ChatterLog May 2012

Senses

Greetings everyone and welcome to the May bulletin! We have now sprung from our fiery sign of Aries and landed in our slower and somewhat more grounded sign of Taurus. And in keeping with the element that rules over this sign, we recently celebrated Earth Day on April 22nd, right as we entered in to the Earth sign of Taurus. Last year we talked about gardens and the year before that it was possessions, so this time I decided to go with Senses. Why, you might ask? Well, many of you will be familiar with the sign of Taurus being associated with money, gardens, possessions and working hard, but did you also know that this is the sign connected with our Senses? Taurus, simply put, supports the notion of the pleasure principle.

The subject of “senses” and what that means is an interesting one. For instance, I mentioned before that Taurus is the sign associated with possessions, they like things, nice things, lots of nice things. However, if you think about it, haven’t all of these possessions – especially all of these “electronic” possessions started to actually de-sensitize us, in a way? I cannot tell you how mad and sad it makes me – well yes I can, and I just did! Seriously though, you cannot stroll down a single street these days without having some idiot walking straight towards you, eyes down with fingers and thumbs glued to their mobile hand-held device of choice. And they expect you to get out of their way? These electronic devices, toys, whatever you want to call them can be a serious distraction from what is actually happening right there in front of you. I remember some years ago now experiencing a “sense” of things to come, when at work one day, the person in the cubicle next to me emailed me a question, rather than standing up and actually asking me in person. I knew it would be downhill from there!

© Alberto Guglielmi
http://albertog.com/

Growing up, we barely watched TV (back then there were only 3 channels anyway) and there were no computers or video games, no iPhones or iPads. The only “blackberries” we knew about were the ones we picked from the hedgerows that stained your fingers and ended up with a bunch of apples inside of a nice pie or crumble! Nowadays kids don’t even have to see one another to play – they may as well have “virtual” friends – everything else is. And yes, I have to admit that as with everything, there is always an upside to a downside, and the power of the Internet is undeniable. Skype for example, has connected people in a way that the occasional letter or birthday card could not. But at the end of the day, there is nothing that replaces real human contact and interaction. Again, this ties us back to the senses – humans need to feel, to touch, and be touched.

Taurus is connected with money and finance and something else that has been on my mind for a while now, and that is to abolish the word “freelancer” and replace it with “fee-lancer” instead. As with all independent contractors, just because we work for ourselves doesn’t mean we come for free, okay? We need to be regarded as “paid-lancers,” not “free-lancers” because the “free” really means that we have chosen to work in a freer environment than the one like that blooming cubicle I was telling you about earlier! Another interesting note connecting Taurus to our senses is all Earth signs are grounded and hard-working by nature, so they are practical people, for whom things need to “make sense!”

Last month you may recall I showed you an entertaining illustrated history of the Queen’s hats all the way from the date of her coronation up to the present day. So from Aries and the head, we now begin to travel down the body and with Taurus, we are looking at the neck, which the head needs in order to hold it up. And in keeping with our theme of “attire”, here’s a fun illustration I found that shows us a range of “necklines” for the fashionable lady to choose from.

But taking this a step (or should I say “a neck”) further, I also found another even more interesting illustration on “neck types” taken from a book published back in 1899 entitled, “A Complete and Authentic Treatise on the Laws of Health and Beauty” by Harriet Hubbard Ayer. This is not only perfect since Taurus rules the neck, and our senses, but also because the Planet Venus rules Taurus, and Venus is connected with love, beauty and vanity – knock, knock! http://archive.org/stream/harriethubbarday00ayer#page/412/mode/2up

Types Revealed by the Neck – Illustration from A Complete and Authentic Treatise on the Laws of Health and Beauty by Harriet Hubbard Ayer

As you can see by the illustration, according to Harriet, before we even get to the necklines, we have six basic “neck types” (who knew?) and they are: the “swan-like neck,” the “goose neck,” the “neck of the conversationalist” (that would be the one with the sore throat), the “obstinate neck” (now that sounds more like a Taurus as they can be pretty stubborn), then we have the “coquette’s neck” (that would be the one covered in “hickies” or love bites), and last, but by no means least, and the neck we all yearn for, the “perfect neck!” So who on earth (no pun intended) was Harriet Hubbard Ayer and how did she come to propose what kind of behavior our necks reveal and what indeed constitutes a beautiful woman?


Harriet Hubbard Ayer 1849 -1903

Harriet Hubbard Ayer was an American beauty authority, newspaper columnist and independent woman of the late Victorian era who, amongst other things pioneered the first cosmetic company owned by a woman in the United States. In fact, she was quite a gal. Born a Chicago socialite in 1849 (and no, she wasn’t a Taurus), she was subsequently forced to go out and fend for herself after a disastrous marriage and her husband’s failed business. This woman endured divorce, kidnapping, madness, seduction, and betrayal, and after all that was able to reinvent herself during the last 17 years of her life as the highest paid newspaper woman in the United States. She was a highly regarded author on the subjects of beauty, health & etiquette, and her book in which I found the neck illustration was essentially a compilation of her essays. Although we associate names such as Helena Rubenstein, Elizabeth Arden and Estée Lauder as being some of the earliest female entrepreneurs in the cosmetics industry, it was in fact Harriet Hubbard Ayer and her company “Recamier Preparations” who made beauty her business before any of these ladies came onto the scene!

And as always, we wish all you beautiful Taurus Happy Birthday!

ChatterQuote May 2012

Martha Graham


© Yousuf Karsh
Martha Graham, May 11, 1894 – April 1, 1991

This month our quote comes from one of my personal heroes, Martha Graham, a Taurus born May 11th, 1894 and one of the most important figures who gave us the foundation of modern dance. I spoke about her in one of my previous bulletins, under the topic of “inspiration.” She died in 1991 after dancing and choreographing for more than 70 years, and was the first dancer ever to perform at the White House.

And once again, we are honored to show a portrait by Yousuf Karsh, and not only do we have his Martha Graham portrait for you, we also have the wonderful story behind the photograph as told by Mr. Karsh himself: Upon arriving at Miss Graham’s New York apartment in 1948 I was quite taken aback, though impressed, by the stark simplicity with which she had chosen to surround herself… Then I looked up to the ceiling and it seemed only a few inches above my head. No one, not even Martha Graham could dance in such a place. Compromise sometimes must be the stuff of which pictures are made. So, rather hopelessly, I sat Miss Graham on a low stool and asked her to assume various attitudes as if she had the space of a great stage around her. Amazingly enough, this restricted posture presented no problem, such perfect control had she over her body.”

Which is pretty funny, when you read the quote we have chosen from her:

Some men have thousands of reasons why they cannot do what they want to, when all they need is one reason why they can.

ChatterArtist May 2012

Preston Chaplin

Following on from last month, our ChatterArtist for May is naturally going to be a Taurus, so we’re showing you some work from photographer Preston Chaplin, whom I first met in Atlanta, some years ago now. At that time, he was just starting out and my buddy George Fulton had taken him under his wing. Well, he’s come a long way since then – he relocated to New York, got married and now has two beautiful daughters, and that’s just for starters. Preston was also an early client when I first started Chatterbox, so it is nice to reconnect with him again and to show you his work.

I was always struck by Preston’s stunning imagery and his attention to detail. Okay, so he’s a perfectionist! And much of that can be attributed to the fact he is also an accomplished retoucher and has extremely high standards, so no image leaves his hands unless he is happy with it. Preston’s love of “fine art” is also apparent in his work, not just because of the high quality, but also in the colors, tones and composition.

For me, his images become works of art, almost like paintings. Preston may not remember this, but one day we were talking about something and he said, “I’d rather watch paint dry!” For some reason, this not only cracked me up, it also stuck with me, and to this day I have affectionately referred to him as “Paint-Dry Preston” which is also quite fitting and makes perfect sense since Preston studied both fine art as well as commercial photography!

Originally from Charleston, South Carolina, Preston is a Taurus, born May 15th, and Taurus loves beautiful things. Taurus is literally the sign that introduces us to our senses, they love fine things, beautiful things that stimulate each and all of our senses, from the physical to the visual, and so on, and again, this is very much reiterated by the beauty of Preston’s work.

ChatterCorner May 2012

Gordon Watkinson
Last month in the ChatterNews we mentioned my friend and photographer Gordon Watkinson‘s project “Bauhaus twenty-21: An Ongoing Legacy” and his current fund-raising campaign on Kickstarter. Well, this month my interview for PhotoServe’s Features section is also with Gordon – so to learn more about the artist and his project, view his cool new website, and to contribute to the Kickstarter campaign which ends May 16th, please click here: http://www.pdnonline.com/photoserve/Louisa-J-Curtis-Is--5585.shtml & http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/588330638/bauhaus-twenty-21-an-ongoing-legacy

© Gordon Watkinson – Bauhaus twenty-21: An Ongoing Legacy

ChatterNews May 2012

Chatterbox Consulting & Marketing

-Do you know who you are as an artist and where you’re going?
-Does your current website and presentation support your visual aesthetic?
-Are you concerned or confused about your marketing, or maybe you haven’t even started?
Chatterbox can help you – we will help you to answer all of these questions, and more. No matter where you are in your career, or what your budget might be – Chatterbox can customize a plan for you. One that feels right and fits your budget, so for more information please contact us at: Louisa@chatterboxenterprises.com
The Business of Photography: The Creatives Panel–Time for Your Six-Month Tune-Up! Moderated by Louisa J. Curtis

For those of you that missed my “Rearview Mirror” Creatives Panel last November at Adorama – fear not – because we are having our six-month tune-up and the 2nd of our “Show & Tell” panels moderated by yours truly on Wednesday, June 13th. Seating is limited, so to reserve your spot and for more information, please click here: http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=WS_Curtis-Panel-Business-of-Photography-2012-06-14
Alice Austen House Museum
Some of you may remember my ChatterCorner interview with photo researcher Laura Wyss. She recently sent me this information for something that is close to home for her, literally, and that is the Alice Austen House Museum on Staten Island. And of course, once I saw the photographs and read the text, I wanted to be sure to include it in this month’s bulletin. Notice also how many strong women we are talking about this month under our Feminine sign of Taurus! Click on the link below to vote, so they can qualify for a big fat grant from American Express and preserve this historic and special landmark:
The Alice Austen House Museum promotes public awareness and scholarly study regarding the life and work of Alice Austen (1866 – 1952).  Austen was one of America’s earliest and most prolific female photographers, and over the course of her life she captured about 8,000 images. Though she is best known for her documentary work, Austen was an artist with a strong aesthetic sensibility. Furthermore, she was a landscape designer, a master tennis player, and the first woman on Staten Island to own a car.  She never married, and instead spent fifty years with Gertrude Tate.  A rebel who broke away from the ties of her Victorian environment, Alice Austen created her own independent life.
Austen lived in “Clear Comfort,” a Victorian Gothic cottage that dates back to a 1690 one-room Dutch farmhouse.  The house, which is one of the oldest in New York and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1973, overlooks the New York Narrows and has a stunning panoramic view of lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Verrazano Bridge.  For good reasons the New York City Parks Department voted it one of the most romantic sites in New York.

The Alice Austen House

Burnt Sugar Arkestra

Looking for some cool music – well, I may have just the ticket for you! My bass playing buddy Jared Nickerson and the rest of the Burnt Sugar Arkestra will be performing The Steely Dan Conductions at (Le) Poisson Rouge right here in Greenwich Village on Thursday, May 24th, with special guest Melvin Van Peebles widLaxative – doors open at 6:30pm and there’s a special early bird ticket sale of $10 for the first 100 tickets – use the following link and the password is BURNTSTEEL – http://lepoissonrouge.inticketing.com/private otherwise tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door – http://lepoissonrouge.com/events/view/3324

© Karsten Staiger
http://www.karstenstaiger.com/

Music critic and columnist Nelson George said: “Attended my first great show of 2012: Vernon Reid conducting the Burnt Sugar Arkestra through a suite of Steely Dan classics imagined with more soul than Fagan & Becker’s records. The songs are so inventive they keep their flavor even when stretched.  Becker & Fagan need to hear this re-arrangement of “Black Cow” by V. Reid and the Burnt Sugar Arkestra. They found the funky soul in its DNA and mined it like a gold mine.”

Jared and Village Voice icon Greg Tate formed Burnt Sugar back in 1999 and to read more about Burnt Sugar click here – http://burntsugarindex.com/

Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution

Speaking of sugar, laxatives, or perhaps, simply watching what we eat, on May 19th, Jamie Oliver is having a Food Revolution Day and hosting a “virtual dinner” where he will be joining people all over the world to talk about the Food Revolution. To learn more click here – http://foodrevolutionday.com/
Brian Smith
Acclaimed portrait photographer and EP president Brian Smith has just released his second book, “Secrets of Great Portrait Photography” which is now available on Amazon at a special discounted pre-order price – http://amzn.to/greatportraits – and you can read more about the making of this book on his blog as well – http://briansmith.com/blog/2012/05/a-book-30-years-in-the-making/

ChatterTip of the Month May 2012

Tips for the Neck & Throat


© Tom Raven

As you know, I like not to repeat a topic if I can possibly help it, so looking back over the previous bulletins, this time last year for Taurus we gave you some gardening tips (I have to say that last year’s May bulletin on gardens was one of my favorites!), and the year before that it was beauty tips from the kitchen. So this time I decided to keep with the anatomical as well as the astrological theme, and for the sign of Taurus we are talking about the neck. They need to be thick and strong to hold up Aries’ head! So our tips for this month relate to problems associated with the neck and throat.

Sore Throat
A sore throat, also known as pharyngitis, is essentially an inflammation of the pharynx – which is the area of the throat between the back of the nose and the beginning of the trachea and vocal cords. Gargling with Warm Salt Water is still one of the best remedies, or alternatively gargle with Warm Honey Water to help deal with infection. A Hot Honey & Lemon drink will also reduce symptoms and encourage healing, or how about a combination of Ginger, Honey & Lime Juice. Make an infusion with Goldenseal and drink as required (also great for sinus infections) or Tincture of Calendula can also be added to boiled Water to make a mouthwash. Increase your intake of Vitamin C as well as Zinc. Massage a little Lavender Oil into the neck, or dab the throat with some diluted Tea Tree Oil on a Q-tip. And let’s not forget our other old faithful Garlic, which should be eaten regularly as it contains antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Laryngitis
It naturally follows that laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx – which is our voice box, and also includes inflammation of the vocal cords as well when they are swollen and sore, thus distorting our vocal apparatus. Again drink a glass of Hot Lemon & Honey, or Apple Cider Vinegar & Honey in Hot Water to reduce any inflammation and infection, as well as encouraging healing. Echinacea both prevents and treats laryngitis. Many of the recommendations for a sore throat naturally apply to laryngitis as well. Some more suggestions for gargling are to put a few drops of Geranium, Pepper, Rosemary or Tea Tree Oil in a glass of boiled Water. And some more Chinese herbal suggestions are Peppermint, Mulberry and Licorice.

Tonsillitis
The tonsils are located at the back of the throat, and tonsillitis is not surprisingly an inflammation of the tonsils more common in children than in adults. Doctors seem to have mixed views on tonsils. When my sister was quite young for example, they decided hers were so bad they should be removed. But by the time I started getting tonsillitis some years later, the doctors had changed their thoughts and were prone to leaving them in, because they act as a natural barrier to more serious infections and diseases, or at least that’s what they told me. So I suffered through a lot of strep throat in my high school and college years! Strep throat by the way is often a combination of all three – pharyngitis, laryngitis, and tonsillitis – at which point the doctor would put you on a major course of antibiotics! But before you get there, drink some Hot Blackcurrant Juice or again, Hot Lemon & Honey, or Apple Cider Vinegar & Honey. Echinacea, Myrrh, Garlic and Sage all boost the immune system.

Neck Stretch
I mean, who doesn’t get a stiff neck, right? We hold a lot of tension in our necks. I remember back to before the days of hands-free headsets and how I would have a permanent “crick” in my neck from holding the phone to my ear! My mother was given this particular neck stretch as a relaxation exercise years and years ago but it’s still a good one. Simply lie on the floor on your back and really relax all of your muscles. Very gently and very slowly start to roll your head to one side, and then slowly back to the middle again. Then roll your head slowly to the other side, and back again. Do this several times, very slowly and without forcing. The weight of your head should be enough!

ChatterRecipe of the Month May 2012

Hot Chocolate Soufflés
The sign of Taurus is fond of the finer things in life, including good food and wine, and the Planet Venus rules the sign of Taurus and Venus is connected with sugar and sweets. So, surprise, surprise, this months’ recipe is a dessert, and a luxurious one at that! And according to Rebecca Franklin, this particular French recipe is a magical, rich and complex confection that perfectly rounds out any meal, it is also really simple to make.


© Chugrad McAndrews
StockFood Images
http://usa.stockfood.com/results.asp?lstfotogs=CMC

Ingredients:
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar, plus 2 tablespoons for sprinkling
5 ounces Bittersweet Chocolate (chopped finely)
3 large Egg Yolks (room temperature)
6 large Egg Whites (room temperature)
1/16 teaspoon Salt
Butter
Cocoa or Powdered (or Confectioner’s) Sugar

Recipe:
Remove the top rack of the oven and heat to 375 degrees. Butter 6 individual soufflé ramekins and sprinkle the insides with some of the Granulated Sugar. Shake any excess out and set aside. Melt the Chocolate pieces preferably in a metal bowl over barely simmering water, constantly stirring. (Even a small amount of overheated Chocolate will ruin an entire recipe.) Once the Chocolate is melted, remove the bowl from heat and stir in the Egg Yolks.

In a separate bowl, beat Egg Whites with Salt on medium high speed until they hold soft glossy peaks. Continue beating Egg Whites on high speed, gradually adding the remaining 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar, until the Egg Whites hold stiff glossy peaks. Gently stir 1/3 of the Eggs Whites into the Chocolate mixture, and then carefully fold in the remaining Egg Whites. The Chocolate mixture should be light and bubbly, and even colored, without Egg White streaks.

Spoon your soufflé mixture into the prepared ramekins and allow to rest for up to 30 minutes before baking, or bake right away for 12 – 15 minutes (slightly longer at high altitudes) until risen with a crusty exterior. Serve with a dusting of Cocoa or Powdered Sugar, if desired. Makes 6 servings.

ChatterEvents May 2012

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012 – 6:30pm
NY Monthly Photo Salon

SoHo Photo
15 White Street
New York, NY

Presenting the work of: Antonio Bolfo, Luciania Pampalone, RO3: Grant Lamos and Ed Leveckis, and Jack Reznicki.

For questions or more information please contact: Beth AckermanEmmanuel Faure or Bill Westheimer.


Wednesday, May 16th – Sunday, May 20th, 2012
NYPH ’12 New York Photo Festival

This year’s festival is curated by:
Glenn Ruga
Amy Smith-Stewart
Claude Grunitzky
Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky
That Subliminal Kid

For more in formation on all of the awards, exhibitions and programs, and to purchase your tickets, please visit: http://nyph.at/

Friday, May 18th, 2012
A Short History of Photography: From the ICP Collection Honoring Willis E. Hartshorn, Ehrenkranz Director
Exhibition on Display through September 2nd

@ ICP Museum
1133 Avenue of the Americas (at 43rd Street)
New York, NY


Alessandra Sanguinetti, The necklace, 1999. From the series The Adventures of Guille and Belinda and the Enigmatic Meaning of their Dreams. © Alessandra Sanguinetti, Courtesy Yossi Milo Gallery, New York.

For more information please visit: http://www.icp.org/

Also Friday, May 18th, 2012 – 7-9pm

The Reefing of USS Radford Photos by Stephen Mallon
Exhibition of display through June 17th

@ The Front Room Gallery
147 Roebling Street
Williamsburg, NY
Photographer Stephen Mallon‘s latest exhibition “The Reefing of USS Radford” is a continuation of his “American Reclamation” series, which chronicles and examines the recycling process in the U.S.

© Stephen Mallon
http://www.stephenmallon.com

Saturday, May 19th, 2012 – 6-10pm
NYC: SLIDELUCK Bikeshow

@ Hostelling International
891 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY

Cost: $10

For more information and to purchase your tickets please visit: 
http://slideluckbike.eventbrite.com/

Saturday, June 2nd – Sunday, June 3rd, 2012
CPW Presents: Editing the Photo Essay with Sylvia Plachy

@ Center for Photography at Woodstock
59 Tinker Street
Woodstock, NY

For more information please visit: http://cpw.org/

Thursday, June 7th, 2012 – 6-8pm
Opening Reception: “Thank you for Smoking”
Photographs by Norman Borden Exhibition on display through June 30th

@ SoHo Photo
15 White Street
New York, NY


© Norman Borden
http://normanborden.com/

Saturday, June 9th, 2012 – 3-7pm
The Photo Review Garden Party

140 East Richardson Avenue, Suite #301
Langhorne, PA

This year’s gala Photo Review Garden Party for photographers, collectors, curators, writers, and friends will be held on Saturday, June 9, 2012, 3-7 p.m. Rain or shine. Enjoy music, conversation, drinks, and delicious food at an incredible restored church in Philadelphia’s hip Fishtown neighborhood.
Deborah Hamon: Pinnacle, digital chromogenic print, 20″x30″

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 – 5:30-8pm
The Business of Photography: The Creatives Panel–Time for Your Six-Month Tune-Up! Moderated by Louisa J. Curtis

@ Adorama
42 West 18th Street
New York, NY

Cost: $25

From the website:
“Back by popular demand and continuing on from our November 2011 Business of Photography panel that suggested we ‘stop looking in the rearview mirror and just drive the car’ – we are now ready for our six-month tune-up! So with a revised line-up of stellar photography professionals this round table ‘show & tell’ panel (minus the table) assembled (not the table) and moderated by Louisa Curtis of Chatterbox Enterprises, is destined once again to be revealing, informative and altogether timely.”

Panel line-up includes:
Julie Grahame – Editor-in-Chief, aCurator    http://aCurator.com
Steve Whittier – Executive Creative Director @ R/GA    http://www.rga.com/
Kristen Walsh – Art Buyer @ Arnold    http://www.arn.com/
Michelle Chant – Art Producer @ Wieden + Kennedy    http://www.wk.com/
Claudia Grimaldi – Photo Editor @ Parade Magazine    http://www.parade.com/
Rick Davis – Photographer/Videographer @ Springhouse Films    http://www.rickdavisphoto.com/ & http://www.springhousefilms.com/
Amanda Steinberger – Sales & Operations Manager @ CASEY    http://www.wearecasey.com/
*As always panel line-up is subject to change due to availability

For more informationplease visit: http://www.adorama.com/catalog.tpl?op=WS_Curtis-Panel-Business-of-Photography-2012-06-14

To register for this event please visit: http://www.regonline.com/register/Checkin.aspx?EventId=1099358

ChatterLog April 2012

Life

Greetings everyone, and welcome to the April bulletin! It is now officially spring and you can feel everyone’s eagerness to be outside enjoying the warmer weather. It really is astounding how the seasons sneak up on us and come around each year, literally like clockwork. For instance, although we really didn’t experience that bad of a winter in New York, when it came to the Spring Equinox, it was as if someone had flipped a switch, or spent the entire night attaching cherry and magnolia blossoms to the trees, while other little worker bees were busy planting fully-grown spring flowers into the flower beds! When I walked out the next day, the 1st day of spring, the world had been transformed into a sunny, flower-filled place!

You may also have noticed a slight increase in energy – the sign of Aries is said to have a “spring in their step” which not only relates to the time of year and the season, but also to the new energy and life that is being created at this time. The earth is sprouting new shoots and vegetation, while the animal kingdom is busy mating, thus Aries people tend to be full of life and very energetic personalities as well. Sometimes too much so because quite often there’s no “off” switch! But I could use a dose of this energy, and as I prepare to do some “spring-cleaning” around the house, I am once again reminded as to why we call it that. As much as we all talk about cleaning out our closets during those dark winter months – it doesn’t always happen, so by springtime, we are ready to dust off the cobwebs and do some serious cleaning. In fact, just to prove my point, and because I honestly couldn’t stand it any longer – even while writing this article, I took a break from the computer and spent the next couple of hours cleaning and scrubbing down my kitchen cabinets!

But what is this month’s theme – I could go with something related to the element and energy of Fire, or perhaps simply Life itself? Last month we talked about having Faith and a trust in the unknown and that everything will turn out, providing we keep a positive attitude. So now, with our new found and restored belief, we are ready to spring into action and conquer the world, so let’s talk about Life! The sign of Aries is literally the “Spark of Life” because without that spark, the car will not even start, so it all starts with Aries. The alphabet begins with the letter “A” does it not, and Aries is also the 1st sign of the zodiac who declares the words “I Am, I Am the Leader” to the world around them! And this is why Aries are the explorers and pioneers of this world, because they are the ones with “fire in their bellies” and the courage (or stupidity!) to go where no man has gone before! For example, the famed Scottish explorer and missionary Dr. David Livingstone was born March 19th, 1813 right on the cusp of Pisces and Aries – so what a perfect combination of these two signs did he become? The compassionate missionary of his Pisces, and the intrepid Aries explorer who went to Africa! And he made it onto the front of a ten-pound note!


David Livingston 1813 – 1873

But back to my “to go where no man has gone before” thought because would you believe it if I told you that both William Shatner aka Captain Kirk of the Starship Enterprise and Leonard Nimoy who played Mr. Spock were both born under the sign of Aries? Captain Kirk was born March 22nd and Spock was born March 26th – I mean honestly, how crazy is that?

Captain James. T. Kirk & Mr. Spock & the original TV series title

Not surprisingly, many of our famous Aries are pioneers of some kind or another, so how about one of the greatest innovators of all time Leonardo Da Vinci, born April 15th, 1452? This man was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer whose genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the “Renaissance Man”, a man of “unquenchable curiosity” and “feverishly inventive imagination” – and notice it is the Aries, like Leonardo Da Vinci here, who begins the zodiacal archetype as well.

Leonardo Da Vinci 1452 -1519

Or how about Bessie Smith born April 15th, 1894, Billie Holiday born April 7th, 1915, Pearl Bailey born March 29th, 1918, and Sarah Vaughan born March 27th, 1924 – all four ladies were pioneer blues singers and all four were Aries!


Bessie Smith 1894 – 1937 & Billie Holiday 1915 – 1959

Pearl Bailey 1918 – 1990 & Sarah Vaughan 1924 – 1990

All these examples of Aries are headstrong, inspirational people who are passionate about what they do. And another thing you may have noticed by now is how similar they all look? They all tend to have large heads, and in particular, prominent foreheads, typical of the hardheaded Aries. The ram butts with its head, does it not? Now I know I’ve mentioned in a previous bulletin that Aries rules over the head, so it’s no big surprise that these people like to wear hats and is why we have the custom for dressing up in our “Easter Bonnets.” The Planet Mars rules our aggressive sign of Aries, and many “Martian” professions also involve wearing hats or protective headgear of some kind, such as the Military, Police, Firemen, and Chefs, yes Chefs – this is no accident (no pun intended!) but Aries can be accident-prone as well, so be sure to read this month’s tips! In fact, I noticed how much clumsier I became as soon as we had moved in to the sign of Aries last month, and even today while I was cleaning the kitchen, I managed to break something!

Back to hats, and although the main celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee don’t take place until June, I wanted to share this timely piece I found in a “People” magazine recently. I thought it was a brilliant story of how her headgear has evolved over the past 60 years, and no, she is not an Aries herself, it was the “hats” that caught my eye! But notice also, that we are talking about her “Diamond Jubilee” and guess what Aries’ stone is – of course it’s the diamond, considered to be the hardest material on earth, a bit like Aries’ head!


A History of the Queen’s Hats from 1953 – 2012

As always we send out Birthday Wishes to all you pioneering Aries!

And in closing I wanted to dedicate this bulletin to my friend Darryl Strawser – someone who lived his life like an Aries, although he wasn’t one, and someone we lost recently. If anyone truly exhibited living his life to the fullest with a positive attitude, despite the challenges it brought him, it was this man. Again, Aries and “attitude” – it all starts there.

So in his honor, I have written a little tribute to him, I hope you enjoy it.


Darryl and I, September 2011

In Memorium
Darryl Strawser

I found out not long ago that a dear friend and industry associate had died at the end of last year. He had been ill for some years and although I was naturally quite upset that I didn’t know until recently, I was even more saddened simply by the loss of a wonderful and truly courageous human being. I first met Darryl Strawser back in 2006 when I participated in a marketing presentation for photographers at the Miami Ad School, where he was head of the photography department. The event was orchestrated by my friend, photographer Mike Thoennes, along with fellow consultant Suzanne Sease and Blink Bid owner Lou Lesko. We had a blast for those few days and thus my friendship with Darryl began.

I returned to do a second presentation with Margo Pinkerton in 2007, and once again we all had a great time. In Darryl’s company, who didn’t feel uplifted? He was already starting to lose some of his manual dexterity back then, but he still found a way to work on the computer and drive (albeit a bit erratically!) One evening Darryl, Margot and I were taking a post-dinner stroll in Miami Beach, laughing, talking and walking, and all of a sudden Darryl disappeared. Margot and I looked around for a second and then realized he was on the ground in a crumpled heap at our feet, his legs having let him down. No big thing, we helped him back up and on we went, still laughing.

Once in a while he would visit New York and we would see one another for dinner, and whenever any of his students were making the move to the big city, he would always tell them to be in touch with me. Darryl had been suffering with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) for some time even before I met him, and I was amazed by his unfailingly positive attitude. He may have been frustrated at what he was unable to do, but he never really complained. May we all be as positive and good-humored as Darryl Strawser was. Ironically, I was working with my client Randy Boverman this week, who coincidentally has been shooting the Oregon ALS fundraisers for some years now, and he mentioned he would be skiing and photographing a fundraiser this weekend with his son – for guess what? ALS! http://web.alsa.org/site/TR?px=3415280&fr_id=7670&pg=personal

Perhaps one of our funniest memories was on one of Darryl’s visits to New York, and a dinner near Times Square in an Irish pub because it was close to Darryl’s hotel. At the end of the meal, as we were standing up to leave, a voice from the adjacent table said, “Excuse me, did we hear you say you’re from Ringwood?” It truly was one of those “only in New York” moments. So while Darryl and the rest of his group departed, I stayed behind to chat with our neighbors, who turned out to be on holiday and not only did they live in Ringwood not far from my mother, the husband worked for the local undertakers, but that’s another story for another time!


Darryl Strawser

ChatterQuote April 2012

Marcel Marceau


Marcel Marceau as “Bip the Clown” © Yousuf Karsh

This month our quote naturally comes from a famous Aries, and this time I selected world-renowned mime Marcel Marceau, born March 22nd, 1923, and who died at the age of 84 while at the racetrack in Cahors, France on September 22nd, 2007.

“… … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … .”

Well, what did you expect? Mimes don’t talk! Funnily enough, I had the privilege of meeting Monsieur Marceau some years ago. My teachers in New York, Moni & Mina Yakim of the New York Pantomime Theater took a group of us to see him perform one year when he was visiting the US, and after the show we went backstage to meet him. It was an honor, but what struck me back then, and still has me laughing to this day is that he never drew breath! All those years of silence had clearly produced a frustrated orator.

All joking aside, I do have a quote from Marceau, and that is,

“Do not the most moving moments of our lives find us all without words?”