Friday, June 29, 2007

Music is Art this Friday

Art, in all its forms, is created to evoke a response or reaction. Its the main reason I continue looking, listening and learning. Whether it's making music, visiting museums and galleries or wandering the streets and alleys of a city, the opportunity for our senses to spark is ever present. The old becomes new and the new becomes old. Today's technology allows connections from far away places.

A few weeks ago I was introduced to a band based in Belgium - Bang Lassi. This is a band on the edge! You haven't heard them yet?

Philippe Deltenre - Bad Idea, Indeed - tipped me to the sound. Philippe knows this band and I trust his instincts. The Lassimen have serious chops. What hooked me was the influences list on their MySpace page. I'm big on diversity and so is Bang Lassi. From Frank Sinatra to Frank Zappa, John Coltrane and Miles Davis to the Beatles plus Ennio Morricone to Cream - this group knows music and its endless varieties of structure and rhythm. The sound will take your ears floating if you allow it. They are artists in the truest sense of concept, experiment and experience. I love this band!

Don't take my word - check out "Blue Suede Sea Shore" on the MySpace page.

Added bonus* - a psychedelic, minimalist YouTube view of "Friendly Faces" -

Lewis blogged a little Bang Lassi history, with added links, here. You haven't hear Bang Lassi?

What are you waiting for? Its free for now! As always, let me know what you think. No charge for that either - I'd really like to know.

*not for the faint of heart - 7 minutes and 3 seconds of your life

Thursday, June 28, 2007


I snatched the word voyeurgasm - we like to watch - from a fascinating iMedia Connections article by Michael Tchong. Michael is a trend analyst with an ubercool site and blog. The article is well written, challenging and worth the time spent reading it. He presented me an "AHA" moment.

He focuses on 5 trends to watch - or else! They are voyeurgasm, digital lifestyle, time compression, unwired and generation X-tasy. His riff on digital lifestyle is what keeps rattling around my brain.

Once something is called a lifestyle it is beyond a trend. Its reality, Its fact. Its fascinating to be a part of it. Tchong's lens is well polished and very focused in the lifestyle.

"The growing proliferation of consumer electronics -- the average U.S. household now owns an average of 26 consumer electronics devices according to the Consumer Electronics Association -- is the whirlwind force that's fueling a whole new consumer culture, one that's changing the rules of the marketing game."
No fooling! The learning curve for devices is pretty steep when 8 year olds are climbing into a chair to using the computer. You've got iPhones, Blackberrys, Treos and phones that record video. Not to mention those goofy things that blink on your ear :) I was at a friends 60th birthday party in January. Rather than playing Hangman on the table cloth (it was an Italian joint), his 8 and 11 year old grand daughters were tapping into a little game - beats the heck out of listening to old people talk about Grandpa :).

Social networking is evolving the conventions of conversation, communication and culture. One might argue that conversation and communication is an output of culture. And what better defines our culture than our media? How much is our media consumption changing?
"The latest media consumption data...NBC's average prime-time audience of 4.8 million people ending June 2 was the smallest since at least 1991, reports Nielsen Media Research. You'd have to go back to the days of black-and-white TV to find a smaller figure. Meanwhile, "CBS Evening News" reached only 5.5 million people that week, its smallest audience since 1987...Meanwhile, newspaper readership is falling all over the world. Even in the newspaper-crazy U.K., the overall yearly decline for dailies is almost 4 percent. Asked why people do not read newspapers, more than half of survey respondents to a Harris poll conducted in six countries (including the U.S., U.K., France, Italy, Spain and Germany) pointed to lack of time (in Spain the figure was lowest, at 44 percent)".
No time to read? This is a refrain that became a resounding chorus in the last 10 years. Its something we all battle. Its the number one reason given for not taking the newspaper. And for stopping delivery. Don't we still have 24 hours? What happened to time? Here is where the author makes his most valuable point to this marketer -
"A new Media-Screen report sheds light on this trend. Broadband users, the heaviest consumers of media, spend an hour and 40 minutes -- 48 percent of their spare time -- online on a given weekday."
Seems pretty darn obvious. What we're doing is trading online time for reading and/or TV time. Its not so different than trading today (work) for tomorrow (play). I'd subconsciously made this connection but had never seen it written so plainly. Further evidence that more eyes makes better focus. And another reason I will never be christened a trend analyst :)

Read the article to satisfy your curiosity about the other 4 trends.

Michael Tchong's ubercool site
iMedia article

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Whew - I just might make it!

At least it's a fighting chance...but zombies still give me the creeps


Mingle2 - Take the Test if you Dare

Special thanks to Servant of Chaos.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Find out Who likes to Hide

At risk of being part of the echo chamber that Andrew Keen talks about, the Whats Next blog is one of my favorites. B. L. Ochman also sends out a wonderfully scripted newsletter for which you can sign up. This video link is pilfered directly from Salon and features two rabbits - Chou Chou and Buns (one of them likes to hide :), Andrew Keen and Robert Scoble. Its fun to watch though difficult to hear in places. Who comes off as the more credible conversationalist?

Mr. Keen made a guest blogger appearance at sfgate - found here. Plus a live blog with the Globe and Mail in Toronto. Much as I love One Reader and blogging, some of what he says makes a great deal of sense. At the same time, I'm not so much an intellectual thinker to understand all of it. One point where I definitely agree is this bizarre belief among many - some of the dear readers here - that blogs and bloggers can take the place of traditional media. And particularly newspapers <------- I've stated previously and will again - my livelihood depends on newspaper readers. I am one of them.

I plan to read his book - The Cult of the Amateur - if for nothing else than to find out what so many bloggers are so rankled about. What I've read is excerpts of what Keen writes and I'm guessing taken out of context. I hope it comes out in soft cover soon.

Listen to his NPR interview from a couple weeks ago.

We're all about conversation and community here so jump right in. The water is fine :)

Friday, June 22, 2007

David's Toe - Art on Friday

Today's art story ties in with the Italian theme from mid week. In 2004, I was privileged to study for a short while in Florence. Its a city overflowing with historic works of art. Here is my reaction, from that time, to Michelangelo's David:

There are many works can be written about but David is chosen because of the emotions that surfaced as I encountered it. In a word, the sculpture is spectacular though even that word falls flat in comparison to experiencing the sight, smell, and sound of standing in front of it. Breathe deep as you take in a hint of the flavor that the sculptor tasted while carving, chipping, and polishing the marble. Watch the crowd stroll, stop, point, and gasp in this room and you will not soon forget it. Their expressions range from pure joy to utter disbelief. I had listened to people talk about what a magnificent statement of humanity Michelangelo was able to create from a piece of stone.

It is slightly embarrassing to admit my response on hearing these statements was that there was no way any work of art could be that impressive. Little did I know that looking into David’s eyes would allow me to feel a glimpse into the soul of a great artist and a great era of history. I did not realize that I could stand – nearly close enough to touch – a symbol of the awakening of the human spirit. David stands strong and proud, solidly grounded and confident that even a giant cannot deter him from succeeding in this world.

The right hand – is this David’s human hand or God? – is large and relaxed as the stone he is about to load rests in his fingers. His gaze is somewhere between nonchalance and anticipation at being given this opportunity to slay Goliath. He positions himself and appears relaxed yet ready to move at any moment. My eyes focus on his foot of all things and it is then that I notice how Michelangelo has given us a sensual, smooth, and fleshy sculpture made from marble. The toe pad of David’s right foot is planted, yet slightly overhung, on the rock that is his connection to the earth and the flesh is pressed upward. The contrast between softness of skin and hardness of stone is breath taking. I continue to obsess on this small detail of a massive three-dimensional work of art that breaks away from any prior representation of the human form in Florentine sculpture. It is said that Michelangelo studied the ancient Greek sculptors, particularly the Belvedere Torso in Rome, to learn the precise muscle structure and tone that he gives David. The artist drew his inspiration from the ancient sculptors’ depiction of the physical body and churned it with the passion he felt as a human being to create a bold statement to the world then and the world now.
To this day, I am blown away -

*Special inspirational thanks to Dr Robyn McMaster for her post on perspectives. To Toby Bloomberg - Diva Marketing - and Lewis Green - Biz Solutions Plus - for their posts on "things not marketing".

Have a good weekend!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It finally happened

Does the Vatican have One Reader in their Google reader? Talk about street cred! Cracked up when I saw this in the paper in light of yesterday's post. The first one is a no-brainer.

The Vatican's "Ten Commandments" for drivers:

1: You shall not kill.
2: The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
3: Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
4: Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
5: Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
6: Charitably convince the young and not-so-young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
7: Support the families of accident victims.
8: Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
9: On the road, protect the more-vulnerable party.
10: Feel responsible toward others.

The Associated Press

I might support displaying this list in public places :)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Random Riding - Cycling Coincidence

Most gentle readers here know by now. I'm bicycle trekking across Iowa in July. Four hundred miles - its not the heat, its the stupidity becoming my mantra. The recommended number of training miles prior to RAGBRAI is 5 - 600. Being a part time obsessive - and not wanting to sag too badly - I've managed to log about 1000 miles in the saddle since March. It's kind of surprising considering how they revolution at a mile at a time.

But here's a Bob with a real story. Bob Lee is riding across the entire US this year. He's raising funds for 3 reasons - American Cancer Society, Les Turner ALS Foundation and National Hospice Foundation. I really enjoyed this post titled everyone has a story. Part of it is that Bob is cycling in the Great North West right now.

My training has resulted in biking to work 3-4 days per week. Its about an hour ride. Temperatures in the 40's and 50's in the AM with 60's and 70's in the PM make it a pleasurable excursion. Still there is morning traffic - in a rush to get to work - and evening traffic - in a rush to get to home. I've discovered something.

There are at least two types of drivers - considerate and inconsiderate. The odd part is the utter randomness of their actions. One driver will make a right turn inches from me...the next driver will let me pass through and then turn. One driver will get right on my tail...another will keep a safe distance. One driver will stay as close to the curb as possible...the other will go out of the way to change lanes and share the road. Just when it feels like I have it figured out...the random happens. I'm either pleasantly surprised or exceedingly shocked.

I haven't been hit and only a few close calls. The point? Respect the randomness of every day life. I'll go so far as to say embrace the random nature of humanity.

Especially on a bike :) - I'm falling in love with my bike commute.

Here's a couple cool cycling sites - I'll post more specifics - and my reactions - on RAGBRAI soon. Be sure to check out Bob Lee's Ride for 3 Reasons site and blog.

Bike Iowa

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Unexpected Happens

C.B. Whittemore not only Floors the Consumer - but floors me with her post on "Blogs that make you think". She honors - and surprises - me with the Thinking Blogger award on June 18, 2007. It feels good to get any award - any time.

I don't very often get tagged. Must be my quick reflexes - yuk, yuk!

The following five bloggers are ones that deserve the award - if they choose to accept it. They change the focus of my lens. They challenge me with their points of view. In short, they make me think. They make me laugh, cry and alter my thought process - all good and worthy. To them, I offer the Thinking Blogger Award.

I also find them to have a playful streak and thought they might be up for a game of tag :) - if not, that's cool too. Remember - it's almost summer -

Robyn McMaster - Brain Based Biz
Mark Goren - Transmission Marketing
Toby Bloomberg - Diva Marketing
Ryan Karpeles - Living Light Bulbs
Christina Kerley - CK's Blog

Here are the participation rules for the Thinking Blogger Award:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote (here is an alternative silver version if gold doesn't fit your blog).

There you have it!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Paul Potts can sing - for real

Cord Silverstein, Marketing Hipster, posted first on Monday and again on Friday this week on Paul Potts, a mobile phone salesman in UK. A great conversation going on over there. What I really dig about Cord - and Marketing Hipster - is his bold approach and wide range of topics. He posts about a lot of things and you know where he stands on them. Here's the video of the semi-finals on the UK's "Britain's Got Talent" - the final is Sunday, June 17:

If this performance does anything for you be sure to view the first one (2,000,000 views). This WILL chill you! It appears Britain has an "undiscovered" opera singer. My comment at Marketing Hipster alludes to my skepticism about Paul being newly found talent. The show plays up his lack of confidence - Cord's main point, too. The producers have chosen to portray him as an underdog and everybody loves the underdog (see Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs). I might have chosen a focus on his persistence and desire - a touch more humanistic is my approach. But I'm not a television producer.

His voice is astounding and well trained. He has had marvelous teachers. I have a feeling his PR machine is about to explode should he win the competition. Carphone Warehouse - where Paul works at the moment - has him pictured on their home page. Don't you just love opportunities to market! It appears they need a little server help at the moment as the links to Paul Potts video aren't working.

I don't see any way he doesn't win. Paul - and Britain - knows he's already a winner. Next week the world will know. Whether opera can stick in popular culture might be the next big question.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday is for Art - Street Music

Busking is an exercise in art and community. It's Street Music Week in my town, Spokane, WA. The scheme is a dream of Doug Clark, one of the columnists for The Spokesman-Review*. Doug sends out a plea for musicians to come downtown and play for an hour. His column, plus his getting into communities of musicians, results in a pretty fair turnout - upwards of 50 players on street corners. One guy even lugs a piano down on the back of a flat bed. Most of us will remain unrecognized and never be able to quit our day jobs :) - Support a busker!

I consider it an exercise in community for three outstanding qualities:

  • A community is inclusive - Everyone is welcome regardless of skill level. Kids are always the best - they have no fear. True community must welcome a variety of voices - in this case sounds. I play a bit on the guitar - mostly with a rag tag bunch of bluegrass pickers from the Inland Northwest Bluegrass Association. This is the second year for me to join the fun.
  • A community is sharing - At some point, playing music is about having people listen. Hopefully, it is enjoyable. The smiles - rare as they are from some people - are priceless. We were playing "You are My Sunshine" and a couple carrying a2 month old baby happened by - what timing! Music comes from the heart. Sure you have to learn notes and chords and tunes - but you need the desire to begin the practice. At some point in every music makers life is an "influencer" who shared the love of the sound. Strong community is centered around the desire to share and pass along.
  • A community is caring - all proceeds from this week are donated to 2nd Harvest Food Bank. In order for a community to grow in strength, it must care for everyone in the community. Similar to the welcoming characteristic, it goes beyond welcoming. Once a member is part of the community there is need for genuine care.

There are varying degrees of red tape that most cities require musicians to unravel. Here you can buy a license which is good for 90 days. So long as you don't block a doorway or harass people on the sidewalk, it's cool. Doug wrote a story Tuesday expressing how tough it is to stand on a street corner and play music. Essentially he talks about the rejection of people walking by without any acknowledgment. Most people are busy and have limited time for lunch break. There are days when all I want to do is get from point A to point B as quickly as possible. Maybe its time to slow down?

Here's the part that blows my mind. Even virtuoso violinists like Joshua Bell can't get people to stop. Read the Washington Post story from an April experiment. This is a man who commands $100 for a seat at a performance. His playing will send chills through every living cell inside you.

It makes me wonder whats happened to our senses? How does it impact our communities?

BlueWaters Bluegrass Festival - See you there?
Trailer Park Girls - the MySpace thing
Joshua Bell - the youTube thing - over 1000 people = $37-40
Paul Sings Opera - more YouTube - trust me, if you've not seen this guy, it will send you over the edge - even if you have seen it...WOW!

*full disclosure - that's the paper where I work :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

One Year for One Reader

Here is my very first post - one year ago today. I had somehow managed to bungle up the first blog and made it disappear. A mixture of trepidation, confidence and love of the unexpected made me take the next step. I had no clue what I was doing - still don't in many instances :)

Here's the next post - Day 2 - really smokin' now! What exactly it was - I have no idea :)

First post with a comment - guess who?

One Reader at a Time has always been about comments, conversation and sharing - learning and growing. One thing at a time - I'm a rotten multi-tasker. I can do it - but it pretty much ends in disaster. Sure, I've learned about technology and this web 2.0 thing but I've learned more about people. What a kick - here's to a year!

Hope everyone's name is spelled properly and the links work correctly - that magic part works for me most of the time. You heard of the a-list and the z-list...this is the One Reader One Year list. Love and gratitude to all who've dropped a comment. You've encouraged me, challenged me and helped me grow. It means more than you will ever know. Trust me on that one :)

Mack Collier , Bruce Ryerson, CK - dat hippie chick, David Armano, Gavin Heaton, Big Jim, Ann Handley, Shawn, Robyn McMaster, Collin Douma, Becky Carroll, C. B. Whittemore, Elizabeth Perry, Cord Silverstein (he's engaged), Robert Hrudek, Chris Kieff, Ed Reif, The HairyBeast, Rob, Sandy Renshaw, Char, Mike Sansone, Larry Hrnetka, Rose DesRochers, Journalism Watchdog, Ben Spark, CyberPartyGal, Chris Cree, Phil Gerbyshak, Wendy Piersall, Doug Hudiburg, Liz Strauss, Jodee Bock, Greg Balanko-Dickson, Mike Wagner, David Reich, Karin H. aka Kaatje, Amanda Young, Matt Haverkamp, Vernon Lun (the Idea Dude), Mimi Lenox & the Peace Globe, Steve Woodruff, Mario Vellandi, Lewis Green, Ryan Karpeles (Go Hawks!), Matt Dickman, Aunty Hattie, Iowa Bicycle, David Dalka, Hannah Steen, Drew McLellan, Delaney Kirk, Jackie Cameron, Hajj Flemings, Diogenes, Toby Bloomberg, Cam Beck, Chip Griffin, Rhea, Mousey, Phillipe, Jamie, Bond, Bud Weiser, Polliwog, CS, Travis, Annelisa, Leigh, Proxima

May we all discover, experience and learn great things along the path we share!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

What I learned from Work

Here's a topic we all have in common - we all work. My first work was at age 16 - not counting my paper route :) . Robert Hruzek at Middle Zone Musings asks "what have you learned from WORK"? for this months writing project. It caused my memory cache to overload. Its more like "What haven't you learned from work"? considering that we spend nearly 1/3 of our days toiling away. Of course, there are some who work even longer - to the point of attending support groups. If you are one of these people - get professional help...seriously!

This I firmly profess - work is not intended to be consumed 24/7. Life is intended to be consumed. In the process, we constantly seek the good life. On this life journey we aim for happiness. Work is a means and not an end. But you already know all of that.

Here are a few lessons learned at work, about work and from work. The term work is used very loosely in my vocabulary. Above all, work has taught me to approach it with humor and a smile! No secrets here -

1 - The Newspaper Carrier learns - Some customers will pay you for the work you do and some customers won't. Try to avoid the customer that doesn't pay. Or who tries to beat you out of time and talent. There is value associated with work.

2 - The Dairy Queen cone maker/helper/trainee learns - Output must exceed input - or at least equal it. I think this is a pretty basic law of work physics - but I could be wrong. When the boss says, "You get all-you-can eat along with your $.60 per hour", he doesn't really mean "all". Either that or he forgot what it was to have the appetite of a 16 year old. My fast food experience was brief. My food intake exceeded my work output by 10 to 1 easily. In order for the boss to turn a profit - I had to be "downsized" aka dismissed. Most bosses expect to make a profit on their investment.

3 - The Car Wash attendant learns - Roll the windows up before entering the portal. If not, you will pay for a new interior in the automobile. Details matter.

4 - The Plumbers Helper learns - S*** don't run uphill and pay day is Friday. The simpler the message, the better.

5 - The CamBus driver learns - No matter how often you say - "please exit the rear of the bus" - someone will go against the flow, try to get out the front and then sneer at people entering the bus. Its OK to make your own path. Learn to do it with respect for other's paths!

6 - The Bartender learns - Remember lesson one and replace "customer" with "boss". Work for someone with ethics.

7 - The Janitor learns - You might never get rich but you will have steady work. Someone is always willing to pay for picking up trash or cleaning a toilette. Work is valued by the amount of money you make - this is a misplacement of value.

8 - The Window washer learns - Always wear a safety line when working above two stories. Always, always, always. Falling will result in bad consequences. This is a rule. Do not argue. Rules are made to be broken. However, not all of them. Follow the critical rules without sniveling.

9 - The Newspaper guy learns - Its not about the work, its about the people. Life is good!

That was fun accept for the part where Blogger crashed, I lost everything I'd written yesterday and I had to re-imagine what I'd said. You'll never know whether it was better or worse - nor will I. Ahhhhhh, technology - love it or hate it, its an ongoing experiment. Another lesson, I should have listened to Robert more closely when he said "sharpen your pencils". I know pencils work all the time.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Art Appreciation Made To Stick

In grade three or four - it was so long ago, I can hardly remember - we had a class called Art Appreciation. Each week we received a post card size print of a noted artist and their work. As we gazed upon the cards, we heard stories of the lives of the artists. We were transported to a different time and place. These three I share today are the ones that are etched into my brain. The first is a wood cut by Japanese printmaker Hokusai called Tidal Wave. I remember the crisp lines. I remember the motion and the action that is illustrated in two dimensions.

The picture to the left is a paiting in oil by Pierre Auguste Renoir's "A Girl with a Watering Can". I believe I could look at this painting for hours. In fact, I probably did. And there are several prints of various sizes in my possession. When I recall first memories of art, this painting is always one of them. Along with this painting comes the artists focus on light, depth and brush stroke. Why is it certain images have such an impact on us? What part of our senses retain this information? One can almost feel the season surrounding the girl. At this time of year, when the roses blossom and the peonies pop - it is this painting that always plays in my mind's eye. Any suggestions Dr. McMaster?

Finally, this fresco by Beato Fra Angelico, Italian Renaissance artist - Annunciazione (The Annunciation) which is housed in the Museo di San Marco in Florence, Italy. I first discovered the symmetry and perspective of this masterpiece - not to mention those groovy wings - in grammar school Art Appreciation class. Then, a few years ago, we were able to take the trip of a lifetime (so far, at least :) and spent a couple weeks in Firenze. Imagine the emotion when I saw this painting - in real - after only seeing it on paper. It took my breath away. The visit to Italy started as a goal almost 20 years ago. It was simple "Before I die, I want to see the Sistine Chapel". We saw much more including the grave of Fra Angelico.

All of this before marketing, before blogging, before branding - these are paintings that stuck. This may be a bit of a stretch - and its art not ideas - but...I'm reading "Made to Stick" by the Brothers Heath (that darn MarketingProfs Book Club). Chip and Dan use an acronym - SUCCESs. Do these paintings meet the criteria? Simple - yes. Unexpected - in their time and even today, yes. Concrete? - I'd say so. Credible - artists carry credibility over time though usually after they die. Emotional? - try looking at them without feeling or emitting a response. And finally, do they tell Stories - they ARE a story.

What is some of the early art you remember? I'd be curious to know. Was it "Made to Stick"?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dona Nobis Pacem

June 6, 2007

Today, I feel like letting my Peace Globe fly - Dona Nobis Pacem

Thanks to Mimi - She writes good stuff! Read about how grandpa started this movement with polishing a marble!

Imagine if you dare...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mainstream News vs Blogstream Views

We keep talking about it and at some point, professional journalists will "get it". Will bloggers take the place of journalists? Nope - at least I hope not. Will journalists learn that readers are the true reason to write and just may have something to add? Absolutely. I think they instinctively know it now. But never before has the potential been imagined. If newspaper websites develop robust blog conversations and offer the opportunity for feedback - journalists will share and learn. Look back at your own learning curve since starting to blog. I know mines pretty darn steep. Conversation makes all of us better citizens. And bottom line - thats the point of a good newspaper.

David Reich has a great post titled Doing it for Money. Thats merely the title because the real conversation starts on the topic of citizen journalists vs. mainstream media. While not specifically focused on newspapers, he sites statistics from an article in Advertising Age. He plucks this -

A We Media/Zogby Interactive poll showed 72 percent of adults are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism in America, and 55 percent say bloggers are important to the future of journalism. Citizen journalism will play a significant role in how we get our news in the future, say 74 percent.
Take a moment to follow Cam Beck's brutally honest and transparent comments. This is the what I really dig about sharing via a blog. Its a "difficult to describe" intangible - sharing that leads to learning about one another. Its at least part of what keeps me posting to this place.

Recently, a sports writer friend of mine said "Blogging just takes up more of my time". At first, I scoffed. Then I read the story he was working on. I can only imagine the time involved in chasing down rumor, getting quotes, making phone calls, waiting for return calls - all on deadline - for a morning story. But you know what? It was factual and verifiable. It was the well researched. It involved history of relationship with the major characters in the story. You don't get that from a blogger.

Imagine if there was a mechanism in place to collaborate? I'd take that in a New York minute :)

Friday, June 01, 2007

Life for Art - Art for Life

The Women in Art post from last Sunday got some excellent comments. I thought it would be fun to share some more anecdotes on painting. A future focus on arts in general might be a fun ongoing post topic. The creative process weaves its way through so many aspects of our lives its important to stimulate it from time to time. Looking at art helps.

Today's post is a reflection on my friend Tim McMahon. See his work here. We've known each other since high school and attended University of Iowa together. I went one way, Tim another. Tim dedicated his life to teaching and making art and is now living in Charlotte. He speaks of Cezanne as his historical mentor.

"My historical mentor is Cezanne, who models my brushwork. Cezanne spoke of making paintings, "that are a kind of teaching." I view my paintings that way. The pure, broken color of both European and American Impressionism is my starting point. I try to balance the literal, objective aspects of the subject with the expressive gesture of the execution. The dramatic gesture of De Kooning and Kline inspire me."
I always dug his work...and him as a person. We've shared frail times and hardy times. We always stayed "generally" in contact. With any luck in life, you make that type connection. A couple years back, we touched base via email and last summer Tim came to visit. We shared a couple glasses of wine, talked late into the night, walked early in the morning along the river and had a great - albeit brief - visit. Its hard to explain - I hadn't seen him for 30 years and it felt like only yesterday.

Enjoy his art - better yet buy some of it :) Even if you don't buy his, get yourself out and look for art you can live with. Make it part of you.

I'm still looking for favorite artists :) - so far Robyn has named Georgia O'Keefe and Jackie has named John Singer Sargent.