Monday, December 31, 2012

Morning Snow in New Mexico

This morning, I pulled open the pleated shades in the great room, expecting to enjoy the morning sunrise.  However, a New Mexico winter snow storm greeted me instead.  I decided to document how quickly winter storms can come and go here!

These first photos were taken as the snow was falling - big flakes coming down quickly!  The above photo makes summer seem so far away.

I do like the above image because I like the look of the snow on the branches of the shrub in our front yard.

These pine trees are right outside the door from our bedroom to the back patio (and hot tub).  I took a close up because it creates the impression of being in a bit of a piney wood.

An hour or so later, the snowy part of the storm began to lift.  I really like the image above - so much to see in one image, and the weather creates the effect of natural layers.

I included this image so you get an idea of how windy it was as the storm blew away.  Check out the wind sock!  Our little yard art of two kitties flying planes (lower left hand corner) were really moving, altho you can't tell that from this photo.

And, just a short time after that, the storm was gone!  The above photo is the same as the photo two photos up.  We have our beautiful blue skies are back!

In this photo, you can see the last remnants of the clouds that were overhead just a short time ago.  And, even with all that snow blowing around, the amount that actually stuck on the ground is really very little.  Here's hoping the rest of this New Year's Eve day remains this clear!


Location, Location ATCs

I just completed some ATCs for a swap, and thought I'd share!  The theme of the swap was location and each participant was to create ATCs based on where they lived - state, province, country, etc.  US participants were specifically asked to focus on the state where they lived.  We were also to alter playing cards for this swap. I thought this was a great opportunity to show off New Mexico.  I'm always amazed by the number of folks think there is nothing to do here!  The following are only a few of the amazing things about New Mexico -

The above piece has a photo I took at the Bosque Del Apache.  Every fall, migrating sandhill cranes and snow geese make this their temporary home.  There are thousands of them, and watching them take off in the morning and return each evening is truly spectacular!  The photo I used was one of some sandhill cranes returning to the Bosque at sunset.

New Mexico is also home to many, many deserted cabins.  They sort of dot the landscape.  The photo that I used in the above ATC was of a cabin on a road about 5-10 minutes from our home.  I got up early one winter morning and drove there to catch it in the sunrise.  I had to do this during the winter as that's the only time of year the sun is positioned in the right place to have the sunrise happen behind the cabin.  The last time I drove by this cabin, it seemed to be surrendering to the elements.  I'm not certain how much longer it will be here, so I'm glad I left my warm bed and captured it when I did!

One time when we were camping, we explored the San Lorenzo Canyon. We found this wonderful place with very narrow sandy roads weaving their way thru the rock formations.  This is not a place that one would want to be during a summer monsoon storm, tho.  The "roads" tend to become "streams" during those times.  However, this was during the month of November, so we were pretty certain we had nothing to fear.

This last ATC was based on an image of the effects of the wildfires we can have here during the spring/summer months.  Unfortunately, due to the lack of rain/snow fall we have here, the forests are ripe for wildfires - some started by natural causes (lighting strikes) and others by careless humans.  The image that the ATC was based on was of a sunset taken thru the haze of a huge wildfire we had here last spring.  Ironically, we had been camping fairly close to where this fire started only a couple of days before it erupted.  Altho the fire itself was a couple of hundred miles from our home (where this photo was taken), the smoke carried up throughout a large part of New Mexico.  I guess you could say impressive and beautiful sunsets are one of the few pieces of silver lining to the awfulness (is that a word?) of wildfires.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Artist Arches ATCs

For this ATC swap, the theme was to have the ATC be in the shape of an arch of some sort, and have the word "art" reflected in the piece.  I enjoyed this challenge, and thought I'd share some results!

The above piece has the word "art" spelled out in some artistic stamps that I found.  They aren't real postage stamps, just sort of art stamps.  The background of the piece is layers of paint over an aerial map - an old one that Jeff doesn't use any longer!  I also added some rubber stamped images on it. 

This piece used book pages as the background, with paint and a marble effect rubber stamp over it.  I then used a scrap piece of handmade paper, stamped with the word "art" and a butterfly image to complete the piece.

This piece has sheet music covered by paint and rubber stamps as the background.  Again, I used a piece of handmade paper stamped with the words "primitive art".  The image of the woman reminded me of the type of art that seems somewhat primitive, kind of like a Grandma Moses type of art.

And, finally this piece speaks to the supplies we need to create art.  Again, book pages covered with paint and some circles stamped from using an old pill bottle make up the background.  The image of used crayons speak to how most of our supplies look after a while!


Winter Themed Found Poetry ATCs

I just completed an ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap that I really enjoyed!  The stated theme for the swap was "winter themed found poetry".  Found poetry is basically poetry that one creates by using words and phrases found in books.  I use book pages that I've removed from books that I've altered.  It's always interesting to see how the words and phrases sort of "grab" you and somehow just manage to come together!  Each of the pieces has paint as the background - white, with silver sort of wiped over that (with a baby wipe) and then stamped images of snowflakes and occasionally a punched snowflake.  I wanted to create the feeling of a winter snow storm as the background for these.

For the above piece, I used a transparency on which I stamped the image of the face.  She has sort of a dreamy, private feel to her, and that type of persona seems to sometimes just generate rumors and negative thoughts among certain folks.  The phrases I found just seemed to fit that overall feeling.  Somehow, I like to think she rises above all of that.

What is winter without the Christmas holidays (or whatever holiday you celebrate)?  For this piece, I again used a piece of transparency stamped with an image of a face.  This time, I colored in her eye and her lips - after all, she is at a holiday party (in my imagination)!  I then found these phrases that just sort of created the feeling of her standing back at the party and reflecting on all the other people there enjoying themselves, and thinking about what she'd like to have happen.

There was something about this young man that appealed to me.  He seems to be sort of interested and up for some sort of new adventure, but hesitant just the same.  The phrases seemed to fit, altho I have to wonder what the question was that created those possible answers.  The bird just seemed to add the perfect touch, like he represents us, an audience watching the next installment of this young man's life unfold!

This final piece reminded me of those times, either as a child or an adult, when I would be standing by a window, watching what was going on outside - a sort of invisible all-seeing eye, in a way.  The reference to "silence" also reminds me of how muffled everything sounds right after a snow storm, as if Nature is just telling us to "hush".


Mixed Media Mini Art

Here's a new idea that I tried initially to submit a Readers' Challenge to Cloth, Paper, Scissors magazine for possible publication (still haven't heard if my piece is selected).  It gave me the idea to take the idea I had for note cards, and use that idea on mini-canvases.  These are the results of that exploration, and were Christmas presents for some friends this Christmas.

The above piece is based on a photograph that I took of a lily in our front garden this past summer.  I used PhotoShop Elements 10 to enhance the image so that it looks more like a painting that a photo.  The background of the piece is a couple of layers of paint in a color complementary to the photo.  I then added some handmade paper, and other decorative paper to slightly contrast the color palette, and added the word "Live".  My feeling is that we should all strive to truly live each day of our lives, and not let life pass us by while we are unthinking passengers.

This piece speaks to me in terms of reminding me to be fully present every day.  The bright yellow flowers were taken this past summer when we were in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.  It would have been very easy for me to miss these beautiful blooms, given all the beautiful blooms in that area of Victoria. However, slowing down and looking down showed me these wonderful treasures.  Again, I added handmade and decorative paper to complement/contrast the basic palette of the piece.  Ribbon is added around the edges of each piece, which you couldn't really see in the first piece, but is more noticeable in this piece.  And, the word "Be" speaks to being present. 

There was something about this fern leaf that reached out and touched me when I saw it.  We were in Juneau, and had ridden the tram there up to the top of the mountain immediately next to the city.  Atop the mountain was a rain forest with a path winding thru it.  This fern was one of several photos I took up there, but it just sort of spoke to me as being the best image to use for this piece.  I love the fact that the handmade paper I chose to complement it has a leaf embedded in it that seems to echo the image.

This final piece uses a digital collage that I created as it's theme.  I love the image of the little girl and there is some handwritten paper in the background of the piece.  The autumn leaves reflect the coloring of the little girl, and the original title of the digital collage piece was "Someday I'll Write".  I decided to stick with that title and used the word "Someday" for this piece.  The snippet of handmade paper with handwriting stamped on it echoes the handwriting in the digital collage and the decorative paper is in keeping with the color palette.  The little piece of ephemera I added to the piece is not a feather, altho it sort of looks like one here.  It's actually a piece of sort of fuzzy ribbon that I thought added just the right touch.  I really like the sort of whimsical dreamy feel of this piece.



Welcome to my new blog!  This blog reflects the name and look that I feel is closer to what I am currently doing and what I will be doing in the future.  Of course, photography and mixed media collage will be the primary focus of this blog.  However, who knows what new art media I may discover and what paths my current (and yet to be discovered) art will take me down.  In any event, I hope you enjoy the new look and new art that will be on these posts!