I always wished to capture on film her animal- like nighttime behavior but have only gotten snipents. Watching old time movies during a series of rainy days, sitting on my brown leather couch and she in high waisted white cotton underwear from the waist down. But she's not a "model". Or not only a model.
This time I suggested tortoises and she told me to pick her up after work at 3:30 am Tuesday nite.
My friend Robert Villa helps run a tortoise preserve north of Mojave and east of California City. We started out eating Denny's near Palmsdale before dawn and ended the day eating at 9 pm at Denny's near Banning with a man named Manuel, a truck driver originally from Costa Rica. Both times, fried egg sandwich with a slice of cheddar on rye toast and fries on the side with mustard.
I love to cook outdoors. Here we are in Jawbone Canyon cooking sausage lunch
one sausage wasn't enough
note the realistic looking fly
Pat (parking area tortoise) raced out her hole at about 2" per hour. It was beautiful...it was zen but very different from swimming with the turtles in Hawaii. Underwater they were huge and displaced water and moved at the speed of the aliens in Fifth Element. Pat was in no hurry and currents weren't moving her. I enjoy waiting but the pressure of the everyday world was great.
When we arrived at 6 am (Robert had said the turtles come at when its cool and go back inside when its hot so its best to get there early) Robert wasn't stirring. When he opened his trailer door he smiled and gave me the finger.
We walked out from the trailer headquarters and met Pat.
Robert was busy coaxing by patting the earth with his open palm.
Audrey and I waiting patiently for Pat to crest
I decided to wait until Pat's broke the surface. But that never happened. when I was driving back from Key West last month I saw a turtle crossing the road. I stopped and saved its life by taking it by hand across the road.
when I did my "Way Out West" room at the Monticello, Robert Villa brought into my desert diaroma
2 baby tortoises, 2 rattle snakes and 2 gila monsters. Here are my two friends Gino and Angie Balasari
Robert helped me greatly on the "Way Out West" desert room and at one point
me, Heather and Robert went for Mexican nearby dinner.
we humans retreated to our vehicles
The thing about William Coupon is can shoot. We had kids about the same time (mid 1980's) and kept running into each other at Loy Taubman, a color lab near my studio on Park ave and 28th st. He reminded me of Clarabelle and dressed characteristically. He was an extremely successful commercial photographer and I was not. He has an uncanny ability to be THE perfect distance from his subject. He was renowned in the 1980's for his square format portraits against his painted textured cloth backgrounds. Besides distance, he was a master at dealing with clients. I never was. Once he hired us to be a "typical" family for a Westinghouse ad. It paid our way to weeks in Wales one summer. I watched him turn slightly the client in order for the client to accept the way he was going to shoot us.
My point is he came to visit but not to stay and we explored the desert and he shot with his 1phone and again his shots were distinctive. He shot inside my crazy house-details and long shots thenas we were pulling away he stopped and did a shot of the placid exterior remarking that no one would believe or know what was inside. He is very right about that.
(copyright William Coupon . www.williamcoupon.com)
my breakfast nock succulents
above my kitchen table some of my mom's things, some of mine
2 sides of one living space