Thursday, November 28, 2013


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Staying Present

Thankful to be in Los Angeles for Thanksgiving.
Incredible sunshine
Makes it feasible to accommodate a demanding work schedule
AND still find time for yoga, friends, and hiking
Forever grateful for the calmness that comes with balance

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Creative People

 Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a seminal professor of Psychology and Management, wrote a book, "Creativity: The Work and Lives of 91 Eminent People", based on thirty years of researching creative people.  He describes 9 contradictory traits that are frequently present in creative people:

1.  Most creative people have a great deal of physical energy, but are often quiet and at rest. They can work long hours at great concentration.

2. Most creative people tend to be smart and naive at the same time. “It involves fluency, or the ability to generate a great quantity of ideas; flexibility, or the ability to switch from one perspective to another; and originality in picking unusual associations of ideas. These are the dimensions of thinking that most creativity tests measure, and that most creativity workshops try to enhance.”

3. Most creative people combine both playfulness and productivity, which can sometimes mean both responsibility and irresponsibility. “Despite the carefree air that many creative people affect, most of them work late into the night and persist when less driven individuals would not.” Usually this perseverance occurs at the expense of other responsibilities, or other people.

4. Most creative people alternate fluently between imagination and fantasy, and a rooted sense of reality. In both art and science, movement forward involves a leap of imagination, a leap into a world that is different from our present. Interestingly, this visionary imagination works in conjunction with a hyperawareness of reality. Attention to real details allows a creative person to imagine ways to improve them.

5. Most creative people tend to be both introverted and extroverted. Many people tend toward one extreme or the other, but highly creative people are a balance of both simultaneously.

6. Most creative people are genuinely humble and display a strong sense of pride at the same time.

7. Most creative people are both rebellious and conservative. “It is impossible to be creative without having first internalized an area of culture. So it’s difficult to see how a person can be creative without being both traditional and conservative and at the same time rebellious and iconoclastic.”

8. Most creative people are very passionate about their work, but remain extremely objective about it as well. They are able to admit when something they have made is not very good.

9. Most creative people’s openness and sensitivity exposes them to a large amount of suffering and pain, but joy and life in the midst of that suffering. “Perhaps the most important quality, the one that is most consistently present in all creative individuals, is the ability to enjoy the process of creation for its own sake. Without this trait, poets would give up striving for perfection and would write commercial jingles, economists would work for banks where they would earn at least twice as much as they do at universities, and physicists would stop doing basic research and join industrial laboratories where the conditions are better and the expectations more predictable.”

Saturday, November 23, 2013

James Turrell

Space and light artist James Turrell is currently featured at LACMA.  The experience was spectacular, interactive and mind altering.  My favorite pieces belong to a category called “Space Division Works”  that began in 1992 to examine the quality of light. Viewers experience an interplay of space, forms and tone in a carefully crafted projection of light. The projections work on visual perceptions and the sense of light as a real physical material. Turrell said, “I love making spaces that change as your looking changes, it’s not quite as if something’s looking back at you, but it’s about something that has a presence equal to yours, because the light inhabiting that space has a ‘thingness’ of its own.”  The effect was wild and unexpected.  One room took on the quality of dense fog in a eerie forest, danger looming with every step, breath constricted.  Another felt like walking on a cloud in heaven, expansive and absolutely serene as if on top of a snowy mountain peak.  The pictures don't come close to capturing the experience.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cycle Through Life

Missing my camera.  Missing the sunshine.  Missing my father. 
The holidays are always a bittersweet reminder of the passage of time.
Endings, beginnings, resolutions, dreams
 another cycle

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

We don’t see things as they are,
 we see things as we are.  
Anais Nin 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

150 Years Ago

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

Friday, November 15, 2013

Pool Series

Thursday, November 14, 2013


While at The Met last month I was distracted by the light streaming into one of the galleries.  The golden autumn sun created a collage of images in the floor to ceiling windows.  It was truly stunning.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Adding to my list of technical dilemmas, my camera is in the repair shop.  There's a circuit board issue with my USB port, read expensive to fix, and the focus has been off.  For months I've struggled with pictures that were never quite as crisp as I wanted them to be.  I assumed it was a problem with my skill, even when it was on autofocus, or my faulty eyes were betraying me behind the lens.   The entire time it was an issue with my camera.  Yes, I see the behavioral pattern.

Eleven days without my camera has felt like an eternity.  I don't shoot everyday, but I often have it with me knowing I can snap a pic at any moment.   I really miss it.  I'm still waiting for the estimate to determine if it is indeed worth fixing.  In the interim, as I've been sifting and sorting through photos recovered from my corrupted external drive here's a series of sunsets taken from my deck over the years.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


In July, when my computer crashed I didn't lament the two months of photos and music I hadn't backed up.  Such is the reality of the technological world in which we live.  However, when I learned the files on my external drive were corrupted and wouldn't transfer to my new laptop, I began to worry.  With these odds I should go to Vegas.  Thus began the arduous and costly process of of retrieving my files.  Armed with my raw data on a new external drive, I spent hours importing and sorting my photos only to discover that the majority from the past year have evaporated into the ether.  The biggest heartbreak, my photos from Africa.  It was an amazing trip for many reasons, but in part due to the many joyful hours shooting the wildlife in the Serengeti, children on the beach in Zanzibar, the ancient streets in Stone Town, and the slums of Dar Salaam on a particularly beautiful morning.  Thankfully, this blog has become my virtual scrapbook, and several of the images from the hundreds I snapped still exist.

After hours of sifting through raw data, organizing and labeling my images I was struck by how often I shoot the same subject matter.  There were enough sunsets in the hills and  reflections in the pool to warrant their own categories.  However, another grouping of photos emerged, more silly and less artful, but perhaps behaviorally insightful; self portraits in the dirty sliding glass doors in Palm Springs.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Manasquan Reservoir

Without a struggle and at a fast clip, my 82 year old mother walked the five mile perimeter of the reservoir.   Long-sleeve-tee-shirt weather and fire-engine red trees enhanced the spectacular trail.

Friday, November 1, 2013

November Sunset