Dance of the Happy Feet

Reprise from ten years ago – Welcome to my world of Art and life.

In my role as a Penguin I won an award for Best Peformance

There was new beginning in my creative life in 2010 when I went to Nanaimo to take pictures of Bodysage 2010 and the Canadian Bodypainting Championships.  I went as a photographer but ended up on stage for the finals at the Victoria Fringe Festival and Championships.  Even more amazing, I won a prize for the best performance by a model.

Who knew I had it in me?  Not me, that’s for sure, although I admit to having been on a stage a few times before in my 57 years of living. (I’m almost 67 now)

When I was just a young lad, in my early teen years, I modelled bathing suits for Jantzen Swimwear one summer.  My aunt Physlis was a clothing designer with the company and she took me with her and introduced me to the stage.

It was first my modeling job, and, I must admit, my last until the Bodypainting championships.

I was happy just to be a photographer at the festival and show.  There were a good number of beautiful models and skilled painters working together to create amazing designs.  It was great to earn the respect and affection of the crew and a delight to shoot under the circumstances.

I got a lot of great shots, which I shared with the artists and models after it was over.  Still, the biggest surprise was being asked to be painted on the Friday night before the big show.

Of course it was initially just a great joke.  After all, everybody else was either a painter or a model, and I’d been taking thousands of shots of people nearly naked in all sorts of compromising positions.

Of course I said yes.  I can take a joke as well as… as well I can, and I thought that it would be hillarious to be painted as a penguin for the party on Friday night.  Who knew that it would be so popular with the models and artists that they insisted that I go into the show on Saturday Night at the Fringe Festival.

Well, the rest is history.  And the dance of the Penquins has never been danced quite so awkwardly, or by such a comical character.

That performance and the photos I took that week launched me anew in the world of fashion photography, model portfolios, and just plain fun with new friends and a new generation.

Life is interesting when you start down a road you didn’t even dream existed.

Happiness

Happiness is not only the absence of unhappiness, but also an affirmation of a kind of state of grace, which encompasses all the good and bad in life, but as a kind of continuing sense of gratitude. Happiness is not necessarily always being a happy person, but is rather the presence of a profound sense of joy in life itself, for good and ill alike.

The happiest person I ever met is my sister Kathryn, who had a life altering car accident in her early twenties which left her paralysed Although she died a couple of Christmas seasons ago, her joyful embrace of life made everyone around her more aware of the reasons to celebrate, even in the face of massive disabilities and chronic pain. She suffered from serious pain, life threatening deficiencies caused by her disability, and severe restrictions in mobility, or even taking care of herself physically. It used to take her hours each and every morning just to get out of bed, go to the bathroom and get ready for the day.

Through it all she spread joy to everyone she knew.

I am making only one New Years Eve vow this year. To bring an attitude of acceptance and joy to my everyday life, and to celebrate the joy that all of the people in my life bring me every day.

Nude Photography – Sex and Art and Love and Lust

This is a reblog of an earlier posting from 2011. A lot has changed in eight or nine years, including my experience of a sense of broken trust with my wife of somn years.

The truth is that I was fooling myself, in believing that my wife was okay with my photo shoots with nude models. The only thing she was okay with was not talking about it, or expressing her feelings on the subject. This is now over, and she is quite vocal about her point of view, which is negative in general, and frustrated in particular.

She honestly believes that she never agreed to the terms of our marriage as I understood them, almost forty years ago. The whole idea of “open marriage” or a “poly” relationship is fundamentally offensive to her sense of what is necessary for a marriage to work, ultimately. Today, while we continue to cohabitate, she no longer considers our marriage valid, and considers herself to be unmarried, or perhaps, never really married at all.

In some ways things are actually better between us, in that she is now open to express her honestly held beliefs and her emotions. Now we’re both somewhat bitter about the whole thing, and yet still are trying to find a way to function as a couple.

Life is funny. Despite everything we love each other. Can’t always stand each other, but still have deep affection and respect. We just don’t agree on marital fidelity and a lot of other things. At the heart of it, I’m the one incapable of cleaving to one and only one woman. She’s convinced that it is a function of my inability to really trust anyone completely. She might be right. But just saying it doesn’t change it for me, and it doesn’t resolve it for her.

So. Limbo.

Out Here in Paradise

A close friend of mine, a photographer in Vancouver, with well-developed skills and a wonderful eye, is struggling with a major conflict between his intimate relationship with a long-term woman partner and his even longer term artistic exploration of the female form through nude photography.

I think it’s important to define both – what I mean by an intimate relationship with his partner, and what I mean by nude photography.  They may both seem pretty self-evident, but trust me when I tell you that neither is as simple as it seems.

My friend is struggling because his wife of about a year is absolutely mortified that her husband wants to take pictures of naked women, and spend time in intimate situations with naked women who are not her.  This is despite the fact that her husband, before marriage, was one of the best known local boudoir photographers in…

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Garniture – accessories in life

      • 1855Robert Browning“Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”, XVI:
        [] I fancied Cuthbert’s reddening face / Beneath its garniture of curly gold, / Dear fellow, till I almost felt him fold / An arm in mine to fix me to the place / That way he used.
      • 1888Henry JamesThe Reverberator.
        They believed that the ladies and the gentlemen alike had covered them with endearments, were candidly, gushingly glad to make their acquaintance. They had not in the least seen what was manner, the minimum of decent profession, and what the subtle resignation of old races who have known a long historical discipline and have conventional forms for their feelings—forms resembling singularly little the feelings themselves. Francie took people at their word [] It would not have occurred to the girl that such things need have been said as a mere garniture. Her lover, whose life had been surrounded with garniture and who therefore might have been expected not to notice it, had a fresh sense of it now []

    I like new words.  New to me, that is.  I’d never heard the word garniture and if I had I wouldn’t have know how to use it in a sentence.  The above quotes give us examples from Wikipedia of the proper use of the words.

    Which means, an accessory of sorts, but one designed to enhance the object or person being so accessorized.  What my mother would have called “gilding the lily.”

    So a room with furniture but no garniture, would be a room with essential furniture only, but without any other decorations.  No table ornaments, no wall hangings or painting, no fancy lights, to mats on the floor or, for the matter, on the table.  A room without any style at all, in fact.  The kind of room preferred by my mother, due to her Swedish roots.

    The word has other uses.  Imagine that a “boy toy” for a wealthy movie star as garniture, making her look good.  Or yard ornaments to upgrade the garden.  Or nice pictures of food in a takeout restaurant, something to look at while your waiting for your take out dinner.

    Garniture.  Like furniture.  Bears the same relationship to garnish as furniture does to furnish.  Another interesting example of how the english language evolved from Norman French.

Unwonted

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All things considered, I’d rather be in Tuwanek, for me a most unwonted place, filled with old but vivid memories from my early years, and periodic trips down memory lane on subsequent day trips to the rainforest village area.

I love the word unwonted, for all its unfamiliarity, and despite its similarity to the word unwanted, which sounds pretty similar, despite have a completely different meaning and emotional impact. The word “unwonted” sounds familiar, but it means extraordinary, unusual, and exotic – exactly the opposite of unwanted.

What makes this tiny point of land so special? Mostly it is special because of the flood of memories evoked when I remember summer holidays in my parents’ cottage, just a few hundred steps from the beach.  My parents bought the property for use by the family after buying a summer vacation property on Savary Island, further north past Powell River which had never really worked out well because it was simply too far to get to for a short holiday.  It took virtually a whole day just to get to Savary Island and another to get home at the end of the holiday.

There were two main benefits of buying in Tuwanek, after their experience on Savary Island.  Tuwanek is a drive of less than an hour from the terminal at Langdale, where the ferry delivers cars from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. So we could leave our home in North Vancouver, catch the ferry and drive to the cottage in a little over two hours, assuming that we caught the first ferry and didn’t have to wait for the next ferry.

Travelling all the way up to Savary Island is a long trip, with two ferry rides required, and the family taking its’ own water transportation to get to the island as there is no ferry to Savary Island, not even today.  That means a boat, which was a major expenditure for my dad and mom.  Sechelt is a lot closer, with only one ferry to catch, and it is on a road directly accessed from the Sechelt Inlet Highway.

It’s proximity to West Vancouver also meant that as we kids grew older it was practical to go up for a weekend, instead of reserving it for long holidays.  But even with easy access, comparatively, it became increasing a rare weekend visit once we went off to university or into other pursuits as young adults.

It did serve as the location for my honeymoon (of sorts) after I married my second wife.  I don’t know if she ever felt that we really had a true honeymoon, already having had a couple of kids before we got married. It was a great place all of us to holiday, and we loved spending time at the beach with the kids in the water.

Eventually my parents no longer used the cabin, and sold it to my sister, who lived there after returning from eastern Canada, where she worked for the New Democratic Party in New Brunswick.  To this day she still lives on the Coast, buying a small farm on the road to Port Mellon.

 

The original inhabitants of Sechelt are the Sechelt Nation, a British Columbian First Nations band who call themselves shishalh (or shishalh Nation).[3] Before English was spoken, the town of Sechelt was called ch’atlich in she shashishalhem (the Sechelt language).[4] For thousands of years, the Sechelt people practiced a hunting and gathering subsistence strategy, making extensive use of the natural food resources located around Sechelt, and its strategic location for access into the Sechelt Inlet. Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Synonyms & Antonyms for unwonted

Synonyms

aberrant, aberrated, abnormal, anomalous, atypical, especial, exceeding,exceptional, extraordinaire, extraordinary, freak, odd, peculiar, phenomenal,preternatural, rare, singular, uncommon, uncustomary, unique, unusual

Antonyms

common, customary, normal, ordinary, typical, unexceptional, unextraordinary,usual

Madonna and Child Project Book

Gallery

This gallery contains 2 photos.

http://madonnaandchildproject.chipin.com/the-madonna-and-child-project-book Vancouver Island painter Kate Hanson, who painted the series Madonna and Child, which was displayed in a number of successful gallery exhibitions on Vancouver Island over the past two years, is undertaking the publication of her works in a … Continue reading

Nude Photography – Sex and Art and Love and Lust

Gallery

This gallery contains 1 photo.

A close friend of mine, a photographer in Vancouver, with well-developed skills and a wonderful eye, is struggling with a major conflict between his intimate relationship with a long-term woman partner and his even longer term artistic exploration of the … Continue reading

A letter from mother on my birthday

3511 Mahon Ave. North Vancouver,B.C.

June 25,1984. Dear Bruce,

Mom

Ready to try again

So you are thirty-one years old today. It hardly seems possible because the events of the day you were born are still as vivid in my mind as if  the whole thing had happened just a year or so ago.

Your dad was out of town, on the road, and his father and stepmother  had agreed to come and get your two sisters and look after them when it was  time for me to go to the hospital. However, their understanding of when they  should come obviously did not square with mine. I phoned them at about eight  o’clock in the morning to tell them that I was having labor pains and would  like them to come for the girls. They said they would come as soon as Art got  home from work … after five o’clock.

Naturally this caused me some concern because the only person that was available to look after the girls on an interim basis was the new tenant in the other half of our duplex, a who I scarcely knew. So I waited, and waited, becoming more and more frightened, until about four o’clock, at which point my pains were  scarcely one minute apart.  I can still  remember the frightened faces of your two sisters as I left, with them crying, and  the new neighbor obviously unhappy about this turn of events.

It was a good thing  that I did not delay any longer, because as it turned out, you were the only one of my children who would not have been born easily without assistance. You were a frontal delivery, and required some expert manipulation in order to be born without any damage. The procedure is also rather painful, and my concern for my two older children probably added an extra level of tension.

When you finally arrived about 8.30 P.M., you were just fine …no severe bruising, just a slightly elongated head, which the doctor assured me would shortly resume its normal shape (which it did.)

Your dad did not get to see you until you were almost two days old, although he did come back early on the Friday. (You were born on a Wednesday.) He also reclaimed our little girls from their relieved grandparents, and looked after them until I returned home when you were five days old.

During the weekend while I was in the hospital I was deluged with flowers and gifts for you from
all your dad’s relatives, who were absolutely delighted that we had finally managed to produce a boy. They arrived in droves to inspect you and declared that you were very nice. However, once I returned home they disappeared into whatever limbo they had occupied before …many of them I didn’t see again for years.

However, you certainly were given a royal reception to the clan!