Recently I was asked "what is fine art?" and I
responded "who cares!"
All I need to know is: Do I like the piece and would I hang it in
~ ~ ~
I also was asked
what advice I would give to someone who wanted to pursue
I'd ask them why they wanted to get into fine art and if the
answer was "to make money," I'd have a good long laugh
and wish them well.
~ ~ ~
We like to say that a picture is worth a
thousand words, so why do we then try to describe it and put into
words what it means?
How can a few paltry words do better than the
image that is worth a thousand?
~ ~ ~
I find that most things in life, including
art, are much simpler than we make them out to be.
this newsletter on the web at
I started the series
"Ancient Stones" two years ago while travelling through
Joshua Tree, which is best known for its prolific Joshua Trees
(Yucca brevifolia) and large boulder structures that were
created 100 million years ago.
I have always been
fascinated by formations such as these and imagine them as
conscious, benign beings that stand watch over the land. In my
mind I see them observing mankind as they scurry about, full of
self-importance and engaged in transitory activities.
They sit, they watch
and they smile.
Ancient Stones No. 2
Balance - The Story Behind
Balance - Split, Croatia
Normally it takes me
just minutes to create an image, or perhaps a bit longer if I
need to wait for the right conditions. I have a short attention
span and if things don't fall together quickly, I generally lose
interest and move on.
However, the image
above broke all records and really tested my patience because it
took me six hours just to get the shot.
I was walking along
one of the popular swimming beaches in Split, Croatia when I saw
this scene. Beyond the reach of most swimmers were eight pilings,
centered in the bay and protruding just above the surface of the
water. I took a few shots and moved on.
The next day I came
back and found a better vantage point and set up for another
shot. Because I had already photographed the scene and knew what
I wanted, I expected to be there for only a few minutes. But just
as I was getting ready to click the shutter, a boy swam out to
the pilings and sat on them. I thought he'd leave soon and so I
And I waited and
waited and waited. I'm not sure what this kid was
doing, but I could see him talking and waving his arms in a
full-blown conversation with himself.
Soon an hour had
passed and this kid was still talking! I was starting to get
impatient and attempted to do a remote Vulcan mind meld, willing
him to leave.
It must have worked
because he then slipped into the water. I'm getting all set to
make the exposure because I think he's leaving...but no, he's
gotten back onto the pilings and has continued his conversation.
At this point I've
got two hours invested into this shot and nothing to show for it,
and this kid is still yakking away! I think about leaving, but
stay and hope that he'll run out of things to talk about.
Now three hours have
passed and this kid is still out there! In my head
I'm screaming "GET OFF THE PILINGS" as he continues to
talk to himself.
Finally after about
four hours he swims away. Now I can get continue!
But no, two new
people swim out to the pilings. I tell myself that this last
kid was an anomaly and that these two will not stay for very
Oh, but I be wrong!
One hour later and those two are still out there and I can't
believe this. What should I do, leave and cut my losses or
protect the time I've already invested and wait?
I decide to wait,
knowing that with my luck, just as soon as I leave they
It's now been six hours since I first set up
for that "quick shot." I'm hot, hungry, dehydrated
and almost delusional. I'm like Humphrey Bogart's character in
"The Treasure of Sierra Madre," ranting and talking to
Passer-by's are staring at me and giving me a
wide berth. But there's no way that I can leave now, it's a
matter of principle, I must get this shot!
Finally the two
leave and I am able to create the image "Balance" after
six hours of waiting.
What lesson did I
learn from those six hours? Wear sunscreen, I really got
winner of this month's drawing is Jon
will receive a signed print of "Exploding Wave."
Jon, please contact me to arrange delivery!
The next drawing
will be for a signed print of "Windsurfing" above.
For those of you new
to my newsletter drawings; simply email me at