Posts Tagged ‘photographer’

Artist and writer Betsy Randel is featured in the Vancouver @TMwomen Centre Newsletter

May 10, 2017

Here is a self-reflective biographical introduction a friend of mine wrote that was published in the Vancouver TM for Women Centre Newsletter in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Each issue they introduce someone to the meditating community. Artist, writer and photographer Betsy Randel was featured in their May 2017 issue. Centre Director Deboragh Varnel said Betsy’s testimonial was really deep and authentic. I agree, which is why I reproduced it here with the accompanying photographs.

TM for Women logo

Swans Photo by Betsy Randel

Swans photo by Betsy Randel

Getting To Know You…Meet Betsy Randel

Betsy Randel at her artshow

Betsy Randel in front of her paintings at an art show

I was born in California to a middle class family but even as a child always found myself at odds with the interactions of people around me—the seeming superficiality of their concerns and lives. I found peace and solace in the beauty of nature—the skies, clouds, flowers and trees.

I left my family home to marry at the young age of 18 and by 20 found myself divorced, feeling adrift in my life. In the college I was halfheartedly attending, one teacher stood out for me and we became friends.

She suggested I start meditating with TM, which is what she had been practicing. I had never heard of it but found myself in the heart of L.A. being instructed in the practice in 1970 when I was 21.

I felt my life start to make sense for the first time from my first deep dive into consciousness through TM.

One month after being initiated, I was again guided by my friend to attend a one-month course with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at Humboldt State College in California.

There I experienced wisdom and great peace spoken of by Maharishi being lived by the many practitioners of all ages there. I was very moved to see and feel the harmony with many meditating together.

I became a teacher of TM in 1973 and continued my path of learning and experiencing more through advanced courses and attending MUM (Maharishi University of Management) in Iowa where I met my husband, a Canadian teacher of TM.

I went on to raise two children and to complete my Certificate in Fine Arts at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, B.C.

What I really want to let people know is that although the surface of my life hasn’t always been easy or smooth, having that underlying peace of twice a day meditation has kept me healthy and at peace through even the roughest times.

I have been meditating now for 47 years and I am so grateful for it and to Maharishi who made great efforts to bring this knowledge to the western world where the outer values are so strong and so focused on, but the inner value of life is mostly lost.

As one ages, if one’s attention is focused only on the outer body and life changes, one can feel regretful and despairing.

But if one has this technique that works like no other, to experience the deep peace within and eternal non-changing level of life, one feels safe with outer changes and more resilient. One also stays healthier and happier.

It is such a gift. The greatest gift one can give to oneself.

Best wishes,

Betsy

Betsy Randel is an artist and writer living in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Visit her website to see more of her beautiful artwork www.artthatheals.org.

Personal note: This is a longer version. When Betsy attended MUM it was known as MIU, Maharishi International University. See www.mum.edu.

Also see Cliffhouse and Arbutus blossoms inspire haiku by Ken Chawkin and paintings by Betsy Randel.

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Bill Graeser memorializes Ansel Adams in his award-winning poem “Magic Light”

August 20, 2013

Magic Light

By Bill Graeser

Ansel Adams sits up
reaches for his camera—
his arm bony as a tripod leg
for it is “Magic Light”
the golden light of sunrise
and sunset.

But then he lays back down
and focusing instead
through the lens of his soul
in the black box of his skull
he sees… all the light

that ever filled Yosemite
or blazed the crosses at Hernandez
and with his brittle jaw
with its few teeth remaining
there in the dark room of a coffin
he smiles.

“Magic Light” by Bill Graeser won the Iowa Poetry Association’s 2012 Norman Thomas Memorial Award. Bill posted it August 28, 2012.

Congratulations, Bill, you deserve this memorial award for a memorial poem of the great Ansel Adams. I’m sure he’d approve, and be pleased! Visit http://www.anseladams.com for more amazing photos.

Another great poem by Bill Graeser is What You May Not Know About Frankenstein. I posted it as At last—the truth about Frankenstein. Visit his website for more fine poetry and photographs: http://billgraeser.wordpress.com.

Found this detailed interview with Marc Silber and Michael Adams: An Inside Look at Ansel Adams’ Photography In Yosemite, posted April 10, 2013. I also found this earlier fascinating video posted by Silber Studios on May 7, 2011 on How Ansel Adams Photographed His Iconic “Moonrise Hernandez”. Marc is given a tour of the house and darkroom by Ansel’s son, Michael Adams. He was seven years old and with his father when he took the iconic picture of the moonrise over Hernandez and described how he created it. The music was composed by Andrew Buffett, the American musician, composer, author and philanthropist. Peter is an Emmy Award winner, New York Times best-selling author and co-chair of the NoVo Foundation. He is the youngest son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett. Here is an earlier video posted by Marc Silber about advice on how to visualize your photos, from a rare interview with Ansel Adams: Photography Visualization Advice by Ansel Adams. Photo visualization was so important to Ansel Adams that he made it the first chapter of his book on photography.

Fairfield Ledger reports: Local artists present ‘Iowa Gold’ to governor, state fair

August 14, 2013

Local artists present ‘Iowa Gold’ to governor, state fair

Aug 08, 2013 – Lifestyles

Composer and singer/songwriter Jane Roman Pitt and Iowa landscape photographer Ken West, both of Fairfield, officially presented the music video “Iowa Gold” to Gov. Terry Branstad Wednesday afternoon in the State Capitol Building in Des Moines.

Earlier Wednesday, Pitt and West were interviewed by Charity Nebbe on Iowa Public Radio’s Talk of Iowa. The interview can be heard at http://iowapublicradio.org/post/iowa-gold-and-wisconsin-heroes.

A tribute to the richness of Iowa’s farm culture, people and rural landscapes, “Iowa Gold” was produced solely for noncommercial use to promote the beauty of Iowa and the state’s scenic byways.

Rep. Dave Heaton lauded “Iowa Gold” as “so beautiful, both in sight and sound, that says so much about our state.”

Barbara Sletto, director of the Heartland Youth Choir, which was scheduled to perform “Iowa Gold” 2-3 p.m. today on the Budweiser Stage at the Iowa State Fair, praised the song.

“The words are great and the melody is very singable — the song is great,” she said.

Pitt said she was inspired to write her “love song to Iowa” because the state embodies the principles on which America was founded

“The freedom to own land and the choice to live in cities or open spaces,” she said. “And Ken’s beautiful landscape photos reflect the feelings of pride for our state that I tried to convey in the song.”

West described “Iowa Gold” as a song Iowa school children or anyone can relate to with contemporary lyrics easy to sing.

“We hope our video inspires the next generation to appreciate and care for the land they are inheriting,” West said.

Pitt is a recording artist, songwriter, and composer. She is winner of the grand prize at the International Amadeus Choral Competition and her “Midnight Lullaby” CD received a “Parents’ Choice Award,” an award that honors the best material in children’s media.

West’s images have been featured on Iowa Public Television’s “Iowa Outdoors” and at the National Center for Nature Photography, which is America’s first and only center devoted exclusively to nature photography.

More information on both artists can be found on the Iowa Gold website at www.iowagoldsong.com.

Related Information: Heartland Youth Choir IPTV’s “Iowa Outdoors” Iowa Gold Iowa Public Radio

Published with permission from The Fairfield Ledger

Related news: Fairfield Artists and Musicians Share in Iowa Gold for more information and other news coverage. Laura Simon reports collaboration of composer and landscape photographer to showcase Iowa.

Fairfield Artists and Musicians Share in Iowa Gold

June 9, 2013

“Is this heaven? No, it’s Iowa.” (Field of Dreams) But as Jane Roman Pitt would answer, “Yes, it’s Iowa.” And this is her version, along with Ken West, of what makes their new music video Iowa Gold a heaven on earth.

Fairfield singer/songwriter Jane Roman Pitt and Iowa landscape photographer Kenneth West combined their talents to create a beautiful music video called Iowa Gold. Jane wrote and sang the song. Ken contributed his photographs and produced the video. Tim Britton engineered and produced the music. Musicians were Arthur Lee Land, guitar; Lauryn Shapter, violin; Paul Fauerso, piano; Tim Britton, bass; and David Hurlin, drums. The result is this beautiful video, pleasing both to the eye and ear; heart and mind.

Iowa Gold–Jane Pitt & Ken West

Iowa musician Jane Pitt and photographer Ken West have collaborated on the amazingly beautiful video, Iowa Gold. Jane is an award-winning musician and Ken’s award-winning photography has been featured on IPTV’s Iowa Outdoors and at the National Center for Nature Photography, America’s first and only center devoted exclusively to nature photography. Ken’s photographic work is featured on the Iowa Byways website.

Ken and Jane are offering use of this video to us. The Iowa Gold video can embedded into any Audio/Visual presentation directly from YouTube. Iowa gold can also be enjoyed at either Jane or Ken‘s websites. There are no fees or contracts for the use of this video. It is their simply their gift to the Governor, Mrs. Branstad and the state of Iowa. The song was officially honored by the Iowa State House of Representatives, and has been enjoyed by schoolchildren throughout the state.

Here is Jane’s description of the video, which you can also see and Like on her IOWA GOLD Facebook page.

“The song ‘Iowa Gold’ came to me as I was driving through the Iowa countryside one day. I’d just been visiting a big city, and my appreciation of the simple beauty and richness of the landscape flowed out in this song. Award-winning photographer Ken West has perfectly captured the beauty of the Iowa landscape with his collection of photographs of Iowa’s Scenic Byways, commissioned by the Resource and Development Councils of Iowa. … I hope you enjoy this love song to Iowa!”

For highest quality select 720p HD setting and expand to full screen.

This music video is intended solely for noncommercial use promoting the beauty of Iowa and its scenic byways. Use of this music video, including resale or other commercial use is strictly prohibited. This music video may not be reproduced by any means, whether in its entirety or in part, without the written permission of Jane Roman Pitt and Kenneth West.

All Photographs © 2009-2011 Kenneth West, except for the following two photos: Pacific Ocean Photograph © Jeffrey Banke | Dreamstime.com, and The New York City Uptown Skyline Photograph © Kropic | Dreamstime.com

Organizations or Individuals interested in licensing this video please contact Ken West kwest@ioscapes.com

News Reports on the Iowa Gold Song

Listen to Talk of Iowa’s interview Jane and Ken on Iowa Gold and Wisconsin Heroes. Download the MP3 of the show.

In 1911 “The Song of Iowa” by S.H.M. Byers became Iowa’s official state song.  The lyrics “You asked what land I love the best, Iowa, tis Iowa, The fairest State of all the west, Iowa, O! Iowa, From yonder Mississippi’s stream…” were set to the tune “O Tannenbaum.” Songwriter Jane Roman Pitt thinks Iowa can do better.  She has written a song called Iowa Gold,” and now Pitt and photographer Ken West have put together a video that showcases Iowa at it’s best.  The video is part of their campaign to make “Iowa Gold” the state’s next official song.

The Des Moines Register’s Kyle Munson’s mentioned Jane Pitt and her song, Iowa Gold, in his report on the opening day of the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. The Heartland Youth Choir sang the first choral rendition of the song. Here is an excerpt from Kyle’s report, Munson: Weather receives early blue ribbon:

Then there’s Jane Pitt from Fairfield. She wrote the song “Iowa Gold” 25 years ago during a drive from Detroit as she relocated to Iowa, inspired by our state’s “surprisingly rolling hills.” A quarter-century later she was able to relish the first public performance of her folk-tinged song as sung by the 32 young voices (grades 1 through 12) of the Iowa Heartland Youth Choir.

Could this become a new state song? (The official state anthem, Samuel Hawkins Marshall Byers’ “Song of Iowa,” was written more than a century ago to the tune of “O Christmas Tree.”)

KTVO’s Laura Simon reports collaboration of composer and landscape photographer to showcase Iowa.

Fairfield Ledger reports: Local artists present ‘Iowa Gold’ to governor, state fair

Click here for a free mp3 download of Iowa Gold. Here are previous posts on Ken and Jane: Ken West and his unique landscape photographs are featured on IPTV show Iowa Outdoors and Lady Lullaby Sings Welcome Home to Love and Dance Like The Wind.


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