Friday, February 1, 2002
Another month gone. It's the first of February. Things are happening fast, or so it seems to me. My birthday will soon come and go and another year will click on the odometer. The anticipated funds for me to buy a digital camera have evaporated, so that's another pie in the sky for me. Maybe when I win the Powerball jackpot Saturday. . .
Speaking of cameras, my daughter spent part of her income tax refund on a nice little Nikon N65. She's been working as a studio photographer for about six months now. I think she's taking to this taking pictures thing quite nicely.
It's gotten harder and harder for the unambitious to make ends come close enough to see each other, much less meet. I was content for a long time to "get by." I could pick up work doing things like small graphic art projects for a few bucks, or some desktop publishing, or maybe design a web page for someone or do a small programming job. Now, every secretary is a graphic designer, every accountant a "programmer." Networking computers has become simple enough for just about anyone to do it in a small setting, and doing it in a large setting is too complex without specialized training. The computers I love have taken away my livelihood. Then again, I was never good at marketing myself, and I can't seem to get anyone else to do it for me.
Maybe this is all just the S.A.D. speaking. . .
I promise, not too many more "winter" shots. Although, unless I harrangue people into letting me snap them, there's really not much else of visual interest around here to photograph.
"White Water/White Stuff"
Saturday, February 2, 2002
Stupid groundhog. . .
Sunday, February 3, 2002
"Days of Future Passed"
I was coming out of the hospital today. As I crossed the lobby I walked by a woman who was holding the hand of a cute little boy, probably less than 18 months old. He watched me as I walked by. There was a glimmer of recognition in his eyes. He pointed his tiny finger at me and said (are you ready for this?) "Ho, ho, ho."
Tuesday, February 5, 2002
"Through a Glass Darkly"
Wednesday, February 6, 2002
Today is Ronald Reagan's birthday. It's also the anniversary of the introduction of the MONOPOLY® board game. Coincidence?
Saturday came and went and I'm not $12 Million richer. Maybe Wednesday. Hey! That's today!
I came across a gallery call for entries. It's Botanical Awards 2002 photography. They charge $25.00 for up to four images. The largest size acceptable is 9 X 12, so I imagine the majority of the entries will be that size. Four 9 X 12 prints, done in a professional lab, not on a machine, would probably run just over a hundred dollars. Only a very few entries will likely be accepted and a handful will win prizes large enough to offset the minimum of $125.00 plus postage required to enter the contest. Powerball is a better deal. I can share my photographs with the world here. I don't need to throw money away on a crap shoot like a juried exhibit, especially one I have to pay for the privilege of being rejected. It would be nice to make a little money with the things I do, though, but is it really worth the effort and stress involved? Art. It's a dirty business, but someone's got to do it.
It's long been said that painting is dead as a means of expression. It's stated that everything that can be done has been done. The same is being said of photography, too. Now there are enough cameras out there that the million monkey syndrome is taking effect. There are just too many good to great photographs being taken by accident to allow for any intentional ones to stand out. I've seen fantastic photograhs taken with disposable cameras. I've also seen horrible shots taken with Nikon N90's and EOS 1's. Sometimes I ask myself "What's the point." and I don't have an answer.
Thursday, February 7, 2002
I saw a really good movie last night. It was called Basquiat. It was about the short, tragic, yet intense life of Jean-Michel Basquiat, graffiti writer cum glam-artist, compatriot of Andy Warhol. It's showing on the Sundance Channel this month. For more information about M. Basquiat, click here.
Friday, February 8, 2002
Saturday, February 9, 2002
I'd really like to write more here, but I just haven't been up to it lately. I've been so tired and stressed out that I forgot a doctor's appointment yesterday. This isn't good. I'm trying to take it easy this weekend and get back to my usual self (whatever that is!).
I've been painting. I've finished three acrylic on canvas pieces. I'm not sure that I'm pleased with any of the three. I'll try to shoot them and scan them ASAP. Pro-Art has the 120 pencil sets of Prismacolor pencils on sale for $93.95 right now. Sanford has a $20.00 rebate on them, too, so the final price would be $73.95 plus tax on $93.95 -- that's almost half price. My birthday's coming up. . .
"Having Writ, Moves On"
Sunday, February 10, 2002
I've been working on this site some today. You might notice on the opening page (those of you who frequent it) that there is a new item called "Archives." This is pretty much the "My Diary" project from start to finish. I've moved it pretty much en masse, so if you find any broken links or missing pictures or anything of that nature, let me know and I'll try to fix them. I'm going to be going over it all with a fine tooth comb starting as soon as I can, but in the meantime, I'll rely on you, my faithful readers, to point out things for me. Thanks.
In case you don't want to go back to the opening page to check out the archives, here's a link. I'll eventually incorporate the links to the more recent archives into that page as well and put a link to it at the top of every month's page. I'll also adjust the recent archive pages so that they all fit into the monthly format.
I'm in the mood for monochrome.
"Wail On, You Wailer"
Monday, February 11, 2002
Whenever I go to Wal-Mart, I always look at their camera department. Today, it was changed. The aisle leading back to the one-hour photo place was now two aisles. It was a lot more cramped. I mentioned that my daughter bought a Nikon N65 camera a week or two ago. She got it at the mall and paid $369.00 for it. I told her, at the time, that she should have gone to Wal-Mart. They had it for $349.00 (actual cents omitted to protect the bad memory of the author). Today it was $378.66, allegedly marked down from $386.66 -- yeah, right! That's not honest. They probably marked it up for an hour so they could mark it down. Maybe even only a minute. That's not honest. Some of the other camera equipment was marked down from the last price I saw there, but that one example just pissed me off. Seems like pissing me off is an easy thing to do lately.
Tuesday, February 12, 2002
"The Stairs to Moria"
Wednesday, February 13, 2002
Everyone seems to think Dubyah knows what he's doing, at least with respect to the so-called "War on Terrorism." I've got my doubts. With his vitriolic rhetoric, calling Iran, Iraq, and North Korea an "Axis of Evil," he's putting the US at a distinct disadvantage in the international arena. If we "go after" any of these three, the wisdom of doing so even without the advance warning is questionable, then the other two will immediately start bracing for their turn. He's telegraphing his punches. Which one do we go after first? -- the one with the Nukes? the one with the Lunatic Leader? the one who seems to be trying to rejoin the rest of the world community?
That's right, Iran was making noises like they were done with their days of sponsoring terrorists. A lot of the noise coming out of Tehran was sympathetic to the Americans after 9/11. Now, you can bet your arse that it will return to "Death to America" in short order.
What is this man doing???? Is Bush trying to start a global conflict with The United States as the bully? It sure seems like that from many perspectives, and I'm not sure I disagree.
I've been rummaging around in my old web pages, straigtening up the archives. I put links on all the archive pages (I think) to close the windows. In my rummaging around I found the very first iteration of this website -- Catch23 on AOL. Here's the banner logo I used. The motto is still good advice.
Thursday, February 14, 2002
Friday, February 15, 2002
Quote of the Day: "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." -- Anais Nin
I've been working on the archives. I think I have all of them fixed up through December 2000. A lot of the links, particularly those to news sites are gone. I think I have duly noted each of those, and removed certain others. I've also changed all the links so that they all open in new windows. Just click on the X when you're done.
Saturday, February 16, 2002
I'm sure everyone is just thrilled to hear me rattle on about housekeeping changes on my web site. . . Anywho, I think all the archived pages have been adjusted for changes in the rest of the universe, and all should now conform to my new paradigm of having links open in a separate window for ease of navigation. If you run across anything that is broken, missing, wrong or a link that opens in the main window, let me know and I'll fix it.
It's a beautiful day today. Cool, crisp air, not a cloud in the sky (unless you count the ones that the John Amos power plant puts out), and a light breeze. I have my poetry group meeting at 1:00. After that I think I'll take my camera out for a drive.
Here's another of my occasional bits of computer art that relies on the randomness of things to give the illusion of depth and texture.
I dont' know what it is about such scribblings that appeals to me so much. I started this one out in Painter 5 and moved it over to Photoshop LE, then Photopaint 8.
I watched a couple of the art instruction programs on public television today. I'm amazed at the mistakes they make and pass along to their students. If the idea is realism or impressionism, they're missing the point widely. Maybe I should get my own PBS show. . .
Sunday, February 17, 2002
The world is showing me movies about artists. Recently, in addition to that wonderful film about Jean-Michel Basquiat, I've seen "Vincent & Theo," and "Pollock." I'm not sure whether this is meant as encouragement, or is intented to show me what a futile, agonizing life artists lead. Next I hope to see "Surviving Picasso," another of my favorite movies about artists' lives. "Pollock" is on again tonight. I should have stayed and watched it last spring at the West Virginia International Film Festival. I had tickets, but I was so bummed out by the end of the opening reception that I just wanted to go home.
I guess New York is still waiting for me. Or perhaps she's given up and taken a younger, still passionate artist under her wing. Will I ever know?
Monday, February 18, 2002
I finally figured out who it is that George W. Bush, with his smug looks, and smarmy smirks reminds me of -- Mussolini.
Tuesday, February 19, 2002
I've long been a fan of Michael Moore (we share the same initials, afer all), ever since the days of Roger and Me. He has a new book on the stands starting today: Stupid White Men. From Michael's notes on it and the other things I've heard about it, this should be a good one. He had a lot of trouble getting it out because of the president's popularity following 9-11 and his publisher's reluctance to distribute anything not glowingly praiseful of Dubyah.
Tonight, He will be on "The O'Reilly Factor" on the Fox News (Nudes?) Channel tonight at 8:00 pm ET (to quote Mr. Moore's e-mail) "to be interrupted -- I mean interviewed -- by its host, Bill O'Reilly." He will also be on CNN tonight with Aaron Brown at 10:00 pm ET/PT. Catch him at least once if you can. The O'Reilly show should be good.
I guess I've pretty much gone 'round the bend. I wrote an e-mail a little while ago to someone who reads this page frequently. I feel like what I said to her should probably be here for the rest of my readers/viewers as well. So, now, I'll quote myself.
The longer I take photographs, the harder I am to please!
Therefore, I am running out of photos that I want to share with the world. I suppose I could inflict my granddaughter on everyone. She is adorable, after all. I suppose I'm doing really well with my photography. Most photographers (so-called professionals, ones who work for National Geographic and the like) say that you're lucky if you get one or two good shots in a roll. Some even go so far as to shoot over a thousand frames to get a handful to put in the magazine. That seems like a shotgun approach to
it. There seems to be more reliance on chance than an eye for what looks good. If I had their equipment and a knowledge of how to use it, I could save National Geographic tons of money on film!
I'm solidly in my pre-birthday funk. I try real hard to break out of it, but it seems like it's just a part of the natural progression of things and I'd do just as well to leave it the hell alone.
Speaking of Hannah. . .
Wednesday, February 20, 2002
Everybody else seems to do it, from prize-winning art photograhers to television commercial directors, so why not?
The above photo is a black and white I took last year using Kodak TMX ISO 400 film. It's not bad film. It has good contrast. I did the color with Adobe Photoshop LE 5.5 and optimized the picture for the web with Corel Photopaint 8.
Adding spot color to black and white photos does provide a little more interest to a piece, and I like a lot of the things I see done this way. However, I do think it's clichéd and much overused. I think there is probably some new territory to be explored with hand-tinting of monochrome photos, but the simple addition of one or a few colored elements really doesn't contribute anything new to the genre, IMHO.
Thursday, February 21, 2002
I'm not sure if I mentioned this painting earlier or not, but I finished it up a couple weeks ago. It's a multiple portrait (à la Andy Warhol) of this lovely person I met online. I mean lovely in looks and personality. I did this from a web cam shot. This is only part of the whole painting. There are four faces in the whole thing. I'll put a complete version up here once I photograph it. This one was scanned directly.
"Which One Is Different? (detail)"
Friday, February 22, 2002
I got new pictures of my granddaughter. Here's one:
Sunday, February 24, 2002
I'm off on a new tangent artistically. It involves rocks and tying up inanimate objects. You'll just have to wait.
I'll be in the shower in a few minutes, then I'll be out and about with my camera. It looks like a nice, sunny day, albeit a tad cool. I'd wanted to drive off somewhere to take photographs, but the Olympic Hockey game for the gold between the U.S. and Canada is on at 2:30 today, so my perambulations will have to remain local. Maybe I can schlepp off somewhere more distant tomorrow. It's supposed to be like today only better.
In America, we are used to eating dates (when we eat them) out of packages labelled "Chopped Dates." Mostly we put them in breads and cookies. In Europe and the rest of the Eastern Hemisphere, they tend to eat them like we eat "dried plums" (the new euphemism for prunes). They generally come in tins or boxes (previously wood, now plastic) and have the pit in. Here is part of the result of my consumption of one of Britian's great contributions to the French art of double entendre, a box of "Eat Me" dates, another in the ongoing series of what I call scantographs:
Monday, February 25, 2002
It was a long weekend, what with the USA Ice Hockey team losing to the Canadians. But hey, it's only right. After all they invented the game and the USA won the gold in 1980 and Canada hasn't won it since 1952. There's always 2006. . .
Last summer I took a few photos of the sunrise in a patch of woods out close to Cross Lanes. I also too a shot of the Bill Hopen statue of St. Francis that stands in the courtyard of the hospital of the same name here in town. I found the forest sunrise pictures unremarkable and the shot of the statue's background was not blurred like I'd intended (silly me, I set the aperture too wide). So, I remedied both situations by combining one of the sunrise in the woods shots with a clipped out St. Francis. This is the result:
"No Thought of Tomorrow"
Tuesday, February 26, 2002
I just remembered. I have an exposed roll of film in the can on my camera strap. I'd better get over to the film processor tomorrow!
The weather has turned sour again. It was 68 degrees yesterday and today it's freezing cold and windy. It's been spitting snow and ice on and off all day. Winter's last hurrah. . .
Wednesday, February 27, 2002
It's been spitting snow all morning. At one point the snow was coming down in small flakes and the sun was shining, reflecting off the snow. It looked like bits of silver confetti floating in the air.
What I really need is a cabinet built into a wall with lots and lots of drawers on the bottom, and glass door shelves on the top, with perhaps large bins with wood doors at the top. The drawers on the bottom would be of various sizes and would have brass slots for labels to fit in so I'd know what was in which drawer at a glance. I could then organize my materials such as papers, bits of things for collage, leaf, various paints and implements, samples, color charts, feathers held in reserve for quill pens, and information. That would be nice. A flat file for larger papers would be useful as well, and one for finished works on paper. I'd like to have a gallery space to hang the finished work that I manage to get in frames, and those on canvas out of frames. I love my art and want it to be free, not piled up, leaning against my bedroom wall.
Granted, I do have as much art work on my walls as is practical. I also have pieces by Charlie Hamilton, Jen Stewart (of Sacramento), Ficus Strangulensis, Pat Jones, and Larry Angelo (New York). I'd like to have more art by other artists. I understand a lot of artists trade pieces, but I don't know Jasper Johns, Chuck Close or any of the locals whose work I really like. . . Well, that's not entirely true about the locals. I do know some of them, but no one has ever brought up the subject of trading to me. The Charlie Hamilton I have was a gift for a technique.
Here's a scan of the Charlie Hamilton print. It's called "Kiss of the Crescent Man." And not being able to leave well enough alone, I've added color to it and present two alternate versions.
I got that roll of film processed. There were some interesting shots on it. Here's one:
Thursday, February 28, 2002
On this day in history: 1692 -- The Salem Witch Hunts began.
"And I Won't Forget To Put Roses On Your Grave.""