At bedtime Olympia went to talk to Oliver about what Ned had told her.
You know what Dad said, she whispered?
What, said Oliver?
He said that there is no magic, because it’s all just advanced technology. Do you think that’s possible?
Anything’s possible, said Oliver, but how would you know the difference?
I wish I could ask the Magic Typer, said Olympia.
What would you ask it, said Oliver?
If it was magic or technology, said Olympia.
How would you know if it gave you the right answer, said Oliver?
from The Magic Typer (author me).
I am always wondering where the line is between art (magic) and science. What makes a photograph art, as opposed to just chemistry? Sometimes I am pretty sure photography is not art at all, and is merely a technical achievement that imitates art. Then again there are times when some photograph I see moves me in an artistic way. Is this magic or just advanced technology pushing my buttons? There is no definitive answer, of course. Most photography is not art, that is certain. And most art is crap too, for that matter. So how do we judge it all? I gave up long ago, back in architecture school when I came to the realization that even the so called experts can never agree on what is good or bad. So I just allow my senses to inform me about what I like and don’t like.
What got me going on this subject was taking photos today with my Fuji Instax camera. I think it was Cartier Bresson who said anyone could make a masterpiece with a Rolleiflex camera. He may have been right. Photos I get from the instant camera often have more art in them than the best I can take with my super pixel DSLR. Maybe because it’s all down to the subject and composition, as opposed to colour rendition, focus and sharpness of details. In any case, I enjoy the results, even if they are less than spectacular technically. That is what I enjoy about watercolour painting too, because it is imprecise and fuzzy – at least in my hands!
Here are three takes on a big old oak tree in the meadow nearby.
A tree at sunset, and two pieces from a local pub done today:
A month ago it was snowing madly here. Today it hit 20C (70f) degrees. Perfect weather for sketching. I have found a new watercolour paintbox, and have been putting it to good use. For years these paintboxes were impossible to find here. I once had a similar one made by Winsor Newton, with 12 half pans, but it was lost long ago. The key advantage is the ability to assemble your own palette of paint blocks. My art shop now has these boxes for a reasonable cost, so I bought a 12 half pan box. It has a good range of colours, but I tossed out white and added Van Dyck brown. My collapsible brush fits nicely in the centre slot between the paint blocks. The colours are intense and you don’t need much to get lovely bright tones. Here is the box, made in Korea by Mungyo: click for full size pics.
A few sample sketches from my walks of yesterday and today:
You may have heard of the USB typewriter, but what about the OBE? The OBE is in this case an honour bestowed by Elizabeth Regina, aka HM the Queen. It wasn’t bestowed on a typewriter, but on its owner. I discovered this today, due to a label that was affixed to the typewriter in question. How it ended up in Victoria, I’ll never know, but there it was. It’s a 1965 Olivetti Lettera 32, made in Ivrea, Italy. It has an unusually tiny typeface, too, about 12.5 characters/inch, like the Hermes elite. In any case, the label and address gave me all the information I required for a search, and it turned up the address, and some interesting things about the owner. I won’t divulge the name, as I think this would be inappropriate, but I will reveal the view from his one time residence, and the extract from the Belfast Gazette where it was noted he received honours from the Queen. The typewriter has French characters, as well as the German double S, and a QWERTZ keyboard. It is in perfect condition, and came with a thick typing pad. All it needed was a good wipe, as the ribbon is still in fine shape.
The owner once looked out at this scene. Liverpool is over there somewhere…..
TIME FOR ANOTHER QUIZ!
What do these have in common?
space for guessing here before I give the answer.
grommets – 4 each, to be exact!
grommet from Nintendo cube CD player
This is where they go after you have removed them from the Nintendo Cube:
This fortuitous discovery came in handy with one of my Italian made L22’s that had lost its grommets due to disintegration. I had these 4 nice soft rubber grommets left over from a project I was doing with my son – combining a Nintendo Cube with a modern Nintendo. I save things like this whenever I find them, because sooner or later they tend to come in handy. I thus saved these 4 dumbbell shaped hollow rubber grommets from the CD player suspension of the Nintendo. By squeezing, I was easily able to shove them into the 4 empty holes in the metal case of the L22, where they seated perfectly. They were made for the job, for all intents and purposes!
Seeing as how there were no takers for the previous puzzle, I present the solution to the anagrams. This is not the first time nobody knows what I’m talking about…my apologies!
(I also make a typo, here corrected)
KIM JUNG UN: junk mi gun, i’m gnuk’n ju
DONALD TRUMP: damp old runt, mad plot nurd, dump rot land