On the Road Again

Tomorrow I’m off to the Omaha Summer Arts Festival which is going on this weekend. I’m a little nervous about this show because it is famous for nasty weather (e.g. 100mph winds two years ago). No storms during the other two shows I’ve done in the Midwest this spring though so maybe I’ll get lucky in Omaha too. I do expect it to be hot and humid, just like it was in Kansas City. I’m grateful to the patrons that came out in that heat–I wouldn’t have been out there if I wasn’t manning a booth! The rest of my shows this summer are closer to my home in Montana, which generally means better weather–few storms and at least less humidity if not less heat. Of course we had a tornado right here in Montana yesterday so who knows what to expect.

I’ve never been to Omaha so am looking forward to spending some time exploring what it has to offer in the free time I have before the show. The Joslyn Art Museum has two interesting special exhibits, one on Impressionist and the other on Post-Impressionist paintings. Should be interesting.

The Limits to Photography

I’ve been camping in a couple of Missouri State Parks for the last few nights prior to the art show in St. Louis I am participating in. The parks are very nice and have not been busy at all. The most impressive thing about sleeping in the parks was the amazing cacophony of bird sounds I woke up to each morning. Judging by the variety of sounds, the dense woods support not only a larger numbers of birds than our sparse (by comparison) Montana forests but also larger variety of bird species. It was quite a treat to lay there in the morning listening to the avian orchestra. If sounds were visual, it would have made a great photograph I think. That would be an interesting project to pursue perhaps, trying to convey sound in photos. Beyond showing someone shouting or whatever I’m not sure how it would be done. Every art form has it’s limits I guess.

Meet me in St. Louis

My first outdoor art show of the season is in two weeks, May 7-9, (Mothers Day Weekend) in St. Louis at the Laumeier Sculpture Park. Read about the details here. High winds, rain and tornado warnings aside, I had a good time there last year and look forward to going back and enjoying the show as well as some more time exploring St. Louis.

Kids vs. Art

I don’t have kids so who am I to know what role they play in a parent’s self-identity, in particular how a parent reconciles or balances their hopes for their children with their hopes for themselves. But, as a childless adult, I have generally assumed (perhaps just to justify my own situation) that there has to be more to the “meaning of life” than just perpetuating the species. Which means, I guess, that in order to live a complete life as a parent you have to have aspirations for yourself independent of those you have in regard to your role as a parent. So what’s that got to do with photography or art? Well, read this and see on persons idea on the subject:

http://fineartviews.com/blog/18690/we-can-always-use-another-hero

A Little Too Late

A little while back I juried the undergraduate art show at Montana State University. When we (the two jurors) viewed the potential entries into the show, they were all lined up in rows on the floor of a large studio, and we walked up and down the rows to view and pick out the prints for the exhibit. While that’s an interesting way to view photos, (I actually do that at home sometimes when I’ve got a lot of prints and no wall space), I was interested in seeing the collection we selected when it was actually hanging in the gallery later on.

I was told that the exhibit would be “up through Friday,” so Friday about noon I showed up along with my wife to see the exhibit. We were disappointed to find that the photos had already been removed. All that remained was the jurors’ statement on a post next to the entrance and the photo name tags hanging around the room next to where each photo had previously hung. Believe it or not, we actually walked(quickly) around the gallery reading the name tags and looking at the blank spaces on the wall. It was like we were viewing some inadvertent work of conceptual art–the photography exhibit in which there were no photographs. Reminds me of the Todd Snider song about the grunge rock band that refused to sing songs:

Art Fair Preparations

I just spent the day matting and framing some prints for my first outdoor art show of the year in St. Louis about a month from now. It’s hard to imagine sitting in a booth at an outdoor art fair when it’s been snowing all day here. And I was just noticing my skin is so winter white I’m going to blind folks coming into my booth if it’s warm enough to wear shorts!

What’s Your Color IQ?

Test Your Color Vision Online with X-Rite

Take the X-Rite online color challenge and see how well you see color.  You might be surprised at the results.  1 out of 255 women and 1 out of 12 men have some form of color vision deficiency.

Take the test here.

The online test is a rendering of the Farnsworth Munsell 100 Hue Test.

According to the X-Rite website, “The Farnsworth-Munsell 100 Hue Test itself is used to separate persons with normal color vision into classes of superior, average and low color discrimination and to measure the zones of color confusion of color defective people.”

I just took the test and scored a 4. Zero is a perfect score with 1272 being the worst value for people my age and sex. I guess that qualifies me to be a color photographer, but still I prefer black and white.

You can’t always get what you want

It’s been a struggle for me to get this blog, customized slightly, up and running on my website. The basic blog setup was pretty easy, but even the minimal customizing I did took some deciphering of the php language, which I know nothing about. It seems to be similar to, but even more cryptic and frustrating than html, which I also know essentially nothing about.

Although very frustrating, the process of discovery and error I followed to figure out how to make the changes I wanted in the format of this blog was fun in a challenging sort of way. It’s the kind of logical puzzle work they say helps stave off Alzheimer’s so I got that benefit in addition to the small satisfaction from finally getting it the way I wanted–at least sort of. I actually wished it were a better match the look of my website, but this will do for now. Time to focus on content rather than form for a while.

I talk too much

I’ve been using my Larry Blackwood Photography page on Facebook to post some occasional comments and observations I have about photography, art, and whatever else is on my mind. But Facebook is really designed for short posts, and I tend to be long winded. I talk too much you might say. You can do a longer post under the Notes section in Facebook, and I’ve been doing that. But after a while I kept thinking, if I’m doing that many long posts, I really ought to be doing a blog. So….here we are.

I plan on publishing the same things I write on this blog to the Notes section of my Facebook page–just as soon as I figure out how to do that. So if you follow me on Facebook, there will generally be no need to also follow this blog. At least assuming I can figure out how to get Facebook to automatically create Notes from my blog posts, something that requires RSS, yet another technology I know essentially nothing about. Should be interesting.