“[...]the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”"
Julie Blackmon is one of the mad ones. She's kind and brilliant. I love how her mind can create such layered stories. I've admired her for so long and it was a dream come true to take a workshop from her. I had wanted to take Julie's class last year and we couldn't quite fit it in the schedule. So finally at long last I was sitting in the courtyard of the Korakia with a handful of other artists and Julie.
Julie is a fine art portrait artist and I would say her work can best be described as a satirical look at domestic life in the midwest. She draws inspiration from so many painters and places it was so nice to get to be in her brain and see how she creates her magic. I hope some of her magic rubs off on me and adds a new ingredient to my creative vision. Isn't that what we are all really looking for? I know I'm always looking to add color, movement, a new sense of time and space to my work. She's really inspired by 17th Century Dutch and Flemish paintings of domestic life. My photographic journey has always been fueled by paintings as well, mostly Expressionism, Abstract Expressionism, and the Bay Area Figurative Movement. I think our shared love of paintings is one of the things that makes her work so compelling to me. As a teacher she's laid back and cool and really open to sharing her process with us. She has a beautiful color palette and a certain optimism that I'm drawn to. If you are thinking of taking a workshop I would highly suggest Julie's. The class also came with the added bonus of meeting some really cool photographers. The critiques were a lot of fun, I loved seeing everyone's work. I left wanting to shoot every single day and not wanting to do any adulting - only fun. If I'm honest it took me a few days to find my balance again ha ha.
Here are a few of my impressions of Julie Blackmon's class Day 1 at the Palm Springs Photo Festival.