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An Artist’s Notebook of Sorts

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22 October 2013

gratuitous image

No. 1,603 (cartoon)

You make my teeth crawl.

I love you too.

23 October 2013

Delusions of Adequacy

Julia just can’t understand why I don’t seek a large audience for my allegedly creative work. No matter how many times I’ve explained that there’s no point in having an audience greater than forty-two, she can’t seem to fathom why I’d choose to be almost anonymous.

I have a lot to be anonymous about; Julia can’t seem to appreciate that. I’m not complaining though; I’m glad that she’s one of my friends who sustains my delusions of adequacy.

24 October 2013

Spoiled Little Barbarian

Henri and I didn’t stay long when we visited Sandra. Eric, her six-year-old son, had the social skills of a Tasmanian devil on methamphetamine. He shrieked when he wasn’t the center of attention, and screamed when he was. The little barbarian was intolerable, so we left after a few unpleasant pleasantries.

“What a spoiled little wretched brat!” I exclaimed as soon as we were in the car and out of earshot.

“I don’t know,” Henri replied, “I think they all smell like that.”

25 October 2013

¡Ay, Pobrecito!

I wasn’t surprised that Lisa moved to Mexico two or three years ago; it’s almost impossible to find good Mexican food in Boston.

Mexico is not as far away as it used to be; we can and do converse freely over the Internet. Sometimes we enjoy video chats, sometimes we just talk, and tonight we exchanged text messages. After I rambled on with a brief litany of recent disappointments, affronts, and minor tribulations, she gave me a most succinct reply.

¡Ay, pobrecito!

I had to look up the translation, and I wasn’t happy when I did.

¡Ay, caramba!

26 October 2013

Making Visual Progress

Mark’s passing through town to visit his daughter. Katie went to a party tonight to which elderly people were not invited, so Mark and I enjoyed a nice dinner.

Mark told me that he’s making progress as a photographer. He only took one photograph of Katie on his previous trip here, but he’s already made four this visit.

I disagreed. I told him that I prefer memories of the people I love, not photographs. I like to remember someone’s presence, augmented by a montage of visual impressions, rather than a two-dimensional record of how someone appeared in a particular fraction of a second.

We ended up agreeing—perhaps the wine helped—that we’re each making visual progress going down different paths.

27 October 2013

Lewis Allen Reed

Lou—no one called him Lewis Allen—Reed died today. Fatal complications with his liver. Of course. I’ll always remember him as a minimalist, the good kind.

“One chord is fine. Two chords are pushing it. Three chords and you’re into jazz.”

Fortunately for all us, he shared the secret of his success with an obnoxious “journalist” before he checked out.

“How do I stay creative? I masturbate every day. OK?”

OK, Lou!

28 October 2013

Kind Words About My Work

Tim Kreider generously gave me this three-paragraph gem:

Here, for public use, is my very own template for a response to people who offer to let me write something for them for nothing:

Thanks very much for your compliments on my [writing/illustration/whatever thing you do]. I’m flattered by your invitation to [do whatever it is they want you to do for nothing]. But [thing you do] is work, it takes time, it’s how I make my living, and in this economy I can’t afford to do it for free. I’m sorry to decline, but thanks again, sincerely, for your kind words about my work.

Feel free to amend as necessary. This I’m willing to give away.

He gave that to me, so now I’m giving it to you. Pass it on!

29 October 2013

No Gratuitous Photo of the Weak

Scientists know that an experiment is a success when it yields results, even if they’re not the desired or predicted outcome. And so, I can report that my “Gratuitous Photo of the Weak” experiment was a success: it didn’t work.

It’s over.

I concluded the failure, er, success of the trial this evening when I couldn’t find a single image taken within the last few months to publish here today. I thought of picking up my camera and photographing a leaf or a doorknob or some damned something for filler, and that’s when I realized that the experiment had concluded. Life’s too short for filler.

I have a Berraesque sense of déjà vu all over again. In 1999, I abandoned my snaportrait project when I concluded that the results were unsatisfactory.

It’s funny how my self-imposed quotas work, or don’t. I’ve been doing these daily notebook entries for going on eighteen years without a major hiccup. Five years ago I gave myself a quota to make one “serious” (teehee!) art piece a month. I stopped paying attention to that schedule, since I’ve effortlessly [sic] done more than that in recent years.

So why can’t I make a good photograph at least once a week? I could if I relied on safe composition and imagery formulae, but where the fun and satisfaction in that? And anyway, life’s too short for merely good.


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©2013 David Glenn Rinehart

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