Art

It’s Only Rock and Roll

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Had an interesting discussion last night with my brother about the packaging and personality of music — the lost art of album covers and lyric inserts.

My brother is in the music biz. Along with partner, Chuck Leavell — The Rolling Stone’s legendary keyboardist — he’s created irocku, a website that provides online rock music lessons.

We talked about how we’ve wholeheartedly embraced digital music, but cannot remember the words to current songs. Could it be age, or that we don’t watch music videos? We agreed that it was most likely because we read album covers and inserts.

We looked at music differently.

The covers of The Beatles White Album and James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James, are indelibly inked in my music memory. The late 1960’s and early ’70’s were chaotic, full of friction and heady introspection. All the coming of age stuff — that moment in time when life changes forever.

This excellent video critiques the intersection of culture, music, art — and its changes:

What’s your most memorable album cover?

Desert Light

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“My first memory is of light — the brightness of light — light all around.” ~ Georgia O’Keeffe

It struck me the minute I stepped off the plane. That light! After spending hours in airless airports, I thought I landed in a foreign country. At first glance, the Albuquerque landscape seemed barren, thirsty dry and dramatically not green, like my east coast home, that had finally begun to recover from the depths of winter.

Georgia O'Keefe

Georgia O’Keefe

Unlike Georgia O’Keefe who came to the desert of New Mexico on a vacation and felt an immediate affinity, I landed in the desert for a conference. Inspired by O’Keefe’s enthusiasm for brightly colored paintings of the earth, sky and mountains, before dawn each day of my NM trip, I grabbed the down jacket I hoped to retire for a few days, and stepped out onto the balcony to watch the sunrise over jagged mountains. It was easy to imagine O’Keefe’s desert abstractions as the day crept in. The sunrise was dramatic, but nuanced, as it revealed colors in contrast to the dusty groundcover. Moments before sunrise, coyotes, dogs and rustling creatures I could only hope were elusive roadrunners, sounded a wake-up call in unison.

Santa Ana Pueblo

Santa Ana Pueblo

I knew it would be dry, but was it supposed to be bone-dry?

As drought bakes California, we tend to forget climate change is also ravaging other areas of the west. Changes in New Mexico’s climate are taking a toll.

“In this parched state, the question is no longer how much worse it can get but whether it will ever get better — and, ominously, whether collapsing ecosystems can recover even if it does. The statistics are sobering: All of New Mexico is officially in a drought, and three-quarters of it is categorized as severe or exceptional.” ~ LA Times 

After the last conference session, I decided to see what was beyond the Santa Ana Pueblo. I wanted to catch a glimpse of a roadrunner and was told by a conference attendee who lived in the area, the highly adaptive bird can survive on very little water. But it’s been unusually dry, even for NM, even for roadrunners, which is why they have been spotted along the path leading to the Rio Grande River behind the pueblo.

Rio Grande River

Rio Grande River

adobe_shadow_smI hiked the path down to the river slowly because the heaviness of the high altitude was beginning to take hold. Dry heat is deceptive. While I didn’t spy a roadrunner, I did stop to catch my breath and marvel at the Rio Grande in all its muddy spring glory.

Unlike other places I visit for work, New Mexico is a wistful dream I can’t seem to get out of my head…and I don’t really want to.

Photos: Ronnie Citron
Painting: Georgia O’Keefe Museum

Mental Vacation

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Mental Vacation: “A mild cerebral hiatus from consciously entertaining expectations from the perilous and numbing things that infiltrate our lives. It can last as long as one desires, and, depending on one’s skill, can go completely unnoticed.” ~ Urban Dictionary

Small simple stressors build up. We all need a mental vacation from time to time. I took one last weekend with an inspirational visit to DiaBeacon, a beer at The Hop, and Korean take out on my screened-in porch. We wrapped the day with a viewing of Before Midnight at Upstate Films. Ah.

Do you step away and allow your mind and body to relax? How?

Image: Design Seeds via Pinterest

Egg Shell Sculptures

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Elegant – These photos of gorgeous egg sculptures are created by Chinese artist, clinic Wen Fuliang.

Fragile – When Wen Fuliang was laid off from his job as a wood carver, pilule he turned to this unusual and skillful form of art to make ends meet.

Repurpose – He uses chicken, goose and duck eggshells to carve out designs and places of interest.

Artistry – Egg carving is done using a fine diamond bit on an electric rotary tool. Wen Fuliang carefully empties the yolk and egg white with a syringe and sketches a design on the shell.

Happy Easter! Happy Spring!

MORE Easter posts:

DIY Silk Eggs From Old Ties
Super Natural Eggs
3 Ways To A Clean Air Easter
“Green” Easter

Photo via Daily Mail

Equal

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EQUAL: e·qual  /ˈēkwəl/ Adjective: Being the same in quantity, size, degree, or value. Noun: A person or thing considered to be the same as another in status or quality.Verb: Be the same as in number or amount.

It’s time for marriage equality.

The U.S. Supreme Court began hearing arguments Tuesday in cases involving gay marriage.

3 Reasons why it’s time for marriage equality:

  1. 9 million Americans are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, according to a 2011 study by a scholar at the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute.
  2. 49% of Americans now favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in mid-March. 44% percent are opposed.
  3. There were 646,000 same-sex-couple households in the United States in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

My best reason for supporting marriage equality: I fell in love. Got married. Nobody told me I couldn’t. It should be every American’s constitutional right to marry the person they love.

Do you believe it’s time for marriage equality?

Source: Politico Painting via Designerman

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