The Third Category: I have three: good photograph/image; good (illustrative) story; fun. The lines blur. Sometimes we have all three. Art is not limited to the museums, (right after being Van Gogh immersed). Fun is the one you’re with, or, the food we eat. We found a dim sum place in Philly! Duh! They would have a “Chinatown” there – complete with grocery, bakery, and restaurants. Oh boy! Double duh! Well, we had fun – eating. Then, we went to a bakery for roast pork buns – closed, permanently, as in, out of business. The internet is not always up to date. So, we got our char siu bow elsewhere, a Vietnamese bakery?! Ha ha. The story, the art, and fun – it’s better than “sliced bread” today!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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?
There’s a shop we visit where the owners have been retiring for about five plus years. Everything is on sale 50% off. They wanna retire. Correct prices? How about 2X mark-up at ½ off? No? Well, whatever you buy is worth whatever you are willing to pay. There is a sense of scale to what things cost. Right? They specialize in Far East art, like Buddhas. Lee asked and was told depending on the culture Buddha has a different look. Some cultures believe Buddha is slim and in others, he is fat. I never paid much mind. I have learned something new once again. My cat? It could be Ray or it could be Nutley? Either way, they are well on the way to enlightenment. Does it matter which cat posed for me? Ummmm….
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.)
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.
I read that you should enter photo contests. There’s a long explanation/argument that it will improve your technique. Ok. I have not entered any contests. I read. And I experiment. For me it is mileage. The pleasure is mine. I am not constrained. I am free to shoot as I please. Good? Bad? The other good is about whether your work measures up. Does it matter? Yes, if you are entering contests. Win or lose means good or bad? If you lose, you did not measure up? Ha ha. Drive yourself crazy. For me it’s still mileage. I’m not winning awards but the quality keeps me happy. I do better than snapshots and less than fine art. And there is no one to tell me what art looks like. I’m / we’re having fun. Eh? (One more parenthetical thought: When I learned to ski, the instructor spent the entire lesson “hitting” on the girls. No more lessons. Mileage. I just skied and got better and better. I never won a race. But, then, that was never the point, was it?)
I Photoshop… because, I can. Don’t you wish you could too? We have fun. It’s always about fun. And we have plenty. This the part of the collection from our Maine trip. It’s not our first time. Humor? Irreverence? Who knows? We laugh a lot. Colleen thinks I’m nuts. She’s not alone. But, she is tolerant. And, so, we laugh some more.
We’re at it again. Art! It started with a snide comment about museums from a family member. We don’t see art. (Literally? Figuratively? It’s an oil on water kind of thing. Ooooo, there’s a pun?!) They see more. And it’s much better art (that they see). Snide? Unintentional? Our museum is quite tolerant. Don’t touch. Otherwise, do as you will. So, I jumped. Collen was beside herself. Again. And we had a wee bit of fun.
I say that I cannot draw, nor paint – well, I can paint a house. But, art? We can do art. It’s fun! …. sometimes, a bit better than just looking.
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.
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.
You go to the museum during the pandemic. There are new rules. You may not (ever) touch the art! We need an appointment. Wear a mask. How do they really know it’s us? Ah, well, we are still having fun. It’s “still” art. Colleen’s a good sport. My sense of humor is unabated.
It’s interactive. It’s easy. You go to a museum. You get inspired. You make art. Example: Fans – Guggenheim Museum, New York City circa 2014. The beach hotel shower served as inspiration ala the Gugg. We weren’t done. Portland circa 2018, ala Star Trek, open fifth. Okay open seventh, but that’s a musical term. Once more I ask you, “WTF, a set of floor fans is worthy of exhibit at the Guggenheim.” I must be outta my head. Sorry, I can’t be. I am/was a neurosurgeon. Damn!
I’m messin’ with cha. In follow up to my museum musing, I saw Dave’s painting on my wall. It would not be out of keeping in a museum. …’cause I don’t know how to be an art critic. It’s my kid’s work. Kid proud! But! He’s got talent. I’m not kidding. There is that subtle, ” je ne sais quoi.” No denying it. The other, modern art. A bunch of fake flowers juxtaposed with a wall remote. Oh yeah! If you print and frame it, someone will love it.
Colleen adores museums. Me? I’m mixed. And with my sense of humor… Diane speaks of museums like trophies… the pictures (art), she has seen..nauseating. I consider it art snobbery… like name dropping. !!! You don’t do that to a (former) New Yorker. It’s fodder to mine a rich vein of humor.
How? Sometimes, I just make her pose. It’s a testament to Colleen’s good humor.
Sometimes we Photoshop. Yes, I do have some talent. Unfortunately, My sense of humor is cracked, somewhat.
And, Colleen has been a willing participant. Well, maybe she humors me. … maybe, unwillingly.
What do I say? We like to laugh. We have a good time. I go to museums to humor her. I am humored by the peace and quiet. Quiet? Contemplation? Nourishment for the mind and soul? It’s perfect. We are so well matched.
So much art
So little time…
It’s about fun. Eh?
‘cause sometimes it ain’t art
Cat in front of a dresser. It’s a graphic photo. Interesting. Museum of Modern Art quality. For me it was striking. Elle was kind enough to pose for me. Sure. Right?! But I got this picture. No post process. Out of the box. I think it’s worthy. Some of the no talent stuff we have seen, I’m equal to their talent on some days. Bored? Did they… or was I? Obtuse? … you wanna copy?
Okay, here’s more fun in the museum. Inspired? I have been on a tear since one member of our family disparaged our enthusiasm for art. True, there is a lot of art that does not move me. And then, there is art that calls for interactive participation. Fun! Yes, art can be fun. And so, here we are. This internationally renowned artist photographs ordinary objects and makes one look at the extraordinary aspect of their use. Take a wrench, make it your own. How about enthusiasm?
Or think for yourself?
We had a lot of fun. Art appreciation is for everyone.
Nowhere to hide. If you make a basket with a precise pattern, any error is glaring. The problem is that the mistake you make is gradual and therefore not readily apparent until near the end. One among us is more OCD than the other. Yes, that would not be me. I wonder how many – none – in the basket class realize I was once a brain surgeon. Ha! “If it doesn’t fit, force it.” Or, you can always make something worse, worser. No, I cannot claim wide angle distortion. Exposed, nowhere to hide.
California. Museum. Boredom. Sometimes there is enough art, too much. I need to do some. So, I got the nearest willing subject and made her walk the museum for me. And then I made a composite. More fun. There are many ways to have fun in a museum. Aren’t there?