Tuesday, April 23, 2013

순천시 -- Photo for the Day

순천은 나의 집이예요.

© Mark Eaton

Mithcell Kanashkevich is a Travel Photographer

Mitchell Kanashkevich -- He is a travel photographer.  View his chronicles, as well as his photography and post-processing e-books, at his blog here.

Mr. Kanashkevich has some remarkable stories and photographs on his website and photo blog.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Doug Stuber Posits About Boston Massacre II

Doug Stuber has posted a deep and thought provoking piece at the Social Discourse of Disquiet site titled, Boston Massacre II.  A person who is intellectually honest will step back from his or her own ideology to study an issue; that person will understand that it isn't just a single issue, but rather a number of issues that are related to one another.  

I surmise a person who can be considered an ideologue or a demagogue -- perhaps even a religionist, a conservative, a liberal, or some other labeled system of belief -- will dismiss out of hand opinions and thoughts that are contrary to one's favored system.  That's a shame, because the divisions so common in the USA have forever torn the country, and there will be no putting it back together again.

Perhaps Bill Maher was onto something when he said, "...maybe it's me..."

Boston Massacre II by Doug Stuber is found at this link here

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Bird's Nest - Photo For the Day

One recent weekend found me walking near Waon Beach, which is near the city of Suncheon in Jeollanam-do.  As is almost always the case, my wife and I were the only people in the area.  Regardless, I felt it necessary to take a short detour to answer the call of nature.

As I took in my new surroundings, I saw this bird nest:

A Bird's Nest Near Waon
© 2013 Mark Eaton

I wasn't aware of any birds nearby, plus I didn't venture any closer to the nest once I saw the structure.  It was a small nest, smaller than my clenched fist.  Also, it was at about the level of my chin, hence I could not see if there were any eggs in the nest or not.

Does anyone know which species of bird might have built this nest?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Photo Blog Shop - A Great Site That Has Helpful Photoshop Tutorials

I recently became aware of Robert Thomas and his work with photography.  He has a fantastic site that contains many different Photoshop and photography tutorials.  Mr. Thomas believes in sharing knowledge with others, which is a vital component in education.

To view the Photoshop and photography tutorials, please click on the link to visit Photo Blog Stop.  

Because of his background, Mr. Thomas is able to explain coherently why and how certain tools in Photoshop work, and how different tools and processes interact with each other.  By way of example, I read an article over at PetaPixel by Michael Zhang that discussed a Robert Thomas tutorial that explains how Photoshop blend modes work.  It is interesting and fun to learn more about how to work effectively at processing digital images.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Poppy Silver -- An Artist to the Core

I am very honored to feature Poppy Silver.  She is from the United Kingdom, and she is an artist to the core of her being.  To name but only a few of her creative talents:  Writer, poet, composer, musician, vocalist, photographer, and tireless promoter of the arts and artists.

Much of her art raises awareness about social issues and human relations.  Poppy's art resonates well.  I present Poppy Silver:

Please note that all images in this article are © Poppy Silver.

Eaton:  What do you do?

Poppy:  I am foremost a writer and also a musician and a lover of taking photography. I began to write around twelve years by starting a novel which then progressed to poetry. I write and create music to exorcise demons and let a moment of beauty or bane breathe or seethe. Taking photographs is a challenge that fulfills me. I am always trying to capture the essence of nature or life in order to allow it speak through art.

Eaton:  What matters most to you?

Poppy:  I think this is a vast topic and one which has a lot of answers. One of the most important things to me would be to remain humble, remain the person I have always been. Not lose sight of the fact that I am human and there are so many other artists out there just as deserving of attention. Supporting other artists is incredibly important to me. Then you have the usual factors - family, maintaining health and so forth.

I guess to continue being an open minded, good-hearted person is what matters most to me. Seeking truth amidst the control we are all under everyday of our lives is a strong side to me as well. Also, nature is important to me, a mentor of sorts, helps me connect to what is important.

Eaton:  What is your vision or dream?  How has your view changed due to life experiences? 

Poppy:  I think as soon as we start to place dreams into order, we can become disappointed. I have no specific goal except to maintain the vision of art as one from the heart. Just to share art is to share the self. Each time I write a poem or lyrics or sing, I sacrifice a small part of myself, as many artists do. I think ultimately, if there is a vision or dream, it would be to understand life more, a dream most of us have.

I have changed a lot since beginning my artistic journey. Things no longer seem black or white. I address the shades of grey in-between as well. Losing my father changed me in a big way. Current health issues have also changed my perception of life and my work.

I have learned to ride the wave more, so to speak. If fate laughs at you, you have to learn to laugh back. This is my motto of late.

To me, these changes are inevitable, a growing process. It reflects in an artist’s work when they go through life changes. It shows in the way they deliver poetry or the way their voice is directed in songs. So, yes, a lot of changes are happening to my life right now and sometimes we have stand back and observe these changes from an outsider’s point of view and learn to take each day as it comes, cliche but true.

Eaton:  What is your motivation?  Who or what is your inspiration?

My motivation would be to expel emotions. My writing is mainly a quest, as I see it, to banish and yet revive. I write because it is my natural desire to do so.

My inspiration would be life itself, the journey of inner thoughts. The ultimate questions we hold about life and death, the offering of sanity through purge.

There are times when I have a specific thing in mind to vent about and there are times when I am influenced by the state of the world. My writing and my band’s songs can be emotive or politically driven. Both sides are to be explored within my mind. We all too often take so called facts at face value without questioning them and what better way to do so than through the vein of release – art.

So inspiration, to me, is taken from all facets of life and beyond. I sometimes write with no intention but to channel thoughts from the ether. As artists, I believe we open gate ways sometimes that lead us to write about what others are feeling too.

Eaton:  I perceive that your creativity is multifaceted:  You are a vocalist, a musician, a poet, a writer, a photographer.  Please share about each genre or media.  How do all of these tie together for you, or are they separate and distinct venues that allow you a creative escape from another form?  As I write this to you, I’m listening to Orbitally Re-Arranged Monatomic Elements; each song has a message.  Each song shows powerful a video that I, as a student of history, enjoy viewing.  Who composes the songs?  What is the intent of the music?  What is the future of the band?

Poppy:  I think all are equal sides to myself, they go hand in hand. As a writer, I use the skills poetically to influence lyrics and how I feel when I sing the song. Music to me adds the wave forms that move the words. Both poetry and music are like brother and sister to me. I actually find writing poetry easier than lyrics. Lyrics are always crafted in a different manner, condensed to have more impact.

It is hard to divide these elements. I class myself more a writer than poet as I write myriad formats of writing.

Photography is a sheer pleasure for me. It enhances the powerful side of life that can be captured and remain forever. Photography is a huge influence to my art. I also manipulate photography to add words to or write about, distorting reality, so to speak.

As for the videos my band creates. I feel it makes a change to have footage to a video that does not include the artists themselves. No way is the better way. There are so many bands out there that use only footage of themselves and this is more than fine. I do feel though, if you have a song that lyrically represents something, you can take that further by imagery. That is what we attempt to do through our videos.

The intent of the music is open the mind, to carry people through an emotional journey or to shed some light on political issues. To find some balance in all the deceit around us. Our music is a release of chaotic thoughts and feelings to a purge of seeking insight in the darkness.

We both compose the music. We both have an equal say in what the lyrics are and what goes into the music so it is pretty much a joint thing although, as in many bands, sometimes, one person runs with it more than the other, as in, sometimes ideas come to one and they may have a different way of executing them to the other people. On the whole, our music is usually equally composed.

For the future of the band, I simply want to reach an audience in the way that they resonate with what they read and hear. Ultimately, that is all an artist can hope for and remain real in the process.

Eaton:  Is there is a poem, or spoken word you want to share in this article?  What details can you provide about this work?
Poppy:  I shall include a link to my spoken word poem, “Welcome to Dajjal.”

“Welcome to Dajjal” is a political poem. It was written after I had just read about the war in Iraq. The poem speaks for itself. The devastation caused through things such as HAARP, FEMA camps and vaccinations to name a few. It all accumulates into a poem that alerts people to these things.

We are definitely cattle in this life to the elite.

This poem is telling humanity to gain their power back, through love and not violence.

“There is no division. We are all equal.”

Eaton's note:  "Welcome to Dajjal" is on Youtube.  Please click on the link to see and to listen:  Welcome to Dajjal.

Eaton:  What future plans and/or goals do you want to share publicly? 

Poppy:  We are currently working with a band called Controlled Disorder on four songs. This is taking precedence at this time. It is a great honour for us to collaborate with them.

Eaton:  Have you any upcoming performances, readings, exhibitions, or publications? 

Poppy:  We are also working on a new spoken word album for my poetry. This album will be a mixture of genres with a soundscape like my last album. I am also putting together a book of poetry and thinking about a photography book along with Haiku as well.

Music wise, we have five new tracks to complete and shall hopefully be releasing an Acoustic EP in the near future.


Poppy's artwork, her collaborative work with other artists, and her promotion of the arts and artists can be found at the following websites:

Listen to the music by Orbitally Re-Arranged Monatomic Elements:  O.R.M.E.

Poppy is also partner to a website called Apollo Blessed.  It is a platform to share all forms of art, and all artists are welcome there.  I am a member of Apollo Blessed, and it is a very nice place to share and to get to see what other artists are doing.

Take a look at the Apollo Blessed site:  Apollo Blessed.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Art of Still Life

The rhetoric of war is increasing here on the Korean peninsula.  As men in power continue to play the games of destruction and death, I am embracing the beauty of life.

I have a new project on my website called, The Art of Still Life.  All of the compositions were photographed during my travels in Asia with a majority taken in South Korea.

The following are two images that are included in the project:

 Animate and Inanimate
© Mark Eaton

In A Row
© Mark Eaton

While there is still life on the peninsula, view The Art of Still Life on my website that can be accessed here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Old Woman From Across the Way

I call her 소주 할머니, because she operated a 소주 방 directly across from our home on the side street.  Grandmother has a perpetual bow that so many women of her generation have; a bow not from being courteous, but from years of toil squatting, stooping, bending, and sitting that forever prevents any chance of standing physically upright.  However, sitting on a floor looks perfectly natural.

Some of the inebriated patrons caused some problems over time, which required police intervention now and again.  Some posed direct threats against my family at times as we merely entered or exited our family property, or as we worked in our then open flower garden.

A few weeks ago I noticed the weekends were quiet in our neighborhood.  I didn't see wives dragging their husbands out of the place from across the street, nor did I hear the usual arguments and fighting so prevalent during the weekends.  It was quiet and peaceful.

My wife happened to chat with the grandmother several days ago, and she learned that grandmother had to close down her business.  One of her regulars took offense at her asking the man to pay his tab, and he thought it a good idea to pay her physically.  Her injuries required surgery to repair.  The regular was arrested at the time of the incident; I call him the "final customer."  Grandmother is no longer capable of running a business and requires help from relatives.  She has vacated the property.

Grandmother was doing the best she could with what she had.  I asked my wife to see if grandmother needed help with meals or a chore or two, which surprised my wife.  One day I will have my "final customer" -- I hope it's an amicable occurrence.  Violence...too much violence.

© Mark Eaton

Though used in the past by patrons to sit outside on a summer night, this chair will remain empty, because it was dumped on a trash heap.  The symbolism is stark, if not sad.