Dozer, the bulldog

Dozer, the bulldog
Dozer: He was the best dog on the planet.

Bonding

Bonding
The author of Mark's Work with Ellie Mae

Guess who's coming for dinner

Guess who's coming for dinner
Blue heron, sitting on the dock of our pond

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.

HappyDay Farms bees are happy bees.
Air-borne bees

BFF's forever

BFF's forever
Margie and Ellie Mae

Tomatoes and peppers are us.

Tomatoes and peppers are us.
Spicy salsa with roasted peppers, here at HappyDay Farms

Much love, John-Bryan

Much love, John-Bryan
Eric at 26 on the left, and John-Bryan in January of 1973.

Halloween fun

Halloween fun
SmallBoy and Dancing Girl

Our house

Our house
The snow season approaches...

Mahlon Masling Blue

Mahlon Masling Blue
My friend and brother.

Mark's E-mail address

bellspringsmark@gmail.com

Friday, February 17, 2017

Are They Talking To Me?

Are They Talking To Me?

John Prine sang about Sam Stone “climbing walls while sitting in a chair,” and I like that, because right now I am soaring while sitting here typing out this piece. After more than four years of operating on an almost one hundred percent cyber level, I visited the Fotomat, and had a roll of a hundred photos developed.
All of these prints are 8 x 10's.
OK, that’s what I would have done back in the day. Now, instead, I moved individual photos into a folder, relocated them to a cyber gallery, downloaded them to Nations Photo Lab (along with the specifics as far as size and type of photos desired) and then waited for delivery.

Whatever anxiety I felt about the quality of the photos themselves, or tension that arose in trying to actually get them into my fat hands, evaporated when I saw them. I know nothing about art, for art’s sake, and so I am not saying that the pics are noteworthy for that reason.

All I am saying is that I am overwhelmed at how pleasing they are to me. Again, I am looking at my own work so I am understandably biased, but I am really only doing so after being told repeatedly by folks on social media that they also find my photos pleasing.    

Are they talking to me?
                                
I have made a career of deflecting praise. Whether it is due to my habitual anxiety issues, over which I have gained the advantage, but still find myself being tripped by the occasional trailing tendril, or lack of confidence in the field of photography, I do not know.                       

All I know at this stage in the game is what Gluten-Free Mama demon-strated yesterday, when she got her first look at my hundred prints, thirteen of which I had culled out of the pack, and presented to her as a late Valentine’s Day gift.                                                 

Actions speak louder than words and therefore she did not need to say anything. She leafed though the stack as though she were looking at the Top One Hundred Quilts Ever Made.

When she got to the print of the home she grew up in, down in San Jose, she let out a gaspy/squeaky sort of yip, and the smile radiating from her face, made those blinding blue headlights-in-the-rain, seem more like a set of Triple-A batteries for my headlamp, on their last legs. 
                              
Seriously, though, GF Mama is not one to accompany me on my magic carpet flights of fancy, whether I am discussing my writing or my photography. No, she remains firmly grounded, even though she can be supportive to the extreme.

So when her face teleported what she need not have put into words, and then she also put it into words, I took note. Until she sifted through the prints and reacted the way she did, I was still operating on the level I have since the first day I ever took my first pic here, just over four years ago.

Automatic pilot. 

I like my stuff but what artist does not like his own stuff? If I didn’t, why would I think anyone else would? By the other token, just because my photos please me, does not mean they please others. And then I remember the feedback I get practically every time I ever post one of my scenic shots.

I can’t afford to have bribed ALL of them, so some may just have been sincere. I have been asked repeatedly, why I do not make a book of photos/poetry; do coffee table publications of my photos; work art shows, including the Laytonville Art Walk; do a gallery showing; and make some loot.

My standard response has always been that I had not yet figured out how to actually get prints into my hands, but now that I have, I will have to adopt a new line, not to mention a course of action.

What comes next?


I’m thinking. I’m thinking. Can’t you smell the sawdust smoldering?

3 comments:

  1. First, art is what you see, and your photos are art because you framed the world to get the photo. Second, deflection or acceptance of praise is irrelevant (see point 1) nevertheless, you bring joy and perspective by sharing how you see the world. Third, you are not the only one. Fourth, I have nearly 23,000 images posted and almost 1,000,000 distinct views on Flickr. I like my photos because they affirm my presence in the world. The fact that other people look and see means I contributed to their experience. As you do. Great success, cousin.

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    1. I appreciate your take immensely. I have not yet managed to figure out Instagram and Flickr. I don't even know what Flickr is. Coming from someone with as much knowledge and experience that you possess, the praise is high indeed. As I have repeatedly said, I am surrounded by beauty up here on this mountain, and all I ever try to do is transport a fraction of that beauty to my camera. Thanks for stopping by, Gerry! Much respect.

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  2. Mark, I ope you are beginning to recognize that you have an artful eye. You capture things on your camera that are inspiring and beautiful and make me (and lots of other people) pause and notice beauty.
    I'm glad you like your stuff. Isn't that the point you are often after me about? Enjoy the moment, viewed through your eyes and your art. We are going to get those photos out there. Instagram is easy peasy. I have a Flickr account but I haven't used it much. Maybe it's time to get back into that

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