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.