Posts Tagged ‘art’
Posted by Michael Scott on July 16, 2015
For me, the number fifty-five always brings to mind memories of the “Double Nickel” speed limit. Back in 1974, congress enacted a National Speed Limit Law in the interest of conservation. It took 14 long years to repeal the law after it was determined that the fuel savings was less than 1%. Just think about traveling cross country at the rate of almost two hours per hundred miles conjures up images of extreme boredom and/or torture. In 1988, the pace of life accelerated to 75mph (or faster ;)) with a cel phone in hand. Wow, things have changed.
“Old and Strong”
In three days I will celebrate my “Double Nickel” Birthday with my Family. Everyone will be with me to hold my hand as I cross the threshold with the exception of my oldest Daughter who hiking across Spain at the pace of 20 Km. per day on the Camino De Santiago Trail. I am one lucky guy with a really great Family. This is the year that I’ll turn 55 and become a Grandfather, Wow things have changed.
My Gorgeous Wife
Last Sunday, the festivities began with a drive up to the mountains witness the beauty of summer in the Colorado high country. We ended up at Kite Lake, which sits at about 12,000 ft. and is flanked by three “fourteeners”. It was a return to the scene of the crime where a couple of friends and I “bagged” the peaks of Mts. Lincoln, Democrat and Bross roughly thirty years earlier. The wildflowers were beautiful, the lake was filled with crystal clear glacial snow melt and the bristlecone pines were just as I remembered. I however, quickly reacted to the altitude with a headache and dehydration and I couldn’t fathom climbing even one peak. Wow, things have changed.
Wildflowers at Kite Lake
Posted in art, colorado, Photography | Tagged: adventure, art, colorado, Denver, imagination, inspiration, law of attraction, mountains, photography, rocky mountains | 2 Comments »
Posted by Michael Scott on July 7, 2015
I think the thing I love most about Art is that by its very nature, it defies definition. Every human being is completely original and unique, therefore the product of human skill and imagination can be nothing less than extraordinary. Last Saturday night, I found myself testing some new camera equipment while photographing Independence Day fireworks from the back yard of my Son’s home. It really didn’t occur to me until I sat down to process the images how each hypnotic explosion is for an instant, a collaboration of epic proportions.
Each one of these images is the product of the mortar makers, pyrotechs, event planners, volunteers, firemen, policemen, musicians and attendees. Even Mother Nature has her hand in on the act, providing a canvas of wind and relative humidity as a giant canvas upon which art will reside, if even for a fleeting second or two. Each one of these images invokes a powerful emotional response within me and I have titled them according to how they make me feel. I’d love to hear from you as I’m curious to know if they affect others the same way.
Posted in art, Photography | Tagged: art, fireworks, fourth of july, independence day, photography, video | 2 Comments »
Posted by Michael Scott on June 22, 2015
“Finding Balance” (18″x24″) Oil on Canvas
Life is so fragile, so fleetingly temporary, yet I live it as though it would never end. If I woke up one morning knowing that it would be my last, all of the complexities of life would be boiled down, reduced to two simple choices. Would I choose to spend the time that I have left filled with Fear or with Love? Would I choose to spend my final moments on Earth remorseful about the mistakes that I’ve made and angry that I don’t have more time to make amends or would I choose to celebrate the fact that I am alive and present in this moment, thankful for the fullness of Life? It is so easy to predict that I would choose the latter, yet in truth the gravity of habit would likely make the choice for me.
Posted in art, Inspiration, painting | Tagged: art, inspiration, oil painting | 2 Comments »
Posted by Michael Scott on June 18, 2015
Corner of Second and Spruce, Dodge City, Kansas
As made apparent in my latest posts, the theme so far for the month of June has been “chasing clouds”. The last stop on our recent mini-adventure in Kansas was found at the intersection of an oncoming storm cluster and Dodge City Kansas. As it goes in cloud chasing, we simply went where the fair wind blew. The towering cloud formations were impressive all day and as we raced toward the setting sun they transformed into pillowy curtains of warm pastels. We arrived in Dodge City as darkness fell and we hunkered down in a hotel for a long night of rain and lightning.
After breakfast the following foggy and blustery morning, we set off into town, not to trace the footsteps of gunslingers on Boot Hill, but those of my own Kin. On June 2, 1931 my Grandfather (Hollis) was likely granted a day off from setting copy for the Dodge City Daily Globe where he operated the Tele-Type machine. On that day, he and my Grandmother (Dorothy) would proudly welcome their first child into this world and give him the name of Stanley Richard, a son who would grow up to become my own Father. Where did Hollis work? Where did they live and where did my Dad spend his first three or four years? I wanted to see for myself and the wind had laid the opportunity right at my feet. Time to pound the pavement.
Dodge City Daily Globe
Our first stop was the Dodge City Daily Globe building near the corner of Second and Spruce. A helpful staff confirmed that indeed the paper had used this same location since the late 1800’s and they even pointed out where the old Tele-Type had been located until the 1970’s. For archives of old editions, they directed me to the Dodge City Heritage Center which was located a few blocks away on the second floor of the old high school. In no time at all, two helpful researchers had us scouring the microfiche of the Daily Globe. We printed the entire June 2nd edition as well as Dad’s birth announcement which was published the following Saturday. Hollis’ home address of 310 W. Spruce was located in the town directory. Now we were getting somewhere.
310 W. Spruce is now a vacant lot located two doors away from the Globe Building and directly adjacent to the old library building that was built by the publisher of the newspaper, J.C. Denious. Denious had ambitions that would lead him into the state Senate and on to become the 29th Lt. Governor of Kansas but in 1931, he was simply my Grandfather’s employer. 310 W. Spruce was located only a couple of blocks behind the fabled Front Street of the old west and the railroad tracks just beyond. The picture was becoming quite clear now that this was the spot where my Dad would watch the trains go by while having his haircut, some of his earliest memories.
June 2, 1931 Edition set by my Grandfather’s hand
The June 2nd edition of the Dodge City Daily Globe was not only created by the hands of my very own Grandfather, it brings so many trivial facts of my Father’s Birthday to light. Temperatures were in the high 80’s and the skies were partly cloudy. A front page feature story informed readers that railroads of the future would have 100 mile per hour trains that would rival airplanes. Lucky Strike Cigarettes, Conoco Motor Oil and JC Penney’s bought up ad space and local gossip and trivia was plentiful.
Grandfather likely smiled from ear to ear while setting this copy
Thanks to Rhonda and Janice at the Heritage Center
You’ve heard the saying that “It’s time to get out of Dodge”. I suppose I owe my very existence to the fact that Hollis and Dorothy did just that and took their family west to Denver where my Dad’s stars would eventually align with my Mother’s. For me on that blustery morning last week it was mission accomplished. It was my time to get out of Dodge and follow the fair wind home.
Posted in art, Father's Day, kansas, Photography, Travel | Tagged: adventure, arkansas, art, colorado, Denver, dodge city, Father's Day, history, photography, storm chasing, travel | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Michael Scott on June 9, 2015
Last Friday was a normal day for all intents and purposes. I was working on updating a Ranch Video for a client in Southern Colorado. It felt good to be working with beautiful landscape images, especially the ones with the pretty summer clouds. This particular ranch sits on the gentle slopes of one of the most scenic mountain valleys you can imagine. The Cuchara River Valley is flanked by the massive Sangre De Cristo range to the West, and to the East, the two Spanish Peaks stand alone and literally tower over the Great Plains. As I worked on the final edits of the video I daydreamed about getting out and shooting landscapes. I had no idea that by the end of the following day my Wife and I would be far out on those great plains shooting landscapes and following clouds. I had no idea that we would soon become STORM CHASERS.
“Antelope and Cloud”
Kiowa Water Tower
Storm Chasers in these parts are a crazy and diverse type who intentionally want to get close to the action as the clouds of Spring roll off the front range and build in intensity as they float East over the Plains. Out for a Saturday drive, we chose to drive in the opposite direction as the dark clouds and rain that were engulfing the foothills, we chose to drive east. By the time we reached the small town of Elizabeth we became somewhat mesmerized by the beauty of the day. At one point, we stopped to shoot some pictures of a group of horses with Foals taking naps in the cool grass. One particular cloud was passing by that I couldn’t take my eyes off of, it was a very “pretty” cloud. We followed.
“The Trusty Gazetteer”
As we drove “a little farther East”, a couple of Vans passed us. They had some kind of electronic contraptions mounted on their roofs and one had a cyclone bumper sticker, they were Storm Chasers! Under the spell of the exact same beautiful and growing cloud, we found ourselves driving through Kiowa, Agate and we stopped in Limon to get fuel. At Limon, more storm chasers were driving east quickly and with clear intent. They were following our cloud. We zoomed further east through Genoa, Bovina, Arriba and Flagler then exited I-70 at Seibert and turned north. Wonder of Wonders, I always carry a Colorado Gazetteer and Atlas in the car but rarely use it. That map became our guide through the maze of roads that followed, taking us quickly closer to that amazing cloud as it began to quietly rotate.
“Northwest by North”
We weren’t alone out there, not at all. Chasers were zigging and zagging through those country roads, stopping to film and photograph the descending formation. Some of them were even driving way too fast on those dirt roads ;), probably had their wife in the car telling them to go FASTER! The process of watching that “pretty” cloud morph into a massive, powerful funnel was fascinating and exciting. For us, the end of the road came just across the Kansas State Line as we silently watched our cloud turn north and disintegrate into a simple summer rain storm, a climactic end to a very long day.
“Down the Line”
“Tall Hay East of Burlington”
Posted in art, colorado, Photography | Tagged: arkansas, art, burlington, chaser, colorado, i-70, limon, photography, plains, storm, tornado, weather | 5 Comments »
Posted by Michael Scott on May 19, 2015
Breathe-In Peace – A Digital Sketch
Our trip to Colorful Guatemala is now a fading memory but it did supply me with blogging material to keep me busy for a month or so. Two planned hip surgeries for my wife in the past 5 weeks have made for a bit of a bumpy landing back home in Denver but we are getting through it. I think the toughest thing about spending a lot of time in the hospital for me is that it’s hard watching someone you Love going through so much and memories of other traumas come flooding back to me. It also is takes me away from my creative space and slows my productivity to a snails pace. I find myself trying to feed my painting addiction with an iPad and an App. I find myself walking the grounds of the hospital looking for photographic opportunities with my i phone and I find myself rambling about my plight on my Macbook Pro……Thank God for technology!
“Early Train To Aurora” – Heading to the hospital one week ago
University of Colorado Hospital
The Anschutz Campus of the University of Colorado Hospital is an amazing facility that rivals the best in the world. People often joke about losing money in Vegas, that they helped build the place and must go visit their money occasionally. I make the same jokes about Anschutz but also feel lucky that my family has such excellent care. You can’t go wrong with a place that hangs a Bierstadt in the Lobby.
Art fills the gardens, lobbies, hallways and waiting rooms at UCH. Thousands of patients with all sorts of serious afflictions spend days and nights in this place and the art has a powerful healing quality for them and for those who are supporting them. Have you personally experienced the healing power of art? I’d like to hear about it.
“Let It Out” – my own healing digital doodling
Posted in art, health, Inspiration, Oil Painting | Tagged: anschutz, art, bierstadt, colorado, hospital, medical, oil painting, photography | 2 Comments »
Posted by Michael Scott on May 10, 2015
Working For A Living – Antigua
Artists are somewhat akin to the cowboy. At times, neither is easy to love or to hold and almost without exception they’d both rather give you a song (or a painting) than diamonds or gold. It would have been so much easier had they grown up to be doctors and lawyers and such, Right? I think My Mom knows that I walked the straight and narrow for as long as I could before I jumped on my horse and rode away from that steady paycheck and the status quo. This Mother’s Day, I honor her and thank her for accepting me the way that I am.
Guatemala – Art Is
An artist never takes a vacation from his(or her) work for traveling only fuels the fire that burns within. For me, my recent trip proves case and point. For a month now I’ve been doing more than just posting a travel log, I’ve been expressing the impressions of my travels made on me. I’ve come to understand that there really are no borders or language barriers in the world of art.
Street Music – Guatemala City
Mime – Zone One
En Plein Air
Traveling helps one realize that we humans are all pretty much the same yet we are at war with one another over the most trivial differences. Our scarcity mentality is choking out fields of Abundance like a noxious weed. Our appetite for material wealth is surpassing the appetite for the life giving elements of air, food and water. Our spirituality is being totally mistaken for culture and politics. We my friend are a bunch of freaking idiots. On this Mother’s Day I say, Mamas Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Artists!
San Juan Gallery
Artist Gloria Cholotio – San Juan (Lake Atitlan)
Artist Albino Perez Yojcom at San Juan (Lake Atitlan)
Posted in art, Oil Painting, Photography, Travel | Tagged: antigua, art, guatemala, inspiration, lake atitlan, mothers, oil painting, photography, travel | 1 Comment »
Posted by Michael Scott on May 4, 2015
The Most Beautiful Lake In The World
Ok, so my previous rant about the perfect blog post and the patience of the reader is about to be contradicted. My idea was to begin sharing contact sheets instead of large photos, yea right. It seems that I am so excited about sharing my recent trip that I just can’t help myself. If you don’t have the time or don’t care, give me a like and move on. Otherwise fasten your seatbelt and get ready for a little whirlwind tour of Lake Atitlan.
Textures of Lake Atitlan
Lake Atitlan is like no place that I’ve visited before. I’ll describe it as I saw it, exotic, noteworthy and unexpected! The Crater lake is huge, it covers over 50 square miles, is over 1000 ft. deep and sits at the base of three prominent volcanos. It’s shoreline is dotted with villages and outposts that are interconnected with a highly efficient network of water taxis. We stayed at on the outskirts of the city of Panajachel at the Atitalan Nature Reserve. At 5200 feet, the same elevation as Denver, I was surprised to find a Sub Tropic rainforest complete with Waterfalls, wild Hibiscus and Bamboo. As guests of the ecolodge we had access to the hiking trails and suspension bridges that climbed and meandered along the mountainous shoreline. The Reserve was home to a healthy population of Spider Monkeys and an impressive Butterfly Pavilion/ Research Center, it was awesome.
Rainforest Hiking at Reserva Atitlan
The Water Taxis were basically floating chicken busses, nothing fancy. Embarking and disembarking required a level of agility that would disqualify the handicapped and the elderly. I cringed as I watched a healthy young anglo Woman miss the step and fall hard to the floor of the boat. She smiled off the embarrassment but it was obvious that she would be nursing her pains for a while. At 6’3” and on the heavy and out of shape side, I was at a complete disadvantage as I crawled my way through the crowded boat. Most of the locals avoided eye contact with me but I know they must have been scared to death that I would fall on them. I laugh now when I think about it.
Last Boat From San Juan
Lake Atitlan Outpost
Not The Have Nots
A Home With A View
The shoreline between villages appeared to be inaccessible by land in many places, yet elaborate private residences with there own boat docks are everywhere. The growing global disparity between the very poor and the very rich is on display on this lake that many would say is the most beautiful in the world.
San Marcos Intersection
Cafe Courtyard In San Marcos La Laguna
The first Village we chose to visit was San Marcos La Laguna, a holistic mecca for enlightenment of the mind and body. A narrow pathway led us from the dock into a maze of retreats and facilities that catered to the interests of Yoga, Reiki and Massage among other things. It was on that narrow pathway that I finally gathered my nerve to take a close up photo of two local kids who sold us chocolates. Sure enough I was verbally flogged in English by a self righteous expat of some sort, “How would you feel if we came to your country and took pictures of your children” he lashed out. My luck to have a confrontation with the one guy in town who wasn’t quite succeeding in the arts that he likely came here to practice. I tried to shake it all off, but ended up waking up the next morning with him on my mind and felt compelled to sketch my impression of him.
Looking For Enlightenment
The following day, we visited San Juan La Laguna and its picturesque artist colony. I loved the way it felt there and if I go back I’d like to spend a night or two there. We spent the afternoon looking at and buying local Mayan influenced oil paintings and fabrics. I’ll show off the paintings we bought in my next post. Anyway, we had a such a relaxing afternoon that we failed to take note of the time and we nearly missed the last boat of the day back to Panajachel.
Roofs of San Juan La Laguna
Posted in art, Photography, Travel | Tagged: antigua, art, guatemala, hiking, holisitc, lake atitlan, nature, photography, rainforest, travel, waterfall | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Michael Scott on April 30, 2015
“Headless Manikin Man”
Okay, so I’m having a bit of a blogging identity crisis. For several years now, I’ve held fast to the notion that a reader friendly post should include a couple of images and about three paragraphs of good copy. I do enjoy post of all sorts and I read and follow a ton of them, but I have to admit my attention span and my patience does have its limits. Am I saying that I prefer single image posts with a short caption? Not at all, in fact I often wonder if some people have simply not heard of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Am I saying that I devour well written novelettes disguised as blog posts, or that I seek out Photo Essays that require page scrolls until my fingers cramp to fully appreciate, definitely not. In my view, the ideal blog post falls somewhere in the middle ground. Look at my last few posts and you will see that I’ve strayed. My recent trip to Guatemala has turned me into a Monster, a Mr. Sit Down On The Couch And Look at My Photo Albums Guy. I’m so ashamed and I’ve gotta get back on track.
Architecture of Antigua
People of Antigua
Back in the old days, we used contact sheets to show off our slides and negatives. You would throw them down on a light table and let others pick and choose what they wanted to see in more detail, perhaps through a magnified viewer. If one or two of the images were exceptional, you would invest the time and money necessary to further process them to a more presentable format. Sounds pretty ideal doesn’t it? It wasn’t, for if it were I wouldn’t have boxes of contact sheets and prints collecting dust in the basement. Digital did change everything and mostly for the better. We now have the ability to invite the WORLD to sit at our light table but it’s still important to hand them the contact sheets and not the sixteen by twenties.
“Drying Her Tears”
Do you periodically get confused about your blogging identity? What do you think about bringing back the Contact Sheet?
This Father’s Daughter
Before I go, I want to tell you about Photographer Rudy Giron in Antigua. First of all, he is an incredible Photographer with some of the best images of Guatemala that I’ve seen. Second of all, he has a popular Photo Walk Business where guides tourists/photographers through the streets of Antigua, giving history and cultural lessons and photo tips all at the same time. Thanks Rudy for re-kindling my desire to shoot people (with a camera of course). If you want to see a great example of an Artist who is thriving in his own originality, look him up.
Photographer Rudy Giron
Posted in art, blogging, Photography, Travel | Tagged: antigua, architecture, art, guatemala, mayan, photography | 4 Comments »