Saturday, November 29, 2008

A walk in Central Park with my gameboy camera

Gameboy camera photos from a walk in the park on Thursday. The actual screen is 1.75 inches square. Except for the large koi, these are 200 pixels wide, about 2 inches. The camera has adjustments for brightness and contrast, and will store 30 photos. I import them into my computer by putting the gameboy on my scanner, then I increase the contrast and brightness in Photoshop.

I think these have a lot of potential for use in artist's books. You can see them larger in my flickr gameboy camera set. Of course there is a gameboy camera group on flickr.


Koi, 400 pixels wide.

Reflections in water.

Rose garden.

Portraits do work, sometimes. Anything complicated just doesn't register on these few pixels.

And the Dalai Lama, from a t.v. program. This also shows the entire Gameboy screen.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Book Arts Jam 2008

I did an artist's talk. The audience was nice, lots of questions. I love giving my opinion, I guess that's why I have a blog.

My books on display in the member's exhibit. It was hard to take photos, or I'm not an accomplished photographer. But it's a nice setting.

More of the member's exhibit.

The dramatic book with the prayer flags is by Lark Burkhardt.

The crowd in the member's exhibit. Everytime I tried to take a photo of people admiring the books, they walked quickly out of the shot. I need to get stealthy.

Here's where I'm like your grumpy Aunt Sarah, who complains about everything: Most big hoity toity crafts fairs charge big bucks for a booth. You have no idea if you will make your money back, much less if you will make any profit. And of course the attendees pay at the door, and that's not really cheap. But the Jam is is so reasonable, for both the artists and the attendees. I believe it's $40 for a table. And it's $2 for parking. Period. There is no admission charge. It's a wonderful place to meet other artists, to get ideas, to share what you have learned. The energy and enthusiasm are incredible. There aren't many places where you can start talking to a stranger in the restroom about making an artist's book with random junk attached to the pages. It's wonderful that Foothill College is willing to host us.

My only complaint? I'm a serious introvert, these events exhaust me. And I never get to see it all.

If you want to be on the baba mailing list to be notified of the Jam, go here. Note there is a read-only list that has only official Bay Area Book Artists announcements.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Offering Chant in my dreams

Yesterday morning I woke from my dreams hearing a song I listen to frequently in my studio. It was the Offering Chant on Rain of Blessings by Lama Gyurme and Jean-Philippe Rykiel. I'm sure it's well lodged in my head, along with most of his other music, but am still surprised to find I was dreaming it.

Part of the text from the liner notes: "Offering Chant - Offering is an essential aspect of Buddhism. It leads to the broadening of one's spirit in an ever expanding dimension, whereas keeping things for oneself prevents an opening to the world. . . Generosity extends itself to those in material need or inwardly in pain. It also unfolds itself, as in this chant, . . . the practitioner thinks of himself as offering in spirit all the universes, all the beauties and all the wealth they contain; thus he is able to offer more and more, as he continually opens himself to the dimensions of the infinite."

I wonder what this dream means. Maybe it's an area I should be working on. Maybe it's an idea for a book.

I'm not a Buddhist, I'm not anything related to organized religion. But I have been interested and curious about Buddhism for 20 years. Back then, friends took me to a ceremony of blessing somewhere in the east bay. I was moved by the simplicity and beautiful calmness, but felt like a tourist in someone else's church. Now I meditate irregularly, think about the issues, etc. I also shy away from talking about these things most of the time because it's an internal dialog.

Recently I have been listening to some of Pema Chodron's talks, available on audible. I find her explanation of the Buddhist precepts very easy to understand. There is a good interview with Bill Moyers here.

And on a sort of related note: In you're in the U. S. Please Vote! No matter how this election goes, I will be happier if it is fair and a majority of people express their opinions. Of course if you are on the fence, you can email me, and I'll try to influence you!