This here is a photograph I took of my friend Ted, while we were swimming out in Chelsea…those times out in nature with him are some of my favorite memories of this area….and of our friendship!
My pal Olex s no stranger to camping it up and posing for the camera; she has a million characters in her; I find this shot that I took randomly at a BBQ at her home so special… it somehow reminds me that behind all the make-up, hair, dresses – is a young woman of depth and dimension, few really get to be close to. It also reminds me of the 1980 Robert Redford directed film ORDiNARY PEOPLE somehow…..as such here is Ordinary Oley!
Here are a couple of outtakes from a shoot I did in 2011 with fellow collaborator Danniel Oicke – this shoot was called TWiSTED SiSTERS….
Of course I have some lovely shots of my kitties… ever ready for the camera at home!
And finally just for good measure, here are a couple of shots I like to think of as DOLL ART; I’ve always had a fixation with dolls and as such they serve as my muses a lot of the time… in fact I have an entire folder of random doll art…. perhaps a future feature?
Where to begin? It is a whirl-wind these days for me, as change is on the horizon. In short, I will be packing up and shipping off to Flin Flon, Manitoba near the end of July, for a new and exciting job that starts August 1st. I will be a Mental Health Clinician for the Youth and Women’s Team in Primary Health Care.
The reason I don’t know where to begin is that in truth, my heart & mind are all over the place these days. On one hand, I find myself here in Ottawa, for all intensive purposes still a part of this city & the various projects I’m involved in. On the other hand, as I enjoy these last days here, my mind simultaneously races with thoughts on how to best prepare for what I’m about to embark on back in the Flin Flon community. As I straddle both worlds – I’m both sad and excited; it’s difficult for someone like me, who struggles with fear & anxieties to express exactly what it is I’m feeling, because it is a combination of things both logical & illogical, & sometimes the line between each is hard to decipher.
I will say that I’m extremely happy with the life I’ve made in Ottawa up till now; 10 years ago when I first sauntered into this town I really had nothing but my back-pack & that was all. No particular goals or plans – I was rather aimless. Years later I’ve seen myself go to college and University; I’ve met so many wonderful people along the way – conquered a few demons here and there too. I’ve seen romantic relationships come & go, & have been more than blessed to be with my partner Alain for almost 6 years now.
To the outsider looking in at what the life of CC TRUBiAK is all about; one might see a bright & confident guy with tons going on. I’ve grown to understand that perception is all so relative; yes it’s true that I’m extremely lucky & blessed but make no mistake – there is so much more to everyone than meets the eye. For all of my gifts & shine, I’m incredibly flawed but ever-striving to understand life & my part in it; how I can above all, love & laugh. At 33 years old I still search for answers to questions about who I am & how I can get the most joy out of life.
One thing I’m committed to is getting somewhere with my social work career. Career & finances have been an area of life that I have yet to conquer – & having graduated with my degree a few years ago now, it feels time to face my fears of job search in that area, which is why this opportunity to move away and focus on career couldn’t have come at a better time. The universe is obviously listening to me.
Some may wonder – well, what’s up with your arts/photography/music? As the arts were in my youth, they will remain an integral part of me, even as I make my way back to Manitoba. I’ve been so incredibly fortunate over the past two years in terms of the public’s reception to my art. I used to keep that part of me very hidden & so to be so welcomed into the Ottawa art scene at all has given this small-town guy a great deal of encouragement, to say the least. I’ve published a book of self-portrait photography (Hail The Narcissist, 2010), released an independent CD (They Say I’m Different, 2011 – also nominated by Xpress for Best Album, Best New Musical Act), played gigs around Ottawa (City Hall, Elmdale House Tavern, Mercury Lounge, Club Saw Gallery, The Rainbow etc), and collaborated with a multitude of talented folks whom have influenced me immensely, by virtue of embracing me creatively.
Yet – as successful as I have been in this area & as much as I will continue to create music & art, I have also spent the past two years grappling with how I feel about the music/art industry, as well as my place in it. In all of the fun & excitement that comes with ‘being seen’ (& one has to remember its usually more in my nature to be reclusive & close to home than it ever was to be out & about in any scene), I found myself becoming conflicted at times, unsure of how to proceed next within this industry (or if in fact I wanted to). I would ask myself: what is my desire here? Let me put it this way; what I love & want most – is to express & connect – but more and more I find myself wrestling with the industry & the appearance of it all. Sometimes I’m just compelled to run away, find some log cabin somewhere I could avoid thinking about self-promotion or managing. Somewhere I don’t feel so affected by image or what the general public might think or perceive.
I’m not terribly interested in certain aspects that clearly come along with attaining success in the music industry; I’m a terrible schmoozer, I can’t stand to be in environments with so many competitive egos, & I have a lot to learn about selling myself. If the art scene is likened to the schoolyard at recess, I often feel like the quiet kid who will see all the children playing on the jungle gym or swing sets….wanting to connect & play – but finding it difficult to penetrate through a lot of BiG personalities. At least for this point in my life…. In most cases these ‘kids’ are just as insecure as I might be – but who just wear it differently. I might ask them: “Can I play too?” I both admire them as well as feel apprehensive. I might see them role play and posture, wanting a turn at it myself, often finding that PRiNCESS over there playing QUEEN of the CASTLE just can’t stand to let anyone else wear the crown for a bit! It feels to me, less about connecting and more about who you know, & where you stand in terms of status within the rest of the playground. Oh, I always find a way to connect or make friends, & I have met a great deal of like-minded folks – but I guess it goes to show that now-a-days I’m not so interested in playing the games that come along with recess as much as I am about focusing on creating something that speaks to who I am. Period.
On that particular note, after all the fantastic projects I have & continue to work on are said & done – the one that I’m most attached to at this point is the collection of recordings I’m doing with DARREN HOLMES. Together we’ve been slowly working on another album of music, and I’ve spoken about this several times throughout the year as we’ve recorded. There are many creative hands coming in on this album (as both songwriters, musicians) as we continue work on it; and to go back to what I just previously said about the industry side of things; I couldn’t be more proud of the results thus far, & further more I have taken away any previous pressures for this to come out at any particular time, or for it to achieve any specific kind of success. I do know that whenever this album sees the light of day – its contents will speak to who I am intrinsically, better than anything I have released previously as an artist. I’m not sure where this confidence comes from per se, but I do know that all I’ve ever really wanted to get out of releasing my work to the public, is a chance to say something deeper about the person I am, for aren’t we all just trying to be heard in the end? I will never make any claims that what I have to say is particularly any wiser or better than what my neighbor has to say – but I do still think we all strive to be heard, in whatever way we can. This is my ultimate goal as an artist – & as a social worker I suppose – inspire people to share their voice.
Flin Flon is just around the corner for me & as it approaches, understand that life as I know it, is about to change. As scary as it is for me to face the unknown, I do so with the hope that I can somehow make a positive difference there, and for my own journey. One thing I promise to do while I am away is document Flin Flon in whatever ways I can. This community is filled with riches; people have stories there I want to share somehow, as a photographer, writer and humanitarian. I will do my best to share with you all the goings-on there. In the meantime – I’m choosing to spend the remainder of time I have in Ottawa, surrounded by my friends & loved ones who have made my time here so beautiful.
p.s. Special thanks DANNiEL OiCKLE, OLEXANDRA PRUCHNiCKY, BONNiE FiNDLEY, DAN ZiEMKiEWiCZ & SARA AiNSLiE for the amazingly fun video shoot we all took part in last night at MERCURY LOUNGE. Can’t wait to see the results for Dan’s video ‘Caring & Hate’. ZiEMKiEWiCZ also touched me with this thoughtful gift he and GUiLLAUME picked up for me on their travels – ‘Hushabye Baby: Lullaby Renditions of DOLLY PARTON’. I’ve got it on now & it’s inspiring! <3
It’s funny – well maybe not so much as funny but ironic : when I used to listen to CAROLE KiNG’S ‘TAPESTRY’ growing up, HOME AGAiN was a favorite even then. This was before I ever left Manitoba – and I somehow loved the sentiment of this song, despite having never been away from ‘home’ long enough to miss its comforts.
TAPESTRY is/was a pop album released in 1971 on ODE RECORDS. It is one of the best-selling albums of all-time, with over 25 million copies sold worldwide. It received four GRAMMY AWARDS in 1972, including ALBUM of the YEAR and in 2003, ranked number 36 on ROLLiNG STONE magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.
HOME AGAiN was never the huge hit that say IT’S TOO LATE or YOU’VE GOT A FRiEND was – but it’s simplicity make it a sweet stand-out on its own for me. I found myself singing it the other day, as I was thinking about how new, strange and difficult it will be for me to leave Ontario at the end of July, as I make my way back to Manitoba after all these years for a new job. I may be moving a head and towards something new – but I am also already feeling the sting of loneliness that I anticipate will hit me hard once I’m there and settled in more. I will be a part from my love, and the comforts that come along with the home we have here and all of its fixings… and while I am still here enjoying my last month, I already miss him/home – like its already gone…. so this song speaks to my heart today but I know that everything meaningful to me here will remain just that . There is comfort found there – as i will return home to Ontario one day too!
Although Outlaw country was mainly the domain of men, there were some women that pursued musical careers in country music that considered themselves “Outlaws” as well. There are really only four women that became major outlaw stars in country music: TANYA TUCKER, SAMMi SMiTH, EMMYLOU HARRiS and JESSi COLTER, respectively. I’ve written about TUCKER several times before, as she’s a huge inspiration – and her contribution to music for me has certainly left a good impression for it’s truly unique grain of guts and fragility, but COLTER, HARRiS and SMiTH are also right up there.
JESSi COLTER was the wife of the Outlaw pioneer WAYLON JENNiNGS. She married JENNiNGS in 1968. In the mid-70s, she pursued a solo career, and immediately achieved Outlaw status after she scored a #1 country hit, that also reached #4 on the pop charts, titled ‘I’m Not Lisa’, which was penned by COLTER herself.
‘I’m Jessi Colter’ is the album that brought her to the masses in 1975. Prior to this album, her name was somewhat known in Country music, mainly as JENNiNGS’ wife as she had recorded some sides with him, including two top forty singles, “Suspicious Minds” and “Under Your Spell Again”. She had also released one previous album, 1970′s ‘A Country Star Is Born’, which ironically enough made virtually no impact on the market. But it was a completely different story when Capitol Records issued ‘I’m Jessi Colter’, her second album. It’s first single, “I’m Not Lisa”, became a massive hit, peaking at number one on the Country charts. That song was so huge that it seemed like whenever you turned on the radio, there it was. So huge was that song, that it’s often overlooked that the follow-up, “What’s Happened To Blue Eyes” didn’t do too shabby, peaking at number five on the Country side in the Fall of 1975. As for the album, it would peak at number four on the Country bestseller lists, while hitting a high of fifty on the Pop side. An interesting side note, this was the first of three solo top ten albums for JESSi, all peaking at number four.
On another note – COLTER was exceptionally beautiful as well – as one can see from the above photos; and as a fan I can’t help but make comparisons to RONSTADT and fellow outlaw female HARRiS (perhaps this is more attributed to COLTER being much less in the spotlight to either of these ladies). Without a doubt though, its easy to see and hear what JENNiNGS was captured by, as well as what endears her to country music fans to this day.
According to the net – a RANDOM ACT OF KiNDNESS is defined as “a selfless act performed by a person or persons wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual or in some cases an animal. There will generally be no reason other than to make people smile, or be happier. ...”
I love these random acts, if only because I often times find people so much more interested in what they can get out of another person, place or thing – anything but selfless. That’s why when I witness, or even better yet, am faced with anothers random act of kindness, I am touched deeply and as I suppose it somehow reminds me that kindness is out there – people do remember you if you treat them with patience, kindness and real acknowledgement.
For example this past week I was super touched when a little old lady who lives down the street from me saw me struggling to carry my cat litter home from the store – and she offered me her wheel barrow, never having talked to me or knowing what kind of guy I might be. Then, a few months ago when I was out in Aylmer recording with Darren – I missed the #53 bus that was supposed to get me back downtown to Rideau Centre in time to make it to my shift at Club Monaco. I literally ran to the bus stop out there, out of breath and lugging my guitar – and just missed the hop-on – which scared the crap out me as I didn’t want to be irresponsibly late for work. Before I knew it – a very nice guy stopped his car at the bus stop and offered to quickly drive me to the next stop down the way – essentially giving me another opportunity to get on it and to work on time. I can’t remember his name but I will always remember just how random and kind that was – he really made my day simply by being kind. It goes to show you!
Then yesterday I arrived at work – and in the business of retail – you really do meet and chat with a lot of people – but you never really know how you make an impression. I get to work to find that someone had sent a postcard from CHiNA – to “the guy with the tattoo on his left hand” saying – “Greetings from Chengdu, China! Hey I hope you are doing great and don’t give up on your dreams! Make more music” – signed Xinyu Rosemary, May 26th, 2012.
I can’t tell you that I know who this came from – but I can say that it means the WORLD to me somehow. I thank whoever you are; you random act of kindness filled me with joy, to know that I was thought about all the way across the world – much less given the time & kind words of encouragement I received. Thank you in ABUNDANCE for this.
Here are some older shots I experimented with back in 2010. Often times I never know what is going to come out of a photo shoot that I do on my own – it usually involves experimenting with props and lights and such. I know I was drawn to this glittery owl, which in Native cultures is symbolic for being a ‘friend to the world’. They are changeable and mutable as the wind, as well we tough to pin down. They are warm, natural, with an easy-going nature. This animal symbol is notorious for engaging in life at full speed, and whole-hearted loves adventure. This can be to his/her detriment as the Owl can be reckless, careless, and thoughtless. Owls make great artists, teachers, and conservationists. However, due to his/her adaptability and versatility – the Owl would likely excel in any occupation. In a supportive, nurturing environment the Owl is sensitive, enthusiastic, and an attentive listener. Left to his/her own devices, the Owl can be excessive, overindulgent, bitter, and belligerent.
Interesting food for thought!
For today here are some outtakes from my playtime with this beautiful animal. Enjoy!
Last weekend I enjoyed a bit of time shooting a lovely subject (also my dear friend) LORENA. In essence I wanted to capture two particular sides of this beautiful woman that I’ve seen as I’ve come to know her.
On one hand I see a very passionate, romantic, even vulnerable side to her; something, delicate, layered and nuanced. I pictured her in a remote and exotic locale…. a ‘woman in love and in waiting’ if you will. On the other hand there is an incredible strength, poise, intelligence and refinement to her character that I wanted to bring out as well; her fierce side. This is the side of her I can see in the hub-bub of any social/art scene in the ‘big’ city. Cocktails and vernisages. Again – this is just MY imagination and inspiration. LORENA was flexible enough go with my lead and so here are just some of the snaps I got in this time.
LORENA – I will always treasure this time spent together, along with all of our other memories! I hope you enjoyed this shoot for the time to extend these two sides of yourself to the camera. I could shoot you for days!