WOMAN IN BLUE is essentially a found object, a stunningly beautiful piece of stained glass that changes appearance as the light changes. It was donated to the Ann’s Choice Stained Glass Club because while beautiful it is also a very difficult piece of glass to work with. I picked it up, managed to trim most of the problems and decided to let the piece essentially speak for itself rather than pressing my luck. This is a piece in which everyone will see something different, but I have titled it WOMAN IN BLUE because I see a woman in left profile turning her head to the right, or at least that is what I see most of the time, and of course, blue is the predominate color. For this reason, I have chosen to emphasize the neckline on the right side by using a clear glass and a heavy solder line rather than trying to match the glass. I have enclosed it in a natural color pine hanging frame. (2022) (28 ½” x 15 ½”) ($350)
ARMED TEACHERS – REVISITED
In October of 2018 I posted ARMED TEACHERS – WHAT CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG? as a response to the Parkland shootings and Donald Trump’s and the NRA’s suggested solution being to arm the teachers and “harden” the schools. Well, in May of 2022, after 19 4th grade students and 2 teachers were shot and killed at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, I watched Texas public officials Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott, Ken Paxton and Dan Patrick offer their “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their families and once again propose arming the teachers and “hardening” the schools as the solution to mass shootings therein. Obviously, things haven’t changed in 3 ½ years, so rather than trying to express my frustration and rage in a new way, I just decided to re-post ARMED TEACHERS-WHAT CAN POSSIBLY GO WRONG?
PORZECZKA is part of my “Negative to Positive” Series of paper collages, and no, the title is not the result of my computer’s spell check having run amok but the Polish word for currants and the name of my wife’s favorite breakfast tea. Like PAIN MANAGEMENT, SNOW MOON, ANACHRONISM, and the other pieces in the “Negative to Positive” Series PORZECZKA is made from a single source of packaging or advertising material, in this case tea boxes. The design, with the small circles, is intended to invoke “currants” and with the flowing pattern to do a play on the word “currents. (2022)
CONTRAILS is part of my “Views From a Third Floor Window “series. It was shot at around 5:30 pm on Saturday, February 27th, 2022, using my cell phone camera and looking toward the west. Given the winds and time of day, the composition and palette are more a matter of looking up at the right time, reacting to the scene and having a camera at hand than they are to any conscious planning or composition on my part. Within seconds of CONTRAILS having been taken the contrails had almost completely dissipated. I was particularly struck by how the contrails created a geometric structure to the scene, and how one seemed to pierce another. (2022)
One of the pieces of advice most frequently given to young aspiring writers (or painters, or sculptors) is: “Write what you know about”. Well, I’m old, and what I know about is pain, everything from arthritis through carpal tunnel and collapsed arches to sciatica and how to manage it. PAIN MANAGEMENT is a paper collage made from several tubes of the same brand of topical pain cream and part of my “Negative to Positive” series of collages. And, yes, I buy in bulk.
MOONFLOWER is a paper collage constructed out of seven pieces cut from a single 5” x 7” advertising postcard. It pretty much named itself, but I decided that it might be a good idea to find out if there was such a thing as a Moonflower. When I did a Google Search for “Moonflower”, it turned out that not only is there a Moonflower but that there were multiple entries about it, one of which titled: “Time of the Moonflower” by Shushann Movsessian and Gemma Summers refers to the Moonflower as a Symbol of Blossoming in Dark Times stating that: “The beautiful and enchanting Moonflower is a nightflower that needs the dark to grow and blossom. Like other nightflowers, it uses the creatures of the night, such as moths and bats, to help with pollination. It is such a wonderful symbol for the growth potential of our souland personality when we are faced with challenging and difficult periods in our lives.” Well, challenging and difficult does seem to aptly describe our times.
STILL LIFE IN THE CITY #2
A number of years back I did a series of black and white photographs in and around southeast Washington, DC using a Pentax SLR and Kodak 400 film. These were primarily of the architectural details, their interaction with the trees in the small yards and the lights and shadows. I did my own darkroom work (the Stone Age version of Photoshop) and titled the series: STILL LIFE IN THE CITY. In December of 2021 I used the black and white filter on my cellphone camera, to take a similar series in southeast DC and titled it STILL LIFE IN THE CITY – II. Other than the black and white filter and some cropping, there were no changes to the images. In many ways STILL LIFE IN THE CITY#2, part of that series is an exercise in visualizing in black and white.(2021)
WITH AGE COMES PERSPECTIVE
WITH AGE COMES PERSPECTIVE, part of my “From Negative To Positive” Series is an exercise piece, an effort to make myself get back to being creative with limited materials and tools. The ground rules for the exercise were that I had to create an image using only the material contained in a single advertising circular or brochure, a pair of scissors and some white glue. The first pieces I cut out of the brochure reminded me of a skyline and birds in flight, which led to a reflection on perspective, both artistic and otherwise, which in turn led to the title. (587) (11” x 14”) (2021)
WHATTHEFLOCK? is part of my “Views From a Third Floor Window” Series as part of my trying to learn how to use digital photography as an art form. Initially I am going to focus (pun intended) on basic composition rather than image manipulation. WHATTHEFLOCK? was shot using my cell phone and because of the weather (overcast, dreary and dank), the distance, and being shot hastily through a window as well as that I am just starting to use my cell phone as a camera ended up being an interesting silhouette shot. What was interesting to me about this flock is that it was composed of robins, cardinals and sparrows – something I had never seen before except around a feeder
SNOW MOON is part of my “Negative to Positive” Series of paper collages which take the background color, i.e. the “negative space” from a single piece of advertising or packaging material and convert it into the image, i.e. the “positive”. In this case the material was a grocery delivery advertisement and the title SNOW MOON comes from the name of the February 2022 full moon. I knew that certain full moons had names, such as the Harvest Moon or the Hunter’s Moon but did not realize that all full moons have names until I started researching it.