Image: "Queen Esther Baptist Church, Lancaster, Virginia" (c) 2011 Stu Jenks (Just down River Road from Victoria's house. Love that luscious red carpet. And for you nocturnals out there, it was handheld. Rare for me.)
In this time of making photos on iPhones and Macbook Pros and only looking on screens, I forget I'm a old-school guy. I make a 8 1/2 x 11 work print on archival paper of EVERY image I make. EVERY one. It's the only way, for me, to accurately check for color shift, density, composition, etc. I really like my iPad screen but it's no way to make a good print.
And I have hundreds, if not thousands, of work prints artist proofs at my studio.
If you see an image of mine on The StuBlog or on my old website or on the Fezziwig Press Store or in any of my books, there's a beautiful small print in a box somewhere, perhaps with your name on it. And since I'm organized, I can find it.
Many of you can't afford my larger prints. I understand. I don't have an extra 50 or 100 lying around either. But I do have an extra $20 for stuff I really like.
So if you see an image of mine on any of my sites or in any of my books and you want it, it's yours for $25, shipping, handling and tax included. (I believe in paying taxes, sales and otherwise.)
Just email me at my facebook page or through the StuBlog or at firstname.lastname@example.org, and tell me what print you would like or just pull the jpeg and send that to me.
I was just watching the Tarhells lose today in basketball, working on images at my computer when I thought, 'I bet people don't realize I have boxes of work prints here.'
You all do now.
Love and light,
p.s. Ignore the catagories belows. The computer went wacky. Another reason why I prefer a print in the hand as opposed to an image in The Cloud.
Been a long time coming for The Transpersonal Papers (1861-2010).
Three editors, two proofreaders, two designers, four printers, and hours, days, weeks, months, years, lifetimes, (I know I'm overstating), of writing, traveling, shooting, editing, remembering, hiking, and more writing, shooting, and editing, but I'm not complaining. No, no, no.
And apologies for not having the dough right now, to print The Transpersonal Papers as a coffee-table book as I had originally planned. ($10,000, it would have cost. Maybe someday.) But you now can buy it, for $14.95, as an Ebook on the Apple IPad, and I expect it to be available within a couple days on the Nook and the Kindle as well.
I just looked at it on my new IPad. The photos, text and design look grand.
And as an extra surprise, Bozo In Love is now up on IBooks too, ($9.95), as well as the rest of my catalog: Flame Spirals, Hoop Dancing, and Dementia Blues, on IBooks, Nook and Kindle.
Just in time for Christmas.
And don't worry. All but The Transpersonal Papers can still be bought as a book book through Fezziwig Press. I have plenty. Just go to www.fezziwigpressonline.com, for the hardbounds and paperbacks, but go to ITunes, today, (and Kindle and Nook, soon) for the ebooks.
Heavy sigh from my third story apartment balcony. I look out onto the Tucson city lights in the valley below. Cold, dry air embraces me. I inhale deeply. Exhale.
A very good night in the desert.
Think I'll make a cup of coffee with egg nog and play some Angry Birds on my new IPad.
“Bonjour, Madam,” I say. “Bonjour,” she says quickly. There’s a line behind me at this boulangerie. “S’il vous plait, trois éclairs au chocolat?” I say, roughly pointed toward the beautiful pastries to my left. “Pardon?” she says, a bit annoyed. Is my high school French really that bad? [Answer: Yes. I should have said “S’il vois plait, peux j'avoir trois eclairs de chocolat?” Instead I just said “Please, three éclairs with chocolate?” A bit bossy and confusing. Or maybe I've just said "Please, three chocolate lights?] “Excusez-moi.” I say. I’m flustered now. Damn. “I’m sorry,” I say in English. “I’d like three of these éclairs please. S’il vous plait,” pointing toward them in the glass case. The woman gives me this look like ‘Why didn’t you just say so?’ I don’t blame her for being irritated with my French. As the humorist David Sederis said about his efforts to learn French, after a year of classes, he could now speak like a retarded French child. I'm speaking like an embryo. The bakery woman speaks loudly to who appears to be her daughter. They look alike. They're speaking fast and I don’t have a clue what she's saying but I hear something about éclairs in there. The young daughter walks to where the éclairs are. I follow on the outside of the case, pointing toward them as well. She smiles a bit and picks up three chocolate éclairs. She places them on a little work bench and with dark green paper makes a little tent-like sack, for me to carry them in. Ingenious. We walk back to the cash register. “Et un baguette, s’il vous plait.” I say. Luckily, I pointed toward the long bread in a basket on the wall behind them. The mom grabbed a baguette, quickly wrapped the bottom of it in white paper and handed both the éclairs and the bread to me. “Ce sera de trois euros et vingt, monsieur,” says the older woman. I have no idea what she just said, but I know it has to do with money. I pull out a Ten Euro note and pray it’s enough. She takes it and I get back six euros and change. “Merci,” I say, grabbing my bread and desserts. “Merci,” she says. I leave the bakery as quickly as I can and stand on the sidewalk. I’m a nervous wreck. My French sucks. I know it. Well, hopefully if I say please and thank you and hello a lot in French, they’ll cut me some slack (They do.) I’m really trying. (They know.)
[The next day, talking with Michel, the deskman at my tiny hotel, I find out that most Parisians speak English and that they want Americans to speak English too. It’s how they learn our slang. And yes, he said, we do appreciate your attempts at politeness with the Bonjours, Mercis, and Si Vous Plaits.]
It’s around 4 p.m. Meeting Catherine at Notre Dame at 6 and it’s off to dinner with her and her mom. Catherine is a friend from Tucson. Just so happened that my London/Scotland/Paris trip overlapped her two weeks in Paris and we planned dinner on this night before either of us left the States. Catherine is one of the best psychotherapists I know. I’ve referred many a friend her way. She also has some of the best taste in music of any one I know. Usually guys are major audiophiles. Catherine is the exception. She's a woman that knows the difference between a Bruce Hornsby piano solo and a Peter Gabriel one. I leave my little room on the fourth floor of the Hotel du Palais Bourbon and skip down the stairs. I reach the lobby and give my key to Michel. “Merci, Michel. Au revoir. See ya soon.” “Au revoir. Good bye.” He says. I hit the Rue de Bourgogne and look around. What an amazing street it is, a small canyon made by the old six story buildings on either side of the one lane street. To my right, north of the hotel is a sweet little French restaurant. South of the hotel are a couple fine art shops with real live fine art in them. Not Post-Modern crap but well made well designed beautiful things. Little farther to the north is a little bodega where I get my Diet Cokes. Across the street is that amazing boulangerie with its soft éclairs and its hard breads. On one side of the bakery is an old used bookstore with its antique postcards on a rack on the sidewalk. On the other side of the boulangerie is a fresh produce stand with the largest white grapes I have ever seen. Red doors that lead to where Parisians live, pop up here and there among the stores. And this is just one small city block. Rodin first, then Norte Dame. I take a left and walk a half a block to Auguste Rodin’s home, now the Musee Rodin. I know it’s closed but I still want to see it, if only from the outside. His house is why I pick this hotel on this street to begin with. Rodin is the reason I became an artist. When I was at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the 70’s, I initially was in the Drama Department. I got some good notices as Lord Dorset in Richard III in the summer after high school, and decided to be an actor. Two problems. I mumbled and I smoked a shit load of dope. [It’s hard to remember your lines when you’re stoned all the time, and I was a member of the Stay High Society]. After failing as an actor, I went into Scenery Design but I was too fucked up for that too, even when I was just a prop man. I flunked out, due primarily to not dropping classes that I hadn’t gone to in a month [Incompletes becomes ‘F’s after a year. Who knew?] I took some summer school and got back in, in the fall of 1976. One night, that Fall, Brent, a writer friend who frankly, at the time, I pitied as being more of a loser than me, and I, decided to get in my 1964 Karmin Ghia at midnight, after having smoking large amounts of Columbian, and drive all night to go to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. I heard there were Rodins up there, particularly the Burghers of Calais, and I wanted to make the pilgrimage. Brett, who later I found out saw me as much of a ne’er-do-well as I him, was game for just about anything, as long as the conversation was good and the Marijuana was plentiful. I had both in spades. This was the first of many moonlight trips to D.C., which was only 5 hours away from Chapel Hill. Each time, I may have gone to the Smithsonian or the National Gallery but I always went and saw the Burghers at some point during the visit. [The Burghers of Calais was a grouping of bronze sculptures of depicting six town officials who, in 1347, were willing to give their lives to save their town from a killing siege. They ended up not dying but their willingness to sacrifice their lives was very moving to the French.] Seeing Rodin’s work, live in Washington, on that day in October of 1976 was life-changing for me, even through my ever-present Marijuana haze of those days. I didn’t want to make bronze sculptures [I ended up doing large ceramics and odd conceptual work instead.] But seeing the emotional power of The Burghers, and Balzac, and The Gates of Hell, and The Age of Reason, and The Three Shades, and I hoped that perhaps I could make something that had just a bit of that energy, a bit of that beauty. And Rodin opened the door to me to exploring other artists like Brancusi, Modigliani, Matisse, Joseph Beuys, Robert Arneson and many more. But Rodin was the starting place and I am grateful to this day. So, it’s left and a half block and there I’ll be, at Rodin's house. I get to a ‘T’ where my rue hits another rue just south of my hotel and I see what appears to be a large wooden gate to the grounds of the Musee Rodin but I’m not sure. I cross the street. Yep, sure is. Open tomorrow at 9:30 says the sign. I walk down the sidewalk, aways from the sign. A ten-foot tall white washed wall seems to surround the entire grounds. I continue walking and then stop abruptly, like I’ve been stuck down. There, on the other side of the wall, made here from nine tall panes of Plexiglas are the Burghers of Calais. I take out my Brownie and try and find a shot but I find none. The wall looks funky or the light seems bad or the glass is scratched or all the above. I put down the camera and realize this ain’t the time or the place to take the shot. Maybe tomorrow when I’m inside. [Tomorrow was about The Three Shades, and The Gates of Hell, not The Burghers, it turned out]. Right now is about seeing The Burghers with my own eyes, not the camera’s lens. Seeing them on their home turf. I smile and put my hand on a part of the Plexiglas wall. I’m in Fucking Paris. ______________________________________________________________________________
An hour and a half later, I’m inside of Notre Dame, tears flowing down my faces, wiping them away as fast as they come. I didn’t expect this reaction in myself. I really didn’t. I just expected to see the church, be impressed with its form and architecture, and then go outside and wait for Catherine. Instead I’m inside the cathedral, staring at one of its famous blue Rosette windows for the fifth time, with the sounds and scents of 6 o'clock Mass swirling around my head. The incense is strong, the chanting is resonate, the pipe organ music is angelic. I find a chair near the front where I can listen to the Mass and see the northern Rosette window at the same time. A French African priest continues to chant The High Mass. Dinner will have to wait.