Photography? Mais, non!
|Camera:||Canon EOS 5D|
I went to the ***New England Flower Show yesterday in Boston and did my photography thing. I came across a New England Botanical Association booth with lovely watercolor, colored pencil, pastels of plants and vegetables. They even had a stalk of brussels sprouts in colored pencil.
I asked if the association was open to photographers.
O, fou fou, cute little aquiline nose just did a tremulous shudder just before she said, “No.”
I was not offended but the message was clear. I pretended I didn’t get it.
Did she know of any association that was open to botanical photographers?
“No, I really don’t,” she said pensively as if contemplating the banality of evil.
“There’s a man who teaches a course in macro photography, though. He might know…” and she threw her eyes toward a brochure of courses that the association offered but apparently it was too much of a stretch for her to hand it to me.
I smiled my chicklet smile and left to do battle another day. I resisted saying, “You know MY brussels sprouts photographs blow your colored pencil one out of the garden, sistah! “
But, I said to myself, “What would Barack Do?”
I continued on with the show.
I went to the information booth on my way out and asked whether there were any photographers who had booths that I might have missed.
“Photographers?” She said this as if I’d asked her, “Yes, hello, where is the booth where I can leave off a stool sample?”
“Well, I’ve seen the Botanical Association with their lovely work and a few other watercolorists with booths, I was simply wondering if I had missed any photographers?”
“Well, it’s up to them to come to us, you know.”
Check defensive without being accused. I was just asking a question. But, things were heating up now. Two times in an hour two separate women had dissed photography as a second class citizen.
I gave my Barack smile, again.
I asked if she knew of any association of photographers who specialized in botanical subjects as the New England Botanical Association did?
“Oh, well…you have to understand that THEIR art (meaning “fine” art) comes from a long tradition, spanning centuries.”
If it is possible to look down your nose and be wall-eyed at the same time, this woman accomplished it.
I’ve got a long tradition, too, I felt like telling her…but I didn’t. Ever since health care passed, I’ve said to myself that I had to adopt the Barack method of responding to fools.
Some folks ask “What would Jesus do?”. Me, I’m a little more contemporary.
What would Barack Do?
(C’mon, if he can deal with John Boehner, then I can deal civilly with some flower art snobs, right?)
I flashed her my best Barack smile (which is quite impressive if I do say so myself) but, it is also all I can replicate of his “Putting-Up -With-Fools” tool set I am soon going to sell on Amazon for $9.99.
Maybe in addition to smiling, I’ll start my own botanical art association, make it open to all artists, whatever their medium, and give these ladies and their traditions some brussels sprouts they’ll never forget.
Oh, yes, I just might have to start smoking, too. I think that is his secret addiction and his secret of success.
Think about it. Ever since this country has banned smoking in public places and made smokers feel like lepers, our national dialogue has gone right into the place where stool samples go.
You didn’t think I was just going to use that phrase just once did you?
©Pat Coakley 2010
PHOTOGRAPHY CANNOT BE USED WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION
**Select photographs from this blog and from my wider archive are available for purchase at www.patcoakley.com
***An image taken at the Flower show can be seen on my seasonal flower and plant photo tip blog, singularsensation.wordpress.com.