Tuesday, January 31, 2012
i have had the pleasure of knowing this man since i was in third grade... that's a long time to be connected to someone. he was my art teacher, and now he is my friend. i spent ten years studying art in his class, sometimes getting into trouble, and sometimes getting special treatment because i was artistic. eventually, he became my football coach. yep, art teacher and football coach. in many people's minds, these two specializations don't mix very fluidly. in my mind, they create a perfect balance... a very physical experience with football, a very spiritual experience in art. he taught and coached with genuine regard for his pupils, a true love for his students/players. he taught me how to correctly draw a face, a bull's skull, buildings in perspective, how to stretch a canvas, mix paint... many skills that i still utilize. on the football field, he taught me how to run a good curl route, how to defend a slant route, how to work with a team to achieve a goal, and how to lose with honor. i may not use all of these skills still, but participating in the game of life (winning, losing, whatever,) requires a code of sorts to do it well. without specifically teaching some lessons, i have learned much about living "right" by watching his example. after my father died when i was sixteen, i obviously needed a role model, and this wonderful human being has filled part of that position for over twenty years now. i may never really be able to thank him enough, or express what a blessing he has been in my life, but i will do my best... because that is what i have learned to do from this man.
Monday, January 30, 2012
exactly a year ago, i took a two day trip to my in-laws lake house to focus on an art proposal for my Ghosts and Hopes series. i knew that i needed to hide away for forty-eight hours to limit distractions, which is not at all to say that there were no distractions, and so i went to tiny town, kentucky. fulfilling the obligations of this project would be challenging. there are only a couple of neighbors nearby, and i photographed one at the beginning of the project. so, i had to find some time to crawl out of the hole that i went to the woods to crawl into, and i needed the excursion to be efficient in it's execution. luckily, not too far from the house is a small fishing spot, and though it was cold, there were enough subjects to choose from, and i think that i chose wisely. this boy was with his sister and father, and they may not have had a lot of luck with the fish, but i'm pretty sure that they didn't mind too much. the happy camper here sat on his perch with pure contentment... until i injected my will into his moment. i had to ask the father for permission to photograph the child, and whether or not the boy wanted to be interrupted, he was interrupted. i sort-of felt bad, but i could not let a little feeling stand in my way; the mission must be carried out in spite of feelings... like a trained assassin. anyways, my photos were quick and calculated, and he was soon free to get back in the saddle to sink away into more moments of childhood bliss. and i, having interrupted myself, went back to my hideaway; adult bliss.
Saturday, January 28, 2012
this guy was likely the hardest sell that i had to make to someone that eventually agreed to participate in this project. my last line was something like, "alright then, i need to go find somebody that wants to be in this project." from the start, he wanted his photo taken (he is a performer,) but he didn't want me to get it easily. he put up all sorts of resistance... signing my release form was not appealing to him, as he seemed to want to own the rights to, not only his songs, but his image. as i was getting back into my car and dishing out my final pitch, he called out to me like some desperation song had crossed his heart, like he did not wish to be neglected again. i strolled back to his perch, and listened to his story and his song, and he posed the entire time. we played each other better than that guitar has ever been played.
Friday, January 27, 2012
one of the few intentions that i set when i began this project was to photograph the "regular," everyday people that i usually pass by in the day to day comings and goings, and document the beauty that lies within these folks. i get so damn tired of the celebrity "look" that blows up the pages of all media... and it becomes virtually impossible to ignore it and still live within society. the un-photoshopped beauty of these people on this blog is the truth, and that is what i want, and that is what we need more of today.
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Monday, January 23, 2012
this woman is an art collector, and lucky for me, she collected a piece of my art. i painted her house a couple of years ago, and it was filled with paintings that she and her husband have purchased over the years. we discussed my work during the hours i spent painting the walls, and at the end of the job she asked me if i had anything that would fit anywhere in her house. there was not any room on her walls, ultimately. so, i told her as i would tell anyone, regardless of how much space is available, to come look at the gallery or the studio and fall in love with a painting. well, she showed up for an art show of mine before it even opened, and she reserved a painting, but not this painting. the reserved painting was cast aside after a couple of months, and i was let down that she wasn't going to house that particular piece. well, the "reason for everything," in this instance, was revealed some time later when she came across this portrait of abe on my website, and contacted me to tell me that she wanted to see it in person. that painting was hanging in my den, providing me, my family, and visitors at my house, much enjoyment; it fit perfectly. i didn't want to sell it. i had become attached. that specific notion, ironically, made my decision to "let it go" that much more natural. i have learned that attachments such as that would not serve me very well in the end, and that sharing the goodness would feel better than possessing that painting. besides, this client shares a birthday with abe; that was the final straw... and the fact that there is another painting that i am more attached to now. hahahahahahahaha.
i first met this woman when i was a reckless young man of twenty or so. she was the "dispatcher" for a local food delivery company, and i was one of the drivers. she was a kindred spirit (and still is); we had our share of fun and jokes on the airways during working hours... of course, while doing a wonderful job at our job. she met a long-time friend of mine and eventually married. they moved to new york, then they moved to atlanta, i didn't see much of them, and then they moved back to nashville... full circle. somewhere in that scenario, i dated one of her close friends, learned some things, then separated. that woman not long ago succumbed to her fight with cancer. the portrait woman wrote a song about her. that song and many others are now being regularly performed (every several months,) locally. she puts on a wonderful show, and it is great to see someone doing what they love with so much passion. you can catch her at the basement this friday, the 27th. this woman is kind, sincere, fun, classy, edgy, talented, and full of life and love... a true treasure.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
last year offered the snow enthusiast in nashville a little bit more than usual to cheer for, even if it did not amount to much compared to other cities' winters. on this particular "snow day," i don't think that i left the house, so i hunted the portrait of the day from the large bank of windows in my living room. towards the end of the day, when the ideal light graced our neighborhood, this unsuspecting walker caught my eye. so, i stepped out my front door, camera in hand, and strolled down the driveway. i noticed that the woman was casually trying not to notice me... or she was trying not to be noticed. gently, but confidently, i put myself in her path and waited. she did not u-turn. apprehensively, she greeted me as i began to step into my pitch. slowly, her guarded walls began to slip away, and i continued to share about my daughters and other things to paint me as a "good guy." well, as you can see, she bought the story and allowed me to capture the wonderful colors of winter and her hat. i am beginning to really enjoy the looking away but not on purpose portraits.
Friday, January 20, 2012
as i sit here tonight, on this twentieth day of january, it is apparently fifty-eight degrees outside. i'm not going to go sign up for the coalition to stop global warming, but this is not winter weather by any stretch of my imagination. don't get me wrong, i am enjoying the extra time in t-shirts, but i really do think that winter should be cold. last year, as this woman can attest, it was cold on january twentieth... if i remember correctly, it was windy and wildly cold. she was strolling her baby near my studio, and she was brave enough to subject herself to standing still for me and my project. the wonderful people like this have made this project what it is... honest.
Thursday, January 19, 2012
in my college speech class, for the final speech/exam, i gave a persuasive speech about television and how it negatively effected individuals and our society. i will spare you the very alarming details (because i have all but completely forgotten them,) but, needless to say, the TV is basically an electronic drug. consider that notion at your leisure. (i am not drug free).
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
if you stick around the cracker barrel parking lot long enough, something strange will happen. this woman was not involved in such a scenario. if i recall correctly, she and a friend or a daughter come to nashville from out of town to go antiquing, and i guess they then stop and have a "home cooked meal" before hitting the road to return home. there are likely thousands of folks that travel to "antique"... and that is a verb.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
i have never taken the bus in this city... and some strange voice inside tells me that i "should" ride it at some point. i am not clear on what that voice is. maybe, it is the voice of experience that calls out for MORE. maybe, it's the voice of adventure that needs something new. maybe, it's the voice of shame, or fear, or ego. regardless, here is a guy who needs not consider such silly psycho-analytical investigations into the lack of bus riding experience... that's a lucky guy.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Sunday, January 15, 2012
i am inspired by these photos to tell you a wonderful story about sainthood, but then i realize that i am too close to this subject to spin such fiction just to entertain here on the blog. he made a comment to me after seeing these pictures that he did not realize that others could also see the halo. this was at his birthday dinner last year, and he (obviously,) had a wonderful time with this photo shoot. the last photo actually looks like he is being filled with the Spirit... i'm just not sure if it is a Holy one or one with more demonic intentions... i'm also not sure what he was intending to communicate with this look. regardless, i think it makes for another wonderful addition to this collection of all sorts of people. i am lucky/honored to be the godfather to this guy's daughter... i would think with a halo like his, his offspring would not require backup help in the arena of spiritual guidance, but, what does a regular human like me know?