Sliding Out of Summer

It’s been a perfect summer, weather-wise. We had a week or two where the temperatures reached into the 90s, but mostly it’s been high 70s to mid 80s. Late May, all summer long? I’ll take it.

That means we’ve spent a lot of time outside, playing in our new yard, planting our new garden, walking up and down our new street. We have great neighbors. We love our new neighborhood.

There are parts of me that miss living out in the country. My commute is not nearly as fun, photographically and spiritually, as it used to be. It’s all intersections and highway these days. I miss the quiet, and the trees. But then an airplane flies over our house every few hours, and the kids look up to watch it pass overhead, and it becomes one of those neat little things that make the new home so fun.

This summer I’ve worked steadily on the new portrait project. I photograph the kids as they play around the yard. But there haven’t been any photographic adventures – not like there used to be. There are only so many hours in the day, and photography’s slice of the pie is getting smaller and smaller.

That’s okay. My camera’s always ready when I need it to be. Like these late summer evenings when I can’t resist heading out to the front porch and watching the sun set.


Jubilee

The Hot Air Jubilee is one of Jackson’s big annual events. Photos of hot air balloons are all over the Chamber of Commerce’s promotional materials, and for good reason: thousands of people head to Ella Sharp Park each July to watch the liftoffs.

For me, it never gets old. There’s magic in these giant sacks of hot air slowly inflating, and then leaving the ground, heading to Oz – or the outskirts of the county. It’s not just the balloons, either. The Hot Air Jubilee is like a small county fair, with junk food and rides and games of chance.

Tons of local photographers fight for the chance to get inside the launch grounds. I’ve been there, but it’s just as fun to sit on the sidelines and watch the show as a spectator.

These Never Never Land moments are rare, indeed.


Room For Time

Only We Can Rearrange

“What’s clear is that it’s healthiest if we make a daily appointment to disconnect from the world so that we can connect with ourselves.”

Austin Kleon, “The Bliss Station

For me, a simple daily practice is stepping away from my office computer. Take a walk, step away, eat lunch outside – whatever it takes.


The Meh of Failure

Toledo Art Museum

My Musicians In Jackson Kickstarter didn’t make it.

It was stuck at 33% for weeks, then it creeped up to a high of 48%, and never got over that half-way hump.

I knew, going into it, that it was a long shot. My first rumblings of failure came when I had to explain to people, again and again, that they weren’t making a donation. No money was being exchanged up front. It was a pledge. People didn’t get Kickstarter.

The second rumbling came when a lot of the people I thought would support the project didn’t. After being stuck at 33% for so long, I knew my chances of reaching a fully-funded Kickstarter campaign were slim.

So it goes. As I mentioned in my last project update, the work will continue, albeit a little slower.

The truth is, my heart wasn’t totally into the idea of the Kickstarter. It was more of an experiment, to see if I could do it; to see if something like this could be possible in my small Midwestern city. Jackson wasn’t ready for Kickstarter. Plus the idea of constantly sending out updates and pleas for pledges is not me – I’m the anti marketing guy. It’s hard enough to get people to support your project, but to ask them to make pledges to support your project? Blah.

But it’s all okay. I’m fine, and I let Sunday’s project deadline go by with a whimper.

A lot of things are slowing down for me. Call it a phase, but I’m barely getting this musicians project started. I’m barely blogging. I’m barely making photos. It’s one of those seasons in life right now.

It’s all okay.


Art Geeks

Hobbies are the best.

They’re a never-ending source of inspiration and fascination for me. Watching someone who is transfixed by their side gig, and who is good at what they do – it doesn’t matter what the hobby is, it’s fun to watch and listen.

I’ve had my share of hobbies over the years: comic books, old Macintosh computers, photography, travel. You know I’m into something if I start a blog about it.

Sculpture Geek here – he’s making videos about the sculptures he creates, and it’s a joy to behold.

I have a theory that the fan art we see these days is just another version of religious art during the Middle Ages and Renaissance. What do we care about? What are we passionate about, as a culture? What moves us emotionally? That’s what gets made in sculpture, painting, drawing, etc. And a lot of it comes with no expectations of fame, money, or recognition. Most people just want others to share in the joy of creation.

Count me in.