Copyright 2008-2018 L M Grimes. Powered by Blogger.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Happy New Year

Feather Rishi has come a long way!

I want to thank everyone who has helped me introduce an ecological method of gathering feathers for art. We are protecting birds while sharing their beauty on every surface you can imagine. When I first started noodling with molted feathers it was for art projects and I never dreamed it would open doors for me. My professors said, "Hey, that's interesting!" And I wondered if they were just indulging.

Today I am meeting with owners of apparel stores, production managers, mentors, investors and the process is just barely beginning to be recognized as a viable way to express art. My ambitions aside, I am happy for the birds and hope that some day people everywhere will value them as the sensitive, intelligent and loving creatures they are.

At last avian rescue organizations are taking me seriously and offering me their molted feathers. Some day, zoos, conservatories and perhaps even Native Americans will lend me use of their rare protected specimens for photographic preservation.

Please come to Feather Rishi. Please share it with your friends. Some day soon I hope to have a book and teach classes in the technique. Everyone can learn to do this.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving from Feather Rishi

Please visit Kickstarter
 December 2015

Red Bird on White Firs

A portion of all profits goes to avian rescues and benefits.

The calendar season is upon us. I hope you are intrigued by this image. It's all feather art, even the sky. That little red bird is hopefully a symbol of the coming summer when everything is in bloom and possible. It's been exciting seeing people grow in their awareness of the threats birds face. Acquaintances are more and more conscious of where they got a feather. They now start to ask if a bird was harmed.

My goal in choosing feathers is to festoon every surface with a new kind of color and paint. Photography and digital tools make this possible.

Feathers dance on the canvas in shimmering shapes and impossible hues. 

Happy Thanksgiving
Wishing you and the ones you love a beautiful holiday.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

BeFeathered Has a New YouTube Video

Lewis Mark Grimes at his desk
I just completed a video I want to share with you

Making this video was hard. I guess most people who make videos have these complaints, but here's my saga, all the same. I had hopes of using my iPad Air to make a video until the grant committee chairman told me it had to be close to seven minutes long. The iPad takes lovely but short videos and it didn't seem conducive. A friend had a camera she was willing to loan me. It sounded like a good idea but when I got the device it was twenty years old and had no way to transfer to a computer. I thanked her and returned it. I had recently bought a Cube from Polaroid, but I truly have a hard time taking it seriously. It operates entirely from one button. Well, anyway, it perches on my desk lamp looking exactly like a spy cam.

I decided to order a new camera with some of the money the first stage of the grant had advanced me. Logitech called it the C920 and when Amazon shipped it, I was grateful it looked simple, plug and play, etc. I had to download Adobe Premiere Pro from my Cloud subscription. I have a laptop so I serendipitously downloaded to both that and my desk PC. I also have an iMac I've been using to fabricate my art images. I made an animation last year on it and it worked out pretty well, so I made the unfortunate decision to shoot my video on my laptop and simply move the files to the iMac with a flash drive. Ulp.

The video looked fine. See the photo above? That's a selfie I shot with the same setup. I put the videos on the iMac and they immediately pixelated or something strange and they looked godawful. I was vexed and running out of time. I decided to take the still slides from my slide deck which was my original production and all I thought I needed. I would excerpt stills from the videos of myself as a talking head, cut it all together into a brilliant video and voila.

Unfortunately...I hated the results. It was static and boring. I was desperate. It was the 11th hour and I thought I had a lemon from Logitech. I called their tech support which wasn't easy but I did get through. Susan listened to my dilemma and then she said, " you moved the video footage to a Mac, you say?"
"Well there's your problem. This camera is only compatible with the PC Platform of Windows.

I despaired. But finally I understood what had been holding me up for days. I highly recommend the C920 but not if you're a Mac user. I cut the film on my desktop and I hope you like the results on the link below the photo of me.

Things are evolving and I expect to have more news soon. Please save feathers to save birds.

I hope as you think of Christmas, you will think of Feather Rishi, BeFeathered and visit my shops and web sites.

Thank you and happy holidays.

Copyright 2015 L M Grimes

Monday, October 12, 2015

BeFeathered Christmas 2015

Welcome to my holiday blog and thank you very much for visiting. School is all consuming. Grant applications are too. I'm building for a future that will cover the planet with feathers. Join my journey and Save Feathers to Save Birds. 

Only molted feathers are used in my art.
These cards are all feathers, molted feathers only. The holiday special will end on October 31. Until then every card on this page is NINETY PERCENT DISCOUNTED. That's right, only 10%. Stock up on these eco friendly, unique, artisanal holiday cards. Some say JOY, PEACE and hopefully you will find cards for everyone on your list. Look for the super huge tree for under $2.00. Enjoy!
Purchase at this shop:

Use this discount code: YEKOITMZCNSBBFLPKWTT

More choices:

Copyright 2015 L M Grimes
All Rights Reserved on Text and Art

Friday, August 28, 2015

In Search of the True Panacea

Budwig's Protocol

Sam was dying of cancer when he went on an alternative treatment called Budwig's Protocol. It's easy, so easy it's deceptive, and addresses auto-immune disorders. I've written an entire essay about it, so I'm not going to write another. Visit this link if you or someone you know has cancer, arthritis, AIDS or any of the conditions that are based on immune diseases. Here you go.

No, I'm not a medical writer. I'm an artist working with the molted feathers of birds. You can read about my process on this blog. I take the molted feathers and photograph them digitally, after which, I clean them up in Photoshop. I publish the images I make on apparel, many other products and I even have a calendar I call the Figurative Feathers Calendar. Here is the September page:
 Buy the calendar here

Thank you for visiting this blog. Save the feathers, save the birds!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Phishing or Not? Who Knows?

Today I got an email from Amazon that seemed fine. It was advertising their scholarship program which sounded great to me. As a full time college student, every opportunity to apply for a scholarship is welcome. This was a generous one and there will be at least fifty winners so I was excited. Long story short. I examined the return address of the message. I always do, especially when they purport to come from a big corporation we have come to know and trust. The return email address was normal. It included When I clicked it opened a secure page. The padlock was there in the corner and the URL began Https. so far so good.

I used the apply now link and it opened a screen to join Amazon Student which would entitle me to Prime. That sounded okay, but as a member of Amazon for ten years, and already signed up for Prime, was I eligible? I decided to call Amazon and find out so a few screens later, I was clicking the link that would have Amazon call me back. This was all normal until the customer service rep told me Amazon has no scholarship program. Huh? She also said Amazon has no program to give money. Her name was Coco. I received two emails from her confirming this.

I expect she was wrong because it all was consistent with professional contact with But was she wrong?

Survey requests come in all the time. They come frequently after speaking with customer service reps at this or that company. I spoke with Adobe this week. A short time later I received a survey request from them from this email address: Huh?

Do you think I would even consider clicking on that link? Not a chance.

I expect it was legitimate, but why take the risk?

There is software that can log your keystrokes.

When we are on the web doing what we do we are often vulnerable.

If a nefarious agent records your keystrokes, they can access passwords,

account information. Who knows what?

That is why you should always do your shopping, banking and sensitive activity

in the incognito windows. Every browser has them these days. So you sometimes

have to type a little more, the peace of mind is priceless.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Starting Over --Bouncing Back

What we do with our gift of life is the miracle of existence and the mystery of the space time continuum. Nothing in life is constant. We see our lives change from moment to moment, from day to day and from year to year.
Macaw Blizzard Copyright 2014, 2015 L M Grimes

I used to be a literary agent, helping authors realize their potential. You might find any number of authors who will report I made them unexpected moneys, sometimes they would describe my efforts as windfalls. Many of those authors are now elderly and some have passed.

Pride and shame both describe my contributions as an agent. That may be the agent's lot in life. I'm proud of all the good I accomplished and ashamed that my weakness and a life threatening illness conspired in the middle stream of things to end my life as an agent. I never expected I would run out of money, lose my way.

Remorse is a lesson that is hard to learn but I have it in full measure. Of course when I rebuilt my life from ashes, I had a lot of help. It came from friends, schools, businesses, counselors, doctors, support systems that are in place for all our benefit.

Discovering I was an artist was one of life's little bonuses. As I have written on this blog before, college assessment tests revealed my potential and I decided in favor of art and graphic design as a second career path. It took a while to blend my executive skills with artistic pursuits to discover the how, what and why of my artistic aspirations. There have been so many people who have aided me. My professors and friends have been the biggest help because they have believed in my ability for my reinvention.
Fourth of July Copyright 2013-2015 L M Grimes

My goal now goes beyond artist. I've discovered I have a mission to help protect avian life forms from the predation that is ongoing at the hands of man. We can photograph molted feathers and eventually, we will manufacture all of them from 3D printing methodologies. If I am lucky, I will vanquish the act of mutilating living birds and their corpses to gain feathers. This activity is obsolete.

Concurrently, I am launching fashion and art start-ups using my molted feather techniques. I'm learning how to collaborate at school. Partly you could say my agency failed because I was too controlling and could not bring in partners and employees to help with the work. I was afraid of failing due to their errors and in the end, that was my biggest error.

I live in a state of excitement. I now love what I do and I am constantly reaching out for opportunities to partner, to collaborate, to co-write, to co-execute the art I design and create. If birds are your thing; if you love feathers; if you love art or fashion; if you just want to get involved in something exciting, reach out.

Copyright 2015 L M Grimes

Monday, June 1, 2015

Bird of Paradise Hits the Highway

Lew's News June 2015

Truck Magazine

Lew's News May 2015


Please visit and read my recent interviews. Follow us in June as we visit the Licensing Expo in Las Vegas where Angie Adamo will wear new dresses and I will wear new shirts...all showing off what you can do with Feather Rishi.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Feather Ethics


We all make mistakes. Ethical questions are sometimes complex.

Ethics: the study of moral standards and how they affect conduct; a system of moral principles governing the appropriate conduct for a person or group (from Encarta Dictionary: English (North America). 

Sultan Rooster

In my most recent blog post, I mentioned my big mistake of over-extending myself so much in my nascent agency that it eventually failed. Was my failure an ethical lapse? I had good intentions and I earned a lot of money for my clients. However, ultimately, some vendors and clients suffered when my business failed. I loved all my clients and I endure lasting remorse that some people were harmed when my health broke down. When your body fails at the end of life, some people's bills may go unpaid. Is that an ethical breach?

Ethics and human interaction with birds: Recently in California, legislation doubled the living space for chickens. To me, chickens are our hardest working game birds. Millions of chickens produce billions of eggs. Each egg yields 6 grams of protein in an important battle against human hunger. Each fertilized egg produces another chicken if properly incubated perpetuating this miraculous process. A cooked one pound chicken has been said to provide more than 300 grams of protein. If your daily diet as a human consists of somewhat more than 50 grams of protein, a chicken goes a long way to contributing to proper nutrition for a family. Perhaps not the Sultan pictured above which is a tiny breed. I'm not going to address the ethics of eating chicken meat. This well established food source has been domesticated for millennia.

I'm all about feathers. Plumage is another by-product of farming birds. Unfortunately fashion and art capture feathers by killing and plucking the birds. Recently Julianne Moore, a favorite actress, was photographed by Hollywood Reporter for the Golden Globes in a gorgeous Givenchy dress that was festooned with Ostrich barbs taken from their stripped feathers. 

Julianne Moore at the Golden Globes
Photo: Hollywood Reporter

My question is: is it ethical to harvest birds for their feathers?

I create art with feathers using only molted bird feathers. We now have 3D photography and print technology. Would it not be more ethical to use molted feathers that have been captured and printed in 3D? I started this blog pointing directly at the critical questions I deal with in my own life. I know I'm not without dilemmas. I'm working in a new technology and hoping to earn income to settle my moral and ethical challenges one day. How can mankind repay the debt to birds and further the fight against improper exploitation and extinctions that are threatened due to the ethical lapses we perpetuate?
Art Ready Macaw Molted Feather
Copyright 2012-15 LM Grimes

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Feather Facts

I'm a visual artist.Yet, I played guitar when I was a boy. I went "pro" and sat in a deep bay window in downtown San Francisco where I sang Joni Mitchell, Donovan, the Beatles and Dylan and cleared enough to live on. Of course living then was a different thing. Inflation came, I put down my guitar and life changed.

Mistakes? Oh yes. 

Probably my biggest was opening my own agency. I was making a comfortable wage working at other agencies. They rewarded me because I could sell IP. Of course then, we barely knew it as intellectual property. Yet, one publishing agreement was asking for rights on Earth's moon. Mostly people scoffed at that.

No, it was books. How quaint, paper between boards. I love them in any format. At Janklow & Nesbit I was known as the go-to guy for audio books. I got high praise from Dr. Morton L. Janklow, my boss and mentor. Just, as I received discerning advice from him about starting an agency. He urged me not to overextend myself. At the time I was thinking this was merely a negotiation ploy to try and get me to stay at a more modest increase than I sought. Yes, I had hubris. I was deluded, of course. It required about ten years for my overextended status to destroy my health, I was attacked by a life threatening disease caused by a previously undiagnosed condition. The physicality of the loss of my health was devastating to me and the eponymous agency I was trying to build.

Then it took time to regain my health. And steady support from friends who guided me.

If something is the opposite of a mistake, that's what happened to me when I got Kazan, the gorgeous, Lizard-backed male canary who sang majestically and stimulated me. A good friend has a favorite retirement residence he supports. They place animals with the elderly residents who improve given the love of their pet companions. Kazan was that kind of tonic for me.

He had such pretty feathers and I got to observe his molting first hand. The first time I saw this I was scared to see his skin showing. On closer inspection, his skin was dotted with pin feathers that were growing in to replace the ones he had lost. I saved the molted feathers. I had no plan but I sensed they were important.

In time I became well. I still stayed home and busied myself with reading, gardening, raising bulldogs and online bridge. Life seemed full. Yet I was drawn to do more with my time. I did not know what, but I could feel the connections starting to form. I joined avian societies and clubs. Their range of interests and information was fabulous. Trading with breeders, I became one myself. My first try with a flock you might call a mistake. I got forty hens. Yes, I wanted eggs, so there was a fine rooster, named Ichabod. He consorted with all of them, maybe every day, and was the happiest of roosters. While they flourished I continued to improve. Kazan sang daily. Life was good and I collected thousands of molted, fancy chicken plumes. I still had Kazan's feathers, and he sang on, as the piles of feathers from other species dwarfed his minute contribution.

In 2008 I returned to college. I still had an itch and it was pretty easy to register at a nearby community college. My assessment tests said I would do well in letters or art. As you know, I had done letters already so despite strong reservations, I took the advice and started taking my first art classes. I mixed them with graphic design and suddenly breathed a big "Ah." I was home. Using feathers from my collection was pretty much a natural solution and then my professors said, "Ah." They loved my "Feather Rishi" (ree' shee). It took some more practice, but by 2011 a couple of my professors strongly urged me to start showing and to try and commercialize my artwork.

to be continued...