Tuesday, May 31, 2011

the dance

i have been lucky enough to see some crane dances, but haven't gotten many good photos (my husband says i get buck fever, that may be true, or maybe i just need to use my damn camera more). as i was leaving the marsh on monday, i saw these 3 characters dash into a field from the side of the road. cranes usually move steadily away, but these guys stopped at a fairly close distance and commenced doing the crane dance.

yes, the last one makes me laugh out loud. hope it does the same for you.

pam, nancy & i had a nice studio evening, more on that to follow, but i really wanted to share these. happy dancing!

Monday, May 30, 2011

another day on the marsh

and a beautiful morning it was too.....

i think that this bird thinks it is invisible. it stayed very still the whole time i photographed it and you can see it was watching me carefully.

if you look to the right of the post on the right you will see a little head sticking out in much the same position, but facing the other bird. my guess is that this is her nest and this is their defense mechanism. which would probably work well against predators who are stimulated by movement.

i saw an amazing display of cranes dancing, which will be saved for a future post. made me smile all day, which was good, b/c hanging was sort of a bear. but it looks great & all's well that ends well, right?

hope everyone had a great weekend, welcome to the working week....

Sunday, May 29, 2011

more photos

the camas are starting to bloom, later than last year, which is good for me since i won't be back up for 2 weeks- and am bringing some friends on photo safari then. we should have some good flowers left.

the bloom was farther along in this area, and i was tickled to find a crane in the midst of the flowers. a bit far for a great shot, but fun nonetheless.

one of my favorite birds- a favorite yellow headed blackbird singing his heart out

often when it's stormy in the spring the light is such that the vegetation looks lime green and is striking against the dark, prussian blue skies. i didn't quite get that light but like the movement of the sky and water in this one.

and the sunset- not as striking as last night, majestic all the same.

home tomorrow, to the gallery at noon to hang for june and to hang the BOSCO show. yuk. i'm sure it will be fun once i get there- i could just use a whole day in the studio (where i haven't been much lately). oh well- there's always tuesday night!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

it's still spring

it's still stormy and cool, especially at higher elevations. the wildflowers don't mind, though. everything seems to be a few weeks behind last year.

love the spring skies over the mountains

tomorrow i'll head to the marsh to see how far along the camas are & visit with the birds- hopefully more photos to share!

Friday, May 27, 2011

does fort worth ever cross your mind?

been busy, hopefully art time this weekend. i did snap a few photos in fort worth earlier this week.

there are nice deco touches on buildings all around downtown.

a jazz club tucked away in an alley.

the view from the pool on the 5th floor of the courtyard.

and the sky when i went out to take a few photos.

i was in my room on the 12th floor watching the storm roll in- clouds roiling, lightning flashing and decided to go out to the pool area to try to get some shots of the sky. back to the room and found out that there were tornadoes all to the north & east of downtown, baseball and golf ball sized hail, lots of damage.

the destruction that a big storm can do is awful- my heart goes out to the many people whose lives have been upended by recent weather. at the same time, the power of the storm is awesome- in the old fashioned sense of truly inspiring awe. watching the sky move and feeling the electricity in the air makes me feel the power and the mystery of something so much bigger than myself and reminds me of the unpredictability inherent in life.

hope my friends in the midwest stay safe. happy memorial day weekend to all-

Sunday, May 22, 2011

and a different sort of creating.....

today was all about the yard- well, it was all about the yard after the dogs & i got our walk in. not much happened in the yard last year ( or the year before) so it's been in need of some tlc. this was covered with silver lace vine, the evil stuff- 12 years growth, 4 or 5 plants- it was bad. steve hacked it off and the side yard is once again light. a bit of cover wouldn't be bad- it faces south & can get pretty warm, but the vine was too much.

now we can see the wisteria blooming

i got things cleaned out and hooked up the fountain today- love to sit and listen to the water run.

moved old friends around to new spots

planted all sorts of stuff- the rose should be really happy that the vine is gone

the back yard, also in major remodel mode. all grass banished, hot tub added, things moved around to accommodate that & the studio- it's going to be great when it's done- and it's getting close-

i got to visit my favorite greenhouse today & bring home plants. yay! this is always my downfall because things look so sparse. i did toss in some annual seeds to fill in the holes- hopeful they'll sprout & do just that (along with providing bloom) soon. and yes. another fountain-

steve extended the walkway to the studio's porch and i planted containers to break things up. also planted 'maters & basil. it's looking good! 

that was all of the art that got done today, tho. off to ft worth tuesday & wednesday, so it could be a slow art week. will post as i am able.

have a great week!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

resin casting workshop

at long last the stars aligned and sue latta offered her resin workshop on a weekend that i could take it. after seeing several of sue's shows incorporating her photography with resin in really cool ways i wanted to learn from her and am so glad that the timing finally worked out.

as is usual with workshops, the day started with the basics- terminology and such. then off to play.

here is sue building the walls for the mold. nifty way to do it- the sides are completely adjustable to whatever size you need and clamp right together. the bottom seam is sealed with potter's clay. (i have to confess at this point that when i went to get my notes to make sure that I have detailed accurate info they seem to have disappeared. and i am afraid that means that one of the dogs got back at me for being gone all day. damnit! so i'll do the best i can and send a request for another copy of the notes.)

like so many processes, mixing solution a with solution b is what causes things to happen. this is sue mixing the mold material. "a" is a different color than "b", so you can tell when it is mixed- and it must be thoroughly blended. harder than it sounds.

the instructions said to bring something small- 4x4 inches or less- to make a mold of. miss literal thought that meant one thing- i brought 3 hoping that one of them would work. many of my fellow students brought baggies full of small items- which was a better idea. some of the items were complex, some bulky, so we got to see the challenges with different shapes & how to work those out. the molds capture an amazing amount of detail, and with care and a bit of ingenuity all sorts of items can be used.

i am kind of short on imagination, however, so i brought a shell, a wishbone & 1/2 of a walnut. waiting here to be drowned in rubber.

here's pam pouring the rubber molding material over some of her items.

me pulling the seashell out after the mold cured. we used student grade product, which cures fast (if i had my notes i could be more specific. not like half an hour fast, but not 2 hours long) but isn't terribly durable.

mixing the resin also involves "a" and "b" to create the chemical reaction. differences in the resin include curing times (some really quick, some really slow) and color (transparent, tinted, opaque). colors can be added at different steps to create different effects- if you add to solution "b" before mixing it with "a" it is different from adding color once the mold is poured.

the quick drying resin dries really quick- waiting too long gets you something like this. it heats up when the chemical reaction starts, and that's when it's time to start pouring.

here is a resin cast made from my mold. cool, huh? i added the red after it was poured by dropping some pigment on a skewer & swooshing it around.

some of the other creations-

it was a great day and generated lots of ideas. i want to pour resin over my mixed media, to play with transfers and pours over photographs, to experiment with making textured pieces and rubbing paint and glazes into them to bring out the texture. yep, it could get scary!