Photographer Kelly DeLay set a creative challenge of taking a great cloud photograph ever day. The count as of today is 1,419. The focus of the photographs is on the sky and the cloud formations. Shots are from wherever DeLay is at the time. See this wonderful project at the website: www.clouds365.com. Three images are below.
That time of year again – another Manifest video. I wonder if YouTube is throttling content: it keeps loading low res, so you may have to select HD. The audio on the music is rough because my camera has a tiny in-camera microphone and the bass was blowing it up. Overall, the opening of the art fest had a lot of energy as another 2,000+ art school graduates are unleashed on the general population. Also, a section of Wabash was shut down once more – a return to prior years- to allow for use of the street and make crossing safer.
The Museum of Science & Industry has a nearby underpass with a collection of mosaics. Here are photos of most of them. (One picture came out really blurry.) I usually do not walk that way and finding them was a pleasant surprise. I like mosaics a lot; they seem to be naturally fun to me. That may be an association on my part because mosaics are fun to put together. Also, whacking tiles with a hammer has its therapeutic benefits for stress.
Re-posted from May 8, 2011
Julia Ward Howe [1819 - 1910]
Mother’s Day in America did not originate as a commercialized holiday intended as a sentimental celebration of mothers and motherhood; it started as an anti-war movement. In 1870, after the massive number of deaths from the civil war, a woman named Julia Ward Howe issued a proclamation from Boston, Massachusetts and set forth as an anti-war activist in the USA and UK. She spent the years following calling women to gather and bring an end to war. The original idea of Mother’s Day was for mothers to leave their usual duties in life -ditch the cooking and cleaning, forget the laundry, chores or jobs- and spend a day working toward peace and the end of war as a collective, a call issued to all of the mothers of the world:
“Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts,
whether our baptism be that of water or of fears!
Say firmly: “We will not have great questions decided by
irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking
with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be
taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach
them of charity, mercy and patience.
We women of one country will be too tender of those of another
country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs. From
the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own.
It says “Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance
Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the
means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each
bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
but of God.
In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a
general congress of women without limit of nationality may be
appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at
the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the
alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement
of international questions, the great and general interests of
Julia Ward Howe
Through the 1890s, the promotion of Mother’s Day as a peace movement and a call for disarmament continued but did not catch on nationally. Julia Ward Howe went on to write other works and campaign for peace, the suffrage movement, the abolition of slavery and democracy.
Anna Marie Jarvis [1864 - 1948]
So how did the holiday get subverted? How has Mother’s Day become about greeting cards, flowers, boxed jewelry and other gifts? How did a political movement morph into Victorian nostalgia? The Wikipedia does such a good job of summing it up:
” The current holiday was created by Anna Jarvis in Grafton, West Virginia, in 1908 as a day to honor one’s mother. Jarvis wanted to accomplish her mother’s dream of making a celebration for all mothers, although the idea didn’t take off until she enlisted the services of wealthy Philadelphia merchant John Wanamaker. She kept promoting the holiday until President Woodrow Wilson made it an official national holiday in 1914. The holiday eventually became so highly commercialized that many, including its founder, Anna Jarvis, considered it a “Hallmark Holiday”, i.e. one with an overwhelming commercial purpose. Jarvis eventually ended up opposing the holiday she had helped to create…
Nine years after the first official United States Mother’s Day, commercialization of the holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become and spent all her inheritance and the rest of her life fighting what she saw as an abuse of the celebration.
Later commercial and other exploitations of the use of Mother’s Day infuriated Jarvis and she made her criticisms explicitly known the rest of her life.
She criticized the practice of purchasing greeting cards, which she saw as a sign of being too lazy to write a personal letter. She was arrested in 1948 for disturbing the peace while protesting against the commercialization of Mother’s Day, and she finally said that she “wished she would have never started the day because it became so out of control …”
My alternative process stained glass windows made with recycled house windows will be on display at the 2013 Zerolandfill Upcycled Art Competition. The show’s main event and opening is this upcoming Saturday, May 11th – doors open at 10:00 am – at the Chicago Center for Green Technology (445 N. Sacramento Blvd., Chicago, IL). Free parking is available in both the front and rear parking lots. Zerolandfill collects and gives away various materials collected from construction companies and industry; artists and crafters can collect things for free. Join their mailing list for updates and information here.
This work will probably go to the upcoming summer auction for the Heart & Sole Dance Foundation. They are a great group that promotes fitness through dance and particularly has a mission for kids education in basic dance. I made the collage from local free newspapers, gold metallic paint, ink and Berol Prismacolor pencils. It fits in an 8×10 opening mat well but I also high res scanned it in case something like a poster or a print would benefit the foundation more than selling a single item.
The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman  is a short 187 pages but it is packed with images that illustrate techniques. If you are someone who learns better by seeing examples, this may be the best possible photography how-to book you can read. I learned way more from this book than I ever did from a college class and feel anyone can learn something from the book regardless of prior experience or skill level.
Photographs are broken down with descriptions on what elements make them successful, such as colour, framing the shot and internal composition. Different shots are shown alongside the most successful example for comparison or a stream of shots will be shown to illustrate the subtle variations and which shots are more successful. The book is older so it is retailing online for $20 or less however you are getting a terrific education for the price. The visual demonstrations paired with the written expertise makes this a veritable text book that supersedes any other class or tutorial in value.