Category Archives: Documentary

Mikala Mikrut: Minimilism – A Modern Luxury

Apartment by Tony Ward Studio. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2019

 

Text by Mikala Mikrut, Copyright 2019

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Minimalism – A Modern Luxury

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Growing up a fan of Vogue and stalking Pinterest for spectacular oddities I could never afford, I’ve come to realize that big fancy mansions aren’t filled with memories and trinkets. They’re filled with artistic, bold pieces to take the spotlight one room at a time. All the big houses, even mansions, I’ve entered felt empty to me. There were clearly furniture and decorations, so why did it feel like something was missing? With this on my mind, I analyzed the homes I was more familiar with. Something in these middle class, well lived, well loved homes was always filled. Whether it be the garage, the attic, a closet, or even a drawer, something was always designated as junk space.

I began to wonder why that is. Grand pictures of impersonal, simplistic decor was somehow more beautiful than the collections people have introduced to me over the years. They could have shared all of the glorious memories attached to them. Still, all I would see was a bunch of vintage spoons I wasn’t allowed to use or dolls that would never break eye contact, teasing me with perfect, dusty curls I wasn’t allowed to brush. These memories that others attach don’t enlighten a sense of appreciation for the inanimate objects. In fact, they have a better chance of making me feel guilty.

In a completely hyperbolized example, I would much rather take John List’s signed Tiffany original skylight than my grandmother’s prized angel figurines. Isn’t that awful? To prefer a mass murderer’s window, for all intents and purposes, over what a loved family member has spent a lifetime to collect? But I would love to walk under dazzling colors from the morning sun, warm mug in my hand, fuzzy blanket as a shawl, making my own memories with the glass. I never met John, so making what was his my own would be cake. I will always have the memory of how much my grandma loved her angels, but taking them on as my own would leave me with the constant reminder of her connections with them. Filling my space with memories that aren’t even mine.

My point is, I believe the majority of us are hanging onto clutter. Whether it’s because we are entirely too sentimental or haven’t carved out the time to purge. For the love of yourself, make your home a safe place for your mind and soul. If something isn’t serving a purpose or bringing you joy, get rid of it! If there’s a big empty wall in your home and a piece from a local artist you can’t get out of your head, buy it! Life is too short to not serve yourself. Why are you hanging on to that ugly knick knack from your mother in law, because it’ll hurt her feelings that she got you something you don’t like? Why won’t you let yourself spend a little extra on the all natural cleaning product that you like the smell of, because you feel you only deserve to spend as little as possible?

Whether it’s because they have the space or lack of unresolved mental trauma, rich people wear minimalism beautifully and I personally drool at the aesthetic of having only what I need and really desperately love. We have this sense to hoard and give things. I propose we shift our mindset to seeking and giving experiences. One of my favorite gifts I’ve ever received were trapeze lessons, my favorite summers were spent on lakes. Memories are my souvenirs, and that’s the best part. If that’s not enough, take pictures! Those store neatly in the cloud, or make your photos the decor of your home. Let’s all avoid becoming the next episode on Hoarders.

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About The Author: Mikala Mikrut is a junior enrolled at Southern Utah University. To access additional articles by Mikala Mikrut, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/mikala-mikrut-red/

Also posted in Affiliates, Architecture, Art, Blog, Contemporary Architecture, Current Events, Environment, Friends of TWS, lifestyle, News, Photography, Popular Culture, Travel, Women

Vibe Rouvet: The Latest From France

Vibe Rouvet

 

Vibe Rouvet: The Latest From France

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Press Release

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Vibe Rouvet began her studies in private lessons starting at the age of eleven with the renowned vocal instructor Marie Claude Cinelly. Vibe learned about opera singing from a master and had her first stage appearances in churches as well as some concert halls in Landes and Pau, France and its surroundings.  She’s been studying lyrical singing since the age of fifteen a the conservatory of Pau, where she is still studying with Ms. Delay.

While attending the conservatory she also began to study theater, choir conducting and harpsichord. In April Ms. Rouvet particpated in a master class Hourtin with Isabelle Germanin and Fabrice Boulanger,professor at the CNSM in Lyon.  She participates in choir, concert and also as a soloist at performances at the conservatory. She was booked for a recital last March in Morlanne and at the heritage preservation project on May 30th in Geaune, France.

Last summer she enrolled in a masterclass in Salzburg, Austria at the Mozarteum with Helen and Klaus Donath for two weeks including a performance in a concert at the Mozarteum. 

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Vibe Rouvet

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Here are a few links to her performances:

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To access additional articles about Vibe Rouvet, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/artist-highlight-vibe-rouvet-voice-of-an-angel/

Also posted in Announcements, Art, Blog, Current Events, Environment, Friends of TWS, Glamour, Music, News, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, Travel, Women

Bob Shell: Female Nudes

Portrait of Marion Franklin by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

 

Photography and Text by Bob Shell, Copyright 2019

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Female Nudes

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Why did I choose to specialize in photographing female nudes? That’s a question I was often asked at my lectures and workshops. My answer is that I know of nothing in nature more beautiful than the human body, particularly lithe young bodies unashamed to be naked for my camera. That’s why Marion appealed to me so much as a model; she was a natural nudist. Whenever we were in private places, off would come her clothes!

Some of my best models were referred to me by my late friend Ed Harper. Ed and his wife were both regulars at a nudest retreat near Richmond, and Ed was an avid photographer who often photographed women he met there. He’d refer the best of them to me, sometimes coming to my studio to photograph them with me. These young women were all completely comfortable posing nude, and since they were nudists, they didn’t have tan lines. Tan lines are the bane of photographers. Yes, they can be Photoshopped out, but that’s a lot of work. I once had a policewoman who wanted to model for me, The only problem was that she spent a lot of time outdoors directing traffic, so her arms where they weren’t covered by her short sleeves were much darker than the rest of her, which was relatively pale. I had to give up on her, because my Photoshop skills just weren’t up to fixing that!

Tattoos can also cause problems. One of my favorite models, who modeled under the name Elkie Cooper, had a bunch of tattoos, and I don’t know how many hours I spent in Photoshop when I wanted them out of a particular picture. In most cases I would not have gone to all that trouble, but Elkie had a magnificent body, and a wonderful personality, and brought my photo’s of her to life. Of course, when they fit the mood of the photo I’d leave the tattoos alone.

Skin blemishes are also a problem for photography as are scars. And I once had a model show up for a shoot with a real shiner of a black eye. She gave me the old “walked into a door” line, but I didn’t believe a word of it. We did what we could with makeup, and I posed her with her good eye toward the camera, and I don’t think any of the magazine’s readers saw anything amiss. When you’re on deadline you make things work.

My biggest peeve was when a model would make some drastic change in her look and not tell me when I contacted her to set up a shoot. I’ve had models cut off all their hair, change it to a weird color, put it in dreadlocks, get breast enlargement, gain a lot of weight, and so on, so that the person who showed up at my door looked nothing like the person I thought I was booking.

Why I chose to photograph women is simply that I don’t do well photographing men. Oh, I’ve tried, but I find the angularity of the male body much harder to pose. Of course, when I was running a portrait and wedding studio I photographed anyone who came in and wanted their picture taken (very few wanted nude photos!) I realized pretty quickly that I really didn’t like that type of photography, so I cut way down on the amount of this work by raising my prices until I was the most expensive photographer in the area. I worked a lot less but ended up taking in about the same amount of money. By the end of the 80s I was making more money from magazine work and the books I was writing than from photography, so I sold the business and moved on, only photographing things I wanted to photograph. I never looked back.

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About The Author: Bob Shell is a professional photographer, author and former editor in chief of Shutterbug Magazine. He is currently serving a 35 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter for the death of Marion Franklin, one of his former models. Shell was recently moved from Pocahontas State Correctional Center, Pocahontas, Virginia to River North Correctional Center 329 Dellbrook Lane Independence, VA 24348.  Mr. Shell continues to claim his innocence. He is serving the 11th year of his sentence. To read more letters from prison by Bob Shell, click here: http://tonywarderotica.com/bob-shell-meditations-on-cameras-and-the-state-of-the-photo-industry-today/

Also posted in Affiliates, Art, Blog, Erotica, Film, Friends of TWS, Glamour, History, Models, Nudes, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Women

Katie Kerl: Flooded With Love

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Text and Photography by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019
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Flooded With Love

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When life hands you lemons; zest them and add some flavor to your life. Not surprising to me, my life sure did balance itself out after my last post. 

My apartment flooded the night before Easter, the drain pipe cracked. Imagine you’re getting ready for bed. Have all of your family stuff together for the holiday. Then, all of a sudden you hear a waterfall streaming behind your walls. Water was rising then up from my floors ready to damage all of my things. 

I spent the better part of that night soaking up water, drying towels, wiping it up over and over. Had I not, my furniture would have been under three inches of water. My landlord came the next morning on Easter Eve to attempt to take care of it. He had no real success.

Upon my return from the holiday, I walked into a completely ripped up apartment. The floors taken up, all my things pushed to the “dry side “, and me standing there in disbelief. I dropped my phone, and just sat on the ground for a bit. 

While I am good with sudden change, I was not anticipating an uninhabitable apartment. Tears rolled down my face for a good ten minutes before calling anyone. Then I got it the fuck together. I was upset, there was nothing my landlord or I could do at that point. We had to wait until the next rain fall to see if it would leak again (which it did). 

The Airbnb he got me for the week was deceiving. The photos were great, but it was an actual shit hole once I got there. It had a lovely brown stained couch and bed. At this point I was exhausted.

Its funny how people show up for you when you need them no questions asked. I was in the middle of my emotional breakdown, and my on again boyfriend tried to help me. At first I said no,  I wanted to deal with it on my own. I feel like I’m very fortunate to have many people help me in bad situations, but I do like to handle my own problems, or at least try first. 

In this circumstance, I was just too upset at what my place looked like to think about anything else. I did accept his help after going to see the damage. We went to the Airbnb together. He took one look at that space and said, “There’s no way you’re staying here.” We stayed at The Le Meridien in center city that night. 

One day I’m living in Queen Village. The next day, half of my things are moved into his place in Northern Liberties. To say I was feeling displaced was an understatement. 

My landlord let me know that it was going to be at least a month, if I could even go back there. “A FUCKING MONTH?!” More feelings of panic arose, feeling like I didn’t really belong in his house after we were trying to work things out. I didn’t want to force something we hadn’t discussed, or freak us both out. He asked me to stay anyway. 

It is a great experience so far. Part of me wonders if my flood was the universe pushing us together like, shit or get off the pot. 

I guess we will just have to see about that part. 

He cleared out an office he never used to give me a Closet/ dressing room, and my own terrace. That’s really an important thing when you’re staying / living with someone to have your own area to be yourself, whether it is for yoga & house music, or video games and watching John Oliver. If you let things go you both like to do it just is not going to work out.

Is this the best circumstance to move in with someone? I am not sure yet, but is there ever really a right time? He shows up at all of my best /worst moments, and reassures me it’s going to be ok. I think it actually just might just be this time. I feel lucky to have that kind of person in my life. 

If living together works out great, if not at least we gave it a shot. Being too afraid to move forward with someone often times is what breaks you apart, and can bring you back together. It feels good to have someone wanting that next step. 

I did have other options. I could have moved home for a month, stayed at an Airbnb, friends’ houses, or got a new place immediately. It wouldn’t have been the same though.

We spent a sunny Saturday in Atlantic City doing a little shopping and rode the Ferris wheel. Taking our minds off both of our life stresses, my flooded apartment and his new growing business. Making time to experience new things together was always a road block that seems to have been cleared. Both realizing the importance of down time and relaxing.

If someone wants to be your umbrella when they are still fighting their own storms; that just might be real LOVE. 

You’re going to have a lot of what if’s in life. I didn’t want this to be one of mine. The apartment flood was upsetting sure; none of my stuff got ruined though. My whole life changed in 24 hours. I’m surprisingly ok with the change. I had posted this on April 9th on my Instagram. Boy if my intuition was ever spot on this time. 

“When you start to feel uncomfortable with your day to day, change is coming. Embrace it until you get exactly what you want. “

                           – Kerl up with Kate 

Cheers to change friends! 

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Katie Kerl

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About The AuthorKatie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. Education: Drexel University studied Behavioral  Psychology. Occupation: commercial/ residential  design Philadelphia resident since 2011 . Hobbies include: Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos & house music lover. Instagram:  @kerl_up_with_kateEmail: Kate.Kerl32@gmail.com. To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-balance-your-life/

 

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Current Events, Environment, Friends of TWS, Popular Culture, Women

Katie Kerl: Balance Your Life

 
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Photography and Text by Katie Kerl, Copyright 2019

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Balance Your Life

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Back to reality after a week or two of birthday fun; time to get back on my healthy diet regimen. It was not until I turned 32 did I take stock in how I was mistreating my body. I have done a complete 180 since then. Partying is all well and good in the moment, until its Tuesday and you’re feeling the downward spiral of reality and anxiety. I used to get sick at least four times a year, and would stay up most of the weekend having what I thought was  fun for my life in that moment.

There came a time I realized it was not fun anymore. If your weekend hangover is delayed until Tuesday you may have an issue. I was going through a laundry list of things at that time; A shitty boyfriend that I do not wish upon anyone, finding out who my REAL friends were in the most undignified fashion, and sick family. At that time I did not know how to deal with those emotions other than not sitting around thinking about it. Today, I am a completely different person. I try my hardest to not drink while going through something negative. I have failed at that here and there, but as long as I know it is not the way to handle it that is all that matters.

Meal planning is a big part of my life. To me cooking is therapy, and plating is a creative art form. If I cook for you, it is going to look like you are eating at a five star restaurant. Stephen Starr had run a home cooks challenge a few years back. They featured my sweet potato hash with Greek yogurt crème brûlée on their Instagram page. I also practice intermittent fasting, meaning I drink a cup of coffee in the morning plus one liter of water, or decaf herbal tea until around 1pm.

Then I eat my first meal, which usually is my largest of the day. I do not believe in cutting out carbs from your diet. That is a great way to set yourself up for failure. I’ll prepare a portion of lean protein with vegetables outweighing the meat, and some form of starch. Sweet potatoes are my favorite, also quinoa, potatoes, and rice. I make plant based protein smoothies mixed with different fruits, green veggies, nut butters, and almond milk, sweetening it with honey. I make sure to SEASON all of my meats and veggies. Flavor is usually what people lack when cooking for themselves.

Through the rest of my day I try to get down one more liter of water. I think a gallon is way too much for me. It always makes me feel bloated and cranky. Drinking a glass of water before you eat also decreases the amount of food you intake. Chewing your food properly before swallowing helps you digest correctly. Being in my thirties heartburn is a real thing I did not know existed in my twenties. In the evening dinner is the smaller meal for me. I will also have fruit, nuts, or granola bars as snacks. I try to stop eating by 8pm.

The only time you will see me with junk food in my house is when I have PMS. Then nothing is stopping me from eating all the cheese, chocolate, chips, and pasta in sight. I pick two days a week to eat whatever I want. Depriving yourself of something you want to eat makes being healthy feel like a chore.

Now, I realize this is not many people’s cup of tea, or good use of their time anymore in an age of meal kits and fresh food delivery. I always find it baffling when my friends say they cannot cook. That basic human survival skill we are skipping teaching our children in the day of convenience.

How do we make healthy meals a family activity again? We move through life so fast that slowing down to eat together rarely happens. Nothing makes me feel better than seeing the look on friends faces when they eat my food. Some of my fondest memories were cooking with my mom, grandmothers, and aunts. I always tell people if they need help getting a jump start on basic meal planning I am here to help. That goes for anyone reading this wanting to change, but not sure where to start. I am no personal trainer or nutritionist but, I look better at 35 than I did at 25.

Summer is coming and so are sundresses and bikinis. If you would like the recipes of the food photos I have attached here please visit my Instagram page. If you want a healthy mind, body, and spirit a good diet is the best place to start. You can work out all you want, but you truly are what you eat. I know I am ready to shed the winter layers and lay in the sun; Are you?

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Portrait of Katie Kerl, Philadelphia 2019

Portrait of Katie Kerl, Philadelphia 2019

About The AuthorKatie Kerl. Born 1984. Raised in Drexel Hill,  Pennsylvania. Education: Drexel University studied Behavioral  Psychology. Occupation: commercial/ residential  design Philadelphia resident since 2011 . Hobbies include: Foodie, whiskey drinker,  fitness , cooking  , tattoos & house music lover. Instagram:  @kerl_up_with_kate. Email: Kate.Kerl32@gmail.com. To access additional articles by Katie Kerl, click here: http://tonywardstudio.com/blog/katie-kerl-take-me-to-the-disco/

Also posted in Affiliates, Blog, Environment, News, Philadelphia, Popular Culture, Women