Monday, February 1, 2016


P.J. is doing his monthly photo blogging challenge and I haven't done one of those in awhile.  Thought I'd take a crack at it again this year.  I also got lucky in that I took a bunch of shots yesterday while I was at the art museum in Los Angeles.  This month's theme was inside.  My take might be a little bit different, but we'll see what I can do with it with my five shots for this month, inside.

1.  Selfie
I took this shot on the first day of the year.  My intention was I was going to do another 365 project.  In 2011, I did a 365 project, then continued through and did two straight years, taking at least one photo every day for 730 straight days.  After awhile, I got burned out on it, so I decided not to continue.  Fast forward a couple of years, I thought I might be able to attempt this again this year.  Well, that lasted all of eleven days before I ended up not posting a photo.  I could have continued to post photos, but they would have been shots from last year and I wanted the shots to be current shots.  I have a lot of good intentions, but this one was not one of them.  I've found my niche for photographs and I can't get out to take landscape photos as often as I would like, so the camera is on the back burner for a little bit until I get some time to get out and about.  I'm ok with that.  

But I posted this shot, mainly because I like the way it looks.  My mother-in-law often said that she never saw a bad photo of me.  I know people are more critical of photos of themselves and it's mainly because people mostly see reflections of themselves and so don't like actual photos because it doesn't look like them.  I get that, but recently, I've noticed that I don't like photos taken of me.  My "mug shot" photo that will appear in our school yearbook this year, I think is hideous.  But for some reason, I really like this shot.  I think I did a good job of capturing the essence of what I think I am.

2.  Bi-Plane
Inside you say?  Well, I was outside when I took the shot and the airplane is outside as well, but this is a vintage plane and I really think it would be cool to get inside the cockpit and take that baby for a spin.  I would bet that it would be loud and dirty and windy, but it would be fun to get up in a small plane again and fly over landmarks I've only seen from the ground.

3.  Still life
On the 31st, my son and I went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).  He had a project to complete for his art history class and I just wanted to go, because I love going to LACMA.  It poured down rain all day, which was good because it kept the crowds down and really allowed us to contemplate the artwork in the museum.  This first piece is a still life by Jan Davidsz. de Heem.  I ran across this piece while walking by myself while my son was looking at a different painting, the one that he would eventually write about for his art history class.

If I hadn't known already that this was a painting, I'd almost swear that this was a photograph.  The attention to the little details and the absence of large brushstrokes makes this painting really come to life for me.  I looked very closely and there were so many details that amazed me that the painter would include, including the little worm crawling up the stem of the orange limb.  The way the lemon had been cut with some of the underlying peel still there and the drops of juice falling off the edge of the oyster shells are just some of the other things that caught my attention.  Overall, this was my favorite piece of art that I saw yesterday.  I'm sure when I visit again, I'll find something else to ooh and ahh over, but right now, this is it for me.

4.  Ivory
I'll not get into a discussion over the rights or wrongs of ivory carvings.  These are centuries old pieces of work, so the times were different back then.  But this piece of artwork is really amazing when you think about it.  This is a piece of carved ivory by the Japanese artist Masatoshi.  After the carving, the ivory was stained to give it additional color.  But I really don't think that's the amazing part.  The amazing part of this one is this piece is no larger around than a John F. Kennedy half dollar.  Think about that for a moment.  Look at the intricacies of the sculpture and then think about how painstaking this must have been to carve.  What would it have been like to have been inside the artist's head as he carved this small piece of ivory.

5.  Woman contemplating Pollack
Last, but certainly not least is this shot below, also inside LACMA, of a woman contemplating a Jackson Pollack piece of art.  Now, I could go on and on about how some people "get" this type of art, but others don't and at the same time theres get other types of art and so on.  Needless to say, I'm glad we don't all get the same stuff.  Most of the modern art work in this particular room, I really didn't get.  Actually, what was going through my mind at the time was, "I could do something like that."

And for the most part, I think I would be right because I think once big time artists become well know, their name precedes them and it's great, because it's a Pollack or a Warhol.  Art is very subjective and is interpreted differently by different people.  For example, for whatever reason, I really like Pablo Picasso's work.  I have a very good friend of mine, who much prefers the work of de Heem that I posted above over anything that Picasso ever produced.  And that's ok, because if everyone liked the same thing, the world, in my humble opinion would be a very boring place.  We'd all like the same thing, so everything that would be produced would be exactly the same.

I believe that artwork is supposed to stretch the mind and the imagination and to get people to see things in a different way.  There was a sculpture in this room that was nothing more than welded old car parts.  Yeah, I could have put something together like that and it might have been the same type of piece as was produced, but that's not the point.  Just because you could do something like that doesn't mean you had emotions attached to your brushstrokes.  

Who knows what was going on inside Pollack's mind when he applied the different shades of gray on this canvas?  Nobody really knows for sure except him and he's been dead for almost 60 years, killed in a single car crash while driving under the influence of alcohol at the age of 44 years old.

Whatever it was, he rocketed to fame during the late 1940s when LIFE magazine did a four page spread on him and his drip method of painting.  Curiously, after that exposure, he stopped using that particular method of painting.

Well, there you have it.  This is what went on inside my mind as I looked through the shots that I included for this month's theme, Inside.  Please check out the other bloggers who are participating in P.J.'s photo blogging challenge.  As I get ready to publish this and link up, it looks like I'm going to be the 13th participant, not counting P.J., which means there should be a lot of tremendous photography to look at here.  I hope you enjoyed my selections.


  1. You might find it curious that I like a lot of Jackson Pollack's stuff, considering that I don't like a lot of Picasso's paintings; his charcoal sketches and pencil drawings are, generally, something else entirely: I tend to really like them. I suspect that the abstractness of much of Pollack is what appeals to me; one can make what one wants of it. Picasso skews reality, and I often don't agree with how he skews it; Pollack *has* no reality other than the paint, so I can apply whatever reality I wish to it. I have a jigsaw puzzle of one of his large canvases; I was given it as a Christmas present when I was about 12 or 13. It is buried in our game cabinet, which is a still a disaster a year after we moved, so I can't be sure, but I suspect that it is of "Convergence".

    You might also find it strange that I enjoy Joan Miró and Salvador Dali, both of whom tend to skew reality. Many of Marc Chagall's stained glass pieces are interesting, although one or two at a time is about all I can handle. I guess it's just the way they skew reality, as opposed to how Picasso skews it, that appeals to me. And FWIW, I kind of liked that Woman contemplating Pollack. She looks like a porcelain doll. The "meeting (or clash) of cultures" displayed in that is really very cool. I haven't been to LACMA in ages, but I'll have to keep an eye open for that when next I brave the wilds of Wilshire Boulevard.

    1. And as I pointed out, if we all liked the same thing, the world would be a rather dull place in my humble opinion. Thanks for sharing your insights.

  2. Hey, Paul! Welcome back. I, too, would like to take a spin in a biplane. They look fun. I'd prefer it to remain upright as opposed to barrel rolls and the like. Thanks for sharing this month!

    1. Yeah Mike. No barrel rolls for me either. Last time I was in a small plane like that, I think I was 10 years old.

  3. All your photos of inside are really cool. There is something about the expressionon of the ivory figerine and I like your angle on this shot and the shadows have worked well.

    I also like the last shot of the women studying the art work, the colours blend well in the art piece itself and the woman's clothes. Nice work.

  4. Glad to see you jump back into the challenge, Paul! In regard to selfies -- I'm on the boat that I am not into my photo being taken, though I'm getting a bit better with it. The reality is taking photos and being in photos is a way to make sure future generations have family photos etc. The biplane would be cool for sure. And I like the art shots. I haven't been to a museum in a while and could probably use hitting one up at some point!

    1. Glad to be back P.J. The chill challenge got me interested again.

  5. That statue "woman contemplating Pollack" is surprising and wonderful.
    These are all great shots. I hope you'll come share your photography at the weekly photo linkup at image-in-ing. This week's party is here: