Mark O’Brien visited me all the way from Ann Arbor! After the usual pleasantries, food … liquor, we headed out to the studio for some camera talk and more libations. He had come not only to visit but also to interview me for possible inclusion in a future Film Photography Project podcast. [Update: Here’s a link to the entire FPP podcast episode.]
As we sat down, and before the interview began, Mark said “Let’s talk about the beaded stuff! I gotta know… where do you find the TIME?” *more on that later*
We had the BEST time, yakking it up about cameras and film! I rarely get a chance to talk so enthusiastically with someone about analog photographica because all of my friends are so lame. (Just kidding, friends!) Anyway, it was a great time. We discussed a few of our favorite cameras then talked about my intention to bring about world peace through junk cameras. I’m going to pepper the world with plastic cameras and see what develops. In my last blog post, I mentioned I’d be bringing – and leaving- some cameras while on my trip to the UK and Iceland. (Still seeking cool, funky camera destination suggestions, by the way.) I’ve already been invited to Italy next year and, dang, I’m going! What the world needs now is film sweet film.
*back to the time question* (A different subject begins now.)
I’ve always wondered. Just how much time should a person spend on their art? (I use the term “art” loosely.) A painter isn’t asked, “Where do you find the time?” Or maybe they are. How would I know? Granted, a painter when finished painting, has a masterpiece. When I’m finished I simply have a crappy camera with beads attached to it. Here’s what was on the work bench when Mark was here:
I’m almost finished with it but I still have some touchy-uppy things to do. Threads need to be burned off, some touch-up paint. I will then coat it with a sealant. I might leave this one in Italy. Always seeking that pesky world peace.
Whether it’s Gala Edition beaded cameras, wetplate work, hand tinted prints (Click on any image below) … I am always asked the question about time.
I have some really pretty decent artist friends. In the past I have displayed my work alongside renowned metalsmith Judith Altruda and wood artist Jeffro Uitto::
I became the joke. Seriously. Folks would peruse the art. They’d pour compliments on my friends. (For good reason!) When they’d get to me and my work there was , most often, a pause. Then they’d bring up the time thing. Rather than the question of where do I find the time, it was often put to me as a statement. The viewer would give me a conspiratorial smile and, while nodding, they’d say, “Someone’s got too much time on her hands.” One time someone really took interest. They actually walked around and I felt honored they looked at what I had created. Then they said, “I REALLY like that easel!” I swear Jeffro snorted hummus out his nose.
I’ll bet Alfred never told Georgia, “O’Keefe, you’ve got too much time on your hands.”
Anyway, Mark and I had an excellent time wondering about the neighborhood, burning up some film and pixels.
Gotta go! Time’s a tickin’ and that Argus ain’t going to bead itself.
“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ”
― Coco Chanel
It was a fantastic visit, and you sound great on the audio. We never have too much time on our hands. Creativity abhors a vacuum, and you have created some truly unique and yet still functional beaded cameras. Museums should have them on display. Oh yes, the Argus Museum has one.
The time does fly, and it seems like only last week that I visited. Oh wait, it WAS last week!
Come back! You still have to see the Olympic mountains and Ruby Beach and the rainforest and cranberry bogs and …
My favorite compliment is when someone will look at my images and say,” WOW ! You must have an amazing camera!” Artists simply must make their art…and time is not a factor. It takes as long as it takes. And I, for one, believe that you, Marcy Merrill, are one of the most gifted and original artists I have ever encountered. Keep up the wonderful work and share it with the world.
Robert Dobson, you’re the best!