Thursday, July 7, 2016

Things to-do, so I'll write and post photos instead

This morning I bounced out of bed, anxious about the start of tomorrow’s trip. My to-do list was half written and my remaining tasks chattered in my brain, now everything is written and waiting for me to jump on them. But first, breakfast of “fancy eggs” with leeks, turkey, parmesan and dill,  and a cup of coffee. And some emails, and photo editing, and writing on my blog, because when it becomes almost crunch time, I am an expert at embracing the “almost.”

My camera often sits on my desk, ready to be picked up and connected to my tripod at a moment’s notice. I’ve embraced “the best camera is the one you use” philosophy, and know I will continue to do spontaneous self-portraiture if my camera is in my line of vision when at my desk. The other day I was waiting to go to the gym, and seized a few moments with the evening sun which striped through my window. I find the way my body conversely mimics the pattern of the patchwork quilt to be interesting.


There had been tall boxes with unknown contents in my garage for quite some time, then one day the guessing game began. Not being mine, I started a guessing game. Once I pushed aside the fanciful notions of there being skeletons inside (hey, the sizing was about right) the beautiful carved wood columns were shown to me.  When the storms and floods came, bringing creek water up to the first step of my house and filling my garage, these beautiful columns were relocated to inside our home. Yesterday I utilized them as a photographic component for the first time and I have plans to continue when I return from North Carolina in about a week and a half. I consider this first photo the most obvious use of the columns, which means further exploration is necessary.


With that, I must head out with my tasks for the day. Car inspection, conditioner purchasing, library book returning and potentially checking out new books and a few other tour knick knacks to pick up. And thank you card writing, because my birthday came and went and if my relatives are going to send cards to this grown up woman, I'm going to continue to hold onto my childhood manners of returning thanks.

Ya'll have a great day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Sleek wood and smooth skin. Natural light self-portraiture

Models are light moths, they are drawn to the light.

As an artist, I am also attracted to that which I see. When I watched the morning light stream through my front door creating patterns on the wall, I immediately felt compelled to bring my tripod to the scene and compose these two photos. Black and white tends to be my standard, but on occasion a muted color seems fitting. Because life has colors, too, as much as we like to talk about black and white and shades of grey.


 In my dining room sits a table too large for practical use, and of beautiful wood, begging to be laid upon for photos, but cracked as it is, even my small weight would not bode well for the table, so it sits in the room, taunting me with its enormous beauty. I have been watching the morning light patterns glide through the shutters and land on the floor, and have wanted to be photographed under this table for months. This is the perspective that immediately came to mind, but one from lower also must be done once I find a shorter tripod or a photographer who also has visions of sleek wood and smooth skin. 
Self-portraits in my home
June 2016

Monday, June 13, 2016

Back to Bed

Keira Grant

This is my bed. This is where I sleep. In the summer heat, I retire to here at night, the only cloth on my body, the cotton sheets strewn about.

Keira Grant

And this? Here I roll around nude, often photographed. Come over with your camera, and give me reason to crawl back into this luxurious bed.

Photographed by Gary Schottle

Friday, June 3, 2016

Quiet. Self-portraiture

Writers' block; a unsettling ailment for a living, thinking artist.


Subdued in suburbia, no longer tackling obstacles to find a roof for every night, having to go no further than my kitchen to cook up an appealing meal, I am faced with a new condition: quiet.

I used to live in a sort of survivalist mode, continually moving forward with no time to look backwards or sideways. I had places to get to, art to create, and changing details to relentlessly arrange.

Now my travels have been cut in half. I spend a glorious half of the year at home being a homebody and a fabulous other half of the year being my artful nomad self. Time at home is beautiful, but the flip flop of emotions and experiences that go with home and travel are a whole new sensation to accustom myself to. Me, nervous about details before embarking on a two week trip? Before there never were these feelings - there were no start or finish to trips, only life.

I am still building my notion of home; little by little the roof that houses me feels more like mine. I watch the light dance on walls, and push myself to embrace a more solitary art experience. The collaborative nature of how I model has always been a high, energy and ideas bounce between the two of us model and photographer, as we move forward, creating images. I tire of spending efforts online seeking out models to share their time and self with me, encouraging a model to embrace the idea of working with a newer, female photographer, which leaves me with one model to call on time and again, myself.

So in the quiet, I stand face to face with myself, she who never leaves me and is my one-and-only internal muse.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Spring 2016 Travel

TRAVEL PLANS! EAST Coast and beyond!

SF/Oakland availability: March 29 - 30 (ask about studio day on the 30th!)

Houston: April 11 - 13

San Antonio/Austin: May 14 - 15

Washington DC, Baltimore, MD,VA (and around): May 19 - 25
NYC: May 26 - 30
Boston/MA: June 9 - 12 (tentative)
North Carolina: July 9 - 17 (possible Richmond, VA)

Contact me at to reserve a date/time.

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Where did the nomad go? Deep in the heart of Texas.

For the first time in 6 years, I have a place I call home. The house I rent and live in is mine for the year. The pantry has what I need to make random concoctions to fill my body with nutrients and energy, the bed has sheets which smell like me, and my belongings have almost been successfully consolidated from their scattered placement across the continent.

My nomad days have not come to an end – I will continue to travel as a model for the foreseeable future for creating art with my body and soul as my instrument is something I intensely love and currently how I sustain myself.  Yet, having a place to return to time and again has added a feeling of peace I have long searched for.

Photographed by Noel Marreno
Models Keira Grant and Lisa Jupiter

About 14 months ago I was convinced I would be moving to North Carolina, as I knew it was in the cards for a change.  Some people are of the conviction that about every 7 years, we change as individuals. Be this true or not, life is a journey and I always seek to continue forward, sometimes taking small, soft steps and other times by jumping forward and into the lesser known terrain, parachute on my back.

Only in looking back at my lifestyle do I realize what I went through, living on the road. Perpetual travel means the work to line up everyday logistics such as a roof, basic food and artistic shoots is a whole different issue than when living in one place. With shooting and creating art as my number one goal and obsession, I found the majority of my energy committed to my goal and other things slid out of view.

All decisions come with trade offs. Now I have time. Time to develop my own photography, learn all those neglected recipes, put those hour into sculpting myself into the form I wish to be and a chance to think from a different perspective. And I absolutely have time to model and shoot, which I do with zeal when given the opportunity. 

Expect to see me traveling to cities near you throughout the year. As always, I welcome your emails about shooting together. And if you ever come through Houston, Texas, I have a glorious location available to shoot in and know an eager model with great ideas, damn good abs and a whole lot of experience who is always ready to shoot (yup, that would be me).

Friday, September 4, 2015

Yes ma'am we've got nature: Houston Nature Parks

My sister imagined Texas to be a barren land of cactus, dirt and cowboys. She and my fellow Californians thought I was crazy, moving halfway across the country to a huge oil rich but nature deficient state, my car packed with a few of my favorite things and my reptile family who had no say in the decision.  Pulled by the strength of the graduate school reputation and their scholarship dollars, trees or not, I was moving to Texas. 

Besides the purported year round perfect temperatures, in many parts of California, a person only has to drive a couple of hours in any direction to experience a different environment, be it desert, mountains, hills, or even sea.  This is a little bit of magic. From most cities in Texas, one would be crazy to think they could make a day trip to both the sea and mountains. And many people living inside of Houston quickly forget there is even nature outside of the city. I will raise my hand and admit, I, too, was one of these people.

Photographed by Glimmermere
Louisville, KY

Few average Texans appear to care about tromping through the woods, and to those who look in on this state, Austin is where all of the natural and beautiful parts are. Austin may be surrounded by more options, and more nature-inclined people seem to gravitate there, but with a little bit of searching, interesting nature can be found all over what is truly a lush and green Eastern Texas. From the cities, you may have to drive a bit to be surrounded in a great park to enjoy the chirping of birds and rustle of trees, or smell the sweet decay of the woods, but these places do exist.

As I returned to Houston after a long road trip, my route took me from the lush nature state of Arkansas and through many areas of green as I approached home for the first time in months. Within a couple of hours of my apartment, I passed through the vast Davy Crockett National Forest, before driving through the Huntsville State Park. These parks are still a ways from Houston, but they can be reached easily as a day trip, and both are quite huge. The Davy Crockett National Forest is a bit farther, but contains a full 160,000 acres of recreation areas, wildlife habitats, woods and streams. That's worth a day trip or a camping trip in my book.

As a Texas resident, living in the northern suburbs of the city, knowing my options for a respite from the city is incredibly important. The Californian in me screams to know I can find a place to breathe in nature, and not hear cars driving by.

Yesterday I scouted the Lake Houston Wilderness Park which is northeast of Houston and well within an hour’s drive for many Houston residents. The place was a beautifully quiet place, and during my exploration shoot with Peter Janecke, we appeared to have the place to ourselves and a few maintenance people from 9 am until noon. We drove around, pulled the car to the side of the road, hopped out for photography, then got back in and continued onto the next place. While walking around, there were little cabins to sneak into, bridges to pose on and under, and of course, so many beautiful trees.

I aim to develop my list of places to shoot at, but consider this a solid start. Point proven – there is nature in Houston. They can keep me.

 Inexpensive A-frame cabin. And free if sneaking for a quick shoot

 If you take a photo while walking, it might turn out crooked like this

Look at that line of perspective! Awesome bridge