Word and Image

Museum

Quick

2019. Three years. It ain’t over. There are still statistics for deaths and hospitalizations. We are largely unmasked. Some places persist. Our vet. Our doctor. Halcyon Yarn store, Maine. Olsen House, Farnsworth Museum. Not much else. We are fortunate not to have had Covid though many family and friends have not been so lucky.

Over? Not so quick. Shots?! They worked for us so far. Colleen and I had the worst colds in years after our recent trip to ME and CA. Related? We cannot be sure. It took a long time to eat out again but we are not worried to much at the moment.

Quick? It took a few moments to find mask pictures in my catalog. Gee! I take a lot of pictures… most without masks.


Back up

Describe in a few words how you back up your photos –

Ha ha. Multiply redundant hard drives. I currently use five. Count ‘em, five! Hard drives fail. Cloud? Nope. It could go away tomorrow. It goes, you are outta luck. Database. Ya gotta keep a written record of where what is. Funny? Try Scotland, we were there when? Yes, you can search Scotland and find out “when” in a few seconds after typing in the key word. It’s not hard. It doesn’t take long. And I thank myself every day for keeping track of where my stuff is. And then, it still ain’t easy. Back your stuff up. All I did was search “copy a.” Look what I got!?


Getting around

We chase wildlife. Sheep, cows, it doesn’t much matter. We do fiber which starts with fleece and goes from there. I can now process a fleece to spun yarn. Actually, Colleen does it all. I help. But it is a fun thing. The family that works together…. Or, is it, the family that plays together…?


This year

It happened. Can it be? Covid – mask? Ukraine? Travel? Events? Forbidden?

Though many around us have been touched by covid – children, grandchildren, cousins and so forth….

We went to the museum to see the new exhibit. It’s on loan and traveling from Long Island. Photos forbidden. Oops! I already shot by the time Colleen pointed it out. Does this fall under street photography? It was illustrative that covid was still in our thoughts.

Taken at random the flower or the fish could have been anywhere. I needed the white gate to orient me. Aha! Winterthur – been there!

Random sunset. Or perhaps sunrise? It would depend on which side of the car windows I was shooting. Aha! Metadata?! 6:56PM.

Fine photography? No, nope, not hardly… but, fine by me.


Three star

I rate my pictures as I edit. Two stars – technically good, not outstanding, but a good shot. Three stars – a little bit better. I’m looking through three star edits. No worries. Good shots. Fun. Solid. Wow! They might make you smile. It’s not necessarily an easy shot to get. The smiles are real. I can admire my technical prowess sometimes. It’s like kids. Don’t you love them all? Equally?


With or without

I tinker. Don’t you? Picture? With or without moon? Person? (Colleen). Counterpoint?

I dunno. It ain’t a perfect world. Sometimes my subjects cooperate and can be moved about. Sometimes it’s just not that simple. And I suppose it is also a matter of preference. You can go both ways. Sure. But at some point you must choose. Or not.


CMCA – Discovery!

Center Maine Contemporary Art. Over at the Farnsworth a block away I saw the outdoor sculpture and inquired. “Nothing, just some gallery…” dismissively intoned the lady.

Oh! Damn! This was about as much fun as you have with your clothes on! I mean – a real discovery!

“Cheeky!” as the British might put it. Some things defy expectation. This was simply fun – then moving. The underground railroad, the slave trade were nothing to be amused about and the symbolism struck Colleen deeply.

The boat? Feathered. Sailing. Below were copper coin to represent the slave trade tearing people from native Africa. Moving!

A room of squirrels, trash hung from fishing line. I pondered how to tie the trash so accurately to the line in a geometric pattern….

Staid? The Farnsworth certainly has the “art.” Who knows? It takes all types of people… I was restrained by Colleen from collaring each person leaving the Farnsworth to tell them about this “Find!” merely a block away in plain sight.


Second chance

A lot about me is second chances. … a lot about us. Would you do it differently if given a second chance?

Colleen admired a painting and we sought a print. Nope! Nada! I’m not sure if a print was ever made?! A card, a tile, a puzzle, yup, all were for sale in the gift shop. A quest, an internet search, no avail.

Meanwhile we continue to have fun in the museum among the arts. Will I ever forgive my sister in law’s comment about our couth in appreciating museums? Ummm… I think not. I remain pleased with our creative inspiration among the paintings. Come to think of it… there is only one sister in law… oops, outed. Ok, ok, there are two. But (shhhh), we know of whom we speak.


Hunt

Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, Maine. 1976. Monhegan, Maine. There is a puzzle, a card, a book cover, but no print available. There was a book plate – sold out. Hmmm, the internet has everything; Amazon has everything. Has no one thought to make a print of this iconic painting. Is it iconic? Colleen loved it instantly. We actually saw it! Live and in person – in the museum. Um, special? Well, it is. You see art. You want a copy/print – to hang at home. It does not seem to have ever been done. That is different, at least for me? Find it? Nope. I am not accustomed to failure. In this whole wide world there is always something. We went down to Port Clyde. There is a gallery devoted to Wyeth work. Alas!


Symmetry

Close your eyes. I am about to dive between two tractor trailer trucks on the approach to the George Washington bridge. Pay attention. Drive carefully! Don’t drive distracted!

I like my pottery symmetrical too.

It wuz two different pictures. The models are the same. Same clothes, even!

No no, driving is not boring. Sometimes we see interesting things. The “dive” picture is mine (while driving). Colleen took the GW bridge from the passenger seat.


Matching

On occasion we wear matching clothes. It’s not intentional. For a while I would see matching Japanese tourists in NY. They wore the same T-shirts or whatever. It was oddly curious to see.

As you can readily see I can go both ways. It’s a joke not a gender insult or confusion. Otherwise, our museum antics would be considered schizophrenic. And hats? Why, of course!


Wicked

Wicked good. They say that in Maine. (It was where I first heard the term Tea Party in modern parlance too.) Meaning: it’s very (wicked) good. Great!

Museums inspire me to create. Huh? Why? It’s a story that goes back a few years. It was inspired by a know it all relative who tried to impress me with her erudition. Tried. It did not take. Long story short, I am inspired to spoof her in the museums we go. No harm. She will never know. Besides, she has no sense of humor. (And she doesn’t read this blog.)

Needless to say there are only so many poses. We do what we can to keep up appearances. Sometimes you win. If it makes you smile…. Oh! By the way… Norman Rockwell, Grandma Moses….


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?