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.