cynthia dickinson: Blog en-us (C) cynthia dickinson (cynthia dickinson) Thu, 09 Jul 2020 07:41:00 GMT Thu, 09 Jul 2020 07:41:00 GMT cynthia dickinson: Blog 101 120 Food tips So, I've decided to post food tips on my blog. As long as I'm cooking again, I'm more apt to be thinking about food again. Wait! But food and photography and art in the same blog?  Sure. Why not. Brooks Jensen once told me he thought cooking and photography are surely together as they use the same processes. I tend to agree but that's another blog. In the meantime, if you are photographer, his book" The Creative Life" is awesome. I've read it a few times and contemplate doing it again.

So couple of tips for the day.

If you like your vinaigrettes made in your kitchen (which I do altho I always have a store bought ranch and western because I like them with my fries and also ranch for pizza), here's a few things to help you.

Most recipes don't call for enough acid in them. I do a one to one with oil and vinegar - if its too acidic, add more oil or a little water. I also have frozen OJ in my freezer. A tablespoon in a dressing with boost flavor. Same with lemon or lime juice. I like full flavors in almost everything so think of things to add to your dressings.

When making balsamic dressings and fruit dressings, do not, I repeat, do not use your wand or food processor to emulsify the vinegar and oil. An fruit esp strawberry or raspberry, will become the color of pepto-bismol. Balsamic will look like the inside of a baby diaper after a bad night. And I don't know about you, but those tones are not pleasing to me on a plate. So, use your whip to emulsify. And perhaps use a white balsamic instead of a brown one.

Speaking of emulsifying - its not easy to master that oil and vinegar thing. After years of making them, I still have trouble some days. Some fixes for those oil floating on water. For sure, use a bottle that will shake. The other ways are to start with things that make it easier. One way is slowly saute onion in a pan with your oil. Run it through your processor when the onions are really soft. (You can also caramelize the onions and run them through a processor. This adds great flavor. And you can add garlic cloves to them as they cook.)  Now that the onions are pureed - make your vinaigrette as usual. The onions help bind the oil and vinegar. My last tip with this is start with salt in your bowl. The salt helps bind oil and vinegar.

And as plug for those oil and vinegar shops - check them out! I love their combos esp the Coconut Ginger Balsamic! Its fabulous on all kinds of things. I use a splash of it on watermelon salads. And when I'm making an asian dipping sauce that calls for vinegar -- like one for egg rolls. Instead of using white vinegar, use the coconut ginger with a splash of lime. You just took your egg rolls to a new level. And that is goal of all cooking. Not just food but a new level of food.

Questions?  Feel free to write me.

Want more tips?  Join the mailing list for my blog.



(cynthia dickinson) Wed, 08 Jul 2020 17:15:15 GMT
Photography Changes Everything Exploring photography has been my theme song for the past month. I've done everything from revisiting Irving Penn's work to watching YouTube videos of every photographer presented in the book "What is a Photograph?" response due to a life changing review of my work on Lensculture from one of the 8 jurors for the Talent Awards.

Every night I climb into bed with my german shorthair Shooter, turn on the tv and go to YouTube to explore, once again, photography. I have a notebook with me and some nights I fill pages of quotes or thoughts of mine about why photography. Why this medium? What is it my work messages to people. Maybe there isn't answer I think because my message may not align with the perspective and stance of the viewer. That's a pretty daunting perspective yet I continue to edit and I continue to shoot and I continue to think about photography.

Last night, listening to Marvin Heiferman speak about how photography changes everything - his groundbreaking work with the Smithsonian - has been life changing/art changing for me. First of all because he speaks so clearly and in such an easy manner that I can understand his vision and philosophy concerning photography and its role in our lives.

He bullets 6 points that define how photography changes everything.

-what we want

-what we see

-who we are

-what we do

-where we go

-what we remember

Those points of Heiferman's cover every aspect of our lives from documentation to advertising to art and all points in between. Photography has its essential roots in science as its progressive technology has shown us. From the very first images, its advancement has been due to the ever changing sciences of camera and lens construction to the chemistry of development to the digital world we live in where each day 1.3 billion images are produced. That is astounding to me. 1.3 billion images. How ever do I find my way, as a photographer, into that world where all I want is to get you (to paraphrase Catherine Opie) to look at a photograph for more than an instagram minute. That's kinda crazy if you ask me. I wonder how my photographer friends deal with the question I ask myself - how do I ever make it as a photographer. And then I think of a photography road trip I was on a few years ago. The first morning 14 of us split into 4 or 5 cars and hit the road. One of our first stops was an abandoned homestead on the prairie. We turned down one of the dirt roads you find everywhere in South Dakota and I saw my image. We parked in a field and while everyone headed up the hill to the homestead, I lit out back down the road to where we turned. I photographed and on the way back saw a few more images I thought would work. Then we spent the rest of the day visiting abandoned homesteads and towns in that vast farming landscape of South Dakota. A few days later we were sitting around looking at each other's work from those four Kerouac days. When I showed everyone my first image, it was the one from the road of the first homestead. One of the guest photographers turned to me and asked "that's where you went?". I laughed. "Yep. I saw that shot when we turned the corner." To which another photographer replied "you've got some Minor White going on in your work". Those comments spun me forward for a number of years because I understood something essential in the daunting 1.3 billion images every day. That I retain my own my eye and my own vision and that is what keeps me holding the camera and looking through the viewfinder (altho I do have days of spontaneously shooting without looking in a viewfinder at all).

So with that I leave you with a new photograph that has no title as of today but reminds me to keep playing and moving even if its what feels like walking in the same footsteps as I did yesterday.

The link to Heiferman's video at the Smithsonian can be found here untitleduntitledImage digitally composed from several photographs of the waterfall at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minnesota.<br/>For information on sizes and prints available, please contact me.


(cynthia dickinson) botanics cynthia dickinson edina artist floral flowers garden photography Thu, 20 Feb 2020 21:20:31 GMT
Free. Free free free because Just When I Think I've Forgotten YouJust When I Think I've Forgotten YouColor photograph.
Digitally composed with various filters, layers and a few paint brush strokes.
Limited Edition in a variety of sizes with archival papers and ink.
Please contact me for more information
Sometimes I really despise marketing. And then I realize you have to go out there and do it. Today is one of those days.

So, here is my marketing.

I'm going to start giving away a few prints or coffee cups or maybe a tote bag to one lucky person a month. And I'm going to do it like.

I post an image and a blog. And you comment on the blog/image.

I will give it a week to gather comments.

Then I will ask a friend who has no connection to my blog to give me a number between 1 and say, however many comments I have on the image.

That person with that number, wins the image.

Its pretty simple.

You can share the blog (I encourage you to). You can comment. You can tell your friends (I hope you do).

I am actually looking forward to seeing who wants an image. What they do with it. And how far I can reach out

to people with my work.

So here we go.

Image and comments.

(cynthia dickinson) cynthia dickinson edina artist floral flowers garden photography Fri, 14 Feb 2020 22:28:07 GMT
Defining Moments We all have defining moments in our lives. A parent dies. A child is born. Divorce. Marriage. Love of your life. Car accidents and miraculous healings. As artists we also have defining moments. First exhibit. Retrospects. Major awards. Grants. And inbetween those major moments we have a different kind of pivots. Mine was last week when I received a review from the Lensculture Exposure Awards. I don't know who wrote the review. It could be from one of the jurors. It could be from a secretary who had time to look.

Doesn't matter tho. What matters is the depth of the review. Someone obviously took a lot of time with my work. Its the best review I've gotten from anyone. Seriously. This kind of willingness to share insights and pass along thoughts and information to help me find my way does not come often from reviewers. And whomever this is I wish to thank them over and over for garnering a pivotal moment in my work. There are places to submit my work that she/he shared. There are 2 books to read. I've spent 2 days researching every artist in "What is a Photograph" (Carol Squiers, author). I've looked at their work. I watched interviews and talks in galleries. I've looked at retrospects. I've read their artist statements. And, all of it helped me with a few things.

1. Helped show me where my work lands in this oh so large artworld.

2. Gives me a more defined language for my work.

3. Gives me insight into fresh ways I can work.

So here is the review. And a link to the work I submitted to Lensculture.

I hope you enjoy and once again, I thank the reviewer.

Lensculture Exposure Awards 2020

(cynthia dickinson) botanics cynthia dickinson edina artist floral flowers lensculture photography review Wed, 29 Jan 2020 21:16:54 GMT