Ran Ortner, Painter

... but then came to realise that art is not a cleverness contest. It is not one's capacity to be inventive.  It is really an honesty contest ... the capacity to truly be that thing that you are.

Ben Ortner.

Ran Ortner paints the most extraordinary paintings.

I would love to live in a room with his work there on the wall, reminding me of the sea that I love, the sea I'm so far from now.

Here's a documentary (in progress). 

Ran Ortner Trailer (documentary in process) from Todd Holland on Vimeo.

Le Touquet-Paris-Plage ... and my bracelet.

Last weekend, Gert and I were wandering the wet streets of Le Touquet Paris Plage, about 200kms from Antwerp, playground of wealthy Parisians ... or so rumour goes.

He had booked us the Sunday night special in a rather marvellous hotel and it was really lovely.  But the weekend ended up being about more than that.   I have been searching, for a very long time, for a bracelet I could wear constantly, without it breaking and devastating me on a regular basis.  As has been the story so far ...

We were strolling along the rain-soaked streets, looking in shop windows and amusing ourselves before dinner when I spotted a beautiful silver bracelet.  I had to smile ... of course I was going to find a silver bracelet in the playground of wealthy Parisians.  Not being one myself.

Gert called me back as I walked on, pointing to the signs that said '70% discount' and 'closing down sale'. 

We knew it was impossible but we decided to wander in and ask anyway.  There's something rather nice about bracelets when you're a photographer.  Don't ask me why but I relate them to the whole practice of photography.

I tried it on, loved it, and asked how much.  He pointed to the 70% discount sign and did the maths for me.  I was stunned ... and delighted ... and feeling kind of guilty about picking up a beautiful silver bracelet at 70% off.

We walked out smiling, unable to believe how fortunate I had just been.

And the next day, before leaving, I saw this man on the beach and he seemed like a photograph.