There’s No Juice:

I was delighted the other day when two of my many passions merged in the form of a story about Architect, Frank Gehry’s soon to be christened Lou Ruvo Brain Institute designed in Las Vegas.

There is no doubt that a well crafted story and design of a world-class building have much in common.  Both need a solid foundation; a blueprint to guide the builder or reader and the necessary tools to compete the task.

Now you might find this a bit of a stretch but I grew up walking past one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s last designs and his last church design on my way to school every day.

Wright designed the Pilgrim Congressional Church in 1958 before he died in 1959 in for the time was as far west of the town of Redding you could get before running into dirt.

There was nothing but black oak; manzanita brush and poison oak as far as you cared to itch. The church was designed as a tent.   It was said to represent temporary, migratory and transient lives.

This guy knew his stuff as there was little reason to migrate back to this area but then he was known as a visionary and a designer far beyond his time.

“Tell the people of the little church that I will help them out. If I like the ‘feel’ of a job, I take it.” said Wright when he took the job.

Not unlike an Architect, a journalist must design their work with quality content as their purpose.  Without a sound foundation that will inform, challenge and educate the reader; it’s just an empty shell.  Gehry said it perfectly in the Las Vegas Sun article.

 “I was knocked off my feet,” Gehry says. “When you look just at the computer rendering, there’s no juice. You have this fantasy in your head, but the drawings and renderings don’t have the feeling. But when you walk in, it’s like a miracle. It is breathtaking. I knew what it would look like, but when you’re there, and you see all the natural light, it all comes into focus.”

Realty and Abstraction:

As a volunteer for  FOVEA exhibitions there is always a surprise around the corner, or at least walking through the front door. Shoulder to shoulder, photographers, authors  and artist stepping on the hardwood.

I’m constantly amazed at both the number and quality of talented photographers that come by to visit the gallery. I have often wondered why in twenty some years as a photo editor in southern California I didn’t meet more artist passing through the area?

I don’t know that there is more of an appreciation for the arts, but I do think that people take more time to enjoy art on the east coast.  From my experience I do find them more giving of their time in conversation pertaining to visual art specifically, and art in general.

This past weekend, a visit from John Nordell, photographer and instructor at Hallmark Institute of Photography was a wonderful treat.

John’s work in “Reality-based abstractions” is bold and exciting and opens up new avenues of expression as a photographer.

Multiple-exposure is nothing new to the photo scene but Nordell raises the bar with his beautifully constructed graphic images and technique.

Please don’t let my experiment above stop you from visiting John’s work or his blog.

Both offer an opportunity to be transported by a new vision and wonderful expression.

The Economy and the Icicle

Work for the fun of it, and the money will arrive some day. -Ronnie Milsap-

How long does it take ice to melt before it becomes a puddle?

Is it the largest icicle with the widest grip on the roof that will hold the longest, or does the weight drag it crashing to the ground before the thin more fragile ice spikes?

There appears to be a parallel to the economy and the nation’s continued unemployment with that of the weather.  Over time the temperature determines if the melting water continues to grow the icicle or it becomes fractured like broken glass…the same with people who love to be useful and find that through using their acquired skills.

Last evening, I was returning from my “Job Searching Techniques” class at the local community college.   The headlights illuminated and doubled the size of each snow flake produced by the white flurry making it impossible to see the car ahead.

Why am I intimidated by the classroom white board? Is it the instructor?  The magic markers that never work?  Not really knowing my career objective?  What are my skills and my strengths…do I still have them?

As humans, we are defined by our employment, five seemingly very nice people trying to understand who they are and what they want to be when they grow up. We were all sitting in a cold classroom with a menacing white board predicting our future.

There was the corporate financial analyst, who knew it would be a short time before his position was down-sized or out-sourced. It was a nervous laugh when he said, “he wanted to be a clown.”

The social worker, who was beat down by the work load and the hours.  She wanted to help others, make a difference, and maybe thought a career in health care. 

The woman who owned a child care business, who was also beat by the long hours and who felt she had fallen behind in technology.

The security administrator, who had worked hard and sacrificed much, returning to school for a degree and still confused on life’s direction. She felt safe in what she knew but knew she needed more.

And, the photo editor who felt much like an icicle, not sure which one he closely identified with but his eyes are coldly fixed upside down on that puddle below.

Another Snow Day…they’re endless:

Autumn and Flying Pigs:

Autum in New Paltz, searching for the flying pig.

Autum in New Paltz, searching for the flying pig.

Man, I can feel it down to the morrow of my California bones; the weather is teetering on change. 

The icy drop of temperature fills the air with each breath of north wind as it blows up the canyon.  Afternoon walks are now met by neon red, orange and yellow leaves tightly hanging on trees.  Many more have succumbed to the breeze and now cover the ground along the roadside.

The week days are calmer than the weekends along the Hudson River and trips to small communities like New Paltz are best made when city visitors are consumed by work and their Wednesday night dreams of hikes, climbs and kayaking in the Wallkill River Valley.

The branches of thousands of apple trees bend heavy towards the earth with red and yellow apples with the arrival of fall.  It only helps to entice more visitors to enjoy the vineyards, orchards and farms.

For those in the west that can still see nature without a looming cloud of smoke, think in terms of Santa Cruz, Mendocino or Eureka without looking at the ocean.

On any given Saturday you will be hard-pressed to even make it into town after exiting west off I-87.  Many give up and head back across the river for calmer Hyde Park and Rhinebeck.

Flying Pig

With coffee in hand make your way for the “Rock and Snow” for anything that you care to hammer, click, or hang from rock.   These are the area experts in rock, ice climbing.  They actually appear to enjoy talking to customers share their experience for those who may have questions.

With the “College at New Paltz”, there is that college town color and vibe.  With an understated urban flare, the shops are filled with local art from watercolors to flying pigs made of recycled materials.

There is a dizzy selection of restaurants along Main Street and the “Lemon Grass” is a valid choice for a reasonable Thai lunch, with a charming quiet atmosphere with gracious servers.

Today is Wednesday and I now think of the weekend’s passing; zipping up my sweater and looking forward to being a week closer to the heart of autumn.


The Path

Give me a stock clerk with a goal and I’ll give you a man who will make history. Give me a man with no goals and I’ll give you a stock clerk.
-J.C. Penney-

One of the sad things about being a child is that you both trust and rely on an adult to say and do the right thing.
It’s not until you are an adult that you see that your path was illuminated or shortened in distance by those adults.
Take a child, who wants to be an artist and tell them they have no talent, shorten the path, reduce the goals.

Play List:
My favorite local artist:
Jeff Soto

Illustrator I would most love to collaborate with:
Dan Hanna