Friday, May 16, 2008


"It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." - Henry David Thoreau

"Everything has it's beauty, not everyone sees it." - Confucius

"One does not see anything, until one sees beauty." - Oscar Wilde

"People only see what they are prepared to see." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Opening Reception at Kimball-Jenkins

Well, last night was the opening reception of my exhibit at the Jill Coldren-Wilson Gallery that is on the campus of the Kimball-Jenkins School of Art in Concord, New Hampshire. This was my largest exhibit ever, with 24 pieces on display.

The work usually goes up a week before the reception, but I try not to go look at it prior to the opening night. I was a little apprehensive for the past few days, waiting for the time to arrive, and to be honest, I couldn't wait until 5:00 to show up. I pulled into the gallery at about 3:45 and made my way up the granite walkway to the steps leading into the old Victorian mansion that houses the gallery space. I was amazed at what the curator had done. Everything looked great, from the way my photographs were displayed, to the food tables, to the beverage carts. Everything was first class. The display of my images was beautifully done. I personally would have never hung it this way, but it really worked, causing each of the four rooms to be individual, yet connected to each other. It far exceeded my expectations.

There was a great turnout, as the reception was included as part of Art Concord, and hopefully, as this event becomes more successful, more venues can be added.

Some highlights of the evening (in no particular order):

1. Being "reprimanded" for the title of one of my images. This particular viewer felt that the title was insulting to him, as it didn't give him credit for seeing what I thought he should see in the image. It didn't need to smack him in the face.

The offending "Ghost in the Garage"

2. Listening to two viewers discuss the "faces" they saw in one image.

"Satin Rose" Do you see faces?

3. Meeting people that came from as far away as New York to see my work. I'd never met them before, and it was an absolute honor to meet them that night. Dave and Jan, I am humbled.

4. Meeting Jill and Robert Wilson, (the gallery is named after Jill Coldren-Wilson), as they attended my reception. They are wonderful people, and invaluable to the local art community.

5. Being referred to as "the Georgia O'Keefe of photography". However uncomfortable I might be with that comparison, it was very nice of them to say.

Georgia O'Keefe-ish?

6. Being offered a teaching position at the Kimball-Jenkins School of Art. Beginning in July, I will be teaching photography to the students at the art school.

For anyone that was unable to attend the reception, but is still interested in viewing the installation, the gallery is open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Friday and other times by appointment. This display runs through May 29th.

I'd also like to take a moment to specially thank Ryan Linehan, the Director of the Kimball-Jenkins School of Art for all that he has done for the local art community, and for me personally.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Fortune Tellers, Palm Readers, and Weathermen

What do they all have in common? About a 50% accuracy rate, that’s what. Oh how I wish I could only do half of my job right and still be a celebrity in town and get paid for it too. Not that their accuracy was any better 20 years ago, but now, with everyone on the news being some sort of character in a bizarre 30 minute sitcom, I’d at least like them to recognize that they are correct in their prognostications far less than they should be. Someone who gets paid to analyze the weather and predict to the public what is going to happen SHOULD be able to do a better job than I can by looking at the satellite loops on the internet.

Saturday was Opening Day for the local Little League baseball. While watching the “news” Friday night, against my better judgment, I stuck around for the weather report. It looked to me like it was going to rain, but let’s see what the professionals have to say. Now understand that at this point, Saturday morning is less than 8 hours away. I’m not looking for a 10 day forecast (now there is a joke), I just want to know what the weather is going to be eight hours from now.

Saturday – Mostly Sunny with temperatures in the low to mid 50’s

Sunday – Mostly Sunny with a chance of an afternoon shower creeping in

Saturday morning arrives and it is pouring rain and in the 40’s. Well, maybe it will clear up by noon time….

Noon comes and it is still pouring out and in the 40’s. 150 kids marching in the Opening Day Parade, all soaking wet and shivering. 150 kids standing on the field being introduced to the fans, who are also all soaking wet and shivering. Everyone standing in the rain eating soggy hot dogs and potato chips, while soaking wet and shivering.

Almost forgot, it rained all day Sunday as well.

Nice job Mr. Meteorologist. Thanks for the help.

(The photographs included in this blog are obviously not from this weekend. They are samples from last seasons photographs)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Are Hobbyists Bad for Business?

Pricing of art/craft work is always a hot topic, with some people feeling that those with lower prices undercut the market and hurt the professional artist. I am not of that opinion.

There are several different types of Artisans.

Type one is the Professional Artisan. They create out of the love for their craft, and charge accordingly. Sales are not the priority, they are driven by creation, but they are supported by the income derived from their work.

Type two is the Hobbyist Artisan. They create for the fun of it, to pass time, maybe hanging out with a group of people and all doing the same thing at the same time. They sell their work simply to finance doing more of it. Their time is of no value, they seek to recoup their costs for materials so that they can do it again tomorrow.

Others work hard at what they do, trying to generate much needed income to help support their families or themselves. These people are stuck in the middle, being underpriced by the hobbyists, and not feeling like they can't sell enough at the higher prices.

It's tough to be in the middle. I learned a very long time ago that people either want to buy the cheapest, or they want to buy the best.

One of the co-op's that I am involved with recently had someone that knitted apply to be juried. Her work was of excellent quality. Her prices were between $15 and $20 for something that would take her about 6 hours to make. She was rejected because her items were inadequately priced for what we were trying to do.

Items that are inadequately priced skew the marketplace for everyone, but in this internet world that we live in, it is an inevitable issue that the folks in the middle will continue to have to deal with. People with the top quality work will continue to get top quality prices as long as they have the backbone to ask for them.