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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

tahitian fantasy

I’ve spoken before about how much nudes appeal to me, or have I? Well, I do have a serious appreciation for nude paintings and sculptures which I have in various shapes, sizes and colors in my collection of art as well as for my many books on the subject. Actually, I’m not quite sure how I developed such a proclivity for the naked body particularly since it took me most of my life to get comfortable with my own. Then again, maybe that is the simple answer.

Honestly, I have no recollection of exactly when I was no longer shocked by seeing private parts on display, not sure I ever was for that matter. I do remember the first time I saw the Tahitian women Gauguin painted in a book plucked from the shelves at my grandparent’s house. As I fantasized about going to this place I had never heard of and traced the brown voluptuous curves with my fingers, I found nothing obscene about their nakedness though it seemed others held them in disdain. How on earth anyone considered work like this to be pornographic was hard for me to fathom; we’re all entitled to our opinion.

Anyway, I love the National Gallery of Art a place I have frequented since my grandparents took me as a child. The museum is currently featuring a special comprehensive exhibition on Gauguin and much like when I walked through the Rousseau exhibit when it was there I wept seeing the real canvases. To trace my fingers over the live bodies of his women from Tahiti would have been such a rush but I did find immense gratification in being able to see the fine details of each piece, something that is always lost on a page in a book. I almost fell down the steps when I came upon this huge mural at the top of the staircase and simply must go back for a longer visit; the place was way crowded for a girl like me who prefers intimacy with the masters.

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Sunday, April 24, 2011


Spring is the time for fresh colorful blossoms, green grass and leaves, warm air, rebirth. The season for Easter and Passover, holidays of significance to those who believe and even for some who don’t. I loved Easter when I was young for all of the wrong reasons. There was the pageantry of going shopping for a new outfit, complete with hat, dress and patent leather shoes which I coveted the most (so busy was I spinning around in them one Sunday that I forgot the bottoms are slippery until scuffed, lost my balance and ended up in the doctors office getting stitches sewn into my split open chin…that did not diminish my penchant for those shiny slippers!). Dying eggs was just the best fun and a ritual that I continued into my adult life. In fact, one year I painted them with abstract designs finishing them off with gold trim. Then there were those baskets filled with that strange colorful straw topped with Peeps chicks, jelly beans, and chocolate rabbits, treats we looked forward to.

As I matured and began to understand the true meaning of the holiday, I went to church and began to look forward to the many movies that told the stories of both Christians and Jews reinforcing, albeit in the most dramatic fashion, what the minister had already talked about from the pulpit. And though I no longer run to the mall for a new pair of shoes, dip eggs in food coloring or attend church services, I still watch every movie tearing up throughout each one; spiritually I still appreciate just how significant this time of spring truly is and my heart is full.

The birds are chirping loudly outside my window, one is sitting on the ledge joyously singing the song of this morning. Enjoy today and…

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

talk about...

Talk about the power of suggestion. One of my friends asked me which version of a song I preferred. Without hesitation I responded that Jon Lucien’s version of the Hello Like Before had my vote. And just like that, I could not get the song out of my mind. I drove home singing it, went to sleep with it playing in my head, woke up to hear myself humming it with a huge smile on my face remembering my days as a radio DJ at Lehigh University. I opened and closed my jazz program with Lucien’s rendition of Lady Love, also my on air name, every Saturday evening. Though I still have more than one LP by JL, I owned not one CD, an issue that was quickly rectified by a visit to And my shopping trip did not disappoint in fact, it rewarded me with an unexpected treat; after many years of searching with no luck a favorite album from my past had finally been made into a CD. 

Eloise by Eloise Laws is light, breezy, up tempo and will go everywhere with me this summer along with By Request by Jon Lucien. Both arrived yesterday. I’m not sure how many times I’ve played the latter, he is serenading me right now with that lusciously liquid voice that is simply divine. All of the songs are familiar but sung differently making everything old new again. Talk about sultry, the arrangement both instrumentally and vocally for the bonus track Rashida is so damn sexy that I swoon each time he sings the verse, oh my darling come to me…makes me want to…

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Sunday, April 17, 2011


History does not repeat itself because what has already occurred can’t happen again, at least not exactly the way it went down before. History just finds itself at a familiar crossroad with different maybe the same adversaries making similar choices. It feels repetitive because words spoken, actions taken and decisions made are habitual behaviors that are hard to change. Why step into the unknown when resorting to the known feels more secure. But regardless of whether a good or bad, personal or historical circumstance comes to mind as you read this, nothing ever happens exactly as it has before because no matter what, people, life, situations are not the same today as they were then. And thinking that all will be well this time around if only…I think we’ve all stood there before.

When I first started manipulating my photographs, I wanted to produce the same results using similar techniques on various pictures. I found myself feeling disappointed when what I saw in front of me was nothing like what I’d created before. During one frustrating session as I was about to shut it down for the day, I decided to click on an icon that I hadn’t tried before and was stunned by the marked difference in the image before me. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous it was! No longer wedded to what historically worked, I eagerly explored steps that pushed me into the unknown much to my delight. The many new outcomes that appear on the screen have evoked such a crazy elation that I find myself unable to adequately express it; history is ever changing never to be quite the same again and that can be a very good thing if we choose to embrace that change.

So when you find yourself at that oh so déjà vu crossroad, before you do anything do nothing until the first step you decide to take is decidedly altered from one you’ve taken before and be sure to…

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picture of woman facing forward was colorized in its original version and taken by barbara cameron

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

monday madness

Try as I might, Monday is just not my day. Over the weekend when I don’t always have to wake early, I pop up bright and bushy tailed ready for action but when Monday comes, I am DOA. Now this is not a getting older thing, I’ve been like this for as long as I can remember. I think I missed the first day of the week more often than not for my entire academic life until I went to college and was able to opt out of taking classes that fell on a day when I just wanted to be MIA. Of course that all came to a deafening crash when I entered the 9 to 5 weekdays work world; opting out was not an option for any job I held until my world of work included work from home days. Unfortunately, I can’t take every Monday as my day. Seems like other people need a moment when the week starts and I feel them.

This past Sunday, I prepped everything in an effort to make Monday less maddening. Thank goodness because I refused to turn over until had I lounged a minute longer it would have been Tuesday. Upon entering my office, it was clear that I needed a reentry boost. I shut my door for 30 minutes, looked at photographs I had taken over the weekend, and began manipulating them. And without any hesitation as my hands moved the button that controls color, contrast, and light was guided to an artistic expression that adequately depicts how I feel on Mondays…

…I sent it with just its name to several friends and was affirmed when many of them wrote back that they got it.  So on this hump day, if it’s not your day feel free to call my pix wicked wednesday and…

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Sunday, April 10, 2011


The repeated ringing of the phone demanded that I interrupt what I was doing to pay it some mind, listen to whatever news the caller had to deliver. Hearing of the passing of my suite mate from senior year in undergrad made the gloominess of the day fall into place. As I hung up the receiver, I heard her spirited gravelly voice, her raspy but girlish giggle, her dreams that every so often came true, maybe not as often as she had hoped. I was reminded of a conversation I had earlier in the day as my Dad spoke of his friends who had gone on, people who I had known since I was less than knee high to their knees -- it doesn’t matter what the age, the loss of a friend or loved one even when expected knocks the wind out of our sails now, maybe each time we recall...

The kite festival is an annual event that for some reason I have only been to once in the eleven years since I moved back to DC; I love kites, used to visit my favorite bed and breakfast in Spring Lake, NJ during the off season just so I could sit in solitude on the beach, unfurl mine and let my thoughts drift from hand to string as they soared off into the blue sky for the universe to hear. The festivities were postponed a couple of weeks ago due to bad weather, today is the day to go flying. And though I don’t know where my kite is, I do know that every “right now” is all we have so I’m off with string curled around my fingers to remember while my dreams take to the air and I whisper ciao toots…

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

now showing

Mama Earth
 a visual celebration of the beauty of the planet Earth
The Tubman-Mahan Art Gallery
Center for Green Urbanism
3938 Benning Road, NE
Washington, DC 20019
Exhibition dates: April 8 – May 6, 2011

 Reception: Friday, April 8, 6:30 – 8:30

Presentented by

Happy to be part of this group show, stop by if you’re in the area and…

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Sunday, April 3, 2011

random fluidity

I am in a joyous state of random fluidity which means a current of creative adrenalin is streaming through me surging in different directions all the while moving towards waiting tributaries that guide thought and action to vision. The process can bubble up from such random occurrences, a small gesture a word of encouragement, almost anything. Regardless of how it begins, I end up being up in the middle of the night my entire body feeling like it’s swirling in some electrically charged whirlpool. My spine tingles with a giddy fear that if I don’t get down just one more thing, I will forget whatever it is by the time I wake. So I tread water between dozes pen, phone, and sketchbook in hand until I finally turn over at dawn. By then, I’m beyond ready to strap on the night shift so we can dive into the deep end of the ocean and start stroking!

The present vision providing a delightful swim drifted into my stream of consciousness as a result of a token of kindness followed by a sense of wonderment uttered by the giver. For over a month, the current ran steady until this past week when it gushed like a geyser; Friday night I was hit with a painful angst that felt so right I was overcome with a gusher of overjoyed tears. It was hard for me to focus on anything else this weekend. I had to remind myself to eat, force myself to sleep as I floated on a productivity flow that is flourishing. But this go round, the horizon is farther away than near due to the magnitude and significance of a project that could impact many others which means I have to pace myself, need to factor in patience, discipline, and objectivity. As for passion…well that’s just the gorgeous life jacket that keeps me on top of the waves so please excuse me as I wade into the water and ask that you...

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