Sunday, April 24, 2011

Photographer to the Tzar

Winter is coming to an end and spring is in the air in the Midwest - or it should be. It sounds as if winter is reluctant to release its hold this year, since it is late April and I have been receiving pictures of my father's snow filled yard in my inbox. However, snow or no snow, spring break must go on and Lynn recently return from her 'spring' break pilgrimage to the Twin Cities just as she did last year.

While she visiting her parents a year ago, Lynn's mom shared a program with her on the work of Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii, the photographer to the Tzar who began producing color photographs in 1906. When you look at his images it seems impossible they are real. They feel staged, because we are so used to seeing that period in black and white. Lynn found inspiration in the photos he took while on the silk road and this postcard is from a picture titled, Fabric Merchant. When I look at the photo now, I again wish I could travel to Russia to see how it has developed in the last 100 years and to have a better understanding of the street view that this merchant may have been looking out on to that day. Thank you for the inspiration a year later my pal.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fast and Furious

Jessica sent me both these cards last April, after traveling for three weeks she was back to her work schedule.  Jessica never has much free time with her job, but she was trying to find ways to enjoy what little she had.  She wrote about meeting a friend for concert, trying to connect with a potter and spending time drawing in this park.  Nkrumah Memorial Park is a typical developing world park from what she described, well maintained, fenced off, and full of interesting people watching.  I like the way her sketches are loose and fast while still giving a lot of detail- hope that comes across in the scans of the drawings too. 
  What are you up to in your free time, making any time for being creative? 

Sunday, April 3, 2011


In what seems like a former life, I used to go to SpeakeasyDC's monthly amateur night at any chance I could get. Brave souls would climb on stage to speak their minds, share memories and spill their secrets to the world - telling true stories on stage without notes. Lucky for me, SpeakeasyDC and its NYC sister The Moth have podcasts that scratch my itch from afar. My happy habit of podcast listening led me to Pen Pal, a story by Boris Timanovsky who relives a online pen pal relationship that he brokered and 'managed' for his son. Not only does the story have a good title, it is hilarious and well worth a listen... even if it does not end up being much of promo for pen pal setups.