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Gentiles are also annoyed…

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What were they thinking? What are they EVER thinking when they rename things?

by Eric Jackson

Panama City, where it seems that half the streets have two numbers and three names. Municipal governments are starved of funds and powers. one of the main functions left to them is to rename things. So the mayor — or in this case vice mayor standing in while the mayor is running for president — renames things in her last months of office.

Why a major traffic artery? Why Via Israel? 

We hear tales of a study, one that recognizes that from Avenida Balboa a driver can continue on an overpass and without making a turn continue on what was Via Israel, past the two high schools (a third, Colegio Las Esclavas, moved to Clayton a few years ago) and toward Multiplaza and beyond to ATLAPA, before it turns left and becomes the Cincuentenario.

So why not call it all Avenida Balboa? For one thing, because the name Via Israel was in a 1970s agreement between the government of General Omar Torrijos and the State of Israel. For another, Panama’s Jewish community likes the symbol of recognition that they, too, are part of Panama. And then there a so many others who just consider it silly and costly for the city to go on renaming streets.

 

¿Qué están pensando cuando cambian nombres de calles?

por Eric Jackson

Panamá, donde parece que la mitad de las calles tienen dos números y tres nombres. Los gobiernos municipales están privados de fondos y poderes. Una de las funciones principales que les queda es cambiar el nombre de las cosas. Entonces el alcalde, o en este caso la vicealcaldesa mientras el alcalde se postula para presidente, cambia el nombre de las cosas en sus últimos meses de mandato.

¿Por qué una arteria de tráfico importante? ¿Por qué Via Israel?

Hay cuentas de un estudio, uno que reconoce que desde la Avenida Balboa, un conductor puede continuar en un paso elevado y, sin hacer un giro, continuar en lo que fue Via Israel, más allá de las dos escuelas secundarias (una tercera, Colegio Las Esclavas, se mudó a Clayton hace unos pocos años) y hacia Multiplaza y más allá hacia ATLAPA, antes de girar a la izquierda y se convierte en el Cincuentenario.

Entonces, ¿por qué no llamarlo todo Avenida Balboa? Por un lado, porque el nombre Vía Israel estaba en un acuerdo de los años setenta entre el gobierno del General Omar Torrijos y el Estado de Israel. Por otro lado, a la comunidad judía de Panamá le gusta el símbolo de reconocimiento de que ellos también son parte de Panamá. También hay muchos otros que simplemente consideran tonto y costoso que la ciudad cambie el nombre de las calles.

 

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¡Somos el Panamá Burlesque Festival! 3-4 mayo en el Theatre Guild

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Toque aquí para ver la presentación de forma PDF

(Espere un momento para que se descargue el PDF. Es un documento de 13 páginas.)

Tasseled Tease Burlesque estará trayendo a Panamá en el mes de mayo. Específicamente, el viernes 3 y sábado 4.

Se trata del Panamá Burlesque Festival.

Un festival diferente, en el cual resaltaremos el arte del burlesque. El mismo, es una industria reconocida y seguida internacionalmente, pero con muy poca presencia en el país.

Desde 2013, nuestro grupo se ha dedicado a crear presentaciones alrededor de la ciudad. Y habiendo creado conexiones internacionales fuertes, nos hemos atrevido a traer más de 20 artistas de burlesque de Estados Unidos, Canadá, Australia y Panamá bajo un mismo techo, el Teatro Guild de Ancón.

Estxs artistas estarán compitiendo en dos grupos los dos días del festival por llevarse a casa la corona del primer Panamá Burlesque Festival.

Vea nuestras redes sociales y nuestro sitio web:

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Ben-Meir, Brain Police in Facebook blue?

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You’ll never want to leave. Graphic by Tom Blanton.

A new despotism in the era
of surveillance capitalism

by Sam Ben-Meir

There is a fascinating chapter toward the end of Alexis de Toqueville’s Democracy in America titled “What Kind of Despotism Do Democratic Nations Have to Fear?” in which the author attempted something truly extraordinary – to describe a social condition which humankind had never before encountered. We find him trying to put his finger on something which does not yet exist, but which – in his extraordinary political imagination – he was able to foresee with startling clarity.

I maintain that we have good reason to fear that the business model of commercial surveillance – pioneered by Google and adopted by Facebook, among others – is serving to undermine the foundations of our democracy. Shoshana Zuboff explains in her new book, The Age of Surveillance Capital (Public Affairs, 2019), that the system works by treating human experience as “free raw material for translation into behavioral data. Although some of these data are applied to service improvements, the rest are declared as proprietary behavioral surplus, fed into advanced manufacturing processes known as ‘machine intelligence,’ and fabricated into prediction products that anticipate what you will do now, soon and later. Finally, these prediction products are traded in a new kind of marketplace that I call behavioral futures markets. Surveillance capitalists have grown immensely wealthy from these trading operations, for many companies are willing to lay bets on our future behavior.”

In effect, we are becoming the subject of a new insidious, subtle, and almost invisible form of subjugation that was foreseen with uncanny ability by Tocqueville in 1849. Over a hundred and seventy-five years ago, Tocqueville wrote: “The kind of oppression with which democratic peoples are threatened will resemble nothing that has proceeded it in the world.” He goes on to describe the elevation of “an immense tutelary power … which alone takes charge of assuring their enjoyments and watching over their fate. It is absolute, detailed, regular, far-seeing, and mild. It would resemble paternal power, if, like that, it had for its object to prepare men for manhood; but on the contrary, it seeks only to keep them fixed in childhood; it likes citizens to enjoy themselves, provided that they think only of enjoying themselves. It willingly works for their happiness; but it wants to be the unique agent and sole arbiter of that.”

In Time magazine’s January seventeenth article “I Mentored Mark Zuckerberg, But I Can’t Stay Silent” author Roger McNamee observes, “One of the best ways to manipulate attention is to appeal to outrage and fear, emotions that increase engagement. Facebook’s algorithms give users what they want, so each person’s News Feed becomes a unique and personal reality, a filter bubble that creates the illusion that most people the user knows believe the same things.”

The notion of a bubble here is a useful one: central to the work of Jakob von Uexküll, an Estonian-born biologist and one of the fathers of biosemiotics, is the concept of the umwelt – or ‘surrounding-world’ – the ‘soap-bubble’ that each creature creates for itself and which constitutes their experiential world. The umwelt is composed of signs as bearers of meaning, and for each organism the umwelt is the whole of their reality. What distinguishes us as human beings is that our umwelt is not fixed, immobile, rigid, or static. One of the ways we can understand the effect of Facebook’s algorithms on its users is that the umwelt each user inhabits runs the danger of effectively shrinking: growing smaller and ever more calcified. In “How Facebook’s Algorithm Suppresses Content Diversity and How the Newsfeed Rules Your Clicks,” the author Zeynep Tufekci asserts that researchers were able to definitively conclude that, by a measurable amount, Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm reduces a user’s exposure to “…ideologically diverse, cross-cutting content…” By assuring that we are exposed only to that which we are likely to approve of and assent to, our umwelt – or social reality – is that much more diminished and homogenized.

Facebook’s business model has far-reaching implications, especially in terms of our ability to empathize with others – others who may not be like, or think like, ourselves. This had devastating results in Myanmar where Facebook became a tool for ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya. While it certainly may not have been its intention, Facebook has become a “forum for tribalism” promoting a “simplistic version of ‘community'” while arguably “harming democracy, science and public health” – as Siva Vaidhyanathan suggests in Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Much of my research has shown that there is a close relationship between empathy and our ability to creatively reconstruct the umwelt of the other. While one cannot share his or her umwelt – each of us remains in our own soap-bubble, as it were – we can participate in a common umwelt, which in many ways is purportedly the stated goal of social media. It is ironic that Facebook, which claims to prize connectivity above all, has in fact, contributed to producing the opposite result – where each of us fixed in a vapid and hardened bubble of isolation.

In the face of an American government that is increasingly retreating from its responsibilities, we must recognize that Facebook, Google, and Amazon are the new leviathans. In serving users only those posts with which they will agree, Facebook is like Tocqueville’s ‘tutelary’s power’ which “everyday … renders the employment of free will less useful, and more rare; it confines the action of the will in a smaller space, and little by little steals the very use of free will from each citizen.” These companies do not simply want to automate information: as Zuboff observes, “the goal now is to automate us… to produce ignorance by circumventing individual awareness and thus eliminate any possibility of self-determination.”

Facebook’s business model represents a new insidious form of subjugation that does not tyrannize, but as Vaidhyanathan observes, “it hinders, compromises, enervates, extinguishes, dazes, and finally reduces each nation to being nothing more than timid and industrious animals of which the government is the shepherd.”

Facebook has contributed its share to the deterioration of epistemic norms and has helped to usher in the era of so-called post-truth. The motivation behind this disdain for truth as such, has always been the same – namely, it serves the bottom line. As McNamee puts it: “on Facebook, information and disinformation look the same; the only difference is that disinformation generates more revenue, so it gets better treatment.”

Over a two-year period preceding the 2016 election, one hundred and twenty-six million Americans saw Russian-backed content. Facebook was at best reckless in the rampant and deliberate spread of disinformation through fake Russian accounts; which is to say that by allowing the proliferation of fake news, Facebook incontrovertibly helped Donald Trump to become the President of the United States. Facebook has provided fertile ground for the spread of grossly irresponsible conspiracy theories and “hopelessly inaccurate viral posts.”

Like many others, McNamee suggests that users should have control over their own data and metadata – as if data ownership is the solution to the scourge of surveillance capitalism. The problem with this kind of thinking is that it fails to ask the more elementary question of whether such data should exist at all. As Zuboff observes “It’s like negotiating how many hours a day a seven-year-old should be allowed to work, rather than contesting the fundamental legitimacy of child labor.” Surveillance capitalism represents a new form of despotism, one that is harming our capacity for individual autonomy in order that behavioral data can continue to be generated unimpeded, supplying markets and the advertisers that are Google’s and Facebook’s real customers.

We are becoming the kind of solipsistic and atomistic society that Tocqueville foresaw, “an enumerable crowd of like and equal men who revolve on themselves without repose … each of them, withdrawn, and apart, is like a stranger to the destiny of all the others… As for dwelling with his fellow citizens, he is beside them, but he does not see them; he touches them and does not feel them.” Alexis de Tocqueville warned us that oppression may take forms which are gentle, quiet, calm, but nonetheless, inimical to genuine freedom. To adequately respond to the problem will require more than demanding greater privacy or data ownership – it will involve a radical questioning of our basic assumptions, and a new understanding of what democracy means and entails in the age of capitalistic surveillance.

Sam Ben-Meir is a professor of philosophy and world religions at Mercy College in New York City.

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Editorials: Protecting Panama’s sovereignty? and Does he get off on insanity?

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US Air Force building the air base in Meteti, Darien in 2010.

Is SENAFRONT there to defend Panama’s sovereignty?

It’s a story told often enough, in many different versions. The DEA agent, a US civil servant with a middle class standard of living that would seem fabulous to the Latin America cop, sits down to meet with one of the latter and notices the Rolex watch and expensive jewelry. The agent quickly realizes that she’s in the presence of the enemy.

Who knows what happened, how it happened or why? The Pentagon has insisted that the commander of SENAFRONT, the National Frontier Service that is both Panama’s border patrol and our de facto army, Commissioner Erick Estrada, be removed. President Varela is apparently going along with it. La Estrella reports that it’s about Estrada’s opposition to a string of US military electronic sensors in the Meteti area. All very classified, in a country where the US military bases were supposed to have been gone nearly 20 years ago.

Does a top Panamanian law enforcement officer have to be a crook to resist this country becoming, like back in 1904, a US military protectorate? Will there be more purges in the National Police when it is discovered that there are cops who don’t like Panama being used as a staging point for US military operations against Venezuela?

And what about a Panamanian diplomat or law enforcement official who has the occasion to sit down to meet with Donald Trump. Will SHE quickly realize that she’s in the presence of the enemy?

  

Harry “Pittsburgh Phil” Strauss. ‘Mr. Trump, you’re no Pittsburgh Phil.’

Dr. Warren, The Donald and Pittsburgh Phil

Harry “Pittsburgh Phil” Strauss (1909-1941) was Murder Incorporated’s most prolific and gifted hit man. He was never tried for the great majority of his crimes – he is said to have killed more than 100 people – but finally the State of New York got him on just enough, and executed him in the electric chair at Sing Sing.

When the cops nabbed him and pulled him before the court, he didn’t get all weepy and repentant and rediscover the Jewish faith of his ancestors. He didn’t deny that he had ever killed anyone. He pleaded insanity and acted up for the reporters and all others assembled. He probably was mentally ill, but he knew what his profession was and he knew that society considered it wrong. The jury didn’t buy it but Pittsburgh Phil kept up the act right up to the switch being thrown.

Donald Trump has surely heard that story. A New Yorker, The Donald has done business with mobsters all through his business career, starting with New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia notables from La Cosa Nostra, to money laundering for Russian gangsters starting in the 1980s, to a collection of former Soviet, Colombian, Brazilian and Panamanian underworld figures with his ill-fated project here.

Does he know that money laundering for mobsters is wrong? Does he know that calling foreign powers in to meddle in American elections is wrong? Perhaps The Donald is so self-centered that other people’s opinions mean nothing to him – but he has lied, and he has instructed others to lie, so there is at least an intellectual understanding about society’s official view. Even if, deep down inside, he believes that the universe revolves around himself so any other standard is beside the point.

Trump has been in rare, raving, threatening form of late. Revelations that he told off to US intelligence people who gave him bad news with an “I don’t care — I believe Putin” rejoinder is just gravy. People he once appointed are now dirty rats, treasonous and so on. He threatens the folks at Saturday Night Live with retribution. He threatens to overturn the constitutional arrangement in which the US House of Representatives holds the purse strings, seeking to declare a “state of emergency” in which he misappropriates these powers.

Dr. Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts, presidential hopeful and noteworthy economist, suggests that in light of the president’s erratic behavior, the cabinet should invoke the 25th Amendment and declare him medically incapacitated. That would be the end of Trump’s presidency and the start of Pence’s reign of religious fanaticism. It might be a quick and elegant solution, a wise and prudent idea from she who would be president.

But do we really want to let The Donald beat the rap on insanity?

 

Bear in mind…

 

Those who speak most of progress measure it by quantity and not by quality.
George Santayana

 

The first time Adam had a chance, he laid the blame on a woman.
Nancy Astor

 

The real hero is always a hero by mistake; he dreams of being an honest coward like everybody else.
Umberto Eco
 

 

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Bernal, Corruption reigns supreme

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PRD legislator Zulay Rodríguez responds to the MOVIN complaint that she is one of the legislators who has not published her legislative office’s payroll and other public expenditures via her office. She attacks principal MOVIN spokeswoman Annette Planells, conflating “they” (the universe of MOVIN people) with “she.” The legislator comes to the conclusion that MOVIN is not independent (of the polítical parties, it actually is, but of powerful social and economic forces in Panamanian society it isn’t) and equates the organization with President Varela. Actually, they supported Varela at the end of the 2014 campaign as the most likely person to thwart Ricardo Martinelli’s proxy re-election but later broke with Varela over corruption and constitutional reform issues. MOVIN is a business and professional classes movement that has included among its backers the probable richest man in Panama, Stanley Motta. For a xenophobic demagogue like Rodríguez, railing against the evil rich guy is a fairly standard campaign dodge. Columnist, law professor, radio show host and activist Miguel Antonio Bernal is an independent of a different stripe than MOVIN. He and they agree that no elected official ought to be re-elected this time.

Enough of this corruption

by Miguel Antonio Bernal

The Panamanian government, given present-day power brokers’ lack of will, does nothing – in reality – to diminish or eradicate the corruption that has become entrenched in each and every sphere of this country.

Within this degenerative process, the scourge of corruption ever more the consumes highest public officials and the top managers of private enterprise. Uncontrolled, it permeates all social sectors, creating explosive situations of exclusion and injustice.

The lack of means for citizen participation, on the other hand, contributes to the absence and ineffectiveness of control mechanisms needed to contain the local Odebrechts and their accessories within the machinery, such as the Comptroller’s and the Attorney General’s offices.

Electoral populism is fully and busily engaged. It’s a fraudulent tournament of corny tricks promoted by the three electoral magistrates and co-sponsored by their buddies in the courts and the legislature. Any desire to empower the citizenry to participate in national events through the full exercise of our rights is totally repudiated by misnamed “political class.”

Whatever civic preventive action through inspections, observers or demands for accountability in the face of multiple cases of corruption is not contemplated by any of the candidates. This warns us that “change so that nothing changes” has hijacked the process.

Day by day, we live in a “democracy” that has been hijacked by a few, for a few, and to the detriment of the great majority that’s reduced to being spectators rather than actors.

The participation of citizens in different spaces is urgent. To do this, organizing ourselves around a constituent process will allow us to better defend the public interest and strengthen civic action. “No to reelection,” for example, goes hand in hand with no more corruption.

 

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MOVIN, Pela el ojo

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bats


pitbulls


sticky fingers


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¿Wappin? A wandering musical weekend

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Kafu
Kafu Banton, from his Facebook page. Photo by Josue Arosemena.

Weekend wanderings
Paseos de fin de semana

Enrique Guzmán y Los Teen Tops – Pensaba En Ti
https://youtu.be/oBNzSu8MOeE

Frank Zappa – Cheap Thrills
https://youtu.be/U4D0vmVdrOg

Rocky Sharpe & The Replays – Rama Lama Ding Dong
https://youtu.be/0HhA0Cghr4k

The Devotions – Rip Van Winkle
https://youtu.be/ryPksnix2yw

Santana – Do You Remember Me?
https://youtu.be/WvA9d6n7Jzg

Atom – Great Gig in the Sky
https://youtu.be/kK0rpKOEAt0

Sia – Bird Set Free
https://youtu.be/eVaAnOCKT20

Beyoncé – Broken-hearted Girl
https://youtu.be/V2DE23erSts

Amy Winehouse – Back to Black
https://youtu.be/e7biK-o0MN0

Café Tacvba – Eres
https://youtu.be/0AtsoFxe96M

Alicia Keys – No One
https:/youtu.be/vBqXwVM_qRw

Marina – Handmade Heaven
https://youtu.be/GiOGlYjKgX8

Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On
https://youtu.be/hlI49ysRnkvQ

Kafu Banton – Cuando Se Viene de Abajo
https://youtu.be/o6VGdIU8FfI

Aswad – The BBC Sessions
https://youtu.be/RjZL592mh0I

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Lawsuit begs many questions, including the BNP’s solvency

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BNP
The Banco Nacional de Panamá — a strange hybrid from the start.

Abdul Waked’s claim isn’t the only scandal, but it’s for double the amount of the National Bank of Panama’s cash on deposit

Supreme Court to hear potentially bankrupting suit against the BNP

by Eric Jackson

The Supreme Court’s Civil Bench has agreed to hear a lawsuit against the National Bank of Panama (BNP, by its Spanish initials) in which the Lebanese-Panamanian businessman seeks $1.268 in damages. The BNP has paid-in capital of only $650 million.

The claim is that when the US Treasury Department denounced the existence of a “Waked Money Laundering Organization” the BNP determined that Abdul Waked’s businesses were “commercially dead” and allowed creditors to freeze or seize those companies’ deposits in the bank. But the US conspiracy theory never held up in court. In fact, as to Abdul Waked there were never any civil or criminal charges brought. US courts ruled that he had no recourse, nor any right to see any evidence against him. As to his Lebanese-Colombian nephew Nidal Waked, criminal charges for drug money laundering were summarily thrown out by the US courts and in the end Nidal pleaded guilty to accepting a loan from a US bank for one purpose but spending it for another. As that loan had been repaid, the sentencing judge rejected federal prosecutors’ demand for a long prison term.

Meanwhile Abdul Waked was forced by US sanctions that included threats against those who did business with him, combined with the BNP’s denial of access to his assets to sell of much of his business empire at a loss. The big prize for Uncle Sam was the forced sale of a majority stake in the La Estrella and El Siglo newspapers, in favor of an expected to be pro-US new ownership that was vetted by the American Embassy. Abdul Waked’s lawsuit is about the business losses forced upon him by the bank’s actions.

The bank’s lawyers and fellow bankers are arguing that the suit is invalid first because the BNP had a greater duty to claimed creditors than to its depositor, second because the bank is the government’s, and third because bank employees are immune from liability for things that they do in furtherance of government policies.

Why such short reserves, and just what the BNP is and is supposed to be are relevant side questions.

Especially so, when there are multiple concurrent scandals and a long history at the bank. Top of the news lately is how some 318 checks in favor of about 35 persons, coming from at least 29 legislators, were drawn against a National Assembly payroll account at the BNP in the aggregate amount of some $808,000. All of these checks went through a single cashier and the supposed beneficiaries are denying any knowledge and even more adamantly having received any money. Prosecutors are leaning on the cashier but the ordinary prosecutors and courts have no jurisdiction over legislators. The Supreme Court investigates, tries and sentences legislators, while the National Assembly investigates, tries and sentences high court magistrates. There has for many years, with only a few exceptions, been a non-agression pact between the two institutions. Thus it may be that one corrupt bank cashier will take the fall for dozens of corrupt politicians — but for the latter the equation may change dramatically starting on July 1 if the voters oust many or all incumbent deputies in the May elections. 

And what IS the BNP? In many respects it’s considered a sister institution to all of Latin America’s central banks. But unlike those, and unlike the Federal Reserve in the USA, the BNP doesn’t issue currency. Coins, and sometimes corrupt games that get played with issuing those, yes. But the Panamanian balboa is the US dollar. In that sense the Fed is Panama’s central bank and has been since 1904. Shorn of major responsibilities of their regional counterparts, the political patronage appointees who head the BNP have over the years been less committed to considerations like prudence, due diligence and ethical standards.

Deeper yet, the scant resources on hand at the BNP are a function of Panama’s serious public debt. Yes, you can read all this purchased “journalism” about the Panamanian economic miracle, none of which will mention that Ramón Fonseca Mora of Panama Papers infamy was President Varela’s chief of staff at the start of the current administration. Nor does this genre of story mention the money laundering house of cards that much of Panama’s business scene actually is. And is US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatening retaliation against Panamanians who do business with the Chinese? Look at how precarious Panama’s main public bank is, and then figure how that plays into US fears of China coming in dangling attractive lines of credit.

 
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George Scribner art…

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La Niña Guna 5″ x 7″

Paintings, a lesson and upcoming workshops with George Scribner

Shanghai Disneyland

I wrote an article for a painting magazine about the experience I had painting the construction of Shanghai Disneyland between 2013 and 2016. It was an amazing journey. Here’s the article:

https://www.outdoorpainter.com/plein-air-painting-shanghai-disneyland/

“Big Man on Campus” – Chickens in Panama! 9” X 12” — SOLD

Antillana con bandana roja.

I did a Painting from Photographs workshop in Westlake Village a few weeks ago. A fun class with some very talented students! My thanks to Wendy Gordin for setting this up.

 

And speaking of painting from photographs…

MINI LESSON TIME:

A few tips on painting from photos …

1. Try to paint from a computer screen vs a printed image. The problem with most printed images is the darks go very dark and the lights flare out eliminating all detail and washing out the color. Another advantage of working from a computer screen (or tablet or cell phone) is you can tweak the image, adding more light and color particularly in the shadow areas. The colors in a printed image tend to disappear.

2. These are the three steps I take in a computer before I paint from a photo.

A. CROP

We generally try and paint too much. Make the painting about something – crop in on a center of interest. If you have to work from a printed image use inexpensive mats to crop. These are from Michael’s.

Don’t forget, the photo is just for reference. not to be taken literally. Edit out what isn’t important.


B. LIGHTEN

Lightening your image will reveal more color in the shadow areas and more closely reflect what your eye sees. Shadows have a lot more light and color in them because other objects and colors are being reflected into them. It’s easier to see this using a computer.

You also don’t need a humongo desk top system to prep your photo. The editing software on both the iPhone and Android phones (or tablets) make this pretty easy.


C. SATURATE

Use your editing program to add more color to your image (don’t overdo it, a little bit goes a long way). I try to create emotion in my work and color is probably your most powerful tool. I always warm my photographs in my computer (yellows and orange) before I paint them, it always adds more appeal to your work – my personal preference.

I cropped in on the shot below to what I thought was important, eliminating detail in the background and adding more color and emotion. Note how much warmer the overall painting is.



“Dead Slow II” – A ship in the Panama Canal during rainy season. A very rainy season… 9” X 12” — My thanks to Mark Goodrich for the title.

“The Miraflores Approach” 12” x 16” Painted on Commission
A southbound ship prepares to enter the last set of locks before entering the Pacific. The Panama Canal is roughly 50 miles long with locks on both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The locks raise ships 85 feet above sea level to a man made lake in the middle of the isthmus. I go to Panama at least once a year and try and paint on location. I’m still blown away by this extraordinary engineering feat built over 100 years ago.

WORKSHOPS

SONOMA

I’ll be doing a two day Beginner to Intermediate Oil Painting workshop at the Sonoma Community Center, April 27th and 28th. If you’d like to enroll, please contact Liz Treacy at liz@sonomacommunitycenter.org. Look forward to seeing you!

I’ll be doing another oil painting workshop in Montrose in June. If you have any interest let me know.

 
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Kermit’s birds / Las aves de Kermit

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Tanager
Found in Panama City’s Parque Natural Metropolitano. For a higher resolution photo click here.
Se encuentra en el Parque Natural Metropolitano de la ciudad de Panamá. Para una foto de mayor resolución toque aquí.

The White Shouldered Tanager ~ Tangara Hombriblanca ~ Tachyphonus luctuosus

photo / foto © Kermit Nourse

My friend Eric Jackson from The Panama News says tanagers don’t like to be photographed and that is especially true about this species. which never seems to stay put for long. This tanager is far ranging from Guatemala deep into South America, in central Brazil and northern Bolivia. Another common Spanish name for it is Tangara Luctuosa.

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Mi amigo Eric Jackson de The Panama News dice que a las tangaras no les gusta que los fotografíen, y eso es especialmente cierto sobre esta especie. Lo que nunca parece quedarse por mucho tiempo. Este tangara está muy lejos de Guatemala en el sur de América, en el centro de Brasil y el norte de Bolivia. Otro nombre común en español es Tangara Luctuosa.

 



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