To explain now, it is getting better because you become "more in tune" (pun intended) with the atmosphere, which is great when you get there . . . to the atmosphere. However as you keep coming back you feel more and more "fit, form, function" (just to play on some quality terms used in automotive). You are still in awe of the talent, however you are now "seeing". And I do not mean seeing with just your eyes. You are seeing through artistry, a talent of those who get up in front and dabble, test, try, express what is within them and then to watch them alter it because it was not just right for them. The perfection they are looking for is not technical, but rather within their self satisfaction of who they are, who they want to be, where they are from, trying to find their individual True North. So I "see" this happening within them, a "voice" of art, that keeps getting better as I come from an infant understanding.
For me this first photo comes close to describing the process of art, which starts with Fred Anderson tuning his banjo. For me, Fred was great. His song, rhythm, attention to "his" detail that was needed to satisfy only him, yet so simple, in a simple setting, that we may have selfishly thought it was all for us. Artistry at it's best. For you this photo may not "voice" all that, which is my fault. I am still learning. You may not see the "Wes" behind the camera yet because I am still in the developer. You may not see the "voice" yet on the other side of the camera because I may still be under or over exposed, though I am improving.
My goal for this and future blogs on Paul Henry's Art Gallery is to now develop my photographic voice. Hopefully over time you will clearly hear what I am saying. Discussing with a friend, the "10,000-Hour Rule" seems to apply . . . that to be successful you will need to put in 10,000 hours in practicing the specific task - Malcolm Gladwell; Your first 10,000 photos are your worst - Henri Cartier-Bresson. I roughly counted up the photos I have taken over the years. In just one year with my previous digital SLR I have taken over 10,000 photos. Combine that with the 1,000 I took just this week with my new/used digital SLR. Five thousand or more photos from point and shoot digitals, 3,000 in negative frames I still have from various 35mm SLR's and medium format cameras, and the many more negatives I have discarded or lost from the same cameras and a large format camera. I have shot over 20,000 photos. Yet for me, I do not feel even close to being there, which is good because I want to continuously improve. To put this into another perspective, there is approximately 2,000 working hours in a year given a 40 hour work week. So, if I were to do my specific task of photography, I would have to put in 5 years of constant effort to be successful. This is really not bad if you think about it. However the real point to be made is, if you want to be good at something put in the time. People want to quantify, apply a measurement. I say bollocks . . . find your True North first, and the rest will follow.
What the artists like, I think, is the open door the gallery gives to artists just wanting to come in and jam. Last night two new artists to the gallery joined us, starting with Winfield Smith (below), who gave us some real good music. (Remember to click on the photo to enlarge, if you wish, and click again to index.)
Carl Strain was there, and this time with his daughter. One cannot help but enjoy Carl's simple outlook in his music. He dedicated his second piece to his daughter, and from there on I thought she was going to fall to pieces. It was a great moment to watch her admire her father, in a more personal admiration than any of us can ever give Carl.
Back again was our favorite enviromedian Mr. James Wesley Jackson, shown in the next set of photos. As a side note, I wonder if he new there were 3 Wesley's in the house that night???? (James Wesley, Wesley Robert, and Nicholas Wesley - ya, were all related can't you tell????)
This time my camera and I got along, and I was able to take more photos of James. He baited us with hook line and sinker, and we were crazy enough to want more. You know when a comedian has talent. He knows how long a laugh will take before he starts his next line. He knows not to hesitate or he will not draw us in. Yet he also knows when to hesitate, because we are still explaining the joke to each other. As funny as that sounds, it was even a funnier night to have experienced.
To show how much the crowd was enjoying James, all you have to do is look at Melissa's smile :)
The crowd was good this night, given the cold bitter weather. I would say we all left our digs to a better warmth.
And we had Lauren Dunning at work . . .
Earlier, Lauren won the first raffle of the evening. This painting was donated by Sophia Rapata, and was one piece I was really crossing my fingers to win. It found a great home with Lauren.
Next up was our artist and musician, Lou Shields. I say "our" because you just want him as part of the family. The next photo is some of his work showing at the gallery, followed by a photo of Lou entertaining us that night. (Please see the other blog posts for more photos of Lou.)
Our second first time artist at the gallery was Kyle Peek. Very enjoyable.