There was a time not so long ago when I thought there is no way for me to consider using my iPhone for anything but light image sharing if I had no other choice. Then I happened by chance on Michael a brilliant photographer and iPhone artist who has a masterful over his photography style and words completely unique to him, and that “meeting” on Flickr and on Instagram turned my photography upside down in such a magical way. I think other people are the most potent providers of inspiration when we are able to have an honest, robust exchange of both mind and spirit that can take both people far into realms of the unknown. It is magical when that happens. It drew me to a circle of more incredible artists like Brendan, who creates phenomenal images daily and is now blogging here.
So yes, the iPhone, a brilliant tool for creating and altering realities, for giving form to visions and for capturing the invisible.
What is it that causes people living on islands and in remote places to be drawn to decorating their own bodies? Why are tribal people painting their faces and their chests with different colors? What specific purpose does that practice serve?
a search in art about art for art…
photo taken: a local artist detail while engrossed in his painting on a beach in Boracay.
Chou Maily, 14 years old when I met him at CCPP, painted with so much love and so much dedication, that those qualities radiated out of his handsome face. I was invited to his family home for an interview during my stay and there I was awed to see evidence of his passion adorning the walls of their humble and lovely home.
When the world quiets down, when the mind expands, when time gains elasticity, when the hands buzz and tickle, when peripheral vision activates, when a strange kind of awareness attends you, when you become so focused on the task at hand, when you are transported to a dimension you can only call ‘other’, when you feel the process of being a vehicle for art, an instrument of art, when ‘you’ step out of the way for ‘it’ to do its work… then perhaps you are living the state of the artist.
photo taken: a man sketching in the very busy yu gradens in shanghai totally unaware of the chaos around him.
Maria receiving her special sketch book with drawing from Mark Siegel
Following my recent blog : http://mimokhair.wordpress.com/2010/07/01/a-message-in-art-for-maria, I had the great chance of meeting Maria Antouri again in her summer residence in beatiful village of Faitroun in the Lebanese mountains. Maria and her mother received us and were totally thrilled at seeing the letter from Mark especially the drawing that he made of Maria in her sketch book. For me it was such a pleasure seeing Maria after one year has passed, to see her growth, the growth of her art and to be able to return to her with the special message on her journey in art.
The most special moment was when her mother Marina was reading the note to her and was so moved by the message that tears poured out of her eyes. It was a pure moment of value and sincere emotion that I was so lucky to witness. I had so wished that Mark could have been there in person to see the influence of his words and his genuine encouragement to young artists and to art. Maria and Mirna were also wishing they could meet him soon. One day it will happen!
Maria was proud to show me her new work over the last year that she did as and when she could between school assignments.
a recent drawing by Maria
Here is a link to the gallery of the meeting with Maria and photos of her recent artwork:
Sombath Srey Toch is a 13 year old girl who has been coming to the Cambodian Children’s Painting Project for two years. Srey Toch never smiled when she first started coming and she had no good reason to. Her mother died leaving her and her brother to the care or rather abuse of an older father who drinks heavily, is unemployed after a job related injury and beats Srey Toch and her brother regularly.
She also lost her front teeth and therefore was very shy to show her smile.
As part of what CCPP does, Srey Toch received free dental work that fixed her front teeth. And a contract was made with the abusive father that promises him help with his home rent (and home is a one room and one bed that the whole family shares), and some weekly rice allowance if he refrains from hitting his children.
And of course the daily painting sessions bring a glowing smile to Srey Toch. Every time I saw her at the center she gave me one of these beaming smiles that should never have been hidden in the first place.