Thursday, November 25, 2010

ever forward

The white squirrel. According to the things I know about nature (both things are wrong, btw) this creature should have been eaten or dead before it achieved such a size. There are many fearsome predators in the country and there is no sympathy for a unique representation as such. And yet it lives, defying feral cats, loose dogs, raptors, and automobiles. A survivor of the first degree, I say. I can now say that I have seen four different colors of squirrel. I am still in hope for purple. Or green. Pink would be cool. Maybe a calico configuration would take care of my squirrel coloring hopes and signal the end of my pseudo quest.

My cat sucks as a model. Just insanely curious about anyone paying attention to her. You pretty much get one chance and if that is missed, go on with your day. The end result is either she showers you with affection and/or bites the hell out of you to let you know that she loves you or has grown tired of you. But she will never be considered dull.

I have become interested in how artists react to people in regards to their art. The squirrel represents someone like Harper Lee. Bright, unique, undoubtedly gifted, but the attention given to them is not really the kind that they want. Though accepted and desired, they will run away at the slightest hint of danger, be it boredom, fear of death, fear of rejection, or somewhere in between. The cat represents the diva in all of us, craving attention until it grows tired of you. Sometimes acting out, but ALWAYS needing to be attended to. The "Worship me and all my awesomeness !" attitude that has somehow permeated all of our lives, either through our own actions or externally from others that subscribe to that feeling. Is one attitude necessarily better than the other, or should there be a happy medium somewhere ?

I have straddled the fence between these extremes for so long that I will need a cup soon.

Humility and graciousness or "Look at MEEEEEE you bastards !"

Either side is a winner. It must be in how you would like to be remembered.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


The last one is ultimately the direction in which I think I will go, but it is early yet in the discovery phase, and thusly, we will ALL have to wait. Basically, a B&W with spray and textured whilst wet. Not the greatest photo but I was in a bit of a rush. I was hit with a real art school '80s vibe while painting. I can't say if that was good or bad. I'll blame listening to Depeche Mode.

Still am bewildered about what is going on with life in general. I can't tell if I am an active participant or simply sleepwalking through the chaos that swirls about my day. It has been said that all the employees at my job suffer from Stockholm Syndrome and that there has to be something better somewhere else. People have left, but most have returned for better or worse. I was told this past week that I was "old" and that things will get better when the young guys get up to speed. Newsflash....the old guy is keeping this ship upright. I don't see the young guys sticking it out to the end. I see a lot of "80%ers," people that do 80% of the job and stop, feeling that they are done. This is causing no end to my stress and chagrin. I have to be better than that. I have to complete my assignments. If I have to complete yours as well, I might as well do it all.

Was Boxer a fool ? Or simply a company horse ?

I'll find out when the knacker wagon comes for me.

Be unafraid of creation. It could possibly be the only thing keeping you sane.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

somewhere new

These are 2 paintings that I finished today. The rest are on my facebook page (Roy Schneider, icon is an owl being sprayed w/a hose if you are interested). If you are wondering what in hell I am doing, I will explain. This is the second part of my journey to the end of my artistic creativity. You see, I have an endpoint in my head, but I cannot get there by conventional, stereotyped artistic expression. The current state of art in DC is simply too stifling, too confined to express what I need to. So as always, I'll do it my damn self and to hell with all of the so called experts and judges and conventional thinking. Some may find it interesting/weird/bizarre/perfectly normal for me to have the LAST work I will ever do in my head and everything else is means to that end. One medium simply cannot explain who I am. The last piece I will ever do will. It may be done this week or in 20 years, I don't know. But I WILL know when it is done.

And so will you.



Sunday, September 26, 2010

Why, or why not ?

This is the question that I have been torturing myself with for the last several months. Why must I continue to capture images that I like when it seems that it is simply an exercise in frustration and a bit of a money pit. Is it for the artistic value ? Mostly. Sometimes it goes hand in hand with what we are doing in our artist's lives, creating and recording events and moments. Sometimes it is just the things I find odd or out of place, The above sofa, for instance. Or the gentleman reading a magazine by a busy street. Many times, I have no idea what I want to record. This is the best time as the opportunity is hiding and I hope to find it. The thrill of the hunt, if you will allow. But why do I go on when it seems that the rewards are virtually nil ?

I have to do it.

I cannot explain it but it is a necessary part of my life to express myself through a medium and I have to do it. Not for the fame (hahaha !) or monetary rewards (rotflmfao !!!) or the ego stroking from viewers (viewers, right ). Whatever is lurking in my subconscious must be expressed through an artistic release valve. I don't know why, but I DO know that I am afraid to NOT do it. Before, it was music. Now it is photography. I haven't a clue as to what is next, but it is coming. It could be graffiti, interpretive dance, music (again), painting, fiction writing, cooking.....who knows. It simply must be.

It has been said that 90% of success is simply showing up.

Here I am.

With a solid B+



Sunday, September 12, 2010

Too Long

It has been entirely too long since I actually posted something vaguely meaningful. Had a spectacular time in Montreal. I cannot wait to return. I was awestruck by the lifestyle. The class, the dress, the politeness, the art, the food, my God the food was phenomenal. A lot closer than San Francisco and far more convenient for us. The people seemed to know something that I did not, and no it was NOT just the French language, smart guy ! People seemed to genuinely ENJOY WHAT THEY WERE DOING IN THAT SPECIFIC MOMENT. I want that now. I have had a taste of it and it is good. I've been told that we only dealt with the service sector and that I should relax a little, but I think I have had a "Eureka !" moment. I LOVED the "Bonjour" upon entering a store or museum or wherever. I loved learning that you should not eat whilst walking down the street there, that food should be enjoyed and not wolfed down between appointments. The "Bonjour" thing was reinforced the last day there. I wore a sport coat the entire time I was there (no running shoes either) with the exception of the last day. We were driving straight through to DC, so I had on shorts, t-shirt, and ball cap on when we went to get coffee before leaving. The lady behind the counter said,"Good Morning." I was crestfallen. I dressed like an "American" and was DENIED my "Bonjour." Now, I have to go back and get that happy, lilting greeting that I have come to love.

Anyway, loved the dog's expression in the top photo. He was no stranger to this scenario. The second is from the Basilica de Notre Dame. Could have spent an entire day there feeling God's presence in our lives. The third is from one of the many museums there and dates from the 1700-1800's from Old Montreal. Loved the presentation of the city's history from the very beginnings.

Take a moment and enjoy yourselves ! You ARE worth it, if you believe it or not.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

evolve, jackass !

OK, so I've come to the conclusion that I should quit looking at photos from the '20's to the '50's. Either that or get a time machine (musheen) and carry my ass back to that time period to be a starving artist and raging alcoholic. Love that period though. Can't wait to be able to print with the tonal range of the masters of that era. Just gotta stop looking at it for right now. It is not helping anymore, just making me depressed.

Talking to a fellow photographer today didn't make things much better. I am wondering where the art aspect of photography is headed. Sales are virtually non-existent in the circles that I know of, short of cards and stock photos. Does not appear that anyone is doing anything really new as far as I can see. It struck me as weird that a "cell phone" category was available in an upcoming show. I hear that more and more traditional photogs are doing more in video than still. I am sure that better ( or better connected ) photographers that myself are getting work sold but with everyone and their mother taking photos, it makes it a little difficult to get things in the hands of paying customers.

This all begs the question: What's next in the evolution of still art photography ? I'll tell you this much, it will be a LOT different than what it is now. I know I'll be hanging somewhere.I just have to figure out what it will be.



Sunday, August 1, 2010


Mini golf might be the most relaxing form of "sport" I can do without freaking out over technique and form and results. It is just a fun time that my family shares. It also provides me with time to think about what I am doing in the art world. Been looking at a lot of photos this weekend. Mostly Paul Strand and Cartier-Bresson (always). Went to the library for books on Picasso, Cartier-Bresson, and the Musee D'Orsay (damn Dr.Who !). Dropped off bin work for Strathmore. Thought about upcoming shows and what I am doing for them. The mini golf session provided me with an hour of mindless clarity to work a lot of what needs to happen out in my mind. It seems to be getting more and more difficult to have this time to meditate as life just keeps going faster down the hill. Looking forward to a trip to Canada this month after we drop the genius off at RPI. I think it will provide a little more opportunity to think about things that need to be thought about.

When the objective is achieved, do not proceed onward. Take time to evaluate the plan that enabled you to arrive at this objective. Formulate a new plan and move ahead. No one wants to sail on a rudderless boat.



Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Eyes, My Eyes, My God My Eyes !

Firstly, I have NOT been struck blind, much to my enemies collective chagrin. However, I have been having issues. Mostly due to the fact that I seem to have forgotten just how to blink. NOT good. Pain, swelling, redness, discomfort, and the wish to drive something large through my eye sockets has not been conducive to working on photographic journeys. The benefit, and there is one, is that I have been forced to examine things not directly in front of me in order to extend my focal point and get my eyes back to somewhat non painful working order. This has granted me many new occasions to see something different that I might have otherwise missed. Thusly, I present the above photograph.

It is that thing in the corner of your sight that you just aren't fast enough to see that eludes me. I have been getting better in seeing more. This little distraction is not a good thing when driving fast. It IS good when you are in a photographic state of mind. Whatever it is will, in all likelihood, not be as cool as you think it might be. It is the possibility that it will be 10,000 times cooler that makes you look.



Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vox Universalis

A long, hot (no a/c), and frustrating day at work, followed by the usual hour commute home. Listening to the most heavy and driving thing on my mp3 player in order to get the rage and frustrations out before I face the family so that I can be myself again and not the person I am at work. These two entities are kept apart for a reason. With the urge for mayhem sufficiently crushed, I walk towards the front door. Rained here. Very humid. Out of the corner of my eye as I ascend the stairs, I see the lilies. I think to myself, "Don't they look nice." and enter the house.

Then it hits me.

"IDIOT, WHAT are you DOING ? GRAB your CAMERA ! Did you not just SEE that ?" thunders the voice. "I'm tired and beat up and I just want to eat and sit and not think for everyone else for a while," I rationalize. "DO IT NOW !" the Marine in my head exclaims.

So I acquiesce and go back outside with the Canon.

This is what I took. As you can tell, I played with the focal points around f3.5. I also did battle with lens fog as I just went out and shot so the fogginess was a natural occurrence. Slight color adjustment and here you have it. I had so much fun I was giddy like a kid with a new toy.

Never again will I ignore The Voice. It tells us what is there when we don't see it. It shows us on a daily basis the beautiful and fascinating in our lives. A series of moments that I, as a photographer, should be aware of but as a wise man once said,"Life gets in the way of living." I could have easily ignored it and went on with my day, but I LISTENED and was rewarded.

I hope your voice rewards you as much.



Sunday, June 13, 2010


I have never seen a deadline that did not loom over me like The Sword of Damocles. Time and caffeine become my frenemies. I tend to get really moody and isolated until I am done, driving myself to the point of exhaustion and insanity. I am difficult enough to be around as it is. Add a deadline and I become a focused machine with one goal. Everything else is ignored. Pain, tiredness, discomfort, food, all become irrelevant. I am driven towards the goal.

So I get a bit irritated when deadlines become flexible. I am sure there is a good reason, but I don't really care. I guess it should not really matter as my job is done. It is the secret addition of time that gets me, time that could have been used to make my work a little bit better. The knowledge that more time was there for the taking would have been appreciated. Knowing the keys to the space time continuum would be appreciated. Maybe Andy can help me understand. Right now, I just don't get it. Maybe I am not supposed to. Whatever, my game is tight.

Looking forward to upcoming opportunities to show the current stuff. I'll try to keep you all posted as best I can. Apologies to those that I missed the last time. It won't happen again. This marketing new media style is a bit new. I have to crush the bugs out of it.

Be Well,


I Can't Hear You


First place at the League of Reston Artists Juried Show. Yes, that is Johnny Rotten. Yes, it is as phenomenal as you think it is. Yes, she is all that and a ham sandwich.

That's my girl and I will love her forever.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Northside Social
3211 Wilson Blvd

I've got 4 pieces and about 10-12 other artists have their work up as well. Awesome coffee, ice cream, wine, food. A very happening place to be on a Wednesday !

Come get some.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

already ?

Both are photographs.
Neither one is Photoshopped beyond adjusting levels. No masks, layers, etc.
Straight up camera work.
Tripod and 1 light.

All the stops have been pulled. How far can conventional photography be pushed with just the eye and mind ? How to capture the fleeting images that a mind travelling at terminal velocity conjures ? How can I kill the cliche in my work ? Can I keep up ?

Let's find out.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."



Yeaah Boyeeee

Finally quasi-finished with the "Portrait" series. I was waiting for my son to get home and back to work on his stencilling to bring this series full circle. He really makes some intricate designs. It easy to tell that he is the product of two artists. I am a sucker for texture which explains the other two and the light is too hard to resist so that explains the cliche at the bottom. A decent undertaking that awaits a place to hang (hint, hint, hint !)

Glad to back in the swing of things overall. We are cancelling our home phone and television and THAT makes me very excited. I went for about 4 years in the 80's with the only thing I watched was the Indy 500 and MAYBE the Daytona 500. I can't wait to recoup all of the time I have wasted for all of these years and apply it to various and sundry ART projects. I am very stoked and all of y'all should be VERY afraid.

very afraid

Monday, May 24, 2010

new hanging

New hanging ! Northside Social 3211 Wilson Blvd in Arlington.

Alternative transportation is the theme, i.e. NO CARS. Thought I would throw some work again this year as I have been quite slack in the hanging department and I really need to get back into gear. Shows the month of June. Go see it, dammit ! Buy something ! All proceeds go to the artist. What a welcome change !

I have been a big endorser of "Do it your damn self." Time to start again. I can't wrap my brain around the "pay to play" philosophy of "galleries" anymore. I won't do it. If I have to create the art, frame it, hang it, MARKET it, SELL it in someone else's place, AND PAY FOR THE PRIVILEGE, I must be off my rocker. I get paid for what I do. I'll be happy with NOT PAYING. I've had it with paying for ineptitude and incompetence. It simply is not right. My time and talent is as valuable as the next person's (all right, sometimes more, sometimes less but you get the overall point being made !) and I will no longer be taken advantage of by people in the art world around here. I don't want to "join" another group that takes money to belong and STILL charges to show. It's bullshit. I am a photographer. I like the lone gunman feeling of going on a shoot. Sometimes it is fun to talk and shoot with others, but by and large, it is my time and eye that I want to develop. I shouldn't have to PAY to do that.

And I won't do it anymore.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Still inspired by the same thing. It feels good to have a focus on a particular subject. Even better that it contains such a wide variety of opportunities. Special thanks to Patrick (again!) Truly a fascinating experience for the senses to watch him create. Building 10 @ the Lorton Workhouse Art Center.

I am so very frustrated right now I could kick a kitten. ART is crushing my will to create. STUPIDITY is killing my will to cooperate. Everyone apparently HEARS, but no one LISTENS. I feel as if a fog has been lifted from my brain and I can see for the first time what is going on around me. However, a NEW FOG has enveloped me and is preventing me from correcting the chaos around me. I liken it to a dream where you see someone about to have something horrible happen to them and you try to scream and nothing comes out, no matter how hard you try.

I made the mistake of remembering Art School Confidential, a weird little indie flick from a couple of years back. I just want to paint circles right now. Or squares. After doing this for a couple of years, I will be ready for triangles. Every time I go see a current collection, there are about 10 % of the artists that are worth examining. I have seen the rest time and again, the same abstract, the same techniques, the same subject matter. I guess I need to go back to NYC for a kick in the ass and to find something fresh. I want to be OVERWHELMED with innovative art. I want to see things like what BK does in Building 9 that when I LOOK at his art, it RESONATES in my chest and ears as well as my eyes and mind. I want to see things that Chris Appleton does in Building 4 that when I look at a large piece, I am thoroughly enthralled by ANY SECTION I LOOK AT. Any part, unto itself, would be brilliant, and when you put them all together on one piece it is as captivating a work as anyone can imagine. I AM selfish in that I want this ALL OF THE TIME........EVERYWHERE. Don't give me that ying-yang crap, BRILLIANCE needs to be the new baseline.

I want to be rendered speechless by art. I want to physically feel the rage, pain, frustration, and demons that are expressed to canvas in some of my wife's work. I want to understand it without explanation. I want the inner serenity offered by the works of Andy Ilachinski to permeate my very existence.

I want to feel art again for the first time. Always.


Sunday, March 7, 2010


Glad to see that my photo accepted into the Strathmore Member's Exhibition was not placed in the bathroom. I am actually pleased that it was placed in the sun room with lots of natural lighting. Looks good on the wall. Good positioning and an overall excellent exhibition !

Really looking for some innovative photography. I keep coming across photos that I have seen elsewhere. Same composition. This is my big fear. I would only do this consciously as a method of study, not for a show. I HAVE taken photos that I realized after that I knew who had taken something similar before. I do not believe that I have ever hung them, however. My leaf picture may be the one exception as this one does channel a famous Weston image of a head of cabbage. I can go on and on about how mine was taken outside in the elements and his was in a studio and it is different subject matter, etc.,etc., but I KNOW the truth. I thought of this when I was looking at the image on the screen when I made it black and white. I truly believe that it was simply influential and not copping another man's photo. The majority of the photos that I am seeing probably fall under the same category. I sincerely doubt that someone would cop a photo like that. I'd like to think that, anyway.

On to the photos ! My token color soft focus rose was fun ! Not like we haven't seen this a thousand times, but still beautiful in it's geometry. The moss and ice provide a nice texture contrast that I REALLY wanted to get. The reason I went stomping around the woods with my wife in tow was to get some shots of the trees and shadows. Not exactly what I was looking for, but not bad. Then I came across an Ethan Allen ad from about ten years ago. This dresser and end table were simply there. Just bizarre. Kept thinking that the trees were welcoming its kin back to the herd, protecting it from the evil that previously perverted it for selfish purposes. Offering solace for the tribulations that they had endured being transformed. Listening to their story and thinking, "There, but for the grace of God, go I." Just bizarre....

These were all taken within a five minute walk from my house. The world holds so much beauty that it is both far and near to us at any given moment. I'll wait on my passport for right now. I have too much local exploring to do.



Sunday, February 21, 2010

all work and no play

make Roy do something something something......... All in all, I think my sister-in law is right when she says that Winter should be about a month. Just long enough to get some snow, hot chocolate, and snuggling in and then be done. When I was a bit younger, I felt that when the cold weather arrived, I could always put on more clothes. Being from Southern Va., the heat and humidity was simply oppressive at times (re:July and August). Tom Robbins likened Richmond to, "Living inside a napalmed watermelon." and he is right. However, when you combine the snow amounts that we have achieved this Winter with the type A++ personality of the Mid-Atlantic/Beltway, you have a nice medium sized disaster. It is painfully obvious that we are simply unprepared to deal with this type of weather. PERIOD. Lived in Rochester, NY for 2 years. Had way more snow than this. Everyday life went on uninterrupted. I guess what I am getting at is that, as long as the locals can deal and the sun is out, I can probably live there happily. This area in general is becoming a living hell of our own making.

Happier thoughts ! I was accepted into the 19th Annual Strathmore Artists Members Exhibition (Nov 22nd posting, edited version of the uppermost picture). Dates are Feb. 27th-April 10th. See under fine arts and exhibitions for more info. Glad I was accepted as I was giving some insane thought to chucking it all onto craigslist and being done. I know better than to ACTUALLY do that, but the thought did enter my mind and would not leave until the results were posted. Being slightly crazy has its downside.

Getting a travelling jones that I will need to succumb to soon. Might have to explore the West again. Someplace warm, I assure you.

Go make some ART !

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Next !

So, it appears my email got hacked. Sorry to all of those that received spam from my email. It wasn't me. I long for the days when a little steam and a glue stick was used to invade people's mail. It seemed harder then than it does now. I am embarrassed and more than a little pissed off by this event, but this serves to remind me that this can be an ugly place to be and one must be ready at all times. Last year, I fought off the Vundo virus for a week. It was as if I was targeted for termination by that bastard. I don't look at much more than news and photography websites, so I didn't understand why this thing would rear it's UGLY head for four out of five days that week. That experience made me switch to Linux on the fifth day and things are better.

Anyway, I think I have fallen in love with Alexandria. Just so many places that are interesting and challenge you to capture them. These are taken at the Amtrak station. Had no idea it was there. Only found out about it from my wife booking my son's ticket back to NY. Lots of neat light and fixtures both inside and out. Overall, I am liking Old Town for the simple fact that it IS old and has lots of interesting and charming things to photograph. I am still happy with my recent purchase as a walking around camera. But serious stuff needs to be done with the Canon.

Until next time,


Sunday, January 17, 2010

More of "the tools" and just more

Very special thanks to Patrick O'Brien in Building 10 at the Lorton Workhouse for allowing me to take some quick photos of his workspace. The purity of his work is mesmerizing. His pieces are simply beautiful and are definitely worth checking out.

Obviously still working on my series as well as other things. Trying to see more in black and white. Trying to simplify my imaging. Working on process steps and trying new things. Really need to work on patience. It is crazy that I can look at a particular piece of art for half-hour or more, but can hardly wait to be finished with my own work. This creates the problem of choosing pieces that I initially think are worthy and discovering that there is a flaw that prevents me from going forward with my existing plan. THIS leads to depression and over-thinking and I am two steps away from selling everything and then my wife steps in and institutes the corrective action plan and eventually I get back on the horse. Fortunately, the down time is getting less and less. Better for both of us 'cause I can be a pain in the ass when it comes to my work.

Lots of opportunity for showings, people. I can't wait to see what is next !