Library “Art Gallery”

Shadows on the Snow
Shadows on the Snow

I brought a couple of my photos in to be part of the opening exhibit of photos from the Senior’s College classes…one of mine, shown above, is to be included. Last weekend I was part of a group Swarna, the librarian, shanghaied to set policy for this, her’ latest publicity venture for the Montague (PEI) library. She now has a set of chains hanging down on an open wall intended to hold pictures… paintings or photographs. Each exhibit is to be up for 6 weeks and the space is available on a first-come-first-served basis by signup. Being the sort of person she is, there will be “grand openings” every 6 weeks with refreshments… anything you spent at the library book sale supports local programs!

In the discussion of policies, I was surprised to discover how much my experiences with the Artisans on Main…discussed in blogs from last summer… gave me a clear picture of what I did NOT want for this activity.

  • There should be NO jury passing judgement if the art is good enough to be shown.
  • There should be no favoring more polished or professional work over beginners work or even work by children…whoever signs up first gets the space.
  • There should only be help in hanging and arranging an exhibit if the contributor specifically requests it. Otherwise mounting and arranging the exhibit should be entirely the responsibility of the artist (or their mother or father).

I suppose I am still smarting under the exclusivity and judgmental attitude that gradually grew up within the Artisans, but I want this library project to be free form any taint of such restrictiveness. For what its worth, I hope to sign up for a spot soon next week!

Where has the time gone?

I was dismayed to realize I haven’t posted here for almost 3 weeks. It isn’t that nothing is happening…actually I have been finishing up two books…Leslie’s and a revision of Tom Rath’s first Donkey book (he wanted a second printing and wanted the pictures to be enlarged to bleed off the edges). He is nearly done with the second donkey book, having persuaded Greg’s brother Ian to do the illustrations–what a talented family!

Still, that doesn’t account for it. I have been teaching photography and photo-manipulation for Seniors College as well as a very basic computer introduction for the 50+ club in Montague.

Also, I need to get the wood gathered and stacked so Randall Larson can come and split it for me…a great bargain he has been providing for many years. I stack only the wood big enough to need splitting and he comes and does up a whole year’s worth in about 3 hours…his splitter and his labor…a great bargain especially for one like myself who finds that much work a bit much.

Oh, I am trying to finish the summer guest quarters over the garage since cousins (and families) may be coming next Summer and it gets too cold to have the plaster set or the paint to dry if I wait too long into the Fall.

And, of course I am chipping away at the Revisiting Scripture book.

Now I can begin to see why I haven’t done so much posting recently!

A ‘real’ artist again

With my published books being ousted from the Artisans on Main Gallery, and my photo prints priced so low (when compared to the surrounding matted reproductions of paintings), it is clear that the majority favor the laborious one-of-a-kind works. There is, of course, the famous quote from Groucho Marx:



Belle River Shore

Still, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em…I have decided to see if the artisans group will accept me as a member. In the next week or two…I aim to submit a set of acrylics to be ‘juried’. I decided a couple weeks ago to use up all my resources in hardboard/panel-board and set out to paint 18 pictures all at once…all in thick acrylic and all done entirely with palette knife in an impressionistic style. I first laid out two 4′ x 8′ sheets of plywood on sawhorses in the garage (the truck has been outside for about a week and is probably getting irritated an being ousted), laid out all my ‘canvasses’, and went at it…all at the same time in a round-robin, production mode. For specific inspiration I grabbed some of my postcards and photo-magnets. First I put down a layer of white acrylic as a primer and then went around laying down a single range of colors at a time…first blues, grays, and whites to represent the impression of skies and clouds…then greens and yellows for grass and trees…then reds, browns and whites for beaches and fields…and finally whatever was left–purples and pinks for lupines and grey-greens for beach plants (dusty miller?). It was more fun than finger-painting back in 1st grade!

Continue reading A ‘real’ artist again

Cameras and the Tattoo

We spent all day yesterday and most of the night attending the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo…a marvelous three hour+ performance of precision marching and bands as well as dancing and gymnastics by groups from both Canada and countries including the France, Switzerland, Estonia, Britain and the US. It was held in the Halifax Metro Centre and was wonderful both for the acts and their precision interleaving so that there was never even 10 seconds when there was not some event going on…the groups entered and arranged themselves in the dark side as another act was going on at the other end.

What a wonderful photo opportunity this would have been with all the color and pageantry except for one thing…on the tickets and plastered over all the entrance doors was the notice: No Cameras, Video, or Recording Permitted. Now, as a photographer,  I respect an organization’s desire to retain ownership of any  images, etc. etc. But it turned out the notice was unenforced. There was an endless string of flashes coming from the audience across the way from us and no doubt on our side as well! I kept expecting the ubiquitous ushers to at least warn people if not confiscate cameras or escort violators from the performance. Nothing of the sort…even when a particularly delicate acrobatic performance was preceded by a warning to avoid any flashes for fear it would endanger the performers, the end of the announcement was immediately followed by a flash. Continue reading Cameras and the Tattoo

Photography classes

[Here is the outline of a proposal submitted to the artisans group last night. I have not heard any official response, but individual comments have been favorable.]
The idea: Understanding that utilization of the studio is sparse, if the group approves, I would like to do a series of every-Monday-afternoon classes primarily relating to photography. The classes would run from 1 to 4 pm. Where appropriate classes would include ‘field trips’ around Montague as part of the class.
The logistics: There would be no prerequisites and each class would stand alone, so anyone could take any particular class that attracted their fancy, and it could draw folks who are here for only a week or two and are looking for activities. I envision it as a very personal small-group class where each person can have some individual attention. The format would be similar to what I have done for the Library Photography Club, drawing on the preparations for Seniors College classes and Community School. I would rather not require advance registration (unless an astounding number of folks show up…I am a firm believer in not solving a possible problem before it actually becomes a problem). My current thinking would be to charge $10 for a 3-hour class so it would be ‘profitable’ with as few as 2 or 3. I assume at least 10% would go to the collective kitty.
Equipment needs: I would want a sandwich board set up outside the building all week to attract passers-by to the coming class with more details on a sheet in the window. I would need the loan of the conference-room computer projector (but not a computer) and two folding tables and some chairs. I would prefer to run classes in the ‘kitchen’ of the studio which would be shielded from afternoon sun for better viewing of images. I have a screen which I can mount for the duration. A key would be handy if we were to go out for an hour in the middle some weeks. I would supply tea and snacks for a mid-point break out of the registration cost.
Topics: I can easily come up with different topics for successive weeks since I have PowerPoint presentations already prepared on many photography topics. Here is a list of possible topics:
  1. photo composition
  2. taking vacation/travel pictures
  3. close-up photography with YOUR camera
  4. photographing people…portraits, children
  5. learning features of yourdigital camera
  6. introduction to Photoshop and picture enhancement
  7. optimizing and repairing old photos
  8. mat cutting and framing
  9. introduction to self-publishing
If this is approved I would like to get advertising in place by next Monday, July 2nd, for weekly classes beginning as early as July 9th.