Monday, January 21, 2008

results so far

When I got the scanner last week my first thought was to look at the old 35mm slides so I'd have a permanent computer record. Years ago there were no automatic photo systems that would adjust focus and light levels so what might look perfectly fine through the lens as you adjusted the setting could easily result in a fuzzy picture of your subject. This wasn't so bad with photos of people and places but ruinous to artwork. Maybe I needed new glasses. Anyway, I did get a few including this one which looks okay so long as its not enlarged. Painted in 1984, the girl in the grass appears to have rickets and I wonder why I didn't correct that thigh bone while I was drawing. Did I do it on purpose? If so, I can't remember the point and I hope the person who owns it now doesn't cringe at the thought of her standing up.

Another from the same time period is this one with, once again, the theme being running. Little do we usually know it but I've learned the faster we run from one thing the quicker we'll get to the next - ready or not. What I remember really being interested in was the idea of riding an ostrich and this was the only way I could envision anyone doing so.

I ran across an interesting analogy recently regarding atheism that simply asks you to imagine the kitchen appliances arguing about the existence of electricity. If the power goes off the discussion is over. I rarely buy the Shambala Sun magazine since there are too many reminders of how fashionable Buddhism has become in the west. The very idea of having my own perfect meditation supplies or altar with a plastic Buddha (or worse, one that was stolen from Tibet and sold by the Chinese) feels repugnant to me. Yet I do meditate and have been a long-time customer at the smorgasbord of spirituality.

Anyway, I bought the Jan issue and there was a very interesting discussion article called 'Mind, Matter and God' by Barry Boyce whose main point is that popular atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett and Sam Harris have all fallen into a linguistic trap by taking on the fundamentalist elements of theistic religions and then allowing them to define the argument. Equating Pat Robertson with a Zen master is obviously going to result in a lot of confusion. Did Moses really part the Red Sea? Well, duh.. A more temperate approach is to have respect for and practice, if anyone so desires, the more contemplative aspects of whatever tradition suits us. I wanted to link to the article but since the magazine is still on the stands it's not available yet but I thought it interesting enough to mention.

Keep smiling and you'll look like :-) me.


fairlane said...

I can't believe you're critiquing your work. It's fucking fantastic.

On a lighter note, I've never liked that Hitchins or Hutchins or Hickcock, whatever his name is.

He's such a pompous jerkoff, and I don't see much difference between him, and the "loonies" with whom he argues.

Zee said...

"keep smiling, and you'll look like me...!" Well my gosh, I will try hard.
About the scanned in pics; I like the first one in particular. Her thigh is a bit meager, but who cares, she might be an elf or something.
I do have some concerns about the resolution though, the resolution seems to be low at best. How come?

Scarlet W. Blue said...

Love the artwork.

susan said...

Hi fairlane - Glad to see you doing the rounds again and thanks for the compliment.

I agree with you about Hitchens.. pompous idiot.

Zee - It's true that a lot of the stuff done earlier wasn't supposed to represent actual human beings since people and the animals I was drawing don't match up well. Still, there is the balance issue.

So far as the resolution is concerned it's probably my tendency to get clumsy and impatient with tech. The documentation for the scanner is meager, not very helpful and particularly focussed on scanning the old family picnic pictures. I don't even want to talk about my experience with Photoshop Elements. Meanwhile I'm more interested in the new painting on the table.

Thanks Scarlet. See? I'm smiling again :-)

Seraphine said...

Actually, I like the long thigh, and would buy that work specifically for that. It has a certain aesthetic, much like the impossibly elongated necks often seen in Japanese art.

Zee said...

"... new painting on the table"!!!!
I like that, that is of foremost importance.

susan said...

Hi Sera - Glad you like it as it is. I still do as well and it was neat seeing it again larger than slide held up to window.

Zee - Yeah, work in progress is always more interesting, isn't it?