Pink Art. She said She Shed.
There is something about the State Fair that delights me. My glee extends to parking lot carnivals, festivals, and anything with rides… and a Ferris Wheel.
It’s a place where you can see the very best of human beings. The rides bring out delight in young and old. I love those delicious but truly atrocious foods. (They even have their own TV show.) There are wonders to see, a fortuneteller to reveal life’s mysteries, and bright games of sport and skill.
My favorite part might be the vision of hope with which crafts, quilts, flowers, and vegetables are submitted for judging. The pies and cakes proudly line up to display the home-chef’s utter belief in their skill. The fresh faces of youth tending to perfectly groomed heifers.
Just writing this causes my breath to catch and my eyes fill with tears of poignancy. How I wish everyone could win a trophy but I know that such wins would be empty. The quest to grow, build, craft, and become better is the father of innovation. The long process of winning at the Fair builds better humans. It’s about much more getting than a Blue Ribbon.
So starting at a carnival in 2004 with my first digital camera for a school project, I began shooting fairs and carnivals. I just loved those images.
Some background…I’ve been a photographer since I was 12 but I didn’t want to compete in a male dominated industry. It scared me to pieces so I lurked doing make up and styling, and doing sets. I was only shooting my own work as a hobby. After a while, however, I suspected I might be really good and, maybe, better than my male counterparts. I went back to school in 2003. Fast forward to 2013 and 2015, I was one of two women (In. The. World. Darling, in the world!!) to win an Award of Excellence from Communication Arts magazine (THE industry standard) for those two years. There were 9532 projects submitted. Of those, only 27 were by women. Only two of those women won both years. I was one of them.
Anyway, you can imagine that, by now, I have tons of pictures of fairgrounds. And these were not images I could use because I didn’t have model releases for the people. There’s no way you can shoot a fair without people being in the picture. Still, despite the fact that I have hundreds of photographs sitting a digital file folder, gathering digital dust, I still love to create more.
But not long ago, I saw a video of Monet’s Pond in Seki City, Japan. The place looks like an impressionistic painting. Impressionism is about the light, color, and the idea of a place rather than an accurate depiction. It’s quite romantic and, naturally, was born in France in the 1860’s.
That pond lingered in my mind along with two recent articles I wrote. One questioned the absence of pink art and the other accused the art industry of being a half-wit because it tends to ignore the art that women seem to like and create.
I took all of that and decided to use Photoshop (for something good) to create digital illustrations in an impressionistic style. I wanted to create something beautiful FOR women. So much of the art industry uses women as the subject but ignores their contributions. At the same time, I wanted to make a statement. Women should choose exactly what they like and want without fear of being judged as too girly. I like PINK! It’s pretty and I like pretty things. AND that’s okay.
So Welcome to the Fair, a modern woman’s version of traditional art using an nontraditional medium and making a statement about women’s life and women’s art.
She said, She shed. Be a woman for all women.