Sunday, June 26, 2016

i've been everywhere

in the month since i last posted, i have been to yellowstone, red lodge montana, grand teton national park, lubbock and memphis. i've been lucky to travel in good company & spend time with good friends.

i have been lucky enough to see all sorts of wildlife

we watched this griz mom and her cubs for at least 2 hours. first time i've seen grizzly cubs and ii was so much fun to be able to see and shoot them.

all sorts of babies in the park in early june- including ravens

and orange buffalo calves

we drove over the beartooth highway  above timberline 

and into grand teton national park

and back to fairfield, where i was able to increase my bird photo catalog with a burrowing owl

and the elusive kestral- they are spooky and i've been after a good shot for years-

then for something completely different, memphis- 

home of the blues- got to tour sun studios, visit all sorts of blues museums and historical points, listen to good music, eat good barbeque and renew an acquaintance with an old friend who was happy to show me her town.

we went to delta state to see an exhibit of masks of blues musicians made by a blind artist

and to the national ornamental metal museum

 i feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to explore so much. as different as these places are, they all had an impact and i am so excited to get back in the studio and see what happens. i know there will be a lot more blues playing!

i did get started on a journal page for the yellowstone adventure today. it's a lot of fun going back through everything and remembering and commemorating the journey.

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Monday, May 30, 2016

frustration, movement

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

“The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.” G.K. Chesterton
“Travel far enough, you meet yourself.” David Mitchell
i've been home for 2 weeks since paris and have not made any art. how frustrating. all of that lovely "extra" time and nothing to show for it. i've read a few books, had the chance to spend time with friends (a good thing) but i haven't created. ugh.

regrouping, OK, but now i am back on the merry go round and wishing i'd taken advantage of the time. partly not sure which direction to go. made some backgrounds but didn't move past that. interested in playing on paper, but haven't moved in that direction. books on figure drawing, but haven't done the exercises. frozen.

movement can be inspiring but it can also be a great tool for avoidance. even when i journal while traveling i am not pushing myself- same small squares in the dictionary. hotel room lamps. photos from a window seat. nothing wrong with practice and honing skills, but it's feeling a bit uninspired right now.

luckily, i have a challenge coming. headed to yellowstone with a friend who is a very good photographer. she's knowledgeable, interested in learning and pushing herself and generous with her talent. i learn a lot from her and am inspired to move out of my comfort zone and get better. 

i played a bit with the camera this weekend in preparation. worked on shooting modes & playing with different depth of fields (dof).

i always love backlighting, and was pleased with the glow here-

i am drawn to odd little vignettes, like the indian paintbrush and plant skeleton below. enjoy finding little natural still lifes like this.

wide depth of field- love the way the leaves echo the movement in the foothills and the juxtaposition of the warm sunny wildflowers and the snow.

playing with shallow depth of field here and rather enjoying the effect. this is a much more interesting image than the ones i took with a higher dof.

saw these potentilla glowing in the sun against the dark background. this could be a more successful image- i need to work on my metering as the flower is pretty blown out and i'd like the top flower maybe a bit more in focus. or darkened out. it's distracting

hmmm even though i didn't paint or draw, it seems that i was, indeed, working on some art. and being in nature always feeds my creativity. i find wildflowers fascinating- finding their beauty in some of the most inhospitable places is always a joy. even if we don't have luck with animals in yellowstone there's been a lot of rain, so it should be green and lush and beautiful.

but first- lubbock. then home, and tony bennett and work and hopefully ready to head out friday afternoon. i'm looking forward to it, but a bit overwhelmed right now. because- art supplies! (at least this one is a road trip!)

Sunday, May 22, 2016

home for a while..... totem series in progress

i didn't travel last week and hardly knew what to do with myself- it's like so much time suddenly appeared. i felt like i could think about painting again, instead of journaling or photography.

i worked on some backgrounds

and on a draft of my next totem series piece (you can see the photo reference in the upper right corner of the image above. he'll go on the background above, after i work on it a bit more. i didn't get the head quite right- needs to be more triangular- but that's why we practice. one thing this really brought home to me is how much i like water soluble graphite. no clue what i'll do with that, but it's a fact.


it's nice to have portable art, as i worked on this in my studio annex in fairfield. spring is a beautiful time in idaho, especially so on the marsh in good water years (this is the first of those in a while).

camas lilies add another body of blue 

the marsh is alive with birdsong (a generous word for the noise this guy is making, but he's singing his heart out) and hosts a variety of avian visitors

when i was driving around the area yesterday i kept seeing short eared owls but was never in a spot to shoot them. i decided to make it work today (hoping, of course, that they'd be hanging out in the same places).

i was lucky enough to see 4 owls and to shoot 3 of them. the bottom 2 are the same owl- she let me work my way closer and i was grateful. i have a feeling that this is next up in the totem series-

it's so nice to feel inspired and to feel like painting and to have the time at home to do it! of course, i need to weed the garden and plant my pots and do a few other things too, but i have time at home!!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

finally made it to paris

and wow- it was worth the travel time- ( 3 plus to O'Hare, 8 plus over, 9 back)

 such a charming city- just take a walk and look around

i love the rooftops and clay chimneys- they say Paris to me even though this was my first visit- probably thanks to Hollywood

there's iconic Paris-

revolutionary Paris

 and this is what i see Paris:

can't wait to see what art comes from this. i journaled and brought home plenty of ephemera, we'll see where this goes.

there's a quote that says that everywhere you go becomes a part of you. i believe that wholeheartedly, and endeavor to be conscious of that fact- to bring the best of where i go into myself. i'm always looking for the best places in the towns i visit for work or vacation. paris was a very pleasant surprise. not that i didn't expect a good trip- i did. but i was so very charmed- everyone was nice, all of the food was amazing, everything went the way it was supposed to, we didn't have horrible lines anywhere, etc., etc. loved it. it was easy to see why so much great art has been created here.