Friday, December 27, 2013

December Musings

Here are a few images that I created over the past month......

I took the above image the day I shot the deserted cabin.  The moon looked so mysterious with the clouds wisping by...and then I found the quote! 

The next 2 images (above and below) were shot just before Christmas.  I loved how the clouds just seemed to roll around and over the mountains.  The gentle colors of the dawn add a very wonderful touch.

And, finally, this bird's nest is in our front yard, in one of the bushy shrubs.  I did play around with this image.  It reminded me of leaving home, and I found this quote that sort of speaks to life.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Digital Collage Pieces - Deserted Cabin Area

Woke up feeling a bit creative this morning and decided to play with the images I shot the other day of the deserted cabin and the area around it.

The above piece is based on the photo I shot of the road and bushy little tree that was next to the cabin.  I started with a Citrasolv background, added a map image, a post card, and Zelda.  She's a vintage image I got from a photo I got off of ebay a few years ago, and is one of my favorites (as you can tell, since I've named her!).  I then sort of blended and merged all the layers for this result. It reminds me of that line from Robert Frost (I believe) - "and miles to go before I sleep".

Whenever I've shot this little cabin, I can't help but wonder about the family who might have lived there at one point.  This piece is meant to capture that sort of nostalgic feeling.  I started this piece with a digital watercolor paint background, added some letter text and an image of a family who may have been like the family who lived there at one time, at least in my imagination.  This piece seems to have a bit of a bittersweet feel to it for me.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Misc Shots from a Great Photo Morning

Here are some other fun shots from a great photo morning!

Here's a shot of the moon in the sky as the morning sun rays are just beginning to light it up - such a pretty blue.  The little red dots on the left side of the image is my car, sitting and running with the heat on so I can periodically warm up!

Love the image of this smaller bushy tree alongside the road.  I played with the colors to really enhance the morning colors.

This image reminds me of cotton candy!  Again, just playing with the colors of the sunrise and the sky.

As I was driving home from my dawn photo op, I just had to pull off on the shoulder of the road to capture the incredible lighting of the clouds in the morning sky.  Is it any wonder why I love living here?

Inspirational Cabin

 I find this cabin so inspirational, I just had to add some quotations to some images of it.

This Robert Frost quote is perfect for this image of the cabin.  Whoever lived here certainly was on the road less traveled by.

And, isn't this quote so true.  Life certainly does go on, regardless of what we do or don't do.  It's a good thought to remember when we get so caught up with things we "must" do for some reason that always seems very important at that point in time.  None of us is really all that important!  Life will go on, with or without us.

This quote really hit home for me.  As I was shooting this image (and unknown to me at this moment), a friend's young daughter, wife and mom to 2 small little boys, had undergone emergency open heart surgery and it was (and still is as I write this) unknown as to whether she would survive.  We should all live every day of our lives as if it's our last, because we truly don't know how long we'll be around.

And, a positive note to end this post with - dreams are wonderful, especially as they can be guides to what our future will be. 

Deserted Cabin

I have loved this deserted cabin since we moved here.  It's on a little country road about 10 minutes from our home.  Whenever I drive by it, I always think I need to photograph it again.  I first photographed it a couple of years ago, but noticed that it is getting closer to completely collapsing (2 walls have already fallen), so I wanted to photograph it at least one more time before it's gone.

I always park off the road in some one's drive into their place and right next to where I park is the fenced in field in which the cabin sits.  The barbed wire fencing adds to the rustic feel of the cabin, with the makings of a lovely sunrise as backdrop.  I can only shoot this cabin at this time of the year to get that great backdrop - in the summer, the sun rises further to the north and it's not nearly as pretty.  So, a few chilly fingers are worth it for these types of images!

I got a bit closer for this image (above) and you can see better the precarious state the cabin is in.  With the tree just outside of it, the character is just so great.  I just love the feel of this place.

For this shot, I walked around to the front of the cabin.  You can see the front door, mostly off its hinges, and the fact that the back wall is totally gone.  Again, the tree in front of the cabin with its bare winter branches really frames this image so well.

For this image, I walked back and took a shot of the entire old homestead.  Again, that sky is the perfect backdrop for this winter morning shot.  The fence and the little country road just bring back feelings of what it must have been like to live out here in years gone by.  If you look closely, you can see a jet contrail in the upper left of the image - however, it sort of looks like a falling star, doesn't it?

For this last image, I crossed the road and stood by the fence on the opposite side.  I transformed this image into a black and white image just to capture more of the feeling of yesterday.  Also, look how alone this little cabin was. 

Moon and Sunrise

Yesterday, just about dawn, I drove to a deserted cabin about 10 minutes or so from home.  I did get some great shots of the cabin (in separate posts), but the unexpected treasures came from the images I was able to capture of the moon in the dark sky and the sunrise over the landscape. (You can click on the images to enlarge them and make the quotes easier to read.)

The above image of the moon with wisps of clouds passing in front of it just seemed to evoke a sense of mystery.  Since I was out there creating images, the quote from Julia Cameron just seemed appropriate for this image.  Surprise was certainly what I felt when I found the moon posing so perfectly for me!

Here's another image from just a few minutes later.  Interesting how much darker the sky seemed to be at this point.  Again, keeping with the mystery theme of this moment, I thought this quote really kind of summed up how people (including me!) often feel about mystery and just the uncertainty of life.

And, finally, the sunrise on the landscape.  When people have asked me how I like living in New Mexico, I will generally tell them that this is the place where I was meant to live.  This quote seems to capture the reason why I feel that way.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Morning Glory

Woke up this morning to this wonderful sunrise - a perfect sunrise in the high desert/mountains ...

It looks like a perfect morning for flying, doesn't it?  The wind sock doesn't look like there's much wind and I think it's in the direction that the runway lies, and that's always good!

Can't wait until Jeff has his new plane built and maybe I can get him to take me for a ride early in the morning so I can be up in the clouds when they are this color!  Somehow, I can't quite see us getting going early enough for this, but I can dream, can't I?

The mountains shown area the San Pedro and probably a bit of the Ortiz Mountains way off in the distance.  At moments like this, I can hardly believe that this is the view from our back patio - who would ever have thought that a kid from Chicago would ever live in a place like this?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Icy Art

This morning, after the snow from yesterday, and with the super cold weather we're now having, there was some lovely icy art that nature created.  Take a look.......

The shrubs above are in our front yard and just seemed to twinkle in the morning sun.  I want to add some red berries to this.....altho the shrubs don't ever have red  berries on them!

This is one reason I don't cut down the bushes that need annual trimming until early spring - I just love the texture and beauty the dried branches can bring to the yard when it snows.

Look at these little icicles on these branches.  It looks so pretty and delicate!  This is another reason I really enjoy when it snows here!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

After the Snow

So, as it turns out, we ended up (officially) with 10 inches of snow as a result of our weekend snow storm!  And, Mother Nature was kind enough to provide some really pretty post-snow images.....

I really loved the look of the one ray of sunlight shining down on the mountain range out off the back of our house right after the snow stopped on Sunday.  This would have been an absolutely perfect shot if only our neighbor's horse (or at least one!) would have been out at the corner of their pen, but, oh, well!  I think it's pretty cool anyway, watching the snow covered mountains trailing off into the horizon.

This is really a different view of the same shot, just zoomed in.  In this one, I again like the feel of the sun on the mountain with the homes in front of the mountain.  It almost feels like Mother Nature is telling everyone things will be ok.

I was driving into the airpark after having been into town (Albuquerque) for a bit yesterday when I noticed how blue the sky was - against the white snow, it just made for one of those images where you can just see how crisp and clean the air was!  No enhancements to the image either - this is the true color!

And, finally, this was yesterday's sunset sky.  It was such a peaceful and gentle sunset, with the colors glowing behind the snowy mountain.  Altho, if you compare this to the above shot, you can see the snow has already started to melt.  Still, there's enough on the ground so that we'll have a snowy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Snow Storm ! (Yipee!)

The snow has arrived!!!   It's our first real snow storm in over a year (never had one last winter) and I am excited!  Of course, by Thanksgiving, it will be 50 and into the mid-50s by next weekend, so this won't last - I'm enjoying it while it's here!  Take a look - 

These are the pine trees just outside the door from our bed/bath to the hot tub.  So pretty!  I may have to play with this image more and maybe it will be next year's Christmas card!

Just past the little bush on the right is the runway of the airport - I don't think anyone will be flying today!  I do love the sort of moody feel to this shot, tho....

I'm looking out our front door....somewhere out there is a path to my studio.  Don't think I'll be visiting there today, tho!  It's a good day to stay inside, watch (or listen) to the Bears or other football games, cross stitch or crochet, and enjoy the roaring fire that I'm sure Jeff will be building later!

I couldn't resist this shot - yes, summer is definitely over and we won't be using the patio table any time soon!  But, the real thing I want you to notice is the rain chain behind it.  No, it wasn't that windy - the chain is frozen that way from the wind blowing over night!  

And, finally, this is a cool shot - our yucca plant is almost buried in the snow!  I'm not sure how much snow has fallen - I'm guessing 4" - 6", but with the wind, there are drifts all over and it's really hard to tell exactly how much has fallen.....and is still falling.  As for me, before I enjoy that fire Jeff will build, I need to go out there and help him with the snow blowing and shoveling!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Misty Morning Before The (Maybe) Storm

The weather guru's are predicting a winter storm for us here in (normally) sunny New Mexico!  I have to admit, after no real winter storm last year, I am hoping for a fabulous wintry storm this weekend.  Whatever happens, it won't last very long!  Still, this morning was really pretty, a misty morning before the storm....

I loved the sort of morning glow of this image, looking toward where the sunrise was happening (behind the cloud bank).  It was so still......

The above shot evoked such a sort of melancholy feeling.  I'm looking directly north from our back patio.  There should be the Santa Fe Mountains out there - I'm sure they're there, just hiding behind the front that is beginning to make its way toward us....

A few minutes later, the sun briefly made an appearance.  The mountain here is "our" mountain, South Mountain.  It's not part of the Santa Fe Mountains (which never appeared all day), and is much closer to us, so it was not overtaken by the storm front yet.  I really love the way a cloud bank is just sort of hanging between the ground and the top of South Mountain.  Hope we get that storm!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Wood Block Houses!

What fun!  I saw similar wood block houses in a creative magazine I subscribe to - and I thought they looked so fun, I had to try my hand at it.  I really like the whimsical feel they have.  

The houses start off as 2' x 4' pieces of wood.  Jeff had a scrap piece laying around the hanger, and cut it up for me.  The base of the house is one piece, and the roof is a similar piece, but cut in half diagonally.

I sanded the blocks a bit and then covered them with various pieces of text and music.  I then painted them with white paint and then wiped it off, to create a sort of whitewash.  I then did the same with various colors.

I then applied some various texture "stamps"  - bubble wrap, the bottom of flip flops, hair comb teeth, etc.!  I also added in some paint swipes of other colors.  (By the way, don't you love the funky shape of this roof?  Jeff thought it was a mistake, but I think it's character!) 

I then added a number of cut-outs, stencils, and drilled some holes in the roofs to add whimsical jeweled mobiles or wind chimes - whatever you want to call them! The icing on the cake are the positive affirmation words used on each house.  I'm thinking of putting them up for sale in my future online shop - what do you think I should call them?  I'm open for ideas!!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Incredible Sunrise !

On this first sunrise of the autumnal equinox, the sunrise was one of the most spectacular that I've seen here in New Mexico!  Take a look - 

At first, I thought the stormy clouds looked interesting as the sun first began to rise......

As the sun rose more, there was a promise of something more spectacular than usual..... 

I love the contrast of cool mist on the mountain top and fiery clouds.  Adding Jazz, our neighbor's horse, to this calm morning scene makes it just about perfect...

I backed out for this shot to capture the enormity of what this very different sunrise looked like, sun against the rolling clouds.....

Here's the last shot, with what I think look like fiery fingers reaching toward the sunrise.  I was truly amazed at this sunrise!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Christmas in October (ATCs)!

It's Christmas in October!  Or, at least Christmas was the theme for this ATC (Artist Trading Card) swap I just completed! 

For all the ATCs I used Christmas carol sheet music as the background.  I then applied torn napkins and some Christmas postage stamps to finish them off.  This first one had Christmas tree ornaments as the theme for the piece.  I really love how the napkins are transparent enough to allow the sheet music to peek thru!

What would Christmas be without Frosty?  He's the theme of this second piece.  I have had some Frosty napkins for the past couple of years just waiting for the perfect time - and that was now!

Finally, I remember those big poinsettia plants around Christmas, and I thought having a big poinsettia napkin on this ATC would be perfect to remind me of those plants!  If you look closely on the stamp, you'll see that it contains greetings from the USPS, too.
Enjoy - catch the holiday spirit early!