Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Work of Artist Carrie McGee

An extremely talented artist, a great friend, and fortunately for me – a fantastic sister-in-law – , Carrie McGee has made quite the mark on the contemporary art scene throughout the South, the Mid-Atlantic and New England.

Her compelling work – whether installed or suspended, upon first view, are elegant and deceivingly simple – yet don’t be fooled. A closer inspection of the panels reveal a visual realm of complexity and depth.

Like individual cells from film strip, each panel offers its own unique aspect of a story. When grouped together into one work however, a beginning, middle and end of a story is revealed. While it’s up to each viewer to determine the storyline based upon their own interpretation of the work, there’s a Zen quality about Carrie’s art that is undeniable.

For more information and to view other examples of McGee’s work, visit her website at

Friday, December 21, 2012

A National Moment of Silence

I, for one, am a true believer in the unmistakable power of a moment of silence. I'll never forget in DC, during the moment of silence for the victims of 9/11, when I stepped out of my art gallery onto 7th street NW with a lit candle, joining hundreds of others up and down the street doing the same thing in complete silence at the moment as bells all across the city rang for the victims.

The entire street, normally wildly busy, both traffic and pedestrians - came to a complete stop as we stood silently over our candles in a brief moment of shared humanity. It was one of the most moving moments of my life, and today, I can scarcely think of it without a wave of emotion drifting across my mind.


Today, at 9:30 AM, EST, there will be a nationwide moment of silence in memory of those killed at Sandy Hook. Out of the 28 states that have officially declared this moment of silence by the Governors, I am glad to say the the state in which I was born, the state in which I was raised and the state in which I now reside are all taking part.

I strongly urge you to do the same. Regardless of your stance on gun legislation, your religion or political mindset - or any of the other many differences that we are so quick to point out and wear on our sleeves in this day and age - come together for a moment at 9:30 AM EST in memory of these victims and in the celebration of your humanity - the one shared experience that we all do have.

Use the moment to reflect - yes, but also use it to release. Use it to release the sadness, the pain, the energy and - perhaps most importantly - the spirits of these victims back into the cosmos.
And do it with love.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Brother’s Grimm

First - Visit today to scroll through their entertaining and wonderfully illustrated visual presentation of the story of Little Red Riding Hood created in honor of the 200th anniversary of the first publishing of Grimm's Fairy Tales.

Then, click the link below to learn about the back story of the Brother's Grimm -
The real Brothers Grimm were stranger than fiction -

Monday, December 17, 2012

Asking Questions : Learn from the pros how to do it right.


100 years ago when I first arrived in Washington, D.C., my first job was that of a field canvasser for the national office of a long standing environmental non-profit lobbying organization.

The office at that time was on Capitol Hill and every week day afternoon, and one Saturday a month, I and my fellow canvassers would load into a large van and then be driven to one of the many suburbs of Virginia and Maryland outside of DC. 

Once there, we would go from door to door soliciting donations, signatures on a petition and getting concerned folks to write letters to their elected officials.

I was in my early twenties then and it was a time in my life when I found the work rewarding. It was for a cause that I believed in (and still do), it was certainly challenging work and – at the end of the day – it was actually fun. 

I stayed with the job for a few years and I made some wonderful friends with whom I am still close to today some twenty plus years later. I also can honestly say that I spent several years of my younger days working for a great cause.

Today, when the conversation turns to “jobs I once had” and I mention my door to door experience, many simply can’t fathom going up to the front door of a total stranger, ringing the bell and asking whomever answers for a donation and a signature on a petition.

Despite their aghast expressions, I tell them that out of the many important things that I learned how to do - and how to do well - from that work experience was how to communicate.


Trust me when I tell you that you’ll have little success walking up to a complete stranger’s door and leaving with a donation check from that person unless you know how to engage them. That means learning how to ask the right questions in the right manner, how to listen to their response and how to recognize visual clues that will lead you to the results you seek.

To this day, whether I’m working with clients, brainstorming with other creative professionals or simply chatting with peers, the lessons that I learned from those years spent going door to door have a very present and positive influence upon the way I communicate.

I promise that I’ll expand upon those methods in a future post, but in the interim, a great start would be to read this well written article that I came across this morning via a tweet from Fast Company titled
“The One Conversational Tool That Will Make You Better At Absolutely Everything”.

It contains some very good points about what to do and what not to do when asking questions. These pointers will serves you well no matter what kind of Q and A session in which you may find yourself engaged.

In fact, it was the reading of the article that sent me on my little trip down memory lane this morning when I recognized that I used to use some of the very same methods referenced within it when I was working as a canvasser.

And I still use them today.

If you have any upcoming situations where asking questions and listening to answers will become a major factor, do yourself a favor and read the article.

The wise words will serve you well.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Now That's A Swinging Tree...

Hey Folks - My tree wishes thee a Happy Holiday Season!

Created with