Saturday, December 25, 2010

One's Heart On This Merry Little Christmas

As I was signing in, I noticed that my dear friend Celeste Bergin had posted this on her blog:

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas sung by Judy Garland.

So, of course I had to take a look. Strikes the right, if somewhat unwelcome, chord of melancholy this morning.

Feeling just a touch sorry for myself because I missed Christmas Eve with my daughter and her new family due to feeling unwell. The main symptom, aside from fatigue: chest pains.

I've been in denial for about 4 days and, so far, I'm not dead. 

I keep thinking, “I will be better tomorrow," and then I wake up tomorrow with that same fist in my chest. I went so far as to print out a map to my preferred urgent care facility
thinking that if I were still having discomfort today, I would chuck myself in the car and drive there. Turns out, they're closed on Christmas, which makes no kind of sense. If I'm having a heart attack, it's going to have to wait until tomorrow. 

I must not be too sick, If I can be picky about which hospital, right?

Considering Other Matters Of The Heart

I've got someone in my life with a broken one, figuratively speaking, of course. He just lost his love, which he had denied for a number of years, who finally gave up. Followed swiftly by the loss of his mom. 

Having lived through the loss of a mother (and the loss of a love), I know how difficult that is. It's doubly difficult when you have no significant person in your life to walk through it with you. Instead, you are faced with a severely dysfunctional set of siblings who are taking out their grief on each other.

I feel for him this morning, and that's good. At least one aspect of my heart is still functioning properly. The urge is there to run in and attempt a rescue of this long-time friend. I know how painful this is, after all. I also know that this could be the worst thing for both of us. I can not help him and, Lord knows, I have tried. I seem to finally be accepting that there is truth to the adage that “what does not kill us makes us strong”.

Neither would it help me to hop on my white horse and rush in with an armful of comfort. I've learned from painful experience that enmeshing myself in this friend's life only causes a downward spiral for yours truly. 

My own energy | life-force | chi ... my Spirit, if you will, requires careful tending. On an energetic level, I simply cannot afford it. My care and compassion will have to be long-distance, with myself at the top of the list.

So, in considering my heart and another song for this “merry little Christmas”, the first that popped into my head ...

Gonna Harden My Heart by Quarterflash.

Wherever you are, and whatever you do today, may this be a good day. May it be filled with love and compassion, even if it comes from 5° south or north of your particular latitude.

And may you understand the gift of separation and aching hearts. At least you know that you're still alive.

I wish you well and I wish me well, too.

Sweet Wet Apples
© Lora R Fisher, 2010

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Art & Artlessness of Collaboration

Signs that you & your team are collaborating successfully:

You have shared goals.
You validate your teammates’ input and they validate yours.
You are excited by the process, as well as the project.
You laugh together, often.
You welcome hearing your teammates’ contributions.
You listen with openness and curiosity.
You see positive outcomes and happy endings.
You feel respected.
You respect your teammates.
You know that if this particular idea doesn’t work, it’s likely that the next one will.
You do not take the rejection of an idea personally.
You believe in and trust the integrity of your team.
You and your team operate with openness and practice reciprocity.
You know that success grows exponentially.
You know that small successes lead to big success, and you celebrate each.
You know that the success of one reflects on the group and the entire project.
You understand that nothing is perfect, but strive for it as a team, nonetheless.
You give each other the room to make mistakes and make amends.
You look forward to the adventure.

All of the above create more of the same: good vibes, productive process, and success.

On the other hand ...

Small signs that this ‘collaborative project’ might not be working:

You already know how this is going to turn out.
You are not having fun and have no enthusiasm for the project.
You have to force yourself to smile and cooperate.
The sound of another person’s voice causes you to cringe.
You can’t wait for others to shut their yaps so you can open yours.
Your ego is getting a solid workout.
You find your teammates to be utterly boring or stupid, or both.
You anticipate being shot down … again.
You resist contributing.
Your first reaction is to belittle.
You feel diminished on a regular basis.
You’re fairly certain that ‘they’ are out to get you.
You know that the project would be an utter failure if you weren’t there to rescue it.
You know that the best way to get things done is your way.
The most important thing is that you get credit for your brilliant ideas.
Your contributions are regularly sabotaged.
You find yourself dwelling deliciously on thoughts of revenge.
You’re unwilling to confront out of fear of retaliation.
Others take credit for your ideas.
You’re unwilling to stick your neck into the noose..
You believe that there is no hope.
You want to tell them all to ‘stick it’.

There may be more, but this seems a good start. 

My advice: analyze the situation to discern if it is a salvageable and bring the issue up to the group to see if others want to do the work.

Alternately, run for the freedom of the hills.

Holding Back The Inevitable 
©2010 Lora R Fisher

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Progress & The Rules Of The Game

It comes in many forms, from clearing away Thanksgiving clutter to updating web sites. The clutter is mostly cleared and so I am currently working on my 'pro' Facebook pages:


with more yet to accomplish before the day is over.

The plan: to write and post a synopsis of my areas of expertise and the services I provide, and then to send an invitation to my 800+ FB friends to ‘Like’ it. 

And, to ask that they refer me to friends and colleagues when they hear of a need for
 ultra-high quality services in the areas of:
• writing|editing
• marketing|PR programming
• exhibitions|curatorial (assignments or positions)
• gallery consultation & management
• web-site consulting
• art direction

I will happily work in-house or remotely, whichever works best for my clients.

Name of the game: 

Unabashed Self-promotion 
Rules of the game:

and most important:
Avoid Saying Anything You Will Regret Tomorrow.

That last one is nearly impossible. I say things I regret on a regular basis. 
The good news is that most people are fairly forgiving, and the ones who are not are generally kind enough not to say anything. 

To them all, I say Thank You.

So, please refer me to your friends and associates if you hear mutterings about needing a 'creative' do get something produced or to move a project forward ... I
'm your girl.

You can also find me tweeting away on Twitter and offering professional services at flairCreativ

Monday, November 22, 2010

Rethink | Revise | Redefine

I woke up knowing that today was the day to do the procrastinated:
It's time to rethink how I want to present myself to the world, what services I provide to that world, and accessibility to those services.

This, of course, entails mundane tasks such as establishing email accounts and alerting contacts to the new and better Lora R Fisher, as well as redesigning the look of this page. So far, so good. I still have plenty ahead: people to contact; accounts to add, change, and delete. The most important, however, is redefining who I am and what I do, which may take some time.

I'm wondering if I will continue to use this blog as a forum for my photography, my insights and even outrages, or if I should set up an entirely new blog for that purpose. The latter seems wise, but I will hold off on that decision until the nuts & bolts of this initial process are screwed in and tightened.

It's daunting, but I'm certain I will make my way through, with the goal for this day being to have the new framework set up and to alert my 'peeps' to the changes. 

More to come ... .

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanks to those who have left comments ...

Having trouble posting my responses to the kind comments I discovered this afternoon so I will post here.

Thanks to Susan, Krislyn, and Helen. I've been preoccupied and have not checked in recently. So nice to see you here.

Helen, I do use Picassa and you're right. There's a tricky link that you have to select and insert in the post in order to make your images become a slide show. Let me know if you can't find it and I will do my best to get the information to you.

I will be using it again soon with my latest images from the coast. Hoping I can find the link once again.

Again, thanks for checking in.

Bon voyáge ... !

Backyard Tangle
©2010 LR Fisher

Friday, November 19, 2010

If Thoughts Are Things

Staying connected with friends and family; developing professional networks and building one's reputation; Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and ever-present email; computer viruses, Trojan horses, scams, and the industry built around protecting us from on-line threats: aspects of life that most of us manage daily, and which change moment to moment.

Some say that this complex platform of interconnected networks is a leap forward in human cultural and social development. Others decry our ever-increasing dependence on what is, at it's root, an artificial construct that at any moment can fail us. One good solar flair and good-bye Shanghai business deal.

The truth, as usual, is in neither of the polarities.

I appreciate the accessibility to information and speed of communications that we enjoy and find myself mightily amused by the humanity expressed in off-hand and profound ways. I'm also stunned, at times, by the chutzpah, crassness, and irascibility that frequently presents itself in this realm. The line between, as well as the definition of, good taste vs. bad is very slender, changes constantly, and is easily broken by a careless remark.

Thankfully, I've managed to surf without falling into shark-infested seas, so far. Or if I have, I've managed to get out in a hurry and with my skin intact.

Often we do not consider that we are, in essence, self-publishers with access to a forum that can be heady, self-absorbing, and fragile, and which has the power to elevate as well as destroy. It is the perfect narcissist's tool. Forever projecting onto any and all who will listen. I have found myself thankful for the 'block' option a time or two when my personal boundaries of acceptable internet decorum have been breached.

What works for one, will not for another, so I give everyone the room to either create a small heaven or dive into Internet Hell, often of their own making.

My concern is for those not fully formed; the young ones without the wisdom or guidance to fend off assaults to their fragile egos, and who are often victims of circumstance, cliques, and pure meanness. I'm grateful to those who work to protect them: the teachers, parents, social workers, and law-enforcement officials who have dedicated a good portion of their lives to being on the side of the vulnerable.

If one subscribes to the belief, substantiated by science, that "thoughts are things" and, as such, have mass and polarity, then I suggest that we all practice random thoughts, as well as acts, of kindness. Even this essay has the power to effect the layered conversation upon which most of us seem to thrive.

Simply stated: Let's use it for the good.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Where Better ?

Where Better To Post My Resumé Than Here?
Now that I'm again a free-agent, having the opportunity to refresh my resumé reminds me of what I have accomplished and how much I have to offer. Not a bad thing.

Exhibitions Coordinator | Marketing Director, Print Arts Northwest, September, 2009 – November, 2010 17677 NW Springville Road, Portland, Oregon 97229
Program development, project management, and community outreach to regional businesses and galleries securing off-site exhibitions for Print Arts Northwest. Coordinated nine off-site exhibitions. Concept development and exhibition scheduling for Print Arts Northwest All-Member Show: 30 Years of Printmaking 1981 – 2011.
Marketing Director: Coordinated marketing and promotions for all exhibitions and events; developed on-line presence reaching a broad spectrum of the community to build support and awareness of PAN as an educational and professional artists’ organization.
Co-chair, Development Committee: “MonothonPDX-2010” Fundraiser & Celebration. Developed structure with committee for 3-day marathon printmaking event, exhibition, and reception; coordinated marketing and public relations; event photographer. Developed and coordinated marketing programs utilizing social media and on-line identity. Design, produce, and write copy for presentation materials; write and distribute media releases and promotional materials; art direction and copy editing for advertising.
Director, Kingstad Gallery, July, 2007 - June, 2009, 15450 SW Millikan Way, Beaverton, Oregon 97006
Developed and implemented concept for a fine arts gallery featuring emerging regional and national artists. Exhibits averaged 140 works of art in 5000 square feet of exhibit space, with the full range of art media. An arts center component, featuring classes, workshops, and performing arts, was developed in collaboration with CEO in 2008. Coordinated all gallery events, developed exhibit themes, conducted calls for art, juried submissions, coordinated installations, invited featured guest artists, and directed awards programming.
Master of Ceremonies at gallery events, receptions, and awards; coordinated all events with CEO, Concierge, and staff. Directed marketing, promotions, and budget; managed communications and web site content; coordinated with media providing information on exhibits and exhibitors. Directed installations; managed volunteer staff; coordinated with Facilities Manager to ensure lighting, installation, and technical quality for all events and exhibits.
Marketing Coordinator, Computer Stores Northwest, September, 2006 - March, 2007
6077 Lakeview Boulevard, Suite A, Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035
Marketing Coordinator for seven retail sites and various divisions within company: concept development, art direction, and scheduling; writing and editing advertising and promotional copy. Coordinated with vendors to purchase print and production services. Distributed support materials to store managers; supervised merchandising design; coordinated installation of graphics and collateral in retail outlets.
Supervised graphics department; coordinated with division managers and CEO to develop presentation materials for seminars and events. Responsibilities included frequent travel to store sites throughout the Pacific Northwest providing support and oversight of merchandising and collateral materials.
Designed, provided production oversight, and implemented installation of a successful merchandising display solution for all seven retail sites. Developed concept for proposed remodel of flagship store; coordinated with architects, solicited bids, researched materials, and made recommendations to CEO.
Gallery Director | Marketing & Public Relations Coordinator, March, 2000 – July, 2006
Red Eagle Gallery, 1034 SW Taylor Street, Portland, Oregon 97205
Managed a fine art and craft gallery; directed the presentation and display of paintings, sculptures, and fiber arts; communicated background of artists, materials, and cultural context of artwork. Communicated product information to clients, including acquisition, origination, media, and techniques. Edited artist biographies and wrote visual analyses of artwork; occasional oral presentations and photo art direction. Negotiated and recorded sales, coordinated mailings, and tracked inventory; coordinated receptions and special events; managed client database and provided professional client services to diverse clientele. Supervised and mentored new hires.
Developed and coordinated an integrated marketing program: liaison with media services. Wrote and edited advertising copy; coordinated web site development and content. Implemented all gallery public relations and promotional campaigns; generated press releases announcing events and receptions. Developed, coordinated, and art directed advertising; coordinated with local media representatives. Developed gallery newsletter; managed all aspects of newsletter design and production, including writing and editing copy and distribution via post and electronic media. Designed and distributed presentation materials to businesses and professional organizations. Gallery representative and collaborator in a district-wide marketing campaign with retail, arts, and design businesses.
Marylhurst University, Marylhurst, Oregon, B.A., Fine Art, June, 2002  University of Oregon Continuation Center, Publications Design Certificate, Portland, Oregon, 1992 - 93
Additional ExperienceJuror, City of Tualatin, ArtSplash, 2009|Jury Committee, City of Beaverton, Mural Project, 2009Jury Committee, City of Beaverton, Permanent Collection, 2008LRF Fine Art Consulting, 2007 - 10Guest Curator, Portland City Art, Olympic Mills Commerce Center Gallery, Portland, OregonLRF Design: Graphic design and marketing consulting services, 1994 - 2000
Web Sites

Monday, October 11, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Monday, September 20, 2010

End Of The Storm At Neahkahnie

These photos are from Manzanita Beach, Oregon, and were made in 2009 at the end of a squall, as the sun was taking back the sky. 
The cloud formations were spectacular. The sand, icy and reflective. Visual paradise.
It's tempting to go back into the original files and process them again, a year later. Curious about the visual representation of drama. Does more drama = more compelling photographs? 
I'm certain that the adage, "all things in moderation" applies. However, there are times when being immoderate reaps huge rewards. 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Images From The Pacific Northwest

I'm having a wonderful time experimenting with a variety of digital finishes. 

My Current faves are a multiprocess finish that was in vogue in the the 60s. (Must be some lurking memory drawing me to the vivid coloration and high contrast.) My other finish preferences are "platinum" and "infrared". There is also an excellent black and white film option, which gives me the best midtones and brings out a lot of detail.

For now, and for the most part, I'm displaying two versions of each print. With time, I will undoubtedly settle into a solid preference. To be able to experiment and 'play', and only have myself to please at the moment, is a real luxury.

People | Faces | Figures | Places

I will continue to add to this study of humans ... endlessly fascinating, are we.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Real & Imagined 'Loretta's'

If you've ever wondered, the following is an incomplete list of the Loretta's in the world. It could have gone on for forever.

Asteroids ...
1939 Loretta (1974 UC) is a main-belt asteroid discovered October 17, 1974 by C. Kowal, Palomar Observatory

Songs ...
Get Back, Loretta, Paul McCartney

Cities ...
Loretta, unincorporated community in Draper, Wisconsin

Bands ...
Get Back Loretta, funk-rock ensemble from San Diego

Fictional Loretta's...
Loretta, one of those Left Behind, by Tim LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
Loretta, on Sesame Street, played by Camille Bonora
Loretta Black, Curb Your Enthusiasm
Loretta Castorini, Cher's character in Moonstruck
Loretta deLarava, antagonist in Expiration Date, by Tim Powers
Loretta Frost, wife of Byron Frost and foster mother to Marvel Comics' Madame Masque
Loretta Geargrinder, love interest of Fender in animated film Robots
Loretta Jones, fictional character from the British soap opera Hollyoaks.
Loretta 'Lana' Maguire, gang member in Foxfire: Confessions Of A Girl Gang, Joyce Carol Oates
Loretta Lockhorn, character in the syndicated cartoon The Lockhorns
Loretta Quagmire, character in the season-four episode of The Cleveland–Loretta Quagmire, Family Guy
Loretta Spiegel, owner of Loretta's Beauty Parlor in Cabot Cove, Murder She Wrote
Loretta The Cat in Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
Loretta Tortelli, played by Jean Kasem, Cheers
Loretta West, money-grubbing character in New Zealand TV series, Outrageous Fortune, played by Antonia Prebble

Real Loretta's ...
Hildegarde Loretta Sell, vaudeville singer; Revlon named 'Hildegarde' lipstick after her
Loretta Clawson, Mayor, Boone, North Carolina
Loretta de Braose, Countess of Leicester, (c. 1185-c. 1266)
Loretta DeVine, American film & stage actress (recurring role in Grey's Anatomy); winner of Outstanding Supporting Actress, NAACP Image Award
Loretta Huber, World Series of Poker champion, 1988
Loretta Hui-Shan Yang, performing artist in the Taiwan cinema
Loretta Kelsey, as of 2009, one remaining fluent speaker of Eastern Pomo language
Loretta Long, played Susan Robinson, Sesame Street
Loretta 'Lora' R Fisher, yours truly
Loretta Lux, German fine art photographer
Loretta Lynn, award-winning American Country-Western singer|songwriter
Loretta Nall, founder of the United States Marijuana Party
Loretta Napoleoni, Italian economist, author, journalist, political analyst
Loretta Perfectus Walsh, first American active-duty Navy woman
Loretta Purdy Spencer, former mayor of Huntsville, Alabama
Loretta Sanchez, current representative of the 47th District, California (Dem.)
Loretta Schrijver, NYC talk show host
Loretta Schwartz-Nobel, journalist, writer, advocate for disadvantaged families
Loretta Scott Crew, rumored to have invented 'S'mores' in 1927
Loretta Swit, Major 'Hot Lips' Houlihan, M.A.S.H.
Loretta Tofani, Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist
Loretta Ucelli, Assistant to the President & Director of White House Communications, Clinton Administration
Loretta Young, Academy Award winning film & tv actress from the 1930s -90s.

Then there is this rather odd Loretta ...
Mark David Loretta, former Major League Baseball infielder

And, just so you know ...
Yes, I am among them.