Saturday, January 9, 2010

I'm Ready for My Close-up

Thank you to everyone who responded to my "blue" assignment here and in person. It seems the ring has it!

One of the things that I love about a photgraphy class is that it forces me to really compose an image and take into consideration all of the elements that comprise a good shot. My second class assignment is a close-up, and must contain all of the general rules of composition; varying levels of interest, diagonal lines, an object in focus, and a repeated pattern of some kind. So here are the new contenders.

So, which, to you, fits the bill?

Thursday, January 7, 2010


So, I'm taking another photography class and the first assignment is ... you guessed it, "blue." I have to choose my best shot to submit, and since I have such discerning and aesthetically advanced friends, I thought I'd turn to you to help me decide. Which of these images not only speaks to you of blue, but works compositionally as an image?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Moon and Sixpense

As my husband and I drove home from Vermont, I read a book aloud as he drove, as we often do. It was Somerset Maugham's 'The Moon and Sixpense'. I confess I've never read anything by Maugham until now. The book is a fiction about a man named Charles Strickland, loosely based on the life of Paul Gauguin. Very loosely, actually, as facts and destinations that we know about Gauguin’s life don’t align very well with Strickland’s. It starts slowly and I had difficulty getting into it at first, but with patience I was rewarded with a stunning novel.

Everybody knows the Gauguin who went to Tahiti to paint the natives, but his life leading up to it and the mystery of his life in Tahiti makes for a fascinating read. In Maugham’s fiction, Strickland is not what you would call a friendly chap, but the book slowly draws you in and makes you confront the conventional premise of what society deems ‘nice’ and question what constitutes a meaningful life.

Gauguin, the real artist, was indeed a stockbroker, but he abandoned his career and his wife with five, rather than two, children. He was also less furtive than Strickland in his pursuit of art and who can tell if Gauguin was as callous as we are lead to believe. The man had vision, and he was slave to getting his vision out onto canvas. Who am I to say that making a living versus following one’s genius is morally good or bad? I think we must each decide for ourselves what makes a good life. But it can be said that Strickland, if not the real life artist, was true to himself and his priorities.

This book literally changed my life; the way I see art and one's responsibility to a life's calling.

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