Archive for the 'Music, Art & Poetry' Category

Alison Chase – Choreographer Extraordinaire

Monday, July 16th, 2007

Last week I had the pleasure of spending a few hours with the wonderful and fabulous choreographer Alison Chase. Alison was the founding director and “mother” of Pilobolus Dance Theater. If you’ve never heard of Pilobolus then you’ve missed something important and amazing in the world of dance (that’s what Google is for, right?).

Twenty years ago, when I was studying modern dance, my classmates and I were completely enamored by Pilobolus and we emulated them every chance we got.

Alison Chase is now working independently of Pilobolus Dance Theater, and seems to be pushing the boundaries of modern dance harder than ever. She showed me several videos of recent works and I can only say this: “be very jealous of me!”

You can get a taste of Alison’s work by downloading a Quicktime Video Sample of her recent choreography which resides on Alison’s temporary web site.

I am beginning development of Alison’s full web site now. And I’ll certainly post here when the site is finished; but don’t wait up, Alison is more of a perfectionist than I am, so this site could take a while to get right.

Flower Therapy

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

I came across a wonderful online flower maker. I hope you enjoy it. Here’s a flower I made and below is the link to the site so you can make your own flowers.

Make your own: Ze Frank’s Flower Maker


Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

I had an urge to make art. But when I opened the program I make art in a poem slipped out.


The Pursuit of Happiness…

Tuesday, February 27th, 2007

I’m reading a book that I really, really like. It’s called In the Casa Azul and it’s by Meaghan Delahunt. It’s an historical novel about Frida Kahlo & Leon Trotsky. As I’m reading I keep dog-earing the pages, the poor book has half its pages folded now.

Here’s a paragraph that has been sticking with me since I read it:

Happiness. That line from the American Declaration of Independence about the pursuit of happiness. He thought it both facile and dangerous. He thought that this one line could be held responsible for all the unhappiness and hypocrisy of the Western world. As if happiness were a quarry, as if you could stalk it, pin it down, corner it. But happiness wasn’t like that. It came over you, descended; sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. It was as intangible as mist. Something numinous. And then it was gone.

September My Lover Wears Sweaters – by Prageeta Sharma

Tuesday, February 13th, 2007

Here is something special for Valentine’s Day! It’s a love poem by Prageeta Sharma. It comes from her upcoming poetry collection titled Infamous Landscapes, which is due out this coming Fall.


My lover is a long saber shaped tail marked with a powerful beak
He is also the fourth largest island called “The Town.”
My lover protects soldiers by calling out their enemies’ name
with an even keel even if it makes the women cry.
My lover has scratch marks on the back of his neck
and a scratchy gray sweater that dons his lovely green eyes.
He wears his only track record on his sleeve and tracks
down visions with Freudian analysis, he says “damn you,”
when he means, get out of my way. My lover is a chocolate
hangover with three kings, a messenger and the firm holding
up his velvet cape, there, they said, there you are.

~ Prageeta Sharma

Reprinted with permission, thank you Prageeta. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Thoughts on Painting

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Since my last post about art and painting I’ve been pondering art, again, or still, in this never-ending process I’m caught up in.

Since moving to Mexico in 2003 I’ve looked for ways to describe the culture here to my people back home. But culture is a 4 dimensional beast, it swirls around us constantly, changing over time. It’s like smoke, as soon as you describe its shape it has taken a new one and your words are inaccurate.

But there are elements that remain semi-constant. Things like how normal it is for strangers to say hello to each other here; there is an instinctive friendliness here. But also how people in Mexico expect corruption to surround them and don’t expect laws to be enforced. These things seem to flow all the way through the culture and color everything.

I’ve been looking at paintings by couple of my favorite Mexican artists and I wanted to share those with you (links will follow this post). Those artists are Mario Mizrahi, who is from Cozumel, and Julio Chico who was born in Mexico City. In both cases their work shows me something about the culture in Mexico which can’t be described in another way.

Mizrahi’s work talks to me about the playfulness that you find here, even in the face of life’s ugly underbelly. And Chico’s work comforts me, assures me somehow, that there is beauty and depth of feeling underneath the short-sightedness and ugliness I see in this culture.

Here are links so you can see some of their works. I couldn’t find a web site for Julio Chico, instead I found a gallery page about him.

Also I thought I would share one of my own paintings with you. I painted it right before moving to Mexico. I never titled it but I remember that I had been looking at some of René Magritte’s paintings, and I remember that I was scared and kind of depressed. I also remember that I painted it entirely with a palette knife, no brush at all. So enjoy it, or don’t, or whatever.

Untitled – Painted in 2003

A Little Friday Night Art

Friday, February 2nd, 2007

When I was 5 years old I knew I would be an artist of some kind. It always felt like this would happen to me whether I wanted it to or not, like I was being sucked into a vacuum. If I wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer (and at different times I wanted to be each) I was out of luck because art would pull me into its vortex and that would be that.

So I spent years in private art classes. And I made yearly pilgrimages to the museums in New York City. And I’ve spent half my life getting a subscription to Art In America magazine. And I majored in art in college (specifically I studied computer art, graphic design and modern dance). And the minute I graduated I fell headlong into the graphic design world, where I remain (with a little web design on the side), almost 2 decades later.

When I was in college I wished upon wish that I could be a talented and inspired painter. I fell in love with the works of Mark Rothko, Joan Miro, Jasper Johns, Wassily Kandinsky and Amedeo Modigliani. I would have just died to have a tenth of the talent that any one of those guys possessed. But it was not meant to be. I was then, and remain, a sucky painter.

Once in a while I paint something, and it always feels like I HAVE to paint that painting. I have some skill with paint, but no technique. But the real problem with my painting is that I HAVE NOTHING TO SAY in that medium! The painters who I admire so much used their painting to say something that needed to be said, something that can’t be said using other media. And so I am stuck, admiring the world of painting from the outside, like a kid with her nose permanently pressed against the candy store window.

But enough about my angst. I started this post because I wanted to show you, not painting, but some very interesting drawings by the Swedish artist Thomas Broomé. The series is called ModernMantra and his drawing technique is very clever. Well, I won’t describe I will show. Enjoy! And be sure to check out the CocaLocusts too.

Shakespeare Searched

Monday, October 23rd, 2006

I just discovered a site that allows you to search all of Shakespeare’s plays for whatever you like. I immediately set about reading every line uttered by the poor sweet noble Ophelia in Hamlet.

I’m having an Ophelia kind of day I think, perhaps it’s Wilma Anniversary whiplash. Or maybe I really do have dengue…or maybe one day off a week isn’t actually enough r&r.

Hamlet – Act 2, Scene 1
Lord Polonius
84. With what, i’ the name of God?

85. My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
86. Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;
87. No hat upon his head; his stockings foul’d,
88. Ungarter’d, and down-gyved to his ancle;
89. Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;
90. And with a look so piteous in purport
91. As if he had been loosed out of hell
92. To speak of horrors,–he comes before me.

Lord Polonius
93. Mad for thy love?

Mad indeed.


Monday, October 16th, 2006

A couple of interesting videos have come my way that I want to share. The first is called Living My Life Faster, it’s the result of 8 years of daily self-portrait photographs. I can’t imagine doing the same thing every single day for 8 years. I’m much too erratic for that. But it makes for a very interesting video. Especially the pimples that come and go and the hair that gets longer and shorter. Very interesting.

The next video just came my way a few minutes ago, it’s a spot from Dove that takes you From Model to Billboard in 60 Seconds. It’s a very interesting look at what a model goes through to get ready for a photoshoot. But I’m amazed by what happens later in Photoshop! Ouch!

A Little Regression

Saturday, October 7th, 2006

Can you tell I’ve been surfing today? Well, these links will pretty much date me precisely. First I found the online Etch-A-Sketch. As fun as it ever was, without all the shaking. Was it ever actually fun??

And here is the Muppets Debut song “Manamana”, I still remember the first time I saw it.

And here is the Muppet version of the Matrix, blissfully short and with Miss Piggy wearing shades.

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