Archive for category Arts and Creativity
Objects In The Mirror
Are Closer Than They Appear.
Spring flowers from the kitchen window.
I think there’s a busy squirrel out there somewhere!
A quick glance out the kitchen window quite often yields a subtle, almost surreal natural drama. Photographers refer to a visual phenomenon known as the “golden hour”. It occurs shortly after sunrise and again right before sunset and paints the landscape in soft hues of red and gold. The picture below, dating from this past April 22nd at around 7:30 pm EDT, reveals something similar. However, what I find unique is that around the very same time on the very next day, the golden band atop the trees up the street had since disappeared and I haven’t seen it look like that since. Perhaps the sun-drenched leaves were changing color at just that exact peak moment. I also think a heavy dusting of sneeze-inducing pollen might be a factor.
Whether it’s wild turkeys raucously running up the road, an ominous abandoned hornet nest high up in a near tree, or winter birds dive-bombing the holly bush for fresh berries during an unseasonably warm winter afternoon, a gaze out onto the side porch provides a brief feast for the eyes at various times throughout the seasonal calendar.
‘Tis the season that we nurture
…Beginning from our own piece of earth!
If you attended public school in the USA sometime within the last two centuries, you’ve been there…
It may have been traced, finger-painted, or cut out of construction paper, and, using paste or glue-stick, paper-plated and hung up on the family refrigerator.
Behold The Mighty Hand Turkey!
But then came PCs, Apple iMacs, latptops, tablets, smartphones, scanners, stylii, and trackpads; and so, the early grade school artistic rite of passage would never be the same!
Many people might go their entire lives without seeing a real live turkey other than the cooked flesh of the one situated between the mashed potatoes and green casserole on their dinner plate. Below is a photo of some wild turkeys on my street:
Before the end of another holiday season, might it not be a good idea to reclaim a little bit of your lost innocence? Step away from the computer or TV and grab your kids, your nieces and nephews, grandchildren, whomever, and make some good old-fashioned hand turkeys! And then, to get ready for Christmas, string together some green and red paper chains and cut out some paper snow flakes (especially the authentic looking six-sided ones, not the funky rectangular ones from elementary school):
Click on the image below to view my very short animation of a 21st century hand turkey painted with an iPhone app. Maybe the folks at Pixar or Dreamworks could get together with me on this and start something big for next holiday season! (may require Flash).
Thank you for reading and have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
Moderation in all things…
A Google search of the above quote fails to yield a specific source. Several variations can be attributed to Emerson, Wilde, Aristotle, Petronius, the Holy Bible, etc., etc. Moderation seems a much valued character trait in our society, especially in the intertwined realms of politics and religion. However, much like those drawings depicting optical illusions wherein an object appears to be darker or lighter than it really is against a contrasting background, moderate behaviors manifest themselves in comparison to the extreme acts of others.
Political and spiritual leaders frequently use this to gain competitive advantage. Sometimes displaying a moderate temperament reveals an aptitude for working well with others, or highlights an emotional make-up of sensitivity and/or compassion. Conversely, sometimes people in power want to act boldly and with great intiative and so they ridicule so-called moderate behavior as docile and indecisive and weak and incompetent. A similar strategy is to advance opinions and viewpoints way beyond the norm, and, even outwardly hostile to competitive ideas over a lenghty period of time, during which extreme positions and behaviors devolve into a general perception of appearing moderate, responsible and disciplined.
Recently, a popular politician in our region won a big election and received nationwide acclaim for his moderate views and ability to work with contrasting sides of a huge partisan divide. A small, crazy but powerful element acting from within his own “side of the aisle” enjoys portraying him as too appeasing, yielding and compromising, a traitorous “turncoat”, even.
At some point, one comes away with the sense that powerful people, either from within the ranks of their own, or while engaged in debate from “across the aisle”, take great comfort in the monochrome illusion of modertation that allows them to appear as a special breed apart from the competition. While thriving in the comforting complacency of the “gray area” they enjoy the ability to draw battle lines wherever and whenever they choose so they can step in out of them intermittently to maintain their own advantage and privilege.
A lesson learned from all this is to choose a life moderated by clear lines and gentle boundaries, of contrasting shafts of light and color and shadows of darkness, in a manner that defines who and what we are, rather than railing in anger and cynical despair at vague, poorly-conceived illusory notions of what we are not.
I recently came across some information on my Twitter feed about a fun contest presented by G-Technology, makers of digital media drives. There are both amateur and professional competitive categories for almost everyone (18 and over) who enjoys creating visual media: video, music, photography, etc. Only entries dating from 2012-2013 are eligible, but the competition doesn’t close until the end of October so there is plenty of time to enter. Entrants will not only have an opportuntiy to provide a brief description of their submitted work, but can also enjoy viewing a web gallery of other entries and cast their votes for the best ones.
The top prize is a brand new Thunderbolt drive and $5,000! I have never purchased a G-Technology product but have seen and read good things about them. However, as an owner of a mid-2009 MacBook Pro which still utilizes Firewire I am a little bummed about Thunderbolt to be honest. But hey, five grand can get you a pretty nice upgraded machine (enough even to make you switch from Windows to Mac, maybe) to go along with your new shiny, metallic-finish drive. Not to mention Thunderbolt is supposed to be super-fast!
So take a photo, make a video, record some cool sounds. Use equipment you already have on hand and see what you can come up with (which Is what I did). You’ve got nothing to lose and can view your work next to all the other participants and cast a vote! Good luck and have fun! Link to the contest information is here: