Saturday, July 21, 2007

The Best of Photography and Film at J.B Speed

The Best of Photography and Film, at J.B. Speed Museum

By Bob Perrin

As all photographers know, To see the work of a master is truly an inspiring event. I patiently waited three months to view this exhibit and it was worth every lingering minute of it. I've been back twice, and each time I've learned something new. Its a must see for any local photographer or historian.

The wealth of information in an original print is always striking but I have mixed feelings about some of the photographs presented. One such print is the famous, iconic photo taken in 1945 at Iwo Jima, Mt Suribachi of WWII soldiers planting an American flag. We all know the photograph, and its been memorialized many times over in many types of media including a bronze sculpture in the Capital, and to see an original print of it on display is very powerful but at the same time somewhat disapointing. Let me explain. The original print is just "too" real. It has technical flaws in it and is low in contrast, However the subject matter of the photo, even with its flaws, still takes your breath away.

The exhibit opens with an 1840's dagguerotype camera complete with a device for holding the subjects head still enough for the twenty minute exposure time required for a photograph. We've come a long way baby!. As you enter the exhibit you are greeted with Mathew Brady's small photograph of Abraham Lincoln. Its seems that photography was so new then, that the image of Lincoln played a large role in his election as President.

When I turned away from the picture a small girl walked up to it with a magnifying glass and closely studied it, as if to make some sort of new discovery, and in an instant, I remembered why I took to photography so easily. Its my sense of curiosity and wonder that has never let me down. I told the girls parents "Thats a Kodak moment"...They readily agreed.

Thoughout the exhibit there are glass cases with an array of antique cameras of the periods depicted in the prints. Chuck Rubin, a photo historian and collector, has many items displayed and has a wealth of information about them.

A little farther into the exhibit are some Civil War images of Gettysburg, and some images from Robert Capa's WWII war correspondent days. One in particular is the landing at Omaha beach with soldiers literally crawling ashore under fire. The Vietnam War images are particularly heartbreaking because I lived thru those images being broadcast sometimes in real time from across an ocean as I safely sat in front of my televison.

Harold Edgerton's technical genius with high speed photography is simply amazing. The famous photo of a bullet frozen in flight after piercing an apple has long been one of my favorites. There are a few of his others there as well, such as the milk drop crown etc.

For me personally, on a artistic level, The photographs of Manuel Alvarez Bravo stole the show. They are without equal and are some of the most technically perfect photographs I've ever seen. In particular his 1935 print titled "Portrait of the Eternal" is a study in highlight and shadow detail that has to be seen to be believed. I was kinda disapointed they didn't have more of his work, well, maybe I'll come across it somewhere else in the future.

A wonderful large portrait of Albert Einstien taken in 1948 with his hair combed and slicked back, hangs in a position of prominence as if to say "See, I clean up pretty good don't I ".
Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" and "Angel Bread Line" are displayed there and its easy to see why she is truly, an "Icon of American photography".

The works of Masters such as: Ansel Adams, Edward Steichen, Mary Ellen Mark, Henri Cartier Bresson, Gary Winogrand, and many others always stand the test of time and seeing their work up close is like drinking a fine wine.

Throughout the exhibit my emotions ran the gammut from extreme praise of these masters works, to the panic that I may never realize my lifetime dream of being among them, but still I pressed on.

One wall in the exhibit is dedicated to film stars long gone, the "Greats of Entertainment" from the silver screen. A guard told me a story about Johnny Wisemuller (the original "Tarzan") and how at eighty years old he was still beating on his chest and yelling "ahh ohh hee ohh hee ohh! for his visitors to the nursing home he was in. True to his character till the end.
As I said before, the show brings to the surface emotions that only truly great photographs can, and for me it was a very special treat to be able to see them all at one time. it was overwelming at times, but a must see.

Near the end of the exhibit is a lone photograph hanging on a bare wall, its depth of insight is almost impossible to describe. Its a photograph by Jeff Mermelstein of a park near the World Trade Center taken shortly after the buildings came down. The scene is eerily quiet and has almost a surrealistic feel to it.The park is totally filled with office papers and a kind of grey soot blankets everything, and in the dead center of the picture there is a man sitting peacefully on a park bench covered in soot working on a laptop computer. The moment I saw the photo I couldn't take my eyes off it and stood looking at it almost afraid to turn my back on it, but then I realized the figure was a lifelike statue of a man sitting on that bench covered in ash. What a great Photograph.... I personally believe, that when this photo is brought into the mainstream, in its own time, it will be one of a very elite few that will prove to be a reminder to modern civilization that we still have a lot to learn and it will earn its place in American history.

It seems kinda strange, but it was raining when I left the exhibit like it has just about every time I visit the Speed Museum. Its almost like a new beginning for me when I see great work. It gives me a new goal to work towards and capture the curiosity I love so much . For me there is no other way.

The Best of Film and Photography runs thru September 16 2007 at the J.B.Speed Museum.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Dream a Little Dream

Bob Perrin

No pair of pants is worth $54-million. (At least not yet anyway)
A judge rejected a lawsuit that sought that amount by taking a South Korean dry cleaner's promise of "Satisfaction Guaranteed" to its most legalistic extreme.

Roy L. Pearson became a worldwide symbol of legal abuse by seeking jackpot justice from a simple complaint - that a neighbourhood dry cleaners lost the pants from a suit and tried to give him a pair that were not his.

His claim, reduced from $67-million, was based on a strict interpretation of the city's consumer protection law - which imposes fines of $1,500 per violation - as well as damages for inconvenience, mental anguish and attorney's fees for representing himself.

A judge on Monday decided that Pearson was not entitled to a penny, and in fact owes the Chung family, owners of Custom Cleaners in northeast Washington, about $1 000 in clerical court costs.

The lawsuit filed by Pearson, an administrative law judge, has been mocked worldwide as a frivolous and outrageous legal action, and cost the Chungs two years of litigation, sleepless nights, financial and emotional stress. Pearson also claims he was doing it to futher the cause of American consumer justice and it was all for us.

I have to go take a nap now, maybe I'll dream about it.
Yea thats the ticket..... ZZZZZZZ

Faster than a speeding bullet.
More powerful than a locomotive.
Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound.

Look!.. up in the sky..
Its a bird, Its a plane

Its Super Laundry Judge!

Yes, its Super Laundry Judge, strange visitor from another planet who came to earth with strange powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men. Super Laundry Judge, who can change the course of mighty rivers, bend laws with his bare hands, and who, disquised as judge Roy L. Pearson Jr., mild mannered administrative judge for the District Of Columbia, Fights a never ending battle for TRUTH, JUSTICE, and the AMERICAN right to get your pants dry cleaned ontime.

But whats this?... In a cruel twist of fate, Super Laundry Judge A.K.A. Roy L. Pearson Who filed a $54 million lawsuit against a Korean dry cleaner for losing his pants, finds himself as the defendant in a case brought forward by his former girlfriend Honey Divine.

Ms. Divine has filed suit against the judge for allegedly failing to live up to his "lofty" guarranties of "manly performance"

Johnny Cockroach, ( Ms. Divines attorney) speaking on behalf of Ms. Divine, stated the judge kept yelling "Here comes the judge, Here comes the judge", But never did.

He also stated that certain "copulatory promises never materialized and this breech of "Oral contract" so to speak has left my client distraught" and further claims the judge never "rocked her world" as futher promised. He claims compensation is in order.

Ms. Divine is seeking $75 million in damages to offset the pain and suffering of the judges lacksidaisical effort during sex, and his subsequent lack of concern for "her needs" thereafter. additionally, Ms. divine claims the judge made reference to Ms. divines painful lack of knowledge of who her daddy is, yelling phrases like "Who's your daddy" " Who's your daddy"

**Footnote ( comments from readers ) ** Not!

"As an American and an unwavering fan of Super Laundry Judge, I'm glad that the court systems in America are finally spending time on such important issues such as this, and not wasting valuble time and taxpayer money on frivilous cases."

"I can't imagine what my country would be like if we weren't dealing with these absolutely essential cases. Frankly I'm shocked the Super Laundry Judge lost his case and has to return to playing the lottery like the rest of us mere mortals."

"How sad it is to see one of our forward thinking administrative leaders break down in tears as he was led out of the courtroom muttering about the trauma of losing his pants."

Wheres the Justice?...... Wheres the Justice!.... We want Justice!.....

Sunday, April 8, 2007

The Case For Nuclear Power

The Case For Nuclear Power

(c) Bob Perrin 2007

If you think nuclear energy is dead, think again. Nuclear energy is already providing 20 percent of our nation's electricity, and doing so without emitting any greenhouse gases. Nuclear energy accounts for 90 percent of all electric utility reductions in CO2 emissions since the mid seventy's, and provides more than 70 percent of this nation's emission-free electricity.

Conservation must be one component of a long-term strategy, but America must invest heavily in developing renewable energy sources. Unfortunately these steps alone will not meet America's estimated 50 percent increase in electricity demand by 2030. We will need more base-load power, and a good place to start is with a proven form of clean electricity.

The bad news is, that the waste from nuclear plants is difficult and dangerous to store. One of the issues being discussed is the option of recycling the spent fuel rods, But recycling is not without its own unique set of risks. Besides being very expensive, the by-product of recycled fuel rods is high grade plutonium, the kind used for nuclear weapons, a very sensitive political playing card. Given the risks involved, many people would not trust our government with the task of baby sitting it. To be truthful, I'm not sure I would, at least not until the leaders we have now can learn how to be big boys and girls and play nice with one another. Don't hold your breath.

The protests will no doubt return, but in the end, to any clear thinking intelligent person there is no other choice for clean cheap energy. Coupled with the advances in biomass fuels and electric hybrid automobiles and new production techniques in the manufacturing industries, nuclear power is one very attractive viable alternative to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Five years ago there were exactly "zero" power plant applications on the board. As of today, there are 15 and that number is sure to grow. Some surely won't get built but I have a feeling most will. I remember the nuclear protests of the seventys and eighty's and to tell you the truth, they were mostly organized by so called grass roots touchy feely uninformed tree huggers. I can tell you one thing for sure, if we don't fix the greenhouse gas problem in the next 20 or 30 years there won't be any trees left to hug.

One last thought. In the twenty eight years American nuclear power plants have been operating, there hasn't been even one death directly attributed to its implementation or use. A pretty impressive record if you ask me. At the same time the logging industry has ravaged our planet right under the noses of the tree huggers lazing right under the trees they are cutting down. How successful have they really been in saving our fragile planet?.

The Chance for a Cleaner, Safer Tomorrow

The Chance for a Cleaner, Safer Tomorrow

(c) Bob Perrin

In theory the technologies and ideas that will shape our future are almost too simple, but their evolution into reality has been steadily creeping up on us for over four decades. These same ever evolving ideas are emerging as the dominant forces in world energy solutions, as well as important tools in the fight against global terrorism. As I write this, "New Technologies" and ideas are expanding at a staggering rate of speed and may prove to be the saving grace our world needs so badly. Put simply, We may be living in the most significant decades in human history. What each of us does from this point forward, Matters.

The Chance

"We now have before us, the chance to shape our own destiny and the future of our very fragile world. I believe we all have within us, the ability to choose wisely and to embrace these gifts of wisdom from all those who grant them to us".

"You are one of those people".

The draw for me is a personal one. I have children and grandchildren I would like to see grow up in a world safer and cleaner than the one I grew up in. In my world as a child, we practiced disaster drills curled up under school desks with our hands covering the backs of our heads as if to shield us from a nuclear attack. Later in life we grew bolder and squandered energy like there was no tomorrow. We robbed Peter but never paid Paul back. When we finally woke up from our feeding frenzy and realized the destructive path we had laid before us, we protested against the Great powers of authority. We never realized that we were in fact ourselves, the Great powers of authority. Forty years later we are now at a crossroads, a little battered up, but a lot smarter and full of hope for the future.

The technical term for a "Baby Boomer" is: anyone born from 1946 when the world birth rate spiked, usually attributed to soldiers returning from war and starting families, to 1964 when the birth rate started to decline. But some people simply say, its anyone born after World War Two that still remembers the Cuban Missile Crisis. I belong to this group, I was born in 1950 and remember it vividly.

For Thirteen days in October 1962 a stunned world held its breath as we stood at the very brink of nuclear war while the Cuban Missile Crisis unfolded. For our parents, the years during World War Two were their defining years. For me, they were the years following the Cuban Missile Crisis and thirteen months later the assasination of President John F.Kennedy.

The years following these two events brought major changes in world policy. Economical, political, environmental and human rights policies changed almost over night. We were suddenly aware of the dangers of non action and moved quickly to try and right the worlds wrongs. Sometimes we realized great successes and sometimes we suffered terrible losses.

In our path, laid some of the worlds most challenging times. The Vietnam War, The Civil Rights Movement, Womens rights, abortion legislation, protecting our environment, and the fight against drugs and violence tearing at the very fabric of our families and communities.

The rising cost of health care, the homeless, the steady decline of American capitolism and the events of September 11, 2001 all seemed to cripple our ability to deal with so many problems in such rapid succession. Today against staggering odds, we are finally gaining ground and can look ahead to a brighter, safer, more productive future. The challenges that lay ahead are not easy ones to solve, but they can be solved if we recognize the fact that we have a problem that won't go away on its own.

Terrorism on a scale unseen before in history is an enormous threat to the security and economic stability of our world, but it can be turned around. A terrorists favorite weapon of choice is the one they use to create fear and discontent among otherwise stable societies. Its a tool that will never work in "My Country". We have a better way.

Our climate is changing on a global scale due to natural periodic geocycles the earth goes thru over many thousands of years. Human interventions such as "The Industrial Revolution" of this country and many other emerging economies may have speeded it up, but we as a people didn't cause it all, This will be debated in political circles for many years to come, but the reality is, "Its much to late to lay blame now".

Climate change can be dramatically slowed down, if we act now.

The advances in current and emerging technologies can and will play a huge role in the future of our planet and the stabilization of our economies. These are not pipedreams or empty promises, they are real solutions easily within our reach right now. With a serious concerted effort on the part of free enterprise, a little innovation and some helpful effort on the part of a few serious, caring non partisan policy makers these problems can and will be solved in a few short decades.
The innovative technologies to wean ourselves from the crippling costs of foriegn oil and the terrorism that follows it around like a plague, have been slowly methodically evolving over the past 40 years and are finally yielding great promise and products.

Businesses and governments that recognize and act to put into place supportive infra-structures will reap the benefits of a self sustaining, cost effective alternative to the economic choke-hold of foreign oil and realize enormous profits both monetary and with some much needed political capital.

For us to achieve energy independence and the security that goes hand in hand with it, we have to get serious now, and take the nessasary steps to support an energy efficient society with the goal in mind to be free of foriegn oil within the next 3 decades. After all its been a very long time since we were energy efficient, and we will experience some growing pains. I also must add, with due respect to my grandchildren, I'd like to see it happen in my lifetime, Sort of the icing on the cake thing.

Setting aside for a moment my personal motivations for writing this, my deep inspirations are rooted in these simple words spoken from an untouched pristine world on July 20, 1969. "Houston, Tranquility Base here, The Eagle has landed". We had arrived on the moon, and will forever after, gaze skyward.

The Solution

The steps to a realistic energy solution are as follows, but keep in mind, although these technologies are constantly evoving, the basic premises are non negotiable nessasary steps to real solutions well researched by the greatest collection of minds of our times.

Surely, one of the most obvious major sources of our dependence on imported oil is in the transportation sector. Cars, aircraft, trucks and military transportation are at the very top of this list, yet are are still incredibly inefficient for the fuel they consume and the carbon emissions they produce. For example the average automobile uses about 77% of the fuel it consumes just to move it down the highway while only 23% is needed to move its occupants.

A serious effort to reduce vehicle weight while still providing the structural integrity nessasary for vehicle safety standards is underway in much of the auto industrys future plans. Light weight super fuel efficient electric-hybrid automobiles are now considered to be our best choice in the short term, with an eventual shift towards plug in hybrids able to run on a combination of low carbon produced electricity and low emission biomass fuel.

New materials to take the place of steel at half the cost and nearly 12 times the strength have been developing in the aircraft industry for years in the form of carbon fiber reinforced thermoplactics "CFRTP" which can easily be utilized in the production of other types of vehicles as well. The tooling costs nessasary to implement these changes are but a fraction of the profits that can be realized by auto makers willing to step out of the past and into the future of automotive design. Keep in mind, these are market driven incentives, not mandated by, nor regulated by any government intervention. Its a choice and a challenge to free thinking innovative industry.

New fuel sources are developing as the biomass industry steps up to the plate with ethanol based fuels derived from corn in the U.S. and sugarcane in Brazil and other U.S. aligned countries as well as agricultural detritus such as cornhusks, switchgrass and wood chips known as cellulosic biomass, all of which are market driven as well.

Producing ethanol from biomass requires first releasing sugars in the plant polymers called cellulose, with a combination of mechanical and chemical enzyme actions and then distilling them thru fermentation with yeasts and bacterial cells to produce ethanol. Its a process similar to making whisky, only on a much larger scale, and with much more punch per ounce. Mainly derived from a sugar unlocking enzyme derivative called celluases, its applications in the textile industry have been around for many years, and are used for such things as weathering blue jeans.

Another promising technology in the forefront of chemical engineering are anerobic enzymes. These little microbes may prove to be an even greater boon in the production of ethanol than previously thought by growing them on cellulose and harvesting them, further reducing the cost of ethanol production.

In the coming years, the integration of these technologies coupled with market driven free enterprise will prove to be invaluable as stepping stones to real energy independence and a safer, cleaner world.

I'm often asked which is more important to me, energy and the environment? or safety from terrorism?. My response is this: If you want a world free of terrorism, you must first position yourself to be a self sustaining power, free from the constraints of doing business with unfriendly, self interested, greed stricken countries on the verge of collapsing from their past selfish actions. In other words, "You reap what you sow". If we plant it, it will grow, and it is.
Last year alone, venture capitalists invested $917 million in U.S. green energy technology companies and that amount is expected to grow to over $167 billion worldwide over the next decade. It is money well invested.

The Challenge

I told you at the beginning of this article that the ideas were almost too simple to grasp. You can choose for yourself to follow the lead of the Six O'clock news, where every story is generated on the previous days news and live day to day, or you can take cues like I do, from my own personal experiences and apply them to the future. A change "is" coming and its up to you to make it a bad one, or a good one.

Some so called "Experts" say the transition from fossil fuels to greener ones could take 50 years or more and are getting rich conducting this study or that study, while the real experts are "laboratory grunts" (and I use that term with the greatest respect and admiration) who are sowing the seeds of your future and mine, one enzyme at a time. My money is on them.

"My ear is laying on the tracks, and I can hear the train coming"

Can you hear it too?

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Express Yourself


Bob Perrin (c) 2007

Don't run with the scissors, don't cross your eyes because they might stay like that, where's your jacket? you could catch a cold, wheres your shoes? you could step on a rusty nail and get an infection and die. and on, and on, and on somemore it went.

As I look back on those things my mother and every mother tells her children, I sometimes wonder if they all communicate telepathically or simply heard it from their mothers. As much as I would like to think my mother was a super human all knowing wizard with magical powers of foresight, I've reluctantly resigned myself into accepting she is just smart.

She just possesses the ability as we all do, to learn from the past and apply it to her future and the futures of anyone within shouting distance. I'm kinda lucky that way, because I have highspeed internet access, and she just had a block or two, or sometimes three if she had something really important to say.

If your wondering where I'm going with all this, its the fact that although this information rich society we live in is beaming info here and beaming info there, the grass roots real free speech seems to be fading fast. We all remember the Dixie Chicks attempt at free speech and how that turned around to bite them in the "ass" (sorry). Well, just try that in a dictator run country and see how long you last. Did they just somehow mistakenly assume they were in a free speech country? or were they protected by the constitution that some of us still believe in.

How about this for a change? what do you say we all just say what we really mean and not worry about being sued by some "bullshit" (see its easy) self righteous organization or some self serving lawyer. Even better, maybe we could set aside one day a month where you could say anything you wanted and no one could sue you because lawsuits are against the law on the last day of every month. Think of the court costs we could save!

Well although I don't envision that happening right away, I do envision a future where free speech is really "free speech". There are a lot of people out there who never speak up with their ideas for fear they wont be heard or fear they will be heard and someone wont agree with them. What a bunch of "crap" (see I did it again), shame on me, but it felt good. Now you do it, and maybe we'll be able to communicate. if that doesn't work than we can try the telepathic thing. O.K?.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

A Wolf In Sheeps Clothing

A Wolf In Sheeps Clothing
(c) Bob Perrin 3.30.07

As is my usual custom, I was thumbing thru the books at the local bookstore on my lunch break ( I try to get there at least once a week) and I happened to momentarily glance out the front window.

Across the street from the bookstore were two people holding a huge bright yellow banner about twenty five feet long that read "SHAME, SHAME, SHAME, ON YOU". with no other words other than a small communications company name in small letters in the lower corner, and since it was directly across the street from the bookstore pointed in the direction of it, I thought it may be a protest of some sort against the bookstore itself.

I walked over to the pimple faced teenaged clerk behind the counter, paid for my magazine and as he was ringing it up I asked him "whats with the banner across the street?". His reply was "Oh its probably some kind of stunt or something". Well, one sense that I have that overshadows all my others, is my sense of curiosity, and today it got the better of me. I walked out of the bookstore and crossed the street and asked one of the people holding the banner what it was for.

A man approached me and handed me a flyer and said "you have to read this". I folded the paper in half without really looking at it I and asked the man if he could tell me what it was all about?. He said I'd have to read the flyer and he didn't really know what it was all about, he was just getting paid to hold the sign.

Wow I thought, this is pretty strange, these people are holding a huge banner in the middle of the busiest part of town at lunchtime with hordes of people passing by, and don't even know what the sign means? Pretty weird Heh?. Well I just couldn't let it go, so I asked the man one last question. "Ok let me get this straight, your'e getting paid to hold a sign and you haven't got a clue what it means". He replied "yup". I thanked him for not punching me and walked back across the street to the bookstore, and thru the window, I watched the man walk over and pick up one of the flyers and start to read it.

Now to most people walking down the street at lunchtime it wasn't even a blip on their radar, but to me it was a monumental moment in time. The message on the flyer was just some more union dribble about a company not providing proper benefits to its contract workers ( the kind you see all the time around town). But the real message for me was that some company could get people to hold a sign for a few bucks and not even care if the people even knew what it was advocating.

I''m going to use the experience I had today as a preface to a much larger, much more controversial issue on my mind so bear with me for a moment.

I recently ran across an article on the web about Dr.Charles Roselli, a genetic research scientist from The Oregon Health and Science University studying the mating habits of sheep. Ok, now stop laughing, I'm trying to be serious here. P.E.T.A. as we all know by now as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is objecting to the research. Why? well, it seems that Roselli's research has uncovered some interesting facts about the rams in the herd. About 8 percent of the rams aren't interested in mating with the opposite sex sheep, the rams are gay, and P.E.T.A. was really quick to pounce on the fact that Roselli was euthanizing sheep and looking at their brain tissue to understand why. Not exactly catch and release kind of research. Roselli uses about 18 sheep a year in his research, a far cry from the 4 million or so cultivated wordwide for food and wool.

Why would P.E.T.A. zero in on Roselli?. Maybe this will explain it better. P.E.T.A. asked its membership to write this letter to the university president. "I find it appalling that experimenters are cutting open and killing gay sheep in an attempt to 'cure' homosexual tendencies in animals. These experiments also carry the insidious implication that homosexuality in humans needs to be cured."

Roselli's research is really more about understanding animal populations and saving endangered animals from extinction rather that trying to stir up the gay rights pot as P.E.T.A. apparently is. The Image of a fuzzy, helpless animal getting ripped apart by a mad scientist is a powerful one, and I guess P.E.T.A. needs more sheep stories to feed to its own sheep like followers.

The Honorable R. Albert Mohler Jr, President of the Southern Baptist Seminary enters the room about this time, throws his card on the game table and spews out his version of the now infamous Roselli research.The plot thickens. Mr Mohler supports Rosseli"s research because he thinks it could lead to the ground breaking discovery that being gay could somehow be reversed before birth. And I thought the people holding the banner were weird. This guy has a whole flock of potential banner wielding sheep at his disposal if he can drum up a good enough argument and then "bang" before you know it we could have designer babies popping out all over the place. Just choose your colors and a sexual preference and its on its way in only nine short months.

I guess I'm in the wrong business or something, sitting here at the computer while these brainiacs are pulling in boatloads of cash.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

The Art Of Heart

(C)Bob Perrin 2007

In general, to be taken as a serious artist, you
must be either extremely colorful in your lifestyle,
extremely talented in your chosen field of artistic
expression, own a small country, or be six feet under.

Even at that, these things cannot absolutely
guarantee you will ever be recognized as a meaningful
artistic soul. There is however one last element that
almost guarantees your success as an artist, its called
"Heart". Without heart your chances of success are severely
limited. You must live and breathe your dream. It keeps
you awake at night and wakes you in the wee hours of the
morning. It is unrelenting, disturbing, disruptive and
inconvenient. It takes your breath away and leaves you
craving for more.

Artistic expression must be painstakingly nurtured
over time with tolerance, love, hope and understanding.
It must be recognized early enough to encourage an artist
that is unsure and lacks confidence in their work. and
If you are the artist yourself, you should never ever
doubt your ability to be creative.

There are vast differences in artistic styles and
tastes, but every piece should be an extention of the
artists own heart. Your own heart. The heart that is
about to create a great piece of art.
Your art will find its place in this world through
your creativeness, and will find its market on the wings
of your enthusiasum and determination. Someone will always
see in your art, what you intended for them to see, and
usually much more.

My passion is photography, so I'll use it as an
example to illustrate my point.

Anyone who has children, can immediatly identify
with this image. It brings to the surface, the wandering
dreams of almost everyone on the planet at one time or
another, and the real life stories I've been told when
someone sees this image have at times surprised me but
always warmed my soul.

Her name is Nakowa, and she is to say the least, a
handful, a whirling ball of energy looking for her next
big adventure, always moving, and never ever still. As you
may have guessed, she also was always threatening to run
away from home, an adventure she had yet to muster the
courage to do. Well that day soon came, and she set
off down the street on her next big adventure. Now you have
to understand children to be able to cope with a child like
Nakowa, she was running away and that was that!, and any
attempt to stop her would only serve to encourage her to
actually carry out her threat. A little dose of reverse
child psychology was in order here. We gathered her up
kicking and screaming and brought her home (by now she had
made it out the door) and told her if she really wanted to
run away, she was going to need a few things to take with

We made a little bundle on a stick and told her that
her clothes were in it and drove her out to the local train
station. I think by this time Nakowa was having some
second thoughts to say the least, but was too stubborn to
to let on. We told her that maybe she should eat something
before she left on her very.... long.... journey, as it may
be a while before she might be able to eat again. Well to
make a long story short, after all this getting ready stuff,
she was so tired of the idea of running away that she fell

Then it hit me like a brick. I was standing in
exactly the same train station that my dad had taken me to
when I pulled the same bluff years earlier. If ever there
was a "Kodak Moment" this was it. We drove home, got a
ladder and my camera and drove back to the train station
to shoot this image. A little ice cream goes a long way
when you are taking pictures of children, especially when
there is some setting up to do.

To this day, over thirty years later, this image
continues to be my best selling print. It has heart in it...
"my heart"