Your home for everything artistic

Rocket Art

There is something to be said for an old-school toy. Do you recall those wooden blocks, cars, trucks, planes…you played with as a child? If you are of a specific age group, you likely do and even if you are younger you may have had the change to experience this simple pleasure. One problem is that many of these items are plain and have a natural look with no color. That is where the artsy part come in as that you can easily buy craft paints and get started.

This is a rocket my mother picked up at Walmart that had a light switch to make the hole in the middle glow. After painting it and adding stickers, it was time to draw a little boy’s face on the inside and light it up.

You might want to keep this in mind the next time you look for a unique gift project.

Guest Poet

As you know, we post a lot of poems here. I met someone last year that I recently found to be a poet and asked her is she minds if I share some of her work. She agreed and so I will occasionally share some of her writing.

Here is the first piece she shared with me written way back in 99.

Solitude by

Autumn Rivers

There have always been some beneficial elements to becoming part of a professional association in your field. It can help with networking, learning and is nothing else having something to add to your resume.

If you enjoy shooting photography in natural light, even if it’s not the only type of photography you work with, you might be interested in NLPI. That stands for Natural Light Photographers International and one of the best parts about it is that so long as they accept you based on your work, membership is free. Sure, you can opt to purchase an official card (just like a credit card or something you might carry in your wallet) but you can also just print one out free free when they provide a link.

Don’t be turned off by the professional in the title of this post because anyone can apply. It is open to amateurs, semi-professionals and seasoned pros.

Check out their website at https://nlpiphotographers.wordpress.com/

Winter Road At Dusk

I am an occasional user of the platform Reddit but one of the things I enjoy is the annual Secret Santa. My gift was from a very cool user who gave me some books and watercolor brush markers along with watercolor paper. As part of my Thank You to them, I made this and call is “Winter Road At Dusk” on 5×7 paper with the markers. I’m not some outstanding painter but it’s something fun to do.

For those of us who consider ourselves creative people and also try to get the word out there about our creative ambitions, guest posting or guest blogging can be a good opportunity.

With that being said, I’m looking to both guest post for other blogs as well as feature other people’s posts on mine. If you own or run a blog and are interested in in either of these possibilities, please let me know either in the comments section or via e-mail at trcapromo@gmail.com .

What I’ll accept for this blog:

Anything arts related in any way. It must be original work and at least 250 words (unless it’s poetry or a visual submission like photography or a drawing). I’ll provide one backlink per poem or visual submission and up to two per written other form of written post.

What I can provide:

Having worked in journalism as well as the arts, I am up for providing mostly anything. However, if possible I’d like to keep the topics related to:

Poetry and writing

Photography and the visual arts

Movies and video

Music and the performing arts

Goth, emo or punk subcultures

Body modification

Graphic design

Maybe we can make this work out well for everyone!

The art of shadows
Dancing in the glistening moonlight
So delicate and so playful
But they merely represent result
For without those beams
There would be nothing
No means to carry any shape
Absent the light, they are nothing
But, in it’s glorious presence
The shadow is art in motion
So delightfully simplistic
And so easily overlooked

Guest Post By Dylanna Fisher

Photography is a combination of both science and art. The public may be unaware that the process of photography is scientific in nature. Whereas a painter needs to use paint, brushes, canvas and physically combine them, photography requires meticulous levels of chemicals and chemical reactions to achieve an image. Artists who use oil paintings utilize various forms of brushes, pick from a variety of canvases, mix paints with paint thinners, and physically combine them to achieve their masterpiece; on the other hand, photographers require meticulous levels of chemicals and have to use a darkroom for specific chemical reactions to occur. Only then, a masterpiece is created. That aspect has ensured that photography is seen as much closer to reality than traditional art. Photography is not as precise as other scientific fields. On the other side of the scale, photography is an art because it has variations within a single image. Photographers from the same genre of work will have their own style even if they are taking a photo of the same subject. Within the hands of a single photographer and camera, the composition, lighting, subject, and positioning will change from image to image. Those are the operator’s choices, which are completely subjective for the image. That subjectivity is what makes photography an artistic medium as well as a scientific one. Photography is a juxtaposition of an imperfect science with the abstraction of art, lending a more objective lens to the unfoldment of the human condition. 

Critics in the art and photography worlds argue where photography lies in the art and science spectrum Holmes describes photography both as a technical advancement and as an artistic medium. However, Holmes and other artists disagree that photography is the same as its traditional and earlier counterparts in the artistic world. As Holmes describes, the daguerreotype, the daguerreotype, or an early photography process that used mercury vapour to bring forth an image from its silver plating, can appear, can appear like a mirror and remain like a memory forever on a photograph. Photography is a more exact representation of the world around us, as compared to that of a painting or a sketch. A photographic image is impossible for a human hand to reproduce simply because of the level of separation that the artist has from the subject and not the artist’s skill itself. Film critic, Andre Bazin agrees with Holmes’s sentiment on the exactness of photography as compared to artistry, which is argued by Bazin to be synonymous with copies, or duplication or imitation.Art is not the object itself, nor can it ever be but it’s not even a direct or exact replica of the original. Photography, on the other hand, isn’t a mere representation but instead a mirror image of the subject. 

‘Vulgar’ is the term that Holmes uses describing photography and more specifically stereoscopic pictures as “vulgar repetitions of vulgar models, shamming grace, gentility, and emotion, by the aid of costumes, attitudes, expressions, and accessories worthy only of a Thespian society of candlesnuffers”. Yet, A photograph can capture the small extensive details that the eye and the hand of an artist are simply unable to. Those details have the potential to ruin the perception of a subject that an artist would be able to capture. Both agree that photography is more exact because of the scientific method used to create the image. Bazin explains that “Originality in photography as distinct from originality in painting lies in the essentially objective character of photography.”

One example that shows the difference between traditional art and photography is the genre of war depictions. Wars have been recorded in all forms of genres from textiles of ancient Greece depicting the mythic Trojan war to photographs of the Second World War. If these works are used for record-keeping and accountability, accuracy is important. Artistic representations of war are just that – representations. Traditional arts are merely imitations of the real world. They are filtered through the mind of the artist; meaning, that the artist’s sensibilities, opinions, and biases are put into the artwork regardless of intention. If an artist is squeamish about blood and gore, they may intentionally or otherwise limit the content of gore that they insert into their work. On the other hand, photographs take an exact picture of what’s in front of the lens. Bazin explains that “The photographic image is the object itself, the object freed from the conditions of time and space that govern it… by virtue of the very process of it becoming, the being of the model of which it is the reproduction; it is the model.”

As an example, the Crimean war was one of the first wars that employed the use of photography while still using the work of traditional artists. Roger Fenton, a photographer, and Franz Rouband, a panoramic painter, both gave their depictions of areas of the war. Franz Rouband created the panorama painting called The Siege of Sevastopol in 1904.Painting regardless of its historical accuracy doesn’t allow for the instantaneous image of photography that gives a moment in time. To compare, Fenton took photographs of the settings of the war, as well as the individuals within the war. Fenton’s photographs allowed there to be a specific moment captured in a single image with all the details as exact as they were in that moment. 

Regardless of the apparent differences between photography and traditional art, depictions of war are a good example to exemplify and contrast claims of photographic precision. In expanding upon Bazin’s work, Hansel Chew mentions, “No matter how skillful the painter, his work was always in fee to an inescapable subjectivity. The fact that a human hand intervened cast a shadow of doubt over the image”.Chew brings up an accurate counterpoint when discussing Bazin’s work; even photographs aren’t exact because they are a form of artistic expression which is never as particular as reality. Even in photography, there is a bit of doubt because there is a human element to the work. It’s less than that of photography but there is still a subjective element to this that can’t be ignored. Elements such as blur, motion, lighting, and even the subject matter is all human choice. Thus, influences by the photographer himself. 

Photos are more precise than paintings but aren’t as precise as the subjects they are photographing, they are still a kind of copy or imagination of life. Earlier, Holmes was quoted to describe photography as “vulgar” and “by the aid of costumes, attitudes, expressions, and accessories worthy only of a Thespian society of candlesnuffers”.This leads to the idea of photography being more exact than artistry but not as exact as reality itself. There are several examples where photographs are not able to show the whole truth as they are easy to stage before exposure and manipulate afterward. Fenton’s work is a great example of this. At the time, photography wasn’t able to get an image of movement. The subjects would need to sit still as if they are the subject for a portrait painting. Even without discussing the intention behind it or how the depth pre-production manipulation was, it still required a kind of specific composition.

Another example of this staging and manipulation is a photo from 2003 during the beginning of the Iraq War. Brian Walski is a veteran photographer for the Los Angeles Times and submitted a photograph to the Los Angeles Times. This image depicts a British soldier warning Iraq civilians to take cover from the nearby fire. 

Brian Walski’s photo depicts a combination of two photos from the Iraq war.

Frank Van Riper, a writer for the Washington Post describes it as a photograph that could win a Pulitzer. It’s not a surprise that it ran in several other newspapers such as the Chicago Tribune and the Hartford Courant.

In reality, the image Walski presented wasn’t what it seemed as it was a composite image of two photos to improve the composition. He takes two separate images and combines them to make the image appear more interesting and thought-provoking. Even without the manipulation, this photograph shows the staging that occurs in pre-production even if unintentionally and in a journalistic nature. The aspects of photography that aren’t chemical reactions are choices made by the camera operator. Walski chose that photo to submit, with those specific angles, positions, lighting, and so on. It was a choice that adds to the subjectivity of the image. Beyond that, there’s the element of post-production manipulation. At its very base, encourages a lack of trust in the truth of photographs, and their apparent information. The lack of trust branches out not only to the specific journalist but to photojournalism in general. When confronted, Walski confessed, admitting that he had tarnished the reputation of the Los Angeles Times, as well as fellow photojournalists. Van Riper comments that credibility is vital, and manipulation negatively affects it, “the key elements of a news photograph, like the keywords in a direct quote, simply are off-limits to manipulation”. Walski was terminated as a result of his choices. 

People have trust in photography because of its accuracy and details. That accuracy is obviously not always the case. There is a chance that the truth seen through a photograph isn’t the truth actually seen. As Holmes said, photographs are precise, but they aren’t completely realistic nor are they objective. They are more accurate than traditional art, but they are still not the object itself it is still a kind of degree of separation from the event or subject. Photography is a range of both an exact representation of reality and artistic representations of reality. It’s that range and versatility that allows it to be an artistic medium. As realistic as photography is compared to traditional artwork, it still can be manipulated. That aspect of it needs to be understood and actively applied by the viewer of the image. Individuals need to take discretion with photographs. 

SOURCES:

Bazin, André, “The Ontology of the Photographic Image.”  Trans. Hugh Grey. Film 

Quarterly 13, no. 4 (1960): 4-9. doi:10.2307/1210183.

Carlson, Matt “THE REALITY OF A FAKE IMAGE News norms, photojournalistic craft, and 

Brian Walski’s fabricated photograph”, Journalism Practice, 3, no. 2, (February 2009). 

125-139 DOI: 10.1080/17512780802681140

Chew, Hansel. “The Realism of André Bazin: A Question of Ontology and Aesthetics in

Cinema”. 2014. 

Holmes, Oliver. “The Stereoscope and the Stereograph.” The Atlantic, (June 1859).

Van Riper, Frank. “Manipulating Truth, Losing Credibility” Camera Works.

Walski, Brian. Warning: A British soldier manning the Azubayr Bridge orders fleeing Basra 

residents to hit the dirt as Iraqi forces open fire, March 2003, Photograph, Los Angeles Times cover

Sorry for the delay

It’s been a very busy time lately and I haven’t been able to update this blog like I want but I can tell you there are some new and exciting posts on the way for this new year. If you, or anyone you know is interested in being featured on this blog, we would love to hear from you and get the ball rolling.

Millions of Christmas and holiday cards go out every year. Chances are, you probably send and receive several. One problem we sometimes face is figuring out what to do with them. How do you display your cards? Well, if you have a challenge finding room or something that catches the eye for visitors and goes along with your decorations, there is a solution you can try.

The best part is that it’s easy, cheap and creative.

All you will need is some ribbon (preferably with a seasonal theme), come paper clips (perhaps in colors matching the ribbon) and an over the door wreath hanger. All of these you can pick up at the Dollar Tree so you can score the materials for $3.

Step 1

Hang the wreath hanger over a door inside your home. We used the linen closet at the end of the hall.

Step 2

Place your ribbon over it so it hangs down on each side.

Step 3

Attach your cards by paperclips for a fun and aesthetic display method.

There has been a lot of talk about the small but growing social media platform MeWe lately. Some of it is positive, some rather negative. As someone who joined a while back but only recently got back into it, I can tell you there are certainly a few good reasons why artists might want to invest their time and effort into using this netwrok as opposed to some of the more traditional ones.

Reason Number 1 – Copyright and Intellectual Property Issues

You may or may not know this, but you likely do not. When you upload content to websites like Facebook and Instagram, you give up some of your rights. While these common tools don’t takeover a copyright and you do maintain the rights to your own work, their user agreements and terms make it so they can use your content in various ways without having to pay you for it or get your permission when they do. MeWe does not take this liberty with your content. That is a pretty big deal for most artists.

Reason Number 2 – Censorship

While some things don’t belong where children can see them or are not appropriate for civilized society, some of the big guys of social media go way too far. WeMe is open to content with a little more of a mature subject matter and thus is more useful for people who create content with figure studies, art nudes and things like that.

I urge you to check in out and join me on there with my invite – mewe.com/i/jasongreiner

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