Archive for February, 2014

  • Blurred lines: Art imitates artist in this tale of mentor Charles Huckeba & his protégé, Carleen Blum

    Feb 28, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, Portfolio5,821 CommentsRead More »

    By Jacques Laliberté Picture the spiral. Winding inward. Twirling outward. Back through time. Forward to a new start. Reaching. Connecting. The cosmically bold paintings of Prescott artist Carleen Blum explode inward and break out into the universe simultaneously – just as spirals do. Her paintings weren’t always this way, though. In well-known artist Charles Huckeba, Blum has found the mentor she needed. She’s advanced her expression by tapping into his proprietary techniques and years of R&D. “Charles has an in-depth skill level from years of education, study, and artistry,” Blum said. “His skills combined with his kindness have taken me far.” It’s a blend of practicality, artistic sensibilities, and individual aesthetics. “Carleen came to me and asked me how to get those effects and textures, how to use color,” Huckeba offered. “At the start, she wasn’t interested in doing abstracts.” But in many ways, she was primed for such works. “I am not a realist artist,” Blum said. “Instead, I guess that you could say that I am more interested in abstract, but abstract using symbols, and mandala forms.” The work of Huckeba’s protégé has, in turn, given Huckeba pause. “Her subject matter is iconic (and) symbolic, with washes and textures,” he said. “She really surprised me.” Thus, Blum and Huckeba have become fellow artists, each pushing the other in their respective roles — Huckeba as mentor and Blum as

  • Getting a buzz from Woody

    Feb 28, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, Alan Dean Foster's PerceivingsNo CommentsRead More »

    By Alan Dean Foster For the beholder, art is primarily visual. For the artist, though, it’s often as much about what is touched as what is seen. Tactility. A painter needs physical contact with brushes, or pens, or chalk, or a keyboard. A sculptor feels as much as molds the material, be it stone, clay, metal or silly putty. But there is something special about wood that goes back to the beginning of human artistic consciousness. Maybe it’s because, unlike welded steel or chiseled marble or coagulated collages, carved wood is like us in that it’s also an organic material. Wood carving makes art out of something that was once alive. Unlike other organic materials that are frequently fashioned into art, like ivory or bone, wood is common. The woodcarver’s material lies all around us, even in the depths of big cities. We grow up with it. We live with it and, often, within it. It’s a material that is a part of our lives from the very beginning, lying in a wooden cradle or crib, to the end, when we are returned to the earth encased in a wooden coffin (which, as it slowly decomposes, helps to refertilize the ground and … give birth to more wood). Hand the average youth a hammer and chisel and point them toward a pile of rock and the first thing they’re likely

  • News From the Wilds: March 2014

    Feb 28, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, News From the Wilds26 CommentsRead More »

    By Ty Fitzmorris March is a deceptive month in the Central Highlands. Temperatures routinely reach 70 degrees, and the sunny, lengthening days suggest that spring is finally here. But March is also one of the wettest months, and most of that moisture comes in the form of snow. Large storm systems over the Pacific Ocean throw off snowstorms that sweep into the area from the north, dropping anywhere from inches to feet of snow and bringing us firmly back into winter. Even in years such as this one, which could turn out to be among the driest on record, March often can bring enough snow and rain to bolster overall winter averages back to normal. Sometimes, however, after a dry January and February, March precipitation stays below average. The combined effects of this kind of winter drought can be profound. The last time the Central Highlands experienced this combination was in 2002, and the lack of snowpack caused drought-stricken trees to succumb to bark-beetle infestations, which killed 50-80 percent of the Ponderosas in some areas. The extreme fire danger caused the national forests to close, which has only happened a handful of times. These driest years, however, are the exception. More often than not, March brings large, wet storms, even after dry months prior. Because of this, however, March is one of the more dangerous times for creatures in the

  • An open letter to the Quad City arts community

    Feb 28, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, ColumnNo CommentsRead More »

    By Tony Reynolds Those of us in the Quad City’s arts community should send our congratulations to the 84 nominees for this year’s Governor’s Arts Awards. All are, I’m sure, very deserving of the accolades and recognition given to them from their communities. Especially, Lora Lee Nye, vice-mayor of Prescott Valley and Mike Vax, of Dewey. I must admit, however, that I was a bit disappointed with the announcement. Not in the names nominated, but the fact that with an arts community as wide and deep as there is in the Quad Cities that we only mustered two nominations. No visual artists, no writers, no craftspeople, no educators or businesses, and no arts philanthropists? Really? Admittedly, I’m not a political person. Like many in the arts community, I try to keep my eyes focused on the creative side of things. Politics, nominations, state-wide flag waving, and cheerleading are extras. Shame on me. From time to time, I grouse and complain that the area’s arts seem to get short shrift; there’s never enough community arts news, never enough free advertising space for the arts, and never the recognition commensurate with the arts talent I see in the area. But it’s easy to complain and mutter, after the fact. Perhaps we don’t believe that there really is that much talent here. Maybe we’re too cool to toot our own horn. Maybe we’re

  • Land of the solitary Ascidian

    By Gene Twaronite In an article on nature writing, author David Rains Wallace once wrote that, “The most daunting challenge facing nature writers today is not travel but data. Someone has to translate information into feelings and visions.” Thus inspired, I set off on a collecting trip not to some far off corner of the globe but to the musty shelves of a nearby college library. (Yes, I could have done this at home, but, for the true bibliophile, nothing can match the sheer adventure of wandering through towering rows of books.) There, beneath the covers of the latest science journals, I hoped to “discover” new data that I could translate for my readers. Hacking my way through the jargon jungle of the specialists, however, I quickly came to appreciate what Wallace meant by “daunting challenge.” Right off, I knew there might be trouble ahead when the first article encountered in The Biological Bulletin was entitled “Aggregation and Fusion Between Conspecifics of a Solitary Ascidian.” Suddenly I felt more alone than any solitary Ascidian. All that I managed to ascertain from the article was that this was the first time such a thing had ever been reported and that the frequency of fusion between contacting (presumably consenting) specimens was 20 percent. Also, the fused animals had their outer membranes on at the time, unlike the unfused ones (which could have

  • Plant protein power

    Feb 28, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, Brain Food1 CommentRead More »

    By Jimmy Polinori — The Culinary Composer My day job requires a vast amount of social media interaction. As I scroll through news feeds from various sources, some of the highest recurring post themes I see pertain to modified foods, chemicals used in processing, and the treatment of animals raised or consumption. More and more people have turned to 100 percent plant-based diets (organic, of course). This trend has come and gone before and the arguments from the meat lovers and muscle bound remain the same. “What about protein?” Protein traditionally brings to mind meat, eggs, and milk. That wonderful food pyramid we were all forced to memorize in school instilled that memory trigger effectively. Though it is accurate that consuming a steak racks up grams up protein faster than a plate of broccoli, the real science is in the percentages. Plant-based foods are rich in nutrients meat and dairy cannot offer and, here’s the shocker, pound for pound, many vegetables carry a substantially higher percentage of protein than the latter mentioned. Don’t believe me? Look at the comparisons below. A 100 percent vegetarian diet isn’t for everyone, but even just tipping the balance a little in the direction of these vegetables will give you plenty of protein and an abundance of plant-based nutrients for energy and health. Broccoli: 45 percent protein Cucumbers: 24 percent protein Mushrooms: 38 percent protein

  • Local, local, local: Pinpointing a ‘close’ place isn’t always straightforward

    Feb 28, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, The Local BeetNo CommentsRead More »

    By Heather Houk The phrase “local food” is bandied around a lot. But just what does “local” mean in that context? Well, it varies for a lot of people. I might have bought my car locally from our friendly dealers but I know good and well that my sweet blue car is anything but local to Prescott. I’m always happy to see “made in the USA” on a T-shirt tag. And when I go to local health food stores, I’m supporting a local business , but if I look at the label of my favorite fig rolls, I see that they were grown, processed,  and manufactured a great distance from my home town. If I’m interested in supporting a local farmer, then the definition of local, as outlined by Gary Paul Nabhan — author, expert, and academic in all things Southwest agriculture —is anything grown within 250 miles of your home. This is better than my car or even my fig rolls, but does it really meet my personal goals of supporting local? I’ve spent over a decade learning and educating others about the value of buying locally and thought this might be a good place to share some of what I’ve learned. In the United States, our food, on average, travels more than 1,000 miles from field to processing facility to grocery store. The most common means of food

  • All the world’s a staging area

    By Helen Stephenson Ext. Sunrise Three filmmakers sit on a hillside overlooking the old Senator Drive-In.  The marquee says “Happy 50th Anniversary Margie! Remember when we used to make out here?” Kathleen is around 25, dressed a bit “retro” with a 1920s hat perched jauntily on her head and a script on her lap.  SAM is around 23, a “hippie-type” with tie-died t-shirt, holey jeans and sandals, a “Film Production” book at his side.  ANDY is 20, clean cut and sits military straight, conservative polo shirt and khakis but with red high-top tennis shoes.   KATHLEEN Did you hear what happened with Hanna’s short film?   ANDY The creepy one about the student and the teacher?   SAM (sitting up straight, an  imaginary newspaper between his hands,“reading”) You mean the one reviewers call “tantalizing,” “draining,” and “out of control?”   ANDY OK – what???   KATHLEEN It’s been picked up by HBO as a series.   ANDY (Slapping his forehead) I knew I should have shot my action flick about an aging martial arts master.  I could have gotten Jackie Chan to star. I just know it.   SAM Instead you shot a homage to Alfred Hitchcock’s shower scene in “Psycho.”   ANDY (Sighing happily and leaning back) Best production day ever.  The crew paid me just to be there.   Kathleen slugs him in the stomach.  He sits back

  • Fight & flight

    By Matt Dean If you live in Yavapai County, you might occasionally hear the sound of tens of thousands of pounds of thrust vibrating through the air. Chances are pretty good that that rumble is from an F-16 Fighting Falcon. In the near future, though, those odds will begin to weigh in favor of an F-35 Lighting II. In January, I mentioned that Luke Air Force Base in the West Valley is transitioning from an F-16 training facility to an F-35 training facility. This month, I’ll explore some of the similarities and differences between these two aircraft. The essential differences are generational. The F-16 grew up as an idea in the late ’60s and as a a reality in the ’70s alongside other so-called fourth generation aircraft such as the F-14, F-15, and F-18. The F-35 grew up as an idea in the ’90s and as a reality in the 21st century. The F-16 concept came from lessons learned from air-to-air combat over North Vietnam. Soviet-made MiG-21s outperformed the U.S.’ powerful but less agile F-4 Phantoms. The United States Air Force sought to develop a lighter fighter aircraft that could best the MiG-21 and fly far into the future. General Dynamics Corporation proposed a plane that became the F-16 in 1972. The F-35 concept was much greater in scope than the F-16. The initial vision for what became the F-

  • Oddly Enough: March 2014

    Feb 28, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, Russ Miller's Oddly Enough25 CommentsRead More »

    By Russell Miller The Sea Wasp, or Box Jellyfish can grow as many as 60 6-foot tentacles and its hood can reach the size of a 5-gallon bucket. It is so transparent that it barely casts a shadow. It is known to eat almost anything including crustaceans, snails, worms, fish and one another. ODDLY ENOUGH … this rather unimposing creature is the most poisonous sea animal known to man. It carries three known toxins in its stinging cells including one with enough potency to stop an adult’s heart in less than three minutes! ***** Shadowgraphs, lasting silhouette images of solid objects, have appeared on all kinds of surfaces after particularly bright flashes of lightning. It is a rare event, but it does happen. ODDLY ENOUGH … in 1851, in Maryland, an extremely strange event occurred. A sheep standing near a tree was killed by a lightning strike. It was dressed out immediately by its owners and, to their shock, they found a perfect, detailed image of a robin including veins in the feathers on the inside of the animal’s skin. They also found a dead robin only a few feet away! ***** Russell Miller is an illustrator, cartoonist, writer, bagpiper, motorcycle enthusiast, and reference librarian. Currently, he illustrates books for Cody Lundin and Bart King

Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott.

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