Word and Image

Museum

Antique

Some days it is about the story rather than the image. An antique is something older than 100 years. Short of that it is vintage. Ha ha. We are vintage. Less than 100 for sure! But what constitutes old in the eyes of the court? That would be older than 70. That is the age cut off for jury duty – older than 70. Hey hey! Finally! I can thumb my nose at the jury duty notice. Ahem? Too old? Demented? Feeble? Infirm? Dunno, just check the box and decline service. Done.

Meanwhile a variation on an old joke: What’s the worst thing about being a grandpa? Eating (sleeping) with a grandma. Chuckle laugh groan – nope, not this one. She loves to eat out. And, I love her! No more jury duty anxiety. We earned it! Cheers!

For illustrative purpose – that is Spice eating a butterfly. Eewww! And why is it that angels play harps? Just wondering? Moreover, when they picked me for jury duty, I gratefully declined. And, no, I did not say Colleen was old. Hardly! They did not call upon her….


Sorry, I’m standing…

We go to museums. We have fun. The opportunity presents. I take advantage. We get something a little different. If this inspires you…. I don’t bother strangers. We pose one at a time and then the composite is done in post processing. Ok?! If not, sorry. It ain’t perfect. Does it matter? Too many questions. I smile each time I post these to the family. Some in the family may question my sanity. Since my head injury, I have not been in my right head. But, then again, I been doin’ this longer than that.

Disclaimer: No sisters were harmed in the making of these images.

Note: Rauschenberg did White panels in 1951, MOMA, worth $15 million in 2014. White paint on panels, imagine that!!?? He did black panels too. Whoa! Genius! The Emperor’s New Clothes, Hans Christian Andersen. I had to look it up….


Not just another day

Great sense of humor, laughs a lot, makes me smile, makes me laugh – I’m so lucky! Birthday wishes will come from many, far and wide, family and friends. I feel so fortunate to be able to hug you close and wish you one more happy day! … and, I try to be irreverent in each and every museum we visit. Need I remind you? We met and were even photographed in the third grade. Imagine that! They had photographs back then – black and white!


Some day

Will it be me? Us? Old? It’s stockings? Huh?! Yes, live art – it depends upon your pronunciation, or, interpretation – of the word or picture. A jacket – for high tea! And rain gear? Well, it is Scotland, emphasis on IS. My SIL – sister in law, no (gene) relation to me – has affected my behavior in every proper museum since she accused me of being irreverent. Oh! My! Yes!! With pleasure my dear, no names please! Honestly, I never thought I would have so much fun in Glasgow. It was the company!! For sure!!


Think… cheer

If you take enough pictures, a few will be good. It follows: Even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes. Selfies? The easy way or hard way? It’s probably not good to say I go both ways. Beer? I don’t drink beer! Heresy! As you can see, we do have some good times together.

Socks? Everyone needs socks. These days, I’m retired. My socks retired too. I wear ‘em about three cold days a year now. Colleen? – adores socks. And, she adores the Pemaquid lighthouse!

Sheeps? Why is it sheep? I did not go to Maine for the art. Did I? Spinning wheel? Colleen arranged to pick up a signature spinning wheel that I found online. She brought $$. And, now, I use this wheel. Was it a plot? Planned? I love this wheel – to use; it’s sweet! I love my wife … more!


The boy

Another birthday. Dave visited earlier this year. He comes and goes. I am not at liberty to say how and where. We were glad to have him. And, then he was gone once more. We are in touch. The internet allows everyone to be in touch no matter where we may be. Dave is just fine. Mysterious? Ha ha. He left; we went to the museum. We will miss him. He is a very good house guest. I hope he comes again soon.


i…

iPhone.

It is not my primary camera. The current photo catalog (incomplete) has 400k images. There are about 3k iPhone shots – less than 1%. Dave uses it as his primary camera. I shot a few pics for rapid (instant) upload to family. I get an occasional selfie. Some pics are taken of me… occasionally. I put pictures on my phone to share. My point?! My last iPhone upgrade was the iPhone 7. We are up to the iPhone 13. I got the new SE to take advantage of the 5G network. The new SE looks exactly the same as the (good old/ancient) 7; the protective cases are exactly interchangeable. (The new box is smaller – ha ha.) Change comes slowly. If you want a better camera, get a better camera. My phone is not a camera. Oh! The cats (pics) are from my camera.

Ha ha! I am a confirmed “hoarder.” !!! Nuthin’ gets thrown away. ?? Will I ever need the box again? The last one (iPhone box) came out the closet from six years ago…. Nut! And, I shoot redundantly – to be sure I have at least one serviceable shot. Digital is free?! I’m tossin’ the boxes. (Cringe!!)


Indeed

Spring. I don’t have to get photos of flowers from my garden. I can do it at Winterthur. We are members. Someone else does the hard work and gardening. I just take the pics. How sweet! We are so lucky to be able to wander and enjoy. Of course, dinner out is a great way to finish. We skipped dessert. And, in the car, I dipped randomly into my M&M stash to pull the Ukraine colors. Nuts! Staging a selfie without a tripod takes a bit of skill. It recalls the cover for some indy rock band, in this case, absent a title. Eh? “Mom and Dad rock – on.”


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?


A while ago

I have recounted our courtship and marriage before. Claddagh ring and Celtic knot – Colleen’s ring was made in Ireland, mine is of titanium. Symbolic? Colleen’s symbolizes friendship, loyalty, and love. Mine is a knot without beginning nor end – unity and eternal life. Titanium (was) – the material of spinal fusion screws that dominated my later neurosurgery career.

Dog year – it varies but, is considered equivalent to 7 human years. Our relationship is barely a year old. Baskets, beer steins, antiques, and cats are sprinkled liberally about our lives. We make elaborate baskets but nothing so woven as these from the museum. We have a real toaster oven. We did discover civilization as we got older. We have a fun and loving marriage. No, I do not know how a squirrel got inside a squirrel-proof bird feeder. Once in a while, I look back. Did I shoot that picture?


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?


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?”


Oh no!

Why couldn’t it be rolling pins… that I/we collect? I never considered masks.?! And, well, I should not! No! No no. We simply are out of wall space. Oh well, time to reinvent myself (ourselves) once more. These masks are from Mexico. I bet you could tell. Masks are ingrained in many cultures around the world. These masks tell a story and are full of stories about the ceremony and how they evolved. You can see primitive culture and the Spanish influence all wrapped up and melded together. Symbolism is heavy. Top left – Moor/Chinese influence ?? go figure. You can readily see Hispanic influence. Snakes? They are not ‘garden of Eden’ evil, but are water sign. Rain dance! Me? It’s another thing to eye more closely when we go thru and antique store. Gee! Can we just get one? NO!!!

Non sequitur: driving to the museum lecture we were treated to a spectacular sunset all the way up the road. It was gone by the time we arrived. Note: crescent moon over the parking lot.


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!


Surprise

Colleen wanted to visit a logging museum. Ok? It did not start out promisingly. We were in a cluttered rundown building with some old rusty steam log pulling equipment. I was shooting mushrooms – my best opportunity…. Then, Colleen got a map. Ha ha! There’s a whole village with buildings full of stuff. Photo-ops! Yes, sometimes, she fools me. This gal knows more than she lets on. It was a great surprise. A covered bridge? Priceless!!


Another day…

… another museum. There is only so much room to maneuver in a museum. I’m working on a new routine. On this day we did the classics. Sommesville bridge. Considering the numbers of cars at the Bass lighthouse (on this same road), everyone was speeding along and missing this quintessential Maine shot by the bridge. We paused to sit under the arbor. The lighthouse has a front and back side. You have to go around the back and down a steep rocky path to get the “real” view. From the speed at which cars departed the crowded parking lot, it seems most folks missed the back side. Sometimes tourism is not about the speed at which you check off another sight seen.


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.


Re-hash

Brain surgery is serious stuff. Before and after do not require rapt attention. So, I do/did not waste energy worrying. Sure, I think, ponder, and plan, especially for “what if” (operating room) scenarios. My life outside the operating room was less than serious. These days, now that I retired, are mostly about fun. Today, I just looked back on previous pictures posted. If you are like me, they are just about familiar, and, not quite. If I had not told you… enjoy! Somewhere in my life, I must have done something good.


Old joke

By now I can be accused of pushing an old joke… too far. Museums. Irreverence. Heinous. Not quite. You would not call (my composite) art too? I’ve been at it for a while. Don’t ask me to collect the past examples. Fun? You bet. The essential element? A tolerant wife. It’s collaboration. After all Colleen took all those pics of me. Ok! That said, we found a typo in one of the exhibits: 2923, wrong date. We are still masking up. That’s a mirror – reflection, not doorway.

Droopy spider web? It seems in the morning mist/fog with the water droplets upon it, a spider web will droop. Who knew? There was a big old hairy ugly spider who had this web. Along came an albino juvenile. It just happened to wander into my picture. As you can see the web is not so architecturally symmetrically accurate. Should we be disappointed? Or, all spiders are not OCD.

As long as we are talking mist and water, can you appreciate the small droplets and detail at the end of this hibiscus flower? Macro photography opened up a new world for me this summer.

Too many images, too little time/space to post.