Waldstein, Lucky Latvian, Alien, Oscars, Green Book, Don Shirley
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Happy never ending winter greetings ~
Hope you are all surviving this brutal bout of weather. I love snow and the change of seasons, but I’m over this one. I’ve had a few fun art projects this month. My friend Alice and Tom and I each painted several sets of wine glasses that were donated to Literacy Services of Wisconsin for their Spring fundraiser. I’m also working on designs to submit for artwork to be displayed on city bus stop shelters. I have some fun new photoshop filters and it’s fun experimenting with them for my digital photography. I found a new Beethoven piece that I was not familiar with, Piano sonata #21 in C major, Waldstein. It’s gorgeous and I’m kind of obsessed. I’m not saying I’ll be able to ever perform this at a very accomplished level. The piece takes nearly a half hour to play up to speed, it’s 32 pages long. But I can play it slower and still enjoy the melodies. I love having a new music challenge. AND - the book about my dad is in the very final stages. We just need to tweak a few things, get a good author photo of me and mama, save the files as a PDF document, upload them, get a proof, and place the order. Then I want to update the previous book files for ‘Memories From the Black Forest’ – mainly to lighten the pages so it’s easier to read. OK, so it’s not quite ready. But I can actually say it’s coming soon. Our two editors, Dave and Tom, loved it. “What a story!” and “This could be a mini-series” were their comments. And only one typo was found – yay! We changed the name. The working title was “I Married a Latvian Refugee with 9 Lives” – the final version will be “Life with a Lucky Latvian”. Dad actually had 15 brushes with catastrophes after we counted them up. I rescheduled my art exhibit at Tribeca – since it is a book shop as well as gallery and café – to consider if we want to combine the book launch with the art reception. Stay tuned for announcements.
Here is an excerpt from the book:
Foreword by Anita Burgermeister “My Father Was an Alien”
Dad’s family fled Latvia in 1944 to escape the Russians when he was only six. They lived in a DP (displaced persons) camp in Germany for six more years before they were able to emigrate to America. How they sustained their culture and traditions has always intrigued me. My father was never one to talk about his childhood much. That changed as he aged. In fact, he never gave up his status as a Latvian citizen. After being a US resident for many years and serving in the military he eventually became a naturalized citizen - a legal alien. Though he was in the army and paid taxes, he could not vote. For several years we nudged the old man to write his story. When it became apparent that it was not going to happen, Ma jumped to the rescue and decided to tell the tales. The ones that can be shared in public, anyhow. Pop read and approved of all of the chapters, but sadly he passed away before we were able to publish the book. This is a big regret for us, but we know it would have made him very proud. My folks were together for fifty seven years. Most of their close friends are Latvians and Mom has traveled to Latvia herself, and has heard all the stories numerous times. It makes her more than qualified to write this book. I love that she has used her insight to shine a light into this tight knit community and how their zest for life transformed a shy conservative farm girl from Germany.
Tomorrow we are going to see “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” at the Avalon theater. It was one of my dad’s favorite movies. It even got a mention in the book. Pop would trot around pretending he was banging coconuts together for months after he saw it. He had a great sense of humor and loved to be silly. I miss that the most about him. On the subject of movies, I just finished a wonderful long girlfriend weekend with Cindy and Jennifer. They have been joining me for at least 15 years to watch the Oscars. We critique fashion and speeches, vote, hang out, get caught up on movies, and wine & dine. This year we watched “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” and “Green Book”. I really enjoyed them both. I generally like ‘smaller’ movies. I thought the scripts were good - both based on true stories – and had interesting character development, humor and pathos. I also enjoyed the period sets, costumes and great soundtracks. There has been some controversy over Green Book. It’s about highly educated black musician Don Shirley and his rough Italian goomba chauffeur Tony Lip Vallelonga, who traveled together in the deep south during the 60s. It was written by Vallelonga’s son. Apparently Don Shirley’s family was not contacted until after filming was complete. So there were some inaccuracies according to them. Either way – it’s Hollywood. The acting by Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen was wonderful and nuanced. The men learned from and helped each other. Was it too white and too cliched? Probably. It was written by the Italian family member. I still liked it. Here is a link to music by the Don Shirley Trio – piano, bass and cello. He was classically trained but used those skills to play jazz standards in a unique style. There is also a video interview with him called ‘Let it Shine’ filmed in his apartment - above Carnegie Hall - where he lived for decades until he passed at the age of 86, in 2013. What a life.
2385 S KK Ave, Bay View 53207 / earrings, cards
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|Anita Burgermeister, eclectic independent artist in Milwaukee ~ creator of faux finishes, murals, fine art, photography, websites & more. Sharing news about creative people & events in art, music, magic, dance, dining, film, writing, architecture, inventions, life & other stuff.
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Experimenting with Photoshop for Bus Stop art
2 sets of painted glasses for LSW.
Wine glass painting classes available!
I met Elvis this week!
...at Mom's friend Brenda's birthday party.