!!  It’s magic!!!!  If you’ve ever thought that you want to pursue film photography further, yes you do!!!!
I also have an exciting new band with my friend, Lauren Walker.  We’re called Pico Farad.  She plays keyboard going thru a bunch of effects.  I play my acoustic Baby Taylor going thru a bunch of effects.  Her amp is a Magnatone.  My amp is a Silvertone.  Her’s weighs a ton and mine is as light as a feather.  We get on an improvisational wavelength together where we drone out with texture, dynamics, fun and play and then at some point later in the game I bust out into a classic country song by Waylon, Willie and the Boys.  It makes total sense when you come see us.  And please, come see us.  This is a durational performance piece.  We’ve done a few shows already.  Mostly without any breaks.  From 30 minutes up to 2 hours.  Feels so good to get exhausted but lifted in this manner.  I usually cry at some point.  If you’ve ever thought that you want to play music with people, yes you do!!!!
In addition to my work with Pico Farad, I’m going out on a thin and scary limb again and performing a solo set for the first time in 6 yearson Oct. 15.  I may have taken a long enough break that I can return to this terrifying and naked form of performance.  We shall see.
I hope that you’re doing well.  It can be hard these days.  I’m a Cancer, I feel a lot.  In my worst states I become too permeable and take in the world’s pain and find myself immobilized and unable to do my work.  Or even figure out what my work should be.  But surely it boils down to kindness.  Surely that is the real revolution.  Surely being considerate to all is the difficult task I personally am faced with.  That’s why the Bhagavad Gita and the Eames movie are so helpful to me.  They teach me to pull the lens out.  Photography teaches me that, too.  Pull out that lens.  I am a part of things.  I’m in this river of life with all of you.  That can truly be a blessing.  No one can say that we’re not living in interesting times.

A is for Apple

Posted on: July 1st, 2017 by gretcjen No Comments

Pet Portraits – Likeness Not Guaranteed

Posted on: June 1st, 2016 by gretcjen No Comments

I’m getting really serious about these pet portraits, people!  What better way to honor animals than to lovingly and yes, perhaps even imperfectly render their image onto a piece of locally-milled wood from TX trees that have sadly been killed by the drought, sheet wind, too much rain or even just old age?  Chinaberry, cedar elm, walnut, pecan, bois d’arc, sycamore…I make furniture and I have these scraps that must not be wasted!  I’ll also dig thru the piles of wood from the many, many old houses being demolished in our fair city to make room for new innovative buildings that feature retail on the ground floor and many stories worth of condos up above.  It is my moral duty to recycle perfectly good wood.

I might use pine shiplap that I’ve salvaged from houses.  That stuff is really beautiful and where this project initially began.

Likeness is not guaranteed.  Rather, I capture the soul of your pet.

I’m a trained musician.  I’m not a trained painter.  I mean, sure I had some art classes when I was a kid but it’s been a long time.  But I’ve had pet portrait clients beg me not to take any art classes and to not get any “better” because they like what I’m serving up.  Search the words “pet portrait” and you’ll find lots of people who can render an uncanny likeness of your pet.  I’m not doing that.  I’m honoring wood, honoring our interspecies love of animals and charging very little for original art.

So let’s get down to business.  Email me via my contact info.  I’ll talk you thru the steps.  It isn’t necessary for me to meet the pet in order to capture their soul onto a piece of wood using acrylic paint with a fixative on top to preserve it as a treasure you will treasure as a family heirloom for generations to come.  What would you pay for such an offer?  What would other people charge for such an offer?  Well, I’m charging $85 an animal plus Shipping&Handling (if I have to mail it.)  Please allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery.  That said, it shouldn’t take that long.

Are you ready to invest in some art?

Are you ready to honor animals and scrap wood?

Then what are you waiting for?