TIME AND INTERESTS

 EROSION / SAN JOSÉ DE GRACIA CHURCH / LAS TRAMPAS, NEW MEXICO
iPhone 6Plus / PhotoForge2 /Snapseed


I HAVE TOO MANY INTERESTS!

PAINTING

Of course! I am an Artist. A painter.

Watercolor, now that’s my first love.

And oils? They have recently, after forty plus years, become a joy in themselves; more than a means to an end. I’ve started to actually enjoy pushing the paint around. At the same time, I want to give more thought to what I’m painting. What direction, if any, I’m trying to take with my work.

Pastels and oil pastels? Love ’em. Haven’t done much in a while. Would like to get back into them.

Drawing and sketching, both preliminary and for their own sake. Sketching on the iPhone has become almost compulsive lately, and recent line and watercolor work has been very rewarding. See video demos here and here.

As a subset of all this, I have too many subject matter interests. That’s fine for the little dailies, but for larger works, I need more focus. But on what?

Too many interests!

PHOTOGRAPHY

I’ve been interested in photography for as long as I’ve been interested in painting. Until digital photography came along, however, I was more an observer than a practitioner. I occasionally took photos meant to be seen as photographs, but, for the most part, I used the camera as a research tool for my paintings. Some of the time it was used to record my work, or for the usual family snapshot.

When digital came along, my life changed. I had never had an affinity for the dark, smelly confines and chemicals of a darkroom. I had been in love with computers for years. At last, I could not only take pictures, I could make photographs!

Capture

As I see it, there are two ways to make a photograph. The first is to take it. To do it all through the viewfinder. To first see the image, then to compose it, time it, capture it in a single time stopping click of the shutter. Done. OK, maybe with a minimum of adjustment, but not manipulation, in either darkroom or computer. It’s all about capturing the subject, the moment, the feeling, the story. This is to seriously take a photograph, as opposed to a snapshot, a relatively careless, random recording of a place or an event.

Make

The second way is to take whatever has been captured, maybe deliberately, maybe carelessly, and make something more of it. To push it. Recompose, redesign, tease, enhance, yes, to manipulate it. Exaggerate, alter, or completely change its original meaning, story, emphasis. To add to it, or to take away from it. To create.

I find both ways fascinating. I am interested in both. And in following both paths. Combining them, too.

Technology

With an iPhone virtually always on my person, I am really hooked! And guess what? It does video! Who has ever seen a movie and not longed to do film? Pictures that move! High quality video with a device that fits in my shirt pocket?! Are you kidding?

Allow me to share a little perspective here. I grew up at a time when Dick Tracy’s wrist radio was a pipe dream. Something from an unattainable, unreal, damn near unimaginable future. And now?…

Terminology

Oh, I have a phone in my pocket. That’s pretty neat. But I’m a visual kinda guy. I have a camera / video camera in my pocket!!! And I can talk on it. Not a telephone that takes pictures. To me, it’s not really an iPhone, it’s an iCamera.

I have an iPad, as well. It’s my darkroom. Oh, sure, I can edit images on my iPhone, I mean iCamera, but most editing gets done on the iPad. Maybe I should say my iDarkroom? OK, this could get ridiculous in a hurry. The iPad is also my pen, my pencil, my typewriter. I’m typing this, right now, on my iPad. This little machine in a piece of glass is that and so much more. Don’t get me started. For now, let’s stick to the fact that it’s a writing device.

WRITING

Another interest. Ever since I leaned to read (before I started school, by the way. Thanks Mom, Aunt Inez, Aunt Bea.) I have wanted to be a writer. Well, now I write. Some. Nothing to brag about, but I enjoy it when I do it. That doesn’t make me a writer, really. That’s not the number one way I would describe myself. Writing is just another one of those interests that demands a lot of my time. Not in the doing so much as in the thinking about doing. Intending to do when time permits. I love to read books by writers on writing.

BOOKS

There are several self-publish books rattling around in my head. A book of Kachina paintings. One of horse paintings. Best of A Farnsworth a day. Best of When a Painter Snaps. Best landscape paintings. People. Still lifes. On and on. Oh, don’t forget e-books and zines.

LEARNING

Now there’s a big one. I hit school running. Ate it up. Skipped second grade after a week or two. Bogged down a bit in third grade, moved to a lumber camp with a small two-room, two-teacher country, first-through-eighth-grade school for my fourth year. A week or two later, I was promoted to fifth grade. Each grade got a fourth of the teacher’s time, which meant I could spend the rest of the day listening, if the lesson was interesting, stare out the window, daydreaming, or my favorite, go to the bookcase at the back of the room and read ever more interesting and challenging books. Learning. Loving it.

For the seventh grade, I moved into town, lived alone in a rooming house full of bus drivers. School began to be about regimentation, ringing Pavlovian bells, memorizing dates with no real, living context, rules that made little sense. Aside from Mrs. Walkup’s English class my sophomore year, I didn’t learn much in school beyond the first couple of years. I barely made it through high school. Had no interest in college. None. But after a while, I noticed how much I was enjoying reading again, learning. It was school that I detested, not learning. I loved learning. Still do. About anything. Everything. Hell, at the rate I’m going, I may actually know something, someday. But it’s the journey, not the destination that matters, right?

TIME

So, with painting, photography, videography, writing, learning and all the branches and varieties thereof, you can see how much I need to manage my time. Time management? Something else to learn? Plus I’ll need time to put it into practice.

Maybe I need to break it all down. Let’s see. What do I want to do most with my time, the most valuable thing I own?

Paint

That’s the most important thing I do. Or, lately, don’t do. Gotta fix that.

Take photos

That’s spontaneous, fits in everywhere.

Take photos deliberately

That’s something I don’t do enough of, except, sometimes, when traveling.

Make photos

Random. Usually done when I’m trying to get something else done, but an image pops up and demands attention. Play time. But with a purpose.

Manage my images

In desperate need of attention. Currently eats up a lot of time with little in the way of results.

Study

Study. Not just jumping down every rabbit hole that presents itself, especially on the internet. Real, dedicated, productive study of subjects of real importance to me.

Rabbit holes

Can’t just ignore them. They’re too important to me. Too interesting. I just need to get control of them, keep them in perspective.

Blogging

I love it. I really miss doing my daily paintings. Would love to fire up my old When A Painter Snaps daily photo blog again. Want to occasionally go on a rant, like today. I would like to do an occasional interview, or introduce a painter or a photographer. Or discuss a style, or a movement. Whew! See what I mean? And yet, somehow, I manage to let days slip past me without a blog post of any kind.

Dialog

I would like to develop more of a dialog in the comments section. Not just an endless string of Thank You’s but some real give and take. What I would really like is to get some dialog going between commenters. Some discussion, some depth. How about it, gang?

Teaching

Oh, yeah, and I want to teach more, maybe workshops, maybe on the blog, definitely with more YouTube video demos.

More

Naturally, all this needs to be worked in around family, friends, travel, transportation (Betsy, my iVan, needs to be replaced with something more dependable), a website in desperate need of attention, business, and on and on it goes. There are movies to be watched, I haven’t been fishing in years, I definitely need to walk more

Oh, boy

I’ve got some fixin’ to do!

Right now, I’m going to go make myself some lunch, then I’m going to muck out the studio while I try and come up with some sort of effective schedule, or breakdown of my days. I need to focus, prioritize and schedule. You know… Time Management.

Wish me luck.

Life is, indeed, Grand!

Which version do you prefer, and why? Let us know in the comments.

 

 

 

CAMPECHE TO MEXICO CITY

I posted this late yesterday, but it apparently didn't get through. Here goes another try… Well, I gave it several more tries. None worked. So I took off the sketches from the airport and posted them separately. Let's see if this works…

Here's another Campeche church I wanted to share with you:

It looked like maybe it was no longer in use, but, later in the evening, I stepped out onto the balcony of my hotel room to see if I could get a sunset shot. This is what caught my eye:

Some colored lights in the distance

So, off I went to see what was up. What I found was yet another church in evening attire. Like the rest of Campeche, her churches seem to come to life after dark.

Night Colors

And here are a couple of random shots from yesterday:

Busted!

COLORES DE CAMPECHE

LA CIUDAD

This was the sunset view from my room in Mexico City.

Hasta Mañana.

 

MORE IMPRESSIONS OF CAMPECHE, MEXICO

Mosaic mural on a public building in Campeche

I love Mexico because when I squeeze A lime, a lot of juice comes out.

I like the way the traffic flows here, too. Most of the time.

I'll do a post on that when I have a minute.

On the other hand, there are days like today.

I checked the balance on my debit card and it was good to go. So I went. To the airport. Just in time for my flight to Mexico City on Interjet. (Love that name.)

My card was declined. And Interjet would not take dollars. While negotiating, the flight was closed.

I went next door to Aeromexico. They had a flight leaving in one hour. Card declined. OK, cash? Nope, they would not take dollars, either. A few pesos short. Tried the ATM. SORRY, try again later. I did. Same result.

Back to Interjet again for tomorrow's flight. Card declined. Came up with just enough cash after senior discount! Bought a ticket. Cab to town. Card declined at hotel. Walked to ATM, withdrew necessary pesos without a hitch(?).

Stopped for quick lunch, Email from Thea saying fraud department had her approve two hundred dollars airline charges plus hotel charge!?! The ticket I bought was only $110. Back to hotel. No record of approval. Tried card again and this time, it worked.

Upstairs to room. Not as requested. Back down stairs to change. Back up to new room. This one looked just right, so I undressed and got ready to rest and prpare a post, then maybe a quick nap.

Wifi would not connect.

Dressed and went downstairs again. Clerk tried and tried and made phone calls in search of a solution. Nada. Tried repeatedly then all of a sudden my iPhone got a connection.

I raced back upstairs. Wifi had disconnected and the password again didn't work. Back down the stairs. Did I mention, no elevator?

The “engineer” was sent for. What appeared to be a high school sophomore showed up after about ten minutes. Tried everything. No luck. Said something long and in rapid fire Spanish that seemed to include back in ten minutes. He was, and with a laptop. Tried everything again. Same results. More rapid fire which, this time, included gestures indicating far away, which is where I guess he went. Maybe he'll be back. We'll see.

Maybe I'll have a little siesta.

I did.

Then I got dressed and went out to photograph around seven. As I left my room, the wifi started working, or should I say laboring weakly. Very weakly. So I went on with my walking and shooting.

Around eight, I settled in to my favorite restaurant for a bowl of seafood soup, and to use their wifi. The soup was good, but their chairs proved too hard for my old bones, so I think I'll move on.

And here I am once again in the Italian Coffe Company for some reliable wifi. And Cafe Americano.

Pardon the rant, Now, as a thank you for your patience, some more impressions of Campeche:

A new take on the Eagle and Snake from the Mexican flag

An interesting mural on the wall of the Best Western Motel

Waiting for the return of the pirates

The Bay of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico

Just one block from the citipy's elegant Cathedral, there is this church
Inside, though, I found some good research for my Faces of Saints series

 

Sunday evening and the central plaza was crowded with people playing what appeared to be a form of Bingo

I actually got a big smile a millisecond later

That's it for today, folks. More tomorrow, I hope.

Hasta Mańana

 

 

QUICK FINGER SKETCHES

 

Well, this did, in fact, turn out to be a travel day. So not much to show you. I did manage these six quick sketches on my iPhone 6 Plus while waiting for my bus from Playa del Carmen through Tulum ( I had not expected this) and on to Valladolid:

I had a nice, leisurely late lunch / early dinner In Valladolid, while my legs uncurled from the bus ride, followed by a long and exhausting search for a hotel. One look at the room I had almost booked ahead, and away I went. Finally found a very nice room right on the Zocalo, just a block from where I had eaten.

This room even has a tv. Sort of. And all in dubbed Spanish. Flipped through the channels and landed on one showing something called BNP Paraty 2015. Tennis. Something I know next to nothing about. But I wondered what I could do in the way of really quick little studies of the players and occasionaly of the spectators. Here are the results, done on my iPad Air, using, as with those above, the Sketch Time app:

 

Looks like this is going to take some practive! Bear with me, won't you?

How on Earth, I'm wondering, did I manage to do a painting every day for almost four years. And a photo a day for around three years. Many of those photo years running the sme time period as the paintings.

Now for a little rest.

Hasta Mañana