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Painting The Spume Of My Mind – Artist Statement PinXoGraphy

ambrotypie_uffelmann_fotnAfter taking photographic pictures for thirty-five years I felt a little weary and was worrying what photography could be for me in days to come. (For) With the dawn of Big Data taking and sharing pictures online has lost its innocence, and those trillions of daily added pics being seized by big companies making that old “Wissen ist Macht” finally come true.

These were two significant points for me to start looking for something new. Something fresh, something exciting, something way out of this modern digital world but mainly:

I craved something I’d never seen before.

Some good reads about painting regaining the predominance over photography finally brought me back to this bulk of old posters of my first band back in the 80ies ( I played the bass guitar), their empty backsides and pastel chalks in summer of 2015.

nnn-scanp-170907-531b-r2vr6 nnn-scanp-170807-519-r2vnre nnn-scanp-170505-475j-r180v

nnn-scanp-170619-492-re180v nnn-scanp-170611-489e-r2r7n ntr-scanp-160601-352b-mnrec

ysp-scanp-170218-439d-r2v91 ysp-scanp-170301-445d-nvnr8 ysp-scanp-170303-448g-r2vr5

ysp-scanp-170331-465b-r2v2r  ysp-scanp-170331-465e-r3vnr ysp-scanp-170401-466g-rv2r5

Since then amazing things happend. With my self-established rule simply being:  paint first, then digitally recolour. It turned out to be a seemingly unlimited source of astonishing, never-seen-before pictures, I some day labelled as “Nuancism“, some day as “tangled undergrowth paintings”.

The question with them is: what comes to mind if you don’t recognize anything immediately?

My answer is: your own memory.

And: it works automatically, involuntarily. So with these pictures you can get access on things you thought you forgot.

ysp-scanp-170129-433d-manor ysp-scanp-170118-428e-rvr27 ysp-scanp-170118-428d-r180 ysp-scanp-170104-424h-r4vrf ntr-scanp-160214-278d-rv2 ysp-scanp-161126-412-r2v3nr

Although this ongoing flowing of pictures – I made a sheer 25 thousands within the last two years out of the 450 sheets first painted, then processed digitally -

this is not about painting pictures, it’s about stimuli.

So I found a vast test field for the power of the human memory triggered by humble colours and funny shapes avoiding the obvious by simply doodling away in summer 2015. Challenge for (your) looking-on and pareidolic kaleidoscope for a thing called pictorial memory.

ysp-scanp-161014-392-recoll ntr-scanp-160603-353k-recol ysp-scanp-160910-385-r3x2la ysp-scanp-160909-384c-manor ysp-scanp-161222-419c-mnrec ysp-scanp-161218-418b-r5v0r

But starting painting in 2015 would have been as half as thrilling if it didn’t also bring into account/ignored all the modern wash of pictures that flood our overloaded modern brains.minds. Painting these pictures therefor means deliberately irritating the process of the 13 milliseconds that our brain really needs to judge a picture, thereby (re)calling all your available information, realizing your mind being stamped with/by brand logos, corporate designs and pictorial claims. PinXoGraphy as a serendipitously discovered means to learn that the brain memorizes anything by tickling the looking experience.

For maybe there’s a new-born/resurrected quality of abstract paintings which come to provide an apt echo chamber for elusive modern phenomena like short attention span, nomophobia, burnout, so this obsolete art form may regain new potential.

A potential in exploring areas in life that are hard to express verbally: feelings, premonitions related to social life, human behaviour, feelings towards or impacts of the world of work or that of business, even diplomacy. Some catalysator to pin something down by beholding these pictures:

pinxography_cohrs-1726 pinxography_cohrs-1678
This two already made it  from painting to digitizing ”back” to the real world @ COHRS Mannheim, Germany

New pictures in July click here. And here.

New in June: a crazy idea from my neighbour I met while walking the dog lead me to start cutting out.. handbags (!) of the works:

hbk-ysp-scanp-170502-474h-r hbk-ysp-scanp-170426-472j-t hbk-nnn-scanp-170529-482b-r hbk-ebk-scanp-151230-252g-l  hbk-nnn-scanp-170529-482-rehbk-nnn-scanp-170506-476k-r

hbk-vrlfscreen-170301-445-r hbk-vrlfscreen-170301-445-s hbk-vrlfscreen-170301-445-t hbk-vrlfscreen-170301-445-u hbk-vrlfscreen-170301-445-v hbk-ysp-scanp-170423-471-re

hbk-ebk-scanp-151230-252g-r hbk-ysp-scanp-170426-472k-r  hbk-vrlfscreen-170506-476k

So Hey! I can start all over with a presque inexhaustible quantum of footage ;-)

ysp-scanp-161029-398b-r2v2r ysp-scanp-161011-390b-r2vn ysp-scanp-160929-387d-recol ysp-scanp-160908-383c-r2lay ysp-scanp-160821-379e-manor ysp-scanp-160817-378f-4v5d9 ysp-scanp-160817-378-r3v3r4 ntr-scanp-160704-364d-r3v3n ntr-scanp-160809-376-r4vnr5ntr-scanp-160730-373f-re2vn ntr-scanp-160730-373c-r3vr3 ntr-scanp-160729-372e-r3v3n

ntr-scanp-160530-350f-rvr6 ysp-scanp-161113-406b-r2v23 ysp-scanp-161105-403e-rvr3

ysp-scanp-161024-397-r2vnr3 ysp-scanp-161218-418b-r5v0r ysp-scanp-161213-417g-r4vnr

ysp-scanp-161120-409c-man ysp-scanp-161116-408b-rec ebk-scanp-160101-253er2v

start-ysp420d_vs_ysp420

ntr-scanp-160726-371g-rvr3 ntr-scanp-160726-371c-r180 ntr-scanp-160720-370e-r2v2 ntr-scanp-160713-368j-r4vr2 ntr-scanp-160711-367b-manor ntr-scanp-160622-361e-r6v2r ntr-scanp-160603-353e-rv4r2 ntr-scanp-160617-360-r4vrc ntr-scanp-160601-352d-r3v2r ntr-scanp-160616-359i-rvr2 ntr-scanp-160601-352g-rv2rn ntr-scanp-160529-349f-r2v2r ntr-scanp-160530-350-r3v2r3 ntr-scanp-160524-348c-man ntr-scanp-160511-342b-r2vr ntr-scanp-160511-342e-rec5v ntr-scanp-160428-332k-recv3 ntr-scanp-160501-333b-r180vk4 ntr-scanp-160428-332f-rec6 ntr-scanp-160428-332c-re5vk ntr-scanp-160328-317g-re4vr ntr-scanp-160421-329d-rv4re ntr-scanp-160421-330f-rec2v ebk-scanp-160101-253f-norm

ebk-scanp-151216-249b-nr180 ebk-scanp-151220-251e-r5v2 ysp-scanp-170214-437c-r3vr9

See a lot more PinXoGraphics here.

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Listening to while... writing and editing:

St. Germain: “Boulevard” , F-Communications, 1995

Veronika Harcsa & Balint Gyemant: “Tell Her”, TRAUMTON, 2016

Yuja Wang “Ravel”, Deutsche Grammophon, 2015

Let Google Do The Work – My Gallery FAQ

Everyone looking at pics en masse would be familiar with this feeling of annoyance. Quite a few online portfolios of photographers, art dealers, model agencies or magazines fastidiously deliver pic-by-pic slide shows without providing a much more convenient overall view.
Seems like there´s someone aspiring out there trying to re-educate us in our fast-pacedness, tempting to slow us down as we arrive kneeling down in front of one single picture just like in former times but
I´m sure those days are gone forever.
It’s too easy to browse through hundreds of pics per minute. Everyone on the internet does it on a daily basis, but the slowness of one pick per click is getting on our trembling nerves.
So I took on an experiment by letting Google present the overview to my pics. Feeding the searching machine with “site of: soodlepoodle.net“, it displays all enlisted pics of this website.
The price I pay for doing this is that visitors might get confused when they click on a “pics” button and are then automatically connected to google search results showing a wild mix of soodlepoodligan content.
It takes a little time to get used to this kind of presentation.
The thumbnails-to-be-found get you back to the site. Starting March 2015 I began to change around the word search as I was getting bored with always the same old resulting mix. I found an easy way to bring in some variation: there’s an abundance of pictures and text, most of the pics on this blog are untagged and surrounded by text. So I took a chance

by throwing in one single word to get out a diversity of pics.

Different words put into the search lead to different mixes of pictures. Here are three “compilations” using the search words  “habe (have)“, “an (at)” & “aus (off, from)“ f.l.t.r.

screenshot-diary-2016-01-18  screenshot-diary-20160118an  screenshot-diary-20160118b-

This way of pictorial lottery turns out to be an exciting way of juxtaposing my own pics – fotos, paintings or construction drawings find new neighbours to astonishing effects. Just like Austrian photographer Alois Hechenblaikner, or Lilah Ramzi´s Part Nouveau - two artists/curators working (albeit more deliberately ;-) ) on the two-picture-phenomenon.

Since then I tried these following words to make up my gallery:

By steadily adding more and more pictures and text this way of mixing is always dynamicely reacting to the latest status. By using the same old search string words there´s always new combinations of older and newest.

Revisiting those pics from time to time, I´d like to give some    to the most entertaining quests.

This  brought the idea of combining foto (right) and exclusively mouse click induced imagery (left) as splash screen:

Related hobbyhorse: the presentation of my pastells which all have the bit “ebk-scanp” in their file name. Online since June 2015. Next season: file under “ntr-scanp”, the most recent third file under “ysp-scanp”. Hey – do you feel the difference??

Some more mixes for Pleasure Of Beholding:

screenshot-diary-2015-12-31-pw-regelmaessig  screenshot-diary-2015-12-31-pw-einfach  screenshot-diary-2015-12-31-pw-grob  screenshot-diary-2015-12-31-pw-rein  screenshot-diary-2015-12-31-pw-100f   screenshot-diary-2015-12-31-pw-200b

Read the German version of this article.

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Listening to while translating/writing:

Paul McCartney: “McCartney II”, Parlophone 1979

Matthew Herbert: “Scale” K7, 2006

Etienne de Crécy: “Tempovision”, Disques Solid, 2000

Clinton: “Disco and the Halfway to Discontent”, VIrgin, 1999

The Cardigans: “Life”, Polydor, 1995

Hey Kids, I Shrunk the Works!

It seems to me there´s no little portion of defiance in dodging two of the main rules of marketable art: the bigger the better and the almost boldest classical must: it has to be oil (spilling?) on canvas. Instead I stubbornly stick to coloured pencil, delicate chalk pastels on some old paper. Even worse: after scribbling, smearing and milling I feed the work into the computer (devaluating!) and now even  decrease the size of the pictures to a double stamp square.

But I just found out that this minor size is the best to make those strange paintings confer their effects on the beholder. For all the automatic puzzling over technique and traces of getting the paint onto the paper vanish by minimizing and the picture can develope the pure pictorial effect on those who look at it.

In my case its about 200 pixels in height (the numbers below are those of the sheets I painted on):pinxstamp-226-227

So now – what do you see there? Strange parts of even stranger animals? Some spacial sceneries, cassical scenic painting for Wagnerian operas, the lower side of shower mats, beaks, spanish wind, light-emitting computer mice with …pimples??

Or here below:pinxstamp-228-229Bubbles in space? Twin eggs? Metal worms like gooseneck microphones as in science fiction comics? Luminous deep sea fishKumquats? Melting roses?

pinxstamp-231-163-153pinxstamp-214-191

Bulbs? Flyers? Sun reflecting in water? May be. All of that. And probably a lot more ;-)

It was the standard computer settings of displaying of pic files as thumbnails that suggested these way of looking at something in fact much bigger in size. Scandal that some kind of technical default intervenes my personal aesthetics! ;-)

Here some zoom-ins, “crudely exaggerated” close-ups of the same pics. An other world!

ebk-scanp-151108-212c-n2cut ebk-scanp-151121-227-mcut ebk-scanp-151031-191_r6cut ebk-scanp-151108-212c-ncut ebk-scanp-151109-214f_rcut ebk-scanp-151120-226d-mcut
ebk-scanp-151122-228c-recol ebk-scanp-151123-229c-man ebk-scanp-151123-229-recoll

Read the original German version of this posting.

PS.: By the way the “luminous deep sea” feedback to the pics multiplied during the last days of showing round. Meanwhile I found some very special “models” for further drawings here  – encouragement for further pinxographic excentric excursions from a total unexpected side ,-)

May 15th 2016: The shrinking continues!

Here´s 38 new works in mini size as I´m browsing my PinXoGraphic Sheets-and-Scans: The Hey Kids, I Shrunk The Works Collection # 322 – #342 :shrunk-collection323-342

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Listening to while shrinking ;-) :

Groove Armada: “Late Night Tales” Vol. 2, Azuli Records, 2008

Maybe I should rename to DoodlePoodle?

Heatwave in Germany. Afternoon temperature reaching 100° F. All extra action is cancelled, siesta mode established as possible. But early in the waking morning there´s plenty o´ space and mood to scribble on newly rediscovered sheets of paper. Once in the eighties (!) they were made to become my first band´s posters. Now well-aged, the sheets sport a fine surface structure springing from all those thirty years of all the ever-changing humidity can do to wood(en products). And 600 dpi-scanning-after-scribbling and some hurry-scurry photoshopping  ;-) reveals these awesome effects & details:

ebk-scan-150807-63c  ebk-scan-150807-63b  ebk-scan-150807-64e ebk-scan-150807-64e2  ebk-scan-150809-66  ebk-scan-150809-66e-drehwur ebk-scan-150809-67  ebk-scan-150811-69g  ebk-scan-150811-70

Exciting fact: all these mindless scribbles lead me straight into my personal iconic memory. And be sure to have a pretty crammed one at a certain age having seen all these millions of pictures. The trick here is avoiding figurative painting in any form. Only allusions do the work for this pareidolic experiment. Just look at the pics and think of things that come to your mind!

See more here, here and here.

 

I paint the line between good and evil

It all started the days I released this forty-fifth postcard of the city of Mannheim:

For lucky me Mannheim-photographer a gorgeous coincidence of weather, light and kondensstreifen, for the soon-to-be viewers unintelligible, unfathomable, a plain strange.

Almost no one would believe it to be a simple, real foto.

The digital revolution, so I guessed now, had finally altered  the way people will forever look on pictures: suspiciously, knowing that literally everything could be corrected, post-producted, made up and.. faked.

Therefore since day one this card keeps sticking to the shelves. And not only because of the unusual format of 10 x 21 cm ( 4″ x 8″) and thus the “danger” of affording more shipping fee (it doesn´t).

A year later I reached the conclusion that I made the “mistake” of depicting two of the best-known shapes of the city and “combining” them with that unbelievable clouds, placing this bleak white spot (the evening sun) amidst the deformed ring (a stone sculpture). All these add up to the alienation, although (so I naively imagined) everybody knowing that place in Mannheim would cheer about it and this special photographic effect of over-exposure (=blending into white) easily would have been recognized.

I was wrong. And learned a lot of that experience: There´s a NEW line of plausibility one mustn´t cross doing postcards of existing places.

It also put heavy damage on my ambition to strive for the real extraordinary in photography. “What use looking for the best picture if nobody believes it?”

In those days I soberly had to re-draw the line between good and evil. And recognized that good ol´ painting gains new value after being put in second row by photography one and a half centuries ago. This line can be coulourful. Abstract. Obscure. Soothing. Energizing. Infuriating. And it definitely  is blurred.

Emotional and psychic ignitions are the true reality in pictures these days.

Everything else could be fake and has to be mistrusted. And virtuality gets closer to reality with ideas spreading all over the globe in seconds and production tools in mostly everybody´s hands.

With fotos mankind  nowadays only reproduces its klischees over and over again. Like an endless prayer to belong. So I´m off diving into colour and canvas again after a thirty-year break. Everything with painting is new since daytime reality changed so drastically. So welcome to the gallery! Guess what is real and what is.. real, too:

pinxography-tarnungsfolie11 80430004 37220006cut reingretchen33690017 33070014 33070013 30990005 6kapelle-part_two-dawn-11co polarbluete_229520036turnschuh-aquarell-1979 bauschwammscan-e-soodlepood palette-punkte-mdf-mult-aut 29520026 pinxography_1597 24220030treated 24220012pinxography003 start-18990020pinxography-i 12330022fpcdrehmotob2 12330022b pinxography-hdd_plus_blumen blumen-2345axminicol3

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Music while writing:

various artists: “Touché”, Touché, 1996

 

Pixels plus Paintbrush = PinXoGraphy!

For the last fifteen years I created pictures with camera-plus-software but I never forgot the pleasures and freedom I had as a child with watercolour, paper and brush (in German: Pinsel, hence the new name PinXoGraphy). Now, after steadily taking pictures and a simultaneous “paint-break” of nearly thirty years I slowly reached conclusion that photography has become a little bleak for me. The reason for that not only lies in overexposure ;-) but in the ubiquitous overkill of pics and information reaching our poor brains these days and the depending devaluation of photographic, yes indeed nearly all creative endeavours which can (and doubtlessly will) be digital(ised) in days to come.

pinxography-soodlepoodle

Having acquired all these self-taught skills during time now I feel this is the right point to try something new. And it only seems to be a retreat to overcome tradition: painting again. For working with mathematics on pictures opend up new dimensions of regarding the world and the possibilities of treating and changing a picture nearly at will. Working with computers there´s a not really hidden hint to feeling encouraged to integrate fantasy, dreams or maybe even nightmares in pictures that wouldn´t be possible without.

But instead of staying digital I now  feel the challenge and joy of  laying hands on craftsmanship again and using this inspiration to use and simultaneously(!) leap out of the digital world. The funny thing of this case is that pictures can be pre-imagined digitally before bringing them to real life with brush and canvas. Even with some plus: the blueprint created by computer makes a gorgeous start for inspiring painting work without clinging too close to that vorbild. That´s the big adventure I´m diving into now!

Crucial part of the scope of delivery  ;-) is my decade-lasting experience in regarding and taking pictures. This experience also helps chosing and deciding how to treat pictures. The German Wiki-Page about “painting” puts it this way:

«Painting is the pinning-down the thoughts of a painter.»

And why not prefab those thoughts digitally, n´est-ce pas? ;-) . As an example for the new Soodlepoodle I prepared a cocktail from some internet pics of dried grass, plaited chair back and a picture of a strange but seemingly digestible mushroom called “Lawyer’s wig” turning to “ink”.
Obviously all these ingredients can´t be detected in this picture below because of my digital treatments which make for complete new results and aspiring suggestions to painting. That´s something that only can be accomplished with computer´s help. ‘Here´s a slightly recoloured version of the above en detail that in my regard is more likely to be a masterly elaborate painting than despicable pixel mashup:

pinxography-no0001

Those organic textures would make new elements to creations: backgrounds and patterns of surfaces, veiles, patina-ersatz… Behold how close this can get to classical painting!

Even more joy comes out of  taking this as impetus to grab the paintbrush and start doing it on canvas! Here´s a glimpse of the almost completed version of my first picture sans couleur (for funny reasons I start with only black and white acrylic):15710010pinxography

After bringing home the first developed negatives I even did it vice versa: blending fotos of painted structures make for a new pic. Here there are two layers inducing some colours :start-02970014bleu2mini

Part 2, December 29th

Christmas merely over I got the idea to true  ;-) PinXography: why not re-photographing my first three self-painted pictures and somehow layering them digitally to get a new version-to-paint  instead of the original foto they hailed from? Maybe this will become the new, true, original digital blueprint for the big version I´m planning. I came to this because of the three little paintings initially only being meant as tests made for appealing results. Here come the first “remixed” of the first three paintings. Five thumbnails to look and feel:pinxography-remix001Second left´s the one most similar to the original foto. This is a digitally done blend of all three. I like the little wrinkles of the then-drying colour:18990020pinxography-init3in

Multiple crossing the line between digital and analogue world with the “material” makes for a new exciting mode to get into totally surprising and unpredictable sorts of terrains of picture-creation. Gorgeous!

More fascinating: while doing pictures as paintings on canvas they curiously are free of this touch of the arbitrariness often sticking to CGI. This surely has to be investigated and something to do with the role paintings always had.

Collecting all kind of  digital stuff to get fascinating elements for a painting opens up vast possibilities to try, arrange and combine the parts before starting with the paintbrush. Like a DJ´s work samples, outstanding parts of the most disparate worlds can be fused into a new sensation.. rokcat004_pinxographyHere some internet-found botanical drawings of the 19th century cut and re-arranged found their place “above” a self-scribbled drawing of a childs picture I saw last week, then did by heart and recoloured it digitally after scanning:

Fascinating me the most is the new of this method and the appeal of the final results. Its also a crazy lab for creativity: what kinds of elements, ideas and procedures can be drawn in, be tested and developed into a recipe to obtain the yet unseen.

Starting painting is also a great litmus test for your type of person: for example how to free yourself from luring compulsory perfectionism, which is even more difficult entering a new field of activity you are not trained or supervised at any grade. How to react to the shining examples of the great masters while learning the hard way that there are some crude and maybe excruciating houseworks to do ;-) . Even more: how to find the point to let go, step back and say: “completed now” is an exciting field where you can learn a lot about yourself. Some philosophical streaks take influence: being able to letting the world be, or acquiring the strange ability to decide at which stage the picture accumulated the peak of inspirational power – to the viewer(!)The famous question Should I better stop and take a new white piece of canvas, paper…

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Listening to while writing:

Plug: “Drum and Bass For Papa

Zaz: “Paris”, Play On/WARNER FRANCE, 2014

youtube-embedding-memorial-
Bo Saris: “Gold”, DECCA, 2014

kingssingers.com/postcards/ ;-) Great find for I do postcards, too:

Some Memories Of German Snow (You Never Met)

Hi Dev (I hope my spelling is right),

back home after our brief encounter on the bridge from Ludwigshafen to Mannheim yesterday I not only grew BIG worries about some translation software applied to my blog would make it for some  decent results, I luckily remembered the name of your home town Rourkela and learned some astonishing facts about it, mainly from the German Wiki page. Facts about the first big-scale “Entwicklungshilfe” 1954 gone wrong  that made a curious mixed feeling together with your info about having an Oktoberfest over there. Nothing mentioned in the english wiki…I even found some gruesome “Spiegel” article about it- in “then-speak” dating back to January 1966! Nowadays this overcome post-war style no serious journalist would dare to use..

I´m also looking forward to my soon-to-be-developed pictures, not only of the little trees in bloom where we met by chance- above a pic from 2009 to get the idea of taking better/more pics some day – but also to the rest of the approx. 200 pics I took during last afternoon. Gorgeous first glimpse of spring!!

As maker of local postcards it is very appealing to me imagining you taking the “winter card” 13/14 back to India and having it placed maybe on your real desktop.

Again:`t was nice to meet you!

Bernd aka Soodlepoodle

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Listening to while writing:

Morphine: “Cure For Pain”, RYKO, 1993

Gretchen slips into something -Soodlepoodle´s Crime Story Project

Looking back now, everything makes sense. The parts of the jigsaw puzzle which weren´t supposed to be any at all, now fit perfectly together. Indeed it even gets more fascinating the more I get my thoughts around this project. deutsche/german Version hier. It doesn´t have to be mentioned that at the very beginning there were my countless photographic moves which I had done over the years. All taken on my frequent bike tours around the town. Cruising Mannheim, Ludwigshafen and the whole area of the “Rhein Neckar Delta” is very fruitful as it is a magnificent photographic source for all kind of motifs: within a few kilometers you have access to sights ranging from the most giantesque, purely industrial building sites, to the utterly beautiful, seemingly almost untouched romantic landscapes:
Excursions on which thousands of pictures came into existence. All taken as amateur photographer with no commission or any other purpose than pure excitement of discovering and shooting (i.e. aesthical, commercially, socially) in mind. All solely following my intuition and the inspiration I found by chance at various locations with different natural lighting. All these photos. Taken around the same areas in the city within a very close radius/vicinity for twenty-odd years. One day late in 2007 the idea came to me of doing post cards. As another part of the ‘big picture’ there´s my long-term occupation in music retail. Those days are long-gone when music or movies were distributed exclusively on physical soundcarriers. During those years I learned by simply filling the shelves, that fine music not only deserves -and can be easily recognized by -a decent cover art work- more than that: the packaging of a very good album completes the work as such. Once in a while I do them by myself. Here some recent examples of not yet existing sounds:
Now add a long-term penchant for language in all its diversities to the picture: the mere letters of which plain text is made, working in the record store creating or even reading band names or album titles, a sport especially advanced, funny, provoking or subversive in the pop music world. Then all kinds of spoken phenomenon: vocal performance with all the endless hues, voices subdued, shrill or in diverse official tones, mumbles, slang, syllable swallowing, even the art of clearing one´s throat ;-) It all happened in the summer of 2011 when I got this crucial hint from an author of crime stories, whom I knew from way back when we found ourselves in the same class thirty-odd years ago. I had sent him a postcard I did with a black forest motive and his reply was: “Exactly where my next story happens to take place.” I browsed through the pictures I had taken one special afternoon in November 2011, standing about 1000m above sea level near “Schliffkopf” and thought “There´s a lot more of those photos. How would it be then to use one of them as book cover?!” Regarding one´s photos as the ‘clay’ for creating book covers, especially those of crime stories, requires a very special approach: they should not only be close to the story but more like a symbol or an entry for it, being a pictorial substitute for the whole work simultaneously. Suspense should lie within the picture, the whole mystery of the genre, even feelings such as that of danger, uncertainty, even dread. On a practical level the lay-out requires vertical frames as books especially crime stories contuniously appear in that (paperback) format. Similar to advertising aesthetics is the mixing slogans or single words with camera work, melting it with the underlying photo which creates that unique appearance of a crime story book. Considering the obligatory vertical frame and the need for space to add the name of the author and title already when taking the photo is a great new challenge for me. For some reason I felt uncomfortable with existing covers: sure, they do a very good job in attracting interest standing on the shelf in a book store or online as 108×180 pixel rectangle, but very often feel poor after having read the book: they very often look as having no noticable connection to the story. For me this feels like a deplorable devaluation of the writing, even more, the better the story is, adding to the story a taste of poor aesthetic temporary solution. Good literature deserves something far better to make it art as a whole thing. This realization ignited the spark and impulse to create something more satisfying. Something visual that lifts writing, even something as common as crime stories to a higher level by showing appreciation for the author´s work. Having looked through only three rolls of negatives I was surprised how perfectly -and how many- of my pictures would fit as crime story covers. Then the reply came from the publishing company where my classmate had sent my cover proposals/drafts. It was devastating: by solely using online picture data bases, (and the price levels established in the business), the editors were not willing to pay more than 50 Euro for a photo to make it into the cover of a new book, even if it would be a perfect fit to the story. Funny as it seems this didn´t have an effect on my verve to create book covers of my own at all and I threw myself into the work: into a new universe of inspiration where all photographic work done years ago suddenly turned out to be great starting point for whole new way to look at it- giving room for creation par excellence. Melting photos with text to create a completely new flavour and connecting it with “the story”. Not believing the slogan “a picture is worth more than a thousand words” I found this new project a perfect way to “release” single shots from their dramaturgical isolation. After finishing the exciting work on the first series of 16 I blurred the original letters and headlines. Not only to keep the secret until release of the Reingretchen book planned in 2013 but to pass the thrill of inspiration on to YOU!
- take a look at them on www.reingretchen.de or the whole bunch on this site.
More about me or the things I did last sum.., um, .. year.
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Listening while writing/translating today to:
Paul Simon: “Graceland” 1984
INXS: “The Greatest Hits”
various artists: “luxury house for an exciting vacation on san andrés islands” mixtrax 2001
Cypress Hill: “Black Sunday”, Columbia, 1993

Taking A Look Back On 2011

Of course a soodlepoodlian one! I´m trying to do a mix of comments on my pictures and a sort of creative résumé. Where do you find yourself as a photographer at the end of the first decade of the millennium? The internet and the carelessness of its users virtually made copyright disappear. As a result all kinds of creative professions have suffered a terrible loss of “reason-to-be” while almost every one in the industrialised world holds a camera and is able to publish their own “works” in a split-second on a worldwide base. I am writing a new line to stress on this last statement. For it is simply this – the new life of creative people.

Soodlepoodle Startbild 2011- Jansplash screen 2011- January Soodlepoodle Startbild 2011- Märzsplash screen 2011- March

Just look at the difference: between the antipodes such as Jeff Wall, who didn´t publish more than 100 pictures in his whole career, Anseln Adams (“Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop“) and the opposing modern agencies who throw out more than thirty thousand pics a month for online catalogues, or (status mid `11) the 79.000 pics , which every single of your then average 345 facebook friends can look at or as a novelty these days: can easily print. All sorts of approach towards that new world of pictures are possible: The disappointing feeling of being a mere drop in the ocean. The freedom to dispose over who you want to be. The big ol´ dream of fame and money. Needless to say: all of this takes place apart from the amateur shooting and uploading fury. Coming up strong and being well-received by big industries to acquire, ahem, free content trading with big exposure. In Germany for example it is stern.view, elsewhere there are sites such as panoramio or blog-platforms like mighty upcoming tumblr, not to mention facebook.

Soodlepoodle Startbild 2011- Jansplash screen 2011- May Soodlepoodle Startbild 2011- Märzsplash screen 2011- September

So back to my little slice of photographic turf: most of the time in 2011 I concentrated on maintaining or gently expanding the distribution of my postcards, always trying to make it more effective. A real sport indeed, this self-marketing thing. For me even a fun thing- inventing some “Verkaufshilfen” -a german word for “sales tools” from the world of retail- and simply trying out some new ideas from that field. Result: more promotional movements than tours with camera. Much more.

Soodlepoodle Startbild 2011- Oktobersplash screen 2011- October Soodlepoodle Startbild 2011- Junisplash screen 2011- June

As gruesome as this sounds for a guy holding a camera, its not bad with me. By the way a significant thought comes to my mind here, thinking of an interview I read about/with Sebastião Ribeiro Salgado, which revealed a permanently injured eye from too much clicking. Once again a sobering glimpse of the downside of being famous.. Deliberately having decided NOT to generate my main income from photography I´m free to do (or not) what I like. This is my point for 2011. And exactly my plans for the future.

Soodlepoodle Startbild 2011- Novembersplash screen 2011- October II Soodlepoodle Startbild 2011- Novembersplash screen 2011- November

This freedom comprises mainly research- who´d have thought that- surfing the internet, discover new pics, people, stories or artists and pursuing my new poison: blogging. The internet is an inexhaustible well of inspiration, education, flea-market-joys of discovering or simply growing, on themes of the personal improvements in life. So I´d like to conclude that writing became my second strongest occupation of the year 2011. You´re just looking at it ;-) But back to Soodlepoodle Photography: As you can easily see from the pictures on this page it is always the experimentation that thrills me the most. So nothing has changed since the last year. Be it the combining of text with photos/picture or the endless possibilities of digital picture processing. Even thoughts about doing a book or not. And, last but not least some thrilling projects with some other people leading to who knows..

Soodlepoodle Startbild 2011- Augustsplash screen 2011- August Soodlepoodle Startbild 2011- Dezembersplash screen 2011- Dezember

Another source of joy is talking to photographic colleagues, be it about artistic or personal topics. It is always very inspiring for me to discover each time anew how directly the character of the person causes his or her creative output. Then 2011 there was some world wide communication. For example with 500photographers.com inventing Dutch photographer Pieter Wisse and South Africa based wedding photographer Nikki Meyer. They both enhance and inspire my life- as I hopefully effect theirs in return- Thanks to all of You!

Soodlepoodle Startbild 2011- Julisplash screen 2011- July

In closing for this little résumé I´d like to post my immediate comment on a likewise high-flying question to my “aesthetical concept”, sort of vernissage-like small talk, asked for ask sake, not being too interested: “I simply avoid the cliche.”   (Read the the original article in German here. ) __________________________________________________________________________ music playing while writing:

Air: “Pocket Symphony” 2007, Virgin

ABC: “The Lexicon Of Love” 1981,Virgin

various artists: “Best Of 2Tone“, 1993 Chrysalis

Moby: “Hotel” (Ambient CD), 2005 Mute

and a funky self-stirred mix of bands and artists like:

Liquid Lounge, Rae & Christian feat The Pharcyte, d´Angelo, Megashira, Project 2000, Dzihan & Kamien, Q-tip, J-Live, Charles, Brand New Heavies feat. Main Source, MJ Cole, Jaffa , Llorca, Angie Stone, The Quiet Boys and the Underwolves and a heavily good-natured guitar-ska-emo mix with: Dr. Ring-Ding & The Senior Allstars , the Specials , Box Car Racer, Toasters, Kosho, The Toy Dollz, Bananafishbones, The Police, Fenix*TX, Uncle Kracker, Sugababes, New Order, Southern Culture On The Skids, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Elvis, Paul McCartney, Montana Chromeboy, The Toy Dollz/ W.A. Mozart, France Gall, Rea & Christian, Neu!, Laika and Rickie Lee Jones

English, please!

Hello everybody. Since my postcards reach numerous destinations outside the little German speaking world- my customers tell me so- here´s a little more information about Soodlepoodle doing photographic and other things..

I was born in 1964 in the northern part of Germany´s Black Forest and photographically I´m self-taught. It started 1980 with a first SLR camera, so that by 2012 I have a more than 30 year-experience, mainly in looking and while clicking improving my aesthetical senses. I work mainly free, much more as an artist than a custom photographer.

So read more about the postcard project starting in 2007, see some very good musicians live on stage here (micro picture series with some informations) or here (selected single shots from eight years concentrating on live oics), many from the region around Mannheim where I live now for more than 25 years on local stages or simply take a tour through my pictures and thoughts from last year, 2010, 2009 or the year before that ,which sadly is without any English comments but very self-explanatory. Enjoy!