I see no reason why foruminants should be spared this. If you continue, you'll be looking at the elements of a Christmas card I am sending to selected soon-to-be-delighted recipients of a pint of Bob n Loy's Sweet/Hot Ginger/Black Bean Salsa and a bar of hempseed oil soap, and maybe something else, depending entirely on how worthy they are based on accidents of birth or on how much money I owe them.
Under the rather dubious apprehension that another “Christmas letter” will be of interest, I’ve had a fun year inasmuch as nothing really bad happened and I got to talk to art enthusiasts at three different gallery openings of exhibitions of my work.
By a little luck and a little self-promotion, I interested some folks from San Francisco in my rodeo photos. They liked ‘em and put ’em in a travelling exhibit featuring some 40 artists in all sorts of media. They also invited me to be the opening exhibit of the gallery they built in San Francisco, March through the first week of May. That resulted in an actual review in an actual art magazine. Okay, it was a review about the gallery and its owners, but it mentioned my name.
Locally, the Apex Gallery at SDSMT exhibited 45 of my rodeo prints in August. All this artistic recognition has not significantly increased photo sales. It has, however, given me an excuse to accumulate some large prints and post my walls with the best rodeo action photography available.
Noticing this summer that the Belle Fourche Police Department was using the rodeo photo below on its cruisers, I asked for and was quickly given a license fee. This represents a profit, finally, on a rodeo I shot in 1981.That’s nice.
Marty Jandreau, Kennebec SD, on Gunville's Bridger, Black Hills Roundup, Belle Fourche 1981
On the outside backflap of this card is “Year of Fear.” That piece sold in a fundraising event at the Dahl Fine Arts Center, representing the first time someone dug into her pocket for a non-photo creation of mine. That money went to The Dahl.
Meanwhile, I’ve been supporting these various habits by “evaluating the customer experience” at various retail outlets for various companies who contract to corporate internal affairs enforcers (Look up “mystery shopper” online). Mostly I find the customer experience to be better if one is being paid to be a customer than if one is voluntarily spending money on stuff one doesn’t need.
The bee pictures are from the flower garden Loy planted when she wasn’t cooking glass and providing us with a pretty good lifestyle. That includes things like going to Baja California to spend 12 days in a beach hut at La Paz, which Loy and I are going to do starting December 13. Margaritavillle. Gray whales, hammerhead sharks, giant squid. Below is an image of what Loy does that makes all this possible.
Really, Merry Christmas!