Friends near Solon

I have known my friend since the ‘60s. We were neighbors on Attorney Street in the Lower East Side, New York City. My friend is an artist and she always had a place up in Maine. In 1968 I stayed with her for a month or so while we were both pregnant. We went to visit her and her mate in 2012. They live in the countryside near Solon, Maine, and they each have studios. Their entire place is full of wonderful art and curiosities. We all drove to Skowhegan for lunch at a Thai place. After lunch we went to visit an artist friend of theirs. I wish I could see them more often.

Childhood Memories

My Private Garden in London
My Private Garden in London

I moved to London with my mother when I was 6 in 1954. The first flat we lived in was at Kensington Gardens. It came with access to a locked garden called Ladbroke Square Gardens, London W11.

Flying Across America
Flying Across America

During the early 1950’s I remember taking airplanes and sleeper trains from New York to Reno, Nevada, and other places.

Sailing to London and New York
Sailing to London and New York

Mother and I sailed from NYC to Southampton on the Queen Mary in 1954. On other ships we sailed through both canals from Australia and USA. A sailor nicknamed me “Port” instead of Sherry and he explained the meaning of port and starboard.

Tiny People created by a Young Witch in the Bronx
Tiny People created by a Young Witch in the Bronx

When I was four I lived at Fordham Hill Apartments. I met a girl who did a spell over a wooden barrel. She told me not to tell anyone and go look at the windowsill and tell her what I saw. I saw tiny people running around on it.

Flying Scotsman from London to Scotland
Flying Scotsman from London to Scotland

When I was six, in 1954, my mother and I went to Scotland. I had the measles there and was confined to the hotel in Broughty Ferry near Dundee for a month and, I learned to ride a bike. I remember the heather on the mountains, stone water bottles and oatmeal. I learned to ride a bicycle on the gravel path of the hotel.

Body Parts

I was inspired by memories of an old B&W film Hiroshima Mon Amour (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiroshima_mon_amour) where there is a small section where the lovers embrace in what looks like sparkling fallout.

Screen shot of Hiroshima Mon Amour, director Alain Resnais
Screen shot of Hiroshima Mon Amour, director Alain Resnais

The ones below are  my vision, which is not so grim. I imagined skin being dusted with stardust. I created these images using a macro lens. The skin is dusted with flour, water and iridescent sparkles.

Skin 7, 5/31/2015
Skin 7, 5/31/2015
Skin 12, 5/31/2015
Skin 12, 5/31/2015
Skin 30, 5/31/2015
Skin 30, 5/31/2015

Six for NYC Audubon Camera Club

I assembled six pictures created recently to show at the meeting tonight. Two bouts of bronchitis has kept me indoors almost all winter. Hope to be out soon making photographs and birding.

Fox Sparrow, Central Park 1/28/2015
Fox Sparrow, Central Park 1/28/2015
Northern Cardinal, Central Park 1/28/2015
Northern Cardinal, Central Park 1/28/2015
White Breasted Nuthatches, Central Park 1/28/2015
White Breasted Nuthatches, Central Park 1/28/2015
Sweetgum in Ice, Central Park 1/13/2015
Sweetgum in Ice, Central Park 1/13/2015
Squirrel Swirl, Central Park 1/13/2015
Squirrel Swirl, Central Park 1/13/2015

A Question of Photographic or Artistic Style

Thank you all fro your invaluable critiques. After carfull consideration I chose versions A. Version A is my version B is unaltered.  [updated 2/26/2015]

The reason I felt the need to do this is because on 1/26/2015 I had critique from the Portfolio Review. I appreciate their honesty and will consider what they said. This is just one of several reviews designed to help prepare us for the selection by the Gallery, who will choose the winning entrants. It was pointed out to me that photographs, not Photoshop work on the images is what flies with the gallery to be used. Blurs and other tricks done in camera are OK. For example, they loved abstract images of trees blurred to look like a pattern and other similar things created by the camera. But I was told that mine looked like I used Photoshop just because I could, and if it wasn’t a good image to begin with Photoshop wasn’t going to save it.

Straight photography is not what I want to do and does not fulfill me as an artist. I think that if I just use my photos unaltered they will be like many other photographs of nature. I need to create art. I enjoy drawing and painting on an image, bringing things into it, and to fulfill my vision. I cannot hope to please everyone, and I do not always succeed in making a successful image because art is subjective. Learning photography and art is a process that never ends.

I added a version C, a compromise between A and B, of the Brown thrasher with less brown but still keeping my hand drawn outlines and brushwork. Version A I envision hanging in a room with pastel green-gray walls.

Brown Thrasher, Central Park 10/5/2014
Version A. Brown Thrasher, Central Park 10/5/2014
Brown Thrasher, Central Park 10/5/2014
Version B. Brown Thrasher, Central Park 10/5/2014
Golden Leaf and Fall Flower, Central Park 10/25/2014
Version A. Golden Leaf and Fall Flower, Central Park 10/25/2014
Golden Leaf and Fall Flower, Central Park 10/25/2014
Version B. Golden Leaf and Fall Flower, Central Park 10/25/2014
Hermit Thrush, Central Park 10/25/2014
Verion A. Hermit Thrush, Central Park 10/25/2014
Hermit Thrush, Central Park 10/25/2014
Version B. Hermit Thrush, Central Park 10/25/2014

Couch’s Kingbird at Abingdon Square

It has been an exciting time for NYC birdwatchers and for me. A Couch’s Kingbird has been in the West Village for about 8 weeks now. Initially it was seen by a non-birder who eventually told a birder who identified it. The news broke on 12/25/2014. I photographed it diving for insects near the wall on the corner of Bank and Hudson Streets, Abingdon Square, Saturday 12/29/2014.

On Monday, 12/29/2014 I was interviewed by Meg Baker of CBS2 News http://newyork.cbslocal.com/video/10987764-rare-find-has-new-york-bird-watching-community-chirping-with-excitement/ as a representative for The Linnaean Society of New York (http://linnaeannewyork.org/ – I am the webmaster).

Couch's Kingird at Abingdon Square 12/27/2014
Couch’s Kingird at Abingdon Square 12/27/2014
A mob of birders looking at the Couch's Kingird
A mob of birders looking at the Couch’s Kingird