Windchime Walker

Windchime Walker <$BlogRSDUrl$>

Thursday, May 31, 2007


Less than two weeks to go!

Everyone's a bit crazy at this time of the school year. The kids can barely sit still, teachers are counting the days, and the principal is stressing out big time. Yes, summer vacation is almost here, and everyone is happy about it. Everyone, that is, except Ms. Patricia (me) who misses her weekly "kid-fix" during the summer. For six years now I've volunteered in the art classes at a K-5 school in East Dearborn, Michigan, a community primarily made up of Muslim families of Middle Eastern descent. My "role" has been to do whatever art projects the kids do, or to take photos for our school's web site, or sometimes just sit and enjoy conversation with these most interesting girls and boys.

So today, my next-to-last regular school day, was tinged with feelings of nostalgia. I always miss the fifth graders who will be graduating. Well, not ALL of them, but most. But even more than nostalgia, I'm filled with gratitude to the excellent art teacher, Ms. Susan Briggs, who has welcomed me so graciously for all these years. And she's invited me back for next year. How lucky am I?!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Detroit Electronic Music Festival personified

It's going to be a long time before I lose interest in last weekend's festival. I just can't imagine putting up photos of anything else right now. I hope you'll bear with me. At present, my delightful task is to choose from the many photos I took, edit my favorites, and create a new gallery called Movement 07: Detroit Electronic Music Festival. So my Photoshop composites are on hold, for awhile anyway. Of course, I can already see myself using elements from these festival photos to go crazy with in Photoshop, but that will have to wait. Let me get the straight shots up first.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Final DJ performs at Detroit's Electronic Music Festival

By the way, this is only half of the bodies packed into Hart Plaza's amphitheatre for EM icon Jeff Mills last night. And there were lots more outside the amphitheatre and at other stages. I have no idea of yesterday's numbers but I'd guess somewhere around 50,000. It was a perfect day with bright sun and temps in the high 70s F/20s C. Couldn't have asked for more.

As you can imagine, after 30 hours in 3 days I am a bit weary today. No complaints, mind, just the reality. And you'll love it. I have a new name--Grandma Techno! One of my funniest moments came late yesterday as I was leaving the tented Beatport Stage with the help of a security guard who cleared a path through the crowd for me and my scooter. A fellow saw me and yelled out, "Grandma's in the f***ing house!" I left with the kid's appreciative screams ringing in my ears!

Yes, a good time was had by all. Especially Grandma Techno!

Monday, May 28, 2007


Break dancer shows his stuff

Movement 07 is as much about young people getting together to have fun as it is about music. And one of their favorite things to do is to dance, many of them outrageously well. This particular moment occurred in the mid-afternoon in front of the Riverfront Stage. I'd guess there were about 20 kids who took turns showing off their skills. Some were break dancers like this fellow, others had amazing robotic moves that isolated everything from eyelids to ankles, and then there were the free spirits who just took off into realms of their own devising. Surrounding these wondrous mortals were hundreds of enthralled onlookers, most with cameras. I'd guess I took over 100 photos myself in that half hour!

So today is the last day. I have had an absolute blast and don't want it to end. It's a magical world made up of good music, great vibes, movement, meeting new people, and lots of love. In my 11 hours yesterday I talked with hundreds of young people, many from other countries. From places like Venezuela, Lithuania, France, Germany, the UK, and of course our neighbor to the north, Canada. Here's a photo taken late in the day of me with my two new friends from Venezuela, Louie and Illich. By the way, 100% of the persons I've met have raved about the festival and say they want to come back. When I say I live here, they all cry, "Oh, you are SO lucky!" Detroit is doing itself proud.

And now it's time for me to get going downtown. Don't want to miss a minute of this glorious sunny day with my adopted grandkids!

Sunday, May 27, 2007


DJ Guido Schneider from Berlin, Germany

Like WOW!!! After eight hours at Detroit's electronic music festival yesterday--much of it on my feet dancing--today I'm ready to go back downtown for more!

If you’re a fan of electronic music you'll know what I mean when I say these DJs mix it up like magicians behind the decks. But if you don't know the difference between house and techno, or to be more specific, how slamming, dark, minimal, futuristic, soulful, funky, hooky and ambient electronic music sounds, just trust me--it's ALL great to dance to. With that pounding bass beat, you pretty much trance out, at least I do.

And there was something else that made me trance out yesterday, and that was the LOVE that these thousands of young folks poured out on this white-haired, scooter-riding woman they call "Grandma." It was bizarre! I was a mini-celebrity. Many of them remembered me from last year. Said they'd danced with me, had taken pictures of me, admired me, wanted to be like me when they got to be grannies, etc. One fellow even said, "You're the coolest chick here!"

So more pictures were taken, most with starry-eyed boys and girls with their arms around me. I was showered with gifts--3 bracelets, 1 necklace, 1 t-shirt, 1 waterproof bag, untold numbers of kisses, hugs and I-love-you's. Every time I needed to get in or out of my favorite of the five stages--the always crowded tented area called the Beatport stage--there were big strong fellows ready to clear my way. It was like the parting of the Red Sea!

One young woman named Olivia even asked if she could take my picture with my camera, so now you can see what I looked like bathed in the blue spotlight and grinning like the dancin' fool I am.

Are you surprised I'm ready to go back for more?

Saturday, May 26, 2007


Dancing to Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels

I suspect you'll be seeing a number of straight un-Photoshopped photos here this weekend, but if the subjects are as lovely as this young woman, I doubt if anyone will complain!

Last night the 70s icon Mitch Ryder performed at a free concert downtown, and today, tomorrow and Monday I'm off to one of my favorite music festivals of the year--Detroit's eighth annual electronic music extravaganza on the downtown riverfront. No, this one isn't free, but it IS least for tens of thousands of EM lovers, many of whom travel from around the world every Memorial Day weekend to this Techno Mecca. Check it out yourself by going to the Movement 07 web site.

Last year I was photographed by hundreds of these terrific youngsters who couldn't believe a granny-aged white-haired woman like me could really like electronic music, the stuff their parents yell at them about at home! I'd guess I was the oldest person there. That and the fact that I'm disabled got me some special attention. What makes it special for me is being around the fabulous energy of youth, and having the opportunity to get up out of my scooter, onto my feet, and dance to my heart's content. Always have been a dancin' fool!

The rain's coming down pretty hard right now so I might wait a bit before heading downtown, but hey, rain can't stop a ragin' granny like me!

Friday, May 25, 2007

Why am I not surprised? 

David Sirota writes that "We gave them our hearts, they gave him a blank check". So why am I not surprised? Because "checks" are at the heart of it all. The checks written not by the likes of you and me, but by corporate donors and lobbyists for whom this disastrous war on and occupation of Iraq is beneficial.

Oh yes, Mr. Bush's war may not have the people's support, but it is very popular among some factions of our society. Don't forget, weapons manufacturing and sales is the #1 industry in the United States. Do you think Lockheed Martin and Boeing, to name some of the better-known munitions manufacturers, want this war to end? Hell, they're pushing for the NEXT one to begin!

I may have voted for Democrats in 2006, but not because they'd captured my heart; only because they were the least of two evils. I knew how sleazy most of them were, are, and always will least as long as our political system rewards the compliant and dismisses those with conscience.

Speaking of conscience, I want to applaud Senator Russ Feingold, and House Representatives Dennis Kucinich and Barbara Lee. There are more on this short list of heroes/sheroes, but not many. Not enough.

As we remember the war dead on this Memorial Day 2007, let us not forget that so many of their deaths were unnecessary and, in the case of Iraq, an ongoing crime against humanity. Rather than waving our American flags and bringing out our red-white-and-blue picnic tablecloths, we should be doing all that we can to stop this and every war.

What is war good for? Just ask Halliburton et. al.; their profit statements will tell you.

What is war good for??? 

Innocent Victims Caught Up In A War Of Endless Revenge
by Robert Fisk
The Independent
May 25, 2007

It is a place of Palestinian fury - and almost as much Palestinian blood. The bandage-swaddled children whimpering in pain, frowning at the strange, unfatherly doctors, the middle-aged woman staring at us with one eye, a set of tubes running into her gashed-open stomach, a series of bleak-faced, angry, young men, their bodies and legs torn apart.

There was eight-year Youssef al-Radi who was cut open by shrapnel in the arm and back yesterday morning and brought to the Palestinian Safad hospital at Badawi, another refugee camp in Tripoli, his feet bleeding, a tiny figure on a huge stretcher. He hasn't been told that his mother died beside him. Nor that his father is still in the Nahr el-Bared camp.

And let us not forget six-year-old Aiman Hussein, who was hit by up to a hundred pieces of metal from a Lebanese army shell - in the neck and the spine, the tibia, the foot, the back, you name it. The doctors had to rush him to Tripoli because they could not operate. Visit the Safad hospital if you dare. Or climb gingerly out of your car on the Lebanese army's front line at Nahr el-Bared and walk past the sweating, tired soldiers who have been told they are defending Lebanon's sovereignty by doing battle with the gunmen of Fatah al-Islam - who are still hiding in the smashed, smoking ruins on the edge of the Palestinian camp.

Some of the buildings look like Irish lace and a mosque's green minaret has a shell hole just below the platform where the muezzin's call would be heard five times a day, as if a giant had punched at it in anger. There is even a field of ripped-up tents, which must have been what this camp looked like when the grandfathers of those wounded children arrived here from Palestine in 1948.

The Lebanese armoured personnel carriers were dug into the rich earth, and the soldiers were sheltering behind a collection of smashed houses, petrol stations and lock-up garages. We found two colonels in one garage, who politely offered us coffee, and a lieutenant who had lived in Montreal and who called a mutual friend of ours - a Lebanese army colonel in the south of Lebanon - who roared with laughter down his mobile phone: "Robert, what are you doing in Nahr el-Bared?" As if he didn't know.

I looked across the camp. Was it worth all this pain, the grotty, empty streets, the broken apartment block with dirty grey smoke still drifting from its windows? The Lebanese soldiers claim they try never to hurt civilians (I can think of another army which says that!), but did so many Palestinians have to be killed or wounded for the crimes of a few, some - we do not know how many - not even from "Palestine" but from Syria or Yemen or Saudi Arabia? Just behind me was the checkpoint where the gunmen of Chaker el-Absi (born Jericho 1955, later a MiG pilot in Libya, according to his brother in Jordan) butchered four soldiers at the weekend, slitting their throats and leaving their severed heads on the road.

Most of the troops around me were from the north of Lebanon - so were the murdered soldiers. Had there been feelings of revenge rather than military discipline when they first opened fire? There were certainly growls of retaliation in the Safad hospital - named, with terrible coincidence, after the very town in pre-Israel Palestine from which many of Nahr el-Bared's refugee families originally came - and Fatah, the old Arafat PLO Fatah, now had armed men on the streets to protect the medical personnel and the new, wounded refugees from the next burst of fury.

All day, the ambulances ran a ferry service of wounded from the camp, sirens shrieking through the wards, spilling out the wounded and the sick and the ancient men and women who could bear no more. They were given small sacks of bread - like animals newly arrived at market, I couldn't help thinking - and led away.

They had heard all the political statements. Nicolas Sarkozy, the new French President, had been on the phone to the Lebanese Prime Minister, insisting that he should not give in to "intimidation" - perhaps he thought the Palestinians were the same kind of "scum" that he called the rioting Arabs of the Paris suburbs last year - and President Bush gave his his support to the Lebanese government and army.

And Walid Jumblatt said of the Syrian President that "the Lebanese Army ought to crush Fatah al-Islam once and for all to prevent Assad from turning Lebanon into a second Iraq". That's all the talk now, that another sovereign Arab nation might become a new Iraq. The Algerians were saying the same two days ago, that Islamist suicide bombers were trying to turn Algeria into "a new Iraq".

What, I kept asking myself yesterday, have we unleashed now? Well, you can ask Suheila Mustafa who stood yesterday at the bedside of her 45-year-old sister, Samia, so terribly wounded by army shellfire in the face that she could neither talk nor focus upon us with her bloated left eye. "We had just woken up when we heard the first barrage of gunfire," she said. "My sister was beside me and fell down with her head bleeding. She haemorraged from 5.50 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon. At last my brother brought us all out in his car. But let me tell you this. The Palestinian people have heard Walid Jumblatt and we say 'thank you' to him and let us have more shelling.

"And I would like to thank Prime Minister Siniora, and say thanks - really thanks - very much to George Bush and to Condoleezza Rice. I really want to thank them for these shells and these wounds we are suffering. And if Rice really wants to send more materiel to the Lebanese Army, she had better hurry up. There is a woman still in the camp who is very pregnant and the child in her womb will be born and will grow into a man - and then we'll see!'

Of course, one wants to remind Suheila - perhaps not her dreadfully wounded sister - that the Palestinians are guests in Lebanon, that by allowing Fatah al-Islam to nest on the edge of their north Lebanon camp, they were inviting their own doom. But victimhood - and let us not doubt the integrity or the dignity of that victimhood - has become almost a pit for the Palestinians, into which they have fallen. The catastrophe of their eviction and flight from Palestine in 1948, their near-destruction in the Lebanese civil war, their cruel suffering at the hands of Israeli invaders - the massacre of Sabra and Chatila in 1982 where 1,700 were slaughtered - and now this, have sealed these people into a permanent prison of suffering.

I found an old lady in Safad hospital, whimpering and sobbing. She was 75, she said, and her daughter had just brought out her own two-month-old child and this was the fifth time she had been "displaced". She used that word, "displaced". She had lost her home in Palestine in 1948 and four more times in Lebanon her home had been destroyed. And on what date did she leave Palestine, I asked? "I can read and write," she said. 'But I no longer have the memory of being so exact."

No wonder that in all the Palestinian camps of Lebanon yesterday, they were protesting the "massacre" at Nahr el-Bared with gunfire and burning tyres.

And so we continued through the wards. There was Ghassan Ahmed el-Saadi, who had arrived at the camp's medical centre to distribute bread with his friends Abdul Latif al-Abdullah and Raad Ali Shams. "A shell came down and my friends both fell dead at my feet," said Mr Saadi, who is a mass of tubes and wounds and a bloody foot.

There was Ahmed Sharshara, just eight years old, with a huge plaster over his chest. A hunk of shell had entered his back and broken into his spine and partly emerged from his chest. The X-ray showed a piece of metal like a leaf in his stomach. His lungs were still being drained.

And there was Nibal Bushra who went to his balcony on Sunday morning to find out why the camp was being shelled when a single bullet hit his brother. Then a sniper's bullet hit him. For two days he lay bleeding in the camp before being brought out.

"I wish they would take us to a European country because we are not safe here, and the Arab nations are beasts, monsters to us," he said. "I won't even talk to Arab journalists. They are not prepared to tell the truth." And what has become of his desire to return to the old Safad of Palestine, I asked. "We will never go home," he said. "But I trust the Europeans because they seem good and kind people."

And then - a little annex to this story - there was a small room where I found Ahmed Maisour Sayed, 24, part-paralysed and unable to speak, who was not a victim of the Lebanese army. He was brought here on 3 May after being shot by two gunmen from Fatah al-Islam because he was a PLO supporter. "His family and one of their families had quarreled about ideology," his father told me. "So they shot him and killed two other men. They are a terrorist organisation and we don't know what they want. There's only about 700 of them. But now my son can never work, We need help from an international organisation." I dared not tell him that I come from the land of Lord Balfour.

But I did notice, back at Nahr el-Bared, a heap of empty Lebanese army machinegun cartridges, and I picked one up as a souvenir. And when I got home to Beirut, I put it with a much older cartridge case which I picked up back in the late Eighties when the same army was besieging the Palestinians in Sidon. Of course, the two cases were identical in calibre. The tragedy goes on. And its identical nature has made it normal, routine, typical, easy to accept. And woe betide if we believe that.

© 2007 Independent News and Media Limited

So how is my country responding to this disaster? We are sending more weapons to the scene. Of course our eight U.S. planeloads of military equipment are going to the Lebanese army so they can "deal with these extremists." My government will do everything in its power to keep Prime Minister Siniora's unpopular-but-U.S. friendly government in power. As we've learned in the last six and a half years, President Bush will do anything for a friend, especially a friend who uses violence to settle its differences with "our enemies."


a Photoshop primer

Take three photos--one of a purple iris, another of multi-colored feathers, and the third of a scarlet tulip. Twirl, then layer them on top of one another using a few special blending tools. Select the shapes you find most pleasing, cut them out using the pen tool, and there you have it: Photoshop fun for everyone!

Thursday, May 24, 2007


Summertime and the livin' is easy...

Now I know why Doris Day insisted on a gauzy filter over the lens when they shot close-ups of her as she aged. I took two photos of my feet today, one was a bit blurred and the other crisp and detailed. Guess which one I chose! This composite was inspired by today's lovely hot temperatures that rose to 90 degrees F/32 C. With the Memorial Day weekend coming up here in the U.S.--the traditional start of the summer season--I find myself singing with joy.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Sunset hoops

Yes, this is a composite although I took both photos on the same evening at Venice Beach in Los Angeles. And yes, my obsessive self cut out every single one of the negative spaces around the basketball net. What I do for art!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Moving towards the place where we belong

Lebanon in crisis 

Lebanon is again the scene of violence; this time it appears to be internally generated. But with Lebanon, one never knows who might be pulling the strings. If anyone has an idea, though, it's Independent UK correspondent Robert Fisk who has lived in Beirut for three decaeds. This is what he had to say this morning:

Robert Fisk: A front-row seat for this Lebanese tragedy
Published: 22 May 2007

There is something obscene about watching the siege of Nahr el-Bared. The old Palestinian camp - home to 30,000 lost souls who will never go "home" - basks in the Mediterranean sunlight beyond a cluster of orange orchards. Soldiers of the Lebanese army, having retaken their positions on the main road north, idle their time aboard their old personnel carriers. And we - we representatives of the world's press - sit equally idly atop a half-built apartment block, basking in the little garden or sipping cups of scalding tea beside the satellite dishes where the titans of television stride by in their blue space suits and helmets.

And then comes the crackle-crackle of rifle fire and a shoal of bullets drifts out of the camp. A Lebanese army tank fires a shell in return and we feel the faint shock wave from the camp. How many are dead? We don't know. How many are wounded? The Red Cross cannot yet enter to find out. We are back at another of those tragic Lebanese stage shows: the siege of Palestinians.

Only this time, of course, we have Sunni Muslim fighters in the camp, in many cases shooting at Sunni Muslim soldiers who are standing in a Sunni Muslim village. It was a Lebanese colleague who seemed to put his finger on it all. "Syria is showing that Lebanon doesn't have to be Christians versus Muslims or Shia versus Sunnis," he said. "It can be Sunnis versus Sunnis. And the Lebanese army can't storm into Nahr el-Bared. That would be a step far greater than this government can take."

And there is the rub. To get at the Sunni Fatah al-Islam, the army has to enter the camp. So the group remains, as potent as it was on Sunday when it staged its mini-revolution in Tripoli and ended up with its dead fighters burning in blazing apartment blocks and 23 dead soldiers and policemen on the streets.

And yes, it is difficult not to feel Syria's hands these days. Fouad Siniora's government, surrounded in its little "green zone" in central Beirut, is being drained of power. The army is more and more running Lebanon, ever more tested because it, too, of course, contains Lebanon's Sunnis and Shia and Maronites and Druze. What fractures, what greater strains can be put on this little country as Siniora still pleads for a UN tribunal to try those who murdered ex-prime minister Rafik Hariri in 2005?

We read through the list of army dead. Most of the names appear to be Sunni. And we glance up to the fleecy clouds and across the mountain range to where the Syrian border lies scarcely 10 miles away. Not difficult to reach Nahr el-Barad from the frontier. Not difficult to resupply. The geography makes a kind of political sense up here. And just up the road is the Syrian frontier post.

The soldiers are polite, courteous with journalists. This must be one of the few countries in the world where soldiers treat journalists as old friends, where they blithely allow them to broadcast from in front of their positions, borrowing their newspapers, sharing cigarettes, chatting, believing that we have our job to do. But more and more we are wondering if we are not cataloguing the sad disintegration of this country. The Lebanese army is on the streets of Beirut to defend Siniora, on the streets of Sidon to prevent sectarian disturbances, on the roads of southern Lebanon watching the Israeli frontier and now, up here in the far north, besieging the poor and the beaten Palestinians of Nahr el-Bared and the dangerous little groupuscule which may - or may not - be taking its orders from Damascus.

The journey back to Beirut is now littered with checkpoints and even the capital has become dangerous once more. In Ashrafieh in the early hours, a bomb explosion - we could hear it all over the city - killed a Christian woman. No suspects, of course. There never are. Posters still demand the truth of Hariri's murder. Other posters demand the truth of an earlier prime ministerial murder, that of Rashid Karami. Several, just the down the road from our little roof proudly carry the portrait of Saddam Hussein. "Martyr of 'Al-Adha'," they proclaim, marking the date of his execution. So even Iraq's collapse now touches us all here in our Sunni village where the Sunni dictator of Iraq is honoured rather than loathed.

A flurry of rockets rumbled over the camp before dusk. The soldiers scarcely bothered to look. And across the orange orchards and the deserted tenement streets of Nahr el-Bared, the sea froths and sparkles as if we were all on holiday, as this nation trembles beneath our feet.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Bluebells and goldfish

Yet another Photoshop composite, this one made up of my turquoise-blue glass vase, bluebells I photographed on an early spring day, three goldfish in my dentist's aquarium, and colorful feathers from the art room at school.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Mike's Blue Dragon

Now this, my friends, is a biker's bike! A Harley-Davidson with specialty lights. Mike's pride-and-joy. When I asked him if it had a name, he said, "If you put it up online, you give it a name." So I did, right then and there. And Mike and his buddies loved it! Thus the Blue Dragon was born.

If you want to see more photos from my adventures yesterday at Detroit's Downtown Hoedown, click here.

In relation to my treatment of this photo, I have my sister PBaser Enny Jameson to thank for giving me the idea of using motion blur here. After all, how can you picture a Harley standing still? It just doesn't fit.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Forest idyll

Nothing is as it
seems. Shadows
on grass masquerade
as the foliage of
trees. Fence posts
become their
trunks. The filaments
and anther of a
peony sparkle
blue, purple and
gold among branches
overhead. The sidewalk
twists itself into
a self portrait.
No, nothing
is as it seems.

Does that

Friday, May 18, 2007


Her third eye

"I have a trick. Do you want to see it?" She lined up her unblinking blue eye behind the camera's LCD screen. The blue eye that, for those moments, could be seen but not see. Not except what she could always see that I couldn’t: dragons everywhere. The blue dragon that propelled my mobility scooter. The giant dragons whose tails we'd see out the train window that other people thought were hills rising from the New Mexican desert. White puffy dragons disguised as clouds overhead. And who's to say she was wrong? Not I. Not this grandmotherly figure who listened with awe to the wisdom of a child, an almost 11 year-old who seemed sprung full-grown from the loins of the sages. Oh no, who am I to say dragons don't exist? Just because I can't see them doesn’t mean they aren't there. Ask Adrienne.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


Visions of sunset at dawn

In the summer of 1998, I learned an ancient Indonesian verse form, the pantoum. Its circular way with words appealed to me, much as the mandala's circular way with images had done for years. The pantoum, as I was taught, is four stanzas with lines set up as follows: 1-2-3-4, 2-5-4-6, 5-7-6-8, 7-3-8-1. One ends up where one began, knowing it for the first time, to paraphrase T.S. Eliot. What follows is a pantoum inspired by today's image:

Early morning shimmers on a choppy lake
I look not behind me at the sun but ahead
Squinting my eyes at what is to come
Sunset, the elder’s refuge

I look not behind me at the sun but ahead
Into the unknown mystery of endings
Sunset, the elder’s refuge
When answers replace the questions

Into the unknown mystery of endings
I turn my wrinkled face
When answers replace the questions
And dawn’s promises are kept

I turn my wrinkled face
Squinting my eyes at what is to come
And dawn‘s promises are kept
Morning sunlight shimmers on a choppy lake

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


splashes, circles, wires, web

connectors all
splashes, circles, wires, web
and when they don’t?
and when they don’t
we fall
isolated & apart
into shattered pieces of

hold tight to
splashes, circles, wires, web
embrace their pain
release their pleasure


Tuesday, May 15, 2007


Antares Quartet

I heard this marvelous New York-based group perform at the Detroit Institute of Arts last Friday. Their repertoire was most interesting, ranging from the "Suite from L'Histoire du Soldat" by Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971) to "Techno Parade" by Guillaume Connesson (b. 1970). The musicians in Antares are Vesselin Gellev on violin, Rebecca Patterson on cello, Garrick Zoeter on clarinet and Eric Huebner on piano. My first version of this collage was pretty conservative, and, to my mind, it didn't really reflect the passion and color with which they play. Hopefully this is closer to the mark.

Monday, May 14, 2007


For Enny

Like the American painter Georgia O'Keeffe, Enny Jameson chooses to focus her artist's eye on ordinary subjects like flowers. But what she finds there is hardly ordinary. Whenever I see one of Enny's images, she takes me someplace I do not expect to go. Her work is not what I'd call "cutting edge," but, to my eye, it defines the word "original." A tulip or bluebell in Enny's hand is touched with magic. It changes how I see and feel about these flowers from then on.
And isn't that what art is all about?

Enny will be sorely missed here on PBase. May she find new ways to share her gift with our world, a world which is in grave need of the transformative power of art.

By the way, the portrait I'm using in this composite photo is not of Enny. I don't know what she looks like physically, but I sure do know what she looks like inside: full of love, gentleness and an encouraging spirit.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

new photo gallery 

You might enjoy a new photo gallery I put up today. It's called "Sunday at the Pier Park" and includes 12 photos I took at the park on this beautiful May afternoon. The URL is


CCS Student Art Exhibit

On a warm Friday night I just happened upon the opening of the College for Creative Students Student Art Exhibit. Actually, it wasn't the art that drew me--pun intended--it was the rock band playing out on the lawn. Besides an opportunity to boogie down, it turned out to be the perfect place to take candid shots. After all, CCS is an art school so folks are used to photographers snapping here and there. Some people even semi-posed when I asked them.

I guess my only wish was that the student work had been as experimental as my depiction of it. There was nice work for sure, and some students were pushing the edges, but not many. Maybe they just need more wild elders to model "daring-do." My advice would be: If you don't jump off the cliff, how will you find out you can fly?!!

Saturday, May 12, 2007


Orchids for Mom

Friday, May 11, 2007


Gaia's dream

This composite photo celebrates the dreams of millions of women-of-the-earth who, like my friend Sooz, know what needs to be done to save our planet...and do it. Gaia--the mythological Earth Mother--lives through them.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


Peacock paradise

This composite uses photos I took of beach glass, ferns in the San Diego Botanical Gardens, one of the chandeliers in Los Angeles' Union Station, and a peacock that was high in a tree at the San Diego a pinch of Photoshop magic!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


Riding the rails

This composite utilizes photos I took on my recent Southwest Chief train journey from Chicago to Los Angeles. I've layered my train buddies Mary & Adrienne against New Mexico's red cliffs whose color I heightened by placing them on top of my most sparkly costume jewels, with the train tracks in the foreground. Oh yes, and I added a sky that would eventually culminate in a beautiful sunset over the Colorado desert on the trip home.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


My new scooter tripod

In order for my new scooter tripod to show up I had to go rather crazy with the colors here, but that's OK. You know me--I like wild.

Anyway, on Sunday I went to Adray, my favorite photo shop here in the Detroit area, because they were offering a special sensor cleaning for $20. Since I've been dealing with the same two fuzzy black spots in every photo for the past couple of months, I knew a good cleaning was what my Canon Rebel XT sorely needed. But there was more than cleaning going on, this was Adray's annual Photographic Expo with dozens of vendors set up in every available inch of their rather large store.

I got lucky and connected with Vince who had originally sold me my camera last July. Not only sold it to me but had spent three and a half hours helping this utter novice--me- figure out what she needed to get started in the world of SLR photography. But I'd not run into him since July...until Sunday, that is.

Vince is one of those creative thinkers who never says something can't be done; he merely finds another way to do it. For a woman like me whose disability makes many of the usual photographic basics tough to do, Vince is the perfect consultant. On Sunday I told him I wanted to see if we could come up with a tabletop tripod that would fit in my scooter's basket. I'd bought a top-of-the-line Manfrotto tripod months ago but was finding it awkward to carry around and manipulate.

While we were discussing options over by the tripod display, a man stopped and said he might have some ideas. Vince knew him because Lanny had been a Bogen rep for 20 years before having been let go a few years ago. As Vince said, Lanny knew all there was to know about tripods. Well, in the next hour, Lanny tried different components and finally came up with the perfect tripod set-up for my scooter. And it doesn't sit in the basket either; it clamps on the handlebar and can stay attached to the scooter so I don't need to bother taking it on and off.

Isn't that fantastic?!! Imagine having your tripod, camera and lenses with you at all times! Hey, being disabled has its perks!

Monday, May 07, 2007


Jeanne & Penny celebrate Beltane

Here is the Photoshop-created composite photo I promised you yesterday. Jeanne and Penny were two of eleven women who celebrated Beltane together on Casey and Jeanne's land on a perfectly lovely May day. Aren't their flower crowns beautiful? Creating them was part of our celebration. And dancing the Maypole you see in the background was another.

Do you, like I, remember celebrating May Day with such a dance in elementary school? I never could get it right--I was always going OVER when I should be going UNDER. I guess I still am, but now I call it my "individuality!"

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Casey & Jeanne's chives

On this sunny May 6th, my women's community gathered at Casey and Jeanne's home in the country to celebrate Beltane. As part of our ritual, Jeanne invited us to walk (or scoot) their land and find a plant for which we feel especially grateful. We were then to offer a pinch of tobacco to the plant in the Native American tradition. I found myself drawn to their chive plants, one of which spoke to me in the language I know best: the photograph.

Tomorrow I hope to create a composite photo of some of these wonderful women whom I love so dearly.

Saturday, May 05, 2007


Fred Lonberg-Holm, experimental jazz cellist

Sometimes you get lucky, and that's what this photograph proves. And this, my friends, is a straight, unadulterated photo, not a Photoshop creation. I know, judging from my recent PAD entries that's hard to believe, but it's true.

Last night I was lucky, not just as a photographer, but as a jazz lover. I heard--experienced is more like it--a fabulous experimental jazz quintet with members from New York, the Netherlands and Chicago. They played only original compositions and improvisations, and they were HOT! Jorrit Dijkstra on sax, lyricon, tin whistles, & electronics, Tony Malaby on alto saxophone, Fred Lonberg-Holm on cello with electronic effects, Jason Roebke on bass, and Frank Rosaly on drums, bells, etc.

I send my deepest gratitude to Deanna Relyea and Ann Arbor's Kerrytown Concert House, home of the world famous EdgeFest, for again allowing us free spirits to hear original, experimental, boundary-pushing music in a perfect setting. If you live in the area, check out their schedule--every kind of music is there!

Friday, May 04, 2007


Photoshop fantasy

Tomorrow is the last class in the "Photoshop for Photographers" Continuing Education course I've been taking at Detroit's College for Creative Studies. We are to bring in a Final Project that will hopefully show what we have learned in the past 8 weeks. If you've been with me from the beginning, you know that I have learned more than any one image could ever show, but this is what I will submit. Yes, it's a bit "out there," but to me that's what playing with Photoshop is all about, pushing your boundaries and moving beyond your comfort zone. The course may be over but my explorations are not. You can be sure of that ;=)

Thursday, May 03, 2007


Hands full of lilacs

Yes, this is yet another composite photo. Surprise, surprise!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007


My eye is on the tulips

I wonder when I will tire of creating these composites/montages/collages? Not any time soon I bet.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Si se puede!

On this day when millions of persons in the United States and Mexico take to the streets in support of immigrants and workers rights, I add my voice to those who demand “Amnesty and Legalization” and an “End to Raids and Deportations.”

This gif is freely copyable. Just right click, save
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