Tuesday, December 29, 2009

From Nurnberg

Writing this in my cabin aboard the Scenic Diamond as we sail from Nurnberg to Regensberg. We've passed through 3 huge locks and for some of the time were on an aqueduct, looking down on roadways. Lots of ice at each of the locks, tho' the main waterway of the canal is clear. Its been cold: freezing temps or just a few degrees above that, sometimes w. sunshine. Today in Nurnberg, we visited the WW2 Documentation Center thats in a wing of the former Nazi Congress Hall thats shaped like the Roman coliseum. The photographs and films that have a Nurnberg connection, in 18 rooms were too much for one visit, but seeing and hearing bits and pieces was a great experience. We also saw the courthouse where the Nurnberg trials took place; courtroom 600 is being renovated now. The site of the Nazi Rallies still brings visions of those multi-thousands of avid raging Germans saluting Hitler as he stood on the "balcony" of Speer's stagy building...the latter is still there albeit without that swastika; grass grows on the parade field and the steps of the buildings here.


All the Christmas markets in the cities, towns we've visited have been closed since Christmas Eve morning. But there are so many shoppers everywhere, and Christmas merchandise is till abundant in every shop.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Thanksgiving at Sea


Our family, minus 2 grandsons, boarded the Emerald Princess on Nov. 22 for a week in the Caribbean. Ira and I presided as matriarch & patriarch over a dinner table of 9 laughing, chatting, teasing offspring and grandkids each evening...it was absolutely great. We celebrated Bonnie's Dec. 10 b-day early...she wore a lighted crown, courtesy of her clown sibling who also provided sponge ball cone projectiles that added to the gaiety.
The teenagers, Kate, Dane and Hero, who have great social skills, met teens from various countries and parts of the US, participated in so many activities that they enjoyed, and were tearful re leaving their new friends when the voyage ended. Of course, cell phone #s, Facebook, etal were exchanged and they'll keep in touch, at least for a while.

Our three, Keith, Bonnie and Shari hadn't been together in many years, and had time to catch up on news while they shopped, were at the casino, at the beach laughing at how each of their swimming styles hadn't changed...Kathleen joined in their memory fest. Ira and I especially enjoyed watching Keith dancing w each of his sisters at the Past Passengers party where we posed w the Captain upon receiving our 2nd Most Travelled passenger glass plaque and bottle of champagne.
It was a week I'll always remember with joy.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Voices of Witness at Artspace

How sorry I am that all my friends, acquaintances, local artists...everyone who wasn't present....weren't at Artspace tonight. You missed a marvelous evening of storytelling about the Great Depression by the magical voices and words of Jeannine Pasini Beekman, Angelique Feister, Thelma Harrison and Myra Davis.
I sat, entranced, as I listened to individual's tales and also the impact of the WPA, CCC on North Louisiana lives. I grew up in NYC and heard about the selling of apples, the long bread lines, etc., but here in Louisiana, the Depression and the federal programs brought about so many changes different from metro city experiences. Tonight I heard about reforestation, the building of safe, good schools w. added facilities like bathrooms and gyms, the building of rural paved roads, how those beautiful homes on Barksdale AFB were meant to look like a French village from a birds eye view, how the natatorium at Northwestern, buildings at Grambling, La Tech, Northeastern were completed during this era. And all the aforementioned were transmitted through the voices of these talented Scheherazades.
And Chef Michael had fresh yummy cookies, pies...of course I had to sample those, forsaking my pre-cruise diet. I did videotape about 10 minutes of the performance: look at YouTube under Artsmaven75 tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Madeleine Moment

I was watching Antiques Roadshow, Louisville. A small abstract watercolor and gouache painting was on the easel, signed by Jimmy Ernst, 1959. The appraiser told its owner a bit about Ernst's bio as the son of Max Ernst, etal and gave it a value of $5000.
As I looked at the work, I flashed back to an evening at Brooklyn College, 1954 or 55, when I'd been working late in the photo lab and was leaving for home. The small, rather isolated hallway, on this 4th floor where only the Design office, lab and a few design classrooms were, was covered with newsprint and some heavier paper. Hanging from the central lighting fixture was a cord wrapped around a bottle of India ink whose cap had been pierced. Jimmy Ernst, one of my teachers, was swinging that bottle and examining the arcs produced on the papers. He'd change the direction of the swinging bottle, move the heavier paper sometimes as I silently watched. He was absolutely absorbed in this and after a short time, I walked to the stairs and left for home.
As I looked at the Roadshow work, a watercolor background with white arcs in the foreground, I knew that those arcs were created by swinging a bottle w. a pierced cap, this time of white gouache; that I'd been privileged to see this wonderful teacher and artist in the process of working out a specific technique.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Wyn as SCROOGE

Grandson Wyn Delano, age 17, plays the role of Scrooge in "A Winter's Tale" at the Morgan-Wixson theater. Bragging Grandma reports that he received a standing ovation on opening night.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

World Series in Panama

This a.m., chatted with daughter Bonnie who is at a hotel in David, Panama. David is on Panama's Pacific coast, about a 5 hr. bus ride from her home in Bocas, on the east coast. She said that last night she'd watched the Yankee-Phil. games amidst a huge, raucous crowd who cheered not for either team, but for the Yankee's Rivera, a Panamanian, and the Panamanian on the Phillie team. Of course, she and Ira, brother Keith too are avid Yankee fans. When the Dodgers left Brooklyn, I stopped watching baseball games.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Rain and more rain


Received these photos of the Ouachita River's rising water levels today from Joe and Emmilee Green whose home in Harrisonburg is on the river's banks. Happily their house is on higher ground.
I hope the folks at First Methodist reconsider installing a new steeple. I agree with the woman who commented that the style of the elegant building does not call for a steeple. If they believe that the steeple was a site locator, and therefore a necessity, perhaps they can use a laser beam or an alternative light source that would be unaffected by wind, etc.
Received Neil Johnson's photo of the month yesterday, and it made me look forward to the Nov. 6 opening of the Triumph Over Tragedy exhibit at Artspace. Hope to see you there.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Perfomance Night at ARTSPACE

The jury had to have had a hard time selecting the winner of the Bona Fide Performance night; every performer was outstanding and kept the audience of 60+ enthralled.
My photo is of Carlos Colon reading his group of Elvis haiku. Nan Dozier dazzled us as she enacted several of her poems...I especially liked "Hips". Buddy Flett was in the audience cheering for sister, Laura Flett, who enchanted us with her "Show and Tell" style of performance. Shirley Campbell exhibited pictures of her subjects and made us feel close to them. And Poetic X dominated the space with his magnificent rap style rhyming poems about his craft and his life, and captured the coveted prize. Talbot Trudeau accepted her Bona Fide prize for her sensitive and beautifully depicted self-portrait.
It was an exciting evening at Artspace and I do hope that such performances will become a permanent part of programming there.

Surprise at the UCLA E.R.

This a.m., after severe respiratory problems, grandson Wyn Delano was diagnosed w. bronchitis at the UCLA E.R. Imagine his disbelief as his buddy, Mark was wheeled in as a result of a trampoline mishap. The long arm of coincidence strikes again. I guess these two guys won't be in the classroom, but will be getting their homework done via email, texting + sharing complaints, for the next few days.

Friday, October 2, 2009

BONA FIDE opening night



Visitors to the Oct. 1 opening of BONA FIDE, the SRAC Roster Artists' show that will run through Oct. 17 at ARTSPACE, were impressed by the quality of the offerings of local artists and the installation of the works. I especially liked that the portrait of each artist and their artist statement were exhibited with his/her body of work. The portraits are so well done, thanks to photographer, Byron Gates, Jr...I was awestruck by mine. Please go to YouTube for my video of the grand event: Bona Fide, Oct. 2009



Next Thursday, Oct. 8 at ARTSPACE, the poets and performers will be center stage at 7 pm: Shirley Campbell, Carlos Colon, Nan Dozier, Laura Flett and Poetic X. The $1000. Best of Show and Visual Exhibit awards will be presented later that evening.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Reflections?

A quick, photo of my latest painting, Closed 4, seems to be a reflection of how I'm viewing the national, world and local media news, figuratively and literally. I continue to have bouts of wet macro-degeneration and though the repair is working well in my right eye, I worry about my sight. And I'm so disappointed in Pres. Obama's leadership...in the health area, economic stimulus, he's not been a strong leader only a mediator/compromiser. His words are strong, his message great, but his actions don't match. So here's my comparably dark painting w. its barriers that block beautiful possibilities.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tattered Old Photos?

I recently received mail that one of my favorites, Jason Reed, who often comes to my aid re computer skills, is now restoring damaged photographs. Jason can be reached at 868-5836.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Rosh Hashonah


On this first night of Rosh Hashonah, I count my many blessings and give thanks for them. After our recent visit to Terezin, a former Nazi concentation camp, I'm especially mindful of the good life that I enjoy. Terezin, in the now Czech Republic, was the Nazi's model camp, a Potemkin facade, that they showed to the Red Cross, foreign dignitaries, etal. But it was in reality a hellish waiting room for its inmates who were sent to Auschwitz, Treblinka and other death camps, slavery labor battalions, from there, after being maltreated, tortured;many murdered.
Yet, today the grass is green tho' the paint is peeling, the bars and locks rusting...it just looks like any other institution that's no longer in use. The walls don't shed tears, the blood on the floors has long since disappeared. But the visitor has a sense of sadness; we witness that this place harbored evil. So I'm very aware this Rosh Hashonah Eve of my wonderful family and friends, of my blessings in living in this community and country.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Roster Artists Show Opening Oct. 1

I'm delighted to have 3 works in the "Bona Fide" exhibit, the Roster Artists show. Thirty-three artists wil be showing their work, visual artists, poets, performers. There's a $1000. award for the best visual arts work, and the same for the best non-visual work. Please do join us on Oct. 1.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Coming home to Terrible News

Opened my email to find the report of the arson thatcompletely destroyed the SRAC office. My jetlag wouldn't let me join the support group that gathered in Artspace this afternoon, but my heart was there. Just think of all the data on the destroyed computers, the many artworks that are now ashes, the heaps of office supplies that connect this arts community, etal. Thankfully no one was injured,
I'm thinking about how I can be of help; please join me in helping SRAC in your own way.

Graffitti in Prague



To the left is a photo I snapped last Sunday in Prague. We'd crossed the bridge over the Vlatava to explore an area other than the historic old city, and climbed w. great effort up a huge hill as we followed some young people on bikes, a few families w. strollers. We discovered a huge park, many picnics in progress nearby, a cafe in an ornate building overlooking the river, lots of lovers, line skaters, skateboarders, and a ticket booth for a puppet production to be given that evening. Many people were sitting on the walls facing the river, enjoying the spectacular views.
We had three days to explore this "golden city" and enjoyed every moment.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Lyon Urban Renewal


The district in which this trompe l'oiel mural presides was, before this work, run-down, crime-ridden, graffiti covered. This building that faces the Rhone river showed blank, scrofulous walls. Students and faculty from the Lyon Arts Academy ;designed and executed this huge, detailed mural that incorporates Lyonnais history: theater, music, philosophy, politics, ancient past, gastronomy even the present Mayor and the artists, photographers themselves. Since the work was completed, the district has undergone a complete change and is now considered one of Lyon's most desired residential and commercial areas.
Let's look at some of Shreveport's eyesores with this in mind. The arts are this community's greatest and least appreciated resource..lets use that resource.

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

St. Remy Olive trees

Above is my photo of some of the olive trees along the entrance path to the St. Remy clinic. According to the signs along this path, Van Gogh would set up his easel at various places along this pathway. I thought that this perspective of the older knarled trees with the limestone hill in the background would've been one that caught his eye. The sun dances off the olive tree foliage, the shadows are deep and the looming presence of the stone makes the wide variety of greens evident. In spite of the many tourists, visiting this Van Gogh site was a great experience. The fact that it remains a facility that treats patients with mental problems, albeit now utilizing art therapy; that the roads remain country lanes combine to make a tourist like me have a genuine
experience, rather than a Giverny gift shop one. There is a gift shop here; it sells the art works of the patients as well as the usual artwork copies.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Monet's Water Garden

Mid-July, Ira and I were in Giverny and visited the Monet complex in the village. Though its still a lovely place, the hordes of camera carrying tourists( including us), many gardeners, vast souvenir shop reminded me that Claude Monet was better than the other Impressionists at marketing his work. A busy road runs between the water garden and the restored home and gardens; a safe tunnel, courtesy of the Annenburg Foundation, goes beneath it to accommodate visitors. I imagine that the water garden is spectacular when the lilies bloom, but alas the buds told us we were about a week early. Monet had a small boat that he'd row to various spots for different perspectives of this garden; the boat landing is intact. The gardens at the home are full of non-exotic plants that flower throughout the season, most you'd recognize. There are paved paths that run through and around these gardens. The bridge, house shutters etal are painted a harsh green, whereas I noted that his paintings indicate a white bridge of wood..this one is metal no doubt to carry safely the thousands of visitor's feet that pay admission.
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Friday, July 31, 2009

See video of GRAFFITI opening



Tonight's opening at ARTSPACE was eye popping color dynamite for a delighted large crowd: the artworks are so good; some pieces by ELSE and PUBERT are marvelously site specific. They seem to have enjoyed their time in our city. The works from the TimeOut gallery also on display showed various styles of this art from tagging to portraiture. The third floor's photography exhibits were also well done and well received. I especially appreciated how the photographer of Banksy's work not only showed an enlargement of his work but also a photo of the site itself. Silva's photos are always special and those of Memphis graffiti in this group were eye catching. I confess that I just didn't sit and watch Robert Trudeau's documentary...perhaps because I was having trouble catching the narrative amidst the noisy crowd..so I'll return and do that plus take a closer look at the graffiti that the Artspace patrons added to the "brick wall", look at the special jewelry in Giftspace, and enjoy the vibrant colors of the exciting, well executed art pieces.

I did shoot some video with my Flip type camera and uploaded it to YouTube: "Graffiti at ARTSPACE" is the title; or look at "artsmaven75". The above photos show my attempt to graffiti with acrylics the toy car I gave to Dr. Tobin Grigsby, the Graffiti show sponsor.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

GRAFFITTI at Artspace

Tomorrow, Friday pm, Graffitti will open at Artspace. Artists, ELSE and PUBERT are featured along with thier local Job Corps team whom they mentored these past 2 weeks. Megan Clark and Josh Porter have set their works in an interesting pseudo-urban environment. After hearing the panel discussion upon the artists' arrival, I'm looking forward to seeing the fruits of their labor. Please join us on Friday night and bring your friends to experience this artform that is now entering the mainstream via advertising media and film, et al that has recently been celebrated at formidable art institutions such as the Tate Modern.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Graffitti artists: ELSE & PUBERT

When you're involved in something, you become aware of it everywhere. The Exhibition committee has been talking "graffitti" for months, and on my recent trip to France, I found myself evaluating the graffitti found mostly in the larger cities. The above delightful work was on a river wall in Rouen.
On Tuesday night, I was fascinated by the vast amt. of information given by the Graffitti show panelists: ELSE, PUBERT (the artists in residence), a photographer who tried to photograph the graffitti artist, Banksy's, work in post-Katrina New Orleans and told us of the "grey ghost" who covers up this kind of work with an ugly gray splotch, w. Robt. Trudeau's tales of finding local graffitti and his introduction of a local graffitti artist.
After the discussion, I was asked whether I really thought graffitti was "art" and should be in a gallery. I believe it has more credibility when site specific, and the work being done here is specific to the Artspace gallery. As for it as an "art", its being created by people who consider themselves artists, so its art. Graffitti to me reflects the way many young people view their environment, their life situations. I see "tagging" as their way of making a mark on this world, of saying I'm here, look at me. As an Exhibition Comm. member, I think we have 2 kinds of shows: those that offer glimpses of where we've been, and those that try to peer into the future. I'm not sure which "Graffitti" is as I'm sure somewhere youngsters are again creating a new and different artform that reflects their experiences, different from those of these artists.

Helen Brown

Last Tuesday, Ira and I attended funeral services at First Presbyterian in Shreveport for Helen Brown. Her son Jim's eulogy was so perfect, and seeing his daughter Campbell with her children, the other handsome family members as well, made me think of how proud, and rightfully so, Helen was of her family.
I have great memories of Helen and especially treasure the many voyages to Europe and the Caribbean that we shared w. her and Jim. Though Jim had had bypass surgery, he and Helen were game for anything...we'd often wander with them through a city discovering museums and palaces not in the guidebooks. We'd be seated for dinner at large tables and Helen in her wonderful way would plumb everyone's life histories, and they'd be totally charmed and delighted by her interest. With Helen present, conversation flowed easily.
She was in many ways my role model as a lady who not only guided and supported her family, but also interacted with her community and friends in ways that promoted mutual growth. She was open to new possibilities, yet treasured tradition. She will be missed.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Visiting Provence and Normandy




Shot too many photos w. my new camera, but there was so much visual manna that I was greedy. The above are Ira's photos taken in the Ardeche and St. Remy. Provence photos are really drenched w. sunshine though I used a 200 ISO most of the time...the whites and yellows are blinding, the shadows so deep. Its been taking all my Photoshop skills and heaps of time to work on them. So many Roman and medieval sites to see, as well as a visit to St. Remy and the hospital, St. Paul de Mausole, to enjoy Van Gogh's environment...what a thrill to stand in his bedroom, look out that barred window. Art therapy is a part of the treatment that the present patients are given.


We left the Princesse de Provence after a week on the Saone & Rhone, and traveled via TGV to Paris to board the Cezanne, moored on the Seine near the Eiffel Tower. Loved the train; it was smooth, fast, quiet as it moved through fields of rape, wheat, some lavender, sunflowers, etal. How I wish we had train service here...so easy and comfortable to get from one locale to another.


As we sailed up the Seine through Normandy, the grapevines disappeared, and fruit trees were in the landscape, and we had short, sudden downpours of rain nearly every day. I guess its like English weather... We were atop a high hill, exploring the ancient Chateau Gaillard, when one storm hit and we not only put on our rain parkas but also huddled in a covered passageway leading to a keep. Ira had short bursts of rain when he visited Omaha and Utah beaches and the sad sight of the vast American cemetery, so big that one end can't be seen from the other end.


We're disappointed that this German riverboat co. that we've been booking ourselves and clients with is ceasing operations after 2009. We enjoyed its very European style and pace and will miss the talented professional staff aboard each of the 4-5 boats we've been on.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Music Festival

The first of three concerts in the Summer Music Festival took place at the Barnwell Patio last Saturday evening. Lack of event publicity was obvious in the small, tho' appreciative audience present to hear the quartet, BRAHMA. I didn't pick up the brochure so I can't name the performers except as the guitarist, two drummers and the group leader who played that big xylophone I associate with Lionel Hampton. Each added their special talents to the exotic sound.
It seemed right that they were under a tent; the music brought to mind belly dancers, Balinese Ramayana players, Indian rhythms. The guitar carried most of the melodic line, supported by the "xylophone" player's clear notes. The latter also used some Balinese instruments in several compositions; a set of brass bowls each topped with a peaked lid, and a set of what I think were bamboo cylinders also used for percussion. The drummers put on quite a show too. The hands of the musician using a "tribal" drum on his lap (drumhead on both ends) were often too fast to see and his one voice solo proved that he could earn a different living as an auctioneer. The other drummer had two tambour drums( tablelike drums?), one standing and one held under his arm. He used his hands and sometimes what appeared to be narrow bundles of twigs to create a soft, insistent rhythm.
Toward the end of the performance, some in the audience expressed themselves with grace, agility and awareness of drum beat by dancing to these exotic sounds; some utilizing the moves they'd learned on FIT TV for the "shimmy". I don't know if anyone has danced to their music at previous concerts, but it was truly wonderful to witness the melding of music and motion by this marvelous group and the exuberant audience.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Jazz on the Red

In spite of record heat, the Buddy Flett trio performed last evening to a huge crowd on the Barnwell Patio. Thusfar, this was the most laid back group in the Jazz series, perhaps because they're local and so familiar with the audience. If each wasn't a great musician, I'd have felt that I was sitting in on a practice session; its obvious that no rehearsal is needed.
Two guitars and a violin played some jazz, a lot of blues, some classics like "Route 66"; told stories to the crowd, asked their opinions. Buddy soloed for a few pieces; he is so very good. It was an easy listening kind of concert, those in the audience with more energy dancing the last few numbers.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

New camera

I've been exploring my new Canon T1i, and am so delighted that I can actually change the various settings so easily. I've experimented with ISO settings, picture quality and white balance ones. I worried about my ability to learn how to use the digital camera, so am relieved that Canon made it a no-brainer.
I did have to use the USB cable to transfer photos into my also new netbook; there is a card reader but it didn't read the Class 6 SDHC chip. I've downloaded a new BIOS from Asus and will try again. The netbook doesn't have a CD/DVD player, so when I tried to download my Adobe photo programs via my flashdrive, they gave me an "illegal" pop-up tho' I'd downloaded them to the flash drive using the right code...I've sent Adobe a Help! email. I do have other photo programs that came with the camera that seem to be OK. I do intend to transfer photos from my netbook onto my desktop via that flash drive when we're on our next adventure in France.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

SPACE TRAVELERS at Barnwell

Tonight (June 4, 2009) the Barnwell's Jazz on the Red series offered "Space Travelers", a local jazz group. Each Thursday evening, the crowd gets larger, and tonight's large audience was blessed by cool breezes as well as great music. Barnwell mgr.,Freda Powell's selections have been great (OK, not the very first one)
Leader Stan Huffman, on the keyboard, also was the vocalist; a drummer (his son), percussionist (what I know as bongo drums), bass and lead guitars made up the group and each was a super perfomer and musician...yes! there was some dancing, and no one could possibly sit still during their renditions of jazz and calypso numbers. And no one wanted the lively and wonderful session to end...the group can be heard locally at the Tiki.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Great Jazz at the Barnwell

Sorry that I missed the Roster Artists' mtg. and the Trolley Tour, but so glad that I was at the Barnwell to hear Kellye Gray, Erich Avinger and Brendan Nance(?) perform. The evening was perfect with breezes cooling the attending crowd, tho' Kellye commented that she was singing against the wind. The trio enchanted, captured the audience; Erich's classic guitar and Brendan's bass fiddle and later, bass guitar rifs were soaring, heartfelt, creative improv whether classic jazz or bossa nova. And Kellye Gray: what a phenomenal performer! Her styling, skat, the use of her voice as instrument made me feel as though I was again in the Village Vanguard, listening to the early jazz greats:Ella and Sarah, etc. Yes..my feet were tapping, my hands clapping.

And as lagniappe to the marvelous performance, I had the opportunity to chat w. Alan and Debby Dyson, each carrying sketch pads (Erich is Alan's cousin), with Judy Godfrey visiting from Abilene, w.Ed Allen retelling his memorable D.C. experiences w. the local WW2 Vets flight and that he was so impressed w. the welcome they received at the airport on their return from at least a thousand cheering citizens. Ed flew in a B-24 Liberator out of Darwin during that war. And the Murrays, Cynthia and Robert were in the audience...so nice to see them too & of course, Revel's Kip Hollaway and the exuberant Freda Powell, Barnwell manager, who arranged it all.
video

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

HISTORY BOOK CLUB

videoMonday, May 18, Broadmoor Library hosted the History Page Turners Book Club, facilitated by Dr. Cheryl White. This month's tome, Mrs. Lincoln had been touted as a better & new look at the subject by author, Catherine Clinton. Dr. white explained that Clinton had more resources to draw upon than did her predecessor, Ms. Baker(?) 30 yrs. before; that there's a new trove of letters from Mrs. L's asylum yrs. and much more research re the American Civil War. The author believes that Mrs. L's life was defined by the death of her husband; however Dr. White disagrees and pointed to the many traumas this woman suffered and to the fact that she was from a prominent Kentucky family so the war had to have torn apart her family ties. Ms. Clinton does put to rest the notion that Mrs. L. was a Confederate sympathizer & a racist, by citing her as an active Abolitionist influenced by Rev. Sumner, and that her closest friend was Elizabeth Kecklie(?), a black woman from Kentucky. I look forward to reading Baker's book re Mrs. Lincoln and finding one re Eliz. Kecklie..another interesting 19th century woman.

It was a delight to have Dr. White share her scholarship and insights about 19th c.women, Mrs. Lincoln in particular; also to have physicians in the group share their insights as to whether Mrs. L. was bipolar.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Netbook experience

Imagine, a 3 lb. machine w. a workable keyboard, more RAM & HD than my old desktop, camera and ethernet built in, card reader...that's what I'm writing this on.  I look forward to using this on our travels: to keep me occupied on those forever overseas trips, to down load photos, write a journall, get e-mail. I think back to my first 386 machine and Ms-Dos; this is such a miracle of technology...an ASUS 1000.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Jazz at the Barnwell

videoINTUITION is a young group, a drummer, a guitarist, two keyboarders and a singer, all obviously talented though inexperienced musicians. I thought I was the only one who was becoming bored with the same beat, the same kind of cocktail loounge dance music, but then noted that all around me were chatting, that feet weren't tapping nor hands clapping, that no one was dancing. The only change I heard in the 3/4 hr. I was there, was the songstress leaving the stage for a band instrumental, and then the band played as they had before: noone taking the lead, no one improvising. It was a beautiful evening weatherwise, and the crowd enjoyed its picnic suppers and each others company... I sure hope next week's band sets my feet tapping, my hands clapping.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day Surprise


A fabulous, brilliant pink, cyclamen and white bouquet arrived yesterday from #1 son, Keith. He doesn't usually remember such days, so this was unexpected and thus an extra special surprise.
It brought back the memory with joy of the red glass lamp Mother's Day gift, the then 10 year old bought with money he'd saved from his allowance. He and his friend, Fran Maren, after their Ju-jitsu class at the Morristown Y, shopped on the square for "something special". I can still picture them in their white cotton outfits, so aglow with their independence, generosity and their shopping adventure. Now, the special lamp is in his Seabrook home.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ARTS CONGRESS + Tom Murphy

videoAfter an explanation of the Arts Congress, how it came about, its principles by Major Brock, Bossier Mayor Walker introduced Tom Murphy, mayor of Pittsburgh 1994-2005 and now with the Urban Land Institute. Mr. Murphy spoke last night at the Strand Theater, about how the Arts Mean Business. He reiterated his own experiences "in a rundown, rust-belt city" and proudly displayed the success Pittsburgh now enjoys as a result of their embracing the Arts. He also gave other examples of Arts as Business success in Denver, Asheville and Charleston and suggested that more cooperation within the arts community and with government would yield good results for our area's economy and quality of life.

I noted that he included a quote about Pittsburgh from Richard Florida's article in the March, 2009 Atlantic Monthly. Florida's premise is that a critical mass of people is necessary for a creative, thriving economy and that large cities will lead the way. He implores us to change the home ownership paradigm that created suburbia and put into place, tax structures, etc. that will reward those who live in the city, whether renters or apt. owners. Imagine if we abolish the Downtown Development Authority, and the city gives tax credits, etc. to businesses and persons to live and work downtown. SRAC started well a few years ago w. providing one building of low cost housing for those involved in the arts, but sans groceries, hardware stores, etc. downtown, these tenants till have to get into their cars and go elsewhere for their needs. Thus there's no downtown community to attract others who'd enjoy a thriving, lively environment within walking distance.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Reunion at Ogden Museum

On April 23, 2009, at the Ogden Museum in New Orleans, "Timex All-Star Jazz Show 1958: Photographs by Jerry Dantzic opened. Jerry's son, Grayson, is archivist of his late Dad's work. Jerry's wife, Cynthia, a well-known artist, author and teacher(LIU), has been my dear friend since we met, as 7th graders, at Montauk Jr. H.S. Though we exchange cards, a few phone calls, this was our first meeting in 30 years, and it was so fantastic, so great. We agreed that time was treating us well.

The exhibit is marvelous with Jerry's insightful photos of Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Jaye P. Morgan, Gene Krupa, Gerry Mulligan, Dave Brubeck, and other jazz greats as they rehearsed for the Timex Show. The video of that TV show was running, but because of music loudly echoing in the museum atrium, couldn't be heard...it includes so many great jazz number by these musical giants. The show closes in New Orleans on July 19, and I have my fingers crossed that we'll be able to exhibit these works at Artspace in Shreveport, shortly after that.






Monday, April 20, 2009

Indigo Bunting

We've had the usual visitors at our single birdfeeder: cardinals, blue jays, grackles, cedar waxwings, sparrows, robins. A while ago, we spotted a woodpecker; another one time visitor was a brown wood thrush. Today, a single indigo bunting joined the nibbling waxwings, sparrows and squirrels on the patio beneath the feeder, adding an elegant touch of soft blue to the black, white, brown and gray group. My bird book didn't give any info re migration patterns or preferred food, but I hope he returns and brings his family.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Go to ARTSPACE


If you missed last pm's opening because of the heavy rain, other commitments, whatever, don't miss seeing the marvelous exhibits; each fabulous in its own way.
"A new Revolution" on the main floor (see my You Tube video) gives the viewer a first look at what's been happening in the art world of a Cuba forbidden to US citizens. These artists work from a variety of perspectives, but their country and way of life is seen in every work, be it in the bkgd. of a map, an environment of flora and fauna native to Cuba, or the ideal of national brotherhood.

Graham Mears' works are awesome. They are so huge and doused w. intense color that the viewer can enter at will into the artists' quirky, wonderful world and enjoy the experience. The photography exhibit featured w. the Mears show, has an anonymous artist as creator. (The photos are recent and thus a US citizen may be prosecuted for illegal travel.)These works reflect some nostalgia for the artist's father's country of birth, and gave me a kinder, perhaps even tourist, view of Cuba, with its beautiful vistas, colorful Caribbean island scenes, haunting street scenes.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A New Revolution

Go to You Tube ( Artsmaven 75) for my video clip re the new show at ARTSPACE: A New Revolution. This exhibit of contemporary Cuban art was curated by T. Iturralde of Los Angeles. Isn't it great that we in Shreveport have these works when international media headlines are shouting and discussing Pres. Obama's new stance re Cuba!
When the Exhibition Committee first suggested this exhibit, Mr. Obama was nowhere on the scene..Today's ARTSPACE show has to be the timeliest event ever! Join us for the opening at 7 pm. and enjoy the art, Cuban food, Cuban music, the Havana Social Club decorated in black and white.

The full installation of our new spa can also be seen on YouTube: A New Spa

Saturday, April 11, 2009

New Spa outshines 16 yr. old predecessor

videoThis is an unedited clip of Ira in our new Hot Springs spa. Wow! Amazing features make the old hot tub that we enjoyed for so many years seem like a Model T. Digital controls, underwater colored lights, a massage group of jets that actually moves up and down your back, another set gently massages while others create massaging body currents....so luxurious. And when the tub is covered, no motor noise! Its a bit smaller than our former spa, so we have more space in the spa hut...this morning we enjoyed breakfast there, listening to and watching the birds at the feeder.

I did shoot footage of the installation process, but need time and patience, and probably a new computer program, to edit the AVI format clips into a video for YouTube.

Note: Do go to http://www.palisadespost.com/content/index.cfm?Story_ID4775 for a delightful article about my Mr Palisades grandson, Wyn Delano.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Kissing a Stingray

Received this amazing photo, taken by Brent Reed of Jeanne Reed kissing Fifi, a stingray on a reef off Grand Cayman. Jeanne is a gutsy lady...I keep great distance between myself and such sea life that can sting, wound, bite. But its obvious that Jeanne loved every second of this experience.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Digital Camera Bait&Switch on Internet

I was shopping on line for a Canon digital camera body and came across a large # of suppliers offering the model I wanted at a very low price. Though sceptical, I told myself that the price was low because there were fewer buyers for this high priced item.
At the first, PhotoProNation, the salesperson tried hard to sell me a pkg..lenses+ the body and the price for the lenses were not much below their listed price. When I refused, suddenly they no longer had the camera body in stock. At SLRGenius, they assured me that that they had it in stock and I ordered it online; received an order and tracking#. But when I saw no activity on the tracking# and called, they told me that it was an all plastic body. (Canon does have some models in polycarbonate, but not this one), and rather than have my $ tied up for an indeterminate amt. of time, or losing it, I cancelled and informed my card company.
Canon tells me that there are about 50 suppliers using this bait and switch tactic; that there is nothing that they can do about it. I have reported the 1st incident to the FTC, but I don't expect any action as no doubt they've received many thousands of reports and have done nothing. Friend, photographer Tim Schrein tells me he's been the victim of this more than once. So proceed with care when ordering a camera online; order only what you want and don't be pressured to buy add-ons.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mr. Palisades: Wyn Jake Delano

This photo of Mr. and Miss Palisades was on the front page of the Palisades Post, accompanied by a long article about the competition. What grandmother wouldn't be proud!!

Kiwanis Fundraiser Success



Just returned from a week on the Carnival Conquest. It was a fundraiser for the Southeast Kiwanis group of Shreveport and what a fun group they were. We visited Montego Bay, Jamaica and Jeanne and Brent Reed joined us on the Island Dreamer, a sleek sailed catamaran, to snorkel off the Doctor's Cove reef and then visit Margaritaville; note the photo of the stilt dancer on the right.

Jeanne and Brent played with the stingrays on a Grand Cayman reef..I'll post the photo of her kissing s stingray when I get it. Michelle and John Davis w. Mary Ellen and Dave Foley swam at 7 mile beach...a lot safer choice!

At Cozumel, our tour group boarded the ferry to Playa del Carmen. We and the Reeds went to Xcaret, an ecological, cultural theme park w. underground rivers, wildlife, working artisans, etc. Becky and Ray Huff, the Foleys enjoyed their tour of Tulum; Mike and Sue Ferrell were delighted w. their ATV experience, the Davis' w. their island tour. Many friends and family accompanied the Kiwanis members...I thank them for their support.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lyle Tuttle, Tattoo Star

Last Monday was a great evening at ARTSPACE. Lyle Tuttle, the superstar tattooist, formerly of Hollywood and San Francisco had delighted his huge Sunday afternoon audience, and brought his world perspective of Tatto as an Artform as well as well told tales of celebrities and tattoo history to a smaller but just as fascinated audience, not familiar with this body art, Mon. night. He talked about his traditional designs and how he learned the art, how he worked, and commented about the differences between his and some of the complicated, contemporary designs that are displayed in the Artspace photographs. The audience had many questions and each was answered honestly and thoughtfully and often included an interesting story. This show has been a great experience for me as an artist and as an introduction to a wonderful segment of our community.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pacific Palisades Idol




Grandson Wyn last pm won the Pacific Palisades (CA)Chamber of Commerce competition for "Mr. Palisades". Their annual much publicized July 4 parade has a float featuring Miss America, and Wyn will be her partner....not bad for a 16 year old. He'll also be featured on the Palisades Post front page.
Yesterday must have been Wyn's WIN DAY as he became Prez of the school's Debate Society and learned he'd scored highest in the History AP exam. This grandma is just basking in the glow.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Paradise Inundated

I just finished reading The Gift of Rain by Eng, beautifully written, many layered fiction set in Penang before and during WW2. As daughter Bonnie and I chatted today about the torrential rains she and Jimmy have experienced since their mid-Feb. move to Panama, I thought about the fantastic Canal that works because of Panama's "gift of rain". Their household goods still haven't arrived though they were told by their NYC shipper it'd only be 2 weeks; they expect to be in temp housing for another month! But they've bought a boat and are starting a business as guides for fly fishermen. They're working on their new home too, tho' the rains limit their progress. Even in Eden it must have rained.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

$12. per hour

Michael Graham is teaching a Drawing class at LSUS and needs models. He's paying $12. per hour; each session is about an hour and a half. I remember being a model for Don Alexander's class...fun to see how the students saw one's self. Do call Michael at LSUS if you're interested.
I hope the payment procedure has been simplified as I remember the powers that be wanting too much paper for the amount of money being paid.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Economic Crisis



The inundation of terrible economic news via the local, national and international media has, as you can see from this detail of my latest painting, penetrated my creative life as well as my purse.

In this work, I've used several rubbings that I did some years ago at the McNeill Water Treatment facility. A number of ex-employees and afficionados of old machinery have been repairing and cleaning up this amazing plant and hope one day to have a "museum".

It just seems to me that in the past decade, too much of our country's creativity and innovation has gone into growing huge profits in the financial sector and into armaments, rather than into growing our country and people as a whole. But perhaps this crisis is a wake-up call for change in strategies and priorities; that we change from a me-centered society into one that considers others.

Web site designer Available

Do you need a website that's eye-catching, really works well? Please contact Jason Mackoviac at LSU-S. One of his students has completed a great site for a local artist and would like to design others for a reasonable fee.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Majahuitas Cove



A detail from a large painting of my memory of Majahuitas Cove, near Puerto Vallarta, where we'd enjoyed a day of snorkeling.

Tequila Factory




These photos were taken during Christmas week in Pto. Vallarta, on the adventure tour. Keith is coming out of a rappel down a waterfall in the photo to the left. Their tour truck stopped at a small tequila factory on its return to the Sapphire Princess. The owner made sure that they all enjoyed his tour, and took this photo of the delighted group. Though the grands had declined to buy adventure tees, they grinned as they wore their Tequila Factory tees.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Awesome Opportunity

Last evening's call from grandson, Wyn Delano, was electric. I heard the excitement in Wyn's 16 year old mellow voice as he told me that he'd just returned from UCLA. He was bursting with the news that he'd experienced the second and final evaluation of his vocal potential by Vladimir Chernov, who heads UCLA's Vocal Instruction department, and that Mr. Chernov had accepted him for instruction. What a heady moment for that high school junior! (Do look at Wyn's website listed in Links). As a good grandmother, I "googled" Mr. Chernov, and was duly impressed by this baritone's c.v. and his ongoing heavy performance schedule. What an awesome opportunity for wonderful Wyn. I'm dreaming of reserving 2 front row seats at Lincoln Ctr. for his debut.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tattoo@ARTSPACE

Sounds daft, but I was delighted to have had trouble finding a parking space last night for the opening of the ARTSPACE Tattoo exhibit, and smiled at the sight of the many Harleys parked in front, the jackets of the "Bikers Against Child Abuse" worn by their owners....very different from the usual art exhibit opening and to me, more interesting. Also enjoyed how the exhibit was set up by Leigh Elgin and Josh Porter: the timeline re the American Tattoo, a panel showing various tattoos and their owners with onlookers asked to match those up, the corner exhibiting various antique tattoo paraphenalia such as a machine made in a prison, a steamer trunk fitted out for a traveling tattoo artist, framed old "flash", etc. The only one I could match was that of Steve Ross and his Sparky dog collar tattoo, and that because of prior knowledge. The video, done w. Picasa is not edited, just stitched together, but it shows the gallery packed with viewers, a bit of the antique corner plus Jerry Davenport's art kids corner and Stu Stella working her henna magic.
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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Perhaps The Eye of the Storm?



These are details from my latest painting, about 18"x24" on Stratford 400 watercolor paper. I was so proud of myself when, after a 30 year hiatus from the drafting table, I used a Leroy set to create the tiny numbers. No title as yet...any suggestions?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Newest Painting



This is painted with acrylics on Stratmore 400 watercolor paper, coated with gloss medium.