Tuesday, December 28, 2010


He believes..
He says hes been waiting for me.
But, I'm sure I have heard that all before.
And his eyes are so sincere.
But I don't believe in anything.
And its takes effort to not be emotionless
when he stops my conversation
to tell me how beautiful he thinks I am.
And we have more in common than I could ever hope for
but I don't believe in anything.

And in this world of talkers and not do-ers..
someone who also wants to fall off the grid.

uh oh.


(Unfinished) Xmas Painting for the Mother.

I still hate painting flowers.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Early December

The photo place fucked up my photos.
But I sort of enjoy it.
And they were free.


graphite, ink, watercolor, coffee, rain

Saturday, December 11, 2010

35 mm slide film 2

be SCENE, not heard.

35 mm slide film

your just a mirror


tonight I stood in the falling snow
underneath a golden orange glow of city lights
as smoke whirled upup and away
and I watched the sun rise shades of pink

and it was stunning.

Thank you Maine for being beautiful.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Color Photo Final: 1000 Words

Artist Statement

Michelle Peterson

This semester started with a project on visual memory. I wanted to use my images to portray how memory appears in an incomplete, sometimes exaggerated story. It is something fragmented, and overlapping. The mind does not replay a memory in a linear, chronological order that the event may have happened in. Instead, memory is sporadic. It dulls over time but still has attention to specific, sometimes odd, details.
For the body of work, I experimented with different mediums, and kept my cameras by my side at all times. When an instance started to stand out to me and have a personal emotional value, I would shoot multiple frames of that moment. With the use of multiple angles I would then create a photographic collage, with the images projecting and receding into space at different levels. The color palled would be soft and subdued.

All the while focusing on this project, I would candidly shoot pictures of my husband, whom was often accompanying me on my adventures. These images started just as personal keepsakes. Hiding within each roll of film are a handful of these shots. Upon looking through my negatives at the near end of my shooting, I discovered these snapshot images of my husband packed an emotional punch for me. Not only that, but I found them the most aesthetically pleasing, and value them for their strong use of color.
I decided to use these images as the basis of my theme. I believe they are the images that best demonstrate my growth with the use of color mediums. Before this semester, I had never shot with color film before. I became interested in experimenting with different types of film. I shot with slide 120 film with my Holga camera and Canon film camera, and also shot with one time use disposable cameras with fixed flash. I was interested in the way colors would be portrayed differently in the different mediums. It is in the images of my husband, where I was less focused on capturing a defining moment to recreate in a photographic sense, that I was experimenting with my use of color.
One morning after deciding to change my final topic, my husband broke the news to me he wants a divorce. Nothing happened, other than his need to be free. He moved here, and doesn't feel like this place is home. In the weeks I decided to use these images of him, I had seen this coming, which is why the images are so important. They are a visual diary of the emotion I felt I saw in him. It is a body of work that is so personal in every aspect, but I hope that it has the power to show viewers the same feeling that I had derived being in the moment.  

Botticelli Paper Dolls!

Final for Art History


Judith's Return to Bethulia

La Primavera

Birth of Venus

Tuesday, December 7, 2010



Poetry: Final collection

'The Marilyn'- Neon Queen

I watch
The heavy curtains cloaking dull eyes,
when unveiled to a golden throne,
they regain their remarkable brilliance.
I feel
Swift hands still curiously cold
from devoted palms pressed firmly
in prayer on a shattered floor.
I know
All the familiar metaphors for hurt
drawn out by a quick moving hand
disguised with a masterful technique.
I fear
That the disjointed scraps of color
manifest a kingdom lost in ruin;
a haunting worship to the Neon Queen.

Our Trip

Four corners of what was once my bed
became a safe zone
feet cannot touch the floor,
and the door must stay shut.
Curiously cold as we curled over 
you ran your fingers
in the glistening creases on my skin.
Then we became mesmerized 
by the colors
hiding in the black and white photographs.
I told you
that your hand looked frightened, and
we watched the sunrise
lying backward on that bed
silently waiting in fear
for it all to mean so much less
in the morning.


With clear hearing
I composed and waited,
but decided it was nothing.

With one brush for each color,
just another discarded palimpsest
in undiscovered shades of blue.

Ephemeral conquest
obsession for a second-hand process,
the records had grown out of date.

Successful Foreshadowing

This boy has been broken.
Left intimidated by the selfish, distracted desertion
he knows,
this place is not home.
Where anonymous figures wander in disconnect
and giving fistfuls of smiles
he always walks home empty handed.

And I can feel his trembling heart rattling my bones
as the salty streaks drip down
from tiny squared reflections of myself
I feel helpless in thinking
that this boy is broken.

Friday, December 3, 2010


I bought "The book of Atheist Spirituality" by Andre Comte-Sponville.
It sounded interesting because of its contradicting title. I guess I sort of consider myself Agnostic or Existentialist or something. Atheism always sounded a little too extreme.

But the point in this book made a lot of sense to me.
Many Atheists still find resolution by believing in something, whether they realize it or not

and my belief is and has been love..
not that I even think I fully understand the word love, and what it means to each person,
forget about marriage.
but I believe
that two people have the capacity to be best friends and lovers, and can devote themselves to each other and be family, and be honest and true and care for one another
And all the while 'not believing anything' my belief was right there. I can't agree with the writings of absurdists who just believe in chaos and that people are these like lone wanderers

but I also understand love isn't for everybody, just as God isn't for everybody. People believe in God and it helps them and guides them. Well I have chosen love above all things and I will continue to choose love and believe in people.

people are their actions, in the words of Sartre. 

I'm now getting divorced. It is the last thing I would have wanted but it doesn't change any of these realizations I've been developing over the last few weeks. It doesn't change how I feel, and it doesn't change the commitment I made to unconditionally love someone. Forget about the marriage, the tradition, is isn't about that anymore and never really was. It was about devotion.

And just because that love isn't returned doesn't mean I don't have to love. And I'm ok with it, and I will create and inspire and continue to learn and think for myself.

I (still) do.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010


so I decided to try printing some photos on fabrics that are not canvas. I went to the thrift store to find some old table cloths or dresses or something, I didnt really have anything specific in mind. I thought I would easily find something, but ended up leaving empty handed after a lot of wandering. There was nothing about those fabrics that interested me.

Last year, I searched alleyways for abandoned couches and tore off huge squares of fabric to paint on and stretch on canvas. There was something about these materials I was drawn to. They are lived in, they are worn. Things happened on this furniture, they played an important role in creating a home. Memories were made, people came together, maybe even made love on it. There is something so intimate and personal about this deserted fabric left in the cold.

The piece of fabric above I discovered near my apartment. I cut it off of a stained queen size mattress, and soaked it in bleach for hours. Unfortunately, it didn't change the appearance of the surface (which I was hoping for) but it did sterilize it.

I found out later that this material is actually made from plastic fibers so I really don't know how the photo emulsion will adhere to it. But I will try it!

Friday, November 19, 2010


Worked on this painting from last year that I never finished.

Still not done of course.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Experimenting in color

A small collection of photos for my color photo class. My original intent for this class was to focus on the subject of visual memory, as I am doing with my film work, to help me get a better grasp of the concept from a color perspective. The project started out fine until I discovered slide film and got lost in the new medium to the point where my original idea kind of faded away, and I began to focus more on just shooting. Many of the images circle around my husband and my relationship with him and friends, and the images of him are some of my favorite. I may, for once, just keep it simple. My new subject matter may just be candid extended portraits of him with focus on color and tonality to create a mood. I really just feel like doing this simple and directly. Save my shenanigans for the darkroom. I will post more pictures soon.

 Kodak disposable

 Kodak disposable
 Tmax100 35mm
 Kodak disposable
Kodak disposable

Tmax100 35mm with paper filer over lens

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


click me get a closer look

I stretched one of my latest prints over a canvas frame.
On the surface, I first added water based black ink followed by a bleach bath applied with a brush.
I then added black oil paint to emphasize some lines, and used oil paint to add some tones.
There is also stencil work, and powdered graphite added to shadows to give a bit of shine.
And finally, layers of wax.

loving it.

Friday, November 5, 2010


borrowed muse

"I ran into an old friend on the street he said everytime he saw me I looked so different, he hardly knew who I was, do you think  thats true? Do you?"

Thursday, November 4, 2010


prints came out relatively well. Still on the low contrast side, and the emulsion is still a bit spotty, but I'm pretty happy with these and I think they give me a lot to work with.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


For the last three weeks, Monday night has been all nighter night at my place for doing art. It sounds like torture but I actually love it and how productive it always is. Did some painting in addition to preparing more canvases and a short writing assignment.

come on, click on it to see it bigger.

good morning sleepyheads.


Worked in the darkroom open to close on Sunday. ALL DAY.
With no prints to show for it.

The emulsion/prints lifted off in the developing process. My conclusion is that emulsion needs time to set. I left emulsion in the darkroom for 2 days for my last printing, and there was no lifting. It all stayed intact. Then Sunday, I did same day emulsion and printing. It was dry but no go. I think it needs time to settle. I checked the liquid light directions and it said you can print on it still tacky, so I figured a just-dried surface would work. Nope.

new hints to remember:
1. dont use darkroom boxes, canvas needs circulating air for drying
2. bring a fan for small spaces
3. at least 24 hour settling period for emulsion, to two days (however 2 days did show some greying in the emulsion from time)
4. Apply emulsion very thickly and let sit flat for about ten minutes before hanging on a wall to dry longer.
5. If print comes out like shit, you still want to make use of that canvas and expensive oil gesso, so run the garbage print in hot water and rub the image off. Let dry and re-use. 

This was a sad day because I thought I had finally figured this out.

Already have new emulsion "setting".

Friday, October 29, 2010


Painted some of the form back in to the above shitty print I got this week.
I'm starting to think it might not be garbage.

And I still keep adding paint this one.

this print came out really strange, but my teacher really likes it as is.
So im not allowed to touch it anymore.

And this one.. well i dont know. Again i was thinking trash, but of course the teacher loves it. I wasnt happy with how its coming out.