It is not every day that you see a dancing duck! Our baby mallard does a happy two step, one webbed foot raised enthusiastically into the air. The detail in this wildlife photo closeup by photographer Robin Lusk is super rewarding. We sense the joy of things in nature, so completely not self-conscious. And surely that one eye that looks out at us is full of laughter.
Composer Dan Goldstein’s track captures some of the off-balance feel and humor of an animal standing on one foot. It is a tripping sort of melody, treated canonically. The brass sounds approach the quacking sound we might hear from our dancing duck.
If you would like a print of ‘Balancing Duck’, you can order in my Facebook shop, here:
German artist Karsten Thole captures a sweet moment for two brothers. They both wear green ball caps. They pack a cooler together and plan their outing.
Perhaps a moment before anger led a big brother out onto the street.
Karsten instills everyday scenes from life with a gentleness and sweetness that resonates with our own best memories. It is accessible art, art that permits us to step in.
big brother this rap goes out to you
if you still have ears to hear
but I fear you are too gone bro,
too gone to know, to remember,
to feel the family that loved you,
the kid brother that held you dear.
In the place we came from
our family was rare for staying together
a mother and father that cared, that shared,
always praying that we should walk in His light,
but Dad lost sight, forgot the right,
lost the fight, then the slaying.
When Dad was gone we held on to each other
we had each other’s back, yea
we didn’t lack for love then, yea
you didn’t pack then
But personalities form as they do
Anger, resentment formed you
Where your soul was turned hollow
you took to the street, put your feet
in a place where hate and violence rule
My pen was my tool, not a piece.
You turned a dark corner bro.
I couldn’t follow.
4 bars = refrain
remember those cold Winter mornings
selling those Sunday papers
standin on the corner hawkin walkin up to cars
hittin on folks leavin mass
my ass freezin for their buck-25
plus a tip, shit no reason to quit
we’d flip them joints in a few hours
Hell I was glad to do it
cause threw it I got closer to you
Dad welcoming us home like heroes
Pancakes and coffee warmin us
Yea his love formin us
till they took him, yea
you should have picked up the pan then
but you picked up the gun
run out on your family bro
but I guess pesonalities form as they do . . .
4 bars = refrain
remember Rich Stadium bro? watchin them Bills
that was the day watchin OJ runnin that ball
you and Dad was all about that team
screamin at the refs when they messed up a call
I was no ultimate fan, no fan of the crowds
even cowed by the loud, by the rowdy
but I was down with one crowd, yea
you and Dad was my crowd
Brother don’t you see you were blessed?
workin and playin, you always did your best
but there was one test you messed up on man.
Humility and Faith FAILED,
against Anger, against Pride
but personalities form as they do . . .
Should we laugh or shiver at artist ViVaDa’s Greenland Skull art? Blond braids adorning this probably bovine skull with wide set eye sockets not quite aligned might suggest a laugh. The golden locks, fashioned it seems as viking horns, angle down left against eyes angling right. Swirling mosses and grasses in the digital background complete the rendering’s dizzying effect. So after staring for some time at this image (and how can we not but hold with the image for some time as we are likewise captivated by the hypnotic Joe Kramer/Burton Philbrick audio track), the mind begins to spin a bit and the stomach slightly to turn. This is good, for we are inclined then to contemplate more serious implications of this skull art. The rich yellow hair braids speak of course not of death but of attractive youth and life that once was. Joe’s lyrics speak directly to this:
Once I had a life
Once I felt so great
Once I had some good times
but now . . . I am dead.
Audio can guide us beyond initial reactions to images (in this case chuckles) to potentially more complex responses (in this case feelings about our mortality). At the most fundamental level, a thoughtful bit of audio may keep us engaged with the painting a little longer than otherwise might be the case, and as a result there is time to think more deeply about the images. Our audio provides an explicit narrative, even animates the image. We visit with not only the remains of the deceased, but with the ghost as well, who shares with us her story of a life loved, now lost.
As a painting, this bit of skull art is impressive and deserves a place in every skull art collector’s portfolio. I am pleased to offer a 13″ X 10″ digital print of ViVaDa’s Greenland Skull. Please visit the product page in my Facebook shop to order.
Even as we admire this red-haired Edwardian beauty something unsettles us. Look carefully at her eyes. Or should we say her eye and her glass eye? The effect of one eye looking directly at the camera and one eye at nothing is haunting, suggests some eerie narrative, some spooky backstory.
But let us at least acknowledge and admire what we plainly see before us, an attractive young woman with fiery red hair decked out in grand Edwardian style. She presents in a turtle-shell evening wrap and a wide brimmed hat of the same turtle-shell material. Her neck is elegantly wrapped in a fur muff. Silver gloves cover her hands, one of which is occupied with a small brown clutch bag.
We might imagine that the single rose fastened below the muff shines some some light on her perfect peaches and cream complexion, and we are thus drawn to the face, and as a result again to the troubling aspect of the glass eye. The response we have to that lifeless orb is at least two-fold. Of course we sympathize with obvious loss. But we are creeped out as well. For though the eye does not look outward at anything, we might imagine yet that it “sees”. It suggests some mystical, spiritual knowledge and awareness.
Composers Burton Philbrick and Dan Goldstein pick up on this eerie, metaphysical theme with a cinematic audio track relating a seance. The composers imagine our Edwardian beauty as a medium, convoking a gathering for the purpose of communicating with the deceased. Goldstein’s whole tone harp counterpoint creates a mysterious ambience, spellbinding, over which Philbrick lays a bowed cigar box guitar and several seance sound effects.
We believe that the audio narrative deepens our appreciation for this beautiful colorization of a vintage Edwardian era photo.
Winding around the central marshes of the Wildwood Nature Conservancy is a tree sheltered and hilly hiker/biker path. Every now and then, and unexpectedly, you will emerge from a wooded portion of the path into a gorgeous view of the nature preserve’s central marshes. And without calling upon too much additional good fortune, you will discover a loon, or egret, or heron, and countless smaller birds, posing along the shores or flitting upon the surface of the water. The hum of insects, especially on a hot summer day, is something akin to a loud alternating electric current. Chirping and screeching offer soprano and tenor layers to the bass drone.
The effect of photographing this scene is to create an emphasis on the stillness of the scene and the warmth of autumn’s gently changing colors. But this emphasis belies a co-existing reality of unseen energies and activities – the ecosystem busily engaged. Here the audio steps in to complete the story. Composer Dan Goldstein uses synth sounds to simulate insects buzzing, frogs croaking, birds screeching, in a blended way which speaks of the active system in play. Goldstein contemplates, for an extended audio track, what a wildlife midnight dance might sound like in these Harrisburg marshlands.
A print of Autumn at Wildwood is available in my Facebook shop here.
Young boy and girl share the wonder of their first kiss in this colorization of a 1920’s photograph by Carney’s Colour Photo Creations. Carney’s is in Australia, but the boy’s stylish Gatsby flat cap was certainly a fixture of the period in the United States and European countries as well.
Known also as a newsboy cap, it is made of 8 triangle panels that meet at the top with a covered button made in the same material. It has a small brim that the top rests on. The baggy look was standard. In the summer these caps were made of a light colored linen or cotton poplin material, lined in silk to breathe. In cooler weather the caps came in tweed, herringbone wool, and corduroy as well. Darker colors were worn in the winter- blues, greys, and browns-in solid, plaid, and check patterns
All classes of men wore these hats, even boys selling newspapers on street corners hence the newsboy hat name. It was mostly a working mans hat from working class origins as a fisherman’s hat.
Given the relative lack of clues, other than a hat ubiquitous to the era, about the location of our young couple’s first kiss, we can happily rely on the audio to offer a suggestion. In this case, a happy accordion melody places us easily in some Western European country, France perhaps, or Italy. That there is not certainty about venue only makes it easier for us to transport our own memory into the picture, to fill in the gaps with our own sweet experiences from early youth. We hope the happy music encourages equally happy reminiscences in our viewers.
Serbian artist Danijela Jovic paints a dense cluster of colorful, tubelike strands. There appears to be some struggle, some striving. Individual strands have emerged. They assert themselves, reaching upwards to connect with sisters above. Danijela’s abstract speaks to the process of creation, an evolution from chaos to order. Perhaps the assertive tubes reach not to sisters above, but to a physical manifestation of their Creator.
What is this dense cluster?
We might imagine purple sea urchins clustered about a golden yellow formation of kelp.
We might imagine a cluster of dahlia tubers resting upon a seabed.
The nature of the tuber might be instructive to our understanding of the painting.
Tubers are enlarged structures in some plant species used as storage organs for nutrients. They are used for the plant’s perennation (survival of the winter or dry months), to provide energy and nutrients for regrowth during the next growing season, and as a means of asexual reproduction (Rooting cuttings of tropical trees, London: Commonwealth Science Council, 1993, p. 11, ISBN 978-0-85092-394-0).
Like tubers, Danijela’s otherworldly, tubelike strands contain the pent-up stuff of creation. They hold the raw material and potential for physical generation.
The independence dance of the tuber cluster is underway! They stretch. They flex. They prepare for the hop and the drop. This seems to be the joyful message conveyed through appropriately alien sounding tones in the brilliant audio track by Urezy. The intonation of the strands is frightful and joyful simultaneously. It is somewhere between a lion’s growl and a buddhist monk’s chant. ‘Let us reach for the sky’ The music speaks of joyful competition. The reward is release from the cluster, independence and self-identity.
A print of Danijela’s painting is available through my Facebook shop, here: