Thursday, November 4, 2010
Spent part of today listing items in my new ArtFire studio to try and broaden my internet presence as an online artist. The above photo, Dawn Kindling, was the one I chose to focus on and upload to ArtFire. This photo was taken on Kelleys Island looking out across Lake Erie.
Soon after I finished uploading the photo, a coincidence two years in the making happened. Back in the fall of 2008, a lady from a publishing house contacted me to ask permission to use Dawn Kindling in a textbook meant for young adults. As my payment I would receive a free copy of the book with my name listed on the Photo Credits page.
The book arrived in the mail today. It's called "La Salle - French Explorer of the Mississippi" by David Aretha. It's part of a series called Great Explorers of the World. My photo Dawn Kindling is spread across two pages and in the lower right corner of the image is an old-fashioned-looking paper scroll with the caption: "La Salle was the first European to cross the Great Lakes by ship. The first of the lakes that the Griffon crossed was Lake Erie."
Here's a link to the book on Amazon.com:
La Salle - French Explorer of the Mississippi
And so I'm published! Life is full of surprises!
Anyone else have a nice surprise that makes you smile? You're very welcome to comment and share ...
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Adventurers who follow the yellow brick road towards their dreams are seen as bucking the system. Most people who go through the educational system are pretty much asked to set their entire career path "in stone" with their guidance counselor in middle school or junior high. This leads to things like concrete jungles and paving paradise to put up a parking lot. Students are rewarded for pursuing paths that lead to the typically corporate American Dream of climbing the ladder, and looked down on for specializing in things like industrial arts.
Meanwhile, rumors about budget cuts in schools always seem to appear, threatening to axe art classes altogether. As if art should be considered an expendable extra just because it's "fun." True enough, art has a colorful reputation for daring to be different, breaking established rules, and not always being profitable or utilitarian in the same way as cranking out consumer goods in a factory.
As an artist, the dreams that I have cannot remain contained simply in my imagination. There's that human need for self expression and communication along with my best attempts at the creation of beauty.
"Art for art's sake," as they say.
I only came to discover that I'm an artist just when the economy started to tank. But I was meant to be born and live in these times. Which means I'm meant to use my talents to their fullest in these times. Not "someday." Now!
My recommendation to you as an artist is to go out and chase a few rainbows. Follow the yellow brick road. After all, if you're a photographer like me, the trip through Oz should make for some great photo opportunities! :-)
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
This summer has been so absolutely crazy that I was not even able to manage a post about being one of the artists participating in the 74th National Midyear Show at the Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, Ohio. Until now that the exhibit is over. In any case, I was extraordinarily grateful to be included in this national juried event, and hope to return next year too.
Being the Queen of Narnia means finding summers harsh and best left forgotten in anticipation of autumn and finally winter. The dropping temperatures seem to help bring improved health and a better mood. Yes, I'm already thinking snow! :-)
I say, though, this past Sunday I had an experience worthy of note involving a son of Adam and a daughter of Eve.
Sunday I found myself in a fancy Italian restaurant, mulling over life with its most recent summer adventures, waiting to order Veal Tosca with Spaghetti. Long story short, an anonymous couple paid for my meal.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Before the show, I made sure to dab on some Emerald City perfume that my best friend had bought for me several months ago. Simply because for some time now, it seems that Wizard of Oz coincidences tend to happen along with art happenings that I'm involved in.
The above photo was on exhibit at the Porter Public Library.
And I have another small instance of this to document here in my blog. In the library we assembled in a room where you could partake of refreshments, enjoy a Powerpoint slide presentation of the artwork if you had trouble getting around or wanted to save yourself from a lot of walking, watch a portrait painter and a watercolorist at work, and listen to a piano player.
Well of course, one of the piano player's songs turned out to be "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." It was a personally touching moment. Just wanted to share ...
The above photo was on exhibit at the Porter Public Library.
As the weather turns cooler, I expect to be hanging around my blog ... and your blogs, more. It's been a real crazy summer. I'm looking forward to autumn ... and of course, winter.
It will be good to visit everybody's blogs again.
Friday, June 4, 2010
There's some small furry water animal that lives in the Dreamkeeper Pond. I think it may be a muskrat. It likes to play hide and seek with me at sunset, surfacing, diving, sending up bubbles from underwater. The Dreamkeeper Pond is one of my favorite haunts in Northeast Ohio. Apparently, this elusive little critter feels the same.
I've been doing a lot of running around lately, from the Wiegand's Lake Park Memorial Day Open House and Market to visiting the Cleveland Metroparks to dropping off artwork at a gallery for a show that will open later this month. This weekend I'll be on the road yet again, planning to visit relatives.
But don't worry ... Just like the muskrat, I'll be around. :-)
Monday, May 17, 2010
The above photo is called "Upward Bound." It was taken on my nature walk yesterday at the Rocky River Reservation, one of the Cleveland Metroparks in Northeast Ohio. And on the celebration of the Feast of the Ascension, which seems fitting.
The one tree in front looks like it's about to awaken and start walking, just like an Ent going to an Entmoot in Fangorn Forest of Middle Earth, or mayhap searching for an Entwife, since it's springtime.
Climbing towards beauty, truth, and goodness is the adventure of a lifetime ... and beyond.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
On my arrival at Painted Valley Farm Bed & Breakfast, the innkeeper Luanne invited me to join her for dinner in town and then to go out for a country joyride in her van. Her husband was going bowling that night and she had always been curious as to how exactly I went about getting photos. I was happy for the company, especially as Luanne pointed out valuable scenery that I would have otherwise missed. The cabin and root cellar, for instance. I would have driven right by both!
First thing Luanne learned was that I do not just take one shot and leave. I stand there and snap away, a dozen, two dozen shots of the same subject, from slightly different angles, hoping that one of the shots will turn out decent. She was patient and also graciously volunteered to stop the van whenever I saw something worthy of a picture.
Root Cellar on Narrows Road -- This was Luanne's favorite find. Thanks to her, I learned what a root cellar looks like. It had been filled in so neighborhood children wouldn't fall in and get hurt.
After our stop along the roadside woods, we continued on our adventurous journey. Stopped in briefly to chat with Luanne's Amish neighbors. It was nice visiting a place where the music was provided by the family parakeet rather than radio or TV, and the conversation was quiet, simple, and friendly. I would just love to live in surroundings like this.
Wild Mustard along Macedonia Road -- Had been at this spot before a couple years back, but preferred the lighting on this particular evening.
'56 Chevy -- "Oh, CountryDreaming? Here's a sight that means something to me, but may not to you. It's a '56 Chevy." Luanne glanced nostalgically out the window.
"Turn around, there are people who really like old cars parked up on lawns."
"But look at everything else there on the lawn ... "
"That just adds to the atmosphere." Watching and listening for pit bulls or other watch dogs, I got out of the van and snapped a memory.
Windshield Wonderment -- After getting back in the van from photographing the Chevy, I swung my camera around to see the results but discovered to my amazement that I'd left it on in Landscape mode. This sight above greeted me through the camera aimed through the windshield and I gasped. Luanne started the engine and was just starting to move when I yelled out, "STOP THE CAR ... STOP THE CAR !!!"
"What, right here?"
"Don't you want to get out?"
Luanne stopped, bemused at the method to my madness, while I was grateful for her patience. She wondered why I was taking pictures of treetops through dusty glass, but fully understood once I showed her the results.
While I still miss the wondrous redbuds of yesteryear, I guess there are other things to see ...
Monday, April 26, 2010
The vendor, an old hippie with a white beard and a long gray ponytail who sold metal lawn ornaments such as buzzards, sharks, and wine holders, laughed a loud geezerly laugh. "That's Jerusalem Artichoke!"
"Um, what's that? Is there any special meaning behind Jerusalem Artichoke?"
The vendor got a strange expression on his face like he didn't want to hurt my feelings. Seeing that my curiosity wasn't going to just go away, he almost blushed. "They're weeds."
As he walked away I thought to myself how amazing it was that the eye of an artist could transform what others saw as a weed into a magnificently wondrous flower from a realm existing over the rainbow.
Then it was time to close down for the night, to start all over again on Sunday morning. And here I was, needing to get to Mass. I had tracked down a church in a nearby city and went there Saturday evening. Posted on the bulletin board was a display featuring the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit. One of the posters was marked "Awe and Wonder" and featured a picture of Niagrara Falls, ... complete with a rainbow. Another poster was marked "Courage" and featured, of all things, a picture of the Cowardly Lion receiving a medal. Looked like I had found the right church!
Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny, and I was walking to the Rocky River Nature Center for the second day of the art show sponsored by the Cleveland Metroparks. I first heard singing and then saw ... a happy little bluebird fly ... for real. So of course that got me thinking of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
The matted photo of Oz, since it had now become slightly embarrassing, was left to sit at the very bottom of the stack, hidden and out of sight. Until Sunday afternoon, when an art major sifted through each and every picture until she came face to face with Munchkinland in all its glory with the Jerusalem Artichoke in full bloom. I described to this kind and smiling lady about how the photo had been taken on the 70th anniversary of the Wizard of Oz, and she replied, "Yes, I see it. Isn't the eye of an artist amazing?"
After the show, I looked up "Jerusalem Artichoke" on Google. According to Wikipedia, it's a species of sunflower with an edible tuber that can be used as a root vegetable. It was also part of a pyramid scheme in the Midwest in the 1980's when speculators encouraged farmers to plant it, promising that this vegetable would soon become one of America's favorites.
What can I say? Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain ...
Monday, April 19, 2010
Every spring since I first started going down to the Hocking Hills of Southern Ohio, I've gone in search of the perfect redbud tree. And every spring is different. Even the same trees look different from year to year. And the feel of the air, whether it be a misty pastel oil painting or a joyously crisp warm sunshine blue. And the touch of light or shadow.
Then you realize that you are actually on a quest to dream the impossible dream, because what you are after is the memory of a moment in time whose proof physically exists only in the photos you took back then. That the road goes ever on and on ... and not back, because even though you try to go back, you are going forward in time. Such that past memory clashes with future vision in the present to form a double exposure of things as they currently are against a backdrop of things as you wanted them to be.
Last year my search led me to a dogwood tree instead.
This year is leading so far to questions. Should I drive allll the way down to the Hocking Hills on a round trip hundreds of miles long just to return to my favorite haunts where I know the redbud trees will appear however unfamiliarly? Should I even return to my beloved bed and breakfast for the occasion? (In any case, I would love to go any time of year even without an occasion just to visit the innkeepers who really do treat me like family after all these years.) Should I return to the region but purposely avoid the beckoning "tried and true" for a random roll of the dice on unknown roads? Or travel somewhere I have yet to have an inkling of?
Questions for Readers: Do you prefer vacation trips to the same well-loved places every year, or to explore something completely new? Wherever you go, do you have traditions you like to keep or things you like to see? Where would you go again wishing to find it the same as you left it before?
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Came across an engraved brass cigarette lighter, too.
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Horses grazed in a nearby pasture. One in particular came and stood patiently for me to get a picture. Needing to be brushed and dried with a towel, but still so cute. I simply named this one "Friend."
May everyone here have a Happy and Blessed Easter!
Monday, March 15, 2010
"I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems."
~~ Fireflies lyrics, Owl City
by Songwriter Adam Young
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Interesting tidbit to keep in mind about following your heart when you create, and creating what you love. Artists were allowed to submit two works to this show. So I submitted this winter scene out of sentimentality for my favorite season, as befitting a self-proclaimed Queen of Narnia. And then I submitted another piece which was a more modern abstract that I hoped would impress the gallery. Funny thing ... BAYarts chose the one I love and rejected the one I thought they might like.
The art show runs from March 12 through April 3, 2010. Opening reception is March 12 from 7 - 9 pm. Normally I would post a link to the gallery, however the website is undergoing renovation as far as I know. So instead I'll post the address:
28795 Lake Road
Bay Village, Ohio 44140
Monday, March 8, 2010
The heat from the rising fire was so intense I thought my camera would melt. It sort of jumped around in my hands trying to focus on the light.
A wisp of hibachi smoke in jade green curled its way through the air, rich with the smell of delicious cooking. While this photo was taken years ago, I just came up with this particular rendering of it days ago. In reality, the atmosphere was smoky gray.
Now when you have hibachi cooking in a Japanese restaurant, they like to seat large groups at each table. Singles like me they simply add to an already-formed group of people.
The unknown man next to me was friendly so we struck up a conversation. Never would have guessed, but he was a lottery winner ... of quite a large sum of money. Told me he'd been in a lottery pool of nine people at work and had split the money. Out of the nine, only one had retired from his job to live off his winnings. The other eight kept the normal rhythm of their day jobs and quietly continued going about their regular daily lives.
It might have been that everyone seated around the hibachi grill with me was a lottery winner or somehow connected except for me. That said, the fiery feast with flames leaping up was what attracted the most attention on the surface, and everyone liked it that way. To merely enjoy the simple things of life.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
J.R. Sell also has a blog over at http://www.jrsell.com/blog/ ...
feel free to take a look at all his fine artwork.
The Blue Bridge is just fabulous. I was comparing it with my original photo and the secondary painterly version I came up with in Photoshop. I just love J.R. Sell's version with its tints and spaciousness, and the way he was able to see beneath the surface of the snow to the rocks below. Having been there in the springtime and seen those rocks in person, I know he did an amazing job of getting them how they look. The true sense of the waterfall really comes through too.
For comparison, here's the original Hemlock Creek Bridge photo:
I've really appreciated having the opportunity to work together with J.R. Sell and hope to do so again someday in the future.
Monday, March 1, 2010
They say March comes in like a lion. So today I will bronze what winter remains, to keep as a treasure.
Friday, February 26, 2010
In the midst of this whirling snowstorm, glowing background trees hint at things beyond my realm, with perhaps change to come. One never quite knows, with Aslan moving about. This pool of water near the Wood Between the Worlds holds in its waters the colors of Earth. The bridge beckons to other adventures, in whichever direction you go.
Meanwhile, I will enjoy this moment while it's still winter ...
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Even in the deepest darkest winter, there are hints of light and beauty. These glinting hints reflect in the sky, from snow-covered rooftops, from finely-curving snowdrifts covering a sleeping land. An invitation to dream ...
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
From the Encyclopedia of Arda:
"In the distant north of Middle-earth, between the far reaches of the Blue and the Misty Mountains, lay a wide icy bay of the Great Sea. This was the mighty Icebay of Forochel (the name Forochel means 'northern ice'), which extended far into the coldest regions of the north of Arda. To the north and west, the bay was sheltered from the Sea by the curve of the Cape of Forochel."
"The hardy and secretive Men who lived among the snow and ice that surrounded the Icebay of Forochel. They were said to have been descended from the ancient Forodwaith, and had habits that seemed strange and mysterious to those who lived in warmer climes. The igloos, skates and sleds they used were incomprehensible to the Hobbits, so that the authors of the Red Book's1 commentaries could only say of the Snowmen that they, '...house in the snow, and it is said that they can run on the ice with bones on their feet, and have carts without wheels.' "
Saturday, February 20, 2010
During the summer months, you get all kinds of people hanging out to enjoy the sunset. People who:
- have just come from a good meal inside,
- are driving by who stop their cars and sit in the parking lot,
- bring a blanket to lounge on the sloping hill,
- bring their kids to look at the pond at the bottom of the hill,
- play golf and make life challenging for those of us at the pond trying to take pictures while golf balls go whizzing past our heads (okay, so far that's only happened to me on one memorable day),
- take pictures when no golfers are about,
- enjoy an ice cream cone ... although I'm not sure if ice cream will be sold this summer or not. Here's hoping!
Now that night has fully fallen, I'm home enjoying the quiet with a cup of green jasmine tea and a peaceful and appropriately-scented candle of apple and cinnamon.
Wishing all a cozy winter weekend ...
Thursday, February 18, 2010
It was suggested that a softer version of this image would make a nice design for a business card background, so I had some professionally made. It's thanks to this business card that I've ended up as a featured artist at the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center in Niagara Falls, NY. I had left a supply of business cards in a display rack at the Market Street Art Center in neighboring Lockport, NY. Someone from Niagara Falls picked up a business card in Lockport so I'm now happily affiliated with both galleries!
One cool thing I've noticed is how different people perceive color based on how they react to the card. One person called it pink, another called it blue, and to me it looks mostly orange. I wonder what that says about the personality of each beholder? In the softer version not shown here, I can agree that much of the orange is faded down into shades of pink. But what fascinates me even more than the color issue itself is how people can look at the same thing and reach very different conclusions.
Anyone else have a business card success story to share? Or maybe a story of how you created your art seeing one thing, only to have other people tell you they saw something else? Please feel welcome to share your insights, adventures, and experiences.
Monday, February 15, 2010
On Friday, February 12th I drove up to the Niagara Arts and Cultural Center in Niagara Falls, NY. The Niagara Arts and Cultural Center is hosting a Women in the Arts Exhibition: Celebrating Women’s History Month "When All the Artists are Women" from February 12, 2010 through March 21, 2010. Four of my photos are on display at this exhibit.
Seeing the ruby slippers was so stunning I was stopped in my tracks. The slippers, by the way, are the work of Dawn Exton and bear the title, "It's Miss Oz to You." For the tidy sum of $1,000, they can be yours. They're made from leather pumps, steel, silicone, and paint. Methinks I'll pass, if only for the reason that my handmade wool green Emerald City Socks are far more comfortable than these spiny slippers look!
For the record, here's a link to the Emerald City Socks.
You know, I'm glad I've started documenting these Wizard of Oz coincidences in my blog. Otherwise, who'd believe it? And who knew this kind of zany X-Files experience would happen so frequently? And who knows where it all may lead, and what new adventure is just ahead along the yellow brick road?
Forget the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man. I want Mulder and Scully on the case. Now!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Personally, I think there's some mistake, as a Cleveland winter is normally absolutely gorgeous. What the editors of Forbes * really * meant to say was that Cleveland is absolutely at the top when it comes to the best winter weather ever!
The crazy thing to me about the Forbes list is that Buffalo, NY of Blizzard of '77 fame didn't even make the top ten. Wow. I grew up in the Buffalo area, which more than likely gave me a lifelong fondness for snow.
So how do you feel about the Forbes "America's Worst Winter Weather Cities" list? Is your city there? Does it deserve to be? Do you like the weather where you live?
Enquiring minds wanna know ...
Monday, February 8, 2010
Saturday, February 6, 2010
First you have the official Notre Dame Right to Life banner complete with the university logo and the phrase "fightin' for life." Approaching in the background you have a banner that reads, "Father Jenkins: Free the Notre Dame 88."
Who are the Notre Dame 88? A group of pro-lifers arrested on the Notre Dame University campus for peacefully protesting President Obama's presence at last year's commencement. Among those arrested was an elderly Catholic priest named Father Norman Weslin.
Who is Father Jenkins? Father Jenkins is himself a Catholic priest and the President of Notre Dame who bestowed an award on pro-choice President Obama at the commencement. Father Jenkins will not drop the charges against the Notre Dame 88. And Father Jenkins attended the March for Life!
Those interested in more information on Father Jenkins and the Notre Dame 88 may read the latest article on LifeSiteNews at the link below.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Franciscan University of Steubenville.
Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.
The final installment of this March for Life series will be the next post, on Notre Dame.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Sometimes, unspoken words speak the loudest.
Another powerful witness.
Also pictured in the same photo above is a banner from Saint Francis University. The colleges did themselves proud ... there was quite a good turnout of students. My next blog post will feature a bunch of other colleges and universities in attendance at the March for Life. Notre Dame will not be included in the next blog post but will instead be featured separately.
Friday, January 29, 2010
Three nuns representing Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate, Monroe NY carry a sign showing Pope Benedict with some children and the words "Hope and Trust in Life."
Images of the Divine Mercy and Our Lady of Guadalupe are carried during the march.
Next up in this series of blog entries on the March for Life January 2010 will be a feature on outstanding signs and banners. There were definitely a lot to choose from.