Saturday, June 30, 2007
Detroit at dusk
Last night I attended yet another free music concert, this one at the riverfront plaza under what natives still call the Renaissance Center but is now officially the GM (General Motors) Headquarters. The band playing was the 70s rock icon, Grand Funk Railroad. The dancing was great and the evening couldn't have been more lovely. A good time was had by all...especially me!
Friday, June 29, 2007
Photoshop is such a teaser. Things are rarely what they seem. For instance, what appears to be fabric in the background of today's photo is really a sidewalk grate superimposed upon a collage of wooden planks that were nailed to the side of that abandoned warehouse you saw in yesterday's PAD. And the lines running across it? Bicycle spokes, of course!
Thursday, June 28, 2007
The family jewels
This image was inspired by the news that the CIA had at long last declassified 700 pages of internal reports from the 1950s through the 1970s, documents they’d feared would be so damaging to the Agency’s reputation that they were known in house as the "family jewels." In 1992 a brief was filed under the Freedom of Information Act regarding these files, but the CIA managed to block their release for 15 years. Until this week, that is
For me, this news hits home. After all, my father was a founder of the CIA in 1947, and then held an important post there in the 1960s until his retirement in 1971. The Director of the CIA, Richard Helms, attended Ed's and my wedding in 1966. I even had a job at the CIA headquarters in McLean, Virginia one summer during my college years
And how do I now feel about the CIA? I think this image gives you a pretty good idea.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
The way we're meant to be
After yesterday's painful reminder of who we can become when fear grips us, I needed to put up this composite photo that shows who we are in our core and the delight we are meant to experience. Yes, I started the day by standing--or sitting, in my case--with other concerned individuals out on the streets on behalf of those who cannot do so for themselves, but then I put my sign in my car and scooted over to the Detroit River to join in a celebration of life not death.
The city of Detroit with all its financial woes has chosen to use some of their precious resources--aided in large part by corporate sponsors--to open up our riverfront to the people. The River Walk, a 3.5 mile (5.6 km) promenade, has just opened to great fanfare. From last Friday through tonight's fireworks, things are hopping down there with free music, carnival rides for the kids, food vendors, and even cooling stations inside the buildings. But most popular of all are these fountains set into the pavement. They shoot water from a matter of inches (5 cm) up to 4-5 feet (1.2-1.5 meters). And it wasn't only kids enjoying that cool water during yesterday's scorching hot temperatures; grandmas and grandpas were out there too. Let me tell you, if my scooter were waterproof I would have been in the middle of it myself!
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
In the shadows
Guantanamo Bay. Abu Ghraib. Bagram. Secret CIA prisons across the globe. The highest incarceration rate per capita of any country in the world. Habeas Corpus--the law of the land since its founding--abolished by Congress and the President last October.
Since September 11, 2001, the country of my birth has crawled under the rock of fear and become a shadowy reflection of its former self.
That’s why today is so important. On this hot summer day, tens of thousands of Americans will participate in the American Civil Liberties Union-sponsored Day of Action to Restore Law and Justice. As we rally on streets across the country and meet with our Senators and Congresspersons in their local offices and on Capitol Hill, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee will be holding a hearing to discuss the Habeas Corpus Restoration Act, a version of which the U.S. Senate Judiciary passed last week.
May my country move out of the shadows and back into the light of day.
Monday, June 25, 2007
This is another abstract composite that I'd prefer not to name. I'd rather you see it unencumbered by my perceptions.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Street scene in Ann Arbor, Michigan
You know, I've walked past--and sat under--these murals for over 20 years, but it wasn't until yesterday that I REALLY saw them...and that was because I had my camera's lens in front of my eyes. That is one of my favorite parts of being a photographer: it opens my eyes to wonders that I would not have noticed before.
Now I see that the mural was painted in 1984 by Richard Wolk. Who do you recognize in it?
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Life is the art of the possible
I have a 36 year old mobile phone factory manager from South Wales to thank for inspiring this image. Have you heard of--or more accurately HEARD--Paul Potts singing Nessun Dorma in the Britains Got Talent competition? If not, please give youself a treat and check it out on YouTube. This young man shows that we never know what treasures lie hidden behind seemingly ordinary exteriors. Even within ourselves.
For instance, this composite photo started life as peeling paint on the window sill of an unused greenhouse attached to our local high school. With the addition of a curved tulip leaf, some cliffs seen outside my train window in New Mexico and lots of Photoshop manipulations, it has become the abstract you see above.
Yes, life is the art of the possible.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
I'm leaving this untitled because I don't want to influence your perceptions of what is now an abstract image. The photos I used to create it were far from abstract, but that's the wonder of Photoshop.
By the way, you might want to check out my latest gallery. I call it "Digging for treasure" because it contains thumbnails and links to some of the wonderful galleries I've unearthed here on PBase.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Ellie in bud
Youth is a time of possibilities. What we adults often forget is that youth is also a time of hard realities. Like the thorns on a rose, coming into full bloom can hurt. Just ask any 13 year-old.
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
A perfect birthday
What could be more perfect than waking to your dear husband singing "Happy birthday" and giving you wonderful gifts, then picking up your best friend and going to the Arab International Festival where you see children you know from school having the time of their lives on carnival rides. After enjoying a chilled fresh fruit drink on this very hot day, you go back to your friend's air-conditioned apartment where she gives you a pedicure, you take a nap, and then she feeds you a delicious dinner with homemade sweet potato quesadillas, peas, radishes and lettuce picked fresh from the garden, followed by a 4-block walk/scoot to a Detroit urban farm where you get to pet billy goats and horses. And when you return to her apartment, your friend--who is a superb massage therapist--gives you the full-body massage your husband had included among his gifts.
I should turn 65 every day!
Saturday, June 16, 2007
My 65th birthday collage
Yes, that's me scooter-dancing up on top of the cliff! I have my friend Illich to thank for finding the photo online of me dancing at Movement 07: Detroit Electronic Music Festival a few weeks ago. It was taken by Stephen Boyle and posted on www.residentadvisor.net.
To see this photo collage in a larger format click here.
Friday, June 15, 2007
An individual fishfly
For many Michiganders--and other persons around the world--fishflies or mayflies are simply a nuisance. Every year they arrive here on the shores of Lake St. Clair for a few weeks in late June and early July. Trillions of them. Their only job is to mate, which they do in mid-air. Since their digestive tract is nonfunctional, they only live for a matter of hours, or in some cases, days. Fishflies don't bite or sting but they do cling, and that seems to freak out lots of folks. At night, they also gravitate towards any source of light, so street lamps and car headlights are often fuzzy with fishflies. Since they die so quickly, roadways become covered with slick piles of their carcasses, making driving a bit hazardous.
As I say, for most people, the fishfly season is a royal pain. But not for me. And why is that, you ask? Because 30 years ago I had the privilege of getting to know an individual fishfly, and as with any group prejudice, that intimate encounter helped me see each one's uniqueness and beauty. I was an art student at what was then called the Center for Creative Studies in Detroit. Richard Jerzy, my watercolor instructor, encouraged us to bring in our own subjects to paint. So on a hot day in late June 1977, I decided to bring in a fishfly. Well, this individual sat perfectly still on the corner of my desk for three solid hours while I completed a detailed watercolor portrait of him/her. When I was done, she/he flew away. How about that for an accommodating model! That painting is framed and hangs on the wall of our first floor lavatory, so I see it almost every day. And I always send gratitude to the fishfly who spent three of its precious hours on earth posing for this student artist.
Today, on the second day of fishfly season 2007, my husband Ed encouraged me to take a macro shot of a fishfly. So here is one more fishfly who will be remembered as an individual. Isn't he/she beautiful?
Thursday, June 14, 2007
A day in June
Today I took my macro lens out with me on my scoot down to Kinko's, and on the way we communed with several flowers and plants. When I downloaded the photos I couldn't choose which I liked best, so I put them all up. The new gallery is called A day in June.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
School's out for the summer!
This was the last kid to come down the stairs after the bell rang signaling the end of school for the year. Remember that feeling? Nothing quite like it!
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Emerson Matabele, photographer
This is a photo I took on Saturday of a man who is usually behind the camera not in front of it. Emerson Matabele's photos look into the souls of people because he is a clear channel for love. Sorry if that sounds a bit "new-agey" but it's true. Check out his web site and see for yourself.
Monday, June 11, 2007
Sunday at Detroit Festival of the Arts
I saw many smiles over the past three days but none could match the radiant smile of Idrissa 'Malam' Bangura, bass guitar player with Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars. You could not look at him without smiling back. And, as is so often the case, the horrors he and his brother and sister musicians have survived could have ended any hope for joy if they had let it. But they didn't and the world is all the richer for it.
We here in Detroit were the grateful recipients of their foot-stompin' West African, reggae, roots music and infectious delight as Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars closed out our three-day Detroit Festival of the Arts. And, believe me, Detroit knows how to stomp its feet and express delight! Reuben M. Koroma, the band leader and lead vocalist, kept remarking in awe that we here in Detroit are like the people in Africa--we ALL get up and dance! And hundreds of us--Black, White, Asian, Arab, old, young, homeless, housed, able-bodied & disabled--crowded around this outdoor stage doing just that!
How I love this city and its people. When we gather like this, all divisions are healed and we are family...true, authentic, down-to-the-heart family. Like Sierra Leone's Refugee All Stars, so many people in Detroit are survivors of horrors others of us cannot imagine. But that doesn't diminish the joy that bubbles up and cascades over us when we come together through music. I was once given a pin that said, "Peace through music." And I'm coming to believe that when we share music, even something as seemingly impossible as world peace becomes possible!
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Saturday at Detroit Festival of the Arts
Petra of Osadia creates her magic on a volunteer from the audience. This performance artist duo from Barcelona, Spain has been appearing at the Detroit Festival of the Arts for four years now and they're still WOWING us with their outrageous imaginations!
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Friday night at Detroit Festival of the Arts
The Close-Act Theatre of the Netherlands brought "Sau'rus" onto the streets of Detroit and delighted the crowds with their antics. One of them even tried twice to eat my hair! Ed says they probably thought it was white cotton candy ;=)
I've just popped photos from last night into a gallery called Detroit Festival of the Arts. And now I'm on my way back down to Detroit's Cultural Center for another day of fun!
Friday, June 08, 2007
My Faberge egg
While the original Faberge eggs created between 1885 and 1917 for the Russian Tsars Alexander III and his son Nicholas II, were crafted using enameled precious metals and jewels, my egg found its genesis in flowers, green plants splattered with raindrops, a wooden picket fence, and liberal use of my favorite artistic medium, Adobe Photoshop CS2.
Today is the start of another of Detroit's wonderful outdoor weekend festivals: the Detroit Festival of the Arts. Of all the summer festivals, this is the most ambitious...and the most entertaining for all ages, ethnicities, tastes, and economic backgrounds. First of all, it's totally free. Secondly, it covers eight blocked-off city blocks in Detroit's Cultural Center, the entire campus of Wayne State University for the Creative Children's Fair, special activities in all the museums, and one of the streets even has a 75-ton sand sculpture being created right in the middle of it! In addition to artists' booths filled with all kinds of treasures, local, national and international stage and street performers offer song, dance, theatre, poetry, humor and indescribable, often outrageous, talents. Just check out some photos I posted of the Spanish performance artists Osadia on my blog last year to see what I mean! I'm still trying to decide whether I should let them "do" me again this year. It took my husband Ed a half hour of painful pulling and twisting to get those wires out of my hair that night! So my question is: Is "beauty" worth the pain?
So this will be another weekend of straight photos here at Patricia's PAD, but I promise to do my best to keep you entertained. How could I not, with such amazing subjects to photograph?!?
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Earth, air, fire and water
I create this image on the day my Canadian and American sisters--100 of them--are in a Boston sound studio recording "My Heart is Moved," a CD of songs based on the words of The Earth Charter. The music for these songs was composed by Norma Luccock of Vancouver,BC, Nancy Nordlie of the Great Lakes Basin, and Carolyn McDade--visionary songwriter, spiritual feminist and social activist--who is the unstoppable force behind this work. As these women bring their hearts, voices and intentions to the grave and glorious task of learning to live sustainably upon the earth, seven men and one woman meet in Hwiligendamm, Germany to discuss and, hopefully, act to lead us into a new way of responding to the global warming crisis we face.
May we hold these gatherings in our hearts and do whatever we can to act on behalf of our beloved home.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Snatched from the jaws of my imagination
To give credit where credit is due, the silhouette of a woman is from a photo I took of Giacomo Manzu's sculpture, Passo di Danza. In terms of process, all the elements in this image came from my photographs. I used Photoshop to get the effects I wanted. There is no digital painting although it might look that way.
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
eye sees the world
not as it wishes
it were, but as
it is: truth that
takes no sides
and has no
Monday, June 04, 2007
My final Grade 4 art project
Except for the Grade 5 commencement on Wednesday, June 13, today was my last day at school for the year. And this was my final art project. I worked VERY hard on it and think I deserve an "A," at least for effort! The assignment was to choose a photo of a zoo animal, draw the contour in pencil, with imaginative designs inside the animal. We were then to paint it using tempera paints and a limited palette. The idea was to try to make it look like Australian Aboriginal art. When we'd finished painting, we cut out the animal and pasted it to a piece of construction paper, our choice of color.This was an especially fun project for me because we were using print-outs of photos I'd taken at the Detroit Zoo last autumn. I chose the peacock--click here to see the original photo--and worked on this painting for three full days. As the kids said, I was lucky because I could take my time with it.
See what a hard volunteer job I have??!!
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Where I spent this rainy Sunday
Since I spent the entire day in front of my computer, it seemed appropriate to photograph it for today's PAD. The task I'd set myself was to go through the 187 photos I'd downloaded last Sunday. After editing my favorites, I planned to post two new galleries: the first called Sunday at Detroit's Electronic Music Festival, and the second, Dancin' at Detroit's Electronic Music Festival. I completed my task at 6:30 p.m., eight hours after I'd begun. Now I just have Monday's gallery to put up and I'll be done. But, thank goodness, I didn't take many photos that day so it shouldn't be much of a job.
Of course, I'll be delighted if viewers enjoy these galleries, but, to be honest, I'm doing it for myself. I had such a wonderful time at the festival that I want to be able to go back there whenever I choose.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
I know I said I wouldn't start with Photoshop composites of last weekend's Detroit Electronic Music Festival until after I'd put up the straight shots, but I couldn't help myself! Once I got to playing with swirls of color for yesterday's PAD, one thing led to another. Listening to my Venezuelan friend Illich Mujica's CD "To the Departed," a melodic minimalist mix of house and techno, fanned the flames of my creative fire. What a gifted DJ he is!
Friday, June 01, 2007
Medicare Mama works out
The insert photo of me was taken today by my trainer, Matt LaCroix, as I completed my first gym workout as an official Medicare recipient. What an exciting day! My 65th birthday isn't for a couple of weeks but here in the U.S., Medicare kicks in on the first day of the month that you cross that magic line. Hey follks, getting old ain't all bad...at least as long as you're not old-at-heart. And I don't think anyone could accuse me of that ;=)
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