All images and text on this blog are copyright Gabrielle Fine unless otherwise noted. Use without permission is a violation of copyright law. Please contact the artist to obtain permission for any use (commercial or otherwise.) Thank you.

Monday, December 31, 2007

2008 Photo Resolutions (no pun intended)

Originally posted on the Photojojo forum:

1. Update and revamp website.
2. Find out which self-publishing service really is the best, then actually use it to self-publish my photo book.
3. Apply for the Center for Documentary Studies' First Book Prize in Photography.
4. Get to know my new Diana camera!
6. Do some Polaroid transfers (I know, these are so 1995, but I only recently acquired the slide printer!)
7. Organize digital backup system and also organize negative storage system.
8. Scan more negatives and old family photos.
9. Try out the Super-8 camera I found.
10. HDR. Figure it out.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Winter show postcard

Winter show postcard
Originally uploaded by ellafine
Winter's Sequel

A holiday art show

Saturday, December 8th
6-9 PM

Abraxus Books
5711 24th Ave NW
Seattle, Wa


(I'm only posting this now because I assume no one reads my blog who wouldn't have received the announcement already. But I realized I ought to post it before the show actually starts.)

Monday, November 26, 2007

behind the scenes

behind the scenes
Originally uploaded by yelahneb
I get down and dirty for my art.

Photo by Ben Haley.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Fall graveyard photo shoot

Here's what I did yesterday.

Joriel "hand-colored"

©GFine. Model: Joriel

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Stumptown Comics Fest

Sept. 29-30, Portland, OR. Tabling with Puddleville Graphic Novel Collective.

Puddleville power!
More pictures

Where to begin?

For starters, I have a confession: This was the first comic con of any kind that I have actually attended. How can this be, you may ask? Growing up in the Bay Area, with a healthy interest in comics from my teen years forward...well, it just seems "inconceivable!" But it's true. I have been to other types of conventions and festivals, of course. I did come close to attending APE in 1994 when my best friend at the time and I completed our first zine...but that is another story altogether.

In any case, it was fantastic. What a rush to be in a huge room surrounded by so much talent, motivation and dedication. It made me want to start drawing 100 comics at once. At the same time I was totally overwhelmed by ideas and also a little intimidated. However, the atmosphere at Stumptown was really friendly, supportive and DIY-focused. Some big names were there, such as Peter Bagge and Dark Horse Comics, but the main attraction for me was the individuals and groups who displayed their self-published work.

Here's a list of the people I bought stuff from, or picked up a postcard from, or otherwise admired:

B.T. Livermore/Robopocalypse Collective

Joshua Kemble

Sarah Oleksyk

Miriam Libicki

Matt Silady

Chris Yates/Playground Ghosts

Dylan Meconis

Girl Wonder

Shaenon K. Garrity

Dragon Green

That was just a sampling, really. It was just a feast for the eyes: Art, art everywhere!

As for Puddleville, I think we did well, just based on observation. A lot of people stopped at our table, we sold many copies of our Issue #1 (a compilation), and lots of buttons (buttons were a big hit. Oh, and I need a button making machine. Now.) It felt really good to be a part of that. APE next stop, I hope!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Salon of Shame

For something a little different, before the Salon of Shame last night I took portraits of everyone with their assorted journals/diaries/random papers. Here I am with my journals from ages 17 and 19:


Live 105, yo!

Lots more here. Take a look. You know you want to. It's so totally awesome.

Total props to Ariel for starting this event. It's doubled in size since the last time I attended, and regularly sells out! It is so much fun. I highly recommend it-whether you're bold enough to read, or just want to laugh your ass off. I believe there are similar events in other cities-like Cringe in NY, which I think is the original?-so if you aren't a Seattleite, see if there's one in your area.

Friday, July 06, 2007

PDX wrap-up

Boy, regular life really takes over, especially when you get home from a trip. Well, I should probably conclude my postings on Portland with some kind of wrap-up or overview.

First, possibly my favorite picture (and it's getting a lot of hits on Flickr too):

Jesus Saves Fever (again)

taken with film!

I'm quite fond of the few film shots I took. Here's one of me in my fab guesthouse room:

self portrait in Portland

So, Scott McCloud. The class was great, of course. It was really useful, I took a lot of notes...right now it's kind of a big blur. The things he says about comics are just awesome. He really does validate it as an art form in its own right. I've defended it as such in the past, but standing in a class listening to Scott critiquing our work, it makes perfect sense and doesn't even seem to be worth arguing about. Of course its art. It's pictures used to communicate a story and/or an idea.
One quote that stands out that I did write down: Gesture (in a drawing) ideals with "the calligraphy of human interaction."
I love the way he phrases things and I really wish I just had a recording or transcript of everything he said. His lectures are so great, informative and entertaining, and I highly recommend going if he pops up in your area (Californians take note-he's hitting your state in August!)

I think I may have mentioned already how cool it is that Scott is touring with his wife and two girls. I am insanely envious of his daughters of the experiences they are having at such a young age. I'm sure it is much more educational than being stuck in a regular school for another year. (Although I imagine that in a few ways they are looking forward to returning to real school and regular life, as exciting as it is to be on the road.) Sky, his eldest, is especially poised and confident for a girl her age. (Forgive me, I have limited interactions with teenagers, and most of the time it seems like they don't want to talk to me at all.) I ran into her at a gelato shop by Powell's and she was really friendly and outgoing. (I was just amazed that she talked to me.) Her mom was there too, and her cousin, and they were all super friendly and ended up making me feel like I was the celebrity, even though I had started the conversation by saying, "Uh, you're the McClouds, I saw you on Livejournal!" yeah. They're the type of folks you feel at ease with right away and end up wanting to talk to them and hang out with them for hours. (Unfortunately, that isn't possible. If we all got to hang out with the McClouds as much as we wanted to, they would never get to sleep.)

Here's Sky doing her highly entertaining and visually impressive Keynote presentation at the lecture (I won't tell you what it's about, in case you get to see it.)

Sky introduces her family

(it really helps with this one if you click on it and go to the bigger version.)

Here's Scott in class, looking at my work (and smiling! He likes it! eeeeeeeeg!)

Scott likes my work

He really is a nice, friendly, down to earth kinda guy, with a lot of good things to say and an infectious enthusiasm for comics. It was so much fun learning from him.

Ok. Anything else? Things really shifted into high gear as soon as he got to town. Before I knew it the whole thing was over and I was back on the train. (Literally-I had to rush right from class, which was technically over but of course everyone was staying longer, to the train station.) I did go to stay with Jessa, an old friend, in North Portland for the last 2 nights of my visit. She and I spent a lot of quality time catching up and doing some more sightseeing (I gladly accepted her driving me around, after spending most of the week on foot. Walking builds character and all, but I was ready for a break. Plus, it enabled me to go see some things that I had ruled out previously because they were too out of the way to get to on foot/by bus.)
Speaking of busses, did I mention that I was able to purchase a one-week bus pass to use on the bus, streetcar, and MAX line? That was super-cool, convenient, and saved me a lot of money. I am pretty impressed with the transit system. It may not be the best ever, but it's better by far than Seattle's. I bitch about Seattle's transit a lot, but the thing is, after spending a week in Portland, I've concluded that it's partly just the way Seattle is laid out and there's not much that can be done about that. So I've stopped blaming as much the "powers that be" or the voting public (although I still think we take way too long to actually implement ideas. Jessa said that she thought the difference was that while Seattle takes forever to figure out whether or not something is the right solution, in Portland they just go ahead and build it even if it is the wrong one. She's lived in both cities, by the way.)

Here are some things I saw while driving around with Jessa:

City of Roses

A sea of roses in Ladd's Addition (a uniquely constructed neighborhood-the streets run out from a central point, instead of a grid-look at a map to see what I'm talking about. It's in the SE quadrant just north of SE Division, starting at 12th.)

Light bulbs

A lightbulb shop

Beverly Cleary statue garden

The Beverly Cleary tribute fountain in Grant Park

Outside Vita

Some nice evening light on NE Alberta.

As usual, click on any of the photos to be taken to much more...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Day 4

It. Is. Hot. I'm sitting in my room in front of the (wonderful wonderful) air conditioner (one of those little window units.) I had to skip out of the afternoon lectures because I (stupidly) wore myself out walking around downtown (with a backpack full of books from Powell's...heh) When I got back here at 5 it was 88 degrees. Yikes. No wonder I felt like I was dying.
I have no heat tolerance anymore. Not that I had much to begin with...

Anyway. Now that I am feeling well-rested, there are so many things I want to do, but of course most of them I can't do because of the heat. At some point I'm going to have to venture out to procure food. *whine* I think I'll hit up that sushi place again.

Here are some more highlights from yesterday, pics from today will be posted later (and more on this actual educational thing I'm supposed to be attending...)

statue of umbrella guy

Stumptown coffee

Hot Lips pizza

Monday, June 25, 2007

Day 3

Ugggggh. Sleep did not work out. Again. After waking up every 2 hours again, I woke up at 5:30 and could not get back to sleep. At all. Finally got out of bed around 7, caught an earlier bus downtown and went to Stumptown for coffee. Which may or may not have been a good idea. Anyway, I made it through class, had some decent pizza for lunch and then on the afternoon break I prowled around the center of downtown, or what my map informed me is the "Cultural District." The art museum and the Oregon Historical Society were both closed on Mondays, but the park was nice, and riding the streetcar was fun. It was really quick to get from the NW to the SW end. (Seattle, take note.)
I'm not sure where I got the energy to do all that. After wanting to take a nap in the afternoon lectures (they weren't boring-I just am too tired!) I walked down to Powell's and checked out their graphic novel section, then figured out where Voodoo Donuts is (and that they are now open 24 hours, so I'm going there first thing in the morning) and found the Middle Eastern place where we ate last time we were here. It was very good. I had a combo plate with hummus, baba ghanouj, falafels, tahini, tabouli, stuffed grape leaves and yogurt cucumber salad.


More later...

Portland Day 2 (6/24)

Well, I didn't sleep too well last night. I fell asleep quickly, but I kept waking up every 2 hours. Like clockwork. It was weird. I've heard that a human needs to get at least 3 hours of uninterrupted sleep in order for it to be thoroughly restful. So I didn't get that. One other thing: It is charming that there is a large tree directly above skylight. I woke sometime between 4 and 5 to the sound of birdsong quite near. I thought "oh, how nice, birds in the morning." 20 minutes later, I thought, "I am going to kill that bird."
(Figure of speech. I wouldn't really kill a bird. Really. Honestly.)

Anyway, I was only operating on 1/2 or maybe 2/3 of a tank, so to speak, when I boarded a bus at 8:30 am. It was pretty easy to get to the Pearl district. After I arrived at class it was revealed that in addition to our class schedule, which meets mostly in the mornings, there would be several lectures offered in the afternoons. So what I thought was going to be a 1/2 day turned out to be a full day. (It doesn't matter, because Alex flaked anyway, although I left him 2 messages like a stalker.) I wasn't crazy about all the lecture offerings and considered going back up to the guesthouse for some of them, but ended up just crashing in the lounge area at the school, in a loft with comfy couches where I swapped life stories with one bright-eyed junior. Ah, college. This rest period did me good, as I was able to rally myself for the last lecture of the day, on webcomics, which was very useful and informative. (Links to follow.)

Also, they treated us to brunch, which was really awesome. I had this wild salmon hash with poached eggs. It was quite good, as was conversation at the table. This girl and I were eyeing each other in class and doing the "you look familiar" thing, well it turns out she lived in Oly while I was there and she is the creator of Tammytown, the movie, which I attended a fundraiser fashion show for at Capitol Theater in 2000. (I know that last sentence was awkward, but I totally don't care.) Another Oly/Portland connection.

For dinner, I walked up the street from the guesthouse to a restaurant I noticed yesterday which featured organic food of various cuisines. I had an Indian dinner which was quite good-a combo of Subji (cabbage, potatoes and peas sauteed in garlic, ginger and cumin), Dal (not as mushy as some dals I've had, with whole kidney beans, very flavorful-although I found the addition of raw red onions on top to be distracting rather than complementary, although normally I love me some raw onions.), with rice, chapati, mint chutney, and raita, and a tasty rice pudding. It was all served on a metal plate with each thing in a small individual metal bowl. At first I thought this was just supposed to be cutesy presentation, but then I realized it kept each individual portion warm, which was appreciated. Also, they were willing to cook it mild, (which means I could actually taste my food), and since the chutney was spicy I could add a bit of heat if I wanted. Yum.
It's also fun to get your check and have it be the same price as your food. I know if you live here they take the tax out in other ways, but as a visitor, it's always a nice surprise.

Full and content, it's time for me to go to bed for a big day tomorrow, all day and evening downtown.

Portland, Day 1 (written 6/23)

In Portland for the Pacific Northwest College of Art's Graphic Novel Intensive, a week of classes, lectures and workshops. I am having so much fun here, and it's only been 1/2 a day.
The train ride down was uneventful if boring and cramped (I ended up in one of those seats facing another set of seats) and rather filled with squalling childrens, but ah well. Took a taxi from the station 'cause I was so zonked (couldn't sleep well last night, natch) to my lovely little guest house! This place is so adorable. All the rooms are named after authors (well-except Elliott Smith. But I think the point is that they're all local.) I'm in the Ken Kesey. I have a skylight above my bed!

Skylight over bed!!

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

After attempting to nap for a bit, and chatting with the proprietor in the lovely kitchen...


...I then walked several blocks up to Hawthorne to look for food. After walking back and forth a few times in indecisiveness (and a detour into Powell's on Hawthorne where I gave in and bought Animal, Vegetable, Miracle rather than waiting for the 400 people ahead of me on the library list-Yes, I have been in Portland for fewer than 24 hours and have already bought a book), I found a little sushi place on a sidestreet that turned out to be a fantastic find. They had a delicious salmon skin salad that consisted of salmon skin pieces (a generous amount), cucumbers, asparagus spears, julienned carrots and green onions in a yummy sesame vinaigrette. I also had an unagi roll which was decent, and also notable for the fact that it was in actual bite size pieces. I hate it when sushi is too big to fit in one bite.

Anyway, I then made my way back down to Division and to Food Fight, a fabulous little food store where everything is vegan, and purchased some snacks and soymilk. Now I am back in my room with the skylight open, feeling the fresh breeze and watching the tree sway and the clouds roll by.

View out of the skylight

The weather is fantastic today-kinda warm and humid (but only if you're walking a lot) but with a great breeze, lots of variations of clouds and sun, and for a while there it was raining with the sun out. I love summer rain. There was some lightning too!

It's raining

It's going to be an early night for me because I am so tired and I have to get up fairly early tomorrow and the adventure of taking the bus downtown, etc. I have class until noon and then I will hopefully hook up with Alex from Stumptown Coffee, who will hopefully show me some cool stuff to do on a Sunday.

Note: Click on any picture for a link to even more pictures.
Pictures from the train trip down will come later, as I shot only film.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

From foto to illo, what a strange trip it's been...

Well, what can I say. Busybusybusy. Home stretch of class; 2 weeks until major portfolio review and 4 weeks until it is all over. This Saturday is the Western Washington SCBWI's annual conference in Bellevue, where I will be rubbing elbows with the likes of Paul O. Zelinsky and Bruce Coville. (Well, I probably won't get to rub their elbows, but maybe I can get their autographs.) And June, one week in Portland to attend the Graphic Novel Intensive at Pacific Northwest College of Art, featuring the illustrious (ha ha) Scott McCloud!

Things have been picking up at a fast clip, in other words.

The photography has basically been put on hold...well, not from the point of view of my Flickr account, where I am uploading shots constantly...but that's a different kind of shooting from the work I used to do. It's gratifying, it appeases (for now) the part of me that has to always be getting the good shots, non stop (and this method is certainly easier on the budget than shooting an equivalent amount of film and then processing it.) Who knows when I will return to more serious traditional photography...perhaps someday in the near future I will have an actual house with a basement or shed where I can build a darkroom. Keep your fingers crossed for me...

Revamped the website; now the home page features a choice! You can either go and view my photography (which currently features the exact same site as before, originally designed by the lovely staceyb of frenettik) or you can follow the link to illustration, which currently leads...well, back here, or rather to my other blog. Soon I'm going to create a complete illustration site, but for now I have to focus on getting the portfolio ready, and it's enough that I just have something for people to look at when they visit my site.

Back to work!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

My first photo montage

My first photo montage
Originally uploaded by ellafine.
This is what I did in class today.

This class is taught by the amazing David Julian. The class is at Luminousworks.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Gone partly digital...

Exhibit: A. Film!!


Nothing like picking up all the film nobody wants anymore, for 1/2 price!

B. Film and a Kodak Duaflex! ($15!)


C. Behold the mighty DIGITAL SLR!

Behold the mighty Canon EOS Rebel

(You cannot resist the dark side. Join us now. Resistance is futile. Etc.)
(I should probably explain that this is my first digital SLR, and I held out for a long time on taking this step. But resistance proved futile. However! Film is still not dead. Pictures to come later, as I have to go up to CompUSA now and get the memory card.)


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Gargoyles show

Getting ready for this show at Gargoyles, I feel a little sad. I've always wanted to show there-that is to say, I've had some work for sale in the store on and off over the years, but I believe it wasn't until recently that they started to have regular artist shows with receptions-part of the U-District's Artwalk. But I've always felt that my art fit in so well in their atmosphere. It's going to be great fun just to hang out there for 4 hours amongst all the candles, spooky gargoyle statues, fairies, and other ethereal art.
So why am I sad? I feel like this is definitely going to be my last show for a while; I have a lot to keep up with in terms of classes and projects. I'm learning new things and I just don't have the time and energy to do this on a regular basis right now. But I feel like an era is ending (well, I don't want to sound too dramatic): I'm getting more into digital shooting (yes, the girl with the "Film Is Not Dead" t-shirt-and no, I still don't think it's dead) and into graphic design and illustration. At least, that's the plan for now; we'll see where it leads. As usual, nothing in life is guaranteed.
The other thing I've realized is that what "having a show" means for me has got to change. It's become more of a time and money gobbler than anything else. It may be a good way to self-promote, but for me that's usually all it does. I really hope my efforts have led to someone noticing my work who might eventually buy some or make some connection for me that takes me somewhere. But for now, it's becoming impractical. And I've gotten tired of it. I'm tired of framing (dear god, there must be a way to present and protect my work without the old mat/glass/wood frame!) and lugging around heavy framed work (which is then difficult to show people or scan without removing it from the frame, which is a big deal.) I'm tired of plunking down $100 for a bunch of postcards and then having them turn out crappy (yes, I need to learn more about the output side of digital.) I'm tired of standing for 3-4 hours and having people wander by and say "Oh, I love your work" and then move on.
Ok, I guess I'm coming off as bitter, which is not what I'm intending. I'm trying to be pragmatic. The next time I have a show, I really want it to be in a different situation on different terms (and maybe with an audience who is actually prepared to buy some art.)
I feel sad because I haven't done much darkroom printing, I'm afraid that it's going to fall by the wayside, and even if this isn't my Last Show, it is the last time I will show this work. I've been putting up the same stuff-with the addition of a few new pieces, but the same body of work-for 2 years now. No, over 2 years. Wow. Anyway, the same old thing gets tired after a while, and of course I want to keep my work fresh and new. I just have no idea what direction it will take next. Gargoyles seems like a fitting farewell to this particular body of work; not that I will give up on it entirely, but it really does seem time to explore other directions for a while.