Category Archives: Vest

RWPE #7 – Out of Focus

Daily Reminder

Don’t forget to update your links, bookmarks and RSS Feeds to the new URL:

Last week’s theme was OUT OF FOCUS. I’m very excited to have Monica Henning as a first time contributor. Monica was so excited that she submitted four photos. She did violate the one and only rule of RWPE and that is that the picture has to be taken during the week of the theme, but I will let it slide.

Monica Henning A (Don’t Take Me for a Loop)

Monica Henning B

Monica Henning C

Monica Henning D

Dawn Krause

Christopher D. Bennett

Michael Vest

Dawn’s Poem of the Week

Out of Focus

The future’s a blur
and rather hazy
Energy gone
and feeling lazy

The edge is gone
turned to soft gray
Watching the hours
pass away the day

Next week’s theme is:


I hope there are plenty of first time contributors next Monday. After all, almost everybody owns a camera and everybody has a “self”!

RWPE #6 – Adventure

Daily Reminder

Don’t forget to update your links, bookmarks and RSS Feeds to the new URL:

The theme for last week was ADVENTURE:

Jesse Howard

Michael Vest

Christopher D. Bennett

It is my custom not to explain much about my RWPE photos and I will not break with that tradition, but I will at least state that there is a small back story as to why I took a picture of me scrubbing the toilet for the theme ADVENTURE. This picture was not out of laziness. It exists for a reason.

Dawn’s Weekly Poem


Let’s skip a stone on the pond
And run the forest wild
Have a sword fight in the woods
And fight the king so viled

Build a clubhouse in the tree
And mighty dragons slay
Lay in the meadow to watch the clouds
And pass away our day

Let’s push the limits of our minds
And spill our hearts desire
Play in the spirit of our youth
And pray we never tire

This week’s theme is:

Out of Focus

Hopefully some fun can be had with that!

RWPE #5 – Framing

Basic housekeeping:

This page will be moving at the end of February. Don’t forget to update your links, bookmarks and RSS Feeds to the new URL:

Astute and technically savvy subscriber Angie did remind me that Blogger Dashboard is just an RSS Feed reader and anybody that follows An Artist’s Notebook on Blogger Dashboard will still be able to follow it through Blogger Dashboard by simply updating the URL.

Dawn and Angie both raised concerns that they would not get email alerts when responses to their comments are left on the blog. I am currently looking into coming up with a fix for that and I will let you know when I come up with a solution.

This week’s submissions for Random Weekly Photo Experiment:

Christopher D. Bennett

Dawn Krause

Michael Vest

Shannon Bardole’s Art Appreciation Picks of the Week:

Dawn Krause’s Weekly Poetry Entry:

Dawn went for the “psychological concept of Framing” with her poem.


A social theory of interpretation
It helps us along in communication

Reference points making up our lives
Fitting together till every piece jives

Outline of who we believe we are
Continually makes us raise our bar

Compare our lives to what we know
Fitting our frames to friend and foe

This must have been a tougher concept to tackle as the fewest people contributed, but hopefully more people will be able to tackle this week’s theme:


As many of you know, I am a huge fan of The Writer’s Almanac. It is my favorite thing on the radio. I wanted to share a little tidbit from today’s Writer’s Almanac as it is rapidly approaching Valentine’s Day. In fact, The Writer’s Almanac is celebrating this week with love letters.

Poet John Keats (books by this author) lived to be just 25 years old, but in that time he wrote some of the most exquisite love letters in the English language. The letters were to Fanny Brawne to whom he became engaged.

He was 23 years old, recently back from a walking tour of Scotland, England, and Ireland (during which time he’d probably caught the tuberculosis that would soon kill him), and had moved back to a grassy area of London, where he met and fell in love with Fanny Brawne. During this time, he composed a number of his great poems, including Ode to a Nightingale. And one Wednesday in the autumn, he wrote this letter, considered by many the most beautiful in the English language:

My dearest Girl,
This moment I have set myself to copy some verses out fair. I cannot proceed with any degree of content. I must write you a line or two and see if that will assist in dismissing you from my Mind for ever so short a time. Upon my soul I can think of nothing else. The time is passed when I had power to advise and warn you against the unpromising morning of my Life. My love has made me selfish. I cannot exist without you. I am forgetful of every thing but seeing you again — my Life seems to stop there — I see no further. You have absorb’d me. I have a sensation at the present moment as though I was dissolving — I should exquisitely miserable without the hope of soon seeing you. I should be afraid to separate myself far from you. My sweet Fanny, will your heart never change? My love, will it? I have no limit now to my love … I have been astonished that Men could die Martyrs for religion — I have shudder’d at it. I shudder no more. I could be martyr’d for my religion — love is my religion — I could die for that. I could die for you. My Creed is Love and you are its only tenet. You have ravish’d me away by a Power I cannot resist; and yet I could resist till I saw you; and even since I have seen you I have endeavored often “to reason against the reasons of my Love.” I can do that no more — the pain would be too great. My love is selfish. I cannot breathe without you.

Yours for ever
John Keats

The following spring, Keats wrote: “My dear Girl, I love you ever and ever and without reserve. The more I have known you the more I have lov’d. … You are always new. The last of your kisses was ever the sweetest; the last smile the brightest; the last movement the gracefullest. When you pass’d my window home yesterday, I was filled with as much admiration as if I had then seen you for the first time.”

Keats and Brawne became engaged. He wanted to earn some money for them before they got married. But then he began coughing up blood. When he saw it, he said: “I know the color of that blood; it is arterial blood. I cannot be deceived in that color. That drop of blood is my death warrant. I must die.” He wrote to tell her that she was free to break off their engagement since he would likely not survive. But she would not, and he was hugely relieved. But he died before they married.

RWPE #4 – Plants

Last week’s Random Weekly Photo Experiment Theme was PLANTS. It is exciting to have Julie Johnson as a first time contributor! Here are the submissions:

Julie Johnson

Dawn Krause

Jesse Howard

Mike Vest

Mike Vest

Christopher D. Bennett

Shannon Bardole’s Artistic Appreciation Selection of the Week:

Dawn Krause’s Poem:


As bee and butterfly flit through the green
Amid a summer day
On a rose flying-beauty paused to preen
While bee begins to play

The garden sways gently to the breeze
It’s rustle fills the air
Aroma and beauty with aim to please
A sensual gift so rare

The theme for this week is FRAMING.

The best way to describe FRAMING is it a compositional technique where an object (usually in the foreground)surrounds the subject. Essentially creating a frame.

An example of this technique can be seen in the image below taken by my nephew Logan on Mother’s Day.

However, don’t feel obligated to stick to that definition. A picture of somebody framing a picture or framing a house would qualify just as easily.

I do actually have several other photos that from my PLANTS photo session that I will publish later this week. I took several more pictures than I usually do for RWPE and I don’t want them all to sit on my hard drive collecting dust. Like the picture of the aftermath of me tripping over a fence, during the SOOTHING photo shoot, always will.

RWPE #3 – People

Last weeks Random Weekly Photo Experiment Theme was PEOPLE. Here are the submissions:

Christopher D. Bennett

Michael Vest

Jesse Howard

Becky Perkovich

There were also a couple of different types of submissions. The first of the different types of submissions came from Shannon Bardole. Her submission breaks the one and only rule of the Random Weekly Photo Experiment. That rule is that the picture has to be taken the week of the theme.

However, I’m going to allow her submission because her take on this experiment is art appreciation and not creating new art. The picture she submitted I actually took.

Shannon Bardole

Dawn Krause also had an interesting take on this RWPE. She has elected to participate this week via her medium of choice – poetry.

The world wants lovers never pain
To dance in sunshine without rain
Our very nature will cause a rift
Away from Eden we slowly drift

Human nature a cunning score
Breaks the heart whom we adore
For want of love unconditioned
Search the world for our rendition

Young love will often never last
For inner tensions we are cast
Still we search for a kindred soul
A companionship to make us whole

Dawn Krause

I hope at least a few people are in suspense about the theme for RWPE this week. The Random Generator spit out the following theme:


That should be interesting considering most of the vegetation is covered in a thick blanket of snow and ice, but I have faith that a few people will be able to come up with something of interest.

Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I’ve often heard that the saddest thing in the world is unrequited love. Unsolicited love on the other hand…

I’ve never been a Christmas card person. My thoughts on cards is that when somebody sends you a card, what they are really saying (with apologies to Mitch Hedberg) is: “here, throw this away for me.”*

Apparently my bah humbuggery has gotten around and this year I think I hit a new low for Christmas cards received.

However, even though I don’t participate in the tradition I took Christmas card photos for 4 sets of people. That made me think that maybe I should get into the act.

But I don’t know how far I want to take it. I could certainly send a picture card of me that says, “Merry Christmas! Please, throw this away for me.” But I began to wonder if I have it in me to write the perfunctory Christmas letter.

You know, the whitewashed version of people’s lives that some people put in their cards. I didn’t think I was capable of this level of lying, but then I opened the theme Christmas letter from Geri D.

It was inspiring in its creativity. Maybe inspiring enough that some of you might just get something in the mail from me in December of 2010.

Since I have already covered the Christmas card photo shoot for the Howards, I am going to spend the next few days covering the other 3 photo shoots.

The other thing I want to cover today is a new photo project I am entering into with Mike Vest of Waxen Media. (Jesse Howard has also agreed to participate, but did not submit a photo for this week.) It is the type of photo project that I hope some of you choose to also participate in.

We came up with 52 photo “subjects” and entered them into a random generator. Every week on Monday we will randomly be given a new subject to photograph.

On Mondays I will post the previous week’s photos and that week’s subject. Anybody that would like to participate can. You can participate as many or as few weeks as you want. The photos don’t have to be taken with a fancy camera or have to be high art. Pictures with a camera phone are perfectly acceptable. The only rule is that the picture has to be taken that week.

Just email me your picture before noon each Monday.

Last week’s subject was “Use of Space”. Here are our pictures:

Christopher D. Bennett

Michael Vest

The subject for next week is “SOOTHING”. I know this to be short notice, but snap something off and email it to me at

This weekly random photo subject should NOT be confused with my ongoing Personal Photo Project of the Week that is one of my goals for 2010. I should hopefully start publishing some of that work next week. After I cover the other 3 Christmas Card Photo Shoots.

Of course there is one last subject that needs to be covered. It has been exactly 1 week since my old friend college football left me until next September.

The Gridiron Bowl Prophets made many wild predictions and this time, Yours Truly came out as the Champ.

Gridiron Bowl Prophets Final Standings:

  1. Christopher D. Bennett – The Insight – 23 of 34 – 429 Points
  2. Corey Faust – In It To Beat Bennett – 20 of 34 – 393 Points
  3. Jason Baier – Hokies – 21 of 34 – 367 Points
  4. Jesse Howard – Bowl Prophet – 20 of 34 – 341 Points
  5. Toby Sebring – I Love Lamp – 17 of 34 – 323 Points
  6. Lowell Davis – AC000000 – 0 of 34 – 0 Points

It is only my incredible modesty that prevents me from pointing out the thorough dominance of my performance.

*Despite my bravado, I don’t really throw anything away. If I’m ever on Hoarders, it will be because of the boxes and boxes of cards I have in my basement.

Methodist Men Steak Fry – Preview

Here is a preview of what you will see if you come to the Methodist Men Steak Fry on Sunday night.

Below is the video that Jesse will use to close his presentation.

The video was put together by Mike Vest. The song is “Hey World (Don’t Give Up on Me Version)”

Of course, if you subscribe to this blog via RSS Feed or Email, you will have to go to the website to view the video. You can do so by clicking on the link below:

Boone County Fair

This is not meant to be in any way shape or form meant to be bragging. It is merely meant to be informative, since not everybody makes it to the Boone County Fair.

I wanted to enter a couple of pictures in the Boone County Fair “photography contest”. As it turned out, I didn’t have time to order 2 new pictures, so I selected 2 8x10s out of a stack of about 25 8x10s I have stored in a manila envelope for just such an occasion.

Even though I didn’t order any new pictures, but only entered a couple of pictures that are a couple of years old, I still couldn’t seem to find time to mount and mat the pictures. Luckily, Vest from work was willing to do that for me.

Here are the pictures I entered:

Boone County Fair Photo Contest - 2009

Boone County Fair Photo Contest - 2009

The orange flower picture got a Blue Ribbon.

The black and white bus picture got a Purple Ribbon for Outstanding Home Department Project or something like that.

I have a fairly firm rule about never entering a photo in more than one contest, but I was distressed to find out when I got home late Sunday night when I was putting the pictures in their bag and putting them in the trunk, that I had entered the orange flower picture in the 2007 Pufferbilly Days Photo Contest.

That frustrates me and lead to a re-organization of the trunk. Even though that kept me up until 2 in the morning.

A Sign I Want

I went to the ISU Surplus Sale on Wednesday with Vest, Frank and Jesse. When we walked in the door I saw a song that I badly wanted.


Unfortunately the sign was not for sale and the machine it was attached to was $3000. A bit more than I’m willing to spend for a cool sign.