Monday, March 31, 2008

On the fence

It looks like this snow couldn’t make up its mind whose yard to fall into.

I have a degree in Fine Art. I earned it back in 1978. Before desktop computers. Before digital cameras. Back when the internet was still a twinkle in Al Gore’s mind.

We did things by hand and the best hands I had ever seen at creating a watercolor landscape belonged to Harry Worst. Tall, distinguished with long silver hair and a ghotee, Harry looked the part of an artist. He could also sit down at one of his student’s desks, grab a watercolor brush and throw paint on paper in such a way that a stunning landscape would appear as if by magic.

“Be decisive,” Harry would intone as beautiful worlds took shape before his fingers. “Don’t be timid with your brush strokes. Be bold.”

“But what if we make a mistake?” a student asked.

“Then make it look like you meant to do it.”

The underlying message of Harry’s response was, fix it later or learn from it if it couldn’t be fixed. You'll make mistakes, but don't let that stop you from trying boldly. While I became sufficiently adept at the technique to have a watercolor landscape selected for a juried student art show my senior year, that pretty much sums up the extent of my painting career. Life took a different path after college. But I always tried to apply Harry’s lessons to whatever I tackled. Be decisive. Be bold. Yeah, I’ve made mistakes, but I’ve always tried to make them work for me.

How about you?

Click on picture to enlarge. Photograph © 2008 James Jordan.

Monday photo browsing Now that I own a digital camera, I hope to be able to capture some photos of lightning this spring and summer. I have some photos of storms, but haven't yet captured that dramatic bolt from the blue like these people have. Photographing lightning is a hit and miss proposition (the goal is to have it hits the lens and miss you). It takes dozens of attempts to get the one winning image. Pretty prohibitive with a film camera. We'll see how it goes this year.

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