Friday, July 27, 2012

Who IS Making Crop Circles?

The majority of reports of crop circles appeared since the 1970s, and spread in the late 1970s as many circles began appearing throughout the English countryside. This phenomenon became widely known in the late 1980s, after the media started to report crop circles in Hampshire and Wiltshire. After Bower's and Chorley's 1991 confession that they were responsible for most of them, circles started appearing all over the world.] To date, approximately 10,000 crop circles have been reported internationally, from locations such as the former Soviet Union, the UK, Japan, the U.S., and Canada. Skeptics note a correlation between crop circles, recent media coverage, and the absence of fencing and/or anti-trespassing legislation. Although farmers have expressed concern at the damage caused to their crops, local response to the appearance of crop circles can be enthusiastic, with locals taking advantage of the increase of tourism and visits from scientists, crop circle researchers, and individuals seeking spiritual experiences. The market for crop-circle interest has consequently generated bus or helicopter tours of circle sites, walking tours, T-shirts, and book sales.

The last decade has witnessed crop formations with increased size and complexity of form, some featuring as many as 2000 different shapes, and some incorporating complex mathematical and scientific characteristics. (from Wikipedia).

How Do You Make a Crop Circle?
Crop circles appear to be very intricate formations, with many geometric shapes linked in sophisticated patterns. But the basics of crop-circle creation and the tools involved are actually fairly simple.
In general, circlemakers follow the following steps:
  1. Choose a location.
  2. Create a diagram of the design (although some circlemakers decide to come up with an idea spontaneously when they arrive at their intended site).
  3. Once they arrive at the field, they use ropes and poles to measure out the circle.
  4. One circlemaker stands in the middle of the proposed circle and turns on one foot while pushing the crop down with the other foot to make a center.
  5. The team makes the radius of the circle using a long piece of rope tied at both ends to an approximately 4-foot-long (1.2-meter) board called a stalk stomper (a garden roller can also be used). One member of the team stands at the center of the circle while the other walks around the edge of the circle, putting one foot in the middle of the board to stomp down the circle's outline.   ( by Stephanie Watson)
Then there are those who believe they are made by extraterrestrials.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Hand Painting Illusions by Guido Daniele

What you are about to see is not a wildlife photography! It’s called “Handimals” – stunning hand painting illusions.

Meet Guido Daniele (born 1950), an Italian artist who is behind this incredible collection of hand animals. Born in Soverato, Daniele graduated from Brera School of Arts in 1972, majoring in sculpture and then attended the Tankas school in Dharamsala, India until 1974.

Daniele has worked as a hyper-realistic illustrator, co-operating with editing and advertising companies, innovating with airbrush and testing out various painting techniques. He has painted backcloths up to 400 square meters in size. He has also painted trompe l’oeil images for private houses and public buildings. In 1990, he developed a body painting technique, and his work has been used in advertising images and commercials, as well as fashion events and exhibitions.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Guitar Notes by Mary Amato

On odd days, Tripp Broody uses a school practice room to let loose on a borrowed guitar. Eyes closed, strumming that beat-up instrument, Tripp escapes to a world where only the music matters.

On even days, Lyla Marks uses the same practice room. To Tripp, she’s trying to become even more perfect—she’s already a straight-A student and an award-winning cellist. But when Lyla begins leaving notes for him in between the strings of the guitar, his life intersects with hers in a way he never expected.

What starts as a series of snippy notes quickly blossoms into the sharing of interests and secrets and dreams, and the forging of a very unlikely friendship.

Challenging each other to write songs, they begin to connect, even though circumstances threaten to tear them apart.

Hear a song from the book here.

Mary Amato is an award-winning children’s book author, poet, playwright, and songwriter. Her books have been translated into foreign languages, optioned for television, produced onstage, and have won the children’s choice awards in several states.
On Writing
I always wanted to be a writer, but it took me a long time to believe that I could actually become one. I started writing at the age of seven when my mother handed me a little spiral notebook and told me to keep a journal of our trip to California. I liked the fact that I could record something in my journal and then read it later. My favorite book as a child was Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh because Harriet was a terrific journal keeper.

I love to write. Not all writers enjoy writing, believe it or not. I especially love to write books for children. I think that’s because I needed books when I was a kid. I turned to books when I was lonely or sad or confused or bored. It is extremely fun to think that kids are reading my books.


I love to play music and write songs. I perform in the Maryland-Washington, D.C. area. I was a dancer and choreographer for many years and still work from time to time in the theater. Currently, I collaborate on ballets with my sister who was my inspiration to dance and is a ballet teacher and choreographer. I was also the co-founder of Firefly Shadow Theater, designed and made many puppets, and directed many shows.

In graduate school, I studied fiction writing and poetry at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, DC. As an undergraduate, I studied special education and dance at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
Books I’ve written
  • Guitar Notes (Egmont USA, 2012)
  • Edgar Allan’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook (Holiday House, 2010), a mystery for ages 7-10
  • Invisible Lines (Egmont USA, 2009), a novel for ages 10 and up
  • The Chicken of the Family (Putnam, 2008), a picture book for ages 4 and up
  • Please Write in this Book (Holiday House, 2006), a chapter book for ages 6-10
  • The Naked Mole-Rat Letters (Holiday House, 2005), a novel for ages 9-12
  • The Word Eater (Holiday House, 2000), a novel for ages 8-12
The Riot Brothers series of chapter books for ages 6-10
  • Take the Mummy and Run: The Riot Brothers are on a Roll (Holiday House, 2009)
  • Stinky and Successful: The Riot Brothers Never Stop! (Holiday House, 2007)
  • Drooling and Dangerous: The Riot Brothers Return! (Holiday House, 2006)
  • Snarf Attack, Underfoodle, and the Secret of Life: The Riot Brothers Tell All (Holiday House, 2004)

  • Plays
    • The Chicken of the Family
      Book, lyrics and music by Mary Amato and Richard Washer
    • The Riot Brothers
    • Numerous shadow-theater plays
Awards and honors
The Buckeye Children’s Book Award; Fellowship for Children’s Novel-in-Progress, The Heekin Foundation; Grant for Work-in-Progress, Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI); SCBWI National Magazine Merit Award; AZLA Young Readers’ Award; Arts in Education Grant, Target; Grant in the Arts, The Washington Post; Visiting Artist Grants, Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, Maryland; Keisler Prize for Poetry, Indiana University.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The multi-talented Ione Skye


In addition to an illustrious acting career that has spanned over 25 years and has seen her star in such films as Rivers Edge, Say Anything, Gas, Food Lodging and Zodiac, Ione Skye has been painting since she was a teenager.

She has shown in Tokyo and Los Angeles.

Ione has also directed films and music videos, most recently a short film based on a Daniel Clowes graphic novel, “David Goldberg”.

(Trivia from IMDb)
Pronounced Eye-oh-nee Sky.
Graduated from Hollywood High.

Reportedly given the middle name Skye because she was conceived on the isle of Skye, Scotland.
Daughter with David Netto, Kate born 2001.

Daughter of singer Donovan and Enid Karl, younger sister of Donovan Leitch.

Sister-in-law of Kirsty Hume and Jason Rothberg (Astrella's husband).

Her first husband, Adam Horovitz, is rapper/singer "Ad Rock" of the Beastie Boys.

Appears in David Fincher's Zodiac (2007) for which the recurrent theme music is her father (Donovan)'s song "Hurdy Gurdy Man".

Shares the same birthday as sister-in-law Kirsty Hume.

Lived with Anthony Kiedis, singer with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, from 1987 to 1990.

Daughter with Ben Lee, Goldie Priya Lee, born September 24, 2009.

Ex-sister-in-law of Shaun Ryder who was married with her half-sister Oriole Nebula.

Ex-daughter-in-law of Israel Horovitz.

Ex-sister-in-law of Rachael Horovitz and Matthew Horovitz.

Aunt of Violet Lilac Jean Leitch, aunt of Coco Sian Ryder and Sebastian Kerr Pisal (Oriole's children).

Half-sister of singer Astrella Celeste and Oriole Nebula by her father's side.

Stepdaughter of Linda Lawrence her father's wife.

Granddaughter of Winnyfred Philips and Donald Leitch.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Sculpture by Ho Baron


My imagery has its roots in the ancients, like the Hindu and the Mayan, and the work is archetypal in nature. The forms are primal and naive, and though brut, they are fluid and sophisticated. My creations exemplify Karl Jung's theories of the universal creative unconscious, and they are thus metaphors that emulate the mythologies and commonalities of our species.

Intuitively modeled in clay in an arduous sculptural process, the sculptures are surreal creations covered with intricate motifs. The images are odd, timeless and cosmic. My style is complex, ornate and baroque. It is tactile and visually intriguing, and the works are intended to present a bold look into the aspects of humankind, the obvious and the hidden, the haunting and the humorous. The sculptures are a play on our physical and emotional features, and though the works are titled, the names are but labels. The forms are otherworldly, their interpretations are limitless, and they lend themselves to scenario.

Representational and figurative, my themes are a product of extensive travel, a thousand ink drawings, free expression, immense deliberation, imaginative clay play and labor. The sculptures are fun and funny, satiric and whimsical, and they are dream-like visual representations of my world view. The figures are anthropomorphic creatures, they are grotesque fantastic icons, and they are "Gods for Future Religions." My sculpture is but a peak into my spectacular world, my life's work of more than 300 sculptures.

Ho Baron was born in Chicago in 1941 and raised in El Paso, Texas on the Mexican border. Baron earned a BA and MA in English, writing his Master's thesis on Joyce Cary's concept of the "artist as child," a guiding theme he still abides by. A stint in the Peace Corps in Nigeria and Ethiopia further sparked his creative spirit as he grew intrigued with primitive, intuitive African art. He settled in Antwerp, Belgium in 1970, where he worked as the photographer for a cartoonists" collective. In the late 70's, Baron returned to the United States and studied sculpture, first at the Philadelphia College of Art and later at the University of Texas. He had earned a second master's degree in library science along the way and worked part time as a college librarian allowing him free time for his creative endeavors.

Ho grew in his personal expression from writing into the visual arts: photography, pen and ink drawing, painting, print making to eventually create more than 300 narrative bronze and cast stone figures. In addition, he occasionally publishes a satirical newspaper, "The El Paso Lampoon," he's had photo exhibits, he printed a photo book entitled A Hoverview, he produced a "new music" radio program for ten years on NPR, and he's created short videos of his sculpture. A long-time proponent of the arts, he served on the City of El Paso Public Art Committee 2006-2007 and is currently on the board of the Texas Society of Sculptors.

Ho's found expression in the visual arts, particularly sculpture, the most free and most gratifying. He occasionally took art courses, but he's primarily self-taught thus his expression is intuitive. Sculpture, in particular, has been his greatest passion for more than 30 years. It's the tactile aspects of it, its challenges and the varied activities involved in producing each work that holds his continued attention. His theme is of the human form, and he abstracts it with unique motifs of surreal imagery that he's developed. His sculptures seem to be water-like creatures, some say they are Asian in appearance, some say perhaps Mayan. Perhaps reflective of his travels, perhaps fantasies of his readings, they are unique and look like deities of an ancient culture pulled from a remote lagoon. Ho coins his collective works "Gods for Future Religions".


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Encaustic Painting (Painting with Hot Wax)

The History of Encaustic

Encaustic painting was practiced by Greek artists as far back as the 5th century B. C. Most of our knowledge of this early use comes from the Roman historian Pliny, who wrote in the 1st century A. D.. Pliny seems to have had very little direct knowledge about studio methods, so his account of techniques and materials is sketchy. According to Pliny, encaustic was used in a variety of applications: the painting of portraits and scenes of mythology on panels, the coloring of marble and terra cotta, and work on ivory (probably the tinting of incised lines).

Wax is an excellent preservative of materials. It was from this use that the art of encaustic painting developed. The Greeks applied coatings of wax and resin to weatherproof their ships. Pigmenting the wax gave rise to the decorating of warships. Mention is even made by Homer of the painted ships of the Greek warriors who fought at Troy. The use of a rudimentary encaustic was therefore an ancient practice by the 5th century B. C.. It is possible that at about that time the crude paint applied with tar brushes to the ships was refined for the art of painting on panels. Pliny mentions two artists who had in fact started out as ship painters.

The use of encaustic on panels rivaled the use of tempera, in what are the earliest known portable easel paintings. Tempera was a faster, cheaper process. Encaustic was a slow, difficult technique, but the paint could be built up in relief, and the wax gave a rich optical effect to the pigment. These characteristics made the finished work startlingly life-like. Moreover, encaustic had far greater durability than tempera, which was vulnerable to moisture. Pliny refers to encaustic paintings several hundred years old in the possession of Roman aristocrats of his own time.

The nature of encaustic to both preserve and color gave it wide use on the stone work of both architecture and statuary. The white marble we see today in the monuments of Greek antiquity was once colored, probably delicately tinted like the figures on the Alexander sarcophagus in Istanbul. Pliny says that when the sculptor Praxiteles was asked which of his pieces he favored, he answered those "to which [the painter] Nicias had set his hand." Decorative terra cotta work on interiors was also painted with encaustic, a practice that was a forerunner to mosaic trim.

Fayum Funeral Portrait, Mummy Portrait of a Woman, Antinoopolis, End of the Reign of Trajan, 98-117 A.D., Wax portrait on wood. (see above)
Perhaps the best known of all encaustic work are the Fayum funeral portraits painted in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. by Greek painters in Egypt. A significant Greek population had settled in Egypt following its conquest by Alexander, eventually adopting the customs of the Egyptians. This included mummifying their dead. A portrait of the deceased, painted either in the prime of life or after death, was placed over the person's mummy as a memorial. Many of these pieces have survived to our own time, and their color has remained as fresh as any recently completed work.
In the great period of economic instability that followed the decline of the Roman empire, encaustic fell into disuse. Some work, particularly the painting of icons, was carried on as late as the 12th century, but for the most part it became a lost art. The process was cumbersome and painstaking, and the cost of producing it was high. It was replaced by tempera, which was cheaper, faster, and easier to work. In the 18th century the idea of encaustic painting was revived, initially by amateurs as a novelty to rediscover the techniques of the ancient painters. It was further explored in the 19th century, to solve the problem of dampness faced by mural painters in northern climates. The success of these efforts was limited, and encaustic remained an obscure art form.
In the 20th century, the availability of portable electric heating implements and the variety of tools has made encaustic a far less formidable technique. This factor has created a resurgence of encaustic painting, and it is once again taking its place as a major artists' medium. "Its effects, its visual and physical properties, and its range of textural and color possibilities make it eminently suitable for use in several different contemporary styles of painting that are not adequately served by our traditional oil-painting process."

Ralph Mayer, The Artist's Handbook

Learn Encaustic Techniques with these videos: 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Painting with Light

There are tons of different ways you can incorporate this technique. You could make a music video where the band's members have ribbons of light beaming around them. Or you could give your video life by adding light painting to show character movement. Light painting can produce some amazing visual results, and with some preparation it may not be as hard as you think.
Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Stills Camera with manual settings

  • Tripod

  • Dark clothing

  • A light source, preferably a flashlight, LED, glowsticks work pretty well

  • A friend or partner to help (not necessary but guaranteed to increase the number of laughs)

  • A dark environment

  • A fun idea!

 Light Painting Photography can be traced back to the year 1914 when Frank Gilbreth, along with his wife Lillian Moller Gilbreth, used small lights and the open shutter of a camera to track the motion of manufacturing and clerical workers. Man Ray, in his 1935 series "Space Writing," was the first known art photographer to use the technique and Barbara Morgan began making light paintings in 1940.

By moving the light source, the light can be used to selectively illuminate parts of the subject or to "paint" a picture by shining it directly into the camera lens. Light painting requires a slow shutter speed, usually a second or more. Light painting can take on the characteristics of a quick pencil sketch. In 1949 Pablo Picasso was visited by Gjon Mili, a photographer and lighting innovator, who introduced Picasso to his photographs of ice skaters with lights attached to their skates. Immediately Picasso started making images in the air with a small flashlight in a dark room. This series of photos became known as Picasso's "light drawings." Of these photos, the most celebrated and famous is known as "Picasso draws a centaur in the air."

Light painting by moving the camera, also called camera painting, is the antithesis of traditional photography. At night, or in a dark room, the camera can be taken off the tripod and used like a paintbrush. An example is using the night sky as the canvas, the camera as the brush and cityscapes (amongst other light sources) as the palette. Putting energy into moving the camera by stroking lights, making patterns and laying down backgrounds can create abstract artistic images.
Light painting can be done interactively using a webcam. The painted image can already be seen while drawing by using a monitor or projector.

A technique known from light art is to project images on to irregular surfaces (faces, bodies, buildings etc.), in effect "painting" them with light. A photograph or other fixed portrayal of the resulting image is then made.

And other development in this part of the photography is known as LAPP - Light art performance photography, that is described by the project and team of SWISS LAPP. In this photography is the integration of the background and the scenery a very important part.

To demonstrate a bit of live-video-art history during the Painting With Light workshops, we had dancer Ellen McCarthy come along and participants had the chance to experiment with a video camera and projector in a feedback-loop. Psychedelic fun! Music Performed live by Kit Pop and Cordata.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Artist Creates ‘3D Paintings’ with Hammer and Nails

Sculptor Marcus Levine paints large canvases—but instead of working with a brush, he meticulously hammers nails into them to produce detailed studies of the human form.

To attain the tone and texture he needs to represent the human body, Levine hammers nails in at varying heights and distances, all done free-hand and without any tracing.

Levine prefers his unusual medium as he finds the “interplay between the rigid, angular nails and the soft curves of the human torso would be more striking”, he explained on his website.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Painting on Water

This unknown artist seems to be taking the idea of watercolor quite literally. In fact, he's practicing the ancient Turkish art of Ebru, also known as paper marbling. Using water and pigment, he creates a stunning piece of art. Ebru is quite popular in Turkey and designs can be either abstract or figurative.
He can watch his process in the video below: first, he deposits drops of blue color to form the background. Next, he creates multi-colored circles which he manipulates into the recognizable shapes of flowers and leaves. Finally, he transfers the design he has made onto a piece of paper and set it out to dry.


There are several methods for making marbled papers. A shallow tray is filled with water, and various kinds of ink or paint colors are carefully applied to the surface with an ink brush. Various additives or surfactant chemicals are used to help float the colors. A drop of "negative" color made of plain water with the addition of surfactant is used to drive the drop of color into a ring. The process is repeated until the surface of the water is covered with concentric rings.

The floating colors are then carefully manipulated either by blowing on them directly or through a straw, fanning the colors, or carefully using a human hair to stir the colors. In the 19th century, the Kyoto master Tokutaro Yagi developed a method for using a split piece of bamboo to gently stir the colors, resulting in concentric spiral designs. Finally, a sheet of washi paper is carefully laid onto the water surface to capture the floating design. The paper, which is often made of kozo (Paper Mulberry or Broussonetia papyrifera), must be unsized, and strong enough to withstand being immersed in water without tearing.

Another method of marbling more familiar to Europeans and Americans is made on the surface of a viscous mucilage, known as size or sizing in English. This method is commonly referred to as "Turkish" marbling, although ethnic Turkic peoples were not the only practitioners of the art, as Persian Tajiks and people of Indian origin also made these papers. The term "Turkish" was most likely used as a reference to the fact that many Europeans first encountered the art in Istanbul.

Historic forms of marbling used both organic and inorganic pigments mixed with water for colors, and sizes were traditionally made from gum tragacanth (Astragalus spp.), gum karaya, guar gum, fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum), fleabane, linseed, and psyllium. Since the late 19th century, an boiled extract of the carrageenan-rich alga known as Irish moss (Chondrus crispus), has been employed for sizing. Today, many marblers use powdered carrageenan extracted from various seaweeds. Another plant-derived mucilage is made from sodium alginate. In recent years, a synthetic size made from hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, a common ingredient in instant wallpaper paste, is often used as a size for floating acrylic and oil paints.

In the sized-based method, colors made from pigments are mixed with a surfactant such as ox gall. Sometimes, oil or turpentine may be added to a color,to achieve special effects. The colors are then spattered or dropped onto the size, one color after another, until there is a dense pattern of several colors. Straw from the broom corn was used to make a kind of whisk for sprinkling the paint, or horsehair to create a kind of drop-brush. Each successive layer of pigment spreads slightly less than the last, and the colors may require additional surfactant to float and uniformly expand. Once the colors are laid down, various tools and implements such as rakes, combs and styluses are often used in a series of movements to create more intricate designs.

Paper or cloth, is often mordanted beforehand with aluminium sulfate (alum) and gently laid onto the floating colors (although methods such as Turkish ebru and Japanese suminagashi do not require mordanting). The colors are thereby transferred and adhered to the surface of the paper or material. The paper or material is then carefully lifted off the size, and hung up to dry. Some marblers gently drag the paper over a rod to draw off the excess size. If necessary, excess bleeding colors and sizing can be rinsed off, and then the paper or fabric is allowed to dry. After the print is made, any color residues remaining on the size are carefully skimmed off of the surface, in order to clear it before starting a new pattern.
Contemporary marblers employ a variety of modern materials, some in place of or in combination with the more traditional ones. A wide variety of colors are used today in place of the historic pigment colors. Plastic broom straw can be used instead of broom corn, as well as bamboo sticks, plastic pipettes, and eye droppers to drop the colors on the surface of the size. Ox gall is still commonly used as a surfactant for watercolors and gouache, but synthetic surfactants are used in conjunction with acrylic, PVA, and oil-based paints.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Art with Salt by Bashir Sultani

Canada-based self-taught artist Bashir Sultani creates incredible art “drawings” out of ordinary salt (and films his entire process) in his Art with Salt series. He chooses familiar and sometimes topical images from popular culture to create with salt, such as Darth Vader, Nyan Cat, a pro-99% statement on the Occupy movement and many more.

• REAL TIME - 60 min.

My meaning of the images:
1. Freemasonry
2.Puppetter( Original idea by Sarah Kaiser)
3.TV Brainwashing
4.The Value of Life
7.High Taxes
9.Fake Friendship

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mansion of Memory, poems by Helen Losse, reviewed by CL Bledsoe

Mansion of Memory, poems by Helen Losse. Rank Stranger Press, 2012. $11

This is an expanded (by about a third) and reissued chapbook of poems, the proceeds of which will go to the Joplin Bright Futures Tornado Recovery program. As Losse, explains in the preface, the tornado hit her hometown in May, 2011. The ‘mansion of memory’, Losse’s mother’s house, was spared, but a great deal of damage was done to much of Joplin. The poems are set in Joplin, and, in Losse’s words, “showcase a few of the reasons Joplin is worth rebuilding.”

Losse begins with a brief poem, “Before Definition,” which paints a vivid portrait of a young girl bathing, “I love to twirl my wash cloth,//make it slow-dance/across deep, soapy water, content in/the claw-footed tub, my mother singing.” (lines 2-6). Losse’s language is clear and purposeful. The memories she shares are compelling. “At Roaring River” describes a pastoral scene of a trout hatchery, a still pond, “yet there are/ripples beneath lily pads,/and all the better, if one views them/with the kind of eyes that find the genuine/in the mythic” (1-5). Likewise, there is a mythic quality in the genuineness of Losse’s language and scenes, and there are ripples beneath the surface which betray deeper meaning than simple scenes of the natural world.

One of my favorite poems is “The Cabin,” which describes a family vacation cabin. Losse begins with a description of their boat, kept “in the gully/between the Cabin/and the crude outhouse” (1-3). She continues, “Likely the heavy green boat was/worthless, except to us. Someone/stole it, anyhow.” (6-8). Losse explains that her father built it and named it after the kids; “I wonder if the thief loved that boar/as much as we did.” (15-16). It’s a subtle admonishment. She describes Fourth of July firecrackers and childhood memories. She concludes by jumping into the future, after someone has burned the Cabin down. “I wonder why some fool thought/a mere stranger could destroy/the Cabin/by setting it ablaze.” (page 2, 12-15). The poem becomes a portrait of the inhumanities of strangers, and yet, the purity of treasured memories survives. A similar theme is explored in “The Trouble Behind Us Is a House,” which is a lament against humanity encroaching on nature. In section 2, she lays it out, “The house behind us seems too close,” (1). The memories Losse holds remain, though the changes of the present push these memories further and further away from reality.

There’s something immensely appealing about a poet whose name evokes 'Loss'. But her poems are the antithesis of maudlin. Losse has captured a wonderful memory book of growing up in Joplin. There is, of course, horror right outside the door, but the little girl in these poems is mostly unaware. She’s too concerned with the flowers that grow on the railroad track, the beauty of the world, as children should be. Losse’s poems are intimate and accessible, but profound and full of hidden depths. I’ve enjoyed her full-length collections (Seriously Dangerous and Better with Friends) and I’m pleased as punch to have a chance to see this expanded chapbook – which frankly resonates with the life of a full-length collection.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

FOREVER FIFTEEN by Kimberly Steele, Free download available

Lucy Albert is not your ordinary maladjusted suburban adolescent. Born into the era of the Black Plague in medieval Italy, Lucy is chosen as a mate by the sinister vampire Sebastianus against her will. Struggling to survive in a modern world she cannot identify with, Lucy isn't looking for attention.

Welcome to Forever Fifteen, where a lonely girl seeks refuge in a world awash in everyday brutality, a world where only blood and death can sate her hunger. Journey into Lucy's past as you experience the terror of the Black Death and the harsh reality of womanhood in the Middle Ages. Enter Forever Fifteen, the fast-paced thrill ride that is redefining vampire horror.

Get your free download  HERE.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Artwork sought for short film collaboration

 Let's have a party with digital photos!

Below is an example of a Facebook Collaboration that Belinda Subraman made a couple of years ago. She is inviting you to submit up to 3 photos of art, or of a scene you consider "mystical" by your own definition. Deadline August 1,2012. If she uses your work you will get credit in the film. Send to

Monday, July 2, 2012

Tribute to Neil Young by Chuck Joy

Buffalo Springfield, big in ‘67, 1968. Neil Young in Los Angeles. Imagine he’d been all around Canada by then. From Winnipeg. Then Toronto, where they have the Farmer’s Market. I like that about him, Neil Young. The Canada part. I’m not sure how I feel about the Los Angeles.

Yet there we were in New York. New York, New York, borough of the Bronx, a flat on Webster Avenue, behind a red and black Edward Hopper façade. Those were the days. Old Man and Cinnamon Girl. Times were troubled. Some of us entered medical school. Neil Young made a movie, and kept making records. On The Beach. Tonight’s The Night.

I watched the movie in The Kings Court, Pittsburgh, Oakland Pittsburgh, from plush black-and-yellow seats much worse for the wear. I remember dark shapes on the screen, and horses. Years later, in San Francisco, on Haight Street, Amoeba Records, I buy the vinyl Time Fades Away in a cellophane envelope, carried it home on the airplane. I’m listening to it now.

Neil Young’s music has deep roots like a thick tree, down a trail past a small garden or through the mountains, the river valleys, from the colonies, their music, then it meets the blues, making rock, western music, even country. Best place to hear Neil Young on Sirius XM is Outlaw Country. Rocking that sweet spot, often with Crazy Horse. Singer-songwriter, bandleader, colleague, sometimes he seems edgy. Who imagined a world of such success, and grandchildren? Mirror Ball. Chrome Dreams II.

We caught him in Morgantown, West Virginia, the basketball pavilion filled with gunslingers and second-shift nurses, concerned citizens, well-scrubbed Mountaineers, their professors, veterans, unemployed coalminers. Neil Young was either part of or with The Shocking Pinks. Could there have been a more unfortunate period in which to catch Neil Young? An homage to the cultural period just before my own. Maybe Trans, one or two cultural periods later. Meanwhile my little sister gets to see Rust Never Sleeps.

He’s a model for me, Neil Young, creativity through the life cycle. I try poetry and what I call poetry values lyrics including Neil Young’s. Even his handwriting is an inspiration to me, the way he prints, the same way as my dad’s cursive. My wife, her mother, our daughter, her husband, we watched Greendale two floors above Old Harbor Street, South Boston, an ocean beach at the end of Old Harbor Street, the Atlantic Ocean.

Don’t let it bring you down it’s only castles burning. When I was low, turning the big wheels in the tobacco factory. And again, driving west across Interstate 80, on my way to Iowa City, ready to test my chops as best I could. Are You Passionate? You Are Like A Hurricane. Me, I pay attention to Neil Young.
(Neil Young is touring.)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...