Monday, July 5, 2010

The Hughes/Donahue Gallery Show

Yes, I know. It's been a while since I last posted a new blog. Some of you, and you know who you are, and no it's not Richard this time that I'm talking about without naming names, have been expressing a great deal of impatience about waiting and waiting . . . and waiting . . . sigh . . . for me to post something new for you to read. Could that someone be a young lady who's fiance is very busy studying for the upcoming bar exam so she doesn't have her best friend to play with??? Anyway, I'm taking your impatience as a compliment of the highest order. If you don't mean it as a compliment, please don't tell me. I fear my self-esteem may suffer too much.

Now on to the Hughes/Donahue Gallery show that featured photos taken by Bev and me and also included works taken by nineteen other area photographers. Simple and sweet - it was a smashing success. No, no, no. Nothing was broken. The show was a smashing success as in the British sense of the word smashing - spectacular, wonderful, rewarding, fun, and very encouraging.

The two scheduled days of the show, Saturday, June 26th & Sunday, June 27th, were so busy, the gallery owners decided to extend the show an additional day and the gallery ended up also being open to visitors on Saturday, July 3rd. Neither the gallery owners nor Bev and I got so puffed up over the popularity of the show that we thought people might show up on the Fourth of July, so we opted on the safe side and didn't extend the show to the big summer holiday when everybody is at parades, cookouts, or the lake or beach.

Now for those of you have been following my blog, you already know that Bev and I take great pride in our ability to be very good amateur detectives. We have after all, found Martha Stewart's summer homes in East Hampton, New York and Seal Harbor, Maine - and photographed the entrances to her homes to prove we were actually there. So it shouldn't surprise you to learn that Bev did a little subtle sleuthing at the gallery show.

The gallery owners, two wonderful guys named Darryl and Jack who we've come to really like and very much enjoy their company, have a guest book for gallery visitors to sign in when they attend the different shows. The gallery has been open since 2007 and they have had six different shows each year since. That's a lot of shows and there's been only one guest book since the beginning. So ever so casually glancing through the book through all the past shows, Bev was able to determine that the first weekend of our photography show had the highest attendance of all the shows since the gallery opened.

Now we are not quite so cocky as to think that everyone who came to the show came to see OUR photographs. Certainly people came to the see the work of the other nineteen photographers as well. Some may even have come for the refreshments that were served - wine, soda, spring water on ice, fresh fruit, dip, crackers & cheese, and my hubby's famous Spritz cookies decorated in a Fourth of July red, white & blue theme. Some, since it was a very warm weekend, may even have come to get out of the heat and enjoy the air-conditioning in the gallery.

But based on the many comments and compliments we got, I would say that lots of people came to enjoy the photographs. Putting yourself out there for the public to view your artistic work is a very scary thing. If you haven't ever done it yourself, believe you me, IT IS SCARY. It's like putting a very integral, intimate, core part of yourself out there for not only family and friends to see . . . but also total strangers. I don't know if one ever gets over that fear that people aren't going to like your work. And when they do, and they tell you how beautiful your photographs are, and how much they love and enjoy them, you breathe a big sigh of relief before you let the pleasure and joy of their pleasure and joy sink into your heart and soul.

Over the course of the show, we met so many nice people, interesting people, funny people, genuine characters, historians of local lore, other photographers and artists, even a few somewhat famous people, that the hours the gallery was open literally flew by. One lovely little old lady who has the most beautiful decoupaged cane came the first Saturday and brought several friends with her, and she was so entranced with the show she came back again the second Saturday and brought two new friends with her so they could see the show too.

She has given me a mission. She fell in love with my "Hildene Tree" canvas print and even as she was leaving the gallery and walking out to her car, she was telling me again how "I LOVE that tree photograph!" I was hoping she would buy it, but she didn't. She's on a search for THE photograph that she's had in her mind's eye for several years now and if THE photograph was hanging in the show, she would have bought it.

So she explained to me in detail this photograph that she wants - it needs to be a large print that she can hang over the headboard of her bed. She wants a photograph of a walking path or an old cart path. Not too bright in the light department. Maybe taken early in the morning or just around sunset. The path can be in a forest winding through the woods, or it can be on the edge of the woods located next to an old overgrown field, or it can even be out in the open like at the beach. But she wants the path to start off in the front on the photograph and wind through the photo and then go off and disappear somewhere unknown in the distance. I know what some of your are thinking . . . you're doing a little Freudian therapy thing in your head. I was thinking the same thing too as she was telling me all about this. But Ms. Beautiful Cane Lady is a very bright, intelligent, and alive and alert woman - trust me, she knew what she was really asking for.

I just need to be in the right place at the right time. I've seen that photograph so many times both on our photographic road trips and even back in the days when I worked as a conservation agent and was out in the middle of nowhere on many a piece of undeveloped land checking out wetland lines. Anyone who lives in New England and does any walking in the woods or out around fields and farmland knows that photo. Those beautiful old overgrown walking trails and cart paths are everywhere.

So Ms. Beautiful Cane Lady, it's only a matter of time before I find that photo for you. She told me all I had to do when I had it ready for her was to call Darryl at the gallery and "he'll know how to reach me". So I have a mission. I love to help find things and ways to make lovely people like her happy. To be quite honest, and if you know her please don't tell her I said this, I would gladly give her the photograph for free. It would be so much fun to be able to make her wish come true.

I had hoped to have photos of Darryl and Jack (Mr. Hughes & Mr. Donahue of the gallery name) to post with this blog. I did take some photos the first weekend of the show, but we were so busy greeting visitors and chatting that I never did get to take all the photos that I wanted. So I'm sorry to say the photo I wanted of Darryl, Jack, Bev & me all together in the gallery never happened.

The second Saturday of the show, I did take a beautiful photo of Darryl sitting on a bench outside of the gallery. An American flag is discretely blowing in the breeze in the background (another good Fourth of July motif) and I was very happy with the photo. A little background here. I take Bob's smaller Olympus camera with its 18X optical zoom lens with me when I take photos for the blog. It's much smaller than my Canon Rebel and I don't have to be concerned with carrying and changing lenses and it's much lighter to carry around. So as usual, I took Bob's Olympus with me to the show and left my camera at home. Do you see another important photography lesson coming up here? (If you don't know what I'm talking about, see one of my previous blogs about stupid photography-related mistakes I've made in the past and hope not to ever repeat - EVER!)

It just so happened that I had asked Bob to download the photos I took on the first weekend of the show to his computer so I could write my blog downstairs on his much faster computer that doesn't get snippy and snarky and freeze up all the time like my computer upstairs does. Now Bob just turned 65 years old (Happy Birthday deary, no one would ever guess you were 65 and the proud new owner of your very own Medicare card), and I've noticed that he has gotten just a trifle bit absent-minded (note to husband: when you get home from grocery-shopping and bring the milk in from the car, you're suppose to put in the 'frig, not leave out on the table on the sun porch). And when Bob downloaded my photos from the first weekend of the show, he forgot to take the memory card out of the reader and put it back in the camera. So what did I do? I went to the show on the second weekend, was snapping away taking photos including the really nice one of Darryl sitting on the bench, and all the while, there was no card in the camera to record anything. Always make sure your camera battery is charged before you head out (old lesson from previous blog) and the memory card is in the slot in your camera (new lesson from this blog). And no, you don't need to worry that a surprise quiz might be coming up!

Some of you camera savvy people are probably already thinking, some of the newer digital cameras have a small memory in them even without the card inserted. So couldn't they have connected the camera to the computer with the cable that comes with the camera just for that purpose, and then downloaded at least some of the photos that might have been saved? Oh, we did indeed, think of that. We are creative thinkers here in the Christine household. The only thing is . . . Bob can't remember where he put THAT cable and he's looked up and down and in and out, and it's nowhere to be found. So unless Bob has a miracle brain reconnection within the next day or two about where he put the cable, or I accidentally find it while I'm rummaging around, the wonderful photo of Darryl will be lost to ether land forever.

Now on the first weekend of the show, when I actually had the memory card in Bob's camera, I did take some photos of the inside of the gallery. You'll see a beautiful flower arrangement on the gallery table that Bonnie the Artiste made for the opening day of the show. She was the hostess for opening day and greeted visitors and introduced them to Bev and me and the other photographers. She's a very talented painter who has shown her work in previous shows at the gallery, and in a past life, she was also a floral designer. And I love her because my very favorite photograph amongst all the ones I've taken, "The fibers that knit us to the cold", she also loves. That makes two of us, Bonnie. I don't know what's wrong with the rest of the world!

As you will probably find not all that surprising, I have yet to figure out how to title photographs that are included with our blog. Bev and I are planning on getting together this coming Friday to work on some more photos we took in Bar Harbor, and she's my technical guru when it comes to this stuff. She is just absolutely amazing. She won't like me singing her praises like this, but she is fearless when it comes to website design and management and trying new things with blogs. So if we can figure out how to title our photo blogs, it won't be "we" who figures it out, it will be Bev. Not that I'm trying to put any pressure on you little sister . . .

The blog photos will hopefully be self-explanatory. There are four walls in the gallery because it is basically one large room. There is a photo of the Judith photos hanging on one end wall and in that photo, you'll see my name on a placard at the top of "my" wall, the other end wall had Beverly photos and in that photo there's a placard with her name on the top of "her" wall, there's one long wall that had the overflow of both Judith and Beverly photos that didn't fit on our own personal walls (this is starting to sound a bit snooty isn't it!) along with lots of other photos taken by the other nineteen photographers and I don't think I got to take a photo of that wall, and the fourth wall with the window and the table in front of the window had mostly black & white photos and macro-photographs. The photo of the fourth wall has Bonnie's beautiful flower arrangement and Bob's cookies in it. There are no closeups of any of the photographs, but all of the photos we displayed at the gallery are on our company web page.

So I hope you enjoy your little visit to our gallery show. I really do wish I had had the time and a brain in my head to have gotten more photos for you. That way you could have enjoyed a more realistic visit to the gallery. I should have gotten a photo of Bonnie the Artiste, Darryl and Jack, maybe even Beverly and Judith (after all, we did dress up a bit for the public . . . and I'd to think we clean up rather nicely). I will try to do better for my next blog.

And speaking of my next blog, since I need to keep the best friend/fiance of the guy studying for the bar exam happy until after the exam, which isn't until the very end of July, I'm going to have to write another blog in between this one and the one I'll be writing while the whole family is vacationing up at Sebago Lake in Maine later in August. I'm sure that will be too long a period of time for some of our "fans" to go without hearing from us. I may be able to talk Bev into going on a local photo road trip between now and Sebago.

So enjoy your visit to our gallery show. No light refreshments are served with the blog-version of the show, I'm sorry. But you can see the refreshments in one of the photos, so perhaps you can imagine yourself partaking as if you were there in person. As Albert Einstein said, and I so believe, "Imagination is more important than knowledge."

P.S. For a bonus photograph, I've included one of Jack and Darryl's eight cats sleeping outside in the shade under a chaise lounge. What a life cats have! Don't we wish we could all live like cats. Such a tough life . . . should I nap in the shade under the chaise lounge or should I nap in the shade over under the tree? Me oh my, such decisions to make.

P.P.S. And in case you didn't already realize it, you can click your cursor on each individual blog photo to see an enlarged version.