After many days of dealing with Quacks and Croakers the major phase of my medical melodrama appears to be over. I still have two weeks on probation and then a CT and if all is well they will declare me a success, bill my insurance for the sum total of the Defense Budget for fiscal 2015 and start planning on how they can get more money out of me.
All of which means I have finally had a chance to travel for joy and not treatment and so I took a little excursion to Bandon by the Sea and had a wonderful time.
I have been under house arrest for medical reasons almost since Art by the Sea opened and this was my first chance to see how the artist’s co-operative in Bandon works.
My timing couldn’t have been better, there were loads of people in Bandon but not so many in Art by the Sea when I dropped by. That’s good for me but not so good for the gallery but I was assured that the traffic had been good all day so I don’t think I drove them away.
Art by the Sea is a boutique gallery in the space where Bandon Artist’s Supply used to be. It is a sad thing when an art supply goes under but a wonderful thing when artists can take control of their own destiny and have a space which they control and decide what can be shown and when it can be shown and what it should sell for.
The works on display this past weekend were fantastic and I would have bought a bunch had the Croaker not emptied my cupboard. The black and white images by Karen Stillwagen, and if I got the name or the spelling wrong Karen please correct me so that I don’t do it again, are in a word amazing. I kept coming back to the wolf by the door and this was a welcome wolf at the door so don’t think it was a bad sign and the little raccoon by the backdoor could come and get snacks off my porch any day.
Now there were many other pieces worthy of notice and I plan on going back soon so that I can name them in this blog. I picked Karen’s for the striking quality and the fact that I could remember her name. For those whose names I didn’t remember take into consideration that I am old and sickly and might even have Sometimers Disease and can’t always remember why I walked into a room but the next time I travel to Bandon I will take a pen and paper so that I can write down the artist’s names and give all of them full credit.
(Karen, I’m still not certain that the wolf is in perfect perspective, but number one I don’t care and after peering at it long and hard if it isn’t the slight imperfection makes it more compelling. That wolf-doggy looks like he is watching me as closely as I was watching him. Truth in Blogger moment, I had a big, red, happy wolf-doggy and he would often hang his head in just that way so I might be predisposed to have a thang for wolf-doggy pictures. Feel free to use the comment section to tell me I am a lout and a vandal and have the taste of a Kardashian!)
Even better than all of the art and the art was pretty wonderful, was the fact that the owners, the artists of the co-operative man the store themselves and I had an opportunity to speak with the incredible Susan Dimock.
Now for those of you, who have been living under a rock with no cable or even basic broadcast, Susan is one half of the fabulous husband and wife team of Susan and Steve Dimock and they shoot birds! No, not with a gun, with a camera and they do two things at once so easily that they make the rest of us feel like we haven’t accomplished a thing, they capture spectacular bird images, many other things too but the birds, well golly that’s the way God intended for them to look. They also make every photographer want to slash their wrists cause you know in your heart of hearts that even if you had that Canon with the lens as long as a 1948 Packard and all the knowledge in the world you could never take pictures like that and would just feel like an idiot trying and probably just chuck your Canon in the ocean anyway!
And in Bandon shooting beautiful bird pictures is a hard thing to do, not because the birds won’t cooperate, but because world class bird photographer Kelle Herrick lives and works there and once you’ve seen her bird pictures you know that you’d never dare take another bird picture in your life unless you are Susan Dimock, (Or Steve, but he wasn’t there so he’ll have to find his own flack and let Susan have the lion’s share this one time.) and then you take the picture and do just so damn good that trying to pick between Kelle and Steve and Susan is the sort of thing that makes you want to end it all except then you wouldn’t be able to see any of the pictures any more and that would be a crying shame.
Now have you ever noticed that the people who have the most right to be cool and aloof and distant are the ones least likely to be cool and distant and aloof? Susan Dimock falls squarely into that category. She has all of the talent in the world and certainly needs to spend her time on her own works and yet she is the nicest, most engaging and open person you are ever likely to meet. She will talk endlessly with people who never held anything more complex than an Iphone and treat them like they were Ansel Adams.
If you want to understand what it takes to be a great artist there is no better way than to actually talk to one who has already been there, done that.
Look if you can break away from the creamery and manage to get past the other treats and attractions go by Art by the Sea. The worst that can happen is that you see wonderful art. (Take your money, they’d like for you to buy, but looking is okay too.) The best that can happen is a few minutes with an artist of towering ability. Yes, Susan Dimock was a perfect fit cause I am a photographer and she is a female, lady, girl type person and I have a soft spot for the same, but say you draw a tough, ole, wrinkly, guy type artist, they can be a wealth of information, inspiration and insight and you get to be where you can see’em and smell’em and touch’em. That’s pretty good for looking at art that you would look at anyway.
Art by the Sea Gallery in beautiful Old Town Bandon by the Sea, be there are be square. It’s a gift from the talented to those of us who have none and desperately need it.