Archive | Thanksgiving

Need for beauty…

With all the horror, pain and uncertainty in the world, I need to remind myself there is real beauty in the world.  It is just down the street, around the corner or on the table in a bowl, sun shining…More can be found here

Cypress cones, Paros, Greece...November 2015

Cypress cones, Paros, Greece…November 2015

Local clementines, just picked, sunshine, glass, marble...

Local clementines, just picked, sunshine, glass, marble…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pomegranates, lemons, bay leaves from a nearby tree and a pear...

Pomegranates, lemons, bay leaves from a nearby tree and a pear…

–JDCM

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Session end approaches, etc…

I have a lot on my mind these days and it feels difficult to try to sort it all out.  Thoughts meander…

My most recent post was in the form of notes.  I think I will keep it that way for today as well.

–The session here at the Aegean Center is almost finished.  This week is the final full week of work.  It is also American Thanksgiving and Chanukkah.  Lots to do (food, work, art) and I imagine emotions are running high for those younger students who have never been away from home on these holidays.  We will have a big pot-luck feast on Friday evening, since Thursday is a work day.  We supply the side dishes.  JP supplies the turkeys and gravy.  I am making roasted butternut squash.

–The students who are working in the darkroom are making some interesting work.

–I have been able to noodle about with my own work, but nothing really substantial.  I have tried some portrait work with minor success.  Siga-siga.  If one were to ask how I think I am doing these days, the answer would have to be divided into three parts: personal, artistic and academic.  Personally I am doing alright.  I am building solid social bridges to people in the community who have little to do with the school or the arts.  I am biking a lot and feeling good about that that.  Artistically I am, as I said, noodling around.  I am letting the students have the lion’s share of the darkroom time.  The third aspect is etsy-ketsy.  I do what I can.

–Am I an artist-in-residence or faculty?  I have no idea anymore.  I have worked to define these boundaries within the small community in which I labor.  I can only guess that I receive unknown support and back-up from those I respect.

–I am opening a Flickr site and will post photos there, images that never made it here and other things.  Mostly travel stuff.  I’ll add a tab to the website next time I post.  Until then I have added an autumnal image: olive oil fresh from the press.  Yes, it really is that green.

Happy Thanksgiving!

–JDCM

Fresh olive oil from the olive press at Kamari.

Fresh olive oil from the olive press at Kamari.

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An American Thanksgiving in Greece…the session draws to a close…

Tomorrow is the American Thanksgiving, but here on Paros at the Aegean Center we celebrate the Feast of Thanks on Friday evening, not Thursday.  This is mostly so we do not interrupt the class schedule at a point in the term when everyone is either scrambling to wrap things up or just feeling the crunch.  I have conducted an inventory of my darkroom work and I only need to reprint two pieces and then I can begin the selenium toning process, then I matte them.  My digital work is half-way done.  So I am in good shape.  I cannot speak for any of the others.

I have found an apartment, or rather one was found for me, and I am looking forward to the move in late February.  It is actually the former apartment of an Aegean Center faculty member and in spring of 2010 I visited it and loved it immediately.  It is on the second floor with two small balconies.  There is a large living room, a separate bedroom, a small but full kitchen and a bathroom.  Good windows, lots of light and the price is right.  It is also adjacent to the school, so I will be within shouting distance of whatever work I will be doing.

In regards to that, I will be taking the painting course this spring as a student plus working one-on-one with the maestro in the digital lab.  This means that I have to bow out of the darkroom as a formal student, but I am pretty sure I will be doing some work in there as well.  I know nothing of painting, or how to do it, which is hat they like here.  Jane and Jun would rather work with a blank canvas than try to re-teach someone.

John says the turkeys are in the brine.  I have to make a shopping list of goods to buy for glazed carrots as well as a normal style stuffing.  This means onions, celery, sage and veggie broth.  I also need to buy bread, cube it up and let it dry.  Perhaps I’ll toast it in the oven to facilitate that drying process, or else it might just mold.

I am so thankful for this life that I cannot figure out where to start.  This morning I was up early and out working with the 4×5.  The light was soft and lovely and there is no wind today.  This will change, I know, and that’s alright, but for now I am feeling pretty good about what is happening.   There is a sadness in the air, though.  In two weeks the student show opens and then we all go our separate ways.  Most of us will never see each other again and although it is a small planet and connections can be strong at the beginning, the ties will thin and eventually fade out.  I have experienced this firsthand in my life.  Yes, you may say, there are social networking sites and the internet, but truth be told there is nothing really very strong about them.  They cannot hold a candle to a strong network built on real communication and true friendship.  Clicking a series of buttons does not make you my friend.  Commitment, contact and honesty does, however.  There is at least one student here who I will miss terribly but she has made a commitment to her family and I respect that.  I have to believe that the time she has spent here has altered her life for the better, and forever.

JDCM

 

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Much needed rain and fall in the Aegean…

It is raining outside and has been since yesterday.  We do need the rain here on Paros.  The island had become so dry in the past few weeks.  The wind from the north has been blowing at Force 7,8 and 9 on the Beaufort scale but today it has seemed to have quieted somewhat.  This will end tonight, but the winds will continue to whip the water back into the sky for the next few days even though the sun will be out.  Autumn in the Aegean is very different than in the Northeastern area of the US.  The fall colors fade from the burned gold and silver of summer into a rich caramel amber and finally as the rains come in, more green, crocuses and smaller blooms accompanying the cooler air.  In the local gardens there is spinach, broccoli and cauliflower.  This morning I received a treat of fresh oranges, right off the trees.  Anyone who says there are no seasons here in the Kyklades have obviously never stayed here for long.

We have 26 days until the student show and 31 until I arrive back in New York.  My two portfolios are filling up as I slowly create more prints in the darkroom and digital lab.  If one were to look at them right now they would seem to lack cohesiveness, but really this is an academic regiment and not relevant to the Aegean Center, its philosophy or even my own thinking.  Relevance and structure are all around me and integral in my thinking.  At the very least the fact that I am making these pieces is a glue that holds them together.  That the silver pieces are all, with few exceptions, all of Italy in September and the digital are all 4×5 scans of Paros are also two values that assign a consistency to these two projects.

Upstairs students are drawing in the figure study class.  Still others are meeting with Liz Carson in the darkroom (I just came from there myself) and planning the week’s work.  John Pack is readying himself for another day of digital printing and wrangling the kinds of wild horses that only the director of a small arts center on an island in Greece can possibly ride.  Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we will celebrate here on Paros in grand style.  I am supplying the glazed carrots.

JDCM

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