All the Pretty

by

All the pretty, for you my sweet.

My heart just soared tonight as I crested the hill at Ulloa Street and 41st Avenue in the Outer Sunset.

The light.

It was pure gold.

Literally standing bathed in the golden hour.

I felt like it was mine for the taking and I am so glad I slipped my camera in my bag before I headed out.

Sunset

Sunset, Ulloa Street at 41st Avenue

Especially as I had lunch with a new friend in Cole Valley today, let me stop and give a quick shout out to Zasie, didn’t know you had that cute little patio happening, I will be catching more action there.  So lovely, especially on a day with no fog and warm sun scattering the leaves along the sidewalk.

I love Indian Summer in San Francisco.

I felt pretty.

They sky felt pretty.

The sun felt pretty damn good on my skin.

Heck, I just realized that I ate outside twice today, dinner with my friend and her daughter on the patio behind the house, and lunch on the patio at Zasie, not bad for San Francisco.

In fact, I have dined al fresco more meals since I moved here than I have any where else I have lived in the city.

Maybe I will take my lunch down to the beach tomorrow.

I have the day off.

Anyone want to go to the beach?

I will be taking more photographs.

I did not have my laptop with me to share the photos I was approached about while I was at Burning Man, but we did sit at Zasie and then later at La Boulange, and talk about Burning Man, photography, art, artists, New York, LA, Paris, the art scene, photographers we both admired.

I got the gist for the project he would like me to tackle and we will be setting up another time to go over my photos and have him choose some for the site.

I am quite excited.

I am also feeling some nice validation.

The way he spoke, the way he spoke about how I witness my world and my art, I felt like I was being acknowledged as an artist.

Which I am.

Yeah, I know, y’all got that nanny thing at the forefront of your minds.

But I am a creative and I do create and I told myself a long, long time ago that I was not the one with talent in my family for art.

You betcha.

She’s a smart one, that Carmen, but her sister’s the artist.

And the pretty one.

Today, well, I felt pretty, how could I not, swaddled in the light from the sun, that golden orb swinging low over the sea draping the world in a blanket of flaxen light.

Sky Light

Gold

And I felt like an artist.

I spoke about what I do, how I work, where my inspirations come from, how I frame my shots.

I am an amateur and there is a long road ahead of me with the photography, with the writing as well, but how nice is that?

I have a long road to meander down, pointing my camera at the world.

My favorite French film is La Petite Voleuse.

There are things about it that captivated me when I first saw it.

It tasted like real popcorn hot and drizzled with real butter fat, and sweet Pepsi in a paper cup chock full of crushed ice, and a Lindt dark chocolate bar, they sold the Swiss chocolate at the Majestic on King Street in Madison, WI, where I saw the movie.

I was seventeen.

I wanted to be the little thief, not necessarily the life that she came from, it smacked a little too close to mine, but the escape, the romance, the taking of photographs.

The heroine rides off on her own into her own sunset, along the coast, with a camera from a shop with promises to never steal anything else again, but the images she takes with that camera.

I imagine myself as that girl.

Riding along, perhaps not in the sidecar or a vintage motorcycle with my debonair, skinny, French boyfriend (although I do find myself whistling the little snatch of song he whistles to her the first time he presents her with a pair of sunglasses he has swiped from a street vendor while she sits in an outdoor cafe sipping from her white bowl of cafe au lait), but on my bicycle, taking photographs of the world.

Just like I did not know where I was going with this blog when I started it, I don’t know where I am going with the camera, but it does something to me, something gets inwardly re-arranged when I frame up the shot and something comes over me when I look back at the image and I edit it down.

I cannot quite describe it, but it feels right.

So I feel pretty with possibility and light and the gold dusted sand dunes on Ocean Beach which beckon to me to walk them and take more pictures, take more images and see what comes of it all.

Nothing may.

If only for the pure enjoyment of it all.

Which is ultimately what artists do, right?

I don’t write this blog for you.

I write this blog for me.

I look everyday at the stats and who is reading what, but I don’t write for the audience, that you are along for the ride is a thrill and a pleasure, but the stories are mine, the images too.

I create for me.

I love for me.

I love me as an artist.

I love that I get to be an artist.

I still may wake up tomorrow and doubt the veracity of it, but as I hear it said more and more and I type away every night, and scribble away every morning, as I point what ever camera I have on me toward the image that captures where I am exactly at this moment, a kind of poetry, I confirm it with in.

I am just a channel.

A conduit.

Another way for the beauty to come out and across from somewhere and something unknown, a core of unrelenting power and love.

My truth.

My art.

My words.

My photographs.

My pretty.

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