Word and Image

Art

Random

Iconic, shots of my life, random, culled from previous posts. Inspired? I was. I was not allowed to publish a shot we made in the museum. Copyright. Ok, I will respect it, though I have it already, too late. It was (not this one) an Andy Warhol classic too. I am inspired ala Rocky to hold up my bike on the closest I ever got to a “Century” on that day – 96 mile ride. Beloved Patch, a heilan coo, spring tulips, Whistler’s mother in Paris. I have lived a pretty nice life. It’s not how you start… yada yada. I do not deny that I have been very lucky, very fortunate… very, you name it. I have seen beauty. I have loved beauty. I have lost. I have loved. I love. If there is forever, I will love you Colleen.


i wuz happy

I had camera envy. Leica. Just released, new model.  It’s the Rolls Royce of cameras. Exclusive. Precise. Expensive!!! $$$$$ How about $9000 worth for this newest model. I have never used one though I got my father in law’s (old) Leica after he passed away. Use it, shoot with it, no, the most I did was hold it. The manual focus rangefinder is too fiddly for my grab shot style. I shoot on the run. Rapid fire. Much of the time I trust the camera to auto focus auto expose my subject.

So I gotta ask… what is photography to me? oh boy! Philosophy. This is gonna get boring fast. I’m shooting the world around me. I’m not seeing an iconic monument or glorious sunset every day. My candid shots are not fine art. I am not on the line to get the money shot in sports or any commercial. This is about fun. Envy? Camera envy? Not really. Not practically. I can have a lot of fun with $9000, that does not include having a Leica. I would cringe to leave it lie on my dashboard as I drive awaiting a stray shot thru the windshield. TMI! I am happy. I am happy in my out of focus and blurred shots. The world and my situation is/was never perfect. I get what I get. And, if not, I move on. There are undoubted shots I would have liked to have captured. I capture things unexpectedly because I have a camera in hand. So, $9000 will make me happy, happier, happiest? Better, more better, most better? Here is where it gets tricky. Do I need a better camera than an iPhone?


Art is

There is art in form. Art is not always in museums. Photography is art? Platitudes. There is a fine line between art, photography, and journalism? Is nature art? Antiques are automatically art? Modern art? Does price define art? $$$$ For a shopping cart with zip ties – $10,000. Paying for concept or for a few packs of $1 zip ties? Oh yeah! Does that sound outrageous? Does it make it all the more valuable? I ain’t no critic. Artist, journalist, photographer, gadfly? Egad!! – (word) first used in 1673, how do they know stuff like this? Do you look funny eating?


Exuberant

Colleen is tired of me for apologizing for our cozy home. We are definitely not minimalist. Our tendency toward exuberance is everywhere in the beer steins we collect to the refrigerator magnets. We have eight cats. I will add the Willow’s picture is a reminder of wide angle distortion, once more! I took old bobbins and made them into pens, not once but, as you see, many times over. Baskets? Ditto. One detail I will note: Colleen can weave! This cloth is being woven on a barn loom that dates back to the Revolutionary war. Wow! She can weave!! I like living large!


What’s art?

I love our little museum. In terms of others we have been, this is a small museum. They do great exhibits. And the opening receptions usually are catered affairs. Free food! Ha ha. That gets me in every time. This one was a “miss.” The catering was not so good and Covid precautions had guests eating outside under a tent… with melting snow all around. Brrrr… We did not do any custom art posing of our own. Alas. The shopping cart? It was no mistake; zip ties covered the wagon. Price: $10,000; I kid you not, we saw the catalog. Shocking, that’s my opinion. Art? Sometimes you win; sometimes you lose. The best thing was hot tea later in a cozy restaurant. Priceless.


…how much…

…fun can you have with your clothes on? It’s perception? Looking at things differently? Art is there to make us think. I interact. I see things and try…. My mind races. I never considered myself an artist. Photography appeals because the image is accurate and absolute in its real depiction of the world around me. I could never draw it. Photography is deemed an artform. Ok!

The sculpture gave me pause… long enough to walk around and discover, a new perspective. Plane crash? … as art? Without being there, you know it is a cold day outside my window. Food fun? The cup says Chinese. The food says dim sum. Fun?!? Yeah, keep your clothes on, stay warm, eat a lot of food!


Anatomy lessons

For a change, I have too many thoughts…. Nearly fifty years in medicine and I still don’t understand women… anatomically… well, figuratively too. … I hug my dear wife all night long…. But then again, artists are guilty too.

There are challenges. For instance, sculpting eyes is a good example. The pupil of the eye cannot be depicted in stone. So a hole gives the eye depth. Or, not. It’s a choice and I imagine the hole is the best compromise. Painters? Do they paint from real life or their mind’s eye? Sculpt? The old master (top left) – he painted breasts as plastic surgery augmented breasts. They stick out without naturally (lying) folding. The depiction is anatomically incorrect. Naively, I would have passed this by without another criticism before. Sculpting a breast is equally challenging. After all, it is (mistake) written in stone.

This artist, in her retrospective, tries to depict women (herself) naturally. She paints anatomically correctly… as one would view a photograph. Ah! Real or abstract? (Un)natural breast augmentation is a recent medical procedure, but, it appears that artists have taken liberties much longer. Lest we forget, women do not walk about naked. So, it is the clothing curving outward which completes the allure.

Indeed, seventy plus years old, I am still learning. Or, at least I am changing or discovering new viewpoints. All these decades of study… and I still don’t understand women. But, I shall keep thinking about it. On a cold wintry day during Covid in the middle of January…


Tryptych

Seriously. This museum was unexpected. There was a retrospective look at a 94 year old woman’s work. She had done nude self portraits of herself for many years.

We had our usual fun. I was once told by a (unnamed) family member that we had not been to museums like she had; she implied we were unenlightened. I took her seriously. We have had fun in each and every museum since that comment. See? How does one respond to snobbish notions? I think one should always take a naked woman seriously. Eh?

Ooops! It got away from me. The website has been balky about publish dates, hence, three posts on the same day within hours of each other. Hey! Another form of tryptych. But… it was a silly error. TMI. A post per day allows the viewer to savor. Unhurried. Me? 60 miles a minute, or, is it a mile a minute?

Nothing happens without a reason: Today! It’s my/our 3rd anniversary. Officially. Hey! I wish it could be forever. But, I will settle for three. What would life be if it had taken a different turn?


We were there… again… before

Chicago. We attended the Van Gogh exhibit. Two or more bedrooms, they were there in the same place. Lucky! And then (years later), we did the immersive show in Philadelphia. Wow! We have been around to see a lot. We have some staid relatives who would be horrified that we enjoy the art with such irreverence. They don’t receive the feed of my blog posts. Ha ha. I have lived serious. No more. Fun! These days we fill our lives with love and happiness.

Is this what you call, “Being a part of the art scene?”


Once upon a time

Once upon a time Amelia, the dove, hatched a clutch of eggs in Jule”s window box. Several more generations of eggs followed and hatched. Imagine, it was 5 floor up in NYC, hardly the place to raise a family of doves. Several years later there was a reunion of the extended dove family on my 6th floor deck – one time only. It was poignant and priceless!

I have seen Gates, a one-time art installation in Central Park. I flew over the Verraznno Bridge during the NYC Marathon. I got to shoot at the US Open. I have been to Patriot Day in Boston. Why did the turkey(s) cross the road? Um, I don’t know either. Puffins??! Cute?! I got seasick three times unsuccessfully never seeing the birds, before I got this shot. The dragon – New Orleans – mardi gras, I was there to see the warehouse housing the trappings of the celebration. Walter Mitty had nothing on me.


Immersed

Van Gogh – The Immersive Experience. Well, here’s something new. It’s more show than museum. We learned some new facts. Commercial meets art. No copyright to sidestep. There are actually a couple versions of the multimedia show touring. Colleen found this one. It was excellent. We were surprised. This was the first time we were required to show vaccination status and to wear a mask at all times in the venue. Ok! “The Bedroom” and “The Vestibule” got new (interactive) versions – us! Was it show, or, art? No matter, it was packed – standing room only. Fun!


No.1

Another day, another museum. Colleen was waiting for this visit. The Farnsworth had just acquired a gift from Andrew Wyeth’s widow, Betsy. Fan No.2, 3, and, yes, No.4 followed faithfully. I am often beside myself in such places. And, as you may note, art is sometimes outside too. And, to finish? Late afternoon dining in the local “cafe.” Tacky, but refined. … I am still looking for fall color.


Hum-ah

In Maine, they pronounce long “A’s.” (pfewf!!, that was a punctuation nightmare!) Like supp-ah for supper. And so forth. Seriously. ?! Socks? T-shirts? Dancin’s in the streets? Candles on a blanket on the beach at low tide. In the time of Covid, you can actually go out for takeout wearing a clown outfit/mask. The beard was the cherry on top. There is a lot to see if you know where to look. Or, if you just look, there is lots to see.


Arts and crafts

The Delaware State Fair. I suppose there are no surprises if you have been to a state fair. They are about vanilla as it gets – produce, farm animals, a carnival, and the rides. The players vary but the theme is the same. How does one judge the watermelons? Size, taste, color? Carnival food? Always entertaining. Ride? – the Enterprise, it spins you vertically; it spins you horizontally: then you throw up. Fun! The sheep? One gave Colleen the worst case of poison ivy – ever! The sheep rubs against the plant; the oil gets on the wool; Colleen pets the wool; worst case scenario! (No. No picture!) But, do you see the guy on the unicycle?

If you have followed… you probably didn’t… Colleen has a cousin – Barb, no names please – who cut down my passion fruit vine last fall. I thought it dead. It’s seemed a logical conclusion after it was cut to the ground. No!! Resurrected! It grew back. Good news! …especially for Barb. My chain saw rental is still good at Home Depot. Zzzzz!

Onward to the art museum. Yes, we still go. Some is good. Some is not so good. Hey! I’m allowed to not like some things. I don’t argue if you don’t like broccoli….  So… we got Norman (Rockwell) or “Mother and Child.” Yes, I’m still laughing (whilst) at the museum. They let me do my own staging. It’s art too?! Eh? Diane? (Once more – I admonish you not to try this in a moving car – bridge shot – one handed driving ~70mph. It’s not supposed to work.)


Art – imagine that!

I can’t keep a straight face. I have a PIA sister in law – Diane – no names to protect the guilty. She likes to name drop all the museums and art she has seen. It’s a checklist for an insecure art wanna-be. Did I mention her name? Since she tried to “name drop” me, I have made it point to be irreverent in museums around the world. Ha ha, I been to places…. yeah, yeah, but my english aint so good. 😦 On this occasion, we were with the sisters. It seems no one in the family has much of a sense of humor. It’s more like horror – be PC! and proper! Me? Nah? Lee? She was pretty horrified to be in the middle. Colleen? Sigh. Yes, she’s married to me. Tolerance my dear, tolerance. Alas, Diane will never see this. Bruce, the brother/husband is in WPP. …oops! Does it look like anyone is having fun? Jane? Are you ignoring us?


Writer’s block

I could hardly be accused of being cramped. I keep saying there are too many images  and not enough time. The cameras give me technically sound shots. I used to shoot 36 images (film) per day. Now, it can easily be 700 images (digital) in a single outing. Philosophically, less is more?! One image? Sure. But, it’s so much more illustrative (fun!) to share the backstory (ha!) on what’s doing.

Look to home when you need inspiration? My cat Feather has replaced Peas in the basket in order to occupy space and ambush Peas (in her former favorite spot). After Barb cut down my passion fruit vine, the new one and its flower is a surprise brilliant red. Sometimes things happen for a reason (photo op). Meanwhile, you will see Chestertown illustrated. It was a charming town, an over the top excellent find by Colleen, who loves history, shopping, eating, art, and above all, all things “charming.” We could not have had a better day with our clothes on. (Shhh, she wasn’t sure about the dress length; she wore shorts beneath.)


Good one?

I give up. Currently, I cannot cull, edit, and choose a single image from among the myriad of good ones I have in my collection. So, I cheat. I use a gallery and sneak in multiple images, sometimes, even “repeats.” How else can I share the fun? Every time I see the flower with the “tongue” I think of the Rolling Stones. Water, it’s a universal favorite. No matter, it’s all good and keeps getting better… well, at least it’s always changing.


My bad


street photography | Definition, History, Types, & Facts …https://www.britannica.com › Visual Arts › Photography
Street photography, a genre of photography that records everyday life in a public place. The very publicness of the setting enables the photographer to take candid pictures of strangers, often without their knowledge.


Is street photography legal?

As a street photographer, the obvious thing in your possession is your camera. … In New South Wales you are not under a legal obligation to explain or justify your photographic activities or to answer any questions, even if the police arrest you.

Perfect spring day. Happy ending in Krazy Cat restaurant. This is the famous March Bank at the DuPont estate Winterthur. March Bank? Henry DuPont created a natural garden that blooms with millions of bulbs in the spring – timed, wave after wave of flowers bloom in the most tranquil setting. Wandering the beauty, we came upon a painter. I got a couple shots. I was speculating whether she was a man or a fat woman. Her sharp glance and admonition were, to “not” take her picture. It’s street photography in a public space. Sorry to say: her painting was not very good. So, I guess, she had good reason to be shy. Nonetheless, we had a standoff. I never argue. I just did not take another.

Now, the March Bank. I shot around 1500 images. Yeah, nuts! The first-round edit was disappointing. Not a single standout shot. I think I may be too harsh a critic of my work. Second glance – it was not so bad. It’s a fine line between average and good. Sometimes a little (time) distance helps.

Street photography – it’s legal. Confrontation is never comfortable. For me, it remains a challenge.


More Art

Salvador Dali: A weird guy/artist who loved publicity and attention. There was an exhibition of his work in our local museum. Nowadays I am less reverent. We view art. We do art. It’s fun. We have fun. Well, at least, I do. Colleen goes along. It’s easier on her. And, yes, I am shameless. We are usually alone in this particular museum. I get to stage my shots. Dali would be proud? Alas, I am not as weird as I would like to be, despite Colleen’s protest to the contrary. Dali was strange. I am merely a pretender.


Art

You know me and art. I’m no artist. Photography ain’t art. Pressing your finger to the shutter is not a particular skill. Ha ha. Yes, it’s all tongue in cheek. For real? A recent NYT article described 3D imaging and used an artists’ loft as its model (see below left). They said the clutter was arranged carefully over years to achieve the exact art effect they (artists) desired. Ha ha! I am hysterical! Yes, laughing hysterically. We do/did it in my/our (it takes more than one) house. It takes about a day. It is ever changing. This was our seasonal look. Clutter? Art!? Oh yeah! Oh yes! Things are in their place once. Who can keep track? It’s enough to make your mother shudder. Hey! No dirty laundry. I drew the line when I saw Dave sniffing his laundry in his room to decide if it was wearable. The washer was on the wall directly behind his bedroom.

Some have art. Some have clutter. I guess there’s a fine line between art and clutter. We have family and friends shuddering (with laughter) as they read this.