It appears that Mother Nature has us on the run. I never believed in natural paybacks. But, with all the hot air blowing from Wash – ington these days, it wouldn’t surprise me if those blowhards caused all the extreme natural phenomena of the past two months. Earthquakes. Tsunamis. Floods. Heavy Snow Storms. Mud Slides. A Snow Hurricane. Heavy Rain.

God speed Chile. God Speed Hawaii. God Speed Pacific Coast. And, God Speed Pacific Rim.

Today marks an anniversary of sorts and a a big change. First, the anniversary. This is my 300th blog post. In baseball, 300 is a big deal. If your batting average is .300, it means you are a pretty good hitter. It also means you reached base by hitting a baseball none out of three at bats. Or, you were out 2/3 of the time. Well, you learn more by failures then successes. They say.

The big change is one of a technological nature. This is my first blog post from a new i-Mac with a 27 inch screen. Sure does make a difference.

The image? It’s a hand painted Kokopelli – the flute player of mischief — that I found on some old building during my Southwestern travels.

Now for a little bit of news. I learned yesterday that three of my “urban view” images had been selected by The Wooden Cow Gallery for inclusion in their May show, which is about — you guessed it — urban views. I’m humbled to show these images there because the gallery is very highly thought of in both the bricks and mortar and the online arts community.

These images were made were made in the last few years. However, the blue image was made in Bangkok, Thailand on 10 Dec 2009. making it a very fresh image of commuters waiting for the Skytrain at Silom Plaza.

The compression image of the houses was made in the Mission District of San Francisco, two summer ago.

Finally, the compression image of the business signs in Chinese characters was made in Mong Kok, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China two years ago.

This is another example of my details as art project. Being a Lost fan, I believe this means something. Let’s see; 5 + 6 + 2 adds up to 13. 13 is bad luck in some cultures.

Oooooh scary.

Actually, the number is question is painted on an old railroad boxcar that is found in the old and tiny train yard in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I mentioned yesterday that I was working on a project that was basically about making pictures that turned something very common into art. Aside from having to actually find these things, there is another problem. Often, when I made the original picture, it was for my Picture A Day project. I mostly used a Canon G9 for the project. However, despite the size of the Mp, which is 12.1, the tiny sensor does not deliver the quality that most agencies think they need.

I try to go back to the original location and re-photograph the scene using a APS-sized sensor on a DSLR.
But, many of these little bits of art are transitory since often they are tagger work, and sometimes by local gangs. The local citizens, understandably, try to clean up this graffiti, which means by the time I get back to the location, my reason for taking the picture is gone.
Oh well.

One of my agencies licenses an art line. Their main marketing push is toward institutional use; like banks, hotels, and restaurants. They are Hawaii-based and have carved out a very nice niche in Pacific Rim stock imagery. But, producing com – mercial fine art is a little tougher. That’s one their issues. My issue is that I don’t live near Hawaii or even the West Coast. So, my editor and I struggle to come up with viable projects. My last projects two worked fine. New Mexico details and Thai scenes. Now, I am trying to turn old, faded, desert-like things into art for its own sake. Some can be old faded numbers on a boxcar, or chipped paint on a curb. Things like that. The trouble with this project is two-fold. It takes time to find these things. And, it’s best done by walking. If you drive by these subjects, you’ll probably miss them. So, I’ve kind of tucked this in with other assignments, commissions and requests. I’ll shoot this when I see it. The real issue then is to always keep moving.

I posted about New Orleans Friday food yester – day. I started thinking about similarities in foods among the places I truly enjoy visiting or living. New Orleans, New Mexico, Thailand, China — every one of them has one thing in common. Much of their traditionally cultural foods are spicy. Some places called their spices peppers, other’s call them chilies, others call by specific names or even more scientific names. And, the country’s first millionaire, Elias Haskett Derby became wealthy by importing pepper and later spiced up Yale University by endowing his riches there.

This picture was made in my backyard, using a Canon G9 during last summers growing season.

I’ve been emailing and Face – booking with a couple of New Orleans friends which reminded me that I had a request for “real” New Orleans food earlier this week. One of the pictures that I submitted was this one. Fried Friday Food — Fried Shrimp, French Fries, French Bread and Cole Slaw. A real New Orleans meal. This image was made at Luizza’s By The Track, which is a block or two away from The Fairgrounds where Jazzfest is held in the spring. Yes. I ate this. Yes. It was good. Yes. The heart paddles where very nearby.

No. It’s not quite spring. In fact, according to the calender the first day of planting comes on 15 April, when people in Albuquerque believe there is no chance of a late season frost. It’s also income tax day, which means that there is plenty of chance of some other kind of frost.

However, even though much has been frozen and killed, some plants refuse to give up, like this little shoot growing through the snow. I suppose it says something about toughness or some kind of fighting spirit. I suppose the government wonks would use this to symbolize the so-called end of the recession when they talk about “little growing shoots.”
I think it’s just a nice transition picture.