Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Digital art, created using paths and selections in Photoshop.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009


AAhhh Summertime... a time of unrivaled beauty. But for a Leo, summertime can be dangerously lazy. Leos can be fiercely motivated and creative. But they can also be ... well.... um... not so much.

You see, I am job hunting, it's month two and counting. I have stayed fairly motivated, applying for at least one job a day. Some positions are really cool... probably too cool to be true. Some are jobs I know I am too qualified for, the kind of jobs where you wake up, wash down your pride with a glass of OJ, go to work, and try not to go postal. Nothing has happened yet. I've had some good leads, but call me a cynic, the ones you really want seldom happen.

This summer has been a bit of a paradox for me. I am doing everything I can to get hired, but I feel like I'm doing nothing at all. Unfortunately, I am one of those creative people who thinks everything should be in order before you can be creative. Well, obviously, things are never completely in order and they never will be, and if you wait for everything to be perfect, you'd better not hold your breath. The take home lesson? Get creative now.

One thing I enjoy doing with my free time is playing with is jazz... Jazz standards to be specific. Simply get out your "Real Book"... A real book (a clever pun of the classic 'fake book') is a collection of musical scores of popular jazz tunes... and start banging away at a jazz standard. It helps if you are already familiar with the song and have a good recording to listen to while you learn. The question is, which tune to play. Well it IS summertime... how about Gershwin's tune, Summertime?

Summertime is the name of an aria composed by George Gershwin for the 1935 opera Porgy and Bess. It is a well known, and often played standard... and it embodies the sluggish humid feel of summertime itself. Take a look at the lyrics and you'll see why I am finding this song particularly comforting, given my situation.

"Summertime an' the livin' is easy, Fish are jumpin' an' the cotton is high. Oh, yo'daddy'$ rich, an' yo'ma is good-lookin'... So hush, little baby, don' you cry.

One of these mornin's you goin' to rise up singin', then you'll spread yo' wings an' you'll take the sky. But till that mornin' there's nothin' can harm you... With Daddy an' Mammy standin' by."

Here's what the lead sheet looks like...

This song has been played so many times over the past 70 years, here are some modern interpretations of Gershwin's Summertime.

Lou Rawls does Summertime...

Master Flautist Herbie Mann's rendition...

Even Peter Gabriel has done this tune...

And the classic from Woodstock... Janis does Summertime...

Wish me luck.