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August 31, 2014

Two inches of so much painterly heaven it's like Christmas over here.

Detail ^
Mary Addison Hackett
Self-portrait with Red Towel, 2013
I discovered that tomorrow's UPS delivery would arrive this afternoon. So yes, when I heard the UPS truck, I stepped out on the porch to await his arrival. I was smiling like an idiot so I hollered out that I was exited about the package. He asked if it was a camera. Yes, yes, it was. Turns out my UPS guy is an also an aerial photographer bearing a close resemblance to Michael Madsen while wearing shades. If I were still in LA, I would have bet the farm on it.

I'm almost weeping with joy. Since 2010 I've been suffering a through an insufferable malaise about not having amazing images of the work. Ask anyone who would listen. I was almost to the point of thinking I was living in a parallel universe where 'good enough' was the new black and that there was no such thing as a tack sharp image at 100%. I was one breath away from accepting that using loupes and 'actual pixels' to check sharpness of an image was like puttin' g's on verbs. Still, I would come across details of other painter's images and I knew one day, I, too, would have sharp images again. Good People, that day is today. There are still some lighting kinks to work out: one of the cords in my my trusty light kit finally shorted out.


Power Cord with Specialized Housing to Fit Tota Lights
(1988- 2014) 


August 28, 2014

Time for an upgrade.


The guy at B&H called my Nikon D40 a tyrannosaurus. I had to agree. No one shoots 6 MP anymore. If I had the foresight to build all my canvases to match the digital aspect ratio of my camera, I wouldn't have been on the phone with Lou in the first place. But alas, after cropping, my simple caveman pictures are not large enough in our gazillion megapixels world. I told Lou I mostly shoot artwork. He asked me the usual questions: Tripod? Check.  Lights?  Normally check, but I briefed him on 8 foot ceilings and power surges and said I was now shooting outdoors. People think shooting outdoors is great. It's not. It flattens the artwork. Great for flat artwork or sculpture, but if you pride yourself on using your bag of painterly tricks, you're fighting the odds. Even lighting mean no shadows. No shadows mean no texture. No texture means thin washes look suspiciously close to gobs of paint and the beat goes on. Hence, milking everything you can is critical. When it sinks in that 90% of the people who view your art will do so though the Internet or printed matter, you begin to appreciate what a time-consuming OCD detailed process it is. My life working in a frame-accurate, color-accurate, no-pixel-left-behind world conditioned me for minute details. Whenever I feel like I'm being fussy about these things that the average joe in average joeville looking at his average joe monitor might not notice, I remember reassuring words spoken by an artist I met when I first moved here: "You've only got your name and the work." It's true. Never forget it. Ordinarily, I'd never give it a second thought.

But back to Lou. We discussed a few more items though he reiterated that a great deal of progress had been made in the last 10 years in the world of digital photography and gently encouraged me to consider joining the revolution. I'm doing research now. I  currently have a ragtag lot of miscellaneous equipment  listed for sale in order to raise some dough for the new camera. I am  attempting to downsize at the speed of light after watching Tiny, but a day later I decided to keep the old lenses. You never know. 

August 26, 2014

Magic Mail

I have 4 catalogs left from a 2008 show back in Los Angeles. They are for sale on my website. This note arrived with a check today. I'm posting it here because every now and then, no matter where you are, or what you do, everything about this note will come in handy.

Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away.

©Mary Addison Hacket

Ultra-rare B&W images from The Last Surviving Contact Sheet. Probably shot with a Nikon F3 about 23 years ago and developed in a basement on the north side of Chicago. 

Humidity and floods are not my friends. Neither is Relocating, Rash Thinking or Justification. 

I might try and sell some 4 x 6 prints to raise funds for a new camera.