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MY NEW GALLERIES WEBSITE (pictures only) is here.

The Kitchen Sink selects/book gallery is here.

The Rain selects/book gallery is here.

The 2014 ~ Year in Review 2014 selects/book gallery is here.

The Place To Sit selects/book gallery is here.

The Life without the APA pictures are here

The The Forks ~ there's no place like home gallery is here

The ART ~ conveys / transports / reflects book / gallery is here

The Decay & Disgust work/book is here

The Single Women selects/book gallery is here

The Picture Windows selects/book gallery is here

The Kitchen Life selects gallery is here

A 10 picture look at Tangles, Thickets, and Twigs ~ fields of visual energy is here

The The Light selects/book gallery is here. A BW mini-gallery is here

kitchen sink ~ the book / gallery

covers • click to embiggen
quote / statement • click to embiggen
spread 1 • click to embiggen
spread 2 • click to embiggen
spread 3 • click to embiggen
spread 4 • click to embiggen
spread 5 • click to embiggen
spread 6 • click to embiggen
spread 7 • click to embiggen
spread 8 • click to embiggen
spread 9 • click to embiggen

The kitchen sink body of work is an outgrowth of my kitchen life body of work. In the act of making pictures for the kitchen life series, over time it became apparent that my kitchen sink needed separate attention inasmuch as it presented a very specific referent as opposed to picturing things which depict the generalized idea of life in the kitchen.

Making pictures for the kitchen sink series is a slow go. Even though I am constantly on the lookout for (to my eye and sensibilities) visually interesting arrangements in the sink, picturing opportunities are few and far between due to the fact that the arrangements are found as is / serendipitous / the result of happenstance and not made / constructed. Consequently, there can be long periods during which nothing pricks my eye and sensibilities and, therefore, no kitchen sink picture making.

I have given thought to making arrangements in the sink but have come to the conclusion that doing so would negative the entire point of the endeavor. That is, to recognize the random and serendipitous beauty to be found in the quotidian world.
Posted on Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 10:17AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | CommentsPost a Comment

kitchen life # 67 ~ onion skins at midnight 

onion skins at midnight ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

Posted on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 09:59AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | CommentsPost a Comment

ART: conveys / transports / reflects ~ the book / gallery - it's all connected

covers • click to embiggen
quote / statement • click to embiggen
spread 1 • click to embiggen
spread 2 • click to embiggen
spread 3 • click to embiggen
spread 4 • click to embiggen
spread 5 • click to embiggen
spread 6 • click to embiggen
spread 7 • click to embiggen
spread 8 • click to embiggen
spread 9 • click to embiggen
spread 10 • click to embiggen

Next up in my body of work organization endeavor is my art reflects work.

Unlike the rain work, this body of work began from the very first picture as a dedicated body of work. A separate folder was created from the start so no emerging-body-of-work recognition was required to cull these pictures from the herd.

All of these pictures were made in Montreal, CA. With the exception of just one picture, they were all made on a single street in Old Montreal - Rue Saint-Paul Est - a target rich environment for this body of work. The majority of the pictures were made during a single trip to Old Montreal.

I would like to add to this body of work and the work in the windows of the galleries on Rue Saint-Paul Est change every month to reflect that month's exhibition or, at the very least, a rotation of works from permanent exhibitors. In effect, there is a densely packed and never ending opportunity for picture making with these referents.

However, in making more pictures for this body of work, I most definitely want to stay with the look to be had on overcast days. In part, because I want the cohesive look of that light from picture to picture and that light seems to work best on a purely technical basis. I have made pictures on sunny days and the contrast is extreme enough that the resulting images just don't blend the elements - window interiors to reflected streetscapes - in a visually harmonious manner.

Consequently, in order to maintain the visual cohesiveness that I want, it seems a number of cloudy day trips to Old Montreal should be put on the calendar.

FYI, these pictures are straight from the camera single exposures. No multiple exposure techniques, no post picture making blending or PS tomfoolery was involved in their making.

rain ~ the book / gallery / let the stormy clouds chase everyone from the place

covers • click to embiggen
quote / statement • click to embiggen
spread 1 • click to embiggen
spread 2 • click to embiggen
spread 3 • click to embiggen
spread 4 • click to embiggen
spread 5 • click to embiggen
spread 6 • click to embiggen
spread 7 • click to embiggen
spread 8 • click to embiggen
spread 9 • click to embiggen
spread 10 • click to embiggen
spread 11 • click to embiggen

As time allows I have continued to mine my picture archive - currently numbering around 6000 pictures - to recognize and organize various bodies of work. Bodies which I have recognized but have only loosely put together. Rain is one such example.

Over an extended period of time, I have been making pictures immediately before / during / immediately after rainfalls which are one of favorite times to make pictures. That is to write that rain is one of the very few referents for which I suit up and go out to make pictures of a specific type. That's as opposed to my normal M.O. of going out with my camera(s) with no specific picture making objective in mind and making pictures of whatever pricks my eye and sensibilities.

What I find interesting about my approach to picture making is that I have had only a few bodies of work which I have intentionally pursued over time. Most of my other bodies of work have emerged from my archives when I recognize that I have a worthy collection of pictures which can make up a separate body of work. Once recognized and organized, I will then pursue, again over time, additional pictures for those almost serendipitous / newly 'discovered' themes.

My manner of discovering 'hidden' bodies of work within my archive stands in contrast to those who work on single bodies of work one at a time. My reason for not doing so is simple - I like to make pictures, lots of pictures. My archive extends back almost 13 years. Doing the math (6000 ÷ 13), that equates to approximately (on average) 460 pictures per year. And that's counting only the pictures which made it into my archive.

I can not imagine that my prodigious picture making habit will change any time soon. So, who knows what might emerge from that heap o' pictures in the future.

addendum: Borrowing a page from Andreas Manessinger, The Song of the Day is Singing In The Rain.

Posted on Monday, March 2, 2015 at 03:13PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | CommentsPost a Comment

diptych # 124 ~ as it should be

bathroom sink / kitchen sink ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

In his comment on the recent entry, civilized ku # 2869 ~ nothing if not wordy, Paul Bradforth wrote (in part):

.... I think my main grouch was that you, Mark, spend so much time talking about the finer points of what 'pictures' or 'art' is, while producing, at the same time, so much nice still-life work that I often think you lower the tone of it all with your proselytizing.

First, a caveat: I appreciate Paul's comment and input. I take no offense whatsoever and hope he (or others) continue to comment, pro or con, regarding any of the goings on here on The Landscapist. Expressing diverse opinions and ideas of what picture making is all about is, IMO, a good thing. A very good thing.

Second, a definition:

proselytizing: to convert or attempt to convert as a proselyte; recruit.

Third, my response to Paul's comment (not a retort but merely an explanation): Over the years, using words other than "proselytizing", some have accused me of speaking writing ex cathedra* regarding the medium and its apparatus ("talking about the finer points of what 'pictures' or 'art' is"). Amongst other things, I am fairly certain those comments stem from the fact that I have been demonstratively forthright in expressing my criticisms and opinions of some pictures and picture making ideas and conventions.

While it is not my intention to demean those who make those pictures or hold near and dear those picture making ideas and conventions, I am also certain (and take full responsibility for) that some take personal umbrage as the result of the expressing of my criticisms and opinions.

Given that I believe that cognitive criticism (as in, critique) is both valid and valuable, the operative word in the preceding paragraph is "opinion" inasmuch as I have never been proselytistic in my writings. That is, I have no desire to "convert" anyone to anything, picture things wise. I am merely expressing my opinions as I think out loud (so to write) as much for my own benefit - perhaps more so - as I do for others who may be tuning in.

Some appreciate, learn from, and come to their own conclusions based on my writings. Other think it's a steaming pile of elephant dung. And that's as it should be inasmuch as I'm not trying to please anyone other than myself.

Some visit for the pictures and in doing so appreciate, learn from, and come to their own conclusions, pro or con, about them. And that is as it should be inasmuch as I make pictures for myself according to the dictates of my eye and sensibilities.

All of that written, one thing visitors will never read from me is how they should do it or how they should think, picture making wise, or what kind of pictures they should like. And, as I have recently passed 3/4 million page views, I am assuming that, one way or another, someone somewhere is getting something out of it.

*from the seat of authority; with authority: used especially of those pronouncements of the pope that are considered infallible.

Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 09:20AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , , | Comments1 Comment

ku # 1295 ~ ode (and apologies) to Fredine

frozen over Lake Champlain ~ Adirondack Coast / Peru, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen

At times you find one's self driving along something catches your eye and you wonder where's Eric Fredine when you need him? In this case, knowing that Fredine was thousands of miles Canadian kilometers away, I took it upon myself to attempt to channel Eric's picture making mojo and make a sweeping landscape picture.

I didn't go out intending to make this picture. It was another drive-by happenstance picture making opportunity - I was returning home from Hugo's Sunday AM hockey game (2 wins this weekend in which Hugo scored 7 of the team's 9 goals) when I came upon this scene.

The scene struck me as a Fredine-like vista because, unlike most days, the Green Mountains of Vermont on the far shore were obscured in fog / mist/ haze thus creating a more to-infinity appearance than that which is normally present. The distant line of bright sunlight on the ice was also a wonderful visual demarcation between surface and sky.

While I like this picture quite a bit and since there is no thaw in sight, I'll most likely head out to deliberately to make another picture in this location in more "dramatic" light - less monochromatic, more "colorful".

Posted on Thursday, February 19, 2015 at 06:41PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in | Comments2 Comments

diptych # 123 ~ still life or whatever?

window arrangements ~ Old Montreal, CA / Phoenicia, NY • click to embiggen

Relative to Tuesday's entry, genre purity, as a followup I thought I would post a couple pictures which represent what is passing for still life pictures (as noted on my web search). And, I might add, which are also representative of some of the entries and selections from the recent Marvelvous Things: The Art of Still Life exhibition.

The pictures in the diptych are not what I would consider to be still lifes but I don't have a problem with those would think them to be so. However, I can see, since the pictures do contain some referents which are arrangements, that that might be enough for some to think the pictures themselves are still life pictures.

If I were to be forced to label the pictures, genre wise, I would be at a loss to do so. To me, they are just pictures. However, if in the act of trying to force me to genre-label, the perp had a lethal weapon aimed at my temple I would probably call the window box flower picture an urbanscape and the bathroom window / rubber ducky picture an interiorscape. After all, aren't all pictures "-scape"(s)? ... a combining form extracted from landscape, denoting “an extensive view, scenery,” or “a picture or representation” of such a view, as specified by the initial element: cityscape; moonscape; seascape, etc.

All of that written, while a genre nomenclature might be helpful (cataloging, classifying, etc.) as general body of work designator, for me, a picture will always be just a picture.

Posted on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 at 06:22PM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | CommentsPost a Comment

kitchen sink # 24 ~ genre purity

in the kitchen sink ~ Au Sable Forks, NY - in the Adirondack PARK • click to embiggen
flora / scanner photography • click to embiggen
still life for Duquesne Light ad ~ Pittsburgh, PA • click to embiggen

First, a definition:

genre - a class or category of artistic endeavor having a particular form, content, technique, or the like.

Second, an anecdote: There are many in the picture making world who abide by strict definitions of various picture making genres - landscape, portrait, street, still life, flora, fauna, wildlife, avain and the like - and they do not abide with any infringement or derivation from those definitions. As an example, on a couple of nature photography forums / sites on which I formerly posted pictures, each category / genre had strict guidelines for what could be posted on each genre category.

I primarily posted pictures on the Landscape forum where the pictures had to be of the nature world without any signs of humankind - no trails, paths, wakes in water, entrails in sky or structures of any kind or similar infringements on the purity of the landscape genre. Any landscape pictures with evidence of any of non-qualifing non-natural elements had to be posted in the Man and Nature forum. And so it went in other genre galleries. No birds in the Wildlife forum, only in Avian forum. Etc., etc., etc.

Each forum had an administrator / moderator (or two) who was charged with keeping things pure. I managed to cause quite a kerfuffle on the Flora forum when I began to post pictures of flowers which I made on a scanner (see above flower picture), aka: scanner photography. The proverbial shit it the fan in a big way. The flora nazis came out in force and comments ranged from the simple "that's not photography" to "the pictures are an insult to true flora photographers who go out into the field with all their gear (scrims, diffusers, reflectors, wind breaks, strobes, etc.) and their expertise."

On the back-channel discourse - moderator forum (not visible to public - the flora moderators, who had devolved into the photography equivalent of the soup nazi, became so incensed that the flora forum would include scanner pictures that they left the site to form their own "pure" flora site.

In any event, on the subject of the still life genre, photography division, the traditional (some might say "pure") definition of that genre has been pictures which depict an arrangement, preferably arranged by the picture maker, of inanimate objects. In my commercial picture making career, still life was a large part of my picturing making activity (see above Duquesne Light picture) to include products and food. And, yes indeed, I arranged all of the inanimate objects and my skill in doing so was highly regarded and highly compensated.

So, when I received a notice for submissions to the Art of Still Life juried exhibition, I submitted a traditional still life picture. That picture was one part found - the bowl with edible items - and one part made - I placed the bowl on a selected tray and determined the light used in making the picture. As mentioned previously, it was juried into the exhibition.

However, due to the number of submissions and eventual selections of pictures which were outside of the traditional definition of the still life genre - dresser top tableau, discarded roadside objects, and the like - a qualifier phrase, Marvelous Things, was added to the exhibition title. I was surprised by this development but was in no way dismayed.

In preparation for this entry, I looked around the web for still life pictures and, lo and behold, I discovered many examples of pictures labeled as still life that were considerably beyond the tradition definition thereof (see one example HERE).

Much of my current still life work is of found (see above kitchen sink picture) visually pleasing arrangements of inanimate objects as opposed to made arrangements. Nevertheless, virtually all of those pictures evidence the look of traditional made arrangement still life pictures. In some, I have moved an object into a more harmonious placement within the arrangement but, despite that intervention, the arrangements are truly found. Consequently, I have no issue with calling the pictures still life pictures in the traditional / pure definition of the genre.

All of that written, I am not a still life nazi, purity wise. And, I truly don't understand the fuss about purity of genre that so many hold so close to their picture making bosom.

Posted on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 10:10AM by Registered Commentergravitas et nugalis in , | Comments2 Comments