Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Our 2012 Christmas Card

We sent 100 of these homemade cards!  I had fun making them using Photoshop and about 5 different photos taken in various locations, Christmas 2011 and this year during the run-up to Christmas.  The images were all time exposures, which meant using the trusty tripod.  I cut and pasted some parts repeatedly as part of the effort to make this final image  just a bit hokey. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Christmas Wish List

I continue to take time out from entries about Art in general and/or my art specifically.
I reference a song The Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida sang just this past weekend at our Christmas concert, "Light One Candle," in memory of those children lost on Friday, December 14th, 2012.  I had forgotten this wonderful performance by Peter, Paul and Mary until another choir member sent this today.

At the risk of being sanctimonious I make a few Observations Concerning the Latest Gun Massacre:  One Among Many.

First, There are not enough words in the English language, or any language for that matter to express my anguish and deepest feelings of sympathy for the families of the Twenty-six victims in this horrendous tragedy, part of an epidemic of massacres.

1.     The repetitive reporting of minutia concerning every second that transpired during the shooting, and each and every reaction by any person that reporters can find to comment on these horrendous events trivializes the actual slaughter, and it contributes to our ability to be dysfunctional in our reaction to the mass murder. 

2.     I’ve listened to this comment over and over again, “It’s insanity.  The young man had to be insane. “  The young man may have been insane.  However, we do not know that, besides which most people who are mentally ill do not act out in a violent way. Do not blame all this slaughter on insanity.  That takes us one step away from the actual problem. 

3.     The actual problem is the following.  On a regular basis depressed and/or angry young men commit horrible mass murder with HAND GUNS and SEMI AUTOMATIC WEAPONS (machine guns and military weapons) against innocent fellow Americans; men, women and children.

4.     A secondary issue involves the psychology of modern American men (the entire country in general I might add) that conflates masculinity with guns, and/or violence, anger, and aggression.  Our society is obsessed with guns and violence.  We must address this issue as a major part of the problem!

6.     “I need guns for self defense” is a poor excuse to buy weaponry.  You need one gun for self defense - not two, or four, or twenty of various types with hundreds of rounds of ammunition.   

5.     THE SECOND AMENDMENT DOES NOT GUARANTEE that every American can own as many weapons of any type and as much ammunition as he/she wishes.  (The 2nd Amendment was written in a time when your trusty musket took 20 seconds to load!)  This notion of owning a personal arsenal that enables one to fight a small war is a late Twentieth Century idea that has grown into a bizarre Twenty-first Century craze for weaponry and violence that is a sad (need I say sick) piece of our modern American psyche.  And, I might also add the following.  You do not need an arsenal of weapons to defend yourself against your own democratically elected President, Congress, and Senate, in other words, the Federal Government!  Instead, such a notion is a symptom of the degree of illness to which our nation has succumbed.  I've watched gun advocates defend ownership of weapons of mass destruction on TV this week after these children were splattered all over their classroom (YES SPLATTERED by these military grade weapons) and they are sickeningly without feelings and quite frightening in their advocacy.

8.        It is time to act.  We must stop these monthly mass murders.  We are not impotent.  We can pass a law that requires gun owners to be sane, a law that requires gun owners to pass stringent psychological testing.  The law must require licensing!  The law must require that licensing be renewed on a regular basis.  The law can prescribe the prosecution of gun sellers who violate gun law by locking them up so they can’t continue to commit crimes against society.  The law can limit the purchase of guns to sporting weaponry, and the amount of ammunition to be purchased must be limited.  How many bullets does a person need to kill a deer for food?  And, why would a deer hunter need an AK-47?).  The law can provide that the illegal possession of a gun be an offense that puts the criminal in jail whether sane or insane!
             "But I'm a gun collector,” you say.  In that case, the law must require a special collector’s gun license.  The new law must require that a person who owns 5 or more guns keep his/her guns in a locked safe cabinet, closet, or room, and that they not be loaded when not in use.  The important thing is that the law be specific.  The gun collector must provide actual proof that he/she is the only person who will handle the weapons, and of his/her safe location through written documentation with diagrams and photographs.

Most sensible Democrats and Republicans including some NRA members would agree to most of what I am proposing here, so why can we not do it?  That is a question for each of our congressmen and senators to answer.  Everyone who feels strongly about this issue needs to contact his/her senator and congressman and ask why he/she can’t propose these changes and then vote yes for the changes.

And Finally, I wish everyone a 
Merry Christmas including the NRA, its members, the entire gun lobby, and those persons who advocate keeping and carrying hand guns and weapons of warfare even though YOU are responsible (at least in part) for the deaths of these innocent children!  If you are a Christian, I ask you "What would Jesus say and do?"

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

The Mighty Sounds of Joy, and an Encomium

Once again I take time out from visual art and my art.

Last evening during the first act of our performance The Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida took a moment of silence immediately before singing “In My Child’s Eyes” an encomium to the Twenty-six victims of the latest mass shooting .  As a group we had taken our own moment before the concert so that we would be able to sing through that magnificent song without breaking down ourselves.  No matter, I had tears in my eyes, and nearly choked twice as we did our best rendition of Gordon and Harold’s arrangement and orchestration.  That this tragedy should happen so close to the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ makes it impossible to express the sadness I feel at the very center of my being, the place where God resides in us all, the place to which we are so often not present and to which our voices do not resonate and intone as often as they should.

Thank you to the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida

I would add that I was so fortunate to have the moment I needed to begin recovery from this tragic event.  I wish that everyone everywhere had been able to be present to our act of love and compassion last night.  I am so fortunate to participate in the love and magnificent sound that the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida makes.  Thank you to all those who support us, and thank you gentlemen for allowing me to sing with you.



Friday, December 14, 2012

Mighty Sounds of Joy

Last night was opening night of the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida Christmas Concert, Mighty Sounds of Joy. I'm a Tenor II, that is a tenor whose range is limited. :-(    However, this chorus is anything but limited. Under the direction of Gordon Roberts, the assistant director, Harold Dioquino, the leadership team, and Board of Directors (The last two, too numerous to mention in this brief entry) our voice keeps growing. And, I use singular here because we are a brotherhood and we sing as one, even as our membership grows in number each year. We amaze each performance, and I am so honored to be singing with these wonderful men.

As I stated above, “Mighty Sounds of Joy” opened last night with the first of three sold out performances. This last just a warning. If you should think of attending the spring concert to be performed in March with The Symphony of the Americas, purchase your tickets well in advance! You can do so at the Chorus Website, linked here.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Fairy Dust

"Fairy Dust" is another of the dozen small paintings completed in the Gay Dictionary Series.  They are small, 8" x 8," and will be framed floating in simple 10" by 10" silver metal frames.  There will be 25 of the small works and I will arrange them in a grid, 5 paintings by 5 paintings when they are shown next June at Camp Rehoboth in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  There will also be at least 5 (preferably 7) other larger works based on the same theme.  There is a lot to be done, and I don't like counting the chickens before the eggs hatch.  However, that is the reality of preparation for a scheduled show.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Another of the small mixed media distressed paintings in the new Gay Dictionary Series

I had fun with this one, especially the word "POOF!" Despite the pejorative, the Australian term is such fun. Check out the Urban Dictionary definition if you aren't squeamish and have a slightly off the wall sense of humor.

Once again, the work was accomplished by working back and forth between the virtual digital-magic-computer-box world and the actual physical world of paint, cut and torn paper, varnish and glue.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Door Decorations

Joe has the front door ready for Christmas.  He spent a couple of days playing with lights on the door and over the old ceiling tile.  As an artist, I pronounce the results to be very artistic.  The lights around the door are LED, and on the wreath and roof tile they are battery operated LED.  It is interesting to me that the setting appears (and is) subtropical because of the pottery and poinsettia.  I took the photograph last evening at dusk with the camera mounted on my trusty tripod.  The aperture was set for f22, ISO 200, and the exposure was 15 seconds.  I had to play with the colors in Adobe Photoshop because of the yellow incandescent down lights in our buildings outdoor areas.  The cement floor is actually yellow.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pink Triangle

One of a dozen New Mixed media Distressed Paintings from the "Gay Dictionary Series. The series will also include antonyms, synonyms and/or words just related to"gay," sometimes humorous, sometimes not.

This particular artwork is one of the more serious works and is related to the holocaust.The Pink Triangle was part of the system of triangles used by the Nazi's during WWII to denote various peoples they deemed undesirable, and included jews, Jehovah's Witnesses and homosexuals. The Jewish star was made of two yellow triangles,one pointing down, one up. The homosexual triangle was pink and pointed down. Today, the pink triangle is inverted, pointing up and is a symbol of pride.

It is estimated that somewhere between 50,000 and 60,000 homosexuals were put in the Nazi concentration camps - many of whom died - during the holocaust.

Monday, November 19, 2012


One of a dozen New Mixed media Distressed Paintings from the "Gay Dictionary Series. The series will also include antonyms, synonyms and/or words just related to"gay," sometimes humorous, sometimes not.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sand dune Shadows

I took this photograph on Cape Henlopen on September 9th this year.  It was on a warm late summer day around 5:00 P.M..

"And, just why does the season and time of day matter," my alter ego asks.

By way of explanation, late in the summer season and late in the day made longer shadows with warmer light which allowed me to shoot a photo with subtle gradation and play between shadow and sunlight - thus, the warmth of the sparkling sunlit sand versus the cool dull brownish-blue colors in the shadows of the fence and slopping dune curves.

The photo also serves as a reminder of why so many of us like to live near our coastline taking risk of The ocean's moodiness. The super storm we experienced on the mid-Atlantic coast - the destruction of life and property is an increasing hazard due to global climate change - whether man made or nature's normal cycle. We must address ways to protect ourselves in the future as seas rise, and storms increase.

This is no longer a what if proposition!

Friday, November 9, 2012


New Mixed Media Distressed Painting from the "Gay Dictionary Series

The work is self explanatory. It is one of a dozen new paintings based on the above theme.

I may, however, make some minor changes in this work because I am not satisfied with the balance.  Though still centered, I wanted this painting to have a bit of asymmetry.  A solution to the problem will be to extend the horizontal gold leaf lines across the right side of the painting. One of the lines will project across Sappho's head, but that will work just fine with the distressed painting technique.

Saturday, November 3, 2012


New Mixed Media Distressed Painting from the "Gay Dictionary Series."

The work is self explanatory. It is one of a dozen new paintings based on the above theme.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

J&J Wedding Celebration at Characters Pub in Lancaster, PA: Part V

I continue to take a break from Art and my art with this final report on the phenomenal (pun intneded) party at our goddaughter's restaurant.  This is a selection of photos from before, during and after dinner.

Thanks Meghan and Jose, Jane, Millie and Claudia for a wonderful evening.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

J&J Wedding Celebration at Characters Pub in Lancaster, PA: Part IV

I continue to take a break from Art and my art to continue reporting on the phenomenal (pun intended) party at our goddaughter's restaurant.  This is a selection of photos from before, during and after dinner.

Thanks Meghan and Jose, Jane, Millie, and Claudia.
What a wonderful evening!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

J&J Wedding Celebration at Characters Pub in Lancaster, PA: Part III

I take a break from Art and my art to continue reporting on the phenomenal (pun intended) party at our goddaughter's restaurant.

Thanks Meghan and Jose, Jane, Millie, and Claudia.
What a wonderful evening!

Monday, October 15, 2012

J&J Wedding Dinner at Characters Pub, Lancaster, PA

I’m still taking a break from the Art in order to continue reporting on our Wedding Celebration.

Here are more photos from our Lancaster celebration as promised. I took these during dinner at Characters Pub. Meghan’s food was outrageously good, and we all enjoyed ourselves.

It was so wonderful to be back with our Lancaster friends and family.

As well as dear friends from other locals.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Our Wedding Celebration-Characters Pub, Lancaster, PA

 Part I:  Wedding Cake and linens

Time out from the ART - I must do a series of entries about our various wedding celebrations.  I've already done one about the New York wedding itself.  Several more to come about Rehoboth Beach, DE, and Lancaster, PA celebrations!

Once again, a reminder - the Lancaster party was held at Characters Restaurant, created by Chef/owner Meghan Young (our goddaughter), and her partner Jose Fuentes.  However, this entry is about our linens and the wedding cake.  The linens were beautiful!  Claudia Himes' of Special Occasions created these beautiful tables with her linens.  Look at that wedding cake table with the gorgeous white roses.  Jane Hull-Young and her daughter (also our goddaughter) Millie created the flower arrangements.  Just have to give them a shout out!  The lemon curd cake was to die for.  Yum!

Friday, October 5, 2012


One of the new gay dictionary series of mixed media distressed paintings, all words related to the term “Gay” in all permutations of meaning including puns, synonyms, similar terms, and antonyms. Each artwork in the first group of paintings is 8” x 8” square and there will be 25 of them, though at this point in time there are only 8. The paintings are made by working back and forth between the virtual digital space of the computer using my own digital photography and the actual physical world of paint and collage.  This is the final "print" version, 1/20.  There is also a final painted version of which there will only be one image.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Gay Marriage: Over and Over and-a Over Again

This 8” x 8” mixed media distressed painting is part of my new series,
Gay Dictionary

The dictionary is composed of artworks based on words related to the term “Gay” in all permutations of meaning including puns, synonyms, similar terms, and antonyms.

I’m finishing the first six of these – FINALLY! Now, I only have 19 more to start and finish in the first set of small paintings. Actually, I’ve started 2 more, but just barely.

The image in this particular painting is from our August 15th Marriage Ceremony at the Metropolitan Community Church of New York, officiated by the Reverend Pat Bumgardner. The painting might also be titled “Same Sex Marriage,” but I thought two words was enough. I've telescoped the image because I wanted to convey the feeling that the issue of "Gay Marriage" has been front and center this entire year. "Everybody's doing it, doing it. Even all the birds and bees"... well not quite. But, there is this social, and seemingly inevitable cultural drift pushing us toward acceptance by state, and at least some denominations of the Christian church.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dictionary Series

The First Six Small Works - Steps 7 through 11

This is the third entry in a batch about the new Dictionary Series, all artworks based on or related to the word "gay."*

I’m getting there slowly but surely – I think I may be finished with these paintings by 2013. ☹

Actually, I’m not too disturbed that the work is going so slowly – we’ve been doing a wedding, and two celebrations in two separate locations, and we’ve had company as well – just too much partying. ☺

These first six paintings should be done before we celebrate our wedding in Lancaster. One of the six will be titled “Gay Wedding.” The others are variously, “Jaunty,” “Vivacious,” “Pink Triangle,” “Gay,” and “Saphic.” I’ve started two more, and I’d like to get another of the Series II Wave pastels started before we pack up to go to south Florida. However, there’s a lot more going on this month, so we’ll just have to see.


* First Entry titled "Dictionary Series,"second, "Mixed Media Distressed Paint."

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Our Gay Wedding

Now, let me see. I could substitute any of the following for the word “gay."

Our Happy Wedding

Our Exciting Wedding

Our Merry Wedding

Our Peppy Wedding

Our Perky Wedding

Our Snappy Wedding

Our Jazzy Wedding

Our Jaunty Wedding

Yes, our wedding was and is all of these things, but it was definitely a same-sex marriage. So,
 I must keep the title, Our Gay Wedding.

A Brief History

Joe and I went to the New York City Clerk’s office on July 19th and completed our marriage application, and on August 15th at 3:00 P.M. the Reverend Pat Bumgardner married us at the Metropolitan Community Church of New York. It was a small ceremony with 9 people present including Joe and myself. However, as one of the party said to Reverend Pat afterward, “I felt the presence of God.”

We are celebrating that August 15th marriage over and over again. On September 15, 2012 we celebrated our wedding with our Rehoboth Beach, Delaware friends. In October we will return to Lancaster to celebrate with friends and family there. Finally, this winter we will celebrate with friends in south Florida. In part we celebrate repeatedly because after 44 years of living in sin ☺ , Joe and I are tied together by a Christian Church ceremony and have a license that is legal in the state of New York. There was no point in doing the ceremony in Florida where we have our legal residence, as it is doubtful such arrangements will be legal during our lifetime. Never the less WE ARE MARRIED!

So, Why Bother After Being Together 44 Years?

As I have explained to some gay friends who seem a bit skeptical as to the practicality of marrying - there are at least three important reasons for doing so. First, Joe and I wanted to take this Twenty-first Century step now available to us to seal our relationship in the eyes of God and one state – and yes it does feel much more blessed and special compared to the past 44 years. It makes a profound difference in my understanding of our long-term commitment to one another. Second, legally we add another document to the powers and wills that protect us from total financial ruin should one of us die before the other. Third, we announce along with a cadre of LGBT people who have also taken advantage of legal marriage in those few states in which it is allowed that this final barrier to first class citizenship for eight percent of the population must be broken.

I had originally thought that Joe and I should just sneak off to NYC, get married and celebrate with friends later. Three couples insisted that they be present, and they took all the photographs of our ceremony and the dinner at Dos Caminos, Park Avenue afterward.

Some of these are from a beautiful book that a dear friend put together from photographs she and her husband took during and after the ceremony. Still others were taken by another dear friend and assembled into a second book. I find it significant that our heterosexual friends have been so extremely supportive of our plans to marry. They have demonstrated to me personally that this issue of “Gay Marriage” is purely social and should not be a political and/or religious Christian (Not all Christians) weapon, though it unfortunately is, and has been historically.

Anyway, who would have thought when Joe and I met back in 1968 that we would someday be able to be married!