Saturday, August 31, 2013

New Ground

Those of you who actually know me will probably remember that I have been struggling with drawing for the last couple of years.  Well, the truth is that I have actually been struggling with the idea of drawing for the most part.  I have done a hundred or so drawings over that time but the fact of the matter is that it has been really difficult.  My hand/eye coordination barely works for me to press the shutter and though I am convinced that drawing is a skill that anyone can acquire, I seem to be the exception.  

Virtually every drawing I have done has been a disappointment, no exceptions.  I love working with the nude of course and the style of Degas, Renoir and several other masters have been such an inspiration to me that I sit down again and again, trying to do something that is beautiful.   I have lived with failure in this venture for almost 700 days.   No, I have not drawn for 700 days but I have thought about it and tried to overcome my shortcomings for at least  a hundred attempts.   Occasionally I get a line right, an arm, a breast or a buttock but it is invariably outweighed by the disaster that represents the rest of the picture.  However, I am one stubborn SOB and I have sworn to keep going until I master it or die!

I seldom show anything to anyone as I can see so many areas for improvement on my own that I prefer to skip the pain and embarrassment.   It seems like it is going to be a very long time before I can move past my ineptitude to express my feeling in a drawing.   Or so I thought.

On Thursday, somehow I ended up seeing a short film of Wassily Kandinsky drawing with a brush.  I was blown away.  I did not understand his drawing at all but as I watched I realized that he was opening a new door for me.   A door that allowed me to mark the paper based upon my feeling without trying to represent anything other than the idea that was in my head at the time.   

Several weeks ago, I blogged about my favourite cameras and expressed my love for the Leica rangefinder.   This drawing is about the basis for that love.   

Photography is all about the frame.  Placing a frame around a situation assigns significance to it.   It also excludes everything that exists outside the frame due to the nature of the viewing system.   Plus, with most cameras, when you press the shutter, the frame goes dark!

Not so with the Leica. You can see in the viewfinder what you are cutting out.   The edges of the frame are simply delineated by the hash lines in the window.  So when composing, you are consciously cutting things out and predicting what might enter the frame.

But the frame is dominant, and by imposing a frame the photographer determines what is to be seen and what is not.   That is what this drawing is all about.   

I realized over the last few weeks that what I was concerned about with the Fukushima crisis was what was not being placed in the frame.  The information that we are granted as it were, is placed in a frame and the information that we are denied is left out.   Much to my dismay in this case.   The Fukushima lies, the omissions, have been kept outside the frame.

Drawing in the abstract allows me to express what is outside the frame.   That's what this picture is about and that is what I am going to be working on for some time, not in a figurative sense, in an abstract sense, in way that will allow me to work out my own thoughts without having to go through the linear process of writing and without trying to find visual subjects that already exist to act as metaphors.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Glimmer of Light for a Dark Problem

This is an article in yesterday's Japan Times offering international help from France and Russia.

And another stating that the Japanese Government is taking control of the situation.

Of course, Elizabeth May is on it, I feel better already.

Don't get complacent though, it seems that CNN has discovered that this is a very serious problem.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fukushima Concerns Part 2

As I stated in my comments on Fukushima Part 1 the Fairewinds site has been the most informative and  straightforward site I have found on this issue so far.   Unfortunately, it sounds worse than what I originally thought so be forewarned but check it out.  This is a major crisis and it seems like it is going to take the coordinated efforts of many nations to control it.

I think the podcasts are particularly useful.  Check out Fighting a Dragon I Cannot See first for an overview of the political situation.

Also There is no way to stop Fukushima radioactive water leaking into the Pacific
Japan’s Black Dust, with Marco Kaltofen

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Fukushima - Where's the truth?

In 1979 I recall going to a presentation booth that I believe was hosted by Ontario Hydro or the AECL.  I had one question that was really bothering me and I hoped that there was an answer for it that I had just been unable to find.   The question was and is, "How can mankind expect to control tons of highly toxic nuclear substances whose radioactive life extends to as much as 125,000 years?"

I was astounded by the arrogance of the dweeb who manned the booth and, I admit, walked away in disgust feeling that mankind was doomed by its own arrogance.

It seems that we are now on the verge of a new nuclear age.  The age of rampant and complete destruction of the planet due to the uncontrolled release of refined nuclear wastes into our oceans and groundwater.   Fukushima appears to be the start of that age.

I hope I am wrong.

What scares me the most is that there is actually very little coverage of the very serious situation at Fukushima in our major media.  I read a copy of Saturday's Globe and Mail and not a single inch of column space was devoted to this topic.

The CBC and CNN websites have also been very sparse in their coverage of this ongoing disaster, perhaps because it is "old news".   But the fact of the matter is that Fukushima appears to have been leaking nuclear waste into the Pacific every day since the earthquake.

In an article on the National Geographic website we now learn "The  government now says it is clear that 300 tons (71,895 gallons/272,152 liters) are pouring into the sea each day,"

Here is a link to the article

I recently found an image on the web that illustrates the potential of this leak and attributes it to US Department of State Geographer whatever that means.   But what is truly scary is the date,  March 2012.

There have been a number of articles regarding this issue over the last few months but frankly, I haven't known what to believe.

Here's one from Truthout...

Here's the link to the CBC article..

There are many others that you can find if you are willing to search.   It's not encouraging to say the least.

So, my questions...

"When is someone going to tell us the truth about this situation?"
"Where is the media?   Why are they not writing more about this?"
"Is the UN too preoccupied with Syria and all the other issues going on today to face this situation?"

This seems to me to be the most pressing issue we on Planet Earth are facing.   I always thought Global Warming was on top but this seems far more serious.

"Am I over-reacting?"