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Mila Paints A Quadryptic

Mila did this with no input from me, other than teaching her the name for a four part painting.  She picked out the package of four little canvases and said “I want to make one of those paintings where all the pieces fit together”  Then she picked out a brush and chose all her colors.  I cleaned house and got her fresh water and took photos.  I think it is her best work to date.

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Catching Up

It has come to my attention (thanks Mom) that I have been spending too much time on Facebook, and not enough here, so here is a mixed bag of images from the past few weeks.  Maybe I’ll post something political later.P1011098sm

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The following are from the Tucson Zoo.  I’d much rather see and photograph these beauties in their natural habitat, but you take what you can get.

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What You Run From, You Run Into

So says Seymore Berkhoff in Season 4, Episode 3 of “Nikita”.  Now I am sure that every once in a while, a TV script writer comes up with a great aphorism all on their own, but three+ seasons in of trite, simplistic dialogue (it’s still fun to watch), this was unexpected.  I was struck by the phrase, so I investigated.  My first guess was that it was lifted from some philosophical or religious text, but if it was, I couldn’t find it.  I was only able to find the quote in two places, both long before the episode aired: here, featuring this man, and here.  The photo blog is the earliest incidence of the phrase I could find.  I’d love to know if it started there, and how it got to the celebrity therapist turned rock star and then to the script of Nikita.

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Paying Forward

Some of the most influential people in my life have built their careers around helping others. Many of my favorite artists, whether they be visual, literary, or musical, use their work to advance humanitarian causes.  As an abstract painter for 25 years, I had little opportunity to make a statement with my work, and, aside from the occasional disappointing charity auction, little opportunity to do good.  I rationalized this, saying that by creating beauty I was performing a necessary role in society, but while that might technically be true, it does not satisfy my need to contribute, to pay forward what I have been given.  Photography provides the opportunity I have been missing.  I can help people travel the world through my images of Cuba, Southeast Asia, Jordan, and other locales I have been fortunate enough to explore.  I can help people see their own neighborhood differently through my lens.  I can record the lives of families for their personal memories, or performances of musicians for posterity.  These things still feel superficial, however.  I want to give something tangible.  For the past several months, I have been photographing Tucson, Arizona artists at work in their studios with the intention of shining a spotlight, however brief, on their work.  I hope to crowdsource funding for a book which will be a partial catalog of the Tucson art scene in 2015.  The goal is not to make money.  I will never recoup the hundreds of hours spent taking the photos, processing them, and promoting the book, but it will hopefully lift a few creative people into the attention of Tucsonans.  I will be very pleased if I can accomplish that.  Still, it is not enough.  As I said, I want to be able to give something tangible to someone who needs it.  This is where Guatemala, specifically the Mayan community around Lago Atitlan, comes in.  I spent several months over three years studying Spanish in San Pedro Atitlan.  I fell in love with the area, its people, and its culture.  This is an area stressed by population growth and tourism, a people still living with the memories of a brutal civil war, and a culture in danger of fading away.  The last time I visited, the germs of an idea took root.  I want to photograph the elders of the community, the ones who remember the changes in their country and yet still keep the traditional ways.  Then I want to make a book of these photos, combined with whatever each elder wishes to say to future generations.  Again, publication will be crowdsourced, but all the resulting books will be sold in their cultural center, with the proceeds benefiting the community.  A way to give back, tangibly.  I hope you will all help me promote and fund both the Artists of Tucson project, and the Ancianos De Atitlan project when I put them forward.

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