Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Young Photographer

My friend's son has a friend who is a photographer.

Jennifer has a website with some pages under construction, but what is there is worth the visit. Look at her seasons. Then go to “series & projects” and try “How are you feeling?”

She writes story captions to enhance her pictures. Take a look.

Her current exhibit is at Tisch School of the Arts in NYC.

technorati tags:

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dancing and Women's Hearts

Twice as many women as men die within a year of a heart attack. We women need to improve our fitness.

But working to be fit doesn’t have to be tedious and boring. There is no rule that says it can’t be fun.

The National Day of Dancing for Heart Health is designed to help women have fun while becoming fit. The Day of Dance sponsored by the Spirit of Women network is an event of dance and educational activities February 25 held across the country. The Dallas event will be held at Methodist Health System.

The Spirit of Women was created to educate women and inspire us to work for better health. The network is comprised of corporations, media, and hospitals.

Join the movement, receive a spirit lapel pin, and register to win a trip to Nashville. Start dancing and get healthy.

technorati tags: ,

Monday, February 20, 2006

Fashion, Photography, and Richard Avedon

Last night I was watching the Style Channel and saw some snippets of Richard Avedon. That made me remember . . .

I was a young girl in the late fifties when I was first exposed to fashion, or at least the idea of fashion. At that time my understanding of fashion came from Doris Day movies which often included a fashion show scene or Loretta Young’s TV show where she made dramatic, flowing entrances in the most glamorous gowns. I probably thought I might grow up to be cute and perky like Miss Day, or elegant like Miss Young.

But I really became interested and even excited when I saw some Richard Avedon photographs.

I didn’t do much about it except try to select nice clothes, but then I went to college. My major was Advertising and that required a concentration – less than a major but more than a minor. My concentration was fashion design. My major was Advertising, so I was interested in presenting the styles, through sketches or maybe, just maybe -- photography. I took classes in Advertising, in fashion, and in photography. I adopted Richard Avedon as my mentor (in absentia, of course, since he didn’t know me.)

So that’s my experience with Richard Avedon. He and Irving Penn were credited with revolutionizing fashion photography through their work with Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue.

Although fashion made him famous, his preferred subject was portraiture. He took series of celebrity shots as diverse as Marilyn Monroe, the Chicago 7 on trial, and top politicians during a presidential campaign. He also liked the common man photographed in their own environments. For a sample of photos including fashion and simple Americans, click on Gallery.

Richard Avedon died at 91 while on a photo shoot for The New Yorker. Ninety-one, still working, still doing a good job.

Today’s fashion shoots are focused on the bottom line, on putting the outfits on display for sale. Most pictures sell the dress instead of the feeling of the fashion. I could be wrong, maybe there is a new dynamic photographer I haven't seen. I miss Richard Avedon’s style.

technorati tags: , ,

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Dancing and Life

Today I read a blog that talked about being self-conscious when dancing. Many people are. Before I started living in a chair, dancing was important to me. I had heard we should dance as if no one is watching. Good advice.

Look around the dance floor. Most people ARE self-conscious and dance, not only like someone is watching, but like they are being graded. Relax. This is fun. Unless you are a professional performer, in a class, or in a contest, no one is grading you. If someone does give you a bad grade, call me and I'll tell them to stop it.

Dancing is art, and you, with the music as your guide, are the artist. However, if YOU are the one grading yourself, maybe you should take lessons until you have confidence enough to dance as if no one is watching – no one important, that is.

"Life is the art of drawing without an eraser."
John Gardner

Dance like you don’t need an eraser.

"Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly."
St. Francis De Sales

If you are not an excellent dancer, allow yourself to be the best non-excellent dancer you can be. Life is your dance. Relax and enjoy it.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Computer Illiterate

As an artist, I tried to stay away from computers. They seemed foreign to the freedom of being creative. I have since learned that a computer is not a binary or digital threat to self-expression and individualism. Instead it is a tool that allows me to explore, to play, to write when I cannot even hold a pen in my hand.

In 1978 I was working for First National Bank in Dallas. My boyfriend had a friend with a new job as the Human Resources Director of a small computer company. Tom wanted to make a good impression and asked me to go in for an interview. I had an hour to spare, so I said okay.

I had a 9:00 interview with Marie for an unknown position. I left at 2:30 hoping for an offer. It was Marie who introduced me to the idea that a computer is actually a tool to make our life tasks easier.

Marie was a unique interviewer, smart, creative, funny, and articulate as she told the company's story and hopeful and enthusiastic as she talked about her plans. I didn't even realize lunch had passed without me. Her interviewing skills transferred into a very good manager.

She taught me a lot and let me learn a lot, about how to use a computer, how to work with people, how to be a good manager, how to treat a client. I admire and appreciate Marie. We should all be so lucky to have a Marie in our work history.

I worked for that company over 20 years before retiring with a disability. I tested computer programs, trained and supported hotel systems, led design teams in reservations, liaised between techies and regular people, and other assorted tasks, so by now I am a computer expert. Right?

Well, not exactly. I use the computer as a tool. I am no longer an active artist, but I still have a mental block when it comes to making the computer work. I never did like DOS and welcomed Windows as an operating system (Macintosh had a good idea!), but some of it still sounds like gibberish to me. I guess that makes me a computer illiterate.

But still, don't try to take my computer away. It's a great tool and a fun toy and I like it.

technorati tags: ,

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Censorship and Cartoons

Everybody has an opinion. I guess I do, too.

I think we need to be wary of extremes as well as censorship. George Bernard Shaw said, “Assassination is the extreme form of censorship.” Threats are pretty extreme, too.

John Leo, U.S. News and World Report columnist, discusses the Muslim cartoon controversy, warning about “the danger of censorship through fear.” The United States must keep the press free.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Featuring Christina

Christina left a comment on the post about Isaac, but it was really a greeting from a fellow MSer. I visited her sites and highlighted them in my MS site Down the MS Path.

Isaac is Back

I am pleased Isaac Mizrahi has a new talk show on the Style channel. I have missed him since his original show stopped playing on the Oxygen channel. He is a bit outrageous, but I find him charming and fun.

Isaac is open and playful with his guests. He thinks all women are beautiful. As a designer he has a refreshing philosophy -- if you like it, wear it. The show, Isaac, filmed in his Manhattan studio, has a small audience and a very intimate feeling. He gives fashion tips in response to audience questions.

Welcome back to TV, Isaac.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

MS Does Not Discriminate

In 1994 when Robert Burgin was diagnosed with MS, he thought his career dreams were over. However, he bought a car and became licensed in Super Stock racing. Today, he takes Avonex and is still active as a drag racer, consistently ranking well in NHRA Southeast Division II.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

New MS Blog

I sometimes write posts about MS and disabilities and I thought a blog focusing specifically around MS might be a good project for me.

It will consist of my personal experiences, personal anecdotes of others, links to MS sites, news and articles about MS breakthroughs, new treatments, and other MS-related topics. I am writing an E-book on cooking from a wheelchair, and another about wheelchair fashion, and this new blog will be a good testing ground for certain sections. It will also be a good venue for tips and questions/answers about everyday life as an MSer.

There are so many good health sites and articles available on the web. This is my collection, and if anyone else wants to participate or contribute, it will be our site. Down the MS Path is on the sidebar.