Monthly Archives: July 2019

7 FREE Things to Do This Weekend!

Reading by Louise Tiffany, 1888

1. Read a favorite book or magazine

Take a cue from Tiffany’s lounging reader and put down your device. There’s something delicious about reading actual books. And you can get them totally free from the public library! Thank you Benjamin Franklin for getting the public library started. I think of you every single time I check a book out.

Two Women Running on the Beach by Pablo Picasso, 1922

2. Go to the beach

Some scientific studies show that a trip to the shore is good for us, reducing stress and making us feel happier and more creative. Surf and sand. ‘Nuff said!

Wanderer above the sea of fog, Caspar David Friedrich, 1819

3. Take a hike on your favorite trail, or a new one.

The leisure time default in the Pacific Northwest…hiking! In Japan they have forest bathing, here, we go hiking a favorite trail and get the benefits of lush trees and amazing scenic views. Oh, there’s the fresh air too.

Dancer and Musicians by Kim Hongdo, 1745

4. Go to a free concert in the park

Hang out with your fellow citizens and reap the rewards of your tax dollars in one of the many free concerts scheduled for the summer. Nothing can make a sunny weekend sunnier.

Picnic by Fernando Botero, 1988

5. Turn your lunch or dinner into a picnic

I know, it’s weird not eating in front of the T.V., but hey, it’s a time-honored tradition. Get your picnic on and rediscover the simple joys of going screen-free. After you read this post, of course. Grab your munchies and head outside while the weather is good. Bring a towel, blanket, or yoga mat and voila, you set the tale for your picnic.

Card Players by Paul Cezanne, 1892-95

6. Play a game

If you’ve been watching Stranger Things, you might decide to swear off the D & D for a while just in case it attracts demagorgons. But you can still hang out with your besties and play some games. I’ve got my dominoes ready!

The Sugar Shack by Ernie Barnes

7. Hold a dance party at home

I know, you’re thinking it’s expensive to host a party. But it doesn’t have to be. One of my most vivid memories growing up as a Cuban refugee/immigrant is that people dropped by all the time. The adults would have some cafecito, and then, push the furniture out of the way, put on a record (yup, back when vinyl was cheap and not a trendy collectable) and we’d all dance our hearts out. By the way, Ernie Barnes based his famous painting on an actual party he snuck into as a teen.

Four Things You Didn’t Know About Seeing Red

The color red

As a visual artist I’m totally into communicating ideas through color. It probably comes as no surprise that advertisers have spent millions of dollars researching which colors they should use to make you feel a certain way about their products.

These products use red to communicate vitality and energy.

Here is a list of four things you probably didn’t know about seeing the color red.

1. Red makes you hungry

Hey, can you bring a basket of bread right away?

It’s why restaurants use it in their decor, their table linens, and their menus. In fact, after looking at this picture I feel the need to eat some chips.

2. Red makes you faster, stronger, and more competitive.

If only I had the right color jersey, I could be like Jordan?

Teams in the NBA and NFL with red in their jerseys are at the top of their league. And in a controlled scientific study during the 2004 Olympic Games, competitors were randomly given either a red or blue uniform for their event. 55% of the winning athletes were wearing red and when the event was closely matched, the competitor wearing red won a whopping 62% of the times!

3. Red is sexy and grabs attention!

Bet you can’t look away!

Ever heard of the Red Light District? Okay, maybe not exactly like that! But we definitely see a correlation between wearing red and sexual interest and scientists proved it! A study run in by a German psychologist with collaborators in the U.S., found that college women who expected to meet an attractive man wore red 57% of the time, but only 16% of them wore red when they expected to meet an unattractive participant.

Must be breezy here!

Meanwhile, a 2010 study published by Psychology Today reported that researchers showed men rated the same woman as more attractive when they saw a photo in she was wearing red. The men who saw the same woman in a photo wearing blue rated her less desirable.

4. Red is really lucky!

Why, thank you!

In China, the color red is considered lucky, and the red color of the money envelopes brings you good fortune. I know for a fact that this tradition translates very well across cultures. Just last year, when my brother met his bride’s family in China, he kept receiving little red envelopes stuffed with money. He already felt super lucky for winning the heart of his sweetheart, but the generosity of those red envelopes made him super lucky with the in-laws as well. Turns out red is lucky after all!

Biophilia, A New Series

African Hippo

Jungian psychologists believe that the universal longing for paradise is a disguised search for the Mother archetype. This archetype is our primal landscape– Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Eden. At once the source of all life and also innumerable dangers, the longing to become one with this primal home is at the core of myths and origin stories all over the world.

Sealed Tent

I usually think of my camera lens as a sketching tool, one I use often enough for painting and drawings. But in this series, I use it to document how we frame and interact with animals, ecosystems, and each other in parks, museums, and other commons.

How can we reconcile our love and desire without at the same time destroying what we are grasping for? For example, there are only 50 recorded Blue Karner Butterflies left in the world, but I found countless more in a bin of unrecyclable plastic tchotchkes.

Cornered (Blue Karner Butterfly)

During this critical time, in which we are facing the mass extinction of countless fellow species due to the unchecked expansion of patriarchal systems of industry and global economies, I feel the need to record our communal impulses to reunite with nature, even as we dominate and destroy it.

Display (Poison Dart Frogs)

Sometimes I purposely go out with my point and shoot Cannon. Other times, I seize the moment and just use my smartphone lens. You can see more of this series here: Biophilia