Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Slight Dissertation on Art

Well, at least my own personal observations about the subject of art. My online friend, Richard Secor, otherwise known as RV PAINTER on the RV Dreams forums, has painted another painting and seems to have “thrown down the gauntlet” with a reference as to whether I will see any critters in the newest one.


Well, I took a short look at his latest work and found “at least something of the form” of two different critters. However, I refuse to tell him where they are so that he won’t mess with a perfectly good painting. This little issue with me seeing critters in his paintings comes about because of different art forms.

A painter who creates a painting from what he sees will consciously put into that painting what he wants there to be. He may render colors or texture that others might not see even if they were looking at his original model for the painting. I remember that my mother used to paint trees with a “daubing” motion of her brush so as to give the leaves of the tree some form of dimension. Unless one looked at the painting in a “close-up” manner, they might not even notice just a hint of 3 dimensions.

As a photographer, what “artistic” talent I have is in the ability to observe and see what others might not see. If one looks at a panoramic landscape that seems dull and lifeless (such as a desert), they may very well miss the beauty of the cactus flowers that are prevalent in numerous places.


So, while Richard paints what he sees, the photographer in me sees differently and can pick out details that he doesn’t even know exists. I look at an image or a scene before me and I see things differently, and sometimes in pretty quick fashion. With nature and wildlife photography, especially wildlife, one sometimes has to look quick to see both the “big picture” (panorama) or the “little picture” (detail within an image.) Richard does photograph and post “details” of his painting on his blog along with the complete work.

If anyone has seen the movie “Close Encounter of a Third Kind,” you will have noticed that numerous characters in the movie were drawing, painting, and sculpting the Devil’s Tower, which they kept seeing in their minds. As Richard Dreyfuss and the lady and one other man are climbing the tower, Richard Dreyfuss’s character tells the others either of a way or a hindrance to the other side of the mountain that neither of the other two had noticed in their “visions” of the Devil’s Tower. Dreyfuss’s character simply stated, “Next time try sculpture.”

While the other two characters were drawing sufficient images of the Tower, theirs was two-dimensional while Dreyfuss’s was a three-dimensional sculpture. His “creation” included little gullies, crevices, and other features not noticed in a two dimensional drawing. It can be similar with a photographer because we aren’t just looking at one view of a scene in front of us.

Like many others, artists or non-artists, I have been blessed with an appreciation of most forms of art. However, there are other “art forms” which I don’t necessarily recognize as art so much as “shock” venues. Some people just prefer to do things which they know will create a controversy with others, thus getting themselves a name as being “cutting edge” artists. An example coming to mind is that issue where the “artist” placed a statue of Jesus in a jar of urine.

Nothing in his work could be considered beautiful or artistic, but he definitely upset a lot of people in this country. No doubt that “artist” didn’t think anyone else had a justification to say that his work wasn’t art.

In other words, just because someone calls themselves an artist, I don’t necessarily agree. My biggest issue is with conceptual art. There is a building in Oklahoma City that has a “sculpture” in front of it that to me resembles three fingernail clippings. They are three curved pieces of metal on different bases. Another is a state agency building that has metal “art” in front of it that simply reminds me of discs from an agricultural plow.

Of course, art does come in various forms, and most of them I appreciate, especially since I haven’t the talent for any of them. Painting and sculpture and dance are visual forms, with dance having the additional advantage of including music. Although I’ve never had a real interest in opera, many times the sound of the human voice is a beauty in itself, whether the song is or not.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I mentioned that I find a cappella singing to be awesome in its simplicity and its harmony. I have only been to two musical concerts in my life. One was in my home town at one year’s school Alumni Celebration when a singer who had gone to our school for a few years brought her band and played for us. The music from the instruments was so loud that we couldn’t hear the vocal artists at all.

The other was in Oklahoma City a few years ago when Yanni came to town and held a concert. In the case of his music, most of it is instrumental, so there were very few vocals to be drowned out by the instruments.

So, it is with great pleasure that I have been blessed with a love for art. For a short period of time, I had posted some of my photos on a website for Richard to see. I have since found that the website is not entirely secure in protecting my photos from being stolen by others for their own use. I initially thought that the site was secure, so I had pictures out there. I’ve since removed them from that website.

Hopefully, another site that I have in mind will be more secure and I can share what little skill I have with art with others in the hope that they can appreciate what I have managed to capture. As I’ve told Richard, I am not necessarily artistic with my photography. With my scenic and wildlife photography, I simply capture an image of what God has created so that I can share it with others.


  1. I.M. thinkin' there were a pigeon and a wolf, but will keep it to myownself.

  2. Ahhhhhhh but the wolf ate the pigeon - I say that only because I can't see either! :>)


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