Jason Gardner "A Flower in the Mouth" Lincoln Center July 30, 2013

SAVE THE DATE: Jason Gardner‘s Book Launch and Exhibition of a “Flower in the Mouth!”

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 from 6:30pm to 10:00pm @ The David Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center.

Finally, A Flower in the Mouth, a book I’ve been working on for the past 9 years, will be launched at Lincoln Center! You are invited to an exhibition opening and book launch, with Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Program July 30, at the Rubenstein Atrium starting at 6:30 p.m. There will be a photography exhibition, large screen projection, and I’ll talk about the project and will be signing books. The book shows the culture, music and rituals of Carnaval in Pernambuco, Brazil. Also, Scott Kettner, creative director of A Tale of Two Nations, will present about the traditional “maracatu” from Recife and the connections with New Orleans second line, American funk, and more!

For more information and to purchase the book, please click here!

Jason Gardner "A Flower in the Mouth" Lincoln Center July 30, 2013

SAVE THE DATE: Jason Gardner‘s Book Launch and Exhibition of a “Flower in the Mouth!”

Tuesday, July 30, 2013 from 6:30pm to 10:00pm @ The David Rubenstein Atrium, Lincoln Center.

Finally, A Flower in the Mouth, a book I’ve been working on for the past 9 years, will be launched at Lincoln Center! You are invited to an exhibition opening and book launch, with Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors Program July 30, at the Rubenstein Atrium starting at 6:30 p.m. There will be a photography exhibition, large screen projection, and I’ll talk about the project and will be signing books. The book shows the culture, music and rituals of Carnaval in Pernambuco, Brazil. Also, Scott Kettner, creative director of A Tale of Two Nations, will present about the traditional “maracatu” from Recife and the connections with New Orleans second line, American funk, and more!

For more information and to purchase the book, please click here!

J.D. Scott – ChatterArtist July 2013

J.D. Scott – ChatterArtist July 2013

Our ChatterArtist for this month is Atlanta-based photographer J.D. Scott – a Cancer, born on July 19 – a “late” Cancer making him close to the next sign of Leo. When you are born on the “cusp” between two signs, you will naturally take on some of the characteristics of the other sign, as well as your actual Sun sign. So with J.D., for example, we see the “nurturing” Cancer in much of his work, which is all about education, family, healthcare, humanitarian issues and so on. And then the Leo comes out in his love of the creative arts, and his ability to have fun with what he does, which in turn allows his subjects to have fun too.

Self assigned work documenting senior citizens in Atlanta. © J.D. Scott

One classic example of J.D.’s connection to Cancer’s nurturing nature, combined with his love for the creative arts is his 15 year pro-bono work for a local dance group Moving in the Spirit, which works mostly (but not exclusively) with inner city kids, using dance as a vehicle for the kids to learn about responsibility and trust. We talked about the importance of having other influences besides your immediate family, and this is a place where the kids appreciate being treated as adults.

Darion Thompson, 17 year-old Dancer with Moving in The Spirit. © J.D. Scott

J.D. says, “It’s not just about the dance, but also about people learning from one another. Many of the kids come in very raw, and then they become polished, well-spoken people… I literally see these kids grow up – that’s the beauty of working with them over a period of time. It is an honor to give to this worthwhile cause.” Over the years, J.D. has photographed their rehearsals, and just recently as part of their 25 year anniversary, they had an exhibition of life-size dance images taken by J.D. that were 4 x 8 feet tall, which were shown alongside images of them in street clothes along with copy about their stories and the changes they had been through.

Women's garden project workers in Elliot, South Africa. These women initiated a garden collective, sold their produce and then used the proceeds to form a sewing collective to employ many other women. © J.D. Scott

J.D. and I first met when I was working at the Black Book, and he was one of my favorite clients in Atlanta. My territories back then were half of New York, and the South East, so I made quite a few trips to Atlanta, Charlotte and Miami, which I didn’t mind at all! In fact, I quite miss those days. It was always an interesting challenge figuring out how to get to each photographer’s studio for my appointments, driving in a strange city, in a strange car, and yes, on the other side of the road! I clearly remember my sense of accomplishment when I managed to find my way out to see J.D. for the first time, and no, there wasn’t any GPS back then, so I had to put my map-reading skills to good use and hope that the instructions I had been given also made sense!

Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, South Africa. One of the highlights of my professional and personal life. Mandela is one of the people on the planet that I've always wanted to meet. I was able to spend over an hour photographing him while a small private audience (my client) of about 10 people were able to banter with the brilliant man. As he was leaving the event he beckoned me over to say, " I don't believe that I''ve shaken your hand young man." Thrilling! © J.D. Scott - And by the way, Nelson Mandela is also a Cancer!

We hit it off right away. It was as if we had known one another for ages. And we could talk about business without it feeling like it was all business. When we talked on the phone in preparation for this article, it had been several years since we had spoken, let alone seen one another, and yet, it was like no time had passed at all. Except that it has, and much has changed in our industry. J.D. is thankful to have survived and continues to stay busy.

Assignment for the Carter Center Praziquantel drug distribution program in a small village in Plateau State, Nigeria. The drug treats Schistosomiasis and other parasitic diseases simultaneously. © J.D. Scott

From his website: J.D. Scott specializes in imagery that captures the spirit of people, whether they are corporate CEOS, children in a daycare center, symphony musicians, or farmers in South Africa. His photography has taken him to Bosnia and Croatia, during the conflict in the early 1990s, as well as to a host of other countries in Europe, Latin America and Africa. In the U.S. and internationally, J.D. has documented humanitarian and social projects, created evocative photographs for advertising campaigns, and pursued his own projects. Clients include a range of national and international organizations and businesses.

Ivan and Ivana, Lipik, Croatia. Siblings whose orphanage was one of the first buildings targeted for mortar attacks. Portrait for "Innocents, The Trials and Triumphs of Children of War." "Innocents" compares the psychological similarities between children in declared war zones and America's inner cities. © J.D. Scott

J.D. has helped bring the efforts of a number of humanitarian organizations to the attention of a wider audience. These include CARE, The Carter Center, World Vision, and the Synergos Institute. In addition, he has independently pursued projects such as Innocents, a traveling exhibit that shows the similarities between children living in deprived neighborhoods in the U.S. and their peers in international war zones. Shortly after 9/11, J.D. was part of an expedition into a remote desert region of West Africa that was organized by the U.S. Ambassador to Niger to highlight Muslim areas, people and culture seldom seen by Americans.

Doll factory worker in Capetown, South Africa. This small factory run by the NGO Ikamva Labantu provides employment for disabled women. I came to know Ikamva Labantu and their founder Helen Lieberman while on assignment for another client. I fell in love with them and stayed for an extra week making pro bono photographs for the organization. © J.D. Scott

At the end of that day, J.D. says he is committed to telling people’s stories. I told him how perfect this was since the sign of Cancer is associated with and loves History, and when you break the word History down, it is simply “his story.” J.D. added that he is grateful even after all these years making photos, and after the economic downturn, that he is still passionate about making beautiful images and telling stories – hoping that they will help change something and make the world a better place.

Ikamva Labantu trained this beautiful woman, who happens to be blind, to be a massage and aroma therapist. © J.D. Scott

Louisa J. Curtis

Cancer, Water, Owls & Crabs… ChatterLog July 2013

Cancer, Water, Owls & Crabs… ChatterLog July 2013

Cancer, The Crab

Greetings everyone – and welcome to the July ChatterBulletin and the Watery sign of Cancer! Speaking of Water – consider how much rain we have had recently, and when I say rain, I mean rain, as in torrential, tropical rain. And now that we have moved into the season of summer the only Water most people are concerned with is either in the ocean or the local swimming pool! And yes, I am happy to report that my local pool has already opened and I am enjoying swimming outdoors again! Interestingly, I recently received an email promo from Steve Bloom Images, and the theme for their July newsletter was simply “Water, Water, Everywhere” and I wondered if they even realized that they were directly referencing Astrology by choosing Water as the theme for this month?

So the month of July is Cancer, and Cancer is the first of the three Water signs, and in Astrology, Water is connected with your Emotions. So naturally the sign of Cancer is an emotional character, and everything depends simply on how they “feel.” During this month I often feel emotional, I can feel my mother, who was a Cancer, and I miss her. And boy, do I wish my mum could have been here to witness Andy Murray win Wimbledon this year! And with my own family roots in Scotland, I feel doubly proud! I have been basking for the last two weeks in some incredible tennis, where many of the top seeds went out early, and some unexpected players were given an opportunity to go further than they ever had before. Such was the case of French woman Marion Bartoli who won the women’s finals against German Sabine Lisicki – great tennis and no “screaming!” Hooray! And then on 7/7 of the year 2013, after 77 years of waiting, the British public was finally rewarded as Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic in 3 straight sets! Yeah!

Britain's Andy Murray raises the trophy after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Remember last month I mentioned how many famous tennis players were Gemini’s, and there’s a few that trickled over into the sign of Cancer as well including: Arthur Ashe, Pam Shriver & Virginia Wade. And since we’re talking about athletes and Water… FYI – Olympic all-time record-winning medalist swimmer Michael Phelps is a Cancer! No big surprise there… And good thing Kate Middleton managed to not give birth to the “Royal Heir” on the same day that Andy Murray won Wimbledon, otherwise the country would have been very confused as to which to Historic event to focus their celebrations on, so at least she had the good grace to wait a few more days…

Here's the Wimbledon Website at the Start of the Tournament - Andy had just won the warm-up tournament at Queen's where the trophy appears to be bigger than the one he subsequently won at Wimbledon a couple of weeks later!
And this is the Wimbledon Website Home Page Today!

Now something else that is connected with the sign of Cancer, and one of my favorite birds, are Owls. I grew up in the English countryside, so we were quite familiar with them, along with many other birds and wild life. I remember one day when my sister and I were quite young, we were driving home in the car with our mother and we saw what we believed was a Snowy Owl (which were quite rare, especially in broad daylight) sitting right there on a fence post! Many years later, we had several encounters with Owls late at night, in particular after someone had died… So Owls always held a special place in our lives and hearts. My Great Aunt Bell was a Cancer, and she had a thing about Owls… one of the last things I gave her was a little book on Owls, and I now have it in my collection. My Mum was also a Cancer and she loved Owls too. I still have some of the little Owls that she either gave me or which came from her house, plus there is an entire section of my bookcase that is covered with images and cards of yes, you guessed it – Owls. I guess it’s a “family” thing now too – which makes sense, since Cancer is all about “family!”

Great Aunt Bell's Little Owl Book © Louisa J. Curtis

Notice also the round face of an Owl, and then notice the round face of someone whose Sun or Rising Sign is in the sign of Cancer. They often wear glasses too – Water is hard to see through, is it not? So these creatures and these people have these round faces and round eyes… In Mythology, for the Modern West at least, the Owl is associated with Wisdom, and we certainly felt that our Great Aunt Bell was indeed the “wise” matriarch of the family. Everyone went to her with their problems – why? Because Cancers have the ability to listen to your troubles, which is why they also make good therapists. Everyone often ended up on my mother’s doorstep as well, because she too had a listening ear, and a love for hearing everyone’s story… in fact, she rather enjoyed it!

Owl on Flagstaff in McCarthy Square, Greenwich Village © Louisa J. Curtis

As with all signs, there are always two sides to the story, so not everyone associates Owls with only Wisdom. In Greek Mythology, the Goddess Athena (or Athene), also known as Pallas Athena/Athene, was the Goddess of Wisdom and Warfare (!), as well as Divine Intelligence, Architecture and Crafts! In Roman Mythology she was called Minerva and in Astrology, Pallas Athena is one of what we call the Asteroids – she was Jupiter’s daughter, intelligent, “just” and a true survivor (like those born under the sign of Cancer!)

In some areas of Africa it is believed that Owls were Messengers (or Harbingers) of Death, or Bad Omens, and in the Americas, some of the Native Indian cultures surrounded Owls with taboo, associating them with Symbols of Sorcery and Evil. For the farmer and/or gardener, Owls are a natural form of pest control, since they like to hunt for insects and small rodents. Remember, Owls are part of the Strigiformes family, which simply put are nocturnal Birds of Prey! Owls are characterized by their flat faces, hawk-like beaks, and large binocular-vision eyes, which are “fixed” in their sockets, so in order to look to the side, they have to turn their entire head. Interesting to think about the word “side” since it is Cancer, the Crab, who has a tendency to move sideways…

Cute and cozy looking Crab that my Aunt and I chose for my mother one time when I was visiting her in Guernsey, and after my Mum died "Camilla Crab" came to live with me! © Louisa J. Curtis

One last thought – and one which relates to how the energies work, if we let them: As I was writing this article, my friend called me on the phone and I stopped to speak with him briefly before continuing on. As he was talking, I was looking at some of the items on my desk in front of me, and I noticed a coin, in a dish, with none other than a Crab on it – I kid you not! Upon further investigation, I discovered that this was in fact a 2006 One Penny coin from Guernsey, where my Auntie lives, and from where Camilla Crab came from! And just to prove it – here it is!

Guernsey One-Penny Crab Coin © Louisa J. Curtis

And as usual, Happy Birthday to all you Cancer’s out there!

Cancer, Water, Owls & Crabs… ChatterLog July 2013

Cancer, Water, Owls & Crabs… ChatterLog July 2013

Cancer, The Crab

Greetings everyone – and welcome to the July ChatterBulletin and the Watery sign of Cancer! Speaking of Water – consider how much rain we have had recently, and when I say rain, I mean rain, as in torrential, tropical rain. And now that we have moved into the season of summer the only Water most people are concerned with is either in the ocean or the local swimming pool! And yes, I am happy to report that my local pool has already opened and I am enjoying swimming outdoors again! Interestingly, I recently received an email promo from Steve Bloom Images, and the theme for their July newsletter was simply “Water, Water, Everywhere” and I wondered if they even realized that they were directly referencing Astrology by choosing Water as the theme for this month?

So the month of July is Cancer, and Cancer is the first of the three Water signs, and in Astrology, Water is connected with your Emotions. So naturally the sign of Cancer is an emotional character, and everything depends simply on how they “feel.” During this month I often feel emotional, I can feel my mother, who was a Cancer, and I miss her. And boy, do I wish my mum could have been here to witness Andy Murray win Wimbledon this year! And with my own family roots in Scotland, I feel doubly proud! I have been basking for the last two weeks in some incredible tennis, where many of the top seeds went out early, and some unexpected players were given an opportunity to go further than they ever had before. Such was the case of French woman Marion Bartoli who won the women’s finals against German Sabine Lisicki – great tennis and no “screaming!” Hooray! And then on 7/7 of the year 2013, after 77 years of waiting, the British public was finally rewarded as Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic in 3 straight sets! Yeah!

Britain's Andy Murray raises the trophy after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

Remember last month I mentioned how many famous tennis players were Gemini’s, and there’s a few that trickled over into the sign of Cancer as well including: Arthur Ashe, Pam Shriver & Virginia Wade. And since we’re talking about athletes and Water… FYI – Olympic all-time record-winning medalist swimmer Michael Phelps is a Cancer! No big surprise there… And good thing Kate Middleton managed to not give birth to the “Royal Heir” on the same day that Andy Murray won Wimbledon, otherwise the country would have been very confused as to which to Historic event to focus their celebrations on, so at least she had the good grace to wait a few more days…

Here's the Wimbledon Website at the Start of the Tournament - Andy had just won the warm-up tournament at Queen's where the trophy appears to be bigger than the one he subsequently won at Wimbledon a couple of weeks later!
And this is the Wimbledon Website Home Page Today!

Now something else that is connected with the sign of Cancer, and one of my favorite birds, are Owls. I grew up in the English countryside, so we were quite familiar with them, along with many other birds and wild life. I remember one day when my sister and I were quite young, we were driving home in the car with our mother and we saw what we believed was a Snowy Owl (which were quite rare, especially in broad daylight) sitting right there on a fence post! Many years later, we had several encounters with Owls late at night, in particular after someone had died… So Owls always held a special place in our lives and hearts. My Great Aunt Bell was a Cancer, and she had a thing about Owls… one of the last things I gave her was a little book on Owls, and I now have it in my collection. My Mum was also a Cancer and she loved Owls too. I still have some of the little Owls that she either gave me or which came from her house, plus there is an entire section of my bookcase that is covered with images and cards of yes, you guessed it – Owls. I guess it’s a “family” thing now too – which makes sense, since Cancer is all about “family!”

Great Aunt Bell's Little Owl Book © Louisa J. Curtis

Notice also the round face of an Owl, and then notice the round face of someone whose Sun or Rising Sign is in the sign of Cancer. They often wear glasses too – Water is hard to see through, is it not? So these creatures and these people have these round faces and round eyes… In Mythology, for the Modern West at least, the Owl is associated with Wisdom, and we certainly felt that our Great Aunt Bell was indeed the “wise” matriarch of the family. Everyone went to her with their problems – why? Because Cancers have the ability to listen to your troubles, which is why they also make good therapists. Everyone often ended up on my mother’s doorstep as well, because she too had a listening ear, and a love for hearing everyone’s story… in fact, she rather enjoyed it!

Owl on Flagstaff in McCarthy Square, Greenwich Village © Louisa J. Curtis

As with all signs, there are always two sides to the story, so not everyone associates Owls with only Wisdom. In Greek Mythology, the Goddess Athena (or Athene), also known as Pallas Athena/Athene, was the Goddess of Wisdom and Warfare (!), as well as Divine Intelligence, Architecture and Crafts! In Roman Mythology she was called Minerva and in Astrology, Pallas Athena is one of what we call the Asteroids – she was Jupiter’s daughter, intelligent, “just” and a true survivor (like those born under the sign of Cancer!)

In some areas of Africa it is believed that Owls were Messengers (or Harbingers) of Death, or Bad Omens, and in the Americas, some of the Native Indian cultures surrounded Owls with taboo, associating them with Symbols of Sorcery and Evil. For the farmer and/or gardener, Owls are a natural form of pest control, since they like to hunt for insects and small rodents. Remember, Owls are part of the Strigiformes family, which simply put are nocturnal Birds of Prey! Owls are characterized by their flat faces, hawk-like beaks, and large binocular-vision eyes, which are “fixed” in their sockets, so in order to look to the side, they have to turn their entire head. Interesting to think about the word “side” since it is Cancer, the Crab, who has a tendency to move sideways…

Cute and cozy looking Crab that my Aunt and I chose for my mother one time when I was visiting her in Guernsey, and after my Mum died "Camilla Crab" came to live with me! © Louisa J. Curtis

One last thought – and one which relates to how the energies work, if we let them: As I was writing this article, my friend called me on the phone and I stopped to speak with him briefly before continuing on. As he was talking, I was looking at some of the items on my desk in front of me, and I noticed a coin, in a dish, with none other than a Crab on it – I kid you not! Upon further investigation, I discovered that this was in fact a 2006 One Penny coin from Guernsey, where my Auntie lives, and from where Camilla Crab came from! And just to prove it – here it is!

Guernsey One-Penny Crab Coin © Louisa J. Curtis

And as usual, Happy Birthday to all you Cancer’s out there!

Cuban Fried Pork Chunks – ChatterRecipe July 2013

Masitas de Puerco or Cuban Fried Pork Chunks

Masitas de Puerco/Cuban Fried Pork Chunks © Steve Giralt

For this month’s recipe I asked last year’s July ChatterArtist and food photographer Steve Giralt to share both a recipe and an image with us. And the timing was perfect since his brand new and very own First Generation Cuban-American Cookbook will be available from July 15, 2013! And the tasty recipe that Steve shared with us from the book is Masitas de Puerco, or Cuban Fried Pork Chunks, which serves six. Ironically (or not) when I asked Atlanta-based food photographer and another Cancer, Iain Bagwell to do the same thing last July, he too gave us a dish with “pork” as the main ingredient! Coincidence… Or not…

Steve says, “Many cookbooks are written by very talented and passionate chefs who live, breathe, and eat food day in and day out. Their knowledge of ingredients, spices, flavors, and culinary techniques is unparalleled, and the food they create can be unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. I am not a famous chef nor do I even aspire to be a famous chef! I don’t cook food for a living, nor do I even cook dinner every night. Oh yea, I’m not even really Cuban; I was born in Miami to Cuban parents making me a first generation Cuban American. So how am I qualified to write a Cuban cookbook?

…I have the unusual job of photographing food for a living. Making food look mouth-wateringly delicious and tasty in photographs is what I do; it’s my art, and I understand it. I feel I have the same passion for photographing food as many chefs have for cooking food. It is that passion which was the catalyst for me making this cookbook. Beyond my passion for photographing food, I love cooking and eating Cuban food! It’s part of my being…

…This is not a cookbook with hundreds of recipes, it’s a small selection of just 20 recipes that are at the heart of Cuban food and you can’t go wrong making any of them. If I can make these, so can you! These are delicious, foolproof recipes that are guaranteed to make everyone at the dinner table happy. Beyond the recipes, this book was photographed and designed to be a work of art. It was printed by a printer that does lots of art books for museums, on the very best paper stock, in order to make the images look amazing.”

Ingredients:

2 ½ pounds fresh Boneless Country Style Pork Ribs or Boneless Pork Shoulder

¼ cup Lemon Juice

¼ cup Lime Juice

½ cup Orange Juice

10 Garlic Cloves (minced)

1 large Spanish Onion (diced)

1 cup Olive Oil

1 teaspoon Oregano

1 teaspoon Ground Cumin

1 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1 teaspoon Onion Powder

2 cups Water

Salt and Pepper to taste

Recipe:

1.     Cut Pork Ribs into 2” chunks and put in bowl.

2.     Mix together Marinade by combining Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, Orange Juice, GarlicChopped Onion, ½ cup Olive OilOregano, Ground Cumin, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, and 1 teaspoon Salt and pour over Pork chunks.

3.     Cover and marinate for at least 3 hours or ideally overnight in the refrigerator.

4.     Remove Meat from Marinade, reserve 1/2 of the Marinade for use later.

5.     In a large wide pot or Dutch oven place 2 cups of Water, ½ cup Olive Oil, the Pork chunks and the reserved Marinade. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let the Water evaporate out until you are left with just the Oil. This should take about 30 minutes.

6.    You must be careful once most of the Water is gone because the Meat can burn quickly if you’re not careful. Turn the Meat so it browns on all sides, and then remove from pot.

7.     Season with Salt and Pepper and serve warm with a squeeze of Lime on top.

8.     Serve with Rice and Black Beans.

Tips using Chalk – ChatterTip July 2013

Tips using Chalk

© Louisa J. Curtis

In case you hadn’t noticed, I love researching home remedies and useful tips that utilize natural ingredients or items found in your kitchen pantry and around the home (I have done since I was young) and, that I also tie in the tips with the Astrological sign for each month. It’s not just about finding natural cures – it’s also fascinating to me when the cure or remedy uses an unexpected item, just like with the mayonnaise last month! So this month for July and the sign of Cancer, I decided to go with unusual Tips using Chalk.

Why Chalk, you might ask? Well, the Homeopathic Cell Salt for the sign of Cancer is Calcarea Fluorica, or Fluoride of Lime. What do we take when we have an upset stomach? My mother, who was a Cancer, used to drink bottles of Milk of Magnesia (also known as Magnesium Hydroxide), a thick white milky medicine used primarily as an antacid and/or laxative. Notice, it is called “Milk” of Magnesia and the Sign of Cancer rules over Milk and all dairy products, as well as the breasts and the stomach! Check out this article from The Daily Mail online with a headline that reads, ‘Drink Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia and slip into that cocktail dress’: Fifties ads use humor to help women tackle constipation!Now, the solid mineral form of Magnesium Hydroxide is known as Brucite, and according to Wikipedia, it is a common alteration product of (among others), a low-temperature hydrothermal vein mineral in metamorphosed Limestones… [Did somebody say LIMEstone?] And Brucite is often found in association with (to name but a few) Calcite, Magnesite and Talc [all sounding pretty “chalky” to me!] If you live in an area with “hard” water (which I did growing up), the Limescale that forms inside your kettle is Calcium Carbonate. Many Antacid Tablets contain Calcium Carbonate, or Chalk. It is a common substance found in rocks in all parts of the world, and is the MAIN component of shells of marine organisms and eggshells – and last I looked, Cancer the Crab has a “what” on its back? That’s right, a shell!

So, since July is the Seventh Calendar Month, I figured I’d give you Seven Tips Using Chalk:

1. Keeping Tools Rust-Free

Eliminate moisture and prevent rust from invading your toolbox by simply putting a few sticks of Chalk in the box. Apparently the tools and box will remain rust-free.

2. Polishing Marble & Metal

To make Metal shine like new, place some Chalk Dust on a damp cloth and wipe. Buff with a soft cloth for an even shinier finish. And for Marble, wipe clean using a damp cloth dipped in Powdered Chalk, rinse with clean water and dry thoroughly.

3. Preventing Silver & Jewelry from Tarnishing

Not too many people have time to polish their silver cutlery these days, but if you place a couple of sticks of Chalk in with the silverware, it will absorb any moisture and slow down the tarnishing. This also works with your jewelry box as well!

4. Reducing Closet Dampness [Too bad I didn’t know about this one sooner!]

Tie a dozen pieces of Chalk together in a bundle and hang in your closet. The Chalk will absorb any moisture and help to prevent mildew. Replace every few months, as necessary.

5. Removing Grease Spots

Rub some Chalk onto a grease spot on clothing or table linens and let it absorb the oil before brushing it off. If the stain lingers, rub Chalk into the stain again before laundering. This is also a good trick apparently for removing those rings around your shirt collars!

6. Repelling Ants

Ants are repelled by the Calcium Carbonate in Chalk, so simply draw a line with the Chalk around all of the entry points in your home where the ants come in. Scattering powdered Chalk around garden plants will also help to repel both Ants and Slugs.

7. Stopping Slippery Screwdrivers

Does your screwdriver slip when you attempt to tighten a screw? Well, supposedly it won’t slip nearly as much if you wipe the tip of the screwdriver blade with some Chalk first.

David Hockney – ChatterQuote July 2013

David Hockney:

A belief is like a guillotine, just as heavy, just as light.

David Hockney Photo: UK Telegraph © HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY

David Hockney is a British Painter, Draughtsman, Printmaker, Photographer and Stage Designer – a Cancer, who was born on July 9, 1937 in Bradford, England, the fourth of five children. Now in his mid seventies, he currently splits his time between his homes in Kensington, London and Bridlington, East Riding of Yorkshire. Plus, he also maintains two additional residences in California.

What’s interesting about the quote I have chosen from him for this month (whether he knew it or not) is that he was directly referencing an historical event that took place during the sign of Cancer on July 14, 1789, which was the Storming of the Bastille and what is now known and celebrated as Bastille Day, and which also happens to have been my mum’s birthday.

The Bastille itself was a fortress-like prison in Paris, France, and this event marked the end of the “absolute monarchy” and became a symbol for the French Revolution and subsequent First Republic. During the French Revolution, the “Guillotine” was the execution device of choice, in particular during the Reign of Terror once the Monarchy had been overthrown. Executions back then were public, and I remember learning about the old French women, nick-named “Tricoteuses” who would sit at the foot of the Guillotine knitting away as the heads rolled, one after the other… And although one generally associates the Guillotine with that period of French history, use of this device continued and surprisingly, the last person to be executed by Guillotine in France was in 1977, which wasn’t actually that long ago…

My David Hockney Books!

I remember going to see the David Hockney retrospective some years ago now (I still have the book!). The exhibition started out in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1988, from there it came to the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York, and in 1989 it was at the Tate Gallery in London. It was one of those rare occasions when I actually decided to spend the extra money and rent the audio headset so that I could walk through the exhibition whilst listening to David Hockney himself commentating on his own paintings. It was well worth it, and hearing that lovely accent warmed my heart! I particularly loved his California swimming pools, inspired by his first visit to the West Coast, and where he subsequently lived on and off for 30 years. As an English person who also grew up in that cold, gray, rainy climate, I so identified with Hockney’s excitement at seeing all of those palm trees and sparkling swimming pools in sunny California. To many ex-pats, this alone is pure heaven and why many of them moved out there! But back to David, who as a Cancer, the Crab, and the first of the three Water signs also identified with those swimming pools in a totally natural way, whether he realized it, or not.

David Hockney was a major contributor to the “Pop Art” movement. One of my favorites of his series were his collages, being a bit of a “collager” myself… There’s something very satisfying about seeing a whole bunch of small images that subsequently come together to create one new larger image – a bit like where the sum of something is greater than its parts… Another of Hockney’s skills was that of Stage Designer, most notably for the opera, including The Rake’s Progress at the 1975 Glyndebourne Festival in England, Parade for the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center in New York City in 1981, Turandot at the Chicago Lyric Opera in 1991, and in 1992 Die Frau ohne Schatten at the Royal Opera House in London (and that’s just a “taste!”)

Check out this profile on David Hockney in the Arts section of TheTelegraph.co.uk by filmmaker Bruno Wollheim and his documentary for the BBC entitled “A Bigger Picture.”

Bill Bernstein – ChatterClient Profile July 2013

I decided to start a fun new ChatterClient section featuring a client born under the sign for that month along with a quick profile and sampling of their images. Plus I also wanted to share a little bit with my readers about how I work with each client. For instance, I always ask a new client when their birthday is, simply because by knowing their Astrological sign it already gives me a lot of information and helps me determine how to best to communicate and work with them. So for this first month, I am featuring a recent client I have really enjoyed working with, portrait-photographer Bill Bernstein.

Knowing Bill was a Cancer, I knew I could talk as much as I liked and tell him this, that, or the other, but the bottom line was unless he “felt” good about the work, the process and the edits, it didn’t matter. Simple. We knew we were making progress when it simply felt right, the “flow” of the edits worked (very important for a Water sign!) and if there was a problem image, we worked on the edit until it was either fixed or eliminated. Now, if this client had been an Air sign, for example, then I would have approached things differently. For Air signs it’s all about intellectual communication, so I would use my words to appeal to his/her mental thought process. What also became apparent as we narrowed his image library down was a recurring theme, a magical gift that Bill possesses to make his subjects “feel” good so they in turn are relaxed and take a better picture! Bill is also a devoted father and husband, so “family” is important to him, another trait of the Cancer, and why we see great emotional moments in his Healthcare work, for instance.

© Bill Bernstein

ChatterClient Baker’s Dozen Profile:

1. Name: Bill Bernstein

2. Location: Brooklyn, NY.

3. Birthday: June 28 – A Cancer

4. Photographic genres or specialty: Portraiture for Healthcare, Business, and Editorial.

© Bill Bernstein

5. Number of years in business: 30

6. How or where did you find Chatterbox? I first met Louisa at an art opening in NYC.

7. What was your initial reason for contacting me? I was re-branding and focusing on different areas and needed a good set of eyes, and ears.

8. What was accomplished by our working together? Louisa listened to my whole life’s story and saw all of my work and helped me prune my work down and focus my brand.

© Bill Bernstein

9. Would you recommend working w/a Consultant to another photographer, and if so, why? Absolutely! It is essential to have another trusting, professional and experienced person on your team to help you see yourself more clearly.

10. Give me 3 words that describe your creative style of photography: Immediate – Deliberate – Honest.

11. Tell us one of the defining moments in your career? Early on I started shooting many of the portraits at the front of the book for Elle Magazine and learned how to establish a rapport with lots of different types of people very quickly.

12. What is your most essential piece of photographic gear? Must be my 5D.

13. What is your must-have non-photographic item that you take on every shoot? My iPhone.

© Bill Bernstein