Word and Image

Posts tagged “Art

Muse

I wonder why I blog? Not too much. But… ego? Show off? Do I need to share? Am I needing accolade?

It started a while back as a suggestion from cousin Amy. It has lasted. Occasionally, there are mentions from my family and friends. “Likes” and “comments” here are appreciated. Of course!

Colleen! Yes! My muse. She is the current driving force. Ginny commented that things got a lot more personal when Colleen entered my life again. Sure. It was always in me from freshman college English. I could/can always write. But the personal side… that is/was guarded.

Meanwhile, beauty and wonder are all around. I marvel at the images my camera will produce. I do not consider myself an artist in the “drawing/painting” sense. But I enjoy documenting my life. I am creating a legacy while capturing life as it unfolds for me and for Colleen. Lately, I’ve begun to wonder how legacy carries on. Not too many people use telegraph or horseback these days. Do you still have a hard line phone?

As ever, I remain fascinated at the detail my camera lens can capture.


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!?


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.


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!


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….


Fork in the road

Remember Yogi (Berra)? He said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” Nikon D70. The price was expensive but reasonable. Heretofore, digital SLR cameras cost upwards of $10k. Yikes! I got home from work and opened the box. Yes, I work late, really! And, I took pictures of the living room and kitchen. … and the family dog. I tried the built-in flash. The cow was a porcelain replica of large cows painted and distributed around public spaces in NYC. The ivory figure was a gift. It was used by women to point at areas of their body which were ailing. Modesty must be served. That figure was lost to me in the divorce. But, I can visit it.

How things changed! I timed the D70 purchase to use it for David’s graduation. It turns out that I never shot another frame of film from that point. Clean break! Complete. It was so abrupt. Done.


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!


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!!)


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?


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.


Details

Home is a catalog of your life. In this case we had separate lives and have a joint life. It’s quite a mish mash of stuff. In making up for lost decades we have collected a lot in a hurry – old typewriters, old sewing machines, old spinning wheels… old beer steins. Colleen weaves. That shuttle is sitting on a Revolutionary war era barn loom. Yes, we basket. And, I built/constructed the bobbin display rack to hold spun skeins. We got old art and new art. The old wheel is our TP holder in the half bath. The master bath has too many cosmetics. I hid them in a nearby backpack. Yes, it’s all jokes in self-defense – we are out of room for stuff. Ditto, my pantry sits partially on the counter. We did not start out this way. They have shows about hoarders.

Us? We? Nah!!


…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?”


And… to finish

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!


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.