fighting out the last days of summer

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every year i seem to go into a funk as i see the sun and all it’s glorious light start to sink earlier and earlier behind the west horizon. this year it seems i want to hold onto it more and more, bind it by string and swing it back up in the sky, and yet in response it teasingly ends another minute earlier each day.
these photos remind me of that precious light, the light that allows me to paint on film and i’m thankful for another day of it’s beautiful gift it shares.
and what a fun couple and idea. BIG thanks to rachel and nate for your enthusiasm and inspiration.

to order prints from this event click here

knowing art creates art

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i’m not saying that i went into this shoot with the mindset to give homage to Marc Chagall, but in the thick of the shoot i was able to identify and put my finger on where i had seen these before, and once granted this awareness it gave me license to push the concept further. submersing myself with art and locking it away in my sub conscience, making it become an actual part of me and how my brain ticks and how i see things in a different light – is what makes me create what i do. it influences what i see, and therefore makes my world, my world.
knowing art helps create further art.

to order prints from this event click here

drive-in lovin’

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amy and philip, had there first date at a drive-in a couple of years ago and we thought it would only be fitting to recreate the beginnings of their story and do the shoot at a drive-in. i am fortunate enough to live in a small town a half hours drive west of salt lake city. and nestled within this neighboring valley of salt lake and close to my home is a charming old town drive-in. thus began the magic all over again…
i later returned to the drive-in to watch a flick under the stars with my wife and our two girls and i got to talking with the owner of the drive-in. i asked him very sincerely “whats the future of this drive-in?” (as it has now become my new love.) he said “we’ve been here since the 60’s and still goin’ strong”. to me, it seems anything that has charm and the old mom and pop character is dying off and to know this drive-in is still pumping strong was such a relief to hear. he then began to tell me how depeche mode shot a video at this exact drive-in….whaaaat??!! i was thrilled to hear that!! i used to be obsessed with depeche mode during their violator album (and quickly collected all their albums previous to violator) but to know that they were here and appreciated the aesthetic was great – but i also know the driving force behind depeche mode’s imagery is anton corbijn and i knew that it was HE that probably chose the location to film the video at the drive-in. anton corbijn is one of my all time favorite photographers and is a major source of inspiration in my work. to be able to connect the dots through time leading up to this shoot, and almost 20 years later me doing my thing with the camera at the same location appreciating the same backdrop was quite a a great journey…

click here if you want to see depeche mode’s “world in my eyes” video shot by anton corbijn at the motor vu erda drive-in theater. (circa 1990)
click here if you want to visit more of anton corbijn’s work. – mind blowing mind you.

O.G. wedding

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this post was in all good humor. if it offends anyone in any way, shape, or form i will be swift to remove it from the blog… and if no one takes the offensive – then i thank you for being open minded to humor and my quirkiness, after all we all are a human comedy and need to laugh at ourselves.

a story about a pig

pig-painting

sit comfy…i have a story to tell.
many of you may already know this story, it took place in 2004, and it’s called open heart surgery.
my wife, being the recipient of this operation, was only 24 years old and was a young mother of our then 11 month daughter. it begins when she called me while i was away at work and said “i’m going to go to the doctor today, i can’t breathe well and i have been feeling pressure on the chest..” i, being completely ignorant said “okay”, thinking it was nothing more than a bronchial matter. the next phone call i receive was “they detected a significant heart murmur and i need to come back tomorrow to run some tests..” – not a good sign. we found out within a weekends time that my wife’s aortic valve had failed and it’s one way valve was now operating like a busy restaurant kitchen door swinging anyway it wanted and allowing the blood flow to regurgitate back and forth…i guess only 30% of your oxygenated blood traveling to your body is a big no no. within a weeks time we were facing open heart surgery. yes, we were scared. yes were young. and yes it’s called life.
and this is why i tell the story (perhaps again). during this fragile week of life changing events, my wife was given the choice of which type of valve replacement she would have. 2 options. 1) mechanical valve and 2) porcine (common name – pig) valve. the mechanical valve we were told would out live her, the major hang up though is that if she chose this valve then she would need to take blood thinners the rest of her life and therefore would not be able to have anymore kids. with the pig valve we were told it would simulate human flesh and therefore we could conduct our lives as normal – no meds and we could have the blessing of another child. the major downside to this option 2 is that eventually (7-20 yrs.) the pig flesh will deteriorate and we would face the open heart surgery again….without hesitation my wife chose the pig valve. and here i sat at her bedside, looking at her blue lips, an erratic pulse bursting from her neck, and her breathing popping and cutting like a cold car struggling to start…and i thought “you’re going to put me through this AGAIN?” it was a price she was willing to pay. the humblest of sacrifices. literally giving of her life to create another. and i had no choice but to accept and support her decision.
it will be 5 years in Oct. since the operation. i have wanted something through these years to memorialize our journey – a visual reminder to honor this story.
i had wanted a painting of a pig to tell the story. to pay tribute to the animal that provided the valve for my wife to continue living, and furthermore bless us with our second child Ava. some attempts with various artists were made to commission a piece for this concept, but nothing ever gelled. and then i met Justin Wheatley…his work immediately struck me. the depth, the layers, the dots and lines and worlds of textures to be connected. i met him at a local art market and immediately acquired two of his smaller original pieces. we got to talking and i was thrilled to know he would accept the commission that i wanted for years! and it was perfect, no artist other than Justin could have given this story justice. the 35″x35″ piece is now complete and in our hands!
It is entitled “to fill the measure”….(if i can explain the context of the piece and the title)…i believe god has put animals on the earth for their own individual destinies. that they were created by his hand just as we were and that they were commanded to fill the measure of their creation.
i believe the pig did in fact “fill the measure” of it’s creation. that it blessed my life, my wife’s life, and our children’s lives…the pig literally gave it’s life that we might live.

Justin…a heartfelt thank you – many times over.

to see more of Justin Wheatley’s work visit his BLOG.