the digital dark age may be within your arm’s reach. literally

I’ve been framing my life in a digital screen for a while. Quickly a camera became a necessary part of my sketchbook, and an important record keeper for the passage of time. When I was growing up my mother framed the yearly school photos of my brother and me, and there they were slowly becoming cyan, smiling back behind the rabbit ears while we watched TV. When my parents moved my brother Phil and I were relieved that there was no place to put them up.

Red Hat on the River

the gang. Rarely have my kids all at one table anymore, what if I lost this record?

At least we had the choice to not look at them. A few year’s ago I had a catastrophic computer crash, like most older Mac users I didn’t have a back-up plan. I lost a whole kid in photos. My older two were well documented, I have boxes of photos of them sorted by date. My youngest’s photos lived on my computer, with the idea that I would print them out when I needed them. The only photos that I have from the first years of his life are the photos taken by his pre-school and elementary school.

The digital demons have visited me again, this time my backup hard drive was knocked off the desk and broken by a bolt of high gravity. My computer is ok, so I haven’t lost anything vital except for the joy of using “Time Machine” to retrieve an older version of a file. Yes, I also have some web/cloud storage, but it doesn’t back up my whole computer, and the files that I remember to put there are rarely the files that I go looking for.

Print your photos or risk losing them to the digital dark age is the advice of someone who knows what he is talking about.
I’ve decided to take that advice. I’ve decided that Costco is not just a place to pick up a six-pack of Christmas trees, it will be my archivist, a role formerly played by Facebook. Once a week I’ll send off my print order and the mailman will deliver my life. Easy-Peasy.

AND, speaking of lessons learnt the hard way: I’ve got some archival storage boxes in a place that doesn’t get wet. All of those photos that I took in the ’70’s, including the negatives and contact sheets were not stored properly and got wet and stuck together in a solid block of silver-based emulsion.


America, right turn only


American crossroads

On the way home the other day I pulled up to the intersection and stopped at the stoplight, just as I was listening to Ted Cruz declare that he was running for president. My view of this display of excessive flag waving, stop lights and right turn only signs was so on target that for a second I forgot my dread and dismay at what we have become as a country.

Forty Portraits in Forty Years

A whole series can add up to way more than the sum of its images.

2014, the most recent image in the series

2014, the most recent image in the series

All of the portraits are in this article in the New York Times Magazine, October 3, 2014
Each image in this series by Nicholas Nixon is interesting, all of them together are amazing.

beauty, eh?

this is the assignment:

BLOG PROMPT: (must be posted by March 11)
This week’s blog prompt is a little different than usual. I would like you to interview a family member and ask them the following questions:

1. What is one of the most beautiful things you have ever seen?
2. What is one of the most beautiful things you have ever experienced?
3. What is their favorite memory or story about you?

Please type each of these questions into your post and type in the answer below the question. I can’t wait to read these.

Interviewed my 27-year-old daughter over lunch for this. Much eye rolling from her and a stern reminder of the years of homework assistance that she owed me for from me.


Davy Jones at X20, my new favorite cocktail

1. What is one of the most beautiful things you have ever seen?
Sunset at Cape Cod
2. What is one of the most beautiful things you have ever experienced?
Forgiveness–when someone really loves someone and is willing to forgive them. I think that is an amazing thing that someone would be willing to do that.
3. What is their favorite memory or story about you?
[she snorts] I’ve got two; us singing the Elvis song “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” in the kitchen and you nearly choking to death on a piece of shrimp. and…
the next one was wonderful to hear and will remain private and a special mother/daughter memory unless she needs to blackmail me in future.

don’t rely on me to explain myself

Presented my project idea in class 2-26-2015, fumbled and mumbled through trying to explain that my personal inner clock is visual, and keeps track of where the sun is in the sky. The timespan of this project goes past equinox light to near solstice. The shadows are going to get shorter.
Time Project
Public speaking terrifies me, surprising because I’m kind of a heckler when I’m listening to other people. I waddled through my presentation even though I had practiced reading it to Catman. I had expected to have a hard time, I numbered my cards in case they got out of order and timed myself. When I did my presentation in front of the class I didn’t have nearly as much to say as I did when I was practicing. And the fear sweat didn’t smell too great. I will try to remember to stand straight, make eye contact, and breathe in the future.


morning drive to work, very cold day.

I’m planning on making a large number of images of the sky, the weather, and the things that are necessary because of the time of the year or the weather on that day.
Scraping the ice off the car at 3am because the windshield is totally covered and the roads are a mess and you are late for work: got to be in that moment whether you want to or not.

Words of the day: weather whether wether
Whether the weather is fair the wether lambs will play.

selfies, better you than me.

early Frank Sinatra self-portrait

early Frank Sinatra self-portrait

let me assert something irrefutable here: there are only two male singers who can sing about joy, not just sing joyfully. I know that Dean Martin falls generally in this category but he is playing a character.

the two men who can and do… Frank Sinatra and Bruce Springsteen. Hope that I got the photo credits correct.
Bruce Springsteen can't get enough of Brazil

walking, thinking, it’s a process thing.

I have been in the habit of walking for an hour or so most days with Nibbler the Australian Shepherd who is one of my louder family members. But the cold weather and ice on the sidewalks has kept me indoors. Going for a long walk has always been a way for me to get ideas for writing and painting, and I’m looking forward to spring. Nibbler, on the other paw, LOVES snow and cannot understand why I don’t want to be out in it with him.

Australian Shepherd

Nibbler can’t believe that I am going back inside.
water color and colored pencil about 8 inches square.

According to the NYTimes all this walking is good for my body, too.