Monday, April 28, 2008

Sweet Calico Goat and Orphan Works Act

This sweet animal has a beautiful calico coat and an engaging and unwavering gaze. My sense of awe and reverence for animals grows, as their soulfulness and apparent ability to feel and even think, become more evident to me.

If you've seen the video that's been going around the Internet, of an elephant painting his self-portrait, no doubt you have felt the same exhilaration that I did, when contemplating how this giant mammal seemed to "think" about the accurate placement of each brush stroke. Even if he was prompted by his trainer, by touch or visual prompts, his behavior is still deliberate in a way we humans have not historically attributed to animals.

I posted the video of the elephant painting his self-portrait in my last post so you can watch it, if you haven't already seen it. It stands apart from the other videos we have seen, in which elephants "paint" to music. In the other videos, the elephants seem to be enjoying themselves but the viewer is not sure whether there is much volition or deliberation behind the seemingly random and free movements.

I think we all have enjoyed many of those inter-species, "love-and-relating" email forwards, as well. The bottom line is that we all want and need love, and it's sometimes easier to find animal behaviors to stand in awe of and applaud, than it is to find laudable human behaviors. Predators in the animal kingdom hunt and kill to survive, just as we take animal life, as part of the food chain. But lacking our level of critical thinking, they don't have all those nasty defense mechanisms that are borne of our human propensity for self-doubt. In my opinion, our self-doubt projected outward leads to a lot of unnecessary tangles and confrontations for many people. Imagine the time and resources we waste being angry at strangers. We may sneer behind their backs or scold them either tactfully or rudely, or we may walk away silently, puzzled by a suspect behavior that we disapprove of, yet vesting our energy in it.

Yesterday while driving on a busy secondary highway coming home from an art show, I signaled to move from the left to the right lane, to exit onto another parkway. The guy behind me not only sped up so I couldn't move over, but he flipped me the bird as he passed me. I was astounded at his random act of free-floating hostility. I'm glad I'm not that angry!

Animals vie with each other for supremacy, but in a more direct way: for physical dominance of habitat or available territories, or for the attentions of a fertile mate. Yet we humans vie with each other on so many more levels and with so much more at stake. What's at stake as a result of the culmination of competing human behaviors is nothing less than the survival of Earth and all her inhabitants!

I think it would be a good idea for us to ponder the interactions of animals and begin to evaluate our institutions and behaviors from a survival standpoint. I've seen squirrels, robins, blue jays, and a baby rabbit, all occupying the same meagre footage of my back yard, all foraging for food while ignoring the others who are doing the same thing in their own way. They are different species, living a peaceful co-existence. Their truth may be "to eat or be eaten," but they are not tied to status issues, political correctness, or supremacy issues. They don't vie over ideologies. Maybe they are lucky, to be at a "lower" level of intuitive and intellectual functioning. As for peaceful coexistence, maybe we humans can do a better job of using our intuition and intellect in more constructive ways.


Some of the members of Worldwide Women Artists Online, of which I'm a member, have brought the Orphan Works Act to trhe group's attention. As I understand it, this act was defeated in Congress several years ago, but is currently under consideration again. If passed, this law would drastically reduce your control over your ownership of your creative works, especially images posted on the Internet. I'm not an expert on it, nor on legalese, but I've read enough to know that the outcome of this proposed law is very important to artists and photographers, as well as writers.

Here's a link to a site where you can sign a petition against it. Why not sign and pass it on? This is so important to all of us!!!

And here's a link to artist Walter King's blog on the Absolute Arts site, where he cites letters from other sources, on the subject.

Let's make our voices heard. We should all blog about it, too, or we'll become just another casualty of corporate greed!!! (If you want more information on the bill, just Google "Orphan Works Act," as I did, and numerous sources of information will pop up. Spend ten minutes reading, and be your own judge!)

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Friday, April 25, 2008

Tulip Rapture

Tulip Rapture - Image c 2008 Lynda Lehmann

A bright and luminous display of beautiful yellow-orange tulips, truly representative of the glory of spring. Image c Lynda Lehmann.

I'm trying to get other house and garden tasks done by staying off the computer. As you can see, it doesn't work! Each time I go for a walk at this gorgeous season, I'm totally awed by the beauty I see. Of course I try to bring it home with me. Vowing to avoid photographing more flowers won't help. It's useless to try. I'm an addict!

I'm late in making the rounds this week, but I will be around to visit your blogs!

Image c Lynda Lehmann. If you would like to view more of my art or make a purchase, please visit Lynda Lehmann Painting and Photography or my Imagekind Gallery, where you can buy prints plain or framed.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

Flowers, Flowers, Everywhere....

I try to walk every day that weather and time permit. With each walk I enjoy the air, the sunlight, and views of hills and trees. Our neighborhood looks out at a harbor and Long Island Sound, as so many North Shore neighborhoods do, and the glint of water is never far away. I always come home feeling great, having imbibed in a bit of air and exercise, and lots of beauty.

What makes my walks really special is when I remember to take my camera along. Right now I have a SONY digital-SLR and it's a bit heavy. But it's worth the work of toting it in the hope of grabbing some good nature or garden shots as I go. Sometimes I take my monopod, but that gets in the way at least as often as it's helpful. I'm sure that one of these days I'll trip on it outright, and go flying down one of the steep hills here, camera still in hand. Be that as it may, every find of a beautiful object or scene is a gift, and if I manage to get a decent photo of it, the gift keeps giving. I feel very rich to have my passion fulfilled and the camera putting so much joy in my life, on a regular basis.

All the above shots except for the purple and white orchids were taken just in the past three days, as I labored up and down the hills of my small town, searching for window pots and hedgerows close enough to the street to photograph. I hope you enjoy them, as I'm enjoying sharing them with you!

All the above images are or will be available at Lynda Lehmann Painting and Photography or you can buy them framed at Imagekind, should you be interested in purchasing them.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Through a Forest, Darkly

Through a Forest, Darkly

Ground thunders
while suspicions steal
past towering giants
whose leaves hiss danger.
Boughs asunder with weight of dread,
sense your sly, subjective gloom.

A haunted conscience
murmurs malaise:
the soul's twilight
in the light of the moon.

Text and Image c 2008 Lynda Lehmann

This image and poem are just a little bit of mischief or shall we say, antic play. I often wonder how much of the anxiety that we are so deft in projecting outward, is confronted by us in the light of day. We are more apt to flop ourselves down on a couch in front of the ever-friendly and reassuring, ubiquitous TV, the world-wide-web of our collective entertainment strivings, than sit down to ponder the state of our personal affairs. This causes us to carry our anxieties into the the darkness and slumber of night, where they will invariably GROW! Wha'd'ya think?

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Spring Flame

I'm uploading this image to wish you all a happy and bright spring! We passed the most beautiful flowers hanging in window pots outside a local Long Island restaurant today, and I shot them in spite of a stiff and maddening wind. I manipulated this one in Photoshop, repeating a single blossom to make the composition.

It was my first day out since last Tuesday. Seems I had a little bout of flu, and now I have to catch up on all your posts! I hope you've had a better week than I did, although all things considered, I have nothing to complain about. Happy spring!!

Image c Lynda Lehmann. If you are interested in purchasing this image or any of my art, please visit Lynda Lehmann Painting and Photography. Or you can buy it framed at Imagekind.

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Friday, April 4, 2008


"Ethereal" Image c Lynda Lehmann

Petals clasp sweet sunlit air.

Roots reach deep to suckle Grace.

Graceful tulip drinks her love, grateful for

dear Earth's embrace.

Poem c 2008 Lynda Lehmann

Serendipity was finding this majestic tulip in my garden, upon returning home from a walk. I ran to get my camera and caught it just a minute before shade enveloped it, swallowing all the gorgeous highlights. Only a day later, this beautiful bloom was past its glory. But what a glorious flower it was! The photo is from last year, but since we're not having much in the way of blooming here yet, except for crocuses and hyacinths, I'm posting it to celebrate spring. It's the perfect time to find renewal in both nature and in ourselves. I hope you enjoy my photo and poem and I wish you a happy, healthy, and creative spring!

Text and photo c Lynda Lehmann. "Ethereal" is available for purchase at Lynda Lehmann Painting and Photography or you can buy it framed at Imagekind.

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