1993, I’m in college in Cincinnati and Dave Schwinn, a musician, plays Talk Talk’s album “Spirit Of Eden” for me. I’m blown away. I buy “Laughing Stock” It still is one of my top favorite albums and became the soundtrack of my life.Read More
When I ask “How can I make this better?” instead of “What do you think of this?”, I get honest, constructive feedback that improves the quality of my work my thinking around it.
We were talking about life and art during a break. I was 31 at the time and very much into being a deep and profound artist. Burt was patient, kind, and quick to laugh. Still is.
I’ll never forget what he said, “When I came back from Vietnam, I swore I’d never be petty. I’d never take anything for granted, Every day will be a gift. You know what, Ron, it didn’t take too long for me to get right back to being petty and taking everything for granted.”
In 2001, my first wife Lisa Garner, was still alive and in the next room. I felt I had the world at my feet. The only really painful stuff I had experienced could be chalked up to witnessing the normal progression of life: deaths, breakups, 8th grade graduation.
I’ll be 49 this year. I’d like to say I’m more more reflective and less petty. I have experienced a portion of joy and pain associated with being on the planet and loving people while I’m at it. I take it all for granted more often than not. It’s part of being human. No one among us can maintain perfect spiritual balance all the time. That isn’t my problem. My problem is thinking that I can’t function until such is the case.
I’m a 48 year old confused artist who hasn’t really made anything of comment for a while who says “I’ll never take anything for granted.” while watching movies about a dead artists who couldn’t take anything for granted.
However, just for today, I’m not going to take it for granted (fearful) and say “I’ll take pictures or write tomorrow.” Today, I remember that conditions are never ideal to work. Creativity needs something to work against.
Keith Carter, wrote on one of his cameras “It’s your job”. Just take the damn picture and forget how you feel. The obstacles and distractions are not there to punish you for having an idea, but there to direct your actions to the parts that need more attention.
In that spirit, have a great day.
Art-making has been about confronting personal issues that stand in the way of whatever message moves through me. The creative roadblocks are self-generated. Admitting I need to relearn film, I’m bringing myself to right size. I’m slowing down and being mindful. I’ve never been very good at outrunning the process, so I might as well align my pace with it and trust that the lesson I need to learn will reveal itself in due time.Read More
I make better, and considerably more images when I'm just taking a walk with my camera. I see things, make connections, and worry less about whether or not I'm wasting time and money.
Now, a little about what meditation is and isn't. I used to think successful meditation was sitting someplace and having a completely clear mind, at one with the universe. This is not true. Meditation is having all the thoughts that run through your head still existing, but you don't engage them.
Making pictures is a form a meditation for me. I still have those corrosive thoughts, I just try to keep them in the back row. The real challenge in making art isn't in the physical production of work, but not engaging in distracting thoughts.