October 18, 2016

Moons of October

My sister and I on Home Street. Winnipeg, MB; September 2016.

My sister is a knock out.

Portrait of a lady called Boots.

Celebrating Erin's joy to have found great love in Gareth.

Winnipeg Bachelorettes out on Home Street.

Granny Tammy teaches young Atlas all the tricks in the book! Morden Legion #11, Manitoba
A picture of Iain speaks a thousand words. This funny developer fluke frame had me at "let me fill your bath".

Back Alley cut for Gus. Shot this out of the truck window.
Graveyards are for lovers. Grant & Rebecca at Jay & Becky's wedding. Winnipeg, MB; September 2016.
Portrait of my friend Evan. I stuck my tongue out and flipped him the bird as I shot this portrait. 
My sister in law to be, Rebecca.
My brother in law to be, Conrad.

Marissa, Stef, Izzy and Erin. 

October 11, 2016

Ring Those Bells

Self-timer self portrait of two kids in love. Camping edition: Beresford Lake, MB; August 2016.

My tall drink of water and I are engaged to be married! Yahoo! The memory of a sweet proposal and a lovely ring on my finger tell me so! This time of year is a good time to reflect upon life's bounty. I am so grateful for the experiences in my life that have led me to where I am. Thank goodness for this man and his beautiful spirit. I can hardly believe that we get to work alongside one another and laugh with each other forever 'n ever amen. Oh the things we are going to build in this lifetime.

Life is good.

Ich habe genug!

October 7, 2016

The Sorceress & her Sun Shoes

Tiny cars driven by old geezers / Baby G holding his baby g.

Lately in my dreams, I have been seeing in still picture. Sometimes I look at images I have captured in my past, or the photographs I am currently working on bringing to life in the darkroom will dance around the forefront of my mind. Sometimes when luck has it, I get to look ahead--at the images I have yet to capture but will in good time.

This past evening while observing Andy Shauf croon on stage firsthand, I took one snap of him full flash and another without. Then one of the pianist and eventually one of the bassist's left Beatle boot trying to decide which pedal to hit for the last song of the night, "Wendall Walker". As I framed up those boots, I remembered I had already taken their picture once before.

While life is good and busy, photowork seems to trump any and all other activity. I work at school and then come home and work in the darkroom when the spirit leads. Sometimes it feels like pulling teeth, the process of intention and its dance partner, old follow through; getting down there and setting up the flow can be paintful. But when it happens, it is for good reason. The pleasantries of a quick-found work rhythm far outweigh the angst of entering the darkroom in the first place. I guess I have come to the conclusion that I have too much work and need to slow my intake to a trickle.


Wedding season has closed for the time being and it feels really good to rest the rigs. The Kiev gave a hearty hurrah (as if on comedic cue) as her parts began to literally pop off with each slap of the mirror. Ahhh yes. Rest. Time to rest old girl. In the coming year, I hope to focus my camera on more experimental editorial lookbooks and many, many more Down Home family portraits. Time to volunteer with big kids!

As I age, the clearer the realization becomes that my print work is my own. It's not technically clean or beautiful compared to some, but it's my hand work directly connected to my brain which is throwing the switches up there and ultimately putting ideas down on light reactive magic paper and it doesn't get much more damn truthful than that. Sometimes I wish I had more gumption to get up and go, do more, but I'd rather be at home. No fear of missing out.

In other news, after a long time apart a new stencil is carving itself out on the old glass top. It's long and lean. A personal philosophy spelled out in longish hand. While working on it in a blind rage the other evening, I lay down the blade at one point and uncapped a Sharpie and began drawing my usual lady in profile, in a dress, holding a hanky and wearing strange 90's sun shoes. Clearly, it is time to start drawing again. I have forgotten how. The sun shoes and weirdly proportioned toes and fingers tell me so. Every time I pass through the Piano Room I laugh with a single glance to the work table and that funny lady lying there. So Mote it Be!

Today on my lunch break I braced myself against the first biting lick of cold while bolting southwest and then turned on a dime to duck into the shelter that is Martha Street Studio. I spent my time at the enormous light table in the upstairs studio. Again, it was a call from the Universe to get back to the drawing board. Work on those hands and feet, woman!


Morden Corn & Apple Festival / portrait of an unimpressed Brownie McGee 
More Tiny cars and old geezers at Morden Corn & Apple Festival / Grant & Lu
A float of old inductees / Nephew Atlas and Uncle Iain reading 
Rebecca and Arlo in my living room / Atlas enjoying an airplane ride at the carival
A bride and her nephew / Petkau drive

September 11, 2016

Margot Pollo goes to Portugal


Lisbon / Grandola, Portugal; August 2016
Canon E0S-3 / Delta 400

September 5, 2016

Do the Boogie Woogie

How many moons since I last wrote? Too many lovely moons to count. I am sitting at my desk in the middle of mine and Iain's home. The room housing the desk is a pass-through room between front parlour and kitchen. The workroom as I like to call it contains a glass topped work table, a light table, a desk and a piano. Soft light. No plants like it in here. Today is Labour Day Monday. Feels like New Year's Eve a little bit. My anticipation builds as the day flows on.

Tomorrow morning I begin a new position as an Inclusion Support worker at a Montessori school situated in Winnipeg's Exchange District. Children's House Montessori was established on Pacific in 1967 making it the oldest Montessori school in Winnipeg. The building has a neat energy. It is a positive, safe and fun place to learn, to observe and to guide others in their quest. I am really looking forward to getting to know more children and their families throughout the coming months. Last year at this time I was embarking upon my first year as a Teacher of Montessori. 15 little chickens in my care. Art Coordinator. It was a wild and frustrating, hilarious and tender, energizing and exhausting time. Learning Curve in full effect essentially.

It is a fantastic switch in mentality to anticipate something rather than fear it. Empowering!

Below is a sample of some new print work, fresh out of last night's dip. Tony Chestnut! What a hoot of an experience. Jill had a new vision for this season and invitmed me to frame up the magic of her Winter 2016 collection. It's a rough and tumble collection of clothes made for hauling ass in. I would say this is Jill's most gritty and quality collection yet. It gives off a strong front at first but the looks soften as you begin to notice the details. Ceremic buttons made by Lane Delmonico Gibson (!!!) that close the delicate backs of the hardy coveralls (available in wool or Army Duck), little double collars on a long column of a dress made from the loveliest soft knit, funnel sleeves on the boiled wool cardigan that reminded me of the Tinman! So many details in this story it is silly! I love and appreciate the many opportunities to push my skill set in new directions. Thank you Universe.

Six models, six looks worn in their own way.


July 30, 2016

Eagles and Animal Crackers


I am nearly set to leave for a two week journey with my longest running nanny family. We will be holidaying together under the Portuguese sun in the breadbasket of the Alentejo region. 7km from the Atlantic Coast. No complaints here. On Thursday I was looking after the twins and Efram surprised me by asking out of the blue if we could print a photograph he had been thinking about since the last time we spent time in the darkroom together. I always give them free reign of my contact sheet binders, as I quite enjoy their perspective of what makes a "good" photograph. The fact that Effie chose such a special negative to work with made my day. We started with the Golden Eagle and then moved on to Noam's choice negative. He titled the final print "Three Muskateers Eat Animal Crackers on Megan's Back Porch". I dig it. Have a look. I exposed the paper and they did the rest. As always, their wonder over the magic of the developer filled up my soul and made me wonder what on earth it would be like to teach my own children someday. They killed time between two minute exposures by reenacting their favorite scenes from Scooby Doo zombie edition and doing pushups on Uncle Al's rug. Ha! Perhaps I need to take a page from their book.

Here lies some new collaborative work. Meg, Efram, Noam edition; hand printed collectively on July 28th, 2016 and scanned at home on July 30th, 2016. Enjoy!


July 23, 2016

Photo Essay: Meeting Lula Browning

Nice to meet you Lula Browning Colvin. Born to Rebecca & Grant on July 16, 2016.


Dear Lula, these photographs are for you and yours, captured with real deep love. It is important to know what wonderful people you have been born to. Near and dear they are to both U. Beetle and I for so many reasons it is hard to know where to begin the list. I look forward to running free with you in the country in the time to come and watching you grow in the present. As your wise mama says, "day by day". I can't wait to observe your parents introducing you to the Sugar Shack. My heart swells with pride at the thought of you knowing that special land intimately in your own way.

Bless you sweet child; wind in your sails as you traverse this wild and wonderful planet, those bright eyes shining all the way!

Love, A. Madge

Ps. All photos shot on the old faithful Kiev 60 on Portra 400 film. At first I was disappointed I had loaded my camera with colour in lieu of contrast. Then I saw the film and knew it was better this way. Lovely to be content working with colour scans after a long time apart.