Toot, toot

Forgive this egregious violation of proper etiquette. In my book at least, one should never, ever, under any possible permutation of twisted circumstance, toot his or her own horn. I must say, however, I thought it nice that the newsletter editor of the North American Shetland Sheepbreeds Association chose to use one of my photos for the recent cover of that quarterly publication. The image was presented first here, at WordPress, in a post of entitled Early morning kerfuffle, perhaps you will remember it? Although I sent the editor a high-resolution copy of the image, it didn’t seem to make the transition to the cover well. If you would like to view a high-resolution version of this photo you may do so here.

26 thoughts on “Toot, toot

  1. Oh AWESOME! I haven’t looked at my copy yet, though it is sitting right on top of the coffee table! I remember when it arrived and I thought, “Oh that is darn cute!” but didn’t look more closely! Wait til tomorrow when I show the girls and toot your horn FOR you! So wonderful!

    • Hey Tammy, thanks for the support and kind words. I do apologize however for the relatively low resolution of the thing. As I indicated in the post, I did send a nice hi-res version to the editor but, somehow, the clarity was lost-in-translation. How are you holding out up there? Are you going to survive the summer? We’ve been REALLY hot here and HAVE YET to make hay! Next week looks promising however – cross your fingers. D

      • I’ve been able to put up 500 bales of first cut and am waiting on 2nd until August. We are not getting the rain, though we’ve had a lot of heat. We are having a good amount of rain though and the gardens are amazing. And how the heck are you and Joanna managing with planning to move and all? I can’t get over the enormity of what is in front of you. I am overwhelmed FOR you! I have 30+ sheep now, am possibly selling my Merino ram lamb, have possibly a home for my Shetland ram, have neutered our Angora buck, so no breeding this coming season. I am overrun with fiber animals. I love it, but we all know that come next lambing/kidding season, it will be too much for just me to manage. Our farmers’ market season has been busy and my bakery business is uber busy. In many directions lately, but all good. Be well, say hi to Joanna. I just saw a neat tapestry weaving blog post that made me think of her … gorgeous. If she gets a chance there is a gal, Janette Meetze, that was featured and the article, posted through “The Woolery.”

  2. This is probably the nicest cover this publication has ever had. Hope they have a large circulation! Glad you tooted your horn. The photo is indeed toot-worthy! And I remember the original post!

  3. Well deserved – and I remember the image! If nobody tooted his or her own horn social networks would be ghost towns – so no modesty please 😉

    • Ha! I had never thought of that … good point. Perhaps that is why I have always stayed away from platforms such as Facebook. Perhaps I have a fear of just a bit too much of what I would call, ‘Navel Gazing!’ D

    • I don’t think I’ll quit my day-job Seonaid! Truth-be-told … I sent it, unsolicited, to the editor … it’s not like they came searching. Ok, ok, I’ll try and be positive … indeed, it did show up in their newsletter … whatever the avenue it took to get there. How was that? D

    • Indeed … HOT HOT HOT. Or, I suppose it would be more accurate to say warm and very HUMID HUMID HUMID. I don’t mind warn … but I hate humidity! The periodicity of rain has been such that we STILL HAVEN’T MADE HAY YET! Don’t tell anyone … I’m so ashamed. The kids would say, “Totally crazy weather.” Just got back from another road-trip to Cape Cod. Joanna and I just figured that we drove for 21 hours on a trip that lasted all of 53 hours … are we nuts, or what? Didn’t even have time to get any good photos. How about you? Are you on to another contracted job … or have you sat down to write that book? D

        • Ouch! What a place! It looks expensive, cutting-edge, and wonderful. And the university provides this sort of space for student use? Crazy. Undergraduates? Graduates? Both? Faculty? All three? Someone made the hard decision (in light of always-limited-dollars) to invest …. and I can guarantee that the return on investment will be high indeed. Kudos (I hate that term, I can’t believe I used it) to those who had the gumption. Oh … and, for sure, you’re a lucky guy to be able to play (oh, I mean, work) there for a bit. D

          • Dave, between you and me … and, of course, anyone who cares to read this, it’s a dream job. Yes it’s primarily for students but faculty and staff are welcome. Tomorrow and the next day is the student conference – around 25 sessions, all given by the students working in groups and I’m proud to say that at least 12 of them were crafted right in this space.

              • In this case I consider myself particularly charmed. But that goes both ways. I am quite impressed by how you two have done such an excellent job of blending formal science with the more traditional (but still solid) knowledge in creating something that is valid, excellent and still sustainable. That is an almost impossible task and one worth talking about to a worldwide audience. Through your blog, the words and posts do a remarkable job of doing just that. You have often spoken to me about a book but you know that you are sitting on the basis of one with much more impact should you ever go for it.

  4. I love that you tooted your own horn. It is a fantastic thing to be able to say you’ve had your work published. Congratulations! Great photo! ~amy

    • Hey there Amy … thanks for taking the time to provide such kind words of support. If you follow this blog you will know that I’ve got something of a ‘thing’ about my ability to judge my own work. When folks appreciate my photos well enough that they ask to include them in their publications … and when they take the time, as you have, to offer a compliment … it totally makes my day and makes me feel better about my photographic endeavors. D

          • I think great art comes from people loaded with self doubt, it keeps us striving to try harder. If we actually thought we were great, there would be no reason to look harder. Being humble and vulnerable in our art, in my opinion, makes it so much better … I hope. Arrogance would be a bit blinding, I think. Thank you, D. ~amy

            • Wow, what terrific analysis. Of a sort which I never heard before. But, you know, it makes great sense; to me, at least. Thanks for this gem of philosophical, psychological, analysis and wisdom. I think there is more than a grain of truth to what you have said. You are correct, if each of us believed that we were already in possession of the answers and the insight, there would be no reason to keep looking for them. Inasmuch as our art is physical manifestation of our personal journeys, exploration, we humbly submit that we are searching. We admit freely that we do not have the answers to life’s complex questions. If our good opinions of ourselves were such that we didn’t search, there would be to little say, and little to express through our art. Wow. Did you just come up with this, over coffee, this morning … or is this bit of wisdom something you have been keeping from the world for a bit? Thanks for providing a bit of insight into the purpose of my art. D

              • Validation! What a gift you have given me, thank you. This wisdom was necessary to understand the world around me and my reactions to it. My father, an optometrist, taught me to see. When I was about ten he told me that I don’t see the way other people do because I am blind in my right eye. He told me that I judge distances by light, shadow and size. It was then that I started thinking about light. Light became an object to me. I knew that it flowed like water and like wind. I simplified the world around me by breaking it up into its parts. When I was unable to be a photographer when my first daughter was born I thought I’d go mad without a creative outlet. I taught myself to paint. I tried all media, but it was watercolor that I understood best. Water is an element, it wants to bond with itself and it follows the same path as light. “Let There Be Light!” not sunlight, but rather that spark of creativity. I painted what I knew best, light. [I’m getting to the point, hold on.] Light touches, flows, it wraps itself around objects and reveals everything we see. While I was creating a new painting, I felt powerful. It’s a bit of a high to watch something come from nothing. Power without arrogance. But when the painting was complete and others would see it and give me praise, I felt detached. I was puzzled. Shouldn’t I have felt pride? We’ve all heard, ‘its not the destination, its the journey;’ I was commissioned to paint 30-8×10 watercolor paintings of my Synagogue for a prayerbook. The book has been a success, but people’s reaction to me, changed. I’ve heard, “The book is beautiful, but I guess I don’t need to tell you that, we don’t want you to get a big head.” It took a lot of introspection to reach the conclusions that I expressed to you. Arrogance is blinding. Creativity is both powerful and humbling. Arrogance is believing you no longer need to learn. Creating is seeing and being grateful for it. Because I am a self taught artist, with no college education (became a photographer right after high school and worked as a lab manager in a camera shop), and because I have very little Jewish education (grew up in rural Vermont), I carry these, as insecurities, with me. I always will and it’s a heavy load, but it drives me forward. I will always try to prove to myself that I am capable of creating what I see. Because I love the journey. Crazy, right? ~amy

                • No, absolutely not crazy. Entirely reasonable. It’s clear that you have thoroughly thought through the personal rationale for your art. Although I have begun that long journey, with the proverbial ‘baby steps,’ I have yet to complete it. I have thought about my motivations enough, however, to know that I suffer some of the same detachment from the praise of others as you described above. I too wonder why that is? The wisdom expressed in your earlier comment, together with this rationale are ideas I will come back to. D

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