Sunday, December 13, 2009

Walking on Tryon

This is a sketch of uptown Charlotte inspired very recently by a particularly great outing to Chima, a Brazilian Steakhouse in the heart of uptown. With a group of seven in place to celebrate a coming of age birthday, we braved the cold - yes cold - Charlotte December weather, and plenty of teenage enthusiasm for eating large quantities of meat.

After spending the equivalent monies on Guarana as we might have on a fine bottle of wine, tasting every meat offering, salmon, swordfish, filet mignon, all cuts of steak, ribs, pork, chicken, some wrapped in bacon, and an intense salad bar, and the tiramisu birthday cake finale, we took a rather quick walk (remember the cold) up Tryon taking in the activity.

So this is a memory of the energy, the happiness, and of being on the edge of having every door wide open, in full light, straight ahead.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Finally! Covered Bridge from Carolina Touch

Well this one has taken forever to finish. Must be the time of year or something, but I have so many things in progress and just cannot seem to finish any of them. This painting belongs to the Carolina Touch trio along with Master Potter and Potters Wheel. It completes the series as they all are from the Seagrove / Ashboro area of NC. A beautiful area with a rich history of artists and for the appreciative, just amazing scenery.

Inspiration is in the serenity and the beauty of the area. The bridge, the last time I visited it, was marred by spray paint, in large unimaginative swirls, likely done by the same sort of people that randomly message on the walls of public restrooms. The historic society that is responsible for the care of the bridge, challenged by limited funds, doubtless allowed the markings to remain longer than they would like.

Even with the low-brow graffiti, the bridge was stalwart in it's reflection of a long history and it's overarching visual remained untainted.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Press release for '140 Hours of Fame'

This is the press release for the first ever international Twitter art auction '140 Hours of Fame'. My entry is Whimsy Sunrise, a magical and colorful depiction of the fleeting nature of a moment in time.

21 June 2009

For Immediate Release

Contact: Gary Brant, Director

Galerie St. George

Tel: 513-ART-SHOW


Galerie St. George Announces

“140 Hours of Fame®” Online Art Auction

Galerie St. George today announced its “140 Hours of Fame®”, a unique online art auction designed to introduce emerging artists to a global marketplace. The auction will begin on 5 November 2009 at 12:01 p.m. EST and last 140 hours, through 11 November 2009 at 8:01 p.m. EST.

The 140-hour auction will take place entirely on the World Wide Web. The gallery has designed an auction system allowing TWITTER® users worldwide to enter their bids online.

Gary Brant, Director, explained, “With the huge popularity of TWITTER®, we wanted to reach out directly to this group of highly sophisticated users. This event will give our participating artists an opportunity to be seen by art buyers and collectors alerted to the event through the power of social networking.”

The event is free for all artists worldwide. Early reports indicate that the auction will be a popular venue for emerging artists, as well as art collectors and patrons globally.

The “140 Hours of Fame®” rules and artist agreement may be downloaded free of charge from Galerie St. George’s website at:

Collectors/Bidders must register by simply following @140hours on Twitter, a process that takes five seconds and can be accomplished before or during the auction.

Founded in July 2008, Galerie St. George is a cooperative artist’s gallery based in Staten Island, New York. The gallery operates a sprawling facility with two main galleries, a video theatre and a sculpture garden.

For further information about “140 Hours of Fame®”, kindly contact:

Gary Brant, Director & Host

140 Hours of Fame – New York

Tel: 513-ART-SHOW – Fax: 917-591-3183



Saturday, October 17, 2009


Finished a new work, called Facets. This is different -- I'm almost not sure how it wound up on the 'page'. As I think about all of my art and photography, I realize that it is an extension of my holistic memory - so not just visual memory, but all senses, emotions, and thoughts.

As I was working on Facets, I was thinking of my kids, growing up, the possibility, their blank pages ahead. To capture the innocence and the desire, the good and the touch of evil, the flight from childhood into maturity, invincibility and fear, the chaos and the calm -- the awake-ness, the alive-ness, and the ability to see things others don't.

The absolute magic of being 17!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Full Circle

The only real question is where did the circle start?

I got my first camera when I was 11 years old and at that age had a fairly thick portfolio of pencil-sketched portraits. I had a 'good eye', and without knowing much of anything technically about composition, etc., my snapshots looked a lot better than my mother's or any of her friends pictures.

I remember the thrill of going to pick up the processed prints, after waiting a full week for them to be developed and printed. Standing in the store looking at the prints, too impatient to go back out to the car.

I continued to be passionate about photography and art throughout high school, taking the requisite art classes, and always doing well in these. It was never a consideration or even a thought that I would pursue this beyond what it was - a hobby - 'because you can't make money being an artist'. My dad really wanted a doctor in the family and he lobbied pretty hard for that. In the end, I decided on a degree set more aligned to engineering.

I began working in photography while in college. I worked for two newspapers and did wedding photography. I loved the newspaper work. It was creative and the lines were often blurry. I covered police blotter type stuff, accidents, arrests, and I covered the interest articles, like featherweight boxing champion in town for training, or the state fair, or local high school holding a Plymouth Rock re-enactment. I was paid by the photo printed in the paper -- not how many photos I took -- and I had no editorial input. So what I learned - in order to maximize my income - was that I had to make several shots for the same event be so compelling and different enough that the editor would want to print them all.

As for the wedding photography business, I had a lot of customers, but made no money at it. In the old days of film I over shot and over proofed every wedding, because I was so paranoid about messing up something that could not be re-captured. All hail the digital revolution!

I took art classes and photography classes all through college and I rarely went anywhere without my camera in tow. I entered photo competitions, at the local and state level, won a few and placed in many, and I continued working at the newspapers until I graduated.

Then I got a 'real job'.

Now to condense a period of time, so as not to bore anyone... real job, moved away, still took photos, camera always nearby, not as much time for drawing...had kids, took even more photos, mostly of the kids, did a bit of drawing, but still working at 'real job', still in love with photography, invest in awesome digital camera, buy Photoshop and a Wacom, no time to fully learn either, dabble in Photoshop, brightness, constrast, curves, then learned layers, textures, and still working really hard at real job... fast forward to June 1, 2009...became essentially unemployed, and then...

I focused on what I love to do - painting and photography. As an added bonus, I have been able to establish a presence for my work online and walk that avenue of connection with other people, and share with them. So what was a less than positive event (being released) turned out to be the catalyst for an idyllic summer, and the start of something that I will not allow to be forgotten or turned off, even as I start back to my 'real job' next week.

BTW - the takeaway from this post shouldn't be one of regret for not pursuing a different career path. Because I don't. I am immensely lucky in that I have the opportunity to do things I love at least some of the time and I have a 'real' job that allows me to be creative, albeit in different ways, every day.

The picture above is the first photo I ever took - classic, right?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pensive - The Burying Ground

These photos were shot at the Rural Hill Burying Ground in Huntersville, NC. The burying ground is the family cemetery for the Davidson family and dates back to the early 1800's. The grounds are beautiful and look differently seasonally and by the various stages of light in a day. It is situated on farmland that is bordered by wooded areas, but the treeline is far enough away that their shadows do not come into play.

The height of some of the stones, and the carefully manicured trees within the grounds, and the scattering of marble, granite and stone walls, and wrought iron fencing, provide the shadow interest.

I have photographed this site many times over the past few years. Each time with very different outcomes, and currently have a painting in progress, of the main gate viewing into the grounds which will simply be called, The Burying Ground.

Rural Hill can evoke a feeling of creepiness sometimes, especially when the sun is low on the horizon, but more often the experience is a feeling of peace and serenity, and introspection.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

It's Not Just Art -- It's Personal

These two paintings were done by the Amazing Tori! at age 5 and are referenced below.

I am super-excited about the fact that I purchased some art from Chicago artist MartinJon. I rarely purchase art as it takes me awhile to develop a 'relationship' with a painting or an item that I would like to see hanging on the walls, or adorning a table, in my view day after day. It struck me as I purchased my three new watercolors, that liking the work is only a part of the story for me.

I did a quick inventory of all of the different pieces I have purchased over the past five years or so, and I came to a realization that each piece has a story to tell, beyond just 'I liked it so I bought it.' Here are a few examples:

My daughter has created works that are prominently featured on our walls ('The Old Woman', and 'The Frog' pictured above). They are beautiful works, and if I never told you that a small child had done them you would not know. These are personal for obvious reasons. One of my stories, an art dealer friend of a friend visited our house. Upon seeing 'The Frog' she wanted to know the origin and was stunned to find out that it was created by a child. She wanted to take the painting and feature / sell it in her gallery and was confident that she would get a great price for it. As you can see, we turned down her offer.

I have several pottery pieces from the Seagrove area of North Carolina. We have spent many hours touring this beautiful stretch of North Carolina where the clay is uniquely abundant and colorful to have encouraged hundreds of pottery artists to live, work and show here. Ben Owen is one of the more globally famous of the potters. I have collected a few of his works over the years. On our first visit, Ben was working in his studio; no one else was around, and he was wonderful about showing us how he worked - he talked about the clay and the process. He gave the kids lumps of wet clay to mold and play with. He personalized his work for us in a way that encouraged me to want to have and hold my own.

We have a limited edition print featuring the now demolished 'Duck Inn' in Virgina Beach. The artist was a local to the area and we spent a significant amount of time socializing at the Duck Inn. This is personalized by our knowledge of the artist and more so the place itself.

So after completing my inventory of everything non-functional, that is in my home to bring beauty or inspiration or visual impact, there were only three that had no meaning to me, other than they broke up the wall space on which they hung -- and I could easily replace them with something else -- and probably will at some point.

As for my most recent purchases, I haven't seen them 'in person' yet. I have seen their images on the internet - so I 'like' them. But why these paintings? Why would I purchase these? It turns out that I have developed a 'relationship' of sorts with MartinJon. I follow him on Twitter and read his blog. But that is enough to have a blink on him, that I find him interesting; interesting enough to look at his work, and interesting enough to buy it -- because as it will hang on my wall, I will have a story, beyond 'I liked it so I bought it.'

If you'd like to see the MartinJon works I've purchased, here are the links:
Quiet Moments

Magnolia Crossroads

Dream Caster

Ghost Girl

I took this picture when I was in high school. It marked my first 'success' in fine art photography, as this picture was the winner of a multi-county photography competition. It was entitled 'Ghost Girl' for the exhibition, although I've always privately referred to it as Lori's Ghost Picture. Lori being my sister who graciously and patiently modeled for me.

My camera at that time was a Minolta XG1, and this was taken with a normal 50mm lens, on a tripod with a bulb exposure. Lori aka ghost girl, was in the frame for the first half of the picture and then the lens was covered with black posterboard and she was out of the picture for the remaining time - creating the ghost effect.

The setting for my picture was my grandmother's house. Her 'good' living room to be precise, where mere mortals rarely set foot. The room was beautiful, filled with antiques that had once been new from my grandmother's point of view. I closed the thick blinds to darken the room, to accommodate my long exposure and the only lighting was from a 15W bulb in an antique lamp positioned next to the settee.

Lori was dressed in what I believe was her most recent Easter dress. The light colored multiple layers of lace and fabric spilled over the settee with 'just right' contrast.

I took 12 shots of this picture, varying the exposure time, the time in and out of the shot, and the aperture, to ensure that I would have a workable shot. Then off to the darkroom.

Conceptually, the picture is a showcase for my personal love of contrast. Black and white, old and young, darkness and light, and death and life. It captures the moment of transition.

Even with the slight light burn in the original, this picture is still among my favorites, and still hangs in my home.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Stained Glass-Kiss

The concept behind the Stained Glass collection is relationships and the perfection and imperfection that exists in all of the complex variations. The two words chosen to name this series can evoke images or feelings of beauty or taint, depending on your experiences and interpretation. The idea behind Stained Glass was to take a look through into relationships, affected by circumstance, time, age, experience, innocence, public bias, or just fleeting desire.

Kiss is a depiction of a moment of love, desire, shyness, and romance, between two young men. I find images where the touch is subtle, or the intimacy cannot be denied even if it has nothing to do with physicality, to be profoundly erotic. Kiss is capturing where the kiss begins. The hands reached out to draw the other closer, and the lips making that first connection.

Kiss is also a technical departure. Most of my other paintings held more closely the photographs that inspired them. Kiss is sketched in heavy pencil and then painted - with all intention being to maintain the hurried sketch of a scene, as though the moment needed to be captured and there was no other way.

For a better look at this image, you can see it at

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

WorldwideMoment 2009

I've been tweeting and talking up this fantastic effort for the past several weeks. The WorldwideMoment for peace occurred on 9/8/09 at 8:09p EST. Despite all of these many weeks of thinking about it and talking about it, I lacked the grand idea for my picture!

In the end, I wound up working late, eating dinner quickly, mindful of the clock, and then listening to the kids talk about their serious lack of cereal and the extreme need for a trip to the grocery store -- at about 7:35p. It quickly became apparent that I would not have the amazing concept shot I had hoped for.

My kids are great and they, along with my husband, designed our shot in the grocery store cereal aisle.

Upon reflection, my kids all knew about the effort, and were happy to have participated. My 'extra' kids also knew about it as did their families. What I am happiest about is that they all understood the concept, that 'kids all over the world eat different kinds of cereal'.

Check out the site at
@WorldwideMoment on Twitter
#worldwidemoment for topics on Twitter on Facebook

Monday, September 7, 2009

Dreaming Fade

I've been spending some time working on two paintings, Whimsy Parade and Dreaming Fade. Dreaming Fade is the effort that came together quickly. Meanwhile Parade is taking a different turn and may wind up being renamed. Stay tuned for that outcome!

Often times I begin with a concept for a painting, and then develop what the painting should look like to align to the concept. Fade is one of those. The concept is transition. As I've found myself knee-deep in a lot of transition and potential transition, the concept is personal, emotional, and relevant.

Beginning on June 1, 2009, as I was transitioned from the bank's platform, the butterfly wings fluttered and so began the cascade of all of the additional life events began to take form. From where I sit now, relocation is a strong possibility, as opportunities are arising in faraway places. So we face a substantial relocation, uprooting from our dearest friends, our 'extra' children, the paths we drive everyday and the places we know well, and further away from family. Away from our schools, parking garages - where the attendants wave daily, the nature preserve where Ling likes to walk, and the wonderful Thai restaurant where the owner knows our names and which specials we like to order.

All of that went into Fade. It is the fading of a moment, a day, the light, a time, an idea, friends, life, and the wistful longing for just a bit more of what was.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Dreaming The Beginning Of It All

Dreaming the Beginning of It All is DONE! This has been a tough one to execute. I started and re-started this painting at least 7 times over the past three months. It has turned out to be far more abstract than I originally thought it would, so here's the outline from concept to why it gets to stay in the 'Dreaming' series.

When I first started it, I had a concept for it. The concept was driven by an original photo that I had taken in the Caribbean. The photo was taken from underwater shot up towards the sky.

My idea for the painting was to be able to view a stellar event, a natural fireworks show, like the Northern Lights, or a meteor shower imbued with every color of the rainbow, and have this stellar event wind it's way into the ocean waters, so you could see the drops of water themselves dancing with life and potential.

The paintings in 'Dreaming' capture profound moments from a particular perspective. Usually a person and nature. In this case, the water itself has perspective and the experience and emotion of the natural event fall within it.

Technically, this painting is different than the others in the series thus far. One example is that for most of the painting a much smaller un-textured brush was used. This gives a higher level of detail at a point level, which made sense as the colors are the light and the action.

This final version of The Beginning of It All, has a warmer tone to it. Using a concentration of earth tones across the top. In prior iterations, I tried a cooler more sea-like palette, but liked the feel of this one the best.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Artist Statement

Since the early 1980s, photography has been my primary artistic medium. My early application of photojournalism techniques evolved to fine art photography over time and along the way, a great passion for the shot itself extended to passion for the technical aspects that occur in the darkroom. In the last few years, my creative evolution has followed a natural path into the digital darkroom and to actual digital creation.

My current work is about combining photorealistic elements with impressionistic or surreal settings via a digital paint palette. ‘Sky-scapes’ tend to be a pre-dominant influence for me right now. I spend a lot of time regarding the skies and drawing their patterns, their energy, and many of the colorful cadences that are found there. The simple swirls that are evident in both the Whimsy and Dreaming Series, provide a way to capture and convey the time, space, and emotion of a moment that is sometimes metaphorical – as in Dreaming Storm, as a young girl is an onlooker to a coming storm – depicting the turbulence and longing of youth on the pinnacle of adulthood.

I usually work on a few works concurrently, which is particularly helpful when I get lost on one and need some time to think about.

The two specific bodies of work that I am working on concurrently:
"Dreaming – The Beginning of It All"- is a work intended to portray the beginning of something; the beginning of all time, the beginning of a new stage of life, the beginning of a new job, etc. I began the Dreaming Series in 2008. The Series sets out to capture profound moments. As I began the series I sketched out the portfolio as I envisioned it conceptually – what did I want to convey? What moments in time? There are currently two completed paintings in this series, Storm, and Walk in the Woods.

"Whimsy - Parade" - is a work intended to show change over time and both the complexity and simplicity of relationships. The Whimsy Series was also started in late 2008. This Series applies emotion and interest to, from, or around an inanimate object. The first painting in this series was ‘Trees Take Flight’ a ‘whimsical’ take on aspiration, as trees decide to leave their roots and in a swirl of passion and excitement, become meteoric observers of the planets below them.

My works often try to convey hope and aspiration. I am a tremendous fan of positive change and have a sense that each moment is an opportunity or a jumping off point for something wonderful.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

140 Hours of Fame

Its been a very busy summer - and thus the summer has seemingly flown by. I cannot believe that the kids will be going back to school next week! Also, being busy and traveling a lot, there has been no blogging and very little progress made on 'The Beginning Of It All'. In point of fact, I have just restarted said painting for the sixth time. My execution is just not living up to my vision of what this should look like. Strange that it should be so difficult - the most difficult one for me so far - and I know what it should look like...

I will have a painting in the 140 Hours of Fame auction by the Galerie St. George. This will be a unique online, real-time, global art auction. is the official website which won't be active until October.

I've selected Whimsy-Sunrise for this event. Gary Brant, @garybrant, is the owner of the Galerie St. George. I found Gary (or he found me) via Twitter. If you are on Twitter, follow Gary! This fantastic event is his brainchild and should be a wonderful experience.

In case I haven't mentioned this before - I love Twitter! I am still a relative newbie to Twitter but appreciate the ease in finding artists in other locales and being able to see their works, read their blogs and share communications with them. And yes, guilty pleasure for sure, but I do enjoy the tweeting repartee of @neilhimself and @amandapalmer also.

Will post more on '140 hours' and on the progress of 'Beginning' soon! Comments always appreciated!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Painting - Underwater

I've been working on a new painting called Dreaming - The Beginning of It All... While I've had a specific vision around what it should look like, the painting itself seems to have a path of it's own. Underwater is one of these alternate paths. It bears no resemblance to what 'Beginning' will ultimately look like, but it turned up during the process.

I like it for many reasons; it reminds me of the Caribbean, one of my favorite places in the whole wide world; it also evokes struggle and challenge, which there always seems to be some of that, and yet at the same time, a calm and peace.

I will continue to work on 'Dreaming' but maybe there are metaphysical forces guiding the process...

As always, let me know what you think!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My Fred Jones II Day

Not sure if I wanted to write this down or not... so thought I would start and then decide afterwards...

Today I cleaned out my office. For those of you that don't know me, I had a day job (art being a passion and not a career for me). My day job was in risk management for the corporate & investment banking division of Wachovia. If you follow the banking sector at all, you know that Wells Fargo acquired Wachovia, which put me on the subordinated side of the deal and it thus far has not worked out the way I had hoped.

Career-wise, my time with Wachovia has been my most satisfying. I have enjoyed being at work - such that often it didn't even seem like work. I've enjoyed the people I've worked with - sharp people that cared about the firm and our customers - definitely not the evil bankers that are now the target of such media mire.

So today was a sad day - actually all the days since last fall have been touched with sadness, for many of us - but for me, today was especially sad. I cleaned out my office, which is an admission of the inevitable, that I am left to consider the next step for my career in financial services - and I suppose, to consider if it should even be in financial services.

Today is my Fred Jones day (a Ben Folds reference). I feel like I am deliberately drifting away, quietly and without any fanfare - we've all said the things that we needed to. My colleagues, my teammates, and those I've worked closely with. I am no longer a decision-maker, a goto leader, and my phone doesn't ring off the hook daily. I no longer get 300+ emails a day. But I did my job and the work has been neatly packaged and handed over to the acquirers who will be the stewards going forward.

So as I un-pack my boxes, and think about my time spent - and a lot of time was spent - I could think only of Ben Folds song Fred Jones II... and now, I'll smile, think about the possibilities, and move on...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dreaming A Walk in the Woods

Dreaming A Walk in the Woods, was inspired by a walk through Latta Plantation on a cold winter morning. My son was walking our dog and as I watched them from behind it was as though all else fell away.

The silence, the crispness of the air, the brilliant morning light danced through the darkness of the forest practically enveloping them and me. It all swirled together for a few magic moments, where nothing else existed but the next step forward, and the swirl of color around us.

This painting is a part of the Dreaming series, so it combines the photo-realism as I depict the boy, the dog, and the details of the trees, leaves and moss. The impressionism is the swirl. In this painting it is all around the boy and dog, speaking to the effect and emotion of the moment.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

FLASH Site Creation aka War and Peace

This post is a bit overdue, particularly given all of my griping about Flash... To recap, I originally put the site up as a basic html site with a couple of flash components to accomodate my gallery needs. I knew this iteration was just the first, as I really wanted to have a cool Flash site with some bouncy menus and flipping pages and sound effects.

Problem #1 - I know nothing about about Flash.

I also did not want to spend a ton of time re-inventing the wheel, so I figured I could leverage the fine coding work of others and achieve my objective. I researched many components; menus, page flippers, galleries, etc. and selected (and paid for) a suite of these that I liked. And I purchased Adobe's FLASH CS4 product.

Problem #2 - Failure to communicate.

Given the diversity of the component base I had a multi-tiered failure to communicate. There are (apparently) issues between things coded for FLASH CS3 versus CS4 and there are more apparent differences between projects developed under AS3 and AS2. In other words, not a good plan for cross or backward compatibility.

Problem #3 - Still optimistic that this should all work together.

Still being optimistic (or phrased another way - lazy - as I did not want to code a FLASH project from scratch), I was certain there must be a way to get these components to work together. My site design isn't overly complicated!?

Problem #4 - Forums while often helpful - sometimes are not.

Everyplace I asked my question about communication between AS3 movies and AS2 movies answered the question as though it were sooo simple. Just use the LoadMovie or LoadMovieClip command and et voila... WRONG! The fundamental communication challenges were still there and some components, that were designed to load other movies, were xenophobic, refusing to load a clip unless it was just right...

Three months later... I found a compromise solution that enabled me to get v2 up and running. Here is the summary:

1. My Flash project is under FLASH CS4, and is an AS3 project.
2. Used the JumpEye component to establish a communication bridge between AS2 clip and AS3 clip - here is the link - it is free -

Still never got the page flipper to work. The component I purchased had a conflict with the CS4-AS3 version and the company still has not put out a fix. So that is next on the dev list for the site... For now, though, I am taking a FLASH coding break!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

ReadySetBlink! Online Art Store

I've created a new online store presence for ReadySetBlink! via ImageKind. Click on the banner below to check out the ReadySetBlink! artist site!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Whimsy Series - Ocean and Trees Take Flight

Pictured are Whimsy - Ocean and Whimsy - Trees Take Flight; my latest paintings.

First, Whimsy - Ocean, this one was inspired by our first night on the sailboat in the BVI. The spectacular sunsets highlighting every shade of pink to red, purple to black, and fabulous blues. The clouds acting as showcase for the colors painted by the sun and sky. The depth on the horizon to the skytop varied in dramatic effect, creating a complexity and ordered randomness.

Whimsy - Trees Take Flight; this is the second take on this painting. The first one, was more muted, and multi-stroked included paint daubs. This version is brighter, showing the sky from twilight to night and capturing the escapism of the rooted trees into the starry night sky. The fantastical happens as the trees become their own 'worlds' incorporating bits of sky colors along with their own browns and greens.

Let me know what you think!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Spicy Asian Dip / Sauce Creation

We were planning to get together with friends (last evening) who had just started on the South Beach Diet. Being in week 1 they were all about protein and not about carbs. I myself have been on a high protein vegetarian diet for about a month now, so could certainly empathize with the desire to keep the protein way up... My good friend Rachel was planning to bring shrimp cocktail, and would then 'limit' the dips into the traditional cocktail sauce as it is a bit high in sugar.

I decided to create an equally tasty dip for the shrimp, which would provide a bit of a protein boost. So here is the creation - by the way, all measurements are approximated as I tend to mix things up to taste.

Spicy Asian Dip / Sauce


3 oz. tofu (I used Nasoya Extra Firm as that is what I had on hand)
1 jalapeno (in this case grown fresh in my garden!!!)
3 tbsp. Forbidden City Smoky Five Nut Steak Sauce (Asian flavored steak sauce available in most grocery stores)
3 tbsp. Sriracha (Asian hot sauce found in International aisle in most grocery stores)
1 tbsp. Sesame Oil
Scant 1/4 c Soy Sauce (Used this to get to the desired consistency)

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until well mixed and mostly smooth.

This dip is great for veggies, crackers, shrimp and as a topping for other seafood (we had it over the grilled salmon as well!)

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dreaming Series - Storm

The first of the Dreaming Series. Interesting as I am not really done with the Whimsy Series yet, but no matter... this one is done!

A bit different as some of the elements are painted in a more photo-realistic way, and the overall style is stronger - stronger brush strokes, thicker 'paint' daubs.

My daughter is the inspiration behind this one. First with dreaming, then with the calmer, billowy side and an accented storm coming. That is what being 16 seems to be all about!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Death of Capitalism…

Is occurring much more quickly than I ever would have thought. Uninformed voter anger toward a single group (Wall Street) has been stirred up by the current administration and used as an excuse to dismantle the remaining shreds of competitive advantage and creativity in America.

Do the masses not understand that ‘safety and soundness’ is a ploy to garner support for the de facto nationalization of our financial services institutions?

Should financial institutions have compensation models that outline personal performance rewards for employees based on consideration of risk in equal measure as short-term profits? Of course. Should regulatory authorities be able to outline this objective as guidance? Absolutely. But do we believe that the government is best positioned to step into the workings of a private company and be prescriptive about how to accomplish these goals? This doesn’t feel right under a capitalistic structure.

It is a step toward the demise of capitalism when the government can decide how much an American can make in a particular field. This is a blow against talent attraction. Will the best and brightest want to be in financial services anymore?

And after banking, who’s next? The medical industry is already on the run over the threat of socialized medicine. How will this affect the talent pool of future doctors? If only a small percentage of the population has a particular talent, shouldn’t those people be compensated accordingly? Capitalism rewards scarcity, socialism rewards mediocrity.

And as we strangle the golden goose, let’s wrap ourselves in the warm blanket of isolationism while we’re at it. Punitive international tax laws may bring in a few extra dollars in tax revenue, but will destroy the appetite companies have for outsourcing, off-shoring, or conducting business internationally. It will only be a matter of time before other countries respond in kind, driving a stake through the heart of any meaningful recovery.

Smart people have lots of options and the intelligence to know when they’re not wanted. Driving talent out of critical professions and industries through arbitrary government intervention is profoundly shortsighted and tragically devoid of common sense.


Monday, May 4, 2009

Whimsy Series - Sunset

Finished the Sunset painting last night and then thought about it all day before posting it. This was a lot of fun to paint. My approach was to paint by subtraction. So my colors were all done through masked layers on top of each other.

The barn was taken from an original photo of an old historical "barn" (more like a shed really), taken here in the Charlotte area. It too, was painted through subtraction.

The entire painting was intended to look brushed over to give it a lost in the energy, color and swirl, of the moment of the sunrise.

Other techniques used in this piece were textures; both as a base (marble) and as an over texture layer (concrete). Textured brushes were also used.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Let the Tea Parties Continue

Synchronized Tax Day Tea Parties were an excellent idea. While not always precisely in agreement around what they are protesting, the Tea Parties have a consistent central theme - Be afraid of BIG government - BE VERY AFRAID - and the corollary is be afraid of BIG BIG government spending (because it results in [what] BIG government).

Starting with President Bush's $168 billion economic stimulus, through the 2008 housing bailout, TARP I, TARP II, President Obama's trillion-dollar stimulus package, the auto bailout, etc. The Congressional Budget office estimates the president's budget (assuming he stays in power for 8 years) will add more than $10 trillion to the total federal debt by 2019 - approximately as much total debt as was outstanding at the beginning of 2007.

It feels like we need a revolution to unwind this mess. A total repudiation of the system, a truly blank piece of paper and a nod to Occam's Razor, would be helpful.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

New Painting Posted

Just published my new painting in the ReadySetBlink Gallery, under Digital Art - called Whimsy. This painting took about 4 hours to do using Photoshop and the Wacom (I love, love, love Photoshop). It was cool to create the dark blue sky starry background and to layer on the colors as the trees took to the sky.

It's effect (at least for me) is to be ethereal and (per the name) whimsical.

Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Technology: Friend or Foe

So I've spent a fair amount of time trying to get a website up and running from scratch. This has been the total learning experience. I am an html beginner (actually less than a beginner) so every step has been profound. I've learned a lot about flash, photoshop, html, xml, and now blogger... in order to get to the point where I am even close to publishing the site.

I found myself sucked into the glamour parts of the website creation - specifically the things I like to do. Page design in Photoshop is great fun. I now have three different and fully functional sites as each time I finished I felt like there was something better... a repeating theme I suppose, the grass is always greener.

This post is actually more of a test to see how well the ftp publishing process works via Blogger...

Stay tuned...