I haven’t been exactly celebrating holidays here on “An Artist’s Notebook” for awhile now, but I figure I better celebrate the one true holiday that hasn’t been tainted by crass commercialism. I’m talking of course, of Valentine’s Day.

This is my way of saying Happy Valentine’s Day world!

Happy Valentine's Day - 2022

And since it is a Valentine’s Day, I do like to share one of my favorite scenes from my favorite boy-meets-girl movie. (500) DAYS OF SUMMER.

Tom, the boy of the movie, works for a greeting card company. He is sitting in a meeting where they are discussing designs for greeting cards. One of his co-workers is pitching a line of cat cards. Tom’s response:

Well this is, and Rhoda, no disrespect, but um, this is total shit. “Go for it?” “You can do it?” That’s not inspirational, that’s suicidal! If Pickles goes for it right there that’s a dead cat. Lies, we’re liars think about it, why do people buy these things? It’s not because they wanna say how they feel. People buy cards ’cause they can’t say how they feel or they’re afraid to. We provide the service that lets them off the hook. You know what? I say to hell with it. Let’s level with America. At least let them speak for themselves, right? I mean look, look. What is this, what does this say? “Congratulations on your new baby.” How ’bout “Congratulations on your new baby, guess that’s it for hanging out, nice knowing ya.” How ’bout this one? With all the pretty hearts on the front, I think I know where this one’s going. Yup. “Happy Valentine’s Day sweetheart, I love you.” Isn’t that sweet? Ain’t love grand? This is exactly what I’m talking about. What does that even mean, love? Do you know? Do you? Anybody? If somebody gave me this card Mr. Vance, I’d eat it. It’s these cards, and the movies and the pop songs, they’re to blame for all the lies and the heartache, everything. We’re responsible. I’M responsible. I think we do a bad thing here. People should be able to say how they feel, how they really feel, not ya know, some words that some stranger put in their mouth. Words like love, that don’t mean anything. Sorry, I’m sorry, I um, I quit. There’s enough bullshit in the world without my help.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Around the time this is publishing, the plane that I’m on will (hopefully) make its descent into Chicago’s airport. I’m spending the week in Pittsburgh for work, so I won’t be able publish the submissions I got for BELIEVE until I return. This will happen either late Friday or on Saturday. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t get to work on this week’s theme:


STILL LIFE! What a great theme for Year 9 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

But what exactly is a STILL LIFE image? A STILL LIFE image is simply a picture of an inanimate object or objects. The object can be manmade or it can be from nature. A flower or a plant is a subject for a STILL LIFE image. A dog or a human being is not a subject for a STILL LIFE image. Food is a popular STILL LIFE subject. The great thing about STILL LIFE photography is it allows the photographer to manipulate his subject.

Meditate on the following quote while considering your inanimate subject for you submission from one of the greatest photographers of all-time, Diane Arbus:

I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.”

I look forward to seeing your interpretations.


The picture has to be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch (unless you are taking your picture from the couch) and take pictures challenge.

You can send your images to either bennett@photography139.com OR you may text them to my Pixel 5.

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will all be sharing our idea of STILL LIFE in this place that is little more than my life held still next Monday.