Category Archives: Art Project

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What to do What to do

One of these days I’m going to figure out what to do with all these pictures I take.

I find myself out wandering just shooting with no real thought given to them.

Most turn out quite bland and yet, in my head is an image stew.

Back when I used to paint I used to paint images over images over and over again.

My head is telling me to start combining these somehow.

Orderly, abstract, disparate, just put them up together somehow, one after another, above and below each other, nice neat lines, sporadic and let the images figure out whether or not they play well together.

I open folders and browse, couple of seconds per image. Playing the possibilities out in my head. Putting things together. Rotating them. Flipping them.

I have a memory for images, not words.

I walk away and they keep playing in my head.

Wake up in the middle of the night and the slide show continues.

One of these days I’m going to figure out what to do with all these pictures I take.

If for no other reason than I need to get some sleep.

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Perception Versus Reality

Apparently I wrote Perception Versus Reality on August 22, 2009, then did nothing with it.

On my computer desktop is a folder called Articles To Write. In it are 43 things, some text files where I apparently started writing something, the rest are folders organized in the way I do things when getting ready to put up a post here. For whatever reason, lack of time, interest or anything all that interesting to say, they never got done. I went through a lot of trouble picking out images to use since they are all manipulated and sized correctly. And there they sit.

In an effort to clean things up in my life this year, I’m going to make these go away and put them up here where they were intended. If there were no words to go with the images, I’m not going to bother writing any down now. If there were just words and no images, unless I can find some in less than 5 minutes, I don’t see any purpose in spending any more time on them.

I might put one up a day, or one a week, or I might dump a handful of them up here in one day. We’ll see.

I got bored with them once, I could see that happening again. So after putting up a handful I might find better things to do. Like fishing. Or taking a hike. Or napping.
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Perception Versus Reality

There’s how things look and then there’s how you see things.

Or how you think you see things.

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Back when there were no digital cameras you would have to bring in your roll of film and then wait a week for the 3×5 or 4×6 pictures. Duplicates if they were offering them for free.

Then you would pull open the envelope and thumb through the pictures.

Usually the first thing you think of is “that’s not how I pictured it.” Or, “why did I take a picture of that?” And then you would stash the envelope in a box or a drawer and forget about it.

Then some day you’ll die and some family member will find the pictures you took and start thumbing through them and the first thing they’ll think of is “why the hell’d he take pictures of this shit?”

And they’ll throw them all in the garbage.

That’s why I took photography years ago and had a black and white dark room setup. There was what I saw and what I wanted to see. Take the picture and then manipulate it till it matches what you thought you saw.

Or felt.

What I don’t do is mess with lenses much. Any idiot can slap a fisheye or wide angle lens on a camera and get an interesting shot. Same with telephoto lenses. Everyone makes a big deal about close up nature photos when in reality the photographer is a quarter of a mile away shooting away with a lens over 3 feet long.

Snap shots, stock lenses in the 35 to 55 mm range.

Makes you think differently.

How you going to get that close up nature shot now?

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There was a Point to This

There was a point to this, all these pictures, but I’ll be damned if I can remember any more.

When I head out fishing, taking pictures is somewhere in the back of my mind, but they happen hopefully between catching fish. Or maybe of the fish if the fish is picture worthy.

When I head out wandering around with my camera, the point is to take pictures. Sometimes that’s a failure and I’m totally uninspired.

Usually I wander around with a running dialogue in my head that gets filled in by pictures. Or maybe the pictures start the running dialogue. Or some combination of both.

This goes back to my painting days 30 odd years ago when I would write on my paintings. A little description or dialogue I guess that I thought went well with the painting.

The problem with walking around taking pictures and having a running dialogue going is that I tend not to retain words very well. It all sounds so good while I’m out wandering around, but by the time I get home and find the time to sit down and do anything with all the pictures, I’ve pretty much forgotten all the words.

Sometimes I can’t remember what I had planned on doing with the pictures.

If I find the time to do something with words or pictures within 24 hours, things seem to go okay. Last week within 24 hours I put together the panorama shots I had intended and put up a post. The other 130 or so pictures sat and languished all week. I had already gone through and picked the ones I wanted to use, no doubt these had words associated with them last week, but this week, I got nuthin’.

Nothing but the pictures.

Best I can come up with for words is that it was sunny out on a weekend, which is rare.

Temperatures were tolerable.

The sunset was better than I expected.

That pretty much sums it up.

The Art of Shoveling Snow

A long time ago I used to paint and draw. I found a couple of small drawings I did back then, but it was unusual for me to do things this small. My paintings were all in the 6′ by 8′ range when I suddenly stopped in 1988.

Since I had gone to architecture school first then art school, I have six years of art history classes under my belt, plus years of reading all the latest rags on contemporary art and countless years of doing the gallery crawls in Chicago.

It seems I always have images in my head.

Two of my biggest influences were also my art instructors. The art school at this university was so small that I wound up hanging out with them after school hours. I was already in my early 20’s, so it was no big deal to go hang out at bars, drink and talk art.

Both of these artists had a way with color that I liked.

William Conger

Robert Donley

A couple of other artists that were a big influence on me were Jasper Johns

…and Robert Rauschenberg.

But you never know where inspiration will come from and today while shoveling snow I kept thinking about Philip Guston.

So now, all along my sidewalk and driveway are a bunch of piles of snow that are starting to look a lot like the image above.

I tried to get a picture of them all, but there’s too much white in the background and they didn’t turn out quite the way I had hoped. Besides, more snow on the way, which means I get to make them bigger.

Recreating the black will be easy.

Maybe if I thaw out the steaks in the freezer I might be able to squeeze some red out of them.

Thank god my wife doesn’t read any of the things I write.

The things in my yard, or…

…why my neighbors avoid me.

For some reason my wife agreed to this.

Some vague plan to use it as a planter, or something like that.

With the river muskie fishing season upon us, actually, they can be caught pretty much any time of the year, I’ll probably use it to make sacrifices to the muskie gods.

Throw in the occasional chicken. The goslings will be all over river soon, maybe a few of them. That damn possum living under the deck if I can ever catch it. A few headless chipmunks that the cat drags home. Lots of feral cats hanging around lately. Hang some rotting sucker carcasses off the shepherds hooks perhaps. Get a little sacrificial pyre going in front of the thing, burn some old muskie lures I have laying around.

Anything to help increase my odds. Never did like that fish of a thousand casts nonsense. No fish is worth that.

Just about anything will catch a muskie, they’re eating machines and they don’t care what they eat.

Never did test out my Barbie Doll muskie lure. I’ll have to get it back in production.

A video of that thing getting nailed would be classic.