Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Refugio Espiritual

What I love most about this photo is the way this Hispanic pentacostal church awkwardly yet comfortably occupies the New-England-Protestant architectural trappings of the building—albeit in the form of aluminum siding, pre-fab windows and department-store lamp. It reminds me again that nothing arises out of thin air, sui generis—that everything is, to one degree or another, a mash-up of things that came before, often with an added, original twist that makes it appear brand new. 

© Joseph Gerhard. All rights reserved.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Farmhouse and Paps Revisited

This farmhouse is in Knocknagree, County Cork in Ireland. The mountains in the background, The Paps, are in County Kerry. I first photographed this early on Easter Sunday morning, April 6, 2007. What was most remarkable about that photo session was the fact that, even though I'd been traveling to Ireland for over 20 years at that point and had seen the sun rise countless times, this was the first sunrise I'd ever witnessed after getting up instead of before going to bed. The photo was posted on motelrodeo on April 20, 2007.

I returned to the same spot and photographed it again two years later. This is a newly-processed scan of that second photo. Everything except the sky looks much the same.

© Joseph Gerhard. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Molly & Me

A photo of my grandmother, Molly Markey, and me, on her birthday. August 1955. 55 years ago. Providence, Rhode Island. I am now several years older than she was in this photo.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Morning Commute

Houston, March 2010

© Joseph Gerhard. All rights reserved.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

On Inspiration ("I could do that.")

Is there anything more gratifying than the words "You inspired me to ________ (fill in the blank)?" Lose weight, take up the accordion, go back to school, learn French, travel to India, run a marathon, start painting again. Whatever. 

The odd thing about it is that those words, which on the surface sound like the supreme complement (or flattery, depending on the speaker), really mean nothing more than the "inspired" person suddenly had the realization "Hey, I could do that.'"

I mean, we've all had the experience of coming up against something that we find very attractive, a skill we find immensely desirable, only to be overwhelmed by the feeling "I could never, ever do that." That feeling is the exact opposite of inspiration and almost never results in action of any kind. 

To be an effective—and inspirational—teacher, it is critical to make something seem so simple and effortless, so intuitive and easily grasped, that it immediately leads to the thought "I could do that."

Cleaners Revisited

From motelrodeo March 25, 2007:

A less-iconic, more-complex framing from last month: