Day’s End

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Seeking Selectivity

There’s an ageless argument in photography involving 2 camps, one staunchly defending B&W as “more real” than color images, and of course vice-versa.  Who’s right? Or wrong?

My take on this may seem like a cop-out, but choosing one over the other because it’s “more real” doesn’t resonate with me. The interpretation of any photograph is highly personal, so regardless of an image presented in B&W or color–or combinations of both–what you feel makes the image real.

Some days, I see and feel things that tell me to shoot B&W. Similarly, it goes the other direction where my sensitivities lean to color, even one particular color.

Yet these images can confound the entire argument because of my resolute commitment to personally see or find things that prompts a connection. Are these photographs less real because of my choice in isolating or selecting an object, shape, color or theme?

A Somber Trait

Much of human history is peppered with a notion that when we don’t understand the unknown, we become defensive, fearful and hesitant. Granted the opposite is also true; we can become bold, curious and willing to take a chance. There’s a dichotomy between assumptions and reactions.  The sentiments in the plaque attest to these notions. Just where you straddle this dichotomous line depends on how you define yourself.

A commencement address given a few years ago might shed some light on my post. It was delivered by Tim Minchin, an alum of the University of Western Australia. His career path is one created by an awareness for all things sentient. Minchin reminds me of my own college journey in liberal arts; I found such great value in what and how you feel in terms of art, music, literature, philosophy and all those disciplines of study that pre-dated this notion that mindfulness and empathy and emotional intelligence are somehow new constructs of our modern, western world.

In his comments, his last 3 points made in impression of sorts:

#7) define yourself with what you love, not what you hate; #9) respect people with less power than you, and #9) don’t rush…

Are you leaning more to one side or the other of that dichotomous line…?

Left vs Right Bank

 

La Rive Gauche [a left bank of the CT River].
La Rive Droite [a right bank].
Yes, all rivers have a right and left bank.  Some of the most famous of river banks can be found in Paris: the Seine.

The banks of the  Connecticut River doesn’t have the inimitable splendor of its cousin in France. However, both waterways are remarkable for a myriad of reasons, some similar; but I suspect the majority of those things remarkable are marked by differences in history and appeal.

Vive la différence!

The 10,000 Hour Rule

Ten years ago, author Malcolm Gladwell published his book, Outliers, a NY Times Bestseller. In his book, Mr. Gladwell posited that to master a specific skill, a total of 10,000 hours is required. That’s the milestone to accomplish being the best, “to accomplish greatness” according to the author.

But once again, “greatness” and “the best” have varying metrics. Is any of this based on earnings? On the number of gold medals? The number of championships [world or otherwise]? Metrics do have a place, certainly, but winning cannot be everything.

If there is a dark side to marketing it’s this notion that aside from the hours required, you also need equipment, supplies et al of equal or higher quality. Marketing promotes aspirational consumption: if I have the best ______, then I have a better chance of becoming the best.

No….10,000 hours is an unreasonable expectation. Predictably, no one denies consistent practice is mandatory in order to reach a given standard or goal [especially your own]. However, my own “rule” is far simpler: give it your best and know it was your best. Save some time to enjoy other things in Life.

The Artistic Power of Self-Awareness

Dr. Stephen William Hawking was an amazing human being for many reasons. His recent death made me think that the realm of possibilities in life are practically endless. He was proof positive that we should diss “dis-” in disability. We all have abilities in one form or another. I recently attended a gallery opening for CATA [Community Access to the Arts].  Through an innovation known as Art Realization Technologies [see image below], people with physical disabilities get to express their artistic abilities.

So then, here on canvas, each one attributed to a person, is their artistic awareness of their individual sentience. Expressive. Personal and self-aware. Fragile. Powerful. Confident, each canvas like the artist, one of a kind.

Artist David Gardner with Red Bird, acrylic on canvas.
Artist Julie Raymond with Untitled 2011, acrylic on canvas.
Artist Carol Neuhaus with Outside the Box 2016, acrylic on canvas.
Artist Myles Tosk with Untitled 2008, acrylic on canvas.

CATA founder Sandra Newman [L] with Carol Neuhaus and Carol’s art trainer.
Yes, every piece is for sale and the artists along with CATA benefit from the sales.

 

 

A Touch of Spring

Pour ceux qui sont fatigués de l’hiver, laissez-moi partager avec vous un aperçu du printemps.

Chaque printemps, Smith College ouvre la porte de leurs maisons vertes. Pour un petit don, vous pouvez vous perdre dans la chaleur, la couleur et la promesse de la météo à venir.

La patience est nécessaire car les week-ends sont toujours occupés avec les visiteurs, proches et lointains.