Of Comments and Copyrights…

My apologies to readers who have noticed that there has been a considerable delay in posting the next in my series of commentaries on “art in general”.  The delay has occurred  partly as a result of some upgrades needed for handling large numbers of comments (a “Site Use” page has been added to the website),  but also due to difficulties in trying to deal with copyright issues.  I will post this short commentary to explain, and then the usual posting which should have appeared much earlier, will be posted, but not as originally planned.  I will try to explain the situation here.

Before I begin this latest explanatory post, I want to take a few moments to acknowledge and thank all of you who have managed to find my new and relatively unknown blog.  Launched without great fanfare or even much planning and no advertising, many of you have found your way here and have taken the time to post encouraging words and comments which are greatly appreciated, and I thank you for your efforts and the kind words of encouragement.

In some cases, however, posted comments contained clearly commercial links unrelated to this blog or its content.  In an effort to help to preserve the original intent of this blog, and to prevent it from becoming a distraction for unrelated purposes, whether intended or not, I have added a page “Site Use” in which I ask that comments be relevant to the content and purpose of this blog, and that, unless a link clearly supports a relevant comment by a reader, links to other unrelated websites will not be approved for posting.

Due to the use of new comment management software, most of the original posts do not appear any longer, and my apologies to those of you who may have been wrongly affected by this recent change.  I certainly do not mean to discourage any legitimate comments or use of the website, and encourage you to please keep in touch and let us know what you are thinking (sans unrelated commercial links!).

I apologize again for the delay while updating the management software for this blog, but I hope the result will be worth it for all concerned, and I say that with all sincerity.  I further apologize for the delay in the usual business of posting new commentaries on this blog by me.

A second issue came up soon after the blog was launched, and it is one which all bloggers must eventually deal with, I suppose.  It is important to me to be able to post images, and perhaps other related material to illustrate points which I wish to make, in the process of my ongoing conversations about the subject of art and artists.  The next post which was intended to appear in this sequence was to be about an artist whom I mentioned in the previous posting, and whose work I felt would be of interest to my readers.  I will certainly post the commentary which I have prepared, but I delayed posting the note until I could obtain further information on copyright issues related to posting examples of the artist’s work.  I feel that they would be an important part of my commentary, and it’s always most convenient to readers if images being referenced can be seen as part of the posting.

Unfortunately, I am not a lawyer, and my research into copyright law has led me to believe that this area of law is confusing, to say the least.  I have found many sites which address this type of issue, but I have found few definitive answers.  Perhaps the best that I have found simply advises, “when in doubt, don’t do it”, and I suppose that can be taken as perhaps a general principle that might apply to just about anything at all, but it might be a good principle to have in mind.

I did invest time in trying to obtain permissions to use material from other websites  (art museums, etc) who do display images related to my post.  I hoped that I could just obtain permission to post selected images on my website as examples, with credit to the sources.  To date, I have received no responses from anyone from whom permission was requested.  That is not to say that I might not eventually obtain permission, but the wait could be long, indeed.

After failing to make much headway with copyright issues, I have been advised to simply provide links to sites where material can be found, including images, related to whatever I would like to talk about.  In the interest of avoiding further delays in posting, I have decided to go ahead with my own comments and images (no copyright infringement there), and simply provide links in the text to related material which I think would be of interest to my readers.  I hope you will understand that this is a compromise choice, but it is one which I think will work, even if it is not my first choice.  I don’t have a staff or budget to pursue permissions for everything, even if they could be obtained, so hopefully this will answer the need to help you find supplementary material which is related to my postings.

Enough said about that, and I assure you that when permissions can be obtained, I will provide the material, especially images, within the blog itself, and I will welcome comments from anyone who can shed further light on this issue.

In the meantime, for the sake of your further amusement (if not enlightenment), I’ll just post a quick, colored sketch of my own.  I think of her as a New York girl running to catch a taxi in the wind and rain (in keeping with my current theme).  Sometimes I feel just like this – how about you?  Isn’t life just like that?

NY Girl

“Uptown Girl” – colored sketch

My thanks again to my loyal new readers for your interest and your comments.  My next regular post will appear shortly (as soon as I have installed the requisite links to supplementary material of interest).

Until then, my apologies to anyone who might have been affected by changes in the website and to delays in posting.

I’ll hope to see you again soon, and in the meantime, let’s try to make the most of the stormy days of life. Your taxi cab to safety is probably just around the corner!  Wishing you a great holiday weekend!

—  Jim

Welcome to my Blog!

Welcome to the blog of (self-proclaimed) artist/philosopher Jim Justice.  In these posts, we will be exploring whatever may be on my mind that I wish to share with you, especially as it relates to my own explorations of art and photography.  However, I won’t acknowledge any limitations on where this might take us at any particular time in the future.  I hope and suspect that this may become a dialogue with you, and that my responses to your inputs may become as important as my own posts, which will focus heavily on my own work and thoughts.  In my posts, I will regularly introduce new or existing art works for comment, discussion and critique, and will welcome your feedback.

By now you have noticed my “signature” image, a cardinal experiencing his world on a particularly challenging day in the midst of near-blizzard conditions.  I have chosen this image to identify me on related Internet sites, and I’d have to say that I can often identify with him!  I am drawn to images and to the thoughts and emotions that they may evoke in each of us, and this is just one example.

The image is a photograph taken during a particularly harsh winter storm recently, in my part of the world.  I often like to attach captions which my images bring to mind, and the first caption that came to mind in this case was “who said it’s just another cold front?”.  In second place was the caption “it’s a tough life!”, and isn’t that often the case?  We all face our own challenges and difficulties in life, and they shape and mold our characters.  They are what make us what we are, and who we become.  Sometimes we must work hard to overcome them, and sometimes we can welcome the fact that they have occurred and have become a part of us.

In saying that, we realize that there can be both good and bad in every experience.  We simply have to learn to profit from the good, to learn from the bad, and to take whatever lesson we can find in it to heart so that we become the better because of it.  In the little cardinal’s case, he had little control over the situation in which he found himself.  Perhaps more often than not, we ourselves have little control over the situations in life that confront us every minute of every day of our existence.  To the extent that we learn to accept and learn from the bad and benefit from the good, we influence our own abilities to succeed and carry on.  Life is full of adversity.  Without adversity we might never have the opportunity to reach our full potential. Success grows out of failure, and is almost always preceded by it.  I think that almost every great person in history had to overcome a certain amount of adversity to become what he/she eventually became or accomplished.  Thomas Edison tried over 1,000 different possibilities, including bamboo, before he found the tungsten filament that made his light bulb a success.  Just look at how he changed the world!  Think about where we might be if he had ever accepted defeat.  There are a thousand lessons in this example, but perhaps one of the most important is that we should never give up on what we believe we can accomplish.  If we do, we guarantee failure.  If we don’t, we never close the door on the possibility of success and it’s certain that we will gain valuable knowledge and experience in the process.

Well, this brings us to where I now find myself.  I have done a lot and experienced a lot in this world.  Along the way, I discovered art and photography and became fascinated by the possibilities that I could see.  I don’t necessarily mean for wealth or success, but just for the opportunity to explore something new and exciting and to see what I might be able to do with it, if given the chance.  I wanted to know more and to learn to do it all myself, if possible.  Over the years I have acquired a certain amount of knowledge and skills, and now I have accepted the challenge of creating a real career as an artist, if that is possible.  If not, I will carry on, as before, because the important thing to me has always been to be able to try, and to just see what happens. I am constantly amazed by what can happen if you only try.

You can play a part in this.  By following me and giving me your feedback, you will help to mold my future career.  Perhaps I can do something of the same for you – I’m not a beginner and I have a lot of past history and experience to build on.  If you can take advantage of that, you are welcome to whatever I can offer to you, as well, and perhaps this blog will help to serve that purpose.  One of the most important lessons that I think I have learned in life is the power and fundamental value of communication in almost any form.  We’ll explore that idea here, and we’ll see where it can take us.

Welcome to my world!  You are now a part of it, and I look forward to whatever may come of this.  If you’d like to subscribe, you will be notified of new works and new blog posts as they appear.  I’ll hope to see you often…

–  Jim