Thursday, July 19, 2012

Seize The Limitation - Shaky Artist Finds Ways

I went from a Pentax film camera with a 200 mm telephoto lens to a tiny digital Canon Powershot with 3X optical zoom. I've been telling myself that I should make the limits of the camera into assets. Poets who write sonnets have a very strict structure - 14 lines of iambic pentameter (ten beats per line - du dah, du dah, du dah, du dah, du dah), and a strict rhyme scheme. . . well you can see more here. 

Despite those limitations, or maybe because of the limitations, poets have written great poems.  So I've been thinking about my camera as the limits of a sonnet structure.  A sonnet writer can't write a novel,  a short story, or even haiku.  But within those constraints poets have created a wide variety of sonnets.   So with my camera.  There is a lot I can't to, but I see my task as to push it, within those limits, as far as I can.  

My motto became, once I heard this quote, "The best camera is the one you have with you" and my Powershot fits in my pocket and goes with me all the time.

Screen shot from Phil Hanson: The art of the Imperfect
So watching this video tape was more than inspiring.

Here's this guy who wants to be an artist, except he has a tremor in his hand that's so bad he can't make a straight line.

He drops out of art school.  But several years later he feels compelled to go back to art and so he has to reinvent what being an artist means.

The Ted video is only 4 minutes long.  Trust me here.  Once you see the first 30 seconds, you'll watch the whole thing.  This is how humans got beyond hunting and gathering, by seizing the limitation. 
[UPDATE: July 19 - just saw that the video isn't there. I fixed that. Really, it's worth watching.]

Of course, you can look at the great work that Anchorage artist, Peter Dunlap-Shohl, still does with Parkinsons Disease. He's found ways to continue being an artist and blogs his art to help people understand Parkinsons Disease.  He also has a blog of his non PD cartoons.

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