Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Good-bye To A Faithful Friend

Tuesday July 10, 2007- I said good-bye to my car today. It was a very dependable means of transportation, and I parted ways with the vehicle in the same way, I would say good-bye to an old friend. The young man was a very happy buyer, and I was more than pleased to get my asking price. The money, which won’t last very long will come in handy in my struggle for financial independence, plus I figure I can get by pretty well without the old Buick, but I sure will miss it.

I spent the rest of the day going around town on the bus. It was quite the letdown from having a dependable means of transportation, that always started and did not give me any problems. Nonetheless,I got everything done, which needed doing and I even had time to take this picture of a large leafy plant, that is part of the landscaping at the hospital parking lot, that is located right next to the apartment building where I live.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Brick Sidewalk

        Monday, July 9,2007 -Last evening after a long day of rain, the sun came out about an hour before sunset. I immediately took advantage of the situation and headed out the door on a long walk, that took me to the video store, where I returned some DVD movies, and then continued my ramble onwards to the Maine state pier and the adjacent waterfront. From where I live, all the way to the downtown area, the streets are edged with brick sidewalks, such as you can see in the picture above. Only when one approaches the waterfront, does one encounter the concrete walkways, that dominate most cities in the US.
       It was near the downtown center, that I found the bank building reflected in a pool of water, that had collected on the bricks. The contrast in colors and the conflicting angles of the bricks with the high-rise building, combine to bring this picture together. It is also a tribute to the city, who is willing to make the sacrifice to maintain the vast maze of bricks, that cover a substantial part of the city. The winter snow pack does a number on the brick pathways, yet every spring crews will be out as soon as the snow melts away, to replace or repair any section of walkway, that might require such work.
       The miles, that I have walked along these corridors of baked clay, adds up over the many years, that I have lived in this beautiful city by the bay. Only last night did I fine or attempt a picture, that in some way displays, one of the unique attributes of the place where I dwell. My feet are also grateful for the more gentle steps of passage, as I frequently forgo the comfort of motorized transport and partake in the age old way of bipedal locomotion.
       Today it rained again, and I walked the 20 minute route downtown to the camera store,where I dropped off some old negatives, that I had just found and long thought missing, and then visited the library. I felt pretty good, because I had finally found a buyer for my car, which I am reluctantly selling, so that I may continue my artistic pursuits, without resorting to a full time job. Still, if I do not much artwork, a part-time summer job may be in the very near future.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A Friend Visits My Display

Caution Tape Against a Red Plywood Background

       July 7, 2007- Today is a day of great mathematical significance. If converted to numbers, it reads 7/7/07, but for me it was just an ordinary day on the street. Actually, my numbers weren't all that good. I made only two sales, and one was to a friend, who stopped by to cheer me along. Still,the fact is that I immensely enjoy doing the street scene, even with a series of color photos, that could easily passed off as fine art.
       I came back to the street today after dodging raindrops all day on Friday. There was a setup nearby of a second group of street vendors, sanctioned directly by the city. Some antique dealers were supposed to be present, but I guess the city couldn't find any willing to take a chance on the square on a beautiful summer Saturday, for only about a half a dozen, arts and crafts vendors bothered to set up. Early results were mixed, but this Saturday venue just might have a chance of moderate success, even without the antique dealers. The Saturday event is scheduled to continue until the end of August.
       Fred stopped by, and took an immediate liking to my photographs. He took a few of my photo greeting cards home with him, but not before staying for a long conversation, concerning the glorious subject of color photography. I knew he had gone to M.I.T., and was commenting about the amazing images, that the Hubble has produced; and also how much these pictures of distant nebuli and galaxies, beamed back from the darkness of outer space, resemble micro-organisms seen through the amazing optics of modern microscopes. The similarities between the two is uncanny, and can be easily viewed by anybody with access to the internet.
       All in all the day turned out pretty good except for the $30 dollar parking ticket, I received while loading my wares into my car. I had only gone inside for about five minutes, when the ticket mysteriously appeared on my windshield. Silly me, I thought all the meter maids had all gone home for the weekend.
       I did not do any picture-taking yesterday, but I have included a picture from several weeks ago, shot in the near vicinity, where I was set up.

Friday, July 6, 2007

A Wet Day in Downtown Portland

Wet Pansies

      July 6, 2007- I went downtown to sell my photographs and color photo greeting cards, but the weather played the upper hand on me. I go to the city center, maybe once or twice a week, in order to set up a table, and then display some framed photographs on small tripods, along with a box of small matted prints and photo greeting cards. Here, prospective buyers can leisurely thumb through the pictures and when the buying mood overwhelms them, then they can take a picture of Maine, home with them. So far it has been a marginally successful effort, but a lot of fun. I get to sit and talk to all the browsers, all the while taking in the daily activities, that occur near our central locale, which is called, Monument Square.
      Today the weather provided all the excitement, as a cold front came bearing down on the sultry summer day. The first raindrops hit around 11:30, and then about a half an hour later a steady rain began to fall. The few vendors, including myself, packed up and then came back a couple of hours later, to set up again. It was after the first rain, which was rather light, that I took the picture of the pansies. They were growing in a cement planter, not too far from the square.
      The sun came out again and so we tried to set up again. This lasted about an hour, when a loud clap of thunder and a quick flash of light gave us sufficient warning, that bad weather was on the way. This second burst of precipitation was much more intense than the first, pretty much ending the day for us outside vendors.
      During this storm another artist showed up with a big round painting, that was wonderfully reminiscent of Australian Aborigine art. Kathy was her name, and she bought me a cup of Chai for helping her move some paintings through the rain. Pretty soon she had eight or so wonderful round acrylic paintings lined up against the storefront, where we conduct our business. I stood back aways, in the lingering rain showers, and admired her incredible paintings, as did everybody else who was passing by. She decided to stay till dark as it looked like the rain would finally end, while the rest of us decided that tomorrow would be a better day.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Blue Door

The Blue Door

      July 5, 2007- I went walking in South Portland today among the lighthouses, beaches,docks and walkways at Spring Point. Spring Point is a beautiful place with an old fort. a lighthouse, a recently-built wooden dock, a harbor museum, much waterfront acreage and a community college. I found this modern blue door at one of the educational buildings on the campus of the community college. It is completely atypical of what I saw today, but somehow I was compelled to record its intense metallic blue along with the distorted shadow, that the shiny metal handle made.
      I also wandered over to Bug Light, another small, even tiny lighthouse, that guards the Portland Harbor. From here there is a beautiful view of the city of Portland and Casco Bay. The day was hot and humid, and as a result the beaches were filled with families, finding some respite from the heat in the very cool Maine waters. Around the bend, there was a big oil tanker moored in the harbor, giving an industrial overtone to the whole scene. On a more surreal note a nesting pair of Ospreys, attended to their hungry and noisy chicks on a man-made platform, that had been set out just for such a bird. They seemed quite oblivious to all the days activities, even though the nest was next to a busy marina and not far from the place,where the oil tanker was moored.
      Still I liked the blue door the best for its intense ultramarine color, unusual shadow and thin yellow line.

Confessions of a Zen Lunatic

Confessions of a Zen Lunatic

       This blog is not so much about the practice of Zen Buddhism, but instead it is about the simplicity and beauty of everyday things, that one may encounter anywhere. For me, the sitting posture of traditional Zen, has been replaced by my daily walks around the place where I live, and for enlightenment I have chosen to focus on the small things, that I see all around me. Again I have departed from the normal practice of Zen Buddhism, for I am using a rather simple digital camera to record and transform the imagery.
       On a primary level, my artistic efforts are more about color-space-compositions, than they are concerned with any sort of religious experience. However, I would hope that as one digs deeper into the pictures, that they might see some sort of common thread between the two practices. Even if you don't see any connection, there still remains here an interesting collection of photographic images from the vicinity of Portland, Maine, where I now reside.