Lu Guang (卢广), freelancer photographer

Amazing Pictures, Pollution in China.

This collection of photographs is stunning, and mind boggling.  Lu Guang recently won the $30,000 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography for his documentary project “Pollution in China”  at the 30th annual awards ceremony of the W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund.  The event took place at the Asia Society in New York City on October 14, 2009.

Robert Genn’s “Painter’s Keys”

Canadian painter Robert Genn shares thoughts, quotations, and wisdom about art and creativity twice a week in his e-letter “Painter’s Keys”.  It never fails to inspire, or provoke thought.  It costs nothing, and contains no advertising or spam-like material!  I have been receiving this newsletter for several years and have found it to be of tremendous value in my artistic and creative journey.  Mr. Genn’s web site is a terrific resource for artists of all kinds, as well as an archive of all of the Painter’s Keys letters.the Painter's Keys Artist Community

“Continuous Journey”

While driving, I was listening to a CBC radio interview with the wife of film maker Ali Kazimi and heard the most soul stirring music being sung by Shahid Ali Khan. When I got home, I searched the internet until I learned how I could purchase this music from Kazimi’s film “Continuous Journey”, about Canada’s shameful refusal in 1914 to let a shipload of 376 South Asian passengers (many of them citizens of British India) into Canada.

The sound and music CD was discovered at Improbable Music, and features Shahid Ali Khan, Kiran Ahluwalia, Ben Grossman, Ravi Naimpally, Mark Korven and Philip Strong. You can listen to a short clip at the web site. When I listened to the film maker’s wife speak about Shahid Ali Khan singing the piece that I heard on CBC Radio, she said that Kazimi asked him to sing about longing for home etc…you don’t need to know the Pakistani language, you can hear and feel it right down to your bones.  I recently discovered a  quotation by Shahid on CBC describing his music, “The duty of Qawwali is to reduce the distance between the Creator and the created”.

Spring flowers

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I love to plant indigenous flowers in my flower gardens. Above is some Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), started from a single plant shared with me by a fellow local gardener. It’s always the very first thing to come up in the spring.

In addition to creating extraordinary clay work, Canadian potter (and gardener) Eva Gallagher creates hypertufa planters for succulents and alpine plants. They survive the cold winters extremely well. The planter below is what is blooming in my garden at present (there are still no leaves on the trees).  The planter was purchased with the “sculptured” succulent garden already planted.

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