I’m back – almost

I’ve been very lax, but I’m still around. This has not been the year I expected. It has been, to this point, the worst year of my life. The clouds of anguish and despair have been my abode. But the clouds are breaking. I feel the warmth of the light again and my hope is returning.

The reward of going through trials is the opportunity to shed dead weight, reevaluate and redirect your life. That is what I’m attempting to do. I firmly believe that the years and relationships before me are going to be the richest, most rewarding of my life. I’m going into it with hope tempered by a healthy fringe of fear.

And part of that, I hope, will be a resurrection of my photographic and artistic effort. I cleared out the pottery area, bought some new clay and bought a new camera which I’m going to carry everywhere. I set up an art room, the primary purpose of which was to have a dedicated area to sit down and work. Then my kids invaded and it is less than ideal. The joy of having kids. Now, I just need to do…

It all comes down to doing.

A young boy discovers beauty and sense of joy…

From ‘A Severe Mercy’ by Sheldon Vanauken.

He remembered as though it were but a few days ago that winter night, himself too young even to know the meaning of beauty, when he had looked up at a delicate tracery of bare black branches against the icy glittering stars; suddenly something that was, all at once, pain and longing and adoring had welled up in him, almost choking him. He had wanted to tell someone, but he had no words, inarticulate in that pain and glory. (pg 16)

He had been wont to despise emotions: girls were emotional, girls were weak, emotions – tears – were weakness. But this morning he was thinking that being a great brain in a tower, nothing but a brain, wouldn’t be much fun. No excitement, no dog to love, no joy in the blue sky – no feelings at all. But feelings – feelings are emotions! He was suddenly overwhelmed by the revelation that what makes life worth living is, precisely, the emotions. But, then – this was awful! – maybe girls with their tears and laughter were getting more out of life. Shattering! He checked himself: showing one’s emotions more was not the thing: having them was. Still, he was dizzy with revelation. What is beauty but something that is responded to with emotion? … But if the best of life is, in fact, emotional, then one wanted the highest, purest emotions: and that meant joy. Joy was the highest. How did one find joy?… if he wanted the heights of joy, he must have, if he could find it, a great love. But in the books again, great joy through love seemed always to go hand in hand with frightful pain… If there were a choice – and he suspected there was – a choice between, on the one hand, the heights and the depths and, on the other hand, some sort of safe, cautious middle way, he, for one, here and now chose the heights and the depths. (pg 17-18)

I’m back with some B&W’s

I’ve been amiss and missing for awhile now. Not because I’m lost – rather because I’ve been amazingly busy. My folks 50th anniversary was this month and I’ve been digitizing their old images. I’ve scanned over 800 images and I’ve post processed 130ish so far. A lot of work. I’ve been shooting for work, actually did a paying job a couple of weeks ago and doing my own messing around. I’ve been reading a book to get ideas to upgrade my web presence. Add to that some dramatic personal issues to spice it all up and the blog hasn’t been at the top of the list. Sorry about that.

Here’s a picture of me and my Dad when I was about 2, going fishing. Love this image.



Here’s a couple of B&W’s I did from images I shot while I was supporting my son’s 50 mile bike ride between Stanley and Lowman.



An Idea, Thousands of People, Some Technology–Beautiful Music

Again, thanks to John Paul Caponigro for posting this so I could discover it.

This is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. This is the kind of event that shows the beauty we are capable of as a people. We get so caught up in the killing and the horrors, of our worship of the cult of the rich and the popular we forget the simple power of the masses to create something so beautiful.

A virtual choir – thousands of normal people all around the world who join together via the internet brought together by an idea and a shared love.

This first video is Eric Whitacre’s description of how this came to be.

The second is his first piece, Lux Aurumque – 185 people from 12 countries.

The third is his second piece, Sleep – 2052 people from 58 countries.

This last piece is in remembrance of Easter, in honor of the God of us all.

How Great Thou Art by Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill.

Happy Easter all.

Drawing by Milton Glaser

I found this on John Paul Caponigro’s Blog.


This explains fundamentally why I’ve never been content with photography as a medium of expression. I’ve always felt I was lacking something important. As I’ve worked on my drawing over the past few months what Mr. Glaser says here has become more and more clear to me.

Photography is a medium of discovery. You look for patterns and moments of meaning within nature and within mankind. And you capture them in that moment. In photography I look for the wholeness of the compostion – the relationship of the parts within the frame.

Drawing is a medium of observation. You examine, understand, explore and capture the details of the object. There is a depth there I don’t find in photography. Which, honestly, is what makes it difficult for me to sit down and do it. It takes a serious commitment in time and effort to draw. While with a camera I watch and when I see it – I aim, compose shot and walk on. The commitment there is to carry a camera and to constantly watch.

DRSB Hand Sketches–Edge Perception–Ex 9

I’m slowly pushing through my Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain exercises. Still on section 1 – edge perception. The idea here is learn to see the object as it appears on a 2 dimensional plane. Not as we perceive it in our mind. Instead of drawing a hand, you draw a series of lines and shapes.

In this exercise she introduces setting a ground – toning the paper with a layer of graphite. That establishes the mid range. Lines and shading build the shadows, removing the ground provides the highlights. Surprisingly simpler than building everything from a white sheet. And she has us start using the picture plane:


This helps a great deal in translating the 3D image to a 2D representation in my mind. And it helps in visually recognizing angle and size relationships. I have to admit though – I’ve used it in previous exercises – the book shelf in the corner. I don’t think I could have got the angles near as close on that one if I hadn’t used the picture plane. There are some very subtle relationships in that image that I couldn’t see until I used the plane.

Exercise 9 was a revisit of drawing a hand. I did that as one of her pre-instruction images in Exercise 1. These are a distinct improvement.

The pre-instruction sketch:


Two new hand sketches, using the ground and picture frame, and a little more time and effort:





My finger appears to have healed since the first one.

A composite–playing around

I saw a painting in the BAM last week end that I liked. He had a color textured field with scattered shapes and some elements pasted in and around the shapes. I liked the idea so I played a little.

This isn’t a wow – just an exercise in playing with a textured background and dropping elements on it.



Duane Michals–Wow!

‘A Master of Photographic Narrative’

A new (for me) discovery – Duane Michals. His sense of social perception is powerful. His pictures are full of emotion, full of energy, full of varied view points. This isn’t about the visual – it’s about the message, the thoughts it provokes. Much what I’ve been trying to push toward. It’s hard to see that though all of the glossy, technically perfect stuff that is out there now. I feel this in my gut – I hoped it could be out there. And he’s done it. So that gives me hope that I can too. It takes vision, guts and the sweat.

There is nudity in this video and some slightly disturbing concepts. Don’t watch it unless your good with that.

Series of his work:


An interview (very long and stuffy, but good):