They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the worlds a sunny day, oh yeah
I got a nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama dont take my kodachrome away
~ Paul Simon
What an awful punch to the gut it was today to hear that Kodak will no longer be producing Kodachrome. Of course I contributed to the demise of the iconic brand. Taking reference pictures with my digital camera is so much more economical than loading physical 35mm film into my big SLR camera and hauling it everywhere.
But I'm melancholy, because Kodachrome reminds me of my dad. The film, and the song, remind me of a specific afternoon taking pictures in drizzly half light outside the Leighton Centre, outside the city, watching the Rockies slide in and out of the clouds as we talked about what my life might be bringing me.
I was 20ish, looking at life as it was about to unfold for me. Dad was going through his second divorce and feeling the heaviness of life bearing down on him. We walked over the glorious foothills, littered with sub alpine wildflowers, and talked about whatever popped into our heads.
I remember that day so clearly. I remember the smell of his car, the dampness of my jeans on my legs as we walked through wet grasses, and the weight of the camera around my neck as we walked, apart, together, always joined.
I wish I had two more rolls of Kodachrome, one for dad, one for me, and an afternoon to go walking again.
I am sure that it's a sign of parental cruelty that I have put away the kids CDs and now only play grown up music in the car. I can only imagine what is going to happen when my kids start singing Paul Simon in school at recess, or show off their brilliant air-guitar skills via The Guess Who during the next family get together.
Although I can say that Sesame Street started it will all the change ups to hit songs that they do on the show. They brought Fiest, the Plain White Ts, and REM into my kids' world and now they dance around with mom to Smashmouth while we clean up the living room.
I do know that I had a hugely proud moment today while we were in the car just before going into the doctor's office, and my youngest shouted “Let's rock out!” and started to wail on her air-guitar to the Rolling Stones “Start Me Up”.
Well it's been a weekend for the record books. The kids had some very physically active days that left them really tired, and occasionally cranky. (The occasions being about a half hour apart all day long). I had my first experience of one kid actually hitting the other over hurt feelings. And we had some discussions about that, but I'm pretty certain that the discussion was falling on deaf ears at the point.
I did manage to swoop in like SuperMom and save the day at one point over a lost pair of scissors (can you hear my cape flapping in the wind?) and was foiled in my efforts to have fresh baking ready for school tomorrow by the Forgetful Shopping Husband, who despite having the item on the list assured me with great sincerity that I had not told him to get it. A review of the tapes gave me the win on that one.
I was lead to discover Blip.fm this weekend. What a glorious time sucker that one is. I played with it too late last night and early this morning at the cost of getting a few things tidied away for my business, which I'll have to make up for tonight.
I did list something on Artfire today. I actually really like this one. It's a miniature painting on a wooden scrabble tile. I am going to try to do a few more of these for the summer season... I think they would look so pretty as an accessory with a summer dress.
It's not exactly a painting of the week, but it's what I've got, and frankly after this weekend I'm glad to have anything at all!
We took a cab to Long Island City, where the gallery is. I actually had to get out my map and give the cabbie directions to where we were going. That made me chuckle. The gallery looks like a warehouse from the outside and looked like an insane asylum from the inside. I'm sure that several fire codes were being broken that night.
The crush of the crowd was amazing.
I found my paintings and got some pictures, got to mingle with the crowd, and got a little freaked out by the masses at a couple of points.
In the end I was delighted, but not overwhelmingly so. Really after seeing some of the amazing art that was hanging with mine I was more determined to get home and start working on my new pieces and make them even better than I had dreamed.
We grabbed a cab and headed back into the city to the Odeon(for which I had to take out my map again!) for burgers. (there is another blog coming up regarding dinner – but, as they say, that's another story)). It was a nice way to end the evening. My husband and I stood very close to each other and talked about us while we waited for our table, instead of talking about the kids and the bills or the house. I think that was probably the best part of the night.
We ate a wonderful meal and shared a really great dessert before heading out into the mild night at about 11 and walking to the subway. We transferred at Times Square and we lured by the sound of a Beatles cover band called The Meatles. The lead singer was a ringer for John, and they even had a pseudo Yoko playing bass. It was great. I love how the subway acoustics work, and when the band is great, well all the better. Unfortunately the same site was abused the next day by a guy playing Celine Dion covers on the Pan Pipes. As the big guy next to me said, “Seriously? DUDE!”
I did more sketching on the subway back to the hotel and happily fell into bed for a very short night's sleep.
( more in Part 3)
I was painting all afternoon, and the good news is that the dragonfly is nearly done! The bad news is that the witty, insightful, award winning blog entry I was contemplating while I was painting got swept away by the hurricanes that are my children returning home from school!
I think it had something to do with materials. Or maybe it was something to do with forgetfulness... or parenting, making snowmen, eating popcorn, or Indiana Jones.
Perhaps it was about crazy cats who attack their food dish for now reason (that I know of) or forgetting your lunch, or drinking too much coffee, or iMix playlists.
Wait I think it's coming back to me, it was about stuborness. No, that's not it, hang on I know it will come to me if I try harder.
Gratitude? Chocolate? Shopping online? My Mom?
Dammit. Maybe it was about fingerprints, or aliens, or bad hair days, or weird weather. The importance of taking time off, or macaroni and cheese. Maybe it was serendipity?
It had to be one of those things. I'm sure. I wish I could remember.
Oh well. The good news is that I think I have the shipping for the paintings to New York under control, and I only need 15 more trading cards made up for the class on Friday. I am very, very close to finishing my fourth painting, and then it's putting the final touch on the fifth for the show and I'm set.
The other news is that I'm bone tired, and going to bed. Goodnight internets!
I upgraded the software on iTunes and on my iPod Touch and got this new thing called Genius. Genius automatically builds playlists from your library when you start with just one song. It also suggests songs that you might want to buy (thanks Steve, I really do need you to have a lot more of my money, because you make my life complete with all your toys!)
I didn’t think that I would like it, but I’m an Apple nut, and a geek. Really how could I not try it?
So I asked Genius to make me a playlist long enough for an afternoon painting session based on Jimmy Olson’s Blues by The Spin Doctors. The idea is that it finds songs that fit with the song you chose.
Well. It’s not 100% awesome. There are a few songs in my initial run that I didn’t think fit in with the theme I was going for, but it also pulled out songs I hadn’t heard in, well a really long time, that totally fit my mood for that painting. The description of the software says that it will get better the more times I use it.
There is a lot of promise here, and it’s not all hype from the geniuses at Apple.
I was listening to the radio this weekend and heard a special about Canadian songwriters and singers, and was reaffirmed in my belief that we hosers have had a pretty significant impact on the arts scene, not only at home, but world wide.
I decided to work up my own top ten list of Canadian songwriters, nearly all of whom sang their own tunes on this list, who have impacted me greatly. Most of these will be songs from my youth, some have come to me recently, but all have a lot of Canadian Cred.
(No, there will be no Terry Jacks in this list)
#10 Paul Anka: Yeah I know.. there is a lot of Canadian Cheddar in old Paul, but there is one song that he wrote that was sung by Buddy Holly that I know every word to. It came out before I was born, but I had a recording of it (lord knows when I acquired that) and played it a lot. It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
#9. k.d. lang/Leonard Cohen: I’ve been a huge fan of k.d.’s ever since - well ever since I first heard her voice. She has a voice that can alternately make you weep or laugh. But, when I heard her version of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” I got shivers, and I got tears in my eyes, because it was just so damn beautiful. If you want a full blooded Canadian pedigree, this song has it.
#8 I came to this song later in life, but you know I think it’s just a relevant now as it was then. The Five Man Electrical Band, Signs.
#7 There are no top ten Canadian Songwriters lists anywhere that don’t include this guy. I have lots of songs of his that I love, but this one has a special spot in my heart, for reasons that are none of your business. Harvest Moon, but Neil Young
#6 This song had slipped from my radar for a while, until Randy Bachman started his radio show “Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap” on CBC radio... then I heard it again in my brother’s car, and we cranked the volume up loud and car danced in a way that was totally unlike the 40 somethings we are in reality. BTO’s Takin’ Care of Business
#5 This is another with a great Canadian pedigree. The Barenaked Ladies, and the first song I ever heard them sing, that was written by another Canadian musical god, Bruce Cockburn. Lovers in a Dangerous Time
#4 Bruce gets another mention here on my list. I am a huge fan and he is on almost every play list I have ever created. This one was a great foil for my teenage angst and anger at the way the world was being used by my parent’s generation ... now I’m one of the parents, but the anger still burns in me. If I Had a Rocket Launcher
#3 Joni!!! how can any list not have Joni Mitchell on it? I could write for pages about her, but she speaks so well for herself. Coyote.
#2 Down to the short strokes now, and I have to tell you that this band was on every radio station, was present in every day of my life it seems for years. I love this song, and for those of you who think you know it as a Lenny Kravitz song, you don’t know anything. This is The Guess Who and American Woman, and it ain’t no love song.
#1 I can’t imagine any musician in Canada growing up didn’t want to be a part of this band. A band that came from the heart of Canada, but spoke directly to the heart of the US midwest. I could list a the whole discography of The Band. So many evocative songs that wove into our collective consciousness. I rolled the dice on this one, I was seriously torn between several great songs... I let my playlist randomly pick this one. The Weight.
Well there you go, my nostalgic trip for Canada Day. There are so many other great artists that I could include... and maybe I’ll have a secondary list of more modern groups and songs. But these are the greats and this is the soundtrack of my youth. and really are there any songs that play to our hearts like the ones we heard when we were growing up?