My cousin, Stephen, wanders all over the English countryside and gets paid for it. Lucky lad. He has tried to explain to me what he does for a living, but I don’t listen. Something to do with electronics and televisions and maybe surveillance of some sort, but really, I don’t listen. He talks fast and has that accent; it’s tiring just trying to follow him. So, unless he’s talking about something I’m interested in, like music or family or if he’s entertaining me with his wit (and then I listen very hard), I don’t pay much attention to him.
He does send me the best pictures, though. He has that going for him. I especially like this one:
Someone in Bristol is very talented. Could be more than one artist involved, and I would assume a lift of some sort was used, but whatever effort was needed to get the equipment in place, it pales next to the creativity of the artist. Or does it?
Everyone has a gift. I really believe this. The gift of the aforementioned artist is obvious. Those capable of organizing events in which an artist’s work is displayed are also gifted. Craftsmen who create tools that allow an artist to paint are gifted. Sure, maybe the artist went to the local hardware store and bought the mass-manufactured tools, but, still, someone is in charge of ordering supplies for this store and they could be very good at their job. That is their talent.
Stephen is very talented. Anyone can point a camera, or cell phone, and take a picture, but it takes the eye of an artist to see a worthy picture. One of my favourites that my cousin has sent me over the years is this picture of Dorfold Hall. Or Dorford Hall. Decipherable handwriting is not anywhere near one of Steve’s gifts.
Taken before digital, I believe. A family trait seems to be never scribbling the date on the back of pictures. I’d say in the 80’s because film was used (What? Yo, Ma, what’s film?), so I had to scan the picture in order to paste it. But I love that Steve used black and white film. Gives the Hall that ghostly appearance I associate with all old buildings in England. You can almost pick out long-dead faces in the windows. And I like how he framed the manor. Digital shots allow you to take myriad pictures and then delete the ones you don’t like. Film, and I’m not even sure 35mm film is still available, is a different beast.
Never satisfied, I complained to Steve that I prefer pictures with people in them. I like people. As long as they’re not trying to interact with me so let me rephrase that last sentence. I like people from a distance. So he sent me this picture;
If you’re not familiar with England, or the English, this picture might not be as heartwarming for you as it is for me. The fellow off to the right of the main subject, the fellow walking along with his back to the camera and his hands clasped behind him, makes me smile every time I look at this picture. Because it’s always how I see, in my mind’s eye, my dad or my uncles whenever we have strolled together during our many nature walks or jaunts through city streets. Hands clasped behind backs and their head up, taking in their surroundings with not a lot of conversation.
Blackpool. I think I may even have been there when this picture was taken. Love the English. Sitting on the beach with their coats one. I like the depth of field in this picture. The wall that leads your eye to the older gent. The blurry but obvious images of Blackpool in the background. This picture won’t speak to everyone but it does to me. Yells, actually. “Oi. When’s your next visit, then?”
Some never recognize their talents and that is truly sad. Even if you are aware of your gift, or gifts, and prefer not to share them with the world, that is the gift owner’s prerogative. But to go on thinking you are without any talent whatsoever is a very sad way to go through life. There is something you are good at. May not be as good as others, but still better than most. And if you spend hours and hours at this talent, work with it and enjoy it, you will get recognition, even if it’s simply by friends and family.
I’m sure there is at least one person in Bristol who is very proud of the above graffiti and the artist who created it. Even if it’s only the artist him, or her, self.