Sunday, February 28, 2010

Art and Chita Rivera

Saw Chita Rivera tonight in her one woman show, backed by a fabulous band including her trio: piano, bass, drummer. The drummer had such finesse: young guy, in total control. He was stage front and moved through the music effortlessly. What a show!

Perfect polish for Ms. Rivera.... at home on the stage; she's in character for every song. No inhibitions...a consumate artist. What a motivator and teacher: to be free on stage in front of a large audience and be able to go into yourself and pull out such feeling. Her costumes, props, progress from song to song, even her short sips of water were sophisticated and charming. This is a STAR.

A performance like this illustrates that to be an artist, to create art in it's various forms, you need to meld technique with expressiveness. No self consciousness, or holding back, worrying what the audience will think. Being completely in the moment and not questioning or looking in the mirror. The audience becomes part of the show, part of the book, painting, rhythm of the dance. It all comes together in an experience that is unique.

I think I was most taken by Ms. Rivera's extreme belief in what she was doing. Wrapping her body around each character in turn, she 'became' each of the women in every song she sang. And yet subsequently discussed with the audience how she differed from those women in real life. Art is magic..ageless.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Friends and Long Beach, staying in touch

When you are young, it is a kind of status thing to have friends. But then you learn that it is not how many but the quality. When you don't have to work at it, it is real. Sometimes a spoken word has to be explained or danced around, but a so what attitude helps. What is important is the unconditional nature of it. No need to dress; words, attitude, actions, intent are apparent and easy with a friend.

And fun to find out that sex has nothing to do with it. This opens up a wonderful way to facet your life. You see and hear your ideas bounced back by anyone you like. People I grew up with have such an affinity for one another. Small town life has created this cocoon of comfort. Certain things are understood as we all were raised and schooled in similar surroundings: the city by the sea..Long Beach, New York. Then we all left for college, work, the Long Island Railroad to NY and Brooklyn, different states, different vocations. We found the world was not all Long Beach.

So years later it's nice to reconnect with our homegrown peers, and nest among those who know and knew us well. We can sit back and relax, our proving done, and just enjoy what we know is important. Friendship.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Watching Others to Learn About Yourself

How others present themselves can be studied just like reading a book. Browsing an art exhibit, taking the time to speak with the artists to see what their point of view might be, what motivated them, is all about learning.

How the individual artists relate to their audience is also interesting. One artist takes the time to explain to a viewer how he enters international shows, and the pleasure he gets when he achieves or earns points from judges for his photographs. He even offers suggestions as to what the judges are accepting in order to help someone else. He gives freely of his knowledge and experience and takes pleasure in this. A totally pleasant experience all around and for so many reasons and on so many levels.

Monday, February 22, 2010


A day does not go by when creativity does not matter. Even if it appears to be a backdrop for an activity -this preparation is indispensible. If it is there all the time, there is a reason. It is more important than I understood.

How important this part of my make-up is, how really necessary-for doing what I feel I am capable of. Anytime I ever denied this part of myself-this necessary path explored-I have not felt like me.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thoughts on Painting

"the first thing you see is the last thing you do." Helen Van Wyk book: Welcome to My Studio

You can really build on this remark. and..."the silhouette of her hair as it encountered the background." Poetry!

Paint colors are a keyboard of opportunity. They relate to sharps and flats, major and minor. It is not a stretch to think this way. A quiet color.... a feeling evoked. Grey....and all it's implications, alone or in a mix. A dark for emphasis!

Learning every day, Inside out

Today I read these important words: "Yes, the disease is progressive, but so is science."
This does not refer to a specific disease, it is an affirmation of hope for anyone suffering and hoping for a cure.
"Biology isn't destiny." More of the same. From Neurology Now Magazine. Meaning a diagnosis isn't definitive, because we never can really know what the outcome will be.

"What had been slowly leaking, years and years, the person who said "I." Last line of a poem by Rachel Hadas in "Speak Up" in Neurology Now, Jan/Feb 2010.
Slowly leaking....that part that might have been neglected through the years. Without even being aware. What could stop anyone from being ones self? From cultivating what's inside and allowing it to grow?

The person who said I. Thinking about how one feels about each thing they do. Stepping back and reflecting about anything before doing it. Listening to feelings and the way those feelings could be tied to intellect. Thinking before acting in order to make comfortable choices. Consciously deciding how to live each day.

What could stop a person from giving feelings respect? This is the core of what was leaking.

Happy times remembered are clues. Activities with people who mattered. It's amazing that some of the same people still matter. And they can reoccur and play a part now, in the "person who comes back to I." Enveloped in various layers, even as years brought changes. Clues to what one still wanted. Patient, sometimes impatient, and often ready to burst, hoping one would get on with it already! Fortunate if one can find ways to welcome them back.

And there have been dress rehearsals, although one was unaware.

And so not to be doomed 'dying with all the music inside,' one needs to find a way to plug the leaking 'I.' To allow all the self to be. To configure today so the writing can continue, inside out.