Still lives, Vermeer and constant change…

I post this dispatch not from Paros, but from the ancient and industrial Port of Pireaus.  I am sitting at the Terminal CoffeeFoodDrinks Cafe, adjacent to the Port Authority Police Station.  The Center has been on spring break for the past few days and I have taken the opportunity to head to Athens for some r&r and some shopping for the darkroom, and myself.

I have been photographing some of the still lives used by Jun-Pierre Shiozawa, the painting instructor at the Aegean Center.  These two are a small selection he has used for his negative space drawing class.  I saw them and found them fascinating and worth documenting.  They are colorful and difficult.  I will post some more later this week.

The third image (jug and pear) is the projection of a still life from inside the camera obscura, built by Jane Pack and the advanced painting students.  I was, at one point, involved in that project at a fundamental level.  I had to withdraw due to other responsibilities.  I was thrilled (and cramped!) to be able to crawl inside the camera with my Canon 5D MkII and my 35mm lens to make a capture.  It has not been altered in Photoshop other than a small amount of cropping.  The colors are as they were to my eyes.  pen-jar-sldove-slAfter looking at the image I am convinced that Jane and her crew have cracked the code to Vermeer’s camera work.  Amazing!


On a sadder note…the longtime cafe overlooking the bay of Paroikia where I have posted so many of these blog entries has closed.  Pebbles Jazz Cafe has been a fixture on the Paros waterfront for over 15 years.  Aegean Center students have sat and watched the sun set after a long day in their studios; musicians have played their instruments on warm summer nights for happy, sun-drenched crowds; Dimitri has smilingly brought coffees, wine and other beverages to those in need of the view, some peace and a vantage above street level and photographers have sat safely inside, blogging about the changes they feel while they sipped their filter coffees and listened to the winter wind shake the walls.   As one friend on Paros has said, hopefully,” someone else will open it up but the sunset remains the same.”  I have a t-shirt I bought there a couple of years ago.  I imagine it is a collectors item now.  RIP…


So I head back to the island in about an hour.  Three more days until the second “half” of the term   and there will be much stressing out and running around by the students.  Me too, probably, as I have not been able to get much work done with my own portrait project.  For me, I am hoping for a flurry of printing and then some work with a Greek translator for the posters, handouts and (cross your fingers!) maybe even a small book to go along with the show.  Right now I am looking at the end of August heading into September…Cross your fingers.  Cross all of your fingers!



One Response to Still lives, Vermeer and constant change…

  1. Masters April 18, 2013 at 3:08 pm #

    John, I think the photographs OF the still life’s used by the painting instructor are wonderful. You are on to something there!