Questions

BEHIND THE SCENES WITH CHUY AND RITHA, PLUS A FEW QUESTIONS FOR YOU.

Questions: Have you ever had a mentor who made a difference in your life? Do you think mentors can be helpful at any age? What are the qualities you would look for in a mentor? Do you mentor anyone now?

Chuy’s daughters, Gaby and Joselyn, shot and edited this video. Chuy has been working as my photography assistant since 2019. She’s a clever, hard-working, wise-cracking, steady-as-she-goes, no-drama mama. When Chuy asked me to mentor her in February, I said yes. We found a beat-up computer for her, bought one of the oldest second-hand Canon Rebel EOS cameras on the market, a good 70 – 300 mm lens (Date your camera, marry your lenses), and various other pieces of equipment to round out her kit. She has two sponsors. Peter Altmann covers basic costs like books, and I cover the cost of the internet at her house and have given her a gallery on my photography website rithaphotos.com. It has been the photographer’s version of the children’s book, Stone Soup. Everybody, including her family, is helping. Chuy just finished her artist’s statement and has submitted work to a gallery in California.

Go, Chuy, go!

Excellent CreativeLive Instructor Brooke Shaden

Javier Barras recommended that I buy the Creator’s Pass at CreativeLive. It’s less than 20 bucks a month and worth every penny. Funny, kind, successful, and an excellent teacher, Brooke teaches both creative idea generation AND business skills for making it in the Fine Arts world. There are 138 video classes ranging from 20-30 minutes, plus a boatload of handout materials. It took me about a month to do. Now I’m working my way through a compositing class taught by Brooke. Thank you, Javier!

War

I got accepted for another exhibit- the “Dreams” exhibition in a gallery in Tucson. I also sold this image, entitled War, just two weeks ago. It is part of a mini-series of three called War, Peace, and Refugee. I also submitted this series to the UN for licensing. It’s a long shot, but I would love to have images there after working with refugees in the US and other countries.

This image reminds me of something I saw on a French news station covering the war in Ukraine. A young mother carrying her baby was helping her mother in the line to enter Poland. Just as they approached the front of the line, she handed the baby to her mother and turned around. She was heading back to fight, but first, she protected her loved ones.

Price: $300. Please get in touch with me at rithafellerman@gmail.com if you want to purchase this print. Could you buy an image and keep me afloat?

Blood-curdling Scream

I’ve made a few men cry out in my day, but this was different.

This was a blood-curdling scream.

I ran upstairs to the bathroom, almost tripping over the cat running the other direction. I burst through the door not knowing what to expect. Whatever it was, it didn’t sound like anything a kiss and a batman bandaid would fix.

“Stay away,” he yelled, holding his pants in one hand and brandishing the plunger in the other. When I followed his horrified gaze to the bathtub, I could see what triggered his panic.

“It’s just cheese,” I tried to explain, but he was hyperventilating and past logical explanations.

I had been making cheese that day. Instead of using cloth bags, I used pantyhose. I tied them in pairs and threw them over a rod I installed over the bathtub to let the whey drip out. The cat liked lapping up whey at the bottom of the tub.

They did sort of look like balls.

There were about a dozen pairs.

When I went to grab one of the sacks to show him, he bolted, still holding his pants. I heard the door slam and his car start. I got to the window just in time to see him peal out of the dirt driveway from my farmhouse to the county road, leaving behind a cloud of dust.

He took my plunger.

The cat packed his bags and went on a road trip.

Yesterday, a recipe I was looking at listed cream cheese as an ingredient. I didn’t have any. “Well, then”, I thought, “I’ll just make some.” Homemade cream cheese is rich and smooth, not like those gummy bricks of Philadelphia Cream Cheese you buy in stores.

Hanging up my balls reminded me of the blood-curdling screamer, poor thing.