Do you listen to music when writing?

MusicTypewriterI was doing a bit of writing, and got to thinking what other people do when they write, do you listen to music while you are writing?

If you happen to follow me in Facebook and see a Spotify posting that I am listening to music without song, often classical piano or jazz music- I am probably writing…

The stories of songs bring too many images in my head, I’m dyslexic and see my thoughts as pictures…  To listen to music with words being sung, telling a story I end up seeing too many of those images too, cluttering my own ideas I am attempting to share…

Closing my eyes, I allow the sound and rhythm of the music to tune out the non silence- motor vehicles that drive by the house, the snoring of my two dogs, the sound of the printer, hum of the fan in the computer and the sound of my breath even my heart…  For me this is full focus, the idea as images start growing, the many images of a single idea start to form, like watching the many pieces of an item spinning and flipping into place on a computer generated animation, 3D objects each finding their place in a kind of motion picture that to write, I need to find the words to paint to describe it…

There is no technical writing, I am just not that kind of writing, as I can only find ways to describe the images, story telling to me is the only way…  There are no words spoken that only I hear, unless it is thinking to someone’s writing I read and I know their voice, then I hear their voice as I read…  But this is my own writings, and the only voice I hear is the single word, as I locate the letters on the keyboard for that word, then the next word with my fingers trying to keep up…  Slowly the words like strokes of a paint brush describes the part of the image or moving image I see in my head…  As if to speak as I think, without thinking too much to what I am saying, just describing it as best I can with words like paint…

To watch me type, one would see me intently staring at the keys, my fingers trying to locate the correct keys in what has turned into my way to writing that works for me and I have been practicing for so many years since finding out I was dyslexic and that I also needed to figure out how to write better…

If I am creating visually, I already have the image in my head, and I allow my experience to figure out the how to convey that image…  This I find easy, and enjoy listening to many kinds of music while drawing, painting doing photography or graphic design…  But to write, I need to focus and that means music without song…

Do you listen to music as you write?  If so, what kind?

Inspired by Photographer Yousuf Karsh

I spent a bit of time this evening looking through one of my books of portraits by Yousuf Karsh- “Karsh Portraits”, that I’ve kept in my studio now for about ten years now… A book that once was my grandfather’s, and my Mom felt I should have with the copy of the portrait of Grandpa that I have now hanging on the wall over the Giclee Printer… After Grandpa had passed she told me that he had wanted me to have them…

I sat here in the new studio, legs up on the milk can I use as a drawing stool, reclining some in my computer chair, the hardcover book in my lap… Opening carefully the now worn hard cove, as to not loose any of the article clippings that are within, as well as the letter to Grandpa from Karsh he had taped inside… I read the letter again, and then all of the articles, remembering grandpa sharing this with me so many times over the years…

My Grandfather- Vernon deTar, Past Professor Juilliard School (organ and church music) from 1947 to 1982 http://www.countrygraphics.us/VernonLdeTar.html

The look on Karsh’s face when Grandpa let him push the some of the keys to the great organ in the Church of the Ascension in NYC… The deep note you could feel deep within your chest that shakes every muscle and bone from within and the look of wonder and childish joy on Karsh’s face made me laugh I recall… He watched as Grandpa played a few pieces, then after took some photos of him near the the keyboards and he looked up and said, That’s the one…

We spent some time after, sipping some coffee as he admired the church, Grandpa telling him of the artwork and great stained glass illustrations that the church has within…

Then Grandpa told him I wanted to be an Artist, and had an interest in photography… Karsh looked at me with a smile, then very stern, as if his dark eyes where looking into me deeply… He asked if I had a camera and was shooting photos, and I pulled out my kodak 620 film camera that once was my father’s in the early 50’s… He smiled as I told him of spending hours feeding chipmunks and chickadees to get them to eat out of my hand, so I could get a close up photo with the camera of them…

Karsh Portrait of Robert Frost

Karsh laughed, telling me that was a good idea, then said with a serious look; “To be a photographer, you need to understand light and shadow, and be able to capture your subject eyes in a photo, tell a story with it, capture their soul- practice and keep practicing”… He asked if I had been to the Met and recommended I should go, which Grandpa said we where planning on going the next morning, Karsh approved…

Karsh Portrait of Picasso

He then looked at me and said; “You need to study the great artists and how their works where created, study as much Art as you can, look to the great Renaissance Master’s, learn through their works and keep practicing”… He then reached out and ruffled my hair and winked at me, then started talking with my Grandfather again…

Karsh Portrait of Georgia O'keeffe

I was suddenly started watching one of the men that was with Karsh, take his large camera apart putting it in boxes… I remember how fascinated I was with such a huge camera that would need a tripod to take photos with, and not just hold in your hand and that you would need two men to help take just one photo- so simple the thoughts of a 14 year old… A few months later I got my first 35mm camera from Grandpa, as he later told me that Karsh had recommended he get a camera a bit more up to date and easier to process to keep me interested in photography… Grandpa often referred to Karsh over the years, when ever I was visiting…

Karsh Portrait of Einstein

It wasn’t until my senior year of high school I started to grasp who this photographer truly was, that enticed my Grandfather to buy my my first 35mm camera… I started to laugh a bit to myself, as I at the time only looked to Grandpa deTar as “Grandpa”, and this fellow was just a photographer, not then having much of a clue just how much that that day would influence me in the future…

I sit here in the studio now, just looking at the photos, the faces, the eyes and wrinkles upon the faces, the eyes again, then the fullness of the locations and how he was able to capture not only the light, control the light but to also show the person from within- these great people of history…

Each time I do this, I notice more and more and understand what Karsh’s advice meant- I want to learn more, see more and practice more… A memory Yousuf Karsh, and what an inspiration he was in my life…

For more information about Yousuf Karsh

 Visit his website at: http://www.karsh.org/

If I could be a Storyteller…

A good story can draw the attention of anyone, if told in an interesting way… Just to state facts seems very dry, with no enjoyment, and also no way of sharing your life, your experiences and the chapters of your life to share with others to earn trust… But not just tell your story, but be your story…

If I could be able a tell a story, I would hope I might be able to some day be able to write them as some of my favorite story tellers would tell… Not so much as a literary correctness, but to be able to paint images within a mind through words types and read aloud…

Of all the storytellers and writings I have enjoyed listening to, I think to Garrison Keillor in his way with words and small town descriptions of simple but deeply thoughtful descriptions is so visual in his use of words… He who said once; “You start with what you know, but writing is a matter of discovery… It is an act of Discovery”… How I enjoy his morning highlights of The Writer’s Almanac on the radio in the mornings or later from the podcast and his show “A Prairie Home Companion”…

Garrison Keillor: Movie: The Man on the Radio with the Red Shoeshttp://bit.ly/dfsQjC

A Prairie Home Companion: http://bit.ly/cbWsma

The Writer’s Almanac: http://bit.ly/9kZqG0

Of those storytellers that cast the most descriptive stories printed into whimsical and creative words, my mind thinks to many, but I keep coming back to Robert Fulghum (http://robertfulghum.com)… Often as I was in my teens while at our family cottage at by the lake in Northern New York, I would sit upon the back porch or in the evenings near the fire reading his books… How the way he could write such simple stories giving examples of his life and all simple things we all should learn young, and then describe it almost as if you could close your eyes and live the simple times… Often casting the memories I learned of my own memories of youth giving me a smile…

His Books: “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten”, “What on Earth Have I Done?: Stories, Observations, and Affirmations”, “Uh-Oh“ and “Maybe (Maybe Not) (Maybe Not : Second Thought”…

“We alone are answerable for what we think and so when nobody else is around or involved. Categories of “Fact” and “Fiction” are irrelevant in here. Are dreams true? Is what you imagine accurate?”

“Inside these tight boundaries of flesh and bone is a borderless jungle in which clearings exist. In these open spaces, there may be an amusement park, a zoo, a circus, a library, a museum, a theater, or a landscape stranger then Mars.”

Now if I could inspire to be able to paint within words such descriptions as these two authors do, I would feel I have just begun, as there are more things to write about and share…

What is your story?

Voice of an Angel

Last night, my sister Wendy asked me what music and/or musicians Mom enjoyed listening to, her wanting to post some of the music within her Facebook page to share with her friends and people she knows… Wendy had been playing some that she knew of off the computer, as I talked with Rick our stepfather… The sounds of classical, opera, jazz and songs from famous musicals filled the room as the evening wore on… So I told her a few that came to mind, though I am often hard pressed to remember the names of songs or who sung them, often just enjoying the music or the story behind the words sung… There are just too many groups and musicians to recall, picturing the album artwork in my head relating to the musical sound, but not recalling the singer/s or group’s name…


Our Hunting Fathers (“Messalina”) sung by Phyllis Bryn-Julson

One of my Mom’s dearest friends from college and also my Godmother Phyllis Bryn-Julson (singing in the video above), whom is a very respected opera singer… Mom would play her albums, singing with her in harmony words I didn’t seem to understand then…

When I was very young one of my first and fondest memories of my Mom playing music, the old stereo just shaking the pictures upon the walls and make the windows shake… I recall is of Wendy as a baby, when she was crying once… My Mom singing to the Sound of Music to Wendy, when she was just in diapers before she could talk, the tears stopping and a look of wonder in her face… We lived in Rochester then, a large house that the acoustics would echo up the stairway to the next floor…

Some of the albums would be classical music that would include, organ or piano, then others with song, Hymns, opera, songs from classical musicals… Two of the albums included my Mom singing on them, my grandfather accompanying her with playing the piano in the background…. She had even originally gone to Syracuse University to be a voice major in music, but had later changed to get a teacher’s degree…

The memory is a song she would sing with is from an Opera, Lakmé… This opera includes a famous and popular part of the concert- the Flower Duet, a duet sung by two women… I recall my Mom matching note for note in perfect harmony her voice to theirs… I was still very young but the image and memory has ever been one I always cherished… For me her voice became what I would believe would be what the musical voices of angels should sound like…

Artists, would you like an invite into the Google+ Project?

I’ve had the chance to be trying out Google+ Project now for 18 days, with receiving an invite from my friend Jason Sadler of www.iWearYourShirt.com…  Which I might add, was very nice of his to offer it to me…  I had been very interested in all the buzz of the previous couple weeks from friends that had gotten in while I was in VA on family matters and I was very interested in this new Social Media Service I was hearing about…

Google+ Project is in BETA form now, only Personal Accounts, and are gearing up to add later Business Pages…  The test market using it now has some of the top internet innovators, designers, IT, artists, photographers, writers, web designers, writers and news people are among the 18-20 millions subscribers of the new Google+ Project many of you have been hearing about…  Basically some of the highest and most frequent up to date Social Media users seem to be on there, and they have invited their friends…  Looks like a great service to add with the other online services Google offers…

I myself have managed to see, chat and get to know many Artists, Photographers and Writers from all over the country and world here through using the Personal Pages that Google is offering in this BETA social Media Service…  Amazing at the raw, exciting talent and inspirations that I have met already and looking forward to meeting and seeing more!!!

Google+ made an announcement yesterday, that they are rolling out a new service and will be allowing 150 more friends of current users already enjoying the Google+ Project to be invited…

My question to you, would you like to receive an invite to get to start using Google+? 

All you need is a Gmail account, and remember to use your Real Name in your Profile & there is no major selling at the moment, Business pages are coming out soon…

So Feel free to drop me your name, your Art Website URL and I’ll send YOU an invite with the 1st 150 requests: charles@ArtistPrints.Biz

I’ll try to send the Google+ Invites out this evening and in the morning…

You can locate me on Google+ here if you have any questions…

http://gplus.to/CharlesTaggart

Should HP Create a Quality Art Printing Partnership?

Recently HP, ProofTag and the Wilhelm Imaging Research all partnered together to create the ARTrust (www.ARTtrustonline.com) offering a new print identification and authentication solution for photographers & artists using HP Pigment Ink Printers…  This unique print identification is a non-removable, numbered Bubbletag™ for each artwork, which is registered on a website and accessible for visual control by the public or anyone the artist designates.

The service also offers:

  • Unique identity of each print for instant visual verification via the Internet
  • Most secure solution in the world for print identification and authenticity
  • No limit in substrate or paper type for photographers and artists, which offers greater creative possibilities.
  • Longevity rating for the papers and media tested by Wilhelm Imaging Research (above 200 years, above 60 years, or unknown if the media has not been tested by WIR)

You can visit the HP page describing this new partnership here: http://h10088.www1.hp.com/cda/gap/display/main/index.jsp?zn=gap&cp=20000-20058-20295-20457^298704_4041_100__&jumpid=re_r10931|en-us|apr10|ga|ipg|features|arttrust|ppage

This new service is at a cost of about $25 for each piece of artwork or photo, with a minimum of 10 Tags you will need to order…  Odd they don’t have a phone number to call to get information about this service, or an affiliate program for Art printers to offer this service… I’m looking into this now, waiting for a response from ARTtrustonline.com

Now this is a great idea, for the Higher End Fine Artists, curators and collectors, I will be looking into offering this myself for my own artwork and also as a service for other artists and photographers…  But this got me to thinking….

You would think HP would have some sort of Partner Program that a Business could post on their website, Official HP Media Provider, with the print longevity if I use only HP Paper, Ink and Canvas products…  Maybe even offer courses on Mounting and Laminating large images for art, as they already share these in Video’s in their YouTube area…

Yesterday I calling HP to try to find out if they offered a “HP Partner” or Certify an Art Print Shop that uses HP Printer/s & HP material, or some sort of certification of print longevity ratings, which is very useful for heritage institutions, museums, and auction houses similar to what ARTtrustonline.com offers…  Think I spoke with 4 different people at HP during the course of an hour, being transferred here and there- Everyone I spoke to weren’t sure if HP offered such a service or partnership…  I can be certified to sell; repair and I believe all sorts of HP customer service training and certifications, but not showing Quality of HP Printing…

Today I received a call back from someone in the HP Graphic Design and Sales Department ( @ 1-888-772-9897), explaining this idea and asking if they had such a Program, Partnership or Certificate for Fine Art Printing Services such as the one I will soon be offering…  He too was not sure if they offered such a program, but saw what a great idea and marketing it could be for a Fine Art Print Shop and a benefit to HP…  He told me he would look into it and if there wasn’t any, he would recommend there should be…

With HP having  YouTube video’s such as “Ideas for presenting large format” 

where they have a Design Technician showing “Finished Artwork from their Design Jet printers…  It would be so easy to set up an online certification for such imaging finishing too… It could be HP helping some of their Business Clients that provide a great visual Art Printing services…

Now I have found a site that show off their HP Partnership logo and showing it on a webpage that is only highlighting Large Format Printing Service… Further down below the HP Partner  logo they highlight half their large format printers being Epson Printers…  I view this as kind of False Advertising, as HP for what I understand doesn’t offer one for Printing Quality- this being misleading to the consumer…

What do you think, Should HP support a Registered Partnership for Quality Art Printing Partners, that share with you the quality of the inks and say, Mounting & Design for the Arts?

Would you feel safer ordering your fine Art Replications from someone who was backed or Partnering with HP or do you just shop for the best price?

A Saint Bernard Christmas…

The Christmas tree all decorated with bulbs and ornaments, brightened up with bright colored lights and tinsel with care…  The cat seeing the sparkles of light, climbed up the tree, to bat at the lights upon the tree…

The Saint Bernard sprang to his feet, wondered of what the cat was up, shaking his jowls and head from sleepy dreams… He thumped on over there with excitement and glee, shoving his big old head deep into the Christmas tree… The cat seeing his head, let out a hiss, jumped with a hop over his head as he stretched in to see…

He tried to turn quickly, to the left then the right, his collar catching some of those Christmas tree lights…  Off he ran after the cat so quick, toppling that Christmas tree, with a bash and bang so quick…

Dragging the tree through the house with big paw steps, running after that cat while sending bulbs and ornaments smashing and crashing…  In chasing the cat, Christmas tree in tow, leaving a trail of tinsel, pine needles, lights and broken Christmas bulbs…  Through the house that dog chased the cat with care, leaving a trail of Christmas tree decorations to show he was there…

Through the kitchen, around the chair, then through the dining room, under the table…  The Christmas tree lights still plugged in, catching a leg, a chair, then coming to a halt as the end of the cord caught with a flare… Then one more burst of effort, as he gave it his might, now dragging the furniture through the house, finally he stopped…

The house a mess with Christmas tree decorations, furniture toppled, and ornaments a smashed, an out of breath Saint Bernard salivating, he flopped down exhausted…  The cat now finding a place to hide, waiting with happiness at the trouble she has inspired…  Several hours of clean up, sweeping and vacuuming, broken Christmas tree bulbs, ornaments and lights, all of them busted…

So when it is Christmas, still having Saint Bernard’s, a living room has no tree, hoping they don’t notice the Christmas Stockings…

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