Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2009/05/20

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Subject: [Leica] rummage and a bit more on emulation
From: imagist3 at (George Lottermoser)
Date: Wed, 20 May 2009 10:23:28 -0500

Last saturday I stopped at a church rummage sale
bought 3 designer summer shirts for $8.00

and paperback edition of
"Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking
for $.50;
which turned out to be the best value per cost
I've achieved in quite some time.
This sweet little book,
122 well written pages,
written by two photographers
David Bayles and Ted Orland
discusses in the most succinct language
the world,
interior and exterior,
of artmaking
(no matter the medium).

Excerpt: referring to first experience of a Weston print,
"It was unlike anything else I had seen. It was so much more ?something?
than other photographs, particularly my photographs. It was different  
in kind.
In that instant an unbidden distinction formed in my gut ? there were  
two kinds of photographs in the world: the one before me on the wall  
and all the rest.
        That photograph was mine to experience. But neither it, nor anything 
like it,
was mine to make. Yet it took a decade to dispel the gnawing feeling  
that my work
should do what that work had done. And more years still before I  
thought to question
where the power of such art resided: In the maker? In the artwork? In  
the viewer?
        If, indeed, for any given time only a certain sort of work resonates 
with life, then
that is the work you need to be doing in that moment. If you try to  
do some other work,
you will miss your moment. Indeed, our own work is so inextricably  
tied to time and place
that we cannot recapture even our own aesthetic ground of past times."

And near the end of the book,
"We tell the stories we have to tell, stories of the things that draw  
us in ? and why should any of us
have more than a handful of those? The only work really worth doing ?  
the only work you can do convincingly ?
is the work that focuses on the things you care about. To not focus  
on those issues is to deny the constants in your life.
        ?Simply put, artists learn how to proceed, or they don't. The  
individual recipe any artist finds for proceeding belongs to that  
artist alone ? it's non-transferable and of little use to others.

George Lottermoser
george at

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