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Showing posts from May, 2009

Beer With Me

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I'm not a beer drinker, not at all. I can't stand the way beer smells or tastes. Give me Diet Coke with lime instead or a mango-raspberry Margarita if I'm feeling especially daring and someone else is driving. But no beer please! I really don't like beer. But what I do like is lager, ale and beer bottle art. How cool are these? Damnation! Hog heaven. Pretty darn cool.

One of Those Days

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It was one of those days the kind when there are little stirrings of wind and puffy little clouds decorating the sky and you just know that you're going to see a spectacular sight when you get to a certain place along the highway on the way into town and you're not disappointed. Some days there's no haze and the mountain looks twice as large as normal and you think you could reach out and touch it and ooohhhh - wouldn't the mountain be lovely today with sailboats in the foreground? So on your way to the Farmer's Market you take a little detour and head down to the historic area so you can see Mt. Rainier poking its head above the harbor. The Farmer's Market and Harbor Greens will still be waiting in a few minutes and tomorrow might be cloudy.

Introducing Jerin Falkner (Northwest Folklife Festival)

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One of the artists who shared the stage at Cafe Impromptu with Mark Ward last weekend was a sassy young woman named Jerin Falkner . Jerin has released four albums, the newest being Pyro Aesthetic. I bought her 2007 Acoustic Journal during her performance at Cafe Impromptu. During the Folklife gig, she mentioned that she grew up around Spokane. She also mentioned that she has a little problem with electricity and getting electrocuted occasionally. Like when she used a curling iron with a frayed cord and ended up with singe marks on her face and her hand numb for four hours. PLEASE Buy a CD from this woman so she can afford to buy a new curling iron! Just click on her name up at the top of this post and you can visit her website. And just so you can see and hear how talented she is, I've inserted a You-Tube video she recorded herself, walking along with her flip-camera and singing her song, "Count of Three." And if you want more, click here to listen to some m

The Object of Art

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The object of art is to give life a shape. - Jean Anouilh, French Playwright (1910 - 1987) Art and the creative process keeps me sane, engaged, and totally present. It forces me to look at things in unconventional ways. What part does art and the creative process play in your life? And if you're not allowing room for art or writing or photography, how would your life change if you made serious time for creative play? You won't have more time in the future. The only time any of us have is right now . Are the choices you're making shaping your life in a way that pleases you?

Another Self-Portrait Wednesday: Hats

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Hats make me feel flirtatious and fabulous feminine and oh-so-proper. Got a hat in your closet? Put it on. Then come on over. I'll pour the tea. We'll make an afternoon of it.

Introducing Mark Ward (Northwest Folklife Festival)

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One of the Sunday performers at Café Impromptu, a Northwest Folklife Festival venue in McCaw Hall, was a young man named Mark Ward . He's from Spokane, Washington and describes his music as folk rock, acoustic guitar, and indie sounds. For you oldies but goodies, he says he sounds like Neil Young. He was selling CD's with four cuts: Fighting with Lightning; Little Lights; You Are Light; and Meant the Most . I brought one home -- you can purchase from his website (click on his name to go to his myspace page). I hope Mark doesn't mind me cribbing some of the accolades on his website, but these comments aptly honor Mark's music. " When you're one person with a guitar, you better have something compelling to separate yourself from all your like-minded compatriots. Ward definitely does-a magnetic, spine-tinglingly beautiful voice ." -Jeff Echert, The Inlander (Oct 20, 2008) " The incandescent crackle of a young songwriter taking the lens of his musical

Northwest Folklife Festival (Part Two)

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At the Folklife Festival music filled the air. In official venues, in unofficial venues lining pedestrian walkways, music was the star. Celtic Bagpipe Band piper playing in late afternoon outside McCaw Hall. I don't meditate before I play or compose, but I see playing and composing as meditative acts. - Steve Swallow Adam Hurst with his five string cello playing opposite Experience Music Project and the Science Fiction Museum (More about Adam in a post later this week!) Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. - Berthold Auerbach Musicians in an unofficial venue near the Monorail Station. Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness. - Maya Angelou A trio entertains listeners while they dine or soak up the sun. Music is the poetry of the air. - Richter Drumming near the Children's Theater. Music is the wine that fills the cup of silence. - Robert Fripp Guitarist near the wes

Memorial Day Tribute

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Today is the national day of tribute to those military members who gave their lives in the service of the United States of America. The day of remembrance, now celebrated the fourth Monday in May, was begun a few years after the end of the American Civil War and was initially identified strongly with the cause of the Union. Because of this, former Confederate states for many years had their own Memorial Day coincident with the birthday of Jefferson Davis. (For more history of Memorial Day, click here .) Now a national holiday, its origins and meaning are largely overlooked. The day is most often associated with barbeques, picnics, and the unofficial start of summer. The day's sacrificial meaning, however, is still observed with solemnity at Arlington National Cemetery and military burial grounds around the country with the placing of American flags at graves of the fallen. Whatever your views on war in general, remember that many have given their lives in wars that were conside

Northwest Folklife Festival (Part One)

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This weekend, Seattle once again hosted the Northwest Folk Life Festival. It's the largest free festival of its kind in the world. Throngs of people siddled onto the Seattle Center grounds to enjoy the fun. There were loads of activities to participate in, if you were so inclined, and dozens upon dozens of opportunities to pull up a chair (if you brought on) or hunker down on the grass while you listened to music. The first "official" musical venue I sampled was the early afternoon event at the Mural Stage. The music was Louisiana Cajun and Zydeco, such rousing good fun that people just had to dance. I think the group playing when I took this picture was the Folichon Cajun Band. To hear a sample of their toe-tapping, can't-help-dancin music, play the You-Tube piece below. In the background, behind the stage, you can see a splash of color from the mural behind the Mural Stage. It's a mosaic mural installation by artist Paul Horiuchi (1906 - 1999) done for

Some Days Are Ripe for Film-Going

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There are some days, even sunny ones, when you get an urge to see a film at your favorite independent film place a non-profit concern dedicated to enhancing the cultural vitality of the community through the art of film. So last weekend, even though it was sunny and I felt guilty about spending two hours sitting in the dark watching a film instead of playing outside, I let my desire to see a Swedish film called "Everlasting Moments" a film about a woman whose life was transformed and made worth living despite its hardships by a camera, override my guilt. (by the way, I loved it. . . the film, not the guilt) My friend Jen met me for the showing (and free popcorn for members) and then we headed down the street to get a bite to eat and were lucky enough to score a table outside. Outside, where we could squint at each other and worship the late afternoon sun and have a little strawberry lemonade and pizza (for Jen) and pasta (for me). And Jen could do what she al

Do You Believe in Magic?

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There are magical moments when the elements combine perfectly, the color of the sky, the merest puff of wind, the tide at just the right place in its cycles of ebb and flow. There is a pier jutting out over the shore that is often submerged, reaching out beyond the land and over the water, creating a bridge to a place of magic. There is a marina with wind and diesel-powered pleasure craft that dance lightly in their moorings, supported by water reflecting their image like a mirror. Above all, there is a pure white light with just a touch of golden sparkle. Camera paintings are born. Light glorifies everything. It transforms and ennobles the most commonplace and ordinary subjects. The object is nothing; light is everything. - Leonard Missone I am alight with magic.

Refracting the Light of Awareness

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Each artist is a facet of God's unfolding infinite vision, refracting the light of awareness in his or her own particular way. - Alex Grey How are you shining the light of your awareness into the world? And if you're hiding your light, then the question is (as Dr. Phil would say) "How's that workin' for ya?"

Photos, Zen, and Blessings

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One should really use the camera as though tomorrow you'd be stricken blind. -Dorothea Lange "Photo Meditation" copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian sometimes the things that bring you lightness of spirit are things you never expected to see in a million years and yet there they are just waiting for you to stumble upon them just waiting to make you laugh out loud just waiting to make you dance for joy and (if you have your camera at the ready) just waiting for you to freeze-frame the moment so you can recapture the ecstasy whenever you want we find the blessings we seek without even knowing we're looking we give the blessings we are just by being truly ourselves ************ How were you blessed today in ways you didn't expect? How did you extend your blessing to others?

Walking to Look (Self-Portrait Wednesday)

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On days when I walk for the sake of seeing, the act of looking consumes my consciousness. - Jan Phillips Walking for the sake of walking is a zen experience. The rhythm of left foot-right foot-left foot-right foot just naturally begs for a repetitive mantra. Peace Joy Love Hope works for me. And when I settle into my body and focus on the rhythm of my steps, my breath and my four words, I walk my way into a light trance. In that state, wisdom and guidance bubble up. A sense of well-being envelops me. The landscape around me becomes part of my meditation, a contributor to the sense of harmony emphasizing the whole, the unity, the energetic connection of between me and everything, everywhere. Walking for the sake of looking is something all together different. Yesterday, with the "marine layer" of clouds dissipating and patches of blue peeking through I felt the urge to walk. The meditative kind of walk. But just in case I stuck my new little pocket-sized 12.1 m

Earth Magic

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a chill, quiet morning near the sea the scent of salt water and sea grasses white clouds dancing airy waltzes, seagull dance band playing a song I sip my steaming spicy chai, steam escaping through the vents in my travel mug. gravel lying atop the rough roadway crunches under my feet. I am alone with all the glory of nature for company. Earth magic.

Fully Embodied

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How you do anything is how you do everything. - Zen proverb Be fully embodied. Don't hold back. Live with zest. p.s. Welcome to these new followers artist and designer ennui joannapettit (is there a blog link for you?) photographer Clinton Wittstock artist Carmen Torbus tokeydreamer a/k/a What's Deb Doing? Maldives resident and photographer Kamana Check out their sites.

Soul Glimpse

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My photographs are a direct line to my inner world. They are the shortest distance between my soul and yours. - Jan Phillips ( God is at Eye Level ) "The Colors of My Soul" copyright 2009 Meri Arnett-Kremian Can you follow the path? p.s. You can see Fledgling Poet's soul today too. It's in her words.

Manipulation - Part II

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Besides the trick I showed you in Manipulation - Part I What else can you do to photographic images to give them new identities? You remember the original, I'm sure. Now in an altered universe, new options. Manipulated with Photoshop CS2 Filters> Sketch>Graphic Pen Desaturate Increase gamma Photoshop CS2 Filters>Artistic> Poster Edges Fine tune with Image>Adjustments>Exposure Just for comparison here's the MS Digital Image Pro poster edges filter - a very different result! I made a few changes to the sliders using enhancements to the Poster Edges filter. If you like the chalk/pastel look, this is done with MS Digital Image Pro Filters> Chalk Opaque. It's a little softer, but very close to the original in color and feel. If you want a more "painterly" look, we can switch to Corel Painter Essentials 4 and play with that. You can "autopaint" to get a watercolor look or, if you prefer, an oil painting look (a little crude

Manipulation - Part I

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Bee wanted to know about the image in yesterday's post and I know many of you artsy-types love process posts. So here's the process. 1. I started with a photo I took at the Pike Place Market on Mother's Day. It's kind of soft-focus and isn't a perfect shot, by any means. But the young woman was lovely, cell phone to her ear, looking wistful and transported to another world. In a perfect world, there would have been a few more tulips visible and the one hanging over her shoulder could have been a hue that didn't blend in to her sweatshirt, but shooting on the fly you take what you get without being able to fuss over the details. So, having decided that I wanted to play with the image, I jumped in. WARNING: Manipulating photos can suck all your spare time into a black hole. 2. In Photoshop, I went to Filters>Stylize>Find Edges. You'll get a really washed-out looking result, with edges showing but the rest of the image pretty light in color. I was l