iPhone and a $20 lens attachment opens a world-- up close

Reading glasses are the one accessory that have come quickly and unexpectedly into my daily living. I'm not complaining, I'm actually grateful that anything can help me see better. My greatest joys in life are based on my ability to see. So when my husband sent me an article on Photojojo lens attachments for the iPhone, I didn't skip a beat --- I went to amazon and a day later my iPhone had reading glasses! The macro lens is addictive. This little piece of glass which is magnetically held over my iPhone lens sees detail that I miss --- and when I look at the photos, I get a rush --- call it love. The world is truly a spectacular place to see. 

OK, the above series of photos were taken this past summer. Ahhh, how we long for brilliant color and sweet scents... Seeing how we may be climbing out of the drifts of what was one of our snowiest winters ever, I must single out a few flakes from the billions that buried us for months. Again, you are looking at images taken with my phone with that little $20 magnetic macro lens. It was exhilarating shooting these (sure beat shoveling:)!

snowflake with cat hair

snowflake with cat hair

flake on fleece

flake on fleece

blizzard run-away

blizzard run-away

flakes on brakes

flakes on brakes

lexus flakes

lexus flakes

Xbox 360 Kinect as a paint brush

Cubicomp Picture Maker cost $49,500 in 1985

Cubicomp Picture Maker cost $49,500 in 1985

I'm constantly blown away with the quality graphics and sound coming out of my son's video games. In the mid 1980's I had an opportunity to work with a cutting edge 3D modeling program, Cubicomp. It took a really, (really) long time to create a 3D model. The program was very expensive, complicated and the rendering times were excruciating. But the result, at that time, was the best that high end professional technology could perform and everyone thought it was cool and cutting edge. It was.

My 12 year old son uses technology, like I used crayons and paints - intuitively and without fear. In his life he's seen great improvements in clarity, performance and speed and I'm sure he's grateful -- but not like me.

I physically "cut" reel to reel film as well as video ! I developed film and prints in a darkroom. I lugged the 20 pound Ikegami camera on one shoulder and carried the just as heavy "portable" 3/4 video tape recorder strapped to the other. I have joyously ushered in smaller and smaller videocams, welcomed with open arms digital SLRs, and have been a Photoshop devotee since 1.0. The transition to non-linear video editing was like pulling the rabbit out of the hat! Yup, I'm grateful. The iPhone I hold in my hand is beyond anything I ever could have imagined and continues to amaze me with each app I buy for a whopping $1.99.

But the leap that the Xbox Kinect made was probably just as earth shattering for gamers -- and once I took a look at what was happening in my living room, it's been blowing my mind as well!

I've seen YouTubers hack Kinect cameras, and can't wait until my son upgrades so I can hack his… but in the meantime, I'll push it's limits gently...

Below are a few test runs of the Kinect sensor modeling my son and myself. My next project is an art installation which will include 3D video projection mapping, using the Kinect sensor I will create an interactive experience melding the physical with the virtual - now in my grateful opinion, that's one big rabbit coming out of that hat!!

I wish everyday was Halloween

Well at least the part when you can dress, disguise and transform yourself into whatever you'd like even if what you've become cannot cleanly and clearly answer the question, "What are you suppose to be?".

Early this fall, I saw this Chris March Pink Afro at Target and had to have it. I didn't know how it would be used but like most of my artwork, there is one element that ignites the path for the fate of the piece. This day, I was the piece and the wig lead the way. LED flashing tendrils and strobing LED finger tipped gloves helped pull it all together.

 

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1982 Rolling Stones European Tour

Visiting my sister in Paris with my parents the summer before my exchange semester with UMASS/Boston started up, we were eating in a Les Halles restaurant. I spotted some men pasting 3'x6' posters of the upcoming Rolling Stones tour on the Metro entrance wall. 

I ran out of the restaurant and in my yet to (ever) be perfected French, I asked if I could have one. And as it is proven time and time again, it never hurts to ask! They happily handed over my very own keepsake. I later that summer saw the Stones with Telephone in Paris and then again with Boston's own J.Geils Band in Nice.  

I still have the poster which was hanging in our barn and apparently some squirrels got in and had a party --- I was heartbroken to see it torn to shreds, but one thing about being an artist, I quickly saw the beauty. It resembled a poster that has been hung on a city wall for too long. I kept the pieces and should really post what's left on this blog. to be update...

A neighbor from the Cape happened to be doing some work in Paris that summer and we both headed down to Nice to see the show. It was about 100 degrees at the stadium under a blazing Van Gogh sun! Dangerously hot, the officials were spraying us down with fire hoses. I left my friend to see if I could pass a note to Peter Wolf... which I did and somehow just by ASKING a security guard, gained entrance to the VIP backstage which was in an air-conditioned beautiful room with floor to ceiling windows, a continuous buffet and bar! Need I say more?!

 

 

 

1982 Talking Heads Live at Montreaux Jazz Festival

During my year abroad in France, I went to many exhibits and shows --- some life altering. The Talking Heads at the Palais des Sports in Paris was one of them. It was my birthday 7/7 and after commenting on a man's MTV t-shirt ( "Hey, TV will never be the same!" ), he disappeared and came back with a tour t-shirt for me and a backstage pass!  After the concert, I went back stage and had the opportunity to thank David Byrne in person for the great show. In a room buzzing full of people, he was sitting in a straight back wooden chair, dripping with sweat, hands on his knees, gazing straight ahead in almost a meditative state.

This video was from the Montreux Jazz Festival 9th July 1982... 2 days after my birthday when I saw them in Paris. Coiuldn't find any footage from the Palais des Sports concert, but I did dig up a set list and a French article.

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Talking Heads 1982.jpg

C'était une incroyable anniversaire que je n'oublierai jamais!

SetList went something like this: 

 

Setlist

01) Under The Boardwalk ( Tom Tom Club ) 

02) Wordy Rappinghood ( Tom Tom Club ) 

03) Genius Of Love ( Tom Tom Club ) (off vinyl bootleg "Chance Meeting" ) 

04) Psycho Killer 

05) Cities

06) Big Blue Plymouth 

07) Once In A Lifetime 

08) Mind 

09) My Big Hands 

10) Big Business 

11) I Zimbra 

12) Swamp 

13) Slink ( Jerry Harrison ) 

14) Houses In Motion 

15) What A Day That Was 

16) Life During Wartime 

17) Take Me To The River ( fade out )

 

Acera students - Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles project

During one of my art lesson visits to Acera, I introduced the students to the abstract works and color theory of Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky.  

Colour is the key. The eye is the hammer. The soul is the piano with its many chords. The artist is the hand that, by touching this or that key, sets the soul vibrating automatically. ”
- Wassily Kandinsky
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Using canvas board and ©Sharpie Brush Tip markers, each artist created 6 squares and concentric circles. They experimented with the effects of juxtaposing different colors. Together the boards create a stunning mosaic to be hung in Acera's new school this fall.

 

Bob Marley and the Wailers July 21, 1979 - Harvard Stadium - Allston, Massachusetts

Forever grateful to my big brother, David, for bringing me to this historic concert. I was fortunate to see them again in Boston and one last time at the University of Vermont. Who knew Bob would leave us soon after?

Oh my little sister, don't shed no tears...everything's gonna be alright...

 

During my two and a half year stint in the US Peace Corps, my island coworkers and friends of the Commonwealth of Dominica, enjoyed hearing of my memories of these concerts. It didn't seem fair that many of them never had a similar chance to experience Bob live, especially since his influence greatly impacted their small beautiful nation.

I sent this photo of Dominican artist Hilroy Fingal to my brother while I was living on the "Nature Island". On the reverse side I wrote: "Hilroy in his room - the landlord is making him paint over the wall.- he's bumming out.;'  It's a good thing that landlord wasn't in charge in Lascaux! Hilroy's prolific art and non-stop work ethic was an inspiration and a comfort. I look at this airbrushed Bob Marley piece daily. I bought it with my Peace Corps readjustment money when I first got to the island. I probably could have used the small sum to buy a better foam mattress or a few months rent… but artists don't always have conventional financial practices...

I sent this photo of Dominican artist Hilroy Fingal to my brother while I was living on the "Nature Island". On the reverse side I wrote: "Hilroy in his room - the landlord is making him paint over the wall.- he's bumming out.;'  It's a good thing that landlord wasn't in charge in Lascaux! Hilroy's prolific art and non-stop work ethic was an inspiration and a comfort. I look at this airbrushed Bob Marley piece daily. I bought it with my Peace Corps readjustment money when I first got to the island. I probably could have used the small sum to buy a better foam mattress or a few months rent… but artists don't always have conventional financial practices...

Bob Marley - airbrushed on canvas by Hilroy Fingal

Bob Marley - airbrushed on canvas by Hilroy Fingal