Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Spark

Lake at Dawn - Image c Lynda Lehmann

THE SPARK

 Creativity is the tiny voice that sings "I am" in the gloom of the darkest night.  
It is the song of the soul, revealing itself, 
reveling in tiny moments of truth.

Creativity is the pulse that quivers with hope in the rubble of man's discontent, 
and the flame of commitment in the rearing of a child.

Creativity lays a gentle sheen on the tired world
 on a moonless night, filling 
hollows and thickets and stark rooms 
with murmurs of quiet inspiration.

Creativity quells the thirst for empty pleasures and 
rides the waves of painful days.  

It fills old wounds and heals them.

It lights and smooths the steepest path.

It is the balm of my soul, my intention, my purpose and passion.  

Creativity is the Light of my life.

- Poem c Lynda Lehmann 2011


Solitude - Image c Lynda Lehmann


NOTE: You can click on each photo to see a larger version. All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my sites at http://LyndaLehmann.imagekind.com/ or http://www.absolutearts.com/lyndalehmann/ if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. You can find a list of my other sites and links in my blog's sidebar. Or google my name for more links. I hope you enjoyed your visit!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sand Beach Serenity at Scenic Acadia


Curve Flow - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

Serenity at Sand Beach - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

Red Jackets - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

The Tide Among Boulders - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

Tranquil Horizons - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

Here are a few photos of one of our favorite places in Acadia.  Sand Beach is easily accessible from the Park Loop Road and is one of the most serene and scenic of the spots we visited.  Looking at the tranquil surface of the azure water, one could hardly believe that the flow in this cove was attached to the ocean!  I'm sure it kicks up at times, but on a calm day the tranquility of the place is spellbinding.  I've been there only in September but I'm sure that in the summer months it's a great place to swim, kayak, or just take the kids for a day on the beach.

Add to the sensuous curve of the beach the soft white sand, the influx of turquoise sea, and the majesty of the surrounding cliffs crowned by mixed boreal and hardwood forest, you've got the ingredients for magic.  I can envision spending many days there, watching the infinite movement of the water and its slightly more chaotic, hissing and foaming entry into the clusters of huge boulders at the edge of the beach, while the enchantment grows.

I apologize for the short post, but better short than not at all.  I hope you enjoyed the photos and that you get to visit Acadia one day, if you haven't already.



NOTE: You can click on each photo to see a larger version. All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my sites at http://LyndaLehmann.imagekind.com/ or http://www.absolutearts.com/lyndalehmann/ if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. You can find a list of my other sites and links in my blog's sidebar. Or google my name for more links. I hope you enjoyed your visit!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Acadia Interlude


Below the Summit - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

I've always wanted to visit Acadia. Since my seventh grade English teacher Miss  Rogers spoke of Longfellow, Evangeline, and the descendants ofthe French called the "Acadians," I've wanted to see the marvelous sights of an unspoiled wilderness on the Northeast Coast of the USA. 


Emerald and Blue Gem  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann
 
I recently had the opportunity to spend eight days there, and I can tell you: it was worth the trip. Every day was resplendent with new trails to explore, rock studded mountain paths to climb, and scenic vistas that took my breath away. 

Even with a week of exploring the mountains, the lush undisturbed forest and the rocky coastline, we barely scratched the surface of the map.  Mount Desert Island, which is also home to a few quaint and interesting towns (Northeast Harbor, Southwest Harbor, and the more well known Bar Harbor), comprises the Ice Age transformed landscape and web of ecosystems  that is Acadia National Park.

If you are interested in visiting Acadia, the internet has many sites that offer information.  Here are some scenes from the lovely and gorgeous parts of the park that we were lucky enough to experience.  I'll be featuring other scenic views and landmarks of Acadia in subsequent blog posts, so watch for those if you're interested in hiking and nature. 

Here my husband is perched on an overlook on Beech Mountain, overlooking Echo Lake.  We hobbled up the steep boulder strewn path without breaking an ankle or taking a tumble, but this shelf halfway up the mountainside was challenge enough.  The cliffs above were just a tad formidable for us to attempt, making the summit out of the question.  But who knows how brave--or foolish--we may be on a future trek!

We've since purchased "trekking" sticks, those aluminum poles that look like ski poles that you occasionally see walkers toting.  It's amazing how well they aid and abet your balance, especially when treading over steep, angled and jagged boulders and rough terrain. 

Perched Over Echo Lake - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann 

Never have I seen such jewels of green and azure!  Well okay, I have seen some similar beauty before, on our hikes, but these scenes were definitely was among the most gorgeous vistas of peace and grandeur we've enjoyed.

Awesome View  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann 

If you look closely at the next photo, you'll see tourists clustered at the far edge of Cadillac Mountain, looking down over clouds and islands and rich green stretches of fertile and undisturbed wilderness interspersed with vast reams of granite.  Cadillac Mountain is so far north and east, that it's the first spot on the North American continent to be graced with the first rays of sunrise, each day.   

Distant Crowd on Cadillac Mountain  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

I could easily spend a month up there on Cadillac, absorbing the fresh, sweet air and gazing at the ocean to the east or the islands and larger land mass to the west.  Cruise ships off of the town of Bar Harbor are sometimes visible from the summit, and they look small and surreal from that height.  As do the clouds that shroud the horizon--so far beneath our line of vision and strange to look down upon.

The Islands Below  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

Lush and Barren  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann


Cadillac's rich pink granite is rounded and buffed by Ice Age glaciers that moved over it, thousands of year ago.  The pink boulders are deeply fissured yet rounded at the edges; they seem to fit together in a sort of free-form jigsaw puzzle.  Very dramatic and sculptural and beautiful in their own right.  The variety of colored lichen and arctic shrubery adds to the beauty and richness of the scene, and multiple ledges and paths beckon in all directions. 

Have you ever been to Acadia?  Do you have have any particular stories of adventures  there, that you'd like to share?  

I'm looking forward to showing you more photos of our trip, next time I publish!


Natural Color  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann
Sweep of the Land  - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann



All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my sites at http://LyndaLehmann.imagekind.com/  or http://www.absolutearts.com/lyndalehmann/ if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. You can find a list of my other sites and links in my blog's sidebar. Or google my name for more links.  I hope you enjoyed your visit!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Us Versus Them: An Intellectual and Moral Logjam

Photograph by Lynda Lehmann

I'm on a steady diet of unwanted emails from some friends and family with an agenda.  The same people who "don't want to talk about it" feel entitled to bombard me with what I perceive to be biased misinformation.  In our legal system, we are sworn to uphold "the truth and nothing but the truth." But we have no such rules nor even a vague promise, to try to recognize and communicate truth in our everyday dealings. 

The truth is that there is no "truth," if we are talking in black and white.  The truth is always relative.  It's complex.  And it can't be communicated in sound bites.  Yet it's easily distorted.  

Politicians are masters of manipulating the truth by withholding, rather than revealing, information.  Every statement knowingly made out of context or without qualifiers is intended to subvert what clear and intelligible truth does exist.  It's hard enough to extrapolate shades of truth in a complex world, without direct distortions or intentional omission.

It's clear by the current climate of opposition in Congress and running in deepening veins throughout our society, that many people feel great anguish and anger.  A lot of them play the Blame Game with relish.  For them, blaming is an outlet for their rage and despair.  But blaming never gave birth to solutions.  

My personal answer to the blame laid on our current President's shoulders is to counter that I feel George Bush empowered the greedy corporate giants and set the precedent to legitimize greed. I have never registered with either party, as I don't believe in the arbitrary taking of sides, but rather in addressing particular issues as they arise. But believe me, what I can discern of the right-wing mentality is frightening and so inward-looking as to disavow any common humanity. Yes, we are born with equal status as human beings who are part of a larger human family.  And hopefully we are equal under the law. But the sad fact is that we are NOT created equal: some are born poor, into war or other forms of desolation; some are born with deformities or diseases; some do not have the best genetic inheritance. Do we embrace our differences and common humanity or do we dump those we perceive as disadvantaged in jails and slums? Do we work for a better society and world, or do we pull in our stakes so we can spend more time counting our personal spoils? Do we embrace or do we label and reject? Do we hate or do we love? Those who profess to be "religious" and moral people, ought to take a good hard look at their rhetoric and their actions.

How does a person define himself as "right-to-life" while voting to cut benefits to the sick and needy?  Or consider cutting Social Security benefits, into which most workers have dutifully paid?  How does one preach morality while teaching his kids to do "anything to get ahead?"  How do you send kids to die in wars that can't institute strong and stable democracies in tribal societies?  

Several people whom I know have expressed a favorable opinion of the Tea Party.  They espouse fiscal conservatism while they, personally, have accrued incredible amounts of credit card debt.  In my opinion, endorsing extreme fiscal policy is not only overcompensation for their own personal misjudgment and weakness, it's outright hypocrisy.  Just as railing against Social Security as a corrupt "entitlement" is absurd for those who willingly collect their own checks every month!

When Bill Clinton was in office, we were not in the red.  Our economy was strong.  When he proposed NAFTA, I was in favor of it because I believed that a global economy would favor the cause of peaceful coexistence among nations.  Now, looking at the job loss crisis in America, I'm not so sure.  But all the blame in the world will change nothing.  Only new IDEAS can change things.  

I believe President Obama is a good and authentic person of vision and high motivation--and that those who want to see him fall are simply acting out of their own insecurity; they don't want justice and they don't want progress. They simply want to protect their status quo/interests.

There!  I've said it.  I have expressed my feelings.  I am so tired of the propaganda being hurled by the right-wing sound machine.  When "factoids" are thrown into the air without any qualifiers or context, we move further and further from the truth as it gets buried deeper in the fray.  Society is complex, and modern life can be complicated.  But we make it more so by our tendency to be reactive and self-serving.  Please do not try to make "liberal" a dirty word by undercutting the facts and throwing epithets.  All that is simply subterfuge.

Society is in some degree of turmoil but still, we function and everyday heroes abound.  People who equate Obama with Hitler, or welfare (for those who truly need it) with Socialism, do themselves a disservice.  Is this the kind of world we want to be complicit in leaving to our children and grandchildren?

One potent thing each of us can do is to listen to our friends and neighbors when they talk.  Invite discussion.  Think critically and exchange points of view.  Do discourse, not "search and destroy."  

Democracy is not built on one act of voting every four years.  Seek the "truth," tell the truth (as you see it) and accept other folk's stories as being THEIR truths.  If you think this requires too much effort, ask yourself this, "What do I want to think of myself the day I discover I'm lying on my deathbed?"  What do you want your children to think?

To myself, to my friends, family, and blogging fellows I say:  Campaign for justice: practice acts of Conscience.  Practice communicating and practice listening.  And stir some empathy into your mind-soup.  You'll be a bigger, better person for it.  And so will I.


Photograph by Lynda Lehmann

All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission from me, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my sites at http://www.absolutearts.com/lyndalehmann/ or http://LyndaLehmann.imagekind.com/ if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. Or you can Google my name to see my other sites and links. I hope you enjoyed your visit to Peripheral Vision!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Enchantment Before Twilight

Bathed in Evening Light - Lynda Lehmann c 2011

 
NOTE:  I have picked these two photos from my archives to post with this poem, as I could not shoot while paddling.  But they don't do justice to the beautiful play of light, water and sky I witnessed on this occasion.  Nor do my words suffice, but I write them in homage.

Enchantment

Thunderheads form and morph: vast cumulonimbus canyons turn from white to gray to orange or silver-rimmed.  They stand silent, at a distance.  Evening sunlight's warm caress, wraps a golden light over the emerald island: a jewel-like scene that seems to shimmer with benevolence and promise.  Verdant glowing hues band outward from the island's shore, reflected with sky tones and bands of gold and black in the flowing stream.

Pale violet clouds in cauliflower forms bifurcate and move higher, until they reach the towering nimbus state.  

So far beneath them, paddling the lake in my tiny blue kayak, I feel my smallness.  

Each dip of my paddle brings up droplets that make whirlpools as they fall back onto the water's surface.  A line of whirlpools ripples smaller as each moves forward from the first set of spreading circles.  I can hear each drop fall and watch it meld.  Ensconced in the drama of whirlpools and lace-like water doilies, my boat is couched in a pattern of of subtle movement: energy waves strong enough to be visible, yet insignificant to the larger universe.  Yet, with my persistent stroke, I have made them.  I watch the forms disperse as they merge back into the infinite and undulating sea. I do not have the power of nimbus clouds, but I make my own music, just the same.

I feel complete, ensconced in the luxury of light show and water symphony, while the sky plays its pastel counterpoint.  

It's hard for me to believe there's room for conflict, greed, and suffering in this world, while I am surrounded by all that seems holy.  

-- Poem c Lynda Lehmann 2011
 

Enchantment - Image c 2010 Lynda Lehmann


All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission from me, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my sites at http://www.absolutearts.com/lyndalehmann/ or http://LyndaLehmann.imagekind.com/ if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. Or you can Google my name to see my other sites and links. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Cavern Watch: Turning Inward Toward Metaphor



Cavern Watch - Image c Lynda Lehmann



The owl with his huge eyes and prominent brow is seen as watchful.  Is his vigilance a metaphor for the subconscious mind, perhaps?  He is often seen as a symbol of wisdom or an incarnation of awareness.  But could he be seen also as a symbol or harbinger of things to come?  Or even of the ultimate?  We all face death at the end of our individual and collective life cycles, so it makes sense that we would project our thoughts about our mortality onto some external symbol, in order to deal with our apprehensions.   

Seeing the owl as metaphor is widespread among cultures. What is it in our human psyche that pushes us to recognize or attribute comparisons by way of metaphor?  Is it inherent in our need to clarify or find meaning in the human experience, to understand our world?

For me, a cavern also makes a good metaphor.  I see it as an apt symbol for the inner workings of the individual psyche and for the human body, which "contains" the elements i.e. organs and awareness that we need to be alive, and to live what we call a "life." 

Plato, a student of Socrates, used the cave metaphor differently, in a parable in which Socrates explains the nature of true knowledge being beyond that which can be ascertained by watching shadows move against a wall in a cave setting, which you can read about here if you are interested.  

On a recent trip to Luray Caverns in Virginia, I had the pleasure of photographing many of the cave's remarkable formations.  As you can see, they can resemble anything from practical everyday objects to objects of magic or incarnations from what some cultures believe is the "Spirit World."



Hall of the Ancient Spirits - Image c Lynda Lehmann

Lake of the Underworld - Image c Lynda Lehmann

Primordial Cascade - Image c Lynda Lehmann




Greek classical philosophers and children's fables and fairy tales aside, what's your idea of a good metaphor?  Do you find that a particular symbol is prominent in your conscious mind and has special meaning for you?

NOTE: CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO VIEW THEM LARGER!

All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my primary site at http://www.lyndalehmann.com/gallery if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Life as Paradox



Into Shadow - Lynda Lehmann c 2011




Light Play - Lynda Lehmann c 2011




Day's Aftermath - Lynda Lehmann c 2011



Every ending is also a beginning, and every beginning eventually culminates in some state of change and fullness before moving to its finish and conclusion.  Hence the cycles and paradoxes of Life.  A sunset is beautiful and inspiring, yet reminds us of Life's transience.  So it becomes bittersweet, taking on a yin-yang of both positive and negative connotations.  Maybe the best metaphors are like that, ambiguous but meaningful on multiple levels.  To me, a beautiful sunset suggests the cycles of infinite Life moving through time and space, seeking more of itself.  And we ourselves, are reflected in both the glowing waters of sunset, and in the ebb and flow of Life. 

Peace and joy to you.  
- Lynda 



Awesome Sky - Lynda Lehmann 2011



All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my primary site at http://www.lyndalehmann.com/gallery if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

No Illusions, Pulse of the Motherboard, In the Balance and Rising Green: New Digital Abstracts














I don't have much time to post this week, so I thought I would at least put up a few new digital works.  I love working with design and spatial relationships.  I think you could probably guess which title applies to which image, even if I didn't have them in consecutive order in the title of this post!

Is there one among the four that resonates with you more than the others?  If so, what do you think its appeal is for you?

Hope everyone is happy and healthy and taking some time for your favorite creative activity!


All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my primary site at http://www.lyndalehmann.com/gallery if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Golden Cluster

Golden Cluster - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann
 


I wasn't going to post to my blog today, but I was so impressed with these roses that I saw on my walk that I wanted to share them with you!

I hope everyone has had a good day.  It's going to be sweltering here on Long Island for the next few days, with high humidity, so it may be my last walk until a cold front moves in!


All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my primary site at http://www.lyndalehmann.com/gallery if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cloud Fire: A Cogent Commentary on My Digital Art by a Fifth Grade Student



Cloud Fire - Image c 2010 Lynda Lehmann



Recently a fifth grade student from Florida contacted me through one of my websites, with questions about one of my digital art pieces.  She had seen "Cloud Fire" on my Imagekind site and liked it so much that she wanted to use my image for her school report.  Lauren might have chosen any artist from the past or present, but after an internet search, she chose my work (seen above) to write about.

I feel that Lauren's report is well organized, quite readable, and true to the rules of good grammar and syntax.  To me, her report exemplifies diligence and academic excellence.  And I'm honored that she chose my art for her academic project!  

Here is the content of Lauren's report, verbatim.  I hope you enjoy reading it.  Please join me in acknowledging Lauren's writing efforts.  Lauren, thank you again for featuring my art in your paper.  Perhaps one day we will read your words again, should you choose to pursue journalism, art criticism, or perhaps teaching, as your career path. 

(Note: I have changed  Lauren's text font and formatting and moved her name to the bottom, to fit in with the formatting of this blog.)

*****


My Favorite Work of Art: Cloud Fire 

Cloud Fire, a digital art piece by Lynda Lehmann, is energetic, inspiring, and full of bright color. It is an example of abstract art, which means that the viewer may see completely different things at different times. The name, Cloud Fire, is an especially good choice of titles for this piece because clouds are constantly transforming their shapes as well. The ‘fire’ is characterized by the blaze of neon colors. 

As Cloud Fire explodes with its swirls of Crayola bubbles, the colors seem to drive the circles on a wild ride of chaos. There is not a single pigment that isn’t represented on the exciting journey. In response to the excitement produced by the blast of color, the piece causes the viewer’s heart to beat just a little bit faster. In the midst of all the emotion, a feeling of freedom is somehow conveyed as well.

Lehmann, a current resident of Long Island, NY, utilized a computer, filters and software known as Photoshop as the mediums to produce Cloud Fire, which was completed in 2010. She chose intense tints with a lot of contrast as well as many dynamic twists and turns for the lines. Although digital artists don’t always get to see their work actually printed, Lehmann’s recommendation for Cloud Fire’s ideal size is 16” x 20”. The type of paper chosen for the print is also important for the visual experience.

In addition to practical uses, computers have become digital darkrooms in recent years. The first experiments in digital art happened in the late 1950’s occurring in Germany and the United States. As computers became more advanced, so did the opportunities for digital art. Today, digital art is a widely accepted type of art expression in galleries, boutiques and exhibits as well as on the Internet.

Cloud Fire is mysterious and aggressive at the same time. These very different characteristics cause the viewer to experience a wide scope of constantly changing emotions. It is truly abstract art at its finest. 

Lauren L. #14 
4/26/2011


All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my primary site at http://www.lyndalehmann.com/gallery if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Pale Beauty, Mindfulness, and Being



Pale Beauty - Image c Lynda Lehmann


 I love looking at this gorgeous, pale and delicate rose.  It's dainty and gossamer presence reminds us of the preciousness and transience of life.  It also reminds us that it is during tumultuous times such as we're living in now, times of great upheaval and change, that we need to turn inward to the peaceful core we each carry deep inside; it's only by permitting ourselves to situate at our most centered point on our psychic "fulcrum," if you will, that we will manage to weather the storms of destructive emotions and events.  

While I believe that organized religions often divide us, I believe that we each can find God at the deepest part of us; indeed, I believe God lives in the deepest part of us.  So rejoice in your Spirit, your Being-ness, your infinite Creativity.  Be whole and mindful, and create in the image of what YOU want the world to be.  And BE yourself. 


All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my primary site at http://www.lyndalehmann.com/gallery if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Secret, Magic Place


A Secret, Magic Place - Image c Lynda Lehmann


An unlikely combination of living elements caught my eye while deep in the woods of the White Mountains. The light was golden, entering the forest from a low level, in early autumn light. The day was bright and still, the sky a soft, cloudless blue.  

To find a tree hollow with a single mushroom standing in the middle of it, surrounded by lichen and a necklace of pine needles, and all that rough bark texture and pastiche of leaves faded to gold, was mesmerizing.  

It was enchanting, a day to remember.  


All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my primary site at http://www.lyndalehmann.com/gallery if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Across the Street: Counterpoint in Window-Pane


Across the Street - Lynda Lehmann c 2011 


The view in the door glass of a vintage building reflects the arched doorways and windows of buildings across the street.  I enjoy this shot because I'm fascinated with what I like to call "alternative spaces": spaces that are in some way transitional and can't be defined in the way a dedicated "room" can be, and spaces that are otherwise ambiguous or interesting.  Portals, hall, balconies and alleyways all offer unusual perspectives and have always held a fascination for me.  "False spaces" created by reflection or illusion, evoke a similar reaction.

Do you have a favorite space in your home or a familiar building that intrigues you and doesn't quite fit the definition of a standard "room?"


All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my primary site at http://www.lyndalehmann.com/gallery if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

In Praise of Abstraction


Metrimorphic III -  c Lynda Lehmann 

If we are going to discuss the validation of art by virtue of "skill" or "meaning," we have to give abstraction a fair shake. To my way of thinking, abstract art is more interesting (if not more beautiful) than realism, because it presents a visual experience that has no precedent in reality. It presents something totally new and is its own reality. Realism refers to a single point in time and space even when it is arresting, compelling and speaks to universals.
But abstraction can be richly layered and full of ambiguity and mystery that yields fresh nuances of visual experience with each viewing. To me, abstract art comprises a rich, multi-dimensional experience because it doesn't cater to the constraints of time and place. The new visual experience it presents is of value in and of itself, and does not require a literal meaning in the usual sense. As a matter of fact, it may call on the viewer to be a more active participant in the viewing, because it reaches beyond our usual scope of perception and lends itself to the subjective reality of each viewer. Art does not need to refer to political or religious ideologies, or even the continuum of human emotions and experience, to garner its meaning. It simply is, and therein lies its meaning. And to me, abstraction is very compelling in its visual (and emotional) richness.
As for the "skills" part of the equation, Kandinsky (among others) manifested a high level of both imagination and skill that many realists don't possess. I wanted to post some of his images to illustrate the point of this post but because of copyright issues, had to use one of my own, instead.  Compelling abstraction is difficult to achieve, often involving both concept and great discipline that match or exceed many realist paintings.  


NOTE: I first wrote this as a response to a discussion on Robert Genn's Painter's Keys site.  You can read his original letter and the responses, including mine, here.  While you'e there, you might want to sign up for Robert's thought-provoking newsletter.  
All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my primary site at http://www.lyndalehmann.com/gallery if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog!






Monday, April 4, 2011

Silver Linings Trim the Sea


Silver Linings Trim the Sea - Image c Lynda Lehmann


Some views of nature invoke powerful feelings and there's not a word or set of words that will do them justice.  We know when we are witnessing scenes that speak to mysterious powers beyond our comprehension.  

I took a series of photos the other day on a beach on the south shore of Long Island, facing into the sun.  Photographically speaking, this is a no-no, especially without a good polarizing filter.  Since I had only my Nikon 7000 with me, I had to settle for its built in neutral density filter.  I simply could not pass up taking shots of the clouds and beach lit up in bangles of silver.  

Even the seagulls couldn't get over the drama in the western sky.

When clouds obscure your horizon, I wish you bright silver linings!


Witness to Clouds and Sea - Lynda Lehmann c 2011


All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my primary site at http://www.lyndalehmann.com/gallery if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Firestorm: New Abstract Expressionist Painting to Benefit Japan


Firestorm - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann

I painted this piece last week, and I think it expresses my emotional response to recent events in Japan. In view of the ongoing devastation, grief and loss of the Japanese people, who have lost their homes, their towns and infrastructure and their loved ones, and who are facing the dire consequences of nuclear contamination, I will donate all profits from this painting to the American Red Cross Japan Fund. By that I mean all proceeds minus the fee (if any) due to whichever artist's site I may sell it on. Shipping is always the customer's responsibility. 

"Firestorm" is 22 x 28 inches, painted in acrylic on gallery-wrapped canvas. It can be framed or hung without a frame. 

My price is $900.00.  By donating the proceeds of this painting to the people of Japan, I can afford to give a more sizable donation than I would otherwise make.  Maybe it will buy some clothing, food or drinking water for a family who has lost everything.

Let's pray for their comfort and healing, and for the nuclear nightmare they're faced with, to be adequately dealt with and over. As for the rest of humanity, I hope we'll learn to make better choices in our energy policy, and become more aware of the consequences of letting corporate interests and lobbyists push dangerous technologies. 

All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my primary site at http://www.lyndalehmann.com/gallery if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Peony Pink and the Ides of Plutonium



Peony Pink - Image c 2011 Lynda Lehmann





Spring solstice has arrived!  This tender season is usually regarded as a time to rejoice at life's beauty and renewal.  Life is precious.  It is also delicate and perishable, and not at all guaranteed.  It's a gift and a miracle, with or without a religious perspective to cast it in.  I present to you a photo of a delicate Peony as a reminder of life's fragility, as the towns on the Northeast coast of Japan and well inland, struggle for their very survival. 

I will continue to wish, hope and pray for the Japanese people to find comfort, solace and the support of the world community in their healing from this week's multiple tragedies. I also wish, hope and pray for all of us to achieve freedom from the nuclear monster. The lethal potential of isotopes with a half life of 25,000 years or more, makes nuclear energy a Pandora's box of potential for the destruction of Life.  I think the world is finally recognizing that a technology that can't be controlled or adequately addressed with solutions and fail-safes, should not be used. Plutonium and cesium can exact a high price for the privilege of turning on a hair-dryer or the central heating system.

If you're not familiar with the specifics of nuclear energy and how it's produced, and what radiation can do to all living things, you might want to read the books of Dr. Helen Caldicott, the Australian physician who researched and campaigned against the nuclear demon. She saw the contradiction of ministering to a few sick children while the nuclear monster grew in the background and cast a shadow over all of life on Earth. If you think I'm being dramatic, read "Nuclear Madness" or "Missile Envy," among others.  And read other sources if you like, as I did, to corroborate the information she presents.

Let's pray for the government of Japan to mobilize their Air Force and call on other countries for help in burying the distressed and very dangerous radiation-spewing nuclear reactors with sand and concrete, before they pour more poison into our atmosphere, to rain down on the seas that are at the base of our food chain and settle on our precious land, water, and all living beings.  

Physicist Michio Kaku suggested this solution, which was successfully used to limit further contamination after the Chernobyl disaster. Given the miserable condition of the plants, it's the only solution.  Incidentally, Dr. Kaku suggested that where alternatives are available, using nuclear energy is like selling one's soul "to the devil," as Christopher Marlowe's doomed fictional character Doctor Faustus did.

Personally I'm for going in other directions, as the feasibility of safe-use for nuclear, is doubtful, at best. It's never been more obvious that nuclear power is just too dangerous to fill our energy needs, and we need to make drastic changes to improve the technology and come up with real fail-safes.  Or we need to go in other directions.

If more funding went into R & D, even a fragment of what has gone into designing and building weapons systems, we could find alternatives. And since we in the USA use 25% of the world's energy, we need to learn to cut our use. If everyone conserved, including corporations, we could make a big dent in our usage. For example, we recently drove down a major Long Island road that is lined with the gorgeous buildings of corporate headquarters. I'm talking HUGE modern buildings with too many offices to count. In most of these buildings, the lights were left on for the overnight hours. If the cleaning staff needed to clean, they didn't need every floor and cubby illuminated bright as day, at ten at night. It's just a small example--but it's my guess that the power those buildings consumed over one night, could power a small city for basic needs during the same period of time. 

Japan has long had Mag-Lev trains; we do not. Our mass transit systems are in disarray and our roads are a mess in many places. There are SO many things we can do to make travel easier and more fuel efficient. But we are spoiled and no one really wants to feel any pain at all, to facilitate change that will help us survive in the long run. As for nuclear, it's my opinion that no amount of physical/mechanical safeguards will make the technology failsafe, until we learn how to neutralize spent fuel, etc. 

There will always be the occasional natural disaster of unprecedented proportions. As advanced and organized as Japan society is, they did not give credence to the idea that the flooding of the shoreline plants could threaten their population, and maybe the larger human family. If plutonium becomes airborne because of an explosion, those particles will land and emit radiation willy-nilly for 25,000 years. 

So how does that advance the cause of human life, world peace, and the pursuit of happiness? Experts with a wider perspective on nuclear technologies are few and far between and of course, they are not willing to create a panic now by laying out worst-case scenarios. I don't know what we're going to do, but I know that nuclear weapons and nuclear power have the potential to put an end to life on earth. No one even talks about its mutagenic qualities, and ill-advised news-persons sometimes suggest that we can "wash it off" or take potassium iodide. They don't take into account or articulate the differences between alpha, beta and gamma particles, and how they move into the body and the permanent damage they can do. To me, getting rid of nuclear materials--except for medical applications--seems like a survival imperative for our species.



All images and text on this blog are copyrighted material, and may be used only with written permission, except where syndication rights have been granted. All other rights reserved. Please visit my primary site at http://www.lyndalehmann.com/gallery if you would like to see my acrylic paintings and more of my photography and digital art. I hope you enjoyed your visit to my blog!

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