Thursday, September 18, 2014

ON MY WAY TO DO SOMETHING ELSE


Worcester, MA 8/21/14

On the 21st of August, my wife was being honored by the city of Worcester because the American Antiquarian Society, of which my wife Ellen is President of the Society, had received in Washington the week, the before Presidential Metal for the Humanities presented by President Obama.  As to the image above, I saw this on my way to the Worcester Common where the city's ceremony was being held.  It is just a reminder that you should always have you camera with you because you never know what will present itself at the end of the next block.  That's why I was downtown, camera in tow, to make a couple of images of Ellen being honored by the city.  I am always be willing to take the two minutes to stop and make an image no matter the rush I might happen to be in.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

CLASSES HAVE STARTED


Worcester, MA 9/7/14

Yes, another school year has started which means I'm back on my academic schedule.  All day long, Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m to almost 7 p.m.  Like my groups of students.....so far.

Not only did I travel in the spring, but also spent 10 days in extreme upstate New York -- Lake George and points north, this late summer. Wanting to see what Stieglitz saw in the area.  Can assure you he would not be pleased.  Nothing but tourist and tourist traps.....sigh. Been living in central MA for 22 years, and had never taken the time to travel in that direction.  In the coming weeks, I'll post a few images from the trip.  As to the image above, I'm always looking for unusual shrines, and I saw this one yesterday, but didn't have time to stop.  So I went back this morning because I knew the light would be really good.....and it was. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

TRAVELING AGAIN...


Grayson County, Texas 10 March 2014

Just home from another trip across upper West Texas and over to New Mexico.  While I'm still finding places and things that interest me, they are getting fewer and further between.  I don't doubt why, after all, I've been out there searching for this stuff for over 40 years, and nothing last forever.  It's hard to describe what I feel the moment I come upon a scene that makes me doubt what I'm seeing, or at least do a double-take.  The image above is a good illustration of that moment.  I've said many times that it is not my intent to explain my images, I like to leave that to the viewer.  Besides, a well known curator once told me: "You just take the pictures, we'll do the talking."  

Saturday, January 25, 2014

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY




http://lenscratch.com/2014/01/frank-armstrong/

What with the start of school, dealing with my gallery in Boston (Panopticon Gallery) and getting the stuff ready for the LENSCRATCH, it has certainly been a busy three weeks.  I couldn't be more humbled than to have Aline Smithson run the page on me this morning.  She one of the best and nicest people I've met in the past few years while trying to do this photography thing.  Thanks, Aline.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

JUST THINKING ABOUT THE YEAR....OR YEARS


Boston, MA 2011

I last posted in November, and expressed by feelings of guilt for somewhat giving up on my blog.  Like I said, it was not that I had run out of things to say, but more that I had run out of time to say them on the blog. I was sitting here this morning looking at the thermometer outside my kitchen window -- it read -5F -- and knew that I would not venture out of the house today.  It's snowing lightly and we are supposed to add another 2-5 inches to the 8 inches that fell Saturday night and Sunday morning.  No only do I not want to go outside, but the dog is rather hesitant for outdoor business, also.

I'm now in my 78th year and have been photographing for more than 50 years.  This past year has been the most busy year yet in my career.  It all started last spring when I participated in the faculty show at Clark University where I teach two courses each semester.  Barely got my grades in before FlashForward Boston and the exhibition "[photo]Gogues, New England", an exhibition of portfolios by New England photo teachers, followed by the New England Portfolio Reviews where I was a reviewer. 

Time out from the photo world to accompany my wife, Ellen, on a cruise down the eastern coast to visit Civil War battlefields, museums, and forts.  AAS was one of the sponsors of the trip which meant that Ellen had to go, and if she had to go, so did I.

A house project or two -- like cleaning out our garage and re-organizing everything out there.  Who knew how much we had accumulated in the 19 years we've own this house.  It's all very pretty now and even have room to put the snow blower behind my truck rather than parking it between our two vehicles at the opening of the garage creating a hassle getting in/out our cars.  I was so proud of the job we did, I posted images on Facebook.

All of June and part of July is gone now, and I have to prepare for a show for the Higgins School for the Humanities at Clark.  Printing and reprinting 11 big prints, and then matting and framing.  And during this time making an application for a major fellowship that required not only a fair amount of writing, but also a 20 print portfolio. Mid-August and classes are starting in another week at Clark.  I have agreed to conduct a 4-day workshop during the second weekend of September on Star Island, New Hampshire -- one of the Isles of Shoals out in the Atlantic from Portsmouth, NH.  Got to admit that I met a lot of nice people from the New Hampshire Society of Photographic Artist who was the sponsor of the workshop.  

When classes are underway I have little time for much else, but managed to have a portfolio of eight prints for the "On First Contact" exhibition at the Panopticon Gallery in Boston.  September is gone and I now trying to find some rest in October.  But I must be wicked for I find no time for rest.  I have to start printing on "tree" portfolio that's been requested by a Boston collector.  Thanksgiving and family is coming.

 It has been my practice to go to school every day the week before the finals for photo classes to help people with their final projects.  Last day of classes was December 9, and here it is the 17th.  I have not turned in my grades which I hope to do sometime this week.  I hate grading, it just seems so unfair on so many levels.  I have yet to even think of Christmas shopping.  All my time this week has been spent preparing images that people have purchased for Christmas giving, and I have to get them in the mail by tomorrow.

Like I said, it's been a very busy time for this old man. Oh how I would love to jump in my truck and drive to the Southwest and spend longs days photographing.  I realize that winter days are not all that long, but they are a damn sight longer down there than here.  Only gets light enough to photograph around 7 a.m. and is completely dark by 4:30 p.m.  And as I said at the beginning of this post, the temperature was -5F and it's snowing.....again.  I'm staying inside today.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


IOOF Home, Worcester, MA October 22, 2013

Early in this semester, I challenged one of my independent study students to gain access to the old and abandoned IOOF retirement home in Worcester. And she did just that. Vacated a number of years ago, it has fallen to vandalism, and general disrepair from weathering.  For the past couple of years, I have wondered what the place looked like inside.  For some reason unknown to me, I am drawn to such places. I like finding order in total chaos, and the place is totally chaos.  Paint is pealing everywhere, walls have been opened to steal the copper plumbing, and water infiltration has brought ceilings down.  In the next few days, I will be posting some images I've been making of the interior.  The above image is a "selfie" made a couple of weeks ago.  I'm a fool in front of a mirror.

Saturday, November 23, 2013



PONDERING POLLOCK

I realize that's it's been awhile since I've made an entry to the blog, but I can only say it has been a very busy time for me.  Exhibitions, grant applications, teaching my two classes at Clark, and mired in a number of time consuming other things.  But a recent note from Pat Tillet asking if I were OK has prompted me to let everyone know that I'm fine, and like I said, just busy.

I always figured that as I got older, things would settle down.  NOT!  The older I've gotten, the busier I've gotten.  Finally took time to product and drop-off a twenty print portfolio in NYC last month, and while there took the opportunity to visit the Museum of Modern Art.  Therefore the image above, me pondering on the museum's large Pollock painting.  You can never really appreciate Pollock until you place yourself in front of one, and just look.

While I may regret saying this, I will try and find the time to make a few entries now and then.  This blog has always been a place where I can speak publicly my thoughts about what I'm doing and why.  Onward.