Sunday, 18 January 2015

100: With Tomais Ashdene at his gallery show

I'm trying some new formats for my blogging; one is that I've met so many artists recently, I thought it would be fun to walk around an exhibition with an artist and find out more background than you usually get from the catalogue. A guided tour by the person who makes the art; I like it as an idea. My friend Tomais Ashdene graciously consented to test out this format with me and I think it went very well -- you decide.  Rather than hide this at the end, I'll put it right up front; you can follow Tomais's Flickr stream here.

[18:03] Rusty Redfield: *click* turn this damn tape recorder on.  There we go.
[18:03] Rusty Redfield: I'm here with Tomais Ashdene at the Nilsart Gallery
[18:03] Rusty Redfield: is the website
[18:03] Rusty Redfield: and we're about to get a conducted tour of his latest exhibition!
[18:03] Rusty Redfield: say hi, Tomais! 
[18:03] Tomais Ashdene: Hiya!  :-)
[18:04] Rusty Redfield: it's called -- I hope I get this right -- "A Photo. A Story."
[18:04] Tomais Ashdene: You got it right.  :-)
[18:04] Rusty Redfield: whew!
[18:04] Rusty Redfield: so -- what prompted this collection of photographs?
[18:05] Tomais Ashdene: Absolutely nothing - other than I like to take photos.  I don't often do themes - I'm pretty eclectic.  :-)
[18:06] Rusty Redfield: there you go.  So you have a great eye and you like to use it, and every so often you show the results?
[18:06] Rusty Redfield: I know you have, like, three or four shows going at the 
moment in various galleries
[18:06] Tomais Ashdene: So I tend to call my exhibits things like "Olio" or "Miscellanea"  "=_
[18:06] Rusty Redfield: haha
[18:06] Rusty Redfield: as an artist once told me, "Untitled #23" means "I couldn't think of a damn title!"
[18:07] Tomais Ashdene: Right now, I have photography on display here, at 
3Bears, and at Zeus.
[18:07] Rusty Redfield: oh well done, thanks, and I'll get SLURLs for those places too.
[18:07] Tomais Ashdene: Titles I can usually manage.  Collections, not so much.  LOL
[18:08] Rusty Redfield: so -- tell me about your process.  I tend to ask dumb questions but -- what prompts you to 
take a picture?  What causes you to go, "Oooh, I want a picture of THAT"
[18:08] Tomais Ashdene: Some stray synapse fires in my brain, I think.  LOL   I tend more towards concept photography, but I live for those moments of serendipity where I just snap a pic.
[18:09] Rusty Redfield: that moment when it all comes together
[18:09] Rusty Redfield: now, I don't 
know if you know this or not, but I bought one of your pictures before we ever met
[18:09] Rusty Redfield: this one here, the boxer
[18:09] Tomais Ashdene: And then there are the painful moments where a pic may take horribly long to set up and get right.  :-)
[18:10] Rusty Redfield: I know, right?
[18:10] Rusty Redfield: waiting for him 
to turn his head j-u-s-t ....
[18:10] Rusty Redfield: oh The Phantom!
[18:11] Tomais Ashdene: That is gratifying to know!  That's one that just popped into my head.   I was able to put the outfit together pretty easily  (there isn't much to it after all!)  but I also made the pose and that took awhile.
[18:11] Rusty Redfield: I'm a Phantom fan -- geekboy that I am -- and I can tell 
you, you got the details right
[18:11] Tomais Ashdene: The Phantom is an old favorite. I am probably dating myself, but I grew up reading the strip in the Sunday paper.  :-)
[18:11] Rusty Redfield: I can't see the ring, but I'm sure it's there LOL
[18:12] Tomais Ashdene: Actually, it is!
[18:12] Rusty Redfield: mm-hmm!!
[18:12] Rusty Redfield: <laughing>
[18:12] Rusty Redfield: you're just like me
[18:12] Rusty Redfield: it has to be there even if nobody sees it LOL
[18:12] Tomais Ashdene: Exactly. *I* know it's there.  :-)
[18:12] Rusty Redfield: right
[18:12] Rusty Redfield: so -- where do you find your models?
[18:12] Rusty Redfield: I think this sleigh 
ride is you and Bock McMillan?
[18:13] Tomais Ashdene: If you're on my friends list, you're fair game.  hehehe
[18:13] Rusty Redfield: hahaha
[18:13] Rusty Redfield: well that's an interesting fate
[18:13] Rusty Redfield: I've seen a few of these in Bock's blog
[18:13] Tomais Ashdene: That is actually 4 avatars:  Bock, fellow photographer 
Bre Czaroux,  myself, and SL son Pook Cypher.
[18:14] Rusty Redfield: the sleigh ride?
[18:14] Tomais Ashdene: Yes!  Pook and I are the horses.  LOL
[18:14] Rusty Redfield: ohhhh they're the horses?
[18:14] Rusty Redfield: wow
[18:14] Rusty Redfield: okay, I am SO modeling for you ROFL
[18:15] Tomais Ashdene: And Bock is really driving the sleigh!  Thankfully, he's a quick learner.  :-)
[18:15] Rusty Redfield: amazing
[18:15] Rusty Redfield: is there a picture here that is a favourite of yours?  Or one that there's a story behind it that no one will know unless you tell me? <grin>
[18:16] Rusty Redfield: this one of the man throwing leaves in the air is brilliant
[18:16] Tomais Ashdene: Thank you.  That was my fave fall pic.  :-)
[18:17] Rusty Redfield: it's so natural -- and you can almost tell what happened immediately before and immediately after, which is what I like to think about
[18:17] Tomais Ashdene: Which is why Anna titled the exhibit as she did.  :-)
[18:17] Rusty Redfield: aha!
[18:18] Tomais Ashdene: There are several little stories that are part of each picture.  And one or two in the make of them.  LOL
[18:18] Rusty Redfield: I like to figure out the stories, certainly.
[18:18] Rusty Redfield: and we have a similar taste for 40s and 50s science fiction illustration
[18:19] Tomais Ashdene: I love retro sci-fi!   A Flickr pal of mine, Jordy Zipdash, does these amazing retro spacesuits.  I used those in both the star cadet pictures.
[18:19] Rusty Redfield: I remember "Tom Corbett Space Cadet"!! LOL
[18:19] Tomais Ashdene: And somewhat later, Tom Swift.  :-)
[18:20] Rusty Redfield: I think Tom Swift was earlier -- but he got revised LOL
[18:20] Rusty Redfield: but yeah, Tom Swift and his atomic cyclotron was part of my youth
[18:20] Tomais Ashdene: Yes, several times now I think.  :-)
[18:20] Rusty Redfield: yeah, way back when, Tom Swift and his AIRPLANE was pretty cool LOL
[18:21] Rusty Redfield: You know, one thing about this show is that it's very "hangable"
[18:21] Tomais Ashdene: We got excited over simpler things then.  No TIE fighters, or starships, or lightsabers.   LOL
[18:21] Rusty Redfield: I thinnk people will want to have one of these on their walls
[18:22] Tomais Ashdene: I'm always gratified when that happens.  :-)
[18:22] Rusty Redfield: well, I have the boxer, but I have this THING about guys with black eyes <grin>
[18:22] Rusty Redfield: but I know for people who are trying to make their personal space have a "feeling", you will find a piece of art here that will help you
[18:23] Tomais Ashdene: Thank you.  That people are interested in my photos and want to purchase them always amazes me.
[18:24] Rusty Redfield: You must use a lot of tools like Photoshop and Windlight manipulations?
[18:24] Tomais Ashdene: Bock will jokingly say that I must try out every Windlight setting available when I'm shooting a pic.  I am really not that bad.  LOL
[18:25] Rusty Redfield: hahaha
[18:25] Rusty Redfield: and I'm learning that light is SO important
[18:26] Tomais Ashdene: Most of my photos don't get much more than cropping and color adjustments in Photoshop.  Like many people I probably don't always use Photoshop to it's best advantage.  :-)
[18:26] Rusty Redfield: I'm probably very naive, but I can't really tell when people do that
[18:27] Rusty Redfield: these just look like absolutely tremendous versions, carefully lit and staged and composed and conceived, of -- illustrations from stories
[18:27] Rusty Redfield: am I making sense? I never know, when I'm talking about art
[18:28] Tomais Ashdene: In a few cases that's quite true.  I may think for weeks (and in a few cases months) about a picture before I shoot it.  Others come together in a few minutes.
[18:29] Rusty Redfield: So how long would it take you to put together the pictures for this show, for instance?
[18:29] Tomais Ashdene: There's one photo in this exhibit that I actually took 6 years ago.  LOL
[18:30] Rusty Redfield: wow
[18:30] Tomais Ashdene: Sorry, that is not quite right - more like 3 or 4 now that I think of it.  :-)
[18:31] Rusty Redfield: well, I don't want to give away the entire exhibit -- believe me, folks, there are beautiful pictures here I deliberately haven't shown you
[18:31] Rusty Redfield: can I ask some of my usual interview questions?
[18:31] Tomais Ashdene: Of course. :-)
[18:31] Rusty Redfield: You've been in SL six years
[18:31] Rusty Redfield: Why do you stay in Second Life?  What keeps you here?
[18:35] Tomais Ashdene: Mostly because I am having too much fun to give it up.  There's so much to do and see here.  It's a pretty sad thing if someone becomes bored with Second Life - there is always something exciting just around the corner. :-)
[18:35] Rusty Redfield: very, very true
[18:35] Rusty Redfield: amazing things to do, and see, and learn
[18:35] Rusty Redfield: what are the qualities that attract you to people in Second Life?
[18:37] Tomais Ashdene: I've been lucky enough to meet some really amazing people here.  With the rare exception, they are all brilliant, honest, fun-loving folks who are genuinely enjoyable, mostly because they too really enjoy what they do here.
[18:37] Rusty Redfield: so those things go together.  Makes a lot of sense
[18:37] Rusty Redfield: If you could give advice to your earlier self in the first month that you spent in Second Life, what would you say?
[18:38] Tomais Ashdene: Don't stop.     LOL
[18:38] Rusty Redfield: <belly laugh>
[18:38] Rusty Redfield: good one!!
[18:38] Rusty Redfield: yeah, weren't we all there at one point?
[18:38] Tomais Ashdene: I'd actually tried SL a year before my official rez day.  And I didn't get it at first.
[18:38] Rusty Redfield: such a huge, huge learning curve
[18:38] Tomais Ashdene: A year later I gave it another try, and I've been coming back ever since.  :-)
[18:39] Rusty Redfield: And one last question -- What’s your favourite place to spend time in Second Life?
[18:39] Rusty Redfield: (Believe me, folks, if you ask this question you get some amazing pointers!!)
[18:41] Tomais Ashdene: Probably the Blake Sea area of Second Life.  There are hundreds of sims that link to the Blake in some way, and Bock and I are often out there boating, sailing, flying, or scuba diving.    :-)
[18:42] Rusty Redfield: Wonderful! I haven't tried that stuff but it's on my SL bucket list LOL.
[18:42] Rusty Redfield: Now, before I let you go, do you have any upcoming exhibitions or things we should know about?
[18:42] Rusty Redfield: I'll put in SLURLs for the three exhibitions you CURRENTLY have going of course.
[18:42] Tomais Ashdene: I have hangar space at New Horizons Airport, but I often fly out of St Martins or the new Seychilles Airport.  :-)
[18:43] Tomais Ashdene: Nothing upcoming as of yet.  But who knows what tomorrow brings?  :-)
[18:44] Rusty Redfield: indeed.  Well, thank you SO much for your time here, and talking about your work -- I know it can be tough explaining things to the uninitiated like me LOL
[18:44] Tomais Ashdene: That's very much for asking me.   :-)
[18:44] Rusty Redfield: wasn't so bad, was it? LOL
[18:45] Tomais Ashdene: Hmm... do I have to answer that?  hehehe
[18:45] Rusty Redfield: <grin> Tomais is a little shy but he's been wonderfully forthcoming.

[18:45] Rusty Redfield: Okay, thanks again, and I'll let you off the hook -- I'll just turn this off *click*

This show runs until March 31 2015. Check it out!

1 comment:

  1. YAY! That was a great interview and as far as I know my hubby told you the truth, with one exception (Well, if you ask me...). Tomais does actually go through E-V-E-R-Y Windlight setting in the viewer and all the extras he has added, just saying...