Archive | September, 2011

Sean’s California Adventure

27 Sep

Red Tinsel Garland

Spirit of the Season

Sean is in Loma Linda now, getting treatment for his brain tumor. Don Sipos and I have been trying to raise money for his travel and living expenses, but it’s a struggle and Sean’s living on a credit card. This weekend we have an Art and Photography auction. I have no idea how it’s going to be. I have a 24″X36″ canvas and a 10″X12″ print I’m donating. I would have donated more, but was told to pick two and limit it to that. My selling price for those two prints would be $2000. I hope they sell for more.

Sean Connor Art and Photography Benefit Auction

23 Sep

Tulip Magnolia

Tulip Magnolia

I have been blogging and posting all over the web, and I saw no results. It felt like a big waste of time and I was starting to become discouraged. Then Facebook made the story a top news item. People started thinking I was an important player in making this event. I have to correct this impression. I am not important here. All I’m doing is writing, encouraging and brainstorming. And, with my poor excuse for a brain, I ought to admit that my brainstorming is pretty lame.

Don Sipos, a longtime photographer and longtime friend of Sean’s is doing so much. Not bad for a stroke survivor, not bad at all! This guy’s the hero. He called me a few minute ago with news. He was excited because:

Pizza Hut on Harvey donated a car full of bottles. They filled Don’s car. He can return them for a refund to help Sean.

McDonalds is donating refreshments (coffee) including cream and sugar for up to 350 attendees at the Sean Connor Benefit Art and Photography Auction at Kerry Park in Kelowna, October 1, 2001 from 11:30am to 3:30pm.

Ordeal or Adventure

17 Sep

Ordeal or Adventure.

Ordeal or Adventure

17 Sep

Deserted farmhouse

Deserted farmhouse

I like to think that the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is simply attitude. If I were a refugee who had no option but to leave home, and travel for thousands of miles to safety and comfort, it might well be an ordeal. The distance might be the same, but a Hawaiian jungle hike is an adventure,

I know a photographer who has recently had an operation to try to remove a cancer from his brain. It was diagnosed after he noticed that he was seeing double. Medical investigation showed that a tumor was pressing on the optic nerve, causing him to see double. Suddenly, it seemed, it was all over.

Sean Connor, photojournalist, never gave up. Sent hundreds of miles to Vancouver, for emergency surgery, he took his camera and made photographs to be proud of. Although his existence changed from a wage-earning visual artist to a recovering patient, he just kept going.

Sean keeps going. He recently got involved in the Facebook adventure. You can follow his medical journey on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/168919153179321/

The group is called: Sean to Vancouver Adventure. I see an attitude in play here. This is a guy who takes the cards he is dealt and plays with them. He might feel like giving up, but he doesn’t.

Part of his story is documented at:

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fissuu.com%2Fkelownacapitalnews%2Fdocs%2F09_september_2011&h=ZAQDjSck0AQARlf18tQ2PfXw-iAeXT-H-5FovbBTd4VxQ4Q

The story is not over. Sean can’t work, so has no income. His cancer is not gone; he needs at least one further operation, available only in New York and California. He has no money for transportation to Loma Linda, California or for living expenses for him and his wife.

Don Sipos, a long-time friend of Sean’s has stepped up, to try and raise the necessary funds. Don doesn’t know how to not do this. He is a stroke survivor and suffers from a devastating arthritis of the back (Ankylosing spondylitis), but he continues, working hard to help his friend, Sean.

Don has approached quite a few potential corporate sponsors, and he reports some success. He got the idea that an auction of photographs and other artwork could help. So he organized that too. I realized that I knew nothing about fundraising, but I can write and I can make photographs. So, in support, of Sean and Don, I have written this and I am planning to donate at least one giclee on canvas fine art print, which I made to hang over the fireplace in my living room.

If I can find more that I like well enough, I’ll donate them as well. How can you help? Maybe you can tell everyone you know and ask them to do the same. Maybe you can send him money by PayPal. Don has set up his Paypal to deposit money into a bank account for Sean. It is:

dongsipos@hotmail.com

Please forward to everyone you know and ask them to do the same…

Promote your art – an eMail for Carol

9 Sep

Snow on a creek-bed.

I just got an email from Carol, an artist, and another not long before that from another artist, a man. They are making really nice art and struggling. Carol was asking me about online galleries, selling websites, where she has had limited success. He is wondering if he is an artist. (He sure is, pretty good too.) My answer:

I am developing my own website, but that is just the beginning. We have to do everything possible to find customers and friends who will assist us in finding them. Promote, promote, promote. And don’t give up. The most common mistake a person can make is to give up.

Jay Conrad Levinson has written a great book: “Guerrilla Social Media Marketing” which I think you ought to get. If the library doesn’t have one, your local bookstore should be able to sell you one. This book is the key to the city. It tells you what you can do and how you should do it.

I just finished sending another email, in which I said that I couldn’t send my copy because I was helping other people. The beauty in Mr. Levinson’s methods is that you spend little if any cash. Nice. Very nice.

Back to the good site question: eBay. I think that might be the one. Then, you should really know what you are doing before you get into that. You can lose money and waste time if you don’t get it right.

Word blocked, empty head.

8 Sep

Tugboat and 2 bridges...

When is my page blank? Before I find it. Before I start to think. Before I start to feel.

When I can’t seem to get started with writing, the words and subject I want just eluding me, I can start writing anything, and keep on going. Writing about nothing helps me find the words and the thoughts I want.

When I want to make a photograph, and I cannot see what I want to show you, I change lenses and look for something entirely different from what it was I wanted to photograph.

I have to think about my dreams and nightmares to reach in behind them and find a beautiful surprise to share with you.

Naked before God

7 Sep


Ke'e beach, Kauai, HI

Ke'e beach, Kauai, HI

When we look inside ourselves, as artists, we cannot see with our eyes or hear with our ears. It is dark and it is silent. Inside the dark and silence there are peaceful shadows and gentle echoes. We have to look and listen with greater sensitivity. Look, listen; there is something there, something beautiful. It is the source of our art. We do not see it clearly; we do not understand it; we do not own it. It belongs to god.

     What we can learn, if we pay sufficient attention, is about beauty. Inside us all, I believe, is the beautiful child that we were. It is the person we were when we were small and wonderful. The person that adults always wanted to pick up and hold on their laps. They smiled when we spoke, when we said beautiful, unexpected things.

     They loved the beauty that is so transparent in a young child and we basked in the glow of their love. We are still the same people, with a few more experiences, a series of shells, with a few more protective layers, a bit more time. That beauty, inside us, is ourselves, the artists that we are, the source of art.  And this is what will be left of us when we die. We need to find this thing inside ourselves and be this beautiful thing, every day, every moment.