Month: February 2012

POTD: Cuddly Burgers

Cuddly Burgers Bozeman, Montana 2012

Beef from these Scottish Highland cattle is supposed to be quite tasty–superior to Angus in taste and texture according to some. Fortunately they aren’t particularly suitable to large commercial feedlot operations (something about mud balls forming on all that hair and the horns being a dangerous nuisance)I’m not sure I could enjoy eating a burger or steak thinking it might be from such a cuddly looking creature.

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POTD: Hotfoot

Hot Foot Bozeman, Montana 2012

At the horse shoe demonstration/competition at the Wild West Winterfest. None of the smithies were wearing gloves which just seemed odd around all that hot metal.]]>

POTD: Stability

Stability Bozeman, Montana 2012

This rider was demonstrating how steady and stable this horse is amid noisy and startling distractions. You can’t really see it in the photo because it’s blurred due to movement, but the guy was repeatedly cracking a bull whip in the air. The most the horse did while all this was going on was to raise a leg a little bit as shown in this photo. I’d have been even more impressed if the guy had dropped the reins while he stood in the saddle. However his not doing so probably had more to do with his own abilities rather than the horse’s.  That’s one rock-steady or else very deaf horse.]]>

POTD: Looking for Bids

Looking for Bids Bozeman, Montana 2012

Twenty-nine years ago I watched the horse auction at the Winter Fair in Bozeman for the first time. It’s called the Wild West Winterfest now, for marketing reasons I presume. Despite the catchy name change and the numerous cell phones and digital cameras that didn’t even exist back then scattered throughout the crowd, this year it looked pretty much like it did some three decades ago.]]>

POTD: Storm Clouds Rising

Storm Clouds Rising Bozeman, Montana 2012

I took this a week ago a few hours before the last big nasty storm was supposed to hit town. The storm did arrive but it was more of a nudge or perhaps a slap rather than an actual hit. Now, there’s a new one predicted for later today. The sensationalist local weathermen are advertising it like it is a heavy-weight prize fighter but the way this winter is going it’s more likely to be just another powder-puff puncher.]]>

POTD: Outside In

Outside In Bozeman, Montana 2012

When asked by the waiter if she wanted to dine inside or out, Maggie couldn’t quite decide…

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POTD: Crow Berries

Crow Berries Bozeman, Montana 2012

There has been a large bunch (murder) of crows hanging around our neighborhood the last couple of weeks taunting me. They taunt me because they keep enticing me away from what I’m supposed to be working on to stalk them looking for good photos. But it seems just when I get out my camera they start to move off somewhere else. The other day in my studio I looked up and saw a tree across the street filled with about 100 crows. I grabbed my camera and headed outside on the driveway. But before I could get more than a few quick shots, they moved to a tree a few houses away. So, I walked down there and of course they flew a little farther down the block, so I followed them again. This cycle continued and before I knew it I was several blocks from home having left the house open because I was only stepping out for a minute. I got some potentially interesting shots but never what I should have been able to get if they’d only kept still in one place for a little while. The above photo was taken on a different day while waiting for the crows to do something interesting along the creek out the back of the house one afternoon, sort of a consolation prize for them never striking any interesting pose the whole time I was watching. That wait wasn’t particularly frustrating though since I did most of it while sitting in the Life is Good chair.]]>

POTD: Life is Good

Life is Good Bozeman, Montana 2012

When we were furnishing our new townhouse last year I tried to stay out of the decision making process, especially in regard to furniture styles. I emphasized the word tried in that last sentence because I didn’t do so well at meeting my goal at times. But in regards to the selection of this red chair, I must say I had nothing to do with it.

When the Fashion Queen just showed up with the chair one day I thought well, o.k., if that’s what she wants I guess I can learn to live with it. And boy did I. It was not long  before I began to catch myself staring at the chair every time I happened to see it bathed in the winter sunlight. It is very striking and inviting and I often find myself sitting there to read for an hour in the afternoon when I am supposed to be off in my studio doing more constructive stuff. I can pass it up on a cloudy day, but when the sun is out, it’s very hard to resist it’s siren call.

Like a good photograph I guess there’s something about the combination of of color, shape and sunlight in that spot that combine to make it take on a feeling not describable just by the sum of it’s parts. In fact I would go so far as to say that (in person anyway) this little scene in the corner of our living room is enough to instill a sense of peace of mind and a feeling that all is, well, groovy. And it’s not just me I don’t think. One day having beat me to it, the Fashion Queen had taken the coveted spot in the sun with her own book. After reading for a while, she looked up at me across the room and said simply “life is good.” Indeed.

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POTD: Dancing the Two-Step

Dancing the Two-Step Bozeman, Montana 2012

Connie was on the phone the other day for two hours and twenty minutes (by her count) with an old high-school chum. At some point during that time I noticed through the window of my studio that she was out in the driveway making this pattern in the new snow that had fallen overnight. By the time her phone call was done her side-stepping slow dance had completely covered the driveway as well as the sidewalk to the front door. It’s gone now but I’m still trying to figure out if it was conceptual art or installation art or a mixture of the two perhaps even overlapping a bit into performance art.]]>

Swimming Upstream and Labors of Love

I have exhibited my photography in a cafe and sold one framed tryptych after about 4 months. I exhibited in art fairs many times and never sold more than a small print or greeting card. I owned a fine art photography gallery where I exhibited my own work as well as the work of 48 other photographers. In the gallery, less than 10 photographers sold anything and of those, only 3 or 4 sold consistently. I am just wrapping up my second month in a gallery in the Bridgeport section of Chicago…and another at the Prairie Center for the Arts in Schaumburg, IL and I have not sold a thing. I haven’t event [sic] seen a significant uptick in traffic to my web site? I have some of my canvases on display on a couple of restaurants in South London – I sold 7 last year to people who’d seen them there. Its a slow trickle and not a huge moneymaker! There were of course some more positive success stories, but no one claiming to have it made in the shade. Me, I’m doing better than these three folks and perhaps at least a bit above the average for this particular newsgroup. In fact, I actually have positive income to report to the IRS this year. Still when neophyte photographers approach me at art shows inquiring if it’s possible to make money in this business, my reply is always, yes, you can make money selling your work at art shows. But for a better, more secure hourly wage you’re better off working at McDonald’s (they even offer benefits). I think most non-commercial photographers and other artists outside those selling in the rarefied air of the tony art galleries on the coasts are doing their art because it is a labor of love. (I know I am.) If they aren’t they are going to be disappointed because they’re not going to make much money. Think of American Idol. Most of those contestants aren’t ever going to make a career out of their music, much less reap a ton of money at it. Hopefully they’re singing mostly for fun and the appreciation of their audiences. So the next time you’re contemplating purchasing a piece of art from a local artist and hesitate because you think the price is a little high, think about what the artist’s net hourly income is. I can assure you in most cases you wouldn’t work for those wages.]]>