Category Archives: inspiration

Thanksgiving Tradition

My Thanksgiving tradition, that I want to share with you, is to read a letter written by my grandfather, Dr WW (Buck) Jones, to my grandmother, Adena, when he was a chaplain in the service during WWII.  I am thankful for them.

Reverend WW (Buck) and Adena Jones

Thanksgiving Day 1945

For some reason on this Thanksgiving day my thoughts have picked up that little phrase someone wrote us when we were married.  “May there be just enough clouds to make the sunset beautiful.”  Of course it would be quite a shallow view of life if we thanked God only for the bright and pleasant things.  For this would be such a dreadful place in which to live without the clouds and the rain.  Continue reading »

Pocket Garden

oldtown_garden6

Some good news and bad news.

Which do you want first? Okay, fine…

Good news: The weather was perfect last weekend for the Old Town Art Fair in Chicago. I had a beautiful corner spot in a charming neighborhood, the sun was shining and the crowds were enormous.

Bad news: Because of the aforementioned crowds I didn’t have time to see much of the garden tour that I told you about last week. As is often the case at a really busy show, I was only able to see what was in the route between my booth and the bathroom. Luckily that did include one lovely little garden that I can share with you.

Continue reading »

Hallelujah

I have to admit I have been having a hard time this spring.

I knew this would be a year of growth. My word for the year was “Bold” and when some of my plans for the year began to falter, I added the word “Nimble”.  I knew there would be growing pains, as phrases like that become cliché for a reason. You see, I am developing a new series of artwork that involves a new printing process, and now, well past the initial steep and exciting part of the learning curve, my progress with this new technique has become so slow I think I might actually be moving backwards.

Combine that feeling with a week of completely over-intellectualizing photographs and photography at Fotofest (where the word beautiful was used as a pejorative), followed by three long days of discussing the business side of art as I helped train a new group of Artist Inc facilitators, and then finally a run of presenting my work for a wide variety of feedback from the 500,000 people that attend the Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival, and photography and I were about to part ways. At the very least my camera and I were “on a break.” Essentially, these weeks have been confusing and left me trying to understand the meaning in what I do, but too tired to find it. Continue reading »

Laurie Anderson – The Beginning of Memory

Laurie Anderson and Lou Reed

With the recent passing of Lou Reed and the eloquent farewell that Laurie Anderson wrote to her husband, I have been thinking a lot about the last time I saw Laurie perform and how much she has to teach us. (As I must admit, Laurie has had a much bigger impact on me than Lou Reed ever did.) Continue reading »

Photography lesson circa 1903

This week while I was in Milwaukee I was gifted this book by our good friend, sculptor Mark Winter. He probably thought I could use a few pointers.

Picture Making for Pleasure and Profit

A Complete Illustrated Hand-Book on the Modern Practices of Photography In All Its Various Branches

by T Stith Baldwin
Published in Chicago, Illinois 1903 Continue reading »

Recollections of a Home and Family that Once Was…

Grandmommie & DaddyBuck

I posted this letter last year but it is my annual tradition to read this letter first thing on Thanksgiving morning, and really once a year isn’t enough. So I hope you enjoy it once again!

It was written on Thanksgiving Day, 1945 by my Grandfather Rev. Dr. W.W. Jones to my Grandmother, Adena White Jones, while he was away in the army. They were newlyweds and they were expecting their first child – my father. I am thankful!

Thanksgiving Day, 1945

…All the reams of paper couldn’t contain the mercies that I’m thankful for today, for they pass my imagination in a never-ending parade. The rain of yesterday, the bright sunshine of today: the little ponds of ice I saw outside this morning, a shelter warm as toast: memories, rich and mellow, embroidered with hearty friendship and camaraderie; enemies – and the joy of being able not to hate them; cool water from a spring on a long, hot hike; good food that makes one comfortable inside; flitting glimpses out of the past that now seems so far away, so much apart of another world that one gives pause to think – could it be so and could that have been me? Continue reading »

Pecha Kucha

What the heck is a Pecha Kucha?

 

A Pecha Kucha is a presentation format used to combat “death by powerpoint”, and is a format many creative professionals are using to present their work. It is designed to be 20 slides shown for 20 seconds each, with self advancing slides so you can’t blather on and on. Continue reading »

Love Rust

Ever wonder what someone does for fun after they’ve turned their passion and what they did for fun into their work? Me too…

 

Guanajuato Cemetery

My fun looks a lot like my work and my work looks a whole lot like my fun. They both look like a lot of travel with a camera up to my face, and time in the studio experimenting with materials and techniques. However, they often feel distinctly different to me, like the difference between a sketch book and a canvas. Or maybe between listening and talking. Continue reading »

Pick of the week, July 9

 

What can you see today that you couldn’t see yesterday?

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Move Your Hands

One the road

Kyle and I are on the road – heading to one of our favorite shows in one of our favorite neighborhoods, the Old Town Art Fair in Chicago. We are excited to have a full extra day in Chicago to see some galleries and spend some non-work time with our friends (and gracious hosts) Gregory and Clark.

So while my face is planted in the windshield of our van, I thought I would share a piece from our great friend Lynn Whipple. I have a print of it above my desk and I LOVE IT! If you endeavor to make anything, from cupcakes, to artwork, to the next great american novel, this is the guide for you. You should buy one here!

 

The Arc of Making Something – Lynn Whipple

 

The Arc of Making Something by Lynn Whipple

 

From Lynn-

Heres how it goes:

Step 1 MOVE YOUR HANDS!!

Step 2 Happy moving hands will let your instincts take over- follow them

Step 3 WHOOPS! Now, you might have a big ol’ mess- no worries- that is perfectly normal, perfectly healthy

Step 4 Take a break, relax, chill, your brain will continue to solve the problem

Step 5 Return to your work with enthusiasm and feeling refreshed! Keep going

Step 5.5 Positive Feedback

Step 6 Go for the big finish, edit, be clear about your bigger idea and what you want to communicate

Step 7 REPEAT!!

Step 8 This is super important. Keep the cycle going and going…….

MR. DEADLINE!! He is kind of bossy, but he’s a poophead that keeps you in line and causes a FINISH, which is very important! Now you can relax and start again….and again…..and again!!

 

What do you want to get your hands moving on? join the conversation