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Imagine. Express. ABSORB VOL 1 SPRING 2010

Tom Ryan page 10

Nicole Christian

page 20

From the Editor Welcome to the premier issue of ABSORB Fine Art!

Imagine. Express. ABSORB

are you a photographer writer poet sculptor illustrator potter painter designer

ABSORB Fine Art is a magazine dedicated to all artists who have the desire to share their work with the world. It is also for those who claim they “used to be” artists. News Flash! You never stop being an artist; you may only cease to create art. But, why stop creating? Time, work, school, spouse, kids, etc. Yes, we all have many facets to our life, but few things in the world allow us to express our individuality. Each one of us is inherently unique for a variety of reasons; chief among them is our individual perspective of the world. So, how do we show each other that crazy yet methodical land in our heads? We illustrate and interpret it with symbols, colors, textures, language, rhythm, and sound. Such interpretation is defined as art because it arises from a unique inner vision that is created in the real, outer world taking on any form of aesthetic expression and having any degree of intent from improvised to deliberate.

whatever your medium is, contact us today for a chance to appear in the next issue of ABSORB Fine Art!

The opinions expressed in this issue are those of the author. All rights to the images and writings in ABSORB belong to the owners/artists. Reproduction in whole or in part is not permitted without written consent of ABSORB Fine Art or the owner of the art. If they included contact information, such as website, email, phone#, the artist may be contacted directly regarding their work. Any comments about the magazine, art, or artists may otherwise be directed to: editor@ If you wish to be a part of a future issue, please visit our website: to find out more about submitting. You may submit your art, along with a short bio and/or written statement, to submission@ To purchase a copy of this magazine for yourself or someone else visit subscription. Currently we mail anywhere in the US, Canada, and the UK. If you wish to receive this magazine in a location other than listed above, send an email request to editor@ and we will quote the shipping price for your destination. If you wish to place an order for 20 or more magazines please contact us directly as we may be able to give you a discount on the price. ABSORB Fine Art is printed and mailed through allowing us to offer you this magazine, low cost, without any upfront production fees and NO FEES to the artists. If you would like to become a sponsor HELP SUPPORT THIS MAGAZINE please send an email to Your contribution will cover a certain amount of ad space for the next issue.

ABSORB Fine Art: The Premier Founder/Editor: Kellijean Press Email:


take risks and never hold back

All members of the human race share the innate desire for creation. Ever since the beginning of time, humans have been hard at work making things. At first, the items were made purely out of necessity; weapons for hunting food, bowls for serving food, tools for making weapons and bowls, etc. Then at some point, items began to be crafted, with a careful hand and creative eye, to look beautiful. Such items showed status, became emblems in rituals and ceremonies, were presented as gifts, and beautified living quarters. It is now our duty, as artists, to carry on and evolve the traditions of our ancestors through our own visions and interpretations. Our objectives at ABSORB are to give artists a channel to reach out to the world and to give readers a better connection and relationship with the arts. We hope, with each issue of ABSORB, to follow a natural progression growing like an initial sketch morphs and changes into finished masterpiece. However, unlike some finished masterpieces that are unattainable to the average individual, ABSORB Fine Art reaches out to everyone, and embraces all levels of art and comprehension. We encourage all the contributing artists to write about the art they are sharing with us in each issue. They must tell the reader what inspired the art, how it was created, and the message it represents. If the artist chooses, they may include a short bio introducing themselves to the readers along with contact info, such as an email address and website.

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C O N T E N T S Luke Haynes . . . . . 4 Dave Noonan . . . . . 6

Tom Ryan



Shea Schiel . . . . . 16 Dear Editor . . . . . 18

Nicole Christian



Mike Legett . . . . . 26 We also encourage our readers to ask questions and offer interpretations. That dialog between the artist, the art, and the viewer gives the artist a chance to grow and develop to heights once inconceivable. On another note, we do not want to limit the art that we show. Each issue will contain as many different genres of art as possible, including, but not limited to, Painting, Sculpture, Illustration, Computer Art, Drawings, Collage, Poetry, Short Story, and Photography. We will, however, emphasize the fine arts and may not publish pieces created more for function than concept and aesthetics. Nevertheless, if you feel your art teeters the edge of function and art please still submit it! Send us a clear statement of your work with some images that show off your best pieces and you may be featured in a future issue! We invite everyone to become a part of this expression and comprehension.

journey of

As a nice thought to end on, let’s make the world a better place by helping each other expand our understanding of ourselves through art! Sincerely, Kellijean Press,

Editor of ABSORB Fine Art

A special thank you goes to my husband, Dan Press, for encouraging and supporting me through this wonderful artistic time in my life. Thank you to all the artists in this first issue who trusted me with representing thier work in the best possible light. Thank you to the future artists and supporters of ABSORB, we need everyone to help keep art and art awareness alive and in everyones life. A very special thank you to the person who introduced you to this magazine! Now help spread the word!!! Visit to buy a copy for yourself or gift it to your friend or local library!

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Laura Slotkoff . . . . . 28 Norman Robbins . . . 29 Steve Stone . . . . . 33 Ember Furie . . . . . 34 Saverio Poehlman . . 35 David Keeler . . . . . 36 Eric Camacho . . . . . 39 James Stone . . . . . 40 Craig Sissick . . . . . 41 Tatiana Enriquez . . . 42 Alan Stewart . . . . . 44 If something in this magazine inspires you... If you create a work because of it... If you have something to say about anything you see in this issue of ABSORB... TELL US!! Email us today:


LUKE Haynes


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fabric and thread Top right: [Friends #6] Flat Glen 70”x56” Bottom Left: [American Nostalgia #3] Abraham Lincoln 45”x75”

LUKE Haynes

Top left: [Man Stuff #1] Hammer 72”x84”

LUKE Haynes creates scenes, images, portraits and environments out of fabric and thread. Drawing from a tradition of meditative American portraiture, with influences ranging from Chuck Close to Kehinde Wiley, Haynes depicts the images with which we find comfort, constructed within the traditional quilting process, layering found cloth pieces, inscribed by thread. With roots in the American South, and an architectural education at Cooper Union, his work lies within the juncture between form and function, art and craft, quilt tradition and contemporary design culture. His work can be seen on his website, go check it out. Vol 1 • Spring 2010


Dave Noonan


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Dave is a photographer based in Danbury, CT. Visual arts have always been a passion for me. I use traditional film processing techniques in a digital world, using on-camera filters to achieve the dynamic in my photos is what I strive for. Often times I use neutral density filters to block out the light, this allows me to expose the image for very long periods of time to bring out the surreal in a scene. Clouds become blurred, water turns smoky and milky and time moves by all captured in one single frame. I enjoy making often mundane scenes become other-worldly. My passion lies in urban and rural landscapes. I travel around the east coast as often as possible looking for my next great scene. Photography is what I do to keep my sanity in check. It keeps me grounded, focused and passionate.

Dave Noonan For more info on my photography: 203.947.4266

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bring out the surreal

Dave Noonan 8

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Dave Noonan

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Tom Ryan

Coco and Yum Yum: 29” x 40” Acrylic, Ink, Spray paint

Who are you?

Creator, problem solver, and my own worst enemy. My name is Tom Ryan – I’m what many would categorize as an artist. I create fun loving characters that evolve from simple line drawings to full colored rendered paintings. Problem solving comes with its frustrations when determining size, placement, color, value, and overall design concept of my work. Seeking my next inspiration and pushing my elements to the next level can be frustrating yet rewarding. I am constantly facing an inner battle by fighting thoughts like: Is this good enough? How much further can I push this idea? When should I stop? It’s an uphill battle, but I think at least the score is tied.

Describe a bit of your creative process...

Well recently my art has taken a brand new and, of course, exciting direction. I discovered silk-screening and enjoy the effect it gives. However, I currently lack the space and the overall funds to completely dive into this new medium. I do, however, have spray paint and stencils. I once heard that, “stencils are a poor man’s silkscreen,” and have lived by this method since. I can easily paint an entire canvas background in less than twenty minutes, which means I can prepare ten canvases at 10

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Hoot of a Time: 14” x 40” Acrylic, Ink, Spray paint

Tom Ryan

Feather: 20”x24” Acrylic, Ink, Spray paint

Outside the Box: 24”x36” Acrylic, Ink, Spray paint

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a time. I enjoy creating various characters along with modifying some of my favorites like Bump, Toot Toot the Monkey, and Snowball the Owl. With this speedy process of painting the canvas backgrounds, I can store various options for backgrounds until inspirations hits. I can later go through my extensive collection of sketchbooks to find a character that I want to bring to life using ink and acrylics. Prior to this I would spend a few hours working on the background, burning off all the creative energy and then I would have to stop and refuel that spark. So with this method it is really liberating, I can work on a few canvass at a time and still have that energy to go back into them and work out the paintings.

Tom Ryan

When do you know a work is finished?

That’s a very tough question. I recently discussed this with a friend, “When do you know you’re done or when have you gone too far?” Art is very personal. There are times when I’m in my studio at 2 A.M. completely alone – it’s just me, the painting, and my mind. Sometimes I need to take a break in order to refresh my inspiration and other times I tell myself, “ok let it dry and sign this bad boy in the morning!” I guess you just have to Toot Toot Hanging Around: 24”x36” Acrylic, Ink, Spray paint

listen to that little voice in your head that tells you, “You’re done. Or Put the brush down.” As an artist, we don’t have the luxury to call on our peers for suggestions if we are inspired at midnight or come across a problem at 2A.M. Regardless of my progress with any piece, my cardinal rule is to stop all work at 3 A.M. I’ve botched up my fair share of paintings and it’s always been at that time.

Have you seen your work change over the past few years? An astounding yes! Back when I was in school, I was doing abstract paintings with loose figurative work. I experimented with a mixture of mediums – I would start with an acrylic Foxee da Fox: 16” x 16” Acrylic, Ink, Spray paint


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Tom Ryan

Buoy the Seahorse: 10” x 20” Acrylic, Ink, Spray paint

and oil background and then add charcoal and pastels on top of that. It was interesting stuff, but man what a mess they were. Regardless of the numerous coats of fixative I would layer on the canvas, the pastel would always come off. I remember a bunch of us were setting up for a show one time and one of my friends decided to move one of my paintings without knowing about the pastel; he came back and the whole front of his shirt and pants were covered with black and purple and looked at me and asked; “What the hell man haven’t you heard of fixative?!” Of course he had to be wearing like light khaki’s and a white T-shirt, fate wouldn’t have it any other way. It wasn’t till recently that I finally found my “style” which you’re seeing here. Squee and the Tree: 20”x42” Acrylic, Ink, Spray paint

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Tom Ryan

Where do you see your work going?

You mean aside from this awesome magazine? I honestly don’t know, but that is actually thrilling. A few years ago, I never would have imagined producing these kinds of paintings. This body of work is completely different than my past, so we’ll just have to see where the brush, mind, canvas takes me. I see myself not only as an artist, but an entrepreneur. I love creating art, but as we all know it’s very hard to find a place to exhibit. So I hope my up and coming gallery, The Bump Art Gallery, will give artists that chance much like this magazine is doing for me now.

Steamy the Whale: 10”x16” Acrylic and Ink

To see more of my work please visit:


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Tom Ryan

Steamy and the Stars: 9”x14” Acrylic and Ink

Out of the Darkness: 24”x 30” Acrylic, Ink, Spray paint

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Shea Schiel

Deep Forest Lake


I hope to one day help two foundations which are very near and dear to my heart, the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife fund. Mountain Reflections


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Shea Schiel

“I am very happily married to the love of my life who is consistently supportive of my creative obsessions whether it be painting, ceramics, decorating or jewelry design. I have enjoyed creating my version of art for as long as I can remember. I simply love to create things, to get my hands dirty in various art forms and to watch my creations evolve in the process. Although there are several art mediums I enjoy, my true love remains to be painting. It’s calming and restores the balance between my emotional and mental states. All of my oil paintings are originals , naturally textured, numbered and dated on the back. With proceeds from my paintings I hope to one day help two foundations which are very near and dear to my heart, the American Cancer Society and the National Wildlife fund. I have a deep love for animals and want to help protect them and their environment. I am also a former cancer patient myself and have experienced first hand how important cancer research is. Although I have painted for as long as I can remember, I only recently, within the last year, learned techniques for oil painting from the master, Bob Ross. What a gentle spirit Mr. Ross had and I strive to embody Bob Ross in my landscapes while adding my own flare to each painting.”

Bright Sky


“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” - Scott Adams Purple Hills


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From: Subject: Date: To:

Prone 2 Submission VOL 1 February 27, 2010 11:53 AM EST Editor

Dear Editor—

Dear Editor

I’ve always thought that releasing arrestees under their own recognizance is setting the bar pretty low. You can go because you can recognize yourself? No wonder we’re flushing ourselves away in this endless spiral of fear. Could you please remove your shoes.


In re your call for submissions, I’m afraid you’re going to think I’m an unreliable correspondent, though on the basis of available evidence, I suppose I AM an unreliable correspondent. How did I ever get so far behind with you; lessee, you wrote, a specific matter in mind.... Oh. Yeah. That arrived about the time I needed to look up something on my family tree. I had begun constructing a family history in a kinda way probably twenty years ago, but then took a couple of decades off because I’m apt to do that; my idea of genealogy toil is to find it on the first two googled pages or go look for some real mayonnaise. There’s always a full jar of that fake mayonnaise in the frigidaire, but there’s never any real mayonnaise around because that’s what people actually eats. So I tried to look up what I was going to look up, but the data files require dedicated software and my program, purchased decades ago, doesn’t work on the newer finagled Windows. However, I was determined, so I bought a new software package and installed that. Except it turned out that my data files were so old the current program couldn’t open them, so I needed to uninstall the new program, find an earlier version, install that, update my data file to that version’s standards, then uninstall that program and reinstall the brand new program I just bought which was finally capable of opening the interim file I’d just created and updating it to the current format. Can nothing ever be straight-forward? Now, if you knew me well, you’d know that by the time I got all this done, I’d forgotten what I wanted to look up in the first place, so I looked up something else. I discovered an 8th cousin three times removed, Emily D., who lived in Amherst in the mid-1800’s. Or how about my French roots?

Then I’ll freeze my face with Botox and shop for a sharp coffin at IKEA.

There’s my 30X great grandfather Robert de Sancto Leodegario who was born in Normandy around 1010. Ahh, now if I could only get to his momordad, nail down someone with a THREE digit birth year, that would be throbbing. I don’t wanna Fort over-Brag my frog roots, though, since he didn’t stay in France anyway, moved to England when he was 56, him and his buddy Bill. There are a lot of inaccuracies out there, though, and I might hesitate to, oh, bet a finger on that direct link to Leodegario; I haven’t scrutinized every step, and that’s what you have to do because stuff spreads; one person publishes something entirely speculative on her family tree as if it were so, and other people just copy that, put it on their trees; next thing you know you’ve got a bunch of trees that all say the same thing which makes you think, he#*, it’s gotta be right, how could all these people be wrong? Until you take a closer look and realize the truth is that they’ve all just copied off each other something that never had a credible source in the first place. I’ve magnified more than a few handwritten census pages (and found mucho errors, too, from both original recorders and contemporary transcribers). Did you know that almost the entire 1890 census was lost in a fire? Talk about yer Grand Theft Carelessness; I hope some heads rolled for that. As my dad used to say, you don’t miss your census till the commerce building burns down. I took a trial membership in the Surgery-of-the-Month club, left me in a right good mood I can assure you. Right knee then left eye then right eye. The blind devise entirely different strategies to drive. I was at the point where on-coming headlights exploded what remained of my so-called visual field into a haze of spiky colors, so rather than look ahead, I had to focus immediately in front of the car, using the yellow line at the side of the road as a cue to maintain my lane position while (to counter other visual artifacts) scanning rapidly left-right-left-right so that the little I could see was constantly refreshed, rechecked, and reinforced. In order to have time to get back to you, I’ve temporarily suspended my aching left knee right hip left hip. Then I’ll freeze my face with Botox and shop for a sharp coffin at IKEA. You wouldn’t know this if I didn’t tell you, but right now I’m watching a film of a man assembling a banjo. A really fast banjo player can hit over 20 notes a second. Don’t know how they read that fast.

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Dear Editor (cont.)

Jeepers Miss Lane. I hope I have your email number somewhere. That would be a fitting conclusion. The whole thing would drift out of my mind, and a year or two from now I’d find this fragment sitting in some egregiously under-identified folder. Have I mentioned how Facebook annoys me, all those extra steps it takes to write anything over a couple hundred characters long? Is anything even worth saying if it can be said so...what’s the word...expeditiously? Concisely? How about ‘loosely’? That’ll give ‘em grit to gnaw.

it, either. Well, if this letter tells you anything, it should probably tell you the fashion—and the tempo—at which things get settled on my end. To kind of directly address your original question, which you, too, may have forgotten by now, I’m definitely going to attempt to submit. Though at the rate March is approaching, it might not reach you until...what number year will the next March be? Sometimes I lose track; there have been so many. Or perhaps some nearby year after that. There will be so many. That way, instead of saying This isn’t exactly what we’re looking for, you can say, This is exactly what we’re looking for, except not this one.

I was, however, not sure I wrote it.

I do like the name Absorb, but suppose I’m not sure what I could bring to it. The format list alone, PDF, JPG, TIFF, EPS, RTF, kinda culls me from the hurt since I don’t mind any of those shafts. I might be able to fill out a vector application provided it doesn’t take too long and I don’t need to notarize it. God, I hate notarizing, like that’s gonna work. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, I might know how something gets from here to RTF (turn RTF at Greenland, to paraphrase George Harrison), but usually (i.e., always) I try to aim a specific sort of thing at a specific sort of publication. A couple of years ago, I sent some poems to a magazine, and the editor sent a note back saying that they rarely published anything that ran over a page. Fine, I thought, so next time I sent a bunch of definitely less than a page poems. They turned them all down, too, but at least had the good taste not to bitch about their fat haikuian nature. In recent times, I’ve cut out the middle manager, so to speak. Rather than send poems out only to have them returned five months later, I just keep them in the first place. The savings in paperwork, bookkeeping, and general annoyance is not to be casually dismissed. And have you checked postage rates recently? Unfortunately, this also has led to me kind of losing track of what I have in hand, since it’s all sitting around in underidentified folders I never open. Just to refresh my socalled memory about what I might do have, I popped a file at random a couple of days ago, read it, and thought it was actually pretty good. I was, however, not sure I wrote it. I had no recall of having written it, didn’t recognize any of the language or moves as being distinctly mine, and wasn’t even certain what it was about. Still, as far as I know, it was in a folder, significantly under-identified fer shur, but one that only contains things I wrote. As far as I know. But almost anything I write that gets to that level of finish, I put it into a standard form with my name/address/etc. on it. On the other hand, I didn’t put anybody else’s name on

Excuse my occupation, even preoccupation, by the Olympics. Knowing me as you do by now, you can probably guess that I’m all about the short track. That’s the one where they take an ice rink the size of your living room, put a couple dozen guys on it, skid ‘em off at eighty miles an hour, and anyone left standing at the end gets to win. I lost my jones for figure skating when they changed the scoring system from something everyone could understand to something no one can understand. On the specious notion that it might clean up the judging. They shoulda got a notary. True abbily yours, Prone 2 Submission P.S. Having come this far, and since you brought March up, why not a bit of humor with which to amaze your soon-to-be former friends and acquaintances? You go to yer vic... err mark and say, “What’s the longest march on record?” Now they’re gonna pause a moment, trying to decide between Mao’s Long March and Sherman’s March To The Sea which are the only two marches anyone has ever heard of, but before they can make a decision you jump in with a What—Are You A Moron? look on your face and say, “31 days. They’re all the same.” And then begin to laugh riotously.

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Nicole Christian

Is there a theme amongst the photos you are showing here? the photos i have submitted are a small sample of my fashion photography.

What atmosphere are you creating with the compositions and colors in your photos? i like creating quiet cinematic moments. i find beauty in the mundane simple moments in a film, such as a awkward glance, a flip of the hair, a stretch, etc. i draw inspiration heavily from french, german and japanese new wave cinema. my work is a bit more subtle as, like most photographers, you’ll notice i don’t impart the ‘male gaze’ (“male-gaze”/) upon my work so it’s not as overtly sexual as most fashion photography tends to be.

Is there a certain process you go through every time you set up your shots? of course. i have a huge morgue file of photos i like. i ravenously collect magazines, art books and movies. i get an idea through these things and proceed to story boarding my shoot. if i work with a particular wardrobe stylist or makeup artist, i try to share my research and storyboard with them as it makes the shoot easier for all.


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Nicole Christian

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Nicole Christian 22

“I am drawn to the quiet in-between conversation moment, the awkward pause, the sigh of relief. I find beauty in the mundane, simple moments in a film, such as a awkward glance, a flip of the hair, a stretch, etc. We experience these fleeting, mundane, moments and think nothing of them but this reality is something I want to remember.

In addition, I try to model my work on that of French New Wave director, Jean Luc Godard and Japanese New Wave director, Yoshishige Yoshida. Both employ a photographic approach to their work as both use long panning, quiet scenes that focus on what the character is doing rather than saying.” Vol 1 • Spring 2010

a bit of both. since i research my locations and try to get a feel for my subjects personality, i let both influence the shot. i can go with the flow but try to stick closely with what i want the shoot to be.

How much work do you put into the photos post production / after developing or taking the shot? ahhh this is tough. i have streamlined my post production since i started and learned to ‘edit’ a 200+ image shoot down to 15 good ones.

regarding post production: i try not altering my model too much (nip/tuck, fix teeth, etc) because those tiny imperfections are what make the photo.

Nicole Christian

Do you have a predetermined idea in mind of what you want or do you go with the flow of the moment?

What cameras/lenses/lighting/technical stuff do you prefer to use?

i am extremely low tech. i use a pentax k10d with a 50 1.7 lens. for lights, two remotely controlled nikon sb24 flashes. these days i’m working only with natural light as florida is perfect for this!

Have you seen your work change over the past few years? definitely. i’m a bit more confident in my approach and technique. it definitely shows through my newer work as it’s more cohesive and put together than my older work. i still have a LONG way to go though haha.

Where do you see your work going?

i want to take a break from fashion and do more fine art photography. it allows for more freedom.

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Nicole Christian 24

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She received her Bachelor of Arts from Florida Atlantic University and works as a Web Designer and a freelance photographer. For commissions or information, please contact her at

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Nicole Christian

Born in Toronto, raised in South Florida, Nicole Christian is a photographer whose main motivation for choosing this medium is to remember things, moments, and people. Her work lies primarily in the realm of portraiture but has taken this motivation and applied it to a vast body of work that includes: Fashion Editorial, Photojournalism, and Fine Art.


Auditions by Mike Legett Photo by Laura Slotkoff (see page 28)

As part of swing-dance-instructor job, I travel to weekend workshops, which often have different levels of classes. Since levels change from workshop to workshop, organizers (myself included) often believe in an audition, to place people in the right groups. After every audition, there are people who feel disappointed in their level placement. There are always questions, always appeals, and occasionally even tears. So to try and reduce the amount of sadness that follows auditions, I wanted to write a little about the reality of auditions/tracks, both from the perspective of a student and from the perspective of a teacher/judge.

certain point, people become delighted to discover you. You regularly get comments like, “that was awesome!” “you follow everything/everything you lead works” “you’re so much fun!” That point is not the advanced student threshold. It feels that way, I realize. Dancing suddenly works, people give you nothing but positive feedback... rainbows sing and puppies fly. I know. That’s a really beautiful place. But it doesn’t equal advanced. When (or if) it happens depends on the dancer, but please don’t think it means anything about your level. And even if it did, remember my first point.

rainbows sing and puppies fly

First things first: the advanced level of a workshop is not “Advanced.” It’s “the top x leads and follows who auditioned.” Not making the top x students doesn’t mean you’re not advanced. Conversely, making the top x students doesn’t mean that you are advanced. Next time I have resources allowing, I’m auditioning all student except total beginners, and calling them shoe, toolbox, windex, and candle. The different tracks, rather than serving as a global indicator of your dancing, give you an idea of where you are relative to the other students at that workshop. That is all. Also, consider this: once your dancing gets past a 26

Another thing to consider: the judges are not amateurs. Before you decide that a judge simply can’t tell how good your dancing is, consider this: dance instructors make their livings by learning to see dance. We have learned to diagnose connection issues visually. We can also see move choice, rhythm, posture, musicality, control, balance, and quality of movement. For follows, don’t be fooled by the idea that if you only get average leads, we can’t see you shine. A beautiful dancer will make simple movements shine- they have control, quality and richness of movement. A lesser dancer will lack the same control, even on nicely-led “fancy” moves. Quality of movement matters, y’all- it’s more than a style thing. For fun (by which I mean education), go watch the SYTYCD auditions on youtube. Not

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only can you pick out stronger dancers during the choreography, where everyone gets the same movements, but you can see on movements as simple as a step, or a hand gesture, during their solos. Go look! And then give your judges a little more credit. On that note, leaders, what judges want to see at an audition are your basics. We want to see your fundamentals. We’re not looking for leaders with the fanciest moves. We’re looking for solid leaders with good technique. And, might I mention, it would be nice to see the follows get to do their fundamentals- but that’s reliant on you, boys.

(it’s) taking

aspect- connection is always important- but on top of that, make it yours. Have control over every bit of your body. If at this point, you say to me, “But I don’t care how my dancing looks- I only care about connection” then be satisfied with what level you get placed in. Don’t place stock in a placement (such as between the top two levels) that involves a variable you don’t care about. By your metric, your level should be as good as the next, so be happy- and that’s not me being snarky. I truly wish people would enjoy their levels, and make the most of them. Every moment you think about being in the wrong level is a moment you’re not open to learning. It suddenly becomes about preconceptions and ego. Some of the best classes I’ve ever had were in tracks that were too low, or that I thought were too low (which looking back, were right on).



movement ...

and turning it into art

One last point: it’s not only unkind to your possible classmates to put you in the wrong level. It’s unfair to you. We as instructors want to give you the best chance to learn the most possible. The instructors are just as good in a lower track, but they’re fine-tuning the material to the needs of that group. Yes, misplacements occasionally happen. But they’re very, very rare. And if you’re open and working hard, you’ll get more out of being placed too low than too high.

Mike Legett

When I was at Herrang in 2007 (one of the best swing dance camps in the world), I was sorely disappointed to be left out of Advanced I. But after a few days, it dawned on me. Yes, I had followed just fine. But the difference was that while Advanced II follows could follow everything, Advanced I follows made it look like art. And there, children, lies the rub- dancing is about more than just competency. At some point, very late in the learning process, the visuals matter. No, I don’t care about your styling (yes, judges can see past styling to fundamentals). What I care about is that after you reach a certain point in connection, the sorting variable becomes about aesthetics: about taking your movement past something purely social, and turning it into art. Don’t lose the social

With love and good will, -Mike

Photo by Laura Slotkoff (see page 28)

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Mike (the Girl) Legett is a full-time instructor/dj/ choreographer/event-planner/ competitor/performer dancer. She specializes in swing dancing- a family that includes lindy hop, balboa, charleston, and (loosely) blues. She travels all over the US, doing her best to cure extra left feet, and help people fall in love in dancing. She maintains a website and blog at 27

Laura Slotkoff

Laura Slotkoff is pursuing a Bachelors degree in Fine Art Photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY. Last summer she assisted cultural documentary photographer Syndey Byrd in New Orleans, LA and interned at the Blue Sky Photo Gallery in Portland, OR the year before. She loves to travel and swing dance. Contact her at lauraslotkoff@gmail.


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Norman Robbins Miami Wall Graffiti Project Prior to Art Basel and Art Miami I decided to scout out the different venues in the area. While driving around the Wynwood and Design districts in Miami I had the idea of photographing and archiving the various areas of Wall Art (graffiti) around the two districts. The amazing quality of art and the precise positioning of paint from standard store bought spray cans is absolutely fascinating. When taking a friend and student of mine back to Wynwood for a photography session we came across a number of street artists. One of the artists we spoke with had actually flown in from California and explained to us that the city provided approval and a dedicated space to each artist. I intend to periodically return to the area documenting the incredible quality of the art, making this an ongoing project.

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Norman Robbins

Norman Robbins has been passionately interested in photography for over 40 years. Originally learning the wide variety of techniques necessary to process both film and prints in a ‘wet’ darkroom (black & white and color). Norman’s extensive background in technology made him an early adopter of digital techniques. Originally scanning his extensive library of slides and negatives for processing in the computer, finally moving completely to digital in September of 2001. Though possessing a particular fondness for nature and old buildings he has photographed a variety of sports, charity events, and affairs over the years. Norman’s work has been commissioned or requested for inclusion in books, magazines and web sites as well as being accepted into a number of juried exhibitions.


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Current and Miami Wall Art (Graffiti) Fair Fare (Junk Food) ongoing projects: Neon - Miami/Miami Beach at Night

Birds Everglades/Wetlands

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Norman Robbins

Norman is based in South Florida where he currently teaches photography and Photoshop and is the owner of ADKERO Photography.


Norman Robbins 32

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Steve Stone Zombies Walk

Story of ING

Zombies walk in reality.

Waking, walking, sleeping, talking

They don’t see what I see.

I’m running, jumping over nothing.

Love lives lost, it’s lost to them.

Going under passing over

The end begins, begins the end.

rolling by on my shoulder.

They don’t know that they’re dead.

Wishing, hoping, twisting, roping

Lies, deception fill their heads.

all of my things that mean something.

Tring to live a life that’s killed.

Tossing them in to a huge ring

Living life, lives unfulfilled.

flames come and consume me.

Unreal is real, all make believe. Eyes not open, just deceived.

gnashing, biting screaming, fighting all that=92s in me feels like dying.

Eating dust, dust is flesh

Saying, Praying, singing, laying

with no blood there’s nothing left. Drained all out, out within.

in the bed that I’ve been making. Moving, sitting, choosing, hitting

Empty shells no one wins.

all the goals of just believing

There is no race, no race to run. The runnings done, the race is won.

waiting for the one who=92s filling everything that I’ve been missing.

The end begins begins the end. I started drawing at the age of 2, and have been infatuated with the arts ever since. I have a passion for drawing, painting, poetry, acting, photography, graphic design, dancing and teaching dance. My passion for the The walk outside is inside laid. arts has taken me on some fantastic projects over the years. I’ve recently designed logos and T-shirts for It cost you nothing the price is paid. many Lindy and Blues dance exchanges. My brother James Stone and I collaborated on a children’s book, “The Wiggle Wobble Story” available now. Currently writing a comic book in the works with my brother James Stone (Artist) and Cousin Scott Rottinghaus (Concepts), hoping to print the 1st issue in the beginning of April. You can find me at

Love lives lost, it’s lost to them.

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Ember Furie

has risen from the ashes on more than one occasion. Dancing professionally was her childhood dream, but financial circumstances prevented her from formally training until the age of 16. Now classically trained in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Hip Hop, Belly Dance, etc, she has made the most of her late start. On a college trip to Mexico at the age of 18, she witnessed fire dancing for the first time and became entranced by the art. Having been home schooled until college, she decided to teach herself this dangerously beautiful modality. Ember ordered a set of fire poi online and began working with them. Three months later, she lit up for the first time, and her inner pyro took over.

Ember Furie


Now with more than 8 years of experience playing with fire, Ember Furie is certainly not afraid to get burned. Her repertoire includes fire eating, fire breathing, poi spinning, fire fingers and contact work (touching fire to the skin). Ember has performed for events thrown by Puff Daddy and 50 Cent, countless private parties and clubs from West Palm Beach to Miami. She has also appeared in several music videos and documentaries. Combining her fire talents with the art of burlesque, she has headlined for

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Cabaret Vampyra in Ft. Lauderdale and the Sexy Kittys Burlesque Troupe in West Palm Beach. On a mission to combine her love for fire, the fetish lifestyle and gothic aesthetic, she began shooting with local photographers an her online portfolio includes elements of fetish, retro, pin-up, horror, gothic and other styles of “alternative” modeling. Ember Furie will be appearing at the South Florida Tattoo Expo and Fetishcon, both in August of 2010. Remember to let Ember spark interest in your next special event! Visit to inquire about bookings, and to keep up with her appearances and blog. You may also become her friend on Facebook and follow her on Twitter!

“Under white ashes often lie glowing embers.” - Unknown

Ember Furie

Saverio Poehlman or Savy as his friends call him has been recreating the world as he sees it on paper since early childhood. Saverio was always encouraged by his artistically talented father Lee and Uncle Andrew. His love of Medieval and Renaissance history was nurtured by his parents and has also been a source of inspiration. While attending South Plantation High School in Plantation, Florida he began turning his talents to armor and sword making under the tutelage of mentor and long time friend Rick Friedman. This is where he learned and fell in love with sculpture in the form of metal, leather, and wood working. In his junior year he became the sword fighting and stage combat instructor for the medieval educational group and remained so for over 10 years. Saverio also has been working with special effects makeup from a young age, studying the works of Dick Smith and Tom Savini. He created the makeup effects for as well as acted in “Full Motion Blur”, an action film by Andrew Harter which was accepted into the Ft. Lauderdale Film Festival in 2003. He is currently operating as artistic advisor and performance assistant to fire performer and model Ember Furie. The art shown here depicting the pair is titled “Savy-Furie” and was given to Ember as a birthday present in 2008. Photo Credits top left: Kerry McCloskey top right: Stephen Covello right: Illustration by Saverio Poehlman Left and Far Left: Wretched Beauty

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David Keeler Born in Cleveland, Ohio, David B. Keeler studied at Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Art. Keeler worked at the Cleveland Museum of Art in the early 1960s followed by a lengthy career at the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution as Technical Assistant to the Curator of Exhibitions and Design and later as Chief of Exhibition and Design. Keeler has exhibited his work in Cleveland, Ohio; Washington D.C.; Alexandria, Virginia; Arlington, Virginia; Tawas, Michigan; West Palm Beach, Florida and Boca Raton, Florida. 36

Keeler’s work is included in a number of collections, both private and public, including the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Hirshorn Museum (Washington D.C.) the Cameron Art Museum (Wilmington, N.C.) and the National Museum of American Art (Washington D.C.) Reviews and publications have included the Washington Post, Washington Star, Cleveland Institute of Art Catalogue and Who’s Who in American Art. Keeler lives in Boca Raton Florida. Some of his work can be viewed on his website

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David Keeler

Far Left: classical nude and snow owl mixed collage 13.5” x 10.5” Above: happy horse mixed media 15.25” x 14.5” Top Right: chase mixed media 8.5” x 10” Bottom Right: jammin at the savoy mixed collage 12.5” x 12.5”

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David Keeler

Top: Showgirl mixed media 14” x 12” Bottom: Desert Sail mixed collage 17.5” x 15”


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Eric Camacho Summer Sitting in a room filled with silence, I wander around the journal that is my memory. Ah! I found what I was looking for. Hidden within the pages, but easily found, is that summer. It was a summer full of fun... A summer of spontaneity... A summer when nothing was impossible. There were no boundaries and no limits. There was friendship, laughter and tears. When love really was something we could touch. Time seemed to be endless, and nothing we could say or do was beyond forgiveness. We smiled, we cried, we played, we relaxed. We believed, we doubted, we loved, we pressed. We watched endless movies, we played board games. We talked throughout the night. We kissed until the sunrise. We danced until we were dizzy.

It all meant nothing, yet, it meant everything. Looking back at that summer I can plainly see... It was the last moments of happiness. You were a gift, a precious gift One last summer to be together as one. If we had known how quickly things would change, would we have stayed up later? Awaken one another sooner? Said the things we really wanted to say, yet couldn’t? Danced one more time? Played one more song? Hugged a little tighter? Held on a little longer? One by one, moment by moment, we graduated... got married... moved away... had children... grew apart. No matter where our lives take us, one thing will always remain the same. This lifeline, this journey, this road... we traveled it together. We made the memories. We shared the laughter. We left a precious imprint upon each other. As the leaves of autumn began to fall, the snowflakes of winter drift slowly down, leading to the fresh meadows of spring... In the journal that is my memory. Hidden within the pages, but easily found, is that summer. Photo by Nicole Christian (see page 21)

Eric Camacho is a freelance Web designer and computer specialist. He received a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Phoenix. As a writer, his numerous works include poetry, short stories and essays.

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James Stone

Hi, I'm James. I'm from Las Vegas. I'm an aspiring comic artist with many influences, from classic artists (Jack Kirby) to more modern artist (Jim Lee) and many more in between. I've been drawing for as long as I can remember. About 20yrs. Mostly due to the influence of my older brother Steve. While I focus on Comics primarily I also dabble in story board and character design work, as well as newspaper illustrations and books for children. Carey Angel Piece #1 (Top Left) This piece is one done completely digital as a gift for a friend. I did a rough pencil sketch then proceeded to render the final lines in the Manga Studio EX4 Art Program, using my Hanvon Art Tablet and pen tool. I then finished the coloring steps in Photoshop CS3. The Dancer #2 (Top Right) This is a piece done for a friend who is a dancer and a lover of the color purple! The lines are done traditionally with pen and ink then scanned into Photoshop CS3 for colors and effects, using my Hanvon Art Tablet and pen tool. Robot Monster (Left) This was done in celebration of, what is now considered, B-Movie monsters. I chose Robot Monster for the pure absurdity of his look and role in the film of the same name.


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Craig Sissick Craig Sissick lives in Trumbull, CT. He paints and draws with water color and acrylic. In 2002 he received his Bachelor of Arts in Illustration from Paier College of Art, Hamden, CT.

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Left Top: Day Dream 20” x 20” Left Bottom: Juicy 20” x 20” Above: Cherry Blossom 16” x 24” Right: Colony Hotel 16” x 24” Far Right: Carlyle Hotel 16” x 24”

Tatiana Enriquez 42

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Tatiana Enriquez

Tatiana Enriquez was born in Esperanza, Cuba. Her inclination for drawing and painting began as a young child. She continued to draw and paint as a hobby. Her love of the ocean, beach, especially Miami Beach and its culture as well as her love of color and whimsy are displayed throughout her work. All pieces are acrylic on canvas.

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Alan Stewart A professional artist for over a decade, Alan Stewart has been a driving force in the North Carolina art scene. His work has been included in many solo and group exhibitions throughout the southeastern United States. He has received numerous awards including the United Arts Council’s Emerging Artist Grant (2001). Prior to his departure to Florida in 2005, he was also an active participant in the Raleigh arts community. Stewart founded the Feather Network in cooperation with downtown property owners to host a series of contemporary exhibitions of emerging artists and a year-long gallery/studio project featuring monthly shows. He has donated numerous paintings to charitable art auctions, including the Triangle AIDS Alliance’s annual Works of Heart auction and the breast cancer research funds, Keep A Breast Fundraiser.

sun journal (2010), oil and assemblage on panel, 18” x 11”


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Alan Stewart

Top: bottom line (2010), oil and assemblage on panel, 10.5”x 17” Bottom: revere (2010), oil and assemblage on panel, 15” x 23”’

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Alan Stewart 46

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Left top: instinct (2010), 15” x 23” Left bottom: lapse (2010), 15” x 23” Above: father (2010), 23” x 15” Below: mother (2010), 15” x 23”

All pieces appearing on these two pages are oil and assemblage on panel,

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Alan Stewart

“Painting is color, rhythm and movement. Being an artist is to experience directly the reality of the creative force in order to make it tangible to the senses. As an artist, it is possible to stand fixed in a place and watch as life and emotions move around you slowly or with great speed. It is by this practice that the work takes on life and character. The merit of a work of art is in its ability to transcend the physical components of its creation and to leave those who come in contact with it changed each time they see it.”

47 VOL 1 SPRING 2010

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Absorb Fine Art - the Premier  

This Premier issue of ABSORB Fine Art includes 18 different artists, covering 10 different types of art and vastly different styles. Our fe...