Sunday, November 27, 2011

Invitation To Follow flairCreativ

Dear Friends,

I have transferred my blog to This Creative Life on flairCreativ.blogspot and I'm inviting you to join me there.

My most recent post Life Swept Me Up is a reminiscence from my childhood and commentary on the need for children to have free time to explore and create.

You will also find thoughts and opinion on our world and the effects of the economy on the arts and artists: Why I Support The 99%. On occasion, I even venture into the spiritual implications of our times, as in Something Quite Out Of The Ordinary.

I highlight artists that I'm following and representing. The most recent, The Thriving Artist, is a brief biography of Portland artist Sam Roloff and thoughts on what it means to thrive in the face of challenges.

In The Accident, I shared a story of what it was like to grow up in rural and small-town Oregon and how even a small victory can push a child into a life-long career.

So, even though this blog is cozy, flairCreativ is cozy, too.

In additon to my blog, you'll find marketing tips and opportunities, information on services, pages that showcase Lora Fisher Photography and Gardens With Flair, as well as services to creatives from people and organizations that I trust, such as Art Marketing Association.

I hope you will accept this invitation to join my new blog and that you’ll find it jam-packed with useful information, along with my unique perspective.

I appreciate your support and wish you all great success!

Thanks so much,

flairCreativ | Facebook
flairCreativ | Twitter
flairCreativ | Blogspot

Monday, July 18, 2011

Photography is like exercise ... how?

Photography — like exercise — is the first thing to go missing when I allow the busy-ness of my life to take over. 

Writing that sentence brings to mind a recurring dream in which an infant or child is neglected to the point of starvation. Fortunately, in each version of the dream, I find the child just in time to save its life.

These dreams appear when a core part of myself is being shoved aside: my creativity.

Haven't had the dream in a while, but I recognize—by the nagging sense of neglect that I feel when it comes to my photography—that it's lurking somewhere in my subconscious, waiting for the right moment to appear.

Staving off the dream, I suspect, is the fact that I'm currently being encouraged to consider effective new ways to 'monetize my life' through my creativity.
 Sian Lindemann's 5X5 is a group of dynamic women who, through weekly conferences and assignments, are exploring what gifts we bring to the world, and how to bring these gifts forward with integrity. We have been asked to consider how we can turn our creative passions into financiallly sustaining lifestyles, working from our core values.

I can be the best ________ in the world, but unless I actively develop and promote whatever might be filling that blank, it will remain in the realm of 'hobby' and will not pay the bills.
It's time to pay the bills with my creativity. It's what I've been encouraging my clients to do, so it makes sense to do the same for myself.

One of the members of the 5X5 group, Pamela Rice, recently posted a blog entry in which she suggested that we look at our passions—what truly motivates us—and then to develop a step-by-step plan for bringing that passion into the world. Her simple words spoke directly to my heart and to my core belief that Art Can Change The World.
That's a bold statement, I know, but it's worth considering how many lives have been saved by art: the young, the disenfranchised, those in emotional pain, those without a sense of purpose or community, all can be literally 'saved' by the arts.

Consider also the power of those who, at the top of their creative careers, have influenced politics, raised money for causes such as eliminating famine and promoting healthcare, human rights, safe drinking water, and the environment. Consider the array of jobs and the benefit to regional economies that are created because of the arts. I can easily name a dozen off the top of my head.

The arts bring people together and allow for the development of specific skills, as well as expertise in the art of collaboration. Collaborative creative projects galvanize people into communities, allowing those who wouldn't normally seek each other out to find commonality and a shared purpose.

It's my belief that this power to influence life for the good comes from each person embracing and developing their creative passions and from living with integrity. Walking my talk will give me the opportunity to inflluence and hopefully inspire those around me to follow their passions, too.

I now have three primary focuses. The first: Communications Director for Clear Cut Love. The second:
flairCreativ. The third, is to give my personal vision and creative drive free-reign and to share that vision.

My plan for implementing this goal is to utilize Social Media platforms, including ANIMOTO, through my blogs and YouTube. These will be supported by developing a sales site for Lora Fisher Photography via Fine Art America within the next 14 days.
I am stoked! I also suspect that the recurring dream I mentioned will have no need to rear its head during my hours of rest, as long as I move forward with passion and purpose and allow my creativity to have its rightful and prominent place in my life.

LoraFisherPhotography via animoto; clip 1: digital sampling

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Good News !

There’s a new development in Oregon.

It’s name ... Clear Cut Love.

Clear Cut Love is the title of Tanner Givnan’s latest screenplay, a story about loggers, environmentalists, a handsome and conflicted prep-school polished journalist, a stunningly brilliant and stunningly gorgeous tree-sitter, and the Tillamook people who live and work in Oregon’s Tillamook State Forest. It’s filled with hilarious plot-twists, double entendres, a grand scenic backdrop, and an environmental message that is both urgent and timeless.

Tanner and Team are working diligently and with passion to bring this story to life. This is an independent feature film that will be produced in Oregon, using Oregon talent in both the preproduction and crew, as well as utilizing regional acting talent. In addition to using regional actors wherever possible, we’ve received nearly 4,000 submissions from actors across the country! Several names will be familiar to you when the time comes to make the casting announcement.

Clear Cut Love has a Facebook page, of course, and thanks to the great response we received from our “1 Like = 1 Tree Planted” campaign, garnered over 100 Likes within its first week of existence. Record time for a word-of-mouth ... make that word-of-key ... promotion! We’re well on our way to 200 and should hit that soon.
We would love to have at least 200 Likes before launching our fundraising program with IndieGoGo.

Originally we were planning to use Kickstarter to raise seed-money, but soon realized that IndieGoGo is more in alignment with our goals: it promotes independently produced projects and is recognized internationally. Since we will be releasing in Europe as well as North America, it makes sense to capitalize on name recognition early in the game.

Please take a moment and visit Clear Cut Love on Facebook and add your *Like* to help keep the momentum building! Every single click lends credibility and will help help us to launch a smashingly successful IndiGoGo campaign. Not only will investors see a standout film project presented with professionalism and style, they will also see that we ‘get’ the profound impact that Social Media has when developing presence and personality and for building a fan-base.

Thanks to those who have already expressed their support and enthusiasm for Clear Cut Love. And, to our newest fans and followers: thanks to you, too. This is going to be a fun ride!

For more information, please check out

You can also follow #CCL on Twitter !

Lora R Fisher, Communications Director | Producer
Clear Cut Love ... life in the forest will never be the same

For more information on yours truly, please visit flairCreativ on Facebook

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Art & Its Suppression

This has been making the rounds recently:
"Andres Serrano’s ‘Piss Christ’ Destroyed in Avignon, France"

I recall the controversy when “Immersion Piss Christ” was first exhibited back in 1987, and discussions of it when I was working on my degree.

It is generally offensive to anyone who grew up in a culture that has reverence for Christian traditions, once the viewer understands the media used in creating this photographic image.

Viewed from another perspective, it's beautiful. Ghostly and shrouded in jewel-like amber, it resembles a heavily lacquered antique icon that might be discovered in an out-of-the-way tchotchke shop. For lovers of iconography, this would be a find, indeed. And, according to Serrano, it was created with reverence.

Among the many who might be offended by works such as this, there are those who feel justified in destroying an artist's work, especially when it comes to subject matter that is perceived as sacreligious. 

They, in the glory of their righteous indignation, are missing a finely-made point, which is:

The purity of the original message of this particular prophet has been polluted by ritual, idolatry, and myth-making in a highly successful effort to gain and hold power over those who believe. And, secondly, to gain control over the thoughts and behaviors of these same believers.

If the intention of the vandals was to stifle creative expression, then based on the amount of attention this act has engendered, I would have to conclude that the opposite effect has been attained. More views, more thought, and more discussion on freedom of artistic expression, religious and cultural tolerance, and the possibility that an image is just an image, with only the value that we human beings give to it. (Photo by BORIS HORVAT/AFP/Getty Images)

Destruction of art as a subject that can be approached from a number of directions, and begs the questions: What is art and who decides? Followed byIs destruction of art ever justified? (After it's been decided that it is art, of course.)

I am remembering Diego Rivera's monumental labor-themed mural in Rockefeller Center that was destroyed in 1933. It held within it a portrait of Lenin and was labled “propaganda", to which Rivera shouted, “All art is propaganda!” *
* The Encyclopedia of Censorship, J. Green, Facts on File, pg. 254

I'm also reminded of the Taliban's destruction of the giant stone Buddhas in Afghanistan some years back. Different scale and disturbing on many levels, but primarily as cultural and historical losses, and as a cause for reflection on religious extremism and its consequences.

With some irony, this brings to mind the destruction of Saddam Hussein's arrogant and grossly over-sized (to my way of thinking) statue in Iraq. Was that justifiable destruction? Or, is it essentially the same as destroying the Buddhas?

Finally, I consider Ai Weiwei, dissident Chinese artist and internationally renowned architect, who was arrested when boarding an airplane in an attempt to leave Beijing.

He and his supporters, and others like Weiwei that the Chinese government perceive as threats to its control, have been arrested or detained. This appears to be a crack-down in an effort to suppress the rumors of a ‘Jasmine Revolution’, modeled after the uprisings in northern Africa.

Story of Ai Weiwei's arrest here:
Ai Weiwei arrest: Lawyer and designer disappear
A protester urges residents to sign their names to support release of detained artist and activist Ai Weiwei in Hong Kong on April 8. AP photo published in Mail & Guardian online

We live in a time when we can know in an instant what's happening on the other side of the planet. Let's hope, and even pray, that the future will bring more freedom and tolerance and less suppression and intimidation. It would be a lot easier on all of us if totalitarian regimes would just give it up.

Suppression does not work for long and has built within it, its opposite: the urge toward freedom. This drive, whether political or artistic, is universal and roars through civilization in response to oppression. I want to hear a roar for Ai Weiwei and people like him. And, I want to hear a roar in support of artistic expression.

Whether we like it or not doesn't matter
. What does matter is an artist's right to create what is in his or her heart and mind.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Something Quite Out Of The Ordinary

Lora R Fisher Friday, March 18, 2011 

Each year is marked with four high points and four median points in the calendar. Winter Solstice signals the turning of the 6-month cycle preceding it when the effects of the sun are waning, and the beginning on the new cycle of increasing sunlight and warmth. In the Northern Hemisphere, at least.

If science and anciet wisdom are correct, these cycles are part of larger cycles, so vast as to be barely discernible by human reckoning, although a few cultures seem to have had the capability of seeing outside the generational cycles of humans. 

These have struck significant chords throughout the story of humankind and which resonate in Archaeology through symbols, writings, and architecture in every culture through the ages; from the Sumerian, Persian, Egyptian, Greek, Celtic, and Mesomerican: Olmec, Maya, Aztec, Mixtec and Zapotec; as well as the First Nations Peoples of North America, notably, the Hopi; to Taoism, the Vedas, and Zoroastrianism. 

And, we are all familiar with Stonehenge (‘hinge’, as in ‘gate’), the pyramids around the world, and the Medicine Wheel. What these cultures have in common, aside from their common humanity, is a foundational belief in cycles and the interconnectedness of all life, including the planets in our solar system and beyond. 

Springing from this awareness of planetary cycles, came celebration and ritual, most notably on the four cardinal seasons of the year, but also mid-cycle celebrations, giving us Groundhog Day (Imbolc), May Day (Beltane), August Eve (Harvest Festival of Lughnasadh or Lammas), and Hallowe'en (Samhain). As we all know by now, these high days of the year were usurped or borrowed by the Christian tradition, helping to make conversion to the new religion less distateful to the locals.

According to a number of calendars and cosmic precepts from a variety of religions, there will be an energy burst from the center of the galaxy coming our way, which, when it reaches Earth, will ‘reset’ Earth's systems.
A Fresh Start
Opening The Gate
The Launch
Particle Physics posits that this is a profound, multi-dimensional reality in which we reside, and The One Constant of this reality being repetition of pattern.

What happens once, happens again ... slightly altered.


Right around 1998, I experienced a moment of profound sadness for us as a species, which coincided with Pakistan’s detonation of an atomic bomb. The feeling in my gut and heart in that moment was that we had turned a corner, without the option to reverse direction.

I was also, at this time, connecting deeply with my Native American heritage and was experiencing a profound connection to Earth and her cycles. This was also around the same time that Hopi Elder Thomas Banyacya, came forward once again to warn the dominant culture that it was on a path that would culminate in species destruction at the end of our current age, The Fourth World. 

Now, if it was just one wise man from a tradition I feel an affinity for ... we might be skeptical. But, with multiple traditions pointing to this moment in our species' history, it's not so easy to dismiss. The Vedas, Zoroastrianism, Judeo, Christian, in addition to the Maya and the Hopi, point to this time as, at the very least, a time of adjustment.

According to the Maya, we are at the end-point of a 5,125-year cycle culminating in the Galactic Alignment, when the center of our solar system is in alignment with the center of our galaxy. Whether one ascribes to a belief in the influence of cycles upon our lives, or not, this is noteworthy, even if it’s only to acknowledge a cycle that dwarfs our mere 100-year life-spans.

To my way of thinking, it is beneficial to pay our respects and to be reminded that our species is not nearly as important as we tend to give credit.

Cycles come and go. Civilizations rise and fall. The secret is to see it as a gift and an opportunity to be a part of creating a new cycle for humankind.

If it is too late to save the current world, at least we can celebrate the new.

Forest Light, Silver Falls, Oregon
©2010 LoraRFisher

Sunday, February 20, 2011

10 Ways (Make that 11) To Have A Happy Birthday

1) Sleep til noon

2) Brew fresh organic coffee with organic cream

3) Birthday cake with coffee for breakfast

4) Open Facebook

5) Read Happy Birthday wishes from friends, associates, and cohorts

6) Write "Thank You" 60 different times|60 different ways

7) Feel grateful

8) Organize your studio

9) Answer phone calls from beloved family members

10) Plant a tree

11) Smile the live-long day

Clematis, Hummingbird View
Fuchsia Abstraction 

Canna Deny It
All images ©2010 Lora R Fisher | flairCreativ


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Separate, But Equally Convoluted

Facebook Has A Unique Capacity For Making Things Complicated.

Having just wrangled with Facebook's circuitous and often questionable 'Help', I've managed to import this blog onto my Consulting|Business Services page: FLAIRCreativ.

This makes me somewhat happy.

The caveat: since everything I post here will now show up there, I no longer feel quite so free in simply gabbing about my internal reality, even though it may be inextricably linked to my professional reality.

To complicate matters further, I also have an under-utilized professional services blog: flairCreativ.blogspot.comwhich I use as a reference point, with contact information and for directing people to various sites. I've also begun an 'Artists To Watch' page on this site, which will feature artists that I either represent or admire greatly.

Top on my list is Michael Orwick. He's been a highlight in the Pacific Northwest regional arts scene for some time and is gaining ground on the national map, as well.

I'm currently developing publicity for his big spring exhibition where his work will be featured at three Willamette Valley wineries, plus a show at Art Elements Gallery in Newberg, Oregon.

I'm honored to be working with Michael. Not only is he one of the least pretentious people I've ever known, his work is brilliant and moving, and reflects his spiritual connection with the natural world. Michael also works in the realm of the 'fantastic' when the spirit moves him, with works that appeal to children and the child-within-the-adult.

His work is featured on Facebook: Michael Orwick Arts 
and on his site Michael Orwick 
with updates and interactions with his followers on Twitter

Golden Vines
Michael Orwick
30 x 40"

So now, I'm wondering: Will Facebook allow me to feature two blogs? 
That may be pushing my luck.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

... On A Very Dark Brew

Woke up much earlier than my normal later-than-most hour, this morning. It's unheard of, most days, to be padding around before 9:00 a.m.

No matter what the time, my routine demands coffee. Taking note that I'm down to my last dollop of Trader Joe's soy creamer (the only one worth drinking), I brew a deep, strong, and mighty 12 ounces. That first sip is a pleasure of our contemporary life, with a long and romantic history. Tracing it back is a worthy exercise in Sunday morning appreciation.

Personal brewing styles aside, this cup came to me through the efforts of a large number of faceless strangers. From TJ's shelf-stockers to the truckers, growers, roasters, and packagers dependent upon international shipping regulations, organic certification, and a community of growers around the world. The simple act of enjoying your morning java is as complex as anything you can imagine: country of origin, growing practices, growers' co-ops, organic certification. There are also clean water and electricity to consider. See what I mean?

So, thanks everyone. I am now wide awake and grateful.

Here's an excerpt from an earlier meditation on the subject:

August 30, 2010

The Culture Of Coffee: A Short History

An Ethiopian goatherd is credited with the discovery of coffee's stimulant effects, thanks to an especially frisky goat that piqued his curiosity. Romantic and unverifiable, the story is befitting of a subject steeped in mythos. The truth is: coffee drinking had to start somewhere, and since all of civilization begins in Africa, it seems right that coffee drinking should have begun there, too.

The development of European coffeehouses as gathering places for people of all classes is credited with being the source of the French Enlightenment, as well as the French and American Revolutions. No longer drinking themselves into stupors from nonstop consumption of fermented grains and fruits, the only safe liquids to drink in those particular good old days, they needed something to do with their excess mental energies.

Not to be overlooked in this short treatise on coffee are the coffee-loving Italians, who gave us espresso and coffee houses in Greenwich Village and San Francisco's North Beach, which spawned the still-influential Beat Generation. This revolution in thought moved up the western flank of the U.S. to Portland and Seattle, seats of the Pacific Northwest's counterculture of the 60s.

Our contemporary reputation for great coffee and avid coffee drinkers is well known. Portland, as many may remember, had a thriving coffeehouse, folk music, and visual arts scene in the 50s and 60s. Too young for most of it, I recall longing to be part of it as an adolescent and have vivid recollections of its effects on American culture: folk music, Zen meditation, Jazz, obscure free-form poetry, Abstract Expressionism, and funky jug bands. (Does anyone remember The Holy Model Rounders?)

Today, aside from the staunchly independent purveyors of caffeine and culture that Portland is home to, we're stuck with the non-culture of a certain nameless coffee chain on nearly every corner. Pity.

These somewhat rare, independent roasters are the antidote to the numbing conformity that is served in every steaming paper cup. No matter where or how you get your morning jolt, a moment of reflection and a touch of gratitude will sweeten the bitter and addictive brew.

Not Coffee ...

Viburnum Berries ©2010 Lora R Fisher | flairCreativ

 Yew Glow ©2010 Lora R Fisher | flairCreativ

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

New Photo Series: Master Drummer Kerfala Fana Bangoura

Last Friday night's opening of the African Film Festival at Portland's Hollywood Theater is something I wish everyone in Portland could have seen.

Mounafanyi, Kerfala 'Fana' Bangoura's percussion and dance ensemble rocked the house.

I was invited to photograph the event, having seen, heard, and photographed Fana at last summer's Hawthorne Street Fair.

It was a stellar performance and a stellar experience for me as a photographer. I burned it up ... photographing as fast as my 8 mp Canon PowerShot S5 would allow. What a champ camera this has turned out to be.

Here are a few selections. For the complete series, please see my Facebook Album
Kerfala Fana Bangoura, February 8, 2011

For information on prints, please email me.
All photos ©LoraRFisher | flairCreativ

For more information on Fana and Mounafanyi, visit Fana's web site.

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Woman's Work Is Never Done.

Branding (and Rebranding) Makes The World Go 'Round

Reflecting on the process of 'branding' as I update the look of this blog and my professional site: flairCreativ. Hand-in-hand with developing a new public face is the required updating of followers and friends, alerting them to be on the look-out for my new avatar, name, blog, etc.

It's the dilemma of the designer: what works in one season, no longer works 3-4 months later as aesthetics and culture evolve. I admit to wanting to be 'ahead of the curve', at the same time that I understand the illusory nature of that particular goal.

I find myself with a strong preference for the dramatic, vivid colors of pumped up digital images, these days, rather than the cool, Japanese aesthetic that lead my subtle charge in years past. 

There are moments when I regret my ne'er-do-well history, even though I was doing well enough: raising a daughter, learning the intricacies of graphic design back in the day of paste-up and hand-lettering, as well as finally completing a degree in Fine Art. 

All the while having a camera close at hand. (Bless the camera.) 

The feedback I've gotten over the past few years validates my vision. The truth is that no-one sees the world in exactly the same way. And some of us see more clearly than others, from vast landscapes to minute lichens creating a landscape-in-miniature.

It's time to take my photography to the next level. 
The next step: securing a web site to market my catalog of images.

Fine Art America, a
 site configured specifically for art sales that recently came my way, offers low pricing, handles creating prints per order, and even shipping, for a percentage of sales. Looks like a deal to me and a good way to get started as a professional creator of images. 

I just may be staring in the face of my Retirement Plan.

A few images ... 


Blue Pool  
Blue Pool Edge Five
Blue Pool Reflections 
All images ©2010 Lora R Fisher

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Are We Ever (Really) Done?

It occurred to me recently that my last post was almost a month ago and, if anyone is wondering, I'm still here. It was a scary week in December. When I figured out that the experience of intense discomfort in my chest, back, and left arm was from bursitis, and not from a failing heart, I felt much better.

That said, the next topic, relating to the title, has to do with the ongoing process of presenting myself to the webiverse. Has that term been coined, already? Likely. Little is truly original these days. The plaint of most creative people in a postmodern world: "It's all been done before."

How liberating that thought is, really. It frees us up to do whatever we damn-well please, without the fear of accusatory voices. For those who accuse: It's all been said, already, so go create something.

So, a new look and purpose to this blog takes shape. I will use this forum to vent, reflect, and post new developments in my life. Mostly personal stuff, with references to professional developments, occasionally, but clarifying the boundaries and keeping this primarily for me, my photography, and daily angst, triumphs, challenges. Hoping for a lot of triumphs, frankly. Squeaking by financially ... makes me want lots and lots of chocolate.

I will endeavor now, to make this a regular habit, since I've liberated myself from having to be 'professional'. I have lots of other arenas for that, believe me.

Ok. Ok. I'll list them now and get it out of my system. Really. Such a habit. Always feeling the need to promote myself. I apologize ahead of the fact.

Twitter Pro: LRFisherCreativ
Twitter Fun: LoraRFisher
and then there's my professional blog with contact info: LR Fisher Creative Consultant

Am I done, yet?

Must be time for some photos ... 
Blue Pool, Santiam River, Oregon
All photos ©2010 Lora R Fisher

  All photos ©2010 Lora RiFisher