a multi-disciplinary dialog
Posted by Birgit Zipser on July 4th, 2008
Filed in photography
Ah yes; the Nettles. As you may know, Greg used to be a decent baseball player. He’s been retired for a while, so I’m not surprised to see him at the beach. Still has his old form.
Gregory Carpenter Gagne? Just read up on him on Wikipedia. He is the solitary one?
I expect Jay meant Graig Nettles.
I am learning about baseball celebrities!
I can’t help with the baseball, but I do like these images. You’re doing with your thistles what I’m attempting with my trees: making meaningful use of negative space and playing artfully with the conversations set up among elements. Your solitary thistle has only the grasses to talk to (though they are elegant). The pair seem to be engaged in some kind of kachina dance. I like the color scheme as well.
The combination of the title and the photos is delightful. With Steve, I see the pair as dancing. The bluish green color is like the sage brush or celadon ash of eastern Oregon — but of course, there’s no ocean to play off of. At first I thought these plants might be some sort of love-in-the-mist, but I doubt you find them on sand dunes. Your horizons are stark!
I was so immersed in my emotional response to the two pictures that I did not realize I was playing with negative space.
Trying to read up on kachina dancing, so far, I gained the impression that different tribes feel differently towards it. I will select the tribe that fits my interpretation of the dance.
Inspired by your interest in the nature of the plant, I looked it up and found that it is very special: Pitcher thistles grow along beaches and grassland dunes of the Great Lakes for five to eight years before it flowers and it only seeds once during its life time.
Now, I cherish the spot where I found them even more. Elsewhere in the dunes, it is endangered by knapweed, an invasive species. The manner by which I approach that general area and the fact that I cleared knapweed from where I live, hopefully, means that I will not introduce contaminating knapweed seeds.
Sometimes it’s Greg and sometimes Graig, but it may be moot as they’re thistles.
The second image does have a lot of air, but it tends to come across to me as more a positive than a negative space. The thistles, which remind me a little of Steve’s cottonwood trees, seem to be gathering up the sky as they negotiate with each other over a patch of cloud.
It doesn’t have to be conscious, or if conscious, not necessarily about the negative space per se. I imagine you thought about your compositions, and how much plant and how much lake and sky to show. But merely selecting what’s pleasing involves your intuitive sense of negative space.
You are right, I did significantly cropped the dancing couple which means that I did play with negative space.
gathering up the sky, I like that.
It’s always “Graig” even in the ebay listings where the memorabilia owner lists the autographed items as “Greg,” they’re signed “Graig.” I think he (Mr. Nettles, that is) would know.
Pricked by curiosity, I Googled Nettles and I had a choice of Graig or Greg. Greg sounded more sporting.
I never liked Graig Nettles. He whined too much. I liked George Brett until I learned that he liked Rush Limbaugh.
Now I like Cesc Fabregas but he plays soccer which of course is really football.
I lived in San Diego when Nettles played for the Padres. If I’d known he was going to figure in this future discussion I might have made an effort to watch him.
First, Jay, I need to thank you. I recently received an invitation that I was immensely flattered by but reluctant to accept, and I’ve been at a bit of a loss to explain why. I think, though, that you have made my argument better than I could myself and that I need only reference this exchange and no more will need to be said.
Second, and this is the last thing I will say about this, I find it curious that any reasonable person would reject the idea that if you are in doubt about a man’s name the best person to clarify the matter is the man himself. I will also suggest that since I am a professional fact-checker, and—on what should be an unnecessarily personal note—since my father worked for Topps, my confidence in my assertion about Mr. Nettles’s given name is rooted in something more ample than a latter-day Google search might afford. But it might be best if we simply agree to disagree. Surely you can set aside your pronounced antipathy for, and sniping at, me for the sake of the blog.
D, liking Rush Limbaugh is a compelling reason to abandon almost anyone.
Steve, lovely city San Diego. Gorgeous weather…and all those sailors.
Birgit, My apologies for this long discursion from the purpose of your post.
What an excellent title I chose for my post: FAMILY. Within a family, dispute is welcome.
I’m not sure what’s happening, but let me guess. When I said that I was “pricked by curiosity..” I was referring to the first instance when, upon reading Birgit’s post, the topics of ‘family” and “nettles’ first came together in my mind. My apologies if this was not made clear.
Birgit: you might agree with me that this string of comments has come to resemble your images.
Wow, D., this is the first time I’ve heard George Brett mentioned in a dog’s age. I too have felt a grand sigh at his unfortunate aging process — baseball clearly stole all the best years of his life.
Now then, there’s Clyde Drexler, who continues to thrive. He once smiled at me across a playground and I’ve had fond thoughts of him ever since. He was on the almost winning Blazers basketball team a few (!!) years ago.
Birgit, it’s impressive that you’ve caught these nettles just as they are blooming — a once in their lifetime achievement. I was thinking there was some family metaphor in there, but then decided it wasn’t a place to go…..
We are off tomorrow for a prolonged painting and vacationing trip that we hope will include spending some time in Lochsa region of Idaho. I read a book by Bud Moore about this wilderness — it’s on the west side of the Bitteroot Mountains just west of the Montana border. I’m rereading the book, having been enthralled by the idea of the Lochsa when we were in Montana last winter. I don’t paint mountains — or at least not up close. We’ll see how it goes with these babes.
Lochsa luck. Post if able.
Te krzewy s? pi?kne. W Polsce nazywaj? si? osty.Komentatorko B.Zipser odezwij si?! Nosimy to samo nazwisko.Jestem polk? i ca?a moja rodzina jest tutaj i te osty na polach.
Two high energy people prefer the second image showing the dancing couple over the first image.
DL said: i love the second picture
it is magical.
Tolla said: I vote for the second pic in your most recent post — no earth shattering reason, but if I had to give a reason, I’d say the first one with the clear horizon is a bit too pedestrian.
My interest in image 1 is understood by someone ‘who reads me well’:
On your blog there’s a photograph of a painting you bought that depicts a woman standing alone looking out to sea. The single thistle reminds me of that — is this, perhaps, a theme you might explore?
To me, Image 1 symbolizes a yearning towards exploring infinity without knowing how to go about it.
It resembles ballerinas and their floating tutus!