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Community ideas


The four seasons #ramble #photography

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. My arthritis flares up and then subsides when I take an anti-inflammatory. I got stuck in traffic on Wednesday trying to get to the food bank to make a donation and it happened again on Wednesday. On neither occasion was my engine warm in the car so the heater was cold. That triggered the arthritis. It is only Autumn now, what will I be like when winter comes? Out of the four seasons I don’t really have a favourite. I like the spring, I try to take snow pictures in winter, I like the autumn colours and of course the warmth of summer is good for my arthritis and other problems.  Whatever the weather we just have to get on with it…

four seasons


Creating art with a camera #photography

The 64 Million artists weekly challenge this week was about 10 things around us or about us that were good. You can look and see all sorts of interesting things and I decided to photograph what I saw and create a collage. I share my creation with the 64 Million artists group on Facebook. So yes, I am creating something to share with other people. That is what art is about, sharing your creations. Using a camera is much quicker than traditional artist methods, of course. It can even be very quick if I turn on the Wi-Fi and send pictures to my phone where they can be instantly uploaded to social media. Creating art with a camera is something anyone can do quickly and easily.

creating art with your camera


My own exhibition #art #64millionArtists

The challenge  from 64 Million Artists this week is My Own Exhibition. I set the challenge this week! The challenge is to create your own exhibition using sculpture, photographs, drawings, paintings and poems that you have created. I’m going to create my exhibition right here on my blog. If you would like to join in the weekly challenges you can at Do, think, share. I need a good picture for the centre-piece of my exhibition:

My own exhibition


Is art an antidote to conflict? #life

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my thoughts with you. What’s on my mind this week? As always photography, but I’ll be lucky to shoot any pictures today, it’s a bit wet out  there! I have ordered more printing and my next two art cards will be of the Fountain in Tipton and the Red Lion in Darlaston. Maybe they will start selling them in the libraries for me again. If I can only recover my printing costs I’ll keep on doing them. Maybe I’ll do some for West Bromwich next?



Rethinking the way we live #art

I took a few photographs in the library yesterday afternoon where there was an afternoon tea event with Billy Spakemon of Black Country radio fame. Obviously, it was older people who bought tickets and they enjoyed tea and cake and some live music and all for a pound. I’m sure they enjoyed conversation too. It is an afternoon out and something to dress up for. Such events help to combat loneliness and is good for people’s mental health. Do we need to start rethinking the way we live so we can enjoy simple pleasures like afternoon tea more?

rethinking the way we live


A lifetime of collecting treasures #art

I don’t own a Picasso or a Rembrandt but I have spent my life collecting things and sometimes wonder if anyone will keep my collectibles after I’m gone. I won’t live forever and I wouldn’t want to.  I’ve collected coins, postcards, pictures, books and other odd things. I’ve been collecting treasures for over sixty years so I have a few interesting things.

collecting treasures


There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about – Oscar Wilde

“It is silly of you, for there is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.” is a quote from A Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. The quote refers to the upper classes who need an admiring audience. However, we mere mortals are also talked about if we get involved in the community in some way. The question is, do people say good things about us or bad things? Last year, quite a few bad things were said about me, things have improved since then. I care less what people think now anyway, so it doesn’t much matter what they say!

Oscar Wilde


When art meets history #photography #art #history

Besides being the admin of the History of Wednesbury page on Facebook I also do community photography and photograph local events. Besides promoting our history, I record it as it happens. It is, of course, a pictorial history of old photographs and I take photographs to add to the timeline. Art meets history in the production of new images.

art meets history


Creating an art card #photography

There is a lot to be considered when you are creating an art card. You don’t want to lose money on them but you probably won’t make much money either unless you have a selection to sell. My art cards have been sold in the local library and I’m waiting to hear if they intend to continue selling them. I need to have 1,000 of each card printed to get a bulk price low enough to make it worthwhile.

creating an art card


Practising your art #photography #art

I’ve been thinking a lot about how artists actually practice their art just lately. In particular, how the photographers in the Blast Festival of photography practice their art. Most of the photographers are more articulate than me and communicate verbally with the people they take photos of which helps to create a more relaxed image. I find photographing people quite awkward and I prefer candid photos of people or photographing something quite different. I’m really into photographing interesting buildings now and creating my art cards.


Practising your art


Photography, walks and talks #blastphotofest2019

It’s a sunny day in Sandwell and the Sandwell Pride of Place Project exhibition opens tomorrow in the former Poundland shop in the Kings Square shopping centre in West Bromwich. The opening event will be at 6 pm and the new mayor of Sandwell will be announcing the winners of the photography competition.


Art in the six towns #Sandwell #photography

It’s rain stop play today. I can’t go out and take photos and so I’ll do some writing and in a few minutes empty my washing machine! I’ve been promoting the Blast festival which is our arts festival of photography, walks and talks taking place around the six towns of Sandwell. I’m also doing my own little art projects. I’ve started another album of photographs that I’ll give to a retirement home for them to pass around and chat about.

six towns


Artistic ideas #Wednesbury #ramble

It’s Sunday morning and so once again I’ll share my innermost thoughts with you. The bad news this week is that I might need surgery on my hip. I hate being in hospital but I shall try to look on the bright side. At least this time I’ll have a decent phone so I can stay in touch and run my Facebook pages! Isn’t technology great? Anyway, with the Blast photography festival coming I have a few artistic ideas that I am trying to work on.

artistic ideas


Fulfilment and recognition #life

I think everyone likes to feel they gain something from life. A feeling that they have done a good job or created something of value. That can be difficult in many jobs and when people retire they can feel lost because all the emotional rewards they gained from working are lost. Some people feel they are in competition with others and feel fulfilment from the knowledge that they earn more than their peers. That isn’t the true fulfilment that comes from others recognising your achievements. Fulfilment and recognition go together.

fulfilment and recognition


Artist challenges #64MillionArtists

It is the last day of the January challenges from 64 million artists and I have quite enjoyed it and it gives me something to write about on those days when I wake up feeling quite brain-dead and uninspired. These artist challenges have done me some good and I have been thinking more creatively. I was wandering around the house photographing things yesterday. It made my arm hurt because my new camera is quite heavy with the long lens on. I realised that my elbow had swollen when I finally got into bed last night. It’s much better this morning, though.

artist challenges (more…)

The art of photography #photography

The early adopters of photography were, in fact, artists. They were fascinated by this new method of producing pictures. In the early days, photography required great skill and even today skill is still required to get really sharp pictures. Because photography is open to everyone it is often thought of as unskilled. The art of photography has therefore been seen as something anyone can do. However, good composition and dedication are still in the realm of the true artist.

art of photography


Creating art #64millionartists #Januarychallenge

I have been doing the 64 Million artists January challenges with a new challenge every day. Yesterday, I created art from fruit. I used photography, of course! These challenges are about being creative and to some extent to being brave and not care too much about what people think of your creations. Creating art with fruit wasn’t too difficult. I came up this:

creating art


Words and pictures #social media

You can get quite a powerful message across to your audience with an image that is not just a picture but contains one or two words as well. Today’s picture contains just one word and gets across a Victorian image for no particular purpose. I designed the image as an exercise just to see what I could do with a photograph. People make assumptions when they view photographs and although we see thousands of images in a year on television, in magazines, newspapers and online they all have some effect on us. Words and pictures combined have an even greater effect.

words and pictures


Celebrate your creativity #challenge

The 64 million artists weekly challenge for this week is to celebrate. “We challenge you to find your moments of celebration through-out the week – the big, the small and the in-between”.  If you’re creative, then you do celebrate your creations all the time. You might just read that poem and smile or look at and consider your latest artwork and take a moment of pleasure from knowing you did well! You can celebrate your creativity with moment after moment of satisfaction.

celebrate your creativity


Images from the past #ramble #Wednesbury

Yes, it’s Sunday morning and so I’ll share my thoughts with you once again. I’m late, I used to write this as my Sunday lunch was cooking and then it got earlier and earlier and now I’m back to writing at near lunchtime. I have been remembering a little of my earlier life the past few days doing the History of Wednesbury. I also met a friend from my school days who bought 50 sets of art cards to sell at the rugby club. Yes, I’m still trying to make my little art project a success. I’m trying to work out which images from the past people most identify with.

images from the past


Social media publicity #ramble #photography

It is Sunday morning and so, as usual, I’ll share my thoughts with you, such as they are. This week I had my hedge trimmed ready for the winter and next week I might run the lawnmower over the lawn. Autumn is here and the weather is changing quite quickly. On the 28th of October, the clocks will go back an hour so the nights will get dark earlier. I’m not looking forward to winter, last winter was a cruel one. I hope this winter will be milder. A historic local pub, Ye Olde Leathern Bottel reopened this week and I hope the new licensee does well. I designed a web banner to publicise it and posted it up on Facebook on our history page. I hope that helped. The effect of social media publicity isn’t always immediate.

leathern bottel social media banner


Developing your style #photography

Most people have heard of David Bailey who shot to fame as a photographer after he took fashion photos of Jean Shrimpton in New York for Vogue. He refused to conform to the accepted norm for fashion photography. Photographers with their own style will always be more successful. Martin Parr, not known for fashion photography produced something different too and has recently been doing a commission for Gucci. If you Google fine art photography you will see almost every image is in the same style. Flick through a fashion magazine and you’ll see the same boring old story, image after image, with the originality photo-shopped out of them. Developing your style can be done with any camera, you don’t need an expensive DSLR. David Bailey shunned the expensive cameras and used his own 35mm for the New York shoot.

developing your style


Life is like a photography competition #life

Blogging is supposed to be about sharing your life with your readers. I made my blog more like a magazine writing about different subjects with an emphasis on photography. I’m also into social media like most bloggers because it helps us publicise our blogs and now I’m slowly getting involved in an arts festival. The festival will be all about photography and so suits me. This morning I entered another photography competition and I have plans to produce a postcard with an image of one of the more iconic places in the town where I live in.


Discovering art #photography #art

We all have our own ideas of what it is that we like to see. I know people who would never even consider going to an art gallery because they don’t have art that they can identify with. A lot of art in art galleries is elitist. We don’t really want to see portraits of the lords and ladies who think they are our betters. Poor people do actually buy art for their homes but not elitist art. They buy pictures of scenes and they buy pictures of their animals. They also like images from the past. I’m discovering art by finding out what the proletariat like.



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