February 27, 2013
This is an edited re-post from June 20, 2008
My Sunday “Lonely Guy” activity is to read the New York Times and watch C-Span 2 Book TV, muted. If I glance something interesting on the screen — Christopher Hitchens, say, ranting about why we should be in Iraq — I may bring up the sound. That seldom happens. Most Sundays, only the rustle of newsprint is heard in my living room. Sometimes, though, the thing on TV that catches my eye is the shape of a nose, or a hairstyle, or an odd mouth and I feel a powerful urge to draw it — and the rest of the head. So I open my sketchbook, select a soft pencil from the coffee mug on the table by my chair, and set out to prove once again that I’m not only the world’s worst caricaturist, but should also get a medal for being the slowest. Of course, the nice thing about sketching talking heads on TV is they hold still for long periods, which means I can take all the time I need to get it wrong.
I have no idea why I doodled all that stuff on the sides, or wrote “The Other End” at the bottom, but I do enjoy making those little “drop” shadows under the letters. The thing that drives me mad, though, is that I have no memory of who most of the people are. (Memo to self: Keep better sketchbook notes). All I know for sure is that these folks appeared on C-Span 2 sometime in December, 2006. Also, I’m pretty sure the guy on the top left is a well-known newsman, one of the Kalb brothers, but which one? And the blond woman near the bottom of the left column is an expert on world religions. Interesting face, and I loved the informed talk she gave (I have the sound up while I sketch). Of course, all this assumes that I managed a passing likeness of at least those two.
Copyright © 2013 Jim Sizemore.
February 20, 2013
In the 1940s and 50s, there seemed to be a small store on every-other street corner in South Baltimore, and the densely populated neighborhood of tiny row homes provided plenty of customers to keep them busy. (One friend of mine, a successful comic strip artist, grew up in a 1,500 square foot home with his parents and six siblings.) These days we’d call the neighborhood shops “convenience stores” — the 7-Elevens” of that era — and among scores of items, they also sold my favorite snack food, called “Coddies,” or codfish cakes, made daily and served on salty crackers with mustard; if I remember correctly, they cost ten cents each.
The basic day-to-day supplies people needed were just steps away from their front doors, and anything else could be found at the end of a slightly longer walk to the full-service shopping areas on Light and Charles Streets, and in Cross Street Market. Meanwhile, most of the booming wartime labor force, including my father and older half-sisters, walked to their jobs at the dry docks and factories lining the harbor. Few families could afford a car, and none that I knew of had more than one, so there were no parking problems. Today there are much smaller families, but at least two cars for each home.
The photographs I’ve used here are from the late 1970s, but I took them because they reminded me of what I had seen as a boy growing up in South Baltimore 25 or 30 years before. My only regret is that I could have photographed more of the still-remaining corner stores then, and the unintentional beauty of their cluttered window displays.
This is a re-post from November 12, 2008.
Copyright © 2013 Jim Sizemore.
February 15, 2013
By Shawn Sizemore
(Click images for larger views.)
The “Hip Shots” series of photographs will feature images that were grabbed “on the fly,” with little or no regard for framing and focus. The object of the exercise is to create dynamic pictures, not perfect ones. With this ” shoot-from-the-hip” method, the more frames exposed, the better the chances are that you’ll come up with something interesting — a related series that may be arranged as a post. If you’d like additional tips for using the technique, or to submit your own images, drop a question or note in the “Leave a Comment” section, below. This feature will appear most Fridays.
Copyright © 2013 Shawn Sizemore.