Monday, March 31, 2014

More Thoughts About Life

So, here are a few more thoughts about life, illustrated by some wonderful flowers that I had the good sense to capture with my camera...

Isn't this quote the truth?  Let's not forget to live each day fully.  Life is far too short (no matter how long we live) to not truly make the most of what time we have.

I love this quote.  As kids, we often try to be like someone else - I guess, sort of trying on different personalities to see which suits us best.  But, we shouldn't ever forget that each of us is uniquely us and enjoy being that special person.

And the last illustrated quote I'll leave you with is this.  Don't waste another moment if you don't like your life right now.  Act to make it better, and more true to you.

Thoughts About Life

The flowers from the other day were just too beautiful to not play with in my photo post-processing, just to make them more artful.  I was also thinking about life in general, and decided to add some quotes.....

I've had people say to me over the last few years that I am living the dream.  I am, for me.  However, everyone's life is a dream if we realize it and cherish it.

The other thing I've realized about life is that we get so many chances to change it.  Emerson calls them experiments - I guess that's another word for chances.

This is such an important question to ask ourselves periodically.  Because, if we aren't satisfied, experiment!

Isn't this thought the truth?  How many people do you know that simply go thru life, without much thought about it.  It's like they're not really participating in their own lives. 
More thoughts to come - enjoy! 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Pastel Sunrise

What a beautiful sunrise this morning!

It's not often that we have a pastel sunrise - most of ours are more brilliant than one could call pastel.  However, this morning, it was such a gentle sunrise.  I can resist sharing!  Please click on the image above to see the birds that were singing in the tree.  You'll have to look closely!

With the birds chirping me on (as opposed to cheering), I shot more great pastel sunrise images.  I just love the light feel of this - very spring like!

This was so unexpected, I just savored  every moment of this sunrise.  As I stood there, I just couldn't imagine living a better life than this!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Retirement - A Reflection

Yesterday was my last official work day after 25 years at one company - wow!  Kind of amazing to think about that.  

In all those years, there have certainly been bad times as well as good, and I'm happy to say that the good times out numbered the bad, and the bad times taught me some very valuable lessons.

You can only imagine how many different people I met in those 25 years.  Again, I'm happy to be able to say that a vast majority of folks were great to work with, and those that weren't.......well, I've always been taught to be tactful, so we'll leave it at that!  (tee,hee!)

One interesting thing that I've noticed about the past 25 years.....I've pretty much not done any job that one could train for or for which a specific degree was required.  In fact, on more than one occasion, the job that I held didn't exist before I held it.  I have to admit, it was fun to be somewhat of a ground breaker!

You may be wondering what these lovely flowers have to do with this reflection on a working life.  Well, my wonderful most recent boss gave me these flowers as I was leaving.  They are from the entire team, but I think she picked them out alone, and they are beautiful!
Thanks to everyone for a wonderful working life!

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Love - Pan Pastels !

I just discovered a new tool for my art - Pan Pastels!  They come as a powder in a small plastic tub.  Apply them with a cosmetic sponge, and then I "set" them with some gel medium (I use gloss) - light touch on the brush.  I played around with creating a few ATCs using the Pan Pastels in slightly different ways.....

For the above ATC, I applied 2-3 different, but complimentary colors as a background.  I think I used blue, teal and a sort of brown to add depth.  I then applied a tissue with a bird on it, and then stamped a marble effect stamp around the edges.

For this second ATC, I first put down a bit of text (Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem), and then used a couple of Pan Pastel colors - I think teal and yellow - again, "set" with gel medium.  I then laid down a napkin with a rose design on it, and finished it off with a stencil of some leaves, using the teal Pan Pastel to fill in the stencil.  "Set" everything with a final coat of gel medium.

Again, I used a few colors for the background (gold, brown and I think teal) "set" with the gel medium.  I applied tissue with another bird design on it, and then applied some more of the brown color around the edges of the tissue, to add depth.  "Set" it with the gel medium and call it done!

For this last piece, I used a few colors for the background (red and yellow), "set" it, and then put down some torn music text.  I applied some yellow, "set" that, applied a napkin that has poppies on it, and then again applied some yellow, just to add a bit of highlight (don't forget to "set" it!).

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Windows to the Soul......and a Tree !

This will be my final Stanley post for this trip.  Now, the focus will be on the windows - take a look!

I'm really not certain if this is a long window, or a door that had the steps that led to it disintegrate.  I'm choosing to call this a window.  This building did have some long windows and doors, so maybe very tall people once lived here.  Still, I love the look of the wood of this building.

As I was wandering around this little deserted community, I noticed that the window of this building nicely framed the church steeple down the road a bit.  By the way, the town of Stanley is still occupied - just this one little section of buildings were deserted.....of course, there's really not all that much to Stanley anyway, and these deserted buildings make up about half the buildings in town!

This is a bit of a distanced view of this window, but I loved the little rickety gate open for visitors, so I included the broader shot of this window.  It's kind of funny - the gate's here, but the fence seems to be mostly gone...

This building had not only a cool view inside thru the upstairs window (a new roof is definitely in order), but check out the texture of the outside walls of this home.  I thought it was very neat, and not something I've seen before.

And, here's the tree!  When I was driving to Stanley, I noticed this tree, but wanted to get to the cabins for the sunrise, so I didn't stop then.  However, on the way back home, I did stop to capture this cool tree.  I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that the tree is growing at the angle it is due to the strong winds that blow thru here, especially in the spring!

Doorways to the Past

I'm still in Stanley, and these are the doors that belong to the cabins in my previous post!

I was actually taken with the wood of the cabin in the foreground - neat knotty wood - but then the doorway to another cabin just sort of winks at you from the background.  I like the feel of this image.

I really liked all the textures and lines in this door (above).  I didn't go into any of the cabins even tho some of the doors were open.  The cabins were generally in pretty bad shape, and I didn't think any were structurally safe.  Look great from the outside, tho!

This image is a closer view of the door that you see in the background of the first image in this post.  It's actually in the same building as the above door.  I'm not certain if this building was home to 2 families or if it was just a building with 2 doors, different, but equally cool.

This door was really appealing to me because of the very southwest architecture of the wood beams above the door.  I loved the peeling of the outside finish of the building and how it frames the door, too.

This final image is of a door knob to one of the doors.  I really loved the look of the metal of the door knob in the texture of the different types of wood surrounding it.

The Cabins of Stanley

Last weekend, I noticed some deserted cabins as I drove thru the tiny town of Stanley, NM, about 20 minutes from our home.  This morning, I decided to drive back there and photograph the cabins.  Meet the cabins of Stanley.....

The above building was an adobe and just warmed as the morning sun hit it.  Can't you just imagine sitting inside enjoying morning coffee?

This little cabin was sort of off to the side and all that's left of the roof are the slats you can see the sun shining thru.  This little place was definitely tiny.

Here are 2 images (above and below) of the same little house, with 2 different effects.  The softer image (above) has a painting effect applied.  The one below was put thru my HDR software - I love the way the sun's rays are highlighted in this image.

The above image includes the building from the 2 previous images and one that was right next door.  Again, I just love the way they look during this sunrise.

And, finally, here's one that was closest to the road.  For some reason, the wood window frame leaning on the side of the cabin really appealed to me.  Or, at least, I think it's an old window frame!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

To Begin

Here are more images from yesterday morning's sunrise.  I added quotes involving the idea of beginning to these and played with some of them to create a painting or drawing type effect.  I'll let the images (and quotes) speak for themselves.  You'll probably need to click on each image to read the quote.


Begin the Day

As I sit here in bed watching today's rather gloomy start to the day, I decided to process the images I shot of yesterday's beginning of the day.  Once again, I was out there in my PJ's and robe - good thing we live in New Mexico where quirkiness is seen as "normal" !

I really liked the above image - it reminded me of people waking up, slowing getting the coffee started and perhaps thinking about what the day would bring.  (You may need to click on the image to see the houses at the bottom of the image.)

Two of my favorite subjects (when they cooperate with me!) are our friends' horse, Patches and Jazz.  They were up to see the sunrise and Patches, at least, seemed to enjoy watching me wander about getting shots.  Or, maybe he was hoping I'd feed him breakfast?

The sun was rather brilliant in this image.  I just loved the silhouette the trees in winter created.  It was amazing that all of the images were shot within minutes of each other - depending on where I looked in the sky, I had different light, color and feel to this sunrise.

Here's another great shot that really conveys the sense of big sky that we have here.  The sunrise and clouds just seem to go on and on and on.

Isn't it cool the way the clouds just seem to hang over the mountains?  I also love the play of color in the sky, on the clouds and under them.

The feeling I get from this image is that the morning is just creeping on in!  There's no escaping it - the light will get you!