Jes Lee

The potential for racing

Another sunshine filled studio day.

Another day filled with the potential of taking crazy turns, with potential for adventure.

Ok, maybe I’m exaggerating that just a bit, but it is very sunny here today, and I feel like there is potential for today to be great. Or not. Either way, I will take the sunshine!

It was a busy weekend full of working shifts at my day job, and one amazing senior photo shoot that included snow and a giant metal number 5! (Yes, you can still take awesome photos in the snow!) This week it is back to working on artwork for my show, processing portraits, and getting ready for the upcoming art festivals. So much to be done!

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I’m off for a date with my platen press at my studio today! I am working on printing the map blocks I have carved. I printed one linoleum block last week, but the wood block I was engraving still needed some work. I spent a bit of time on it last night, and I’m hoping it will print well today! Fingers crossed! I may do a bit of typesetting as well today. I’m very torn between making one last book, and making compilation photo prints with words typeset on them. We’ll see where I end up going with that.

In the mean time, here are the poems I have written over the weekend for the 30 poems in 30 days challenge. I’m still going! I’m also a bit sad that the end is close…I’m having a lot of fun with this!


April 21st

Three thrushes
Feathery, brown and white
Flew into the window today.
One did not fly again.
The reflection of more
Tall oak trees
Too much temptation
For their minds.

My uncle sat
Eating breakfast
Telling of their migration
How far they had come
And how tired
To meet a fate so cold and taunting.

He often makes me wish
I was a birder
And paid attention
To the tiny details
Their distinctive markings
And flight patterns
Where to find them on early morning walks.

But my attention seems to be the same
As the poor birds
Landing for just a second
Before flying off into the next reflection.


April 22nd (just a couple of silly sketches of poems – two haikus on the snow, and one other)

Snow ~

I wonder how far
one would have to drive away
to be out of snow.

where should i escape
to be allowed a bike ride
without icy winds?


New skin~

she drove fast
floored it until
the car vibrations matched
her racing pulse
as if by driving fast
she could unzip herself
an old shell falling away
a brand new layer underneath.


April 23rd (First line inspired by a Dorothea Lange quote)

You are out there on the thin edge
between history and the future,
this thin line called the present.
A tight rope walk through a black hole;
don’t look down
the sound below will be deafening.
Hold my hand and smile
lets give them a show!


One more

One more long work day before a long weekend mostly spent at my day job, but with one photo shoot thrown in for good measure.

Today my goal is to see how far I can get binding books and making covers and colophons. Thanks to a studio day on Tuesday, I now have a set of prints from one linoleum block, and more to carve out of my wood block.

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Everything keeps moving.

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Poetry challenge:

April 17th – (I found a quote I wrote in my journal quite some time ago. It is a quote by Dorothea Lange, and I used part of it – “You’re right on the thin edge” as part of the inspiration for this poem. The rest of the inspiration came from another ‘Three Things’ edition from Hazel and Wren.)

You’re right on the thin edge
of the threshold
a wooden beam
painted, sanded smooth
separating you
from a suffocating sea.
The door open wide
asking you to go out,
the sea to come in.

The waves lap
with interest
a question in their rhythm
coyly wondering
how you might taste.

Inside the tea party continues
tiny cucumber sandwiches
on whole wheat bread
with butter
and over sweetened tea
lace table cloth
and fine china
each tea cup staring
asking what it would take
to make you break.


April 18th – (no particular inspiration for this one, in fact it is kind of blah and short. I may write more later today.)

leaves and branches bend
the oak leaves still have not fallen.

I shiver
shut inside
turn away from the oak leaves
back to my work.

Caution: brain working

It is another studio day here today, and my brain has been working at high speed since early this morning. The ideas are coming together for my upcoming show at MCBA, and I am trying to run with it while they are there!

*head down, back to work*

For now, one more instant photo from last weekend’s drive:

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Another studio day and new attitudes

Yes, I have another studio day today, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. After realizing that my upcoming show carries a bit more pressure with it (good pressure really!), I need to focus this new found nervous energy and get started! I honestly planned a much longer blog post for today, but never mind. That will have to wait! On to my studio!

First though, a bit about the weekend:

Friday during a short photo walk I found that my Sx-70 was on the fritz. Not knowing if it was just a few bad film packs, or the camera itself, I took out my little Sx70 One Step box cam for the weekend to test the film packs again. I headed out with Mr. FN to North Branch to find new jeans at the outlet mall, and a few deserted country roads to drive on. There were many stops for photo opportunities! Happily, all of the film packs worked, and upon arriving home and fiddling with my beloved folding Sx-70 a bit more, it started working. In fact, it now works better than it has since before I dropped it in Hawai’i! Amazing!

sx70 1 step007One of the many photos from our drive. I love being out in the middle of no where, out side of the city, and seeing these power lines run through the landscape and disappear into the distance. I can’t explain it, but I love this. I have a few more photos like this, but they will be posted later.

Also, ‘List it Tuesday’ is back! Check out Artsyville’s blog and participate! My list will be up later this week – promise :)

And if you have found my little blog from Lynn’s wonderful post, welcome! I am excited that I helped inspire her to try a 365 project! You can find me on Flickr as well – I’m Jes Lee Photos. And my latest 365 project is on Flickr as well right here!

And with that, I am off! Until next time!


The view from here

It has been quite awhile since I have had a home studio day.

I’m already working on printing more books (still trying to finish those editions!), applications that are due soon, and hopefully making some new artwork.

2013 is already different than I hoped it would be. But, I’m not giving up on it yet. It is still going to be happier and brighter than 2012!

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My view today.