Archive for the ‘The Back Story’ Category

How Great Thou Art

January 28th, 2011 No comments

How Great Thou Art - a hymn just about everyone is familiar with.

As an outdoor photographer, I’m struck by how one of the verses speaks to the beauty that surrounds me as I’m out in the field working:

How Great Thou Art

View of Lake Winnipesaukee from the summit of Mount Major (NH)


The hymn is based on a poem written by Carl Gustaf Boberg; the tune is a Swedish folk song.

Interestingly, the poem is supposed to have been inspired by Psalm 8.  If you read that Psalm, you’ll see the continuity of imagery.

Over the years, verses have been added and different variations have been published; the hymn gained wide recognition and popularity when it was used in the Billy Graham Crusades of the 1950s.

We included it in the funeral service for my dear father last month.


When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
the son of man that you care for him?
You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings,
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You made him ruler over the words of your hands;
you put everything under his feet:
all flocks and herds,
and the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
all that swim the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8:3-9


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“That’s What Christmas is All About, Charlie Brown”

November 30th, 2010 No comments

It’s about time to break into that treasure chest of Christmas movies and specials…whether on DVD or TV. Even after what seems like a million viewings, they never get old!

A lifelong Peanuts fan, my all-time favorite is A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Did you know the show almost didn’t get made? 

Among the many things television executives didn’t like was that wonderful scene in which Linus takes the stage, ever-present blanket in hand, and recites from the Gospel of Luke.

Producer Lee Mendelson later recalled the reaction of the guys in the suits over at CBS: “The Bible thing scares us.”

(They also didn’t like the idea of using jazz music for the sound track, voicing the characters with real children, and the absence of a laugh track. Clearly, these execs were batting 1000!)

 Happily, Meldelson and Charles Schulz held their ground on all counts, prevailed, and production moved forward.

The show went on to win both an Emmy and a Peabody, and of course has become a much-loved classic. The music Vince Guaraldi wrote and performed for A Charlie Brown Christmas is universally recognized.

Most importantly, this little program’s message hits the nail on the head – especially in today’s hyper-commercialized environment, with Christmas decorations up in stores as early as September and Christmas ads running before Halloween. (Ha – and Charlie Brown thought it was bad in 1965…!)

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 

“That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.” 


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On Faith – and Forgiveness

November 9th, 2010 No comments

Sunrise, New Hampshrie coast

“Let God’s promises shine on your problems.”
~Corrie ten Boom 

When I came across this quote, I wanted to learn more about (Cornelia) Corrie ten Boom. What I discovered was quite interesting. A deeply Christian Dutch woman born prior to the turn of the 20th century, she played a tremendous role in the resistence movement of the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II.

48-years-old at the beginning of the war, Corrie came up with a plan, supported by her family, to turn their home into a refuge where those who were being persecuted could hide…somtimes for hours as they waited to move on to other safe havens, sometimes for months.

Eventually, this mild-mannered middle-aged lady headed a resistence network of 80 people – and is credited with saving the lives of 800 Jewish people along with members of the Dutch resistence who were being targeted by the Nazis.

Betrayed to the Gestapo in 1944, the ten Boom family was taken into custody. Corrie’s 84-year-old father died soon thereafter. She and her sister ended up at Ravensbrück concentration camp near Berlin – where her sister died. Their brother contracted tuberculosis while imprisoned and died soon after the war ended. A nephew was sent to Bergen Belsen death camp and never heard from again. Read more…

What is Archival Quality and Why Does it Matter?

July 20th, 2010 No comments

We use premium, archival quality materials on all of our wall art (you’ll also see the term “conservation grade”).

Archival products are acid-free and therefore won’t harm artwork. Wood pulp (actually the lignin in wood pulp) contains acid – and of course wood pulp is what most paper is made from. That lignin will turn yellow and degrade over time.

Take a look at the beveled edges of matboard that’s been framed for a while…often, you’ll notice that the edges are no longer crisp white. They’ve turned yellow. Not only does this look unsightly, more importantly, it’ll damage and discolor the artwork that’s touching it. That’s what happens when you don’t use archival quality matboard.

Worse, even if artwork is archival quality, if any of the materials touching it contain acid from lignin, the art will discolor and deteriorate over time.

That’s why the best fine art papers and matboard are conservation-grade and made from cotton, which contains no acid…and that’s why conservation-grade is all we use.

In addition, plexiglass affords another level of protection since it isn’t prone to condensation the way glass is. Condensation is another factor that causes problems inside frames. We finish all of our artwork with acrylic rather than glass (an extra bonus is that acrylic is shatterproof and much lighter weight – both important factors when it comes to shipping).

Have a question? Suggestion? You’re always welcome to write me directly!