chantal stone photography: the blog

May 31, 2006

It’s in the Reclaiming

Filed under: News — chantal @ 2:08 am

It’s nearly 2am so the thoughts may not make much sense, but it’s what’s on my mind at the moment…..

It’s like how sometimes we’re attracted to certain music, or certain movies, or certain scenes. I can’t be the only person who feels this. For instance, I’ll hear a certain song, and somewhere deep within me I feel it. And it’s more than just really liking that specific piece of music. It’s kind of like whatever that particular song is, is part of me, on some deeper level.

It’s a feeling of familiarity.

I get it most times through songs. But sometimes through movies, or works of art. There’s a message somewhere in all of it. And I think that if I can somehow, someway piece it all together, eventually I will gain a better understanding of myself, and how I fit into the world.

Just the knowing that I am part of something greater than myself is only partially fulfilling. The rest comes from the search.

And that’s what my art is for me….a documentation of the search.

I feel like there are fragments of me scattered about. I get a sense of it sometimes through song, through dance, through literature. But I get a hold of it through my photography.

It’s in the reclaiming, that I feel most alive.


May 28, 2006

Ted Strickland for Governor of OH

Filed under: News — chantal @ 12:37 pm

Friday night I attended my first political fundraiser, for Ted Strickland, the Democratic candidate for governor, here in Ohio. I didn’t know much about him beforehand, but once I decided to volunteer my time to the OH Democratic Party, I thought it would be a good idea to learn a thing or two about the man. I’ll do another write-up about his politics, and my thoughts at a later time.

For now, I just wanted to mention this particular event. It was held at the home of Charles and Sunny Allen, in Worthington, OH. They have a beautiful home, full with warmth, art and books. I did not know either of them before this event, I was invited by the ward leader of the OH Dems, Chuck Wolfe. But Sunny and Charles did a tremendous job of making each of their guests, including me, feel very welcome in their home.

May 17, 2006

Law & Order and My One True Self

Filed under: News — chantal @ 10:20 pm

I don’t think I can watch Law & Order anymore, even though it’s been one of my favorite shows for years. I saw the beginning of an episode tonight that was just too upsetting. Because of some illegal dealings, a man’s entire family was brutally and viciously murdered, including his two children, one of which was a little girl around the age of eight.

It upset me a great deal.

I once read somewhere, and I don’t recall where exactly, that there are different levels to the human brain. And the deepest level is the one that connects us to our most primal selves. When one probes deep within oneself, I’m assuming through deep introspection, self-reflection, mediation, and self-awareness, one can truly begin to connect with the true level of self.

I read that at this level is where and how we process the things that we see as actual personal experiences. Meaning that when we witness an event, it’s as if it were happening to us personally. This can be a good thing, when the events being experienced are pleasant and good. However, it can be traumatizing when the event is violent. I suspect that this served a greater purpose early on in our evolution. By experiencing the feelings of others through witnessed occurrences, early humans were connected to each other, therefore creating protective bonds, families, communities, and later, societies.

The problem with society now is that we have become disconnected with our true selves. We no longer recognize the internal mechanism that allows us to feel the joy, pain and sorrows of those around us. And it makes so much sense too. How else could we as a society let hundreds of thousands of people be slaughtered, maimed, killed and starved to death every day in places like Sudan, just as an example?

The mechanism within us that allowed us to empathize with the pain and suffering of another person has been re-programmed to instead of processing violent acts as something horrific, to now process as entertainment. And just look at how popular violent television shows, movies and video games are.

But there are some of us who, through deep thought, introspection, meditation and prayer, and self-awareness, are becoming more and more in touch with our true selves. It’s a process to set the evolutionary mechanisms deep within our hearts, souls and brains, right. It’s a conscious effort, everyday, to look within ones self and “yes, this is who I am…human”.

And this is why I can’t watch Law & Order anymore. I felt the agony of that eight year old little girl, and it was just too painful for me to bare.

May 15, 2006

Searching For Inspiration

Filed under: News — chantal @ 12:14 pm

As an artist, of sorts, I often feel the undeniable urge to create. My medium of choice is photography, of course, but I also enjoy writing, and occasionally sketching and painting. For the most part, as long as I am doing something creative, my soul feels nourished.

The problem is, often, the urge to create outweighs my inspiration. What a peculiar feeling it is, to do yearn to do something, anything, really, yet have no idea what it is I want to do.

Most of the time, when I feel this way, I’ll take my camera and my three yr old daughter, and head out to the park. We might go for a long stroll and I’ll snap pictures of the ducks in the pond, maybe some geese, or the trees reflecting on the water. Things like this will often catch my eye. And naturally, I’ll shoot a roll or two of simply just my daughter playing. Her smile forever etched in my heart.

But if the creative inspiration I’m searching for eludes me, most times these pictures look just like snapshots at the park, which is what they are, nothing to write home about.

I’m usually full of creative ideas of projects I’d like to pursue, but my frustration lies when the ideas become jumbled in my head. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed, and I just don’t know where to begin, so I end up doing nothing.

My challenge is learning to siphon through the clogged mess of ideas in my head, and focus on one thing. I crave a certain spark of inspiration. It’s eluding me at the moment.

May 14, 2006

May 14, 2006…Honoring My Mother; Remembering My Father

Filed under: News — chantal @ 10:16 am

Today is Mother’s Day, and I plan to honor my mother, just like everyone else. We’re going to go to church, then afterwards, she’s having dinner here at my house, with me, my husband and children, and my in-laws, as well. (Hubby and I were smart, we get both mothers taken care of at once.)

I will tell my mother I love her, and how much she means to me. We’ll laugh and smile, and enjoy the afternoon together.

My children already gave me my Mother’s Day gift this morning. They made me breakfast in bed-the perfect cup of coffee (who knew my 10yr old was such a great barista?!), toast, dry cereal and a cup of fruit cocktail. Then they let me sleep for an extra hour. What great kids.

But underneath all of this apparent happiness and joy, lies tiny stream of sadness.

Today is my father’s 86th birthday. He passed away in 2000.

Every few years Mother’s Day will fall on the 14th. I remember when I was a kid, how convenient it seemed to be because we would all go over to my grandmother’s house, and celebrate Mother’s Day and my Dad’s birthday all together. Those were special times, I remember since it was a “double holiday”, more extended family members would attend. My grandmother always made my father’s favorite caramel cake, using a recipe I have yet to be able to replicate.

My father was an interesting and amazing man. He led a long and full life, and did more in his 80 years than four men put together. He lived through the depression, went to seminary school in Florida and studied architecture in NYC. He fought in World War II, the Korean War, and later retired from the US Army after 26 years of service. He was a private investigator, then became a self-taught heating and cooling expert. He went back to school and earned his degree to teach heating and cooling at a vocational high school, from which he retired in 1990 at the age of 70.

He was intelligent and articulate, opinionated and sarcastic, witty and charming, altogether. He left a great impression on the community in which he lived, and I know he is still greatly missed. But today, as I sit here with my coffee made by my 10yr old son, I’m remembering the tender times he shared with me. The old movies we watched together; the discussions about politics and religion; the long drives we took through the country, often not saying much to each other, but even as a child, I knew those were cherished moments.

The main lesson I learned from my father was to grab life by the balls and live it to its fullest. He worked hard, played hard, all with grace and integrity. I try to do the same thing, and I think if I make one quarter the impression he made in his lifetime, I know I will have done well.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

May 10, 2006

Feeling Moody

Filed under: News — chantal @ 11:33 am

I’ve been meaning to post more of my photos onto this site.

This one, I call “Moody River”. It was taken with a Holga camera, shortly before sunset. There was low-light, and I held the shutter open for a bit, creating the blurred effect.

Images like this often appeal to me when I’m feeling depressed, or just moody, hence the title. It evokes a feeling of emptiness, loneliness and isolation. At least, to me.

Not that I feel like this, but sometimes I can appreciate the act of embracing my moods. To truly enjoy a good mood, I think its key to embrace the bad ones too. We’re entitled to our feelings, and I choose not to suppress mine.

Anyway, back to the picture. It’s dark, it’s mysterious and I like it. I like the effects that the Holga can create. A Holga camera is just a simple, cheap plastic camera that uses medium format film. Many have light leaks that can add to the creativity of the images it creates. The camera has very limited controls, so the photographer is forced to use sheer creativity in order to get the desired effect.

And most times, its just a crap-shoot.

But for a $20 camera, some really cool pictures can be made.

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