Making these prints is a two-step process. You carve your design on 2 pieces of linoleum, or in my case, once on either side. One is the positive, and the other is the negative. The first color goes on, then the second needs to be lined up over the other print and added on. It’s a lot of fun if you’re looking for a project to do.

I’m on my way out of town for the weekend, so I’ll update later what I’m doing with these prints.ImageImageImage

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Today, I carved both sides of the linoleum, and tomorrow I will make prints from the carving. My elbows are now sore.

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I used images that I took at the 2010 Earthdance in California, and created this mandala in Photoshop.

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ImageI know it’s not Martin Luther King Day, but it’s his Birthday today.

He continues to inspire people everywhere. 

This video I’m including is a link for a song by Immortal Technique, who also inspires me. This song begins with a clip from one of King’s speeches.

Civil War – Immortal Technique

Lyrics:
[Immortal Technique]
The ghetto is like a prison, with invisible bars
No matter where you ride, it always follows you where you are
And it’s hard out there, for a pimp to get outta
But it’s harder for the hooker that he beat the shit outta
I got niggas underground in the Confederate States
Ironically runnin’ from slavery that prison creates
So I never hate on the south, I respect they vision
I just hate on niggas that promote Samboism
And white execs that love to see us in that position
They reflect the stereotypes of America’s vision
They want us dancing, cooning and hollering
Only respect us for playing sports and modeling
More than racism, it’s stay in your place-ism
More people are trapped in practical blackface-ism
So fuck a Civil War between the North and the South
It’s between field niggas and slaves that are stuck in the house

[Chorus: Chuck D]
Civil war for the soul of a nation
This is a struggle to save civilization
Demonstrations overthrowing the occupation
The annihilation of mental colonization

Civil war for the soul of a nation
We fight for the future of our civilization
Destroy the corrupt government organizations
Trying to survive cultural assassination

[Killer Mike]
Crip niggas, Blood nigga, ese’s, Asians
Why the fuck we warring with each other’s population?
The devil wanna dead all our population
People in Folk nation, why the separation?
Why we got Jamaicans hatin’ on Haitians
When the British and French raped both nations?
Mexicans and Blacks kill each other, straight hating
While the government profits from prison population
If you on the bottom, be you Anglo or Asian
You gotta recognize the realness of what I’m sayin’
You gotta recognize another G ain’t the enemy
When the police ride to kill us frequently
We gotta make the youth see, where the truth be
If you a G, then grow and develop GD
50 years of gangs and our people still poor
If we really run the streets, we should really end war

[Chorus: Chuck D]
Civil war for the soul of a nation
This is a struggle to save civilization
Demonstrations overthrowing the occupation
The annihilation of mental colonization

Civil war for the soul of a nation
We fight for the future of our civilization
Destroy the corrupt government organizations
Trying to survive cultural assassination

[Brother Ali]
Listen, our hearts were torn apart just like y’all was
Watching towers full of souls fall to sawdust
Everytime we called your office you ignored us
Now you holding hearings on us all inside a Congress
Microscopes on us, ask if we’re Jihadists
My answer was in line with all of the Founding Fathers
I think Patrick said it best; Give me liberty or death
I shall never accept anything less
You claim innocence, you play victimless
But you gave the kiss of death in the name of self defense
Slavery and theft have brought the nations to the end
Of pacifying your citizenry with excess
We believe in freedom, justice, security
But they’re only pure when they’re applied universally
So certainly if I rage against the machine
My aim was only to clean the germs out of the circuitry
Heard you need putting fear inside your heart
Make you burn Qu’rans and tell me not to build a mosque
Me, my wife and babies we ain’t never made jihad
We just want to touch our heads to the floor and talk to God
Ask him to remove every blemish from my heart
The greatest threat of harm doesn’t come from any bomb
The moment you refuse the human rights of just a few
What happens when that few includes you?
Civil war

My mother is an artist and retired Art teacher. She’s been making baskets since I was a kid. Today we each worked on a basic basket. Mine is an egg basket and Jane’s is a melon basket. ImageImageImage

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Another unfinished project that was in need of finishing, and I finished it today. What do you see?

As CNY comes into our January thaw, the creeks and waterways are busily carrying away the old beginnings of winter. The swift, overflowing creek is a wonderful reminder from nature to take moments to be aware, observe and have gratitude for all the abundance in life. It flows into and through our lives always.  It’s our own personal blocks and programming that make us believe otherwise; that there’s lack in life.

I offer this short meditation to take some time in your day to appreciate the abundance in your life, and be open to receive all that you need.

Listen, watch or close your eyes. Relax your body and soften your facial expression. Breathe deeply through your nose to the count of 4 and exhale out your mouth even more slowly. Enjoy deep, replenishing breaths that cleanse and slow down your mind for the next 6 minutes. Have a peaceful and abundant Sunday wherever you are.

Years back, when I was in college, I found some old negatives that were roughly 3″ x 5″ They are images of relatives (and probably some non relatives) from my father’s side of the family. Most of them were captured on our dairy farm. I printed up a handful of images for a RIT photo class when I was there. I also scanned them onto my computer back in the day.

Tonight, I opened up a bunch of the scanned negatives, and started playing around with them in Photoshop, along with some of the images I’ve either taken or that have me in them. The following images are the result:

This first (Fenner Wind Farm) was actually created a few years back, and serves as the inspiration for my project today:

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This is my grandfather in the field, with the Fenner windmills in the background.

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This is my father’s Aunt Maude and her husband (my dad on the tractor in the background)

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All my siblings, and our old dog, Commander. I believe the lady in the white hat is also dad’s Aunt Maude, with another lovely lady at Chittenango Falls, NY

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Not sure who these fellas are, but that’s me, being classy, with my favorite cat, Tony.

*Yes, I enjoy amusing myself!

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Today I’m in Vermont, visiting my dear friend Rebecca. She’s a ski and snowboard instructor. I’ve done a little boarding in my past, and am not that comfortable doing it thse days. In fact, it freaks me out, so I’m surprised that I told her I’d be out to board. I agonized over the decision I had made, but went ahead and collected my gear. As I tried out my boots, I was reminded of my poor baby toe that a cow had stepped on before Thanksgiving that still hurts. A perfect excuse, I thought. But they really didn’t hurt too much, so I went. And here I am and I’m having a wonderful time. I did quite well on the bunny hill.

My lesson: to feel my fear and do it anyway, despite possibility of failure. A gentile reminder to not get so comfortable in your space that it stops you from  growth.