Friday, April 28, 2017

Spring at Oak Hill

I was out photographing stones at Oak Hill, and noticed this tree in full blossom, near one of the more impressive obelisks. I snapped this picture, even though I would have preferred a blue sky. Looking now, I like the limited palette of the image, very little color except the green of the grass and new leaves.  Life, returning, as it does each spring.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Fawn, Spotted

I spend lots of time at Oak Hill cemetery, photographing stones for Find a Grave, and planning walking tours for the community.  But sometimes I just sit and watch, and am rewarded with a glimpse from nature.  There is a small herd of deer that lives in the woods at the back of the property, and I got lucky last week and spotted this growing up fawn.  Sometimes that's all it take to make my day.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Japanese Serenity

Recently I took the short drive over to Janesville's Rotary Botanical Gardens. I like visiting early in the season before there are many visitors.  It's quiet then, and I like to sit in the Japanese garden and simply listen to the birds.  The beautiful thing about this part of the garden is that it doesn't depend on much by way of flowers, although some azaleas were in bloom.  Water, rocks, moss, and some neutral colored pots and sculptures makes this part of the garden peaceful.

Peaceful is good.

It's all I have to bring today --
This, and my heart beside--
This, and my heart, and all the fields--
And all the meadows wide--
Be sure you count--should I forget
Some one the sum could tell--
This, and my heart, and all the Bees
Which in the clover dwell.

                              Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


I began this blog a decade ago, when I was inspired by another woman's blog that had one beautiful photo a day.  I took photos of things in my corner of the world, and sometimes added poetry.  Then, over time, I began to concentrate almost exclusively on my art making, and my original intent was mostly pushed aside.

I'm feeling the need to go back to my original intent, at least for a while.  Winter seemed long to me, and I was plagued by nagging illnesses - nothing too awful, but enough to sap my energy and enthusiasm for making art.

So, for now, I want to return to more frequent photos of things I find beautiful in my life. I have a new camera that I really enjoy, so that is part of it. And maybe I'll hunt around for some poetry too.

 This is our local library, the Hedberg Public Library.  It's quite close to our house, so I visit several times a week, to find books and books on CD for the car, and to research for my cemetery walks. In the spring the Bradford pear trees out near the road are glorious, as are the tulip beds. We've been given nice weather for a few days, so they are showing off their blossoms in a spectacular way.

Yes, I am aware that Bradford Pear trees have their detractors, but today I am enjoying the blossoms.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Portrait Revolution

Spring is, well, springing in southern Wisconsin, and I have not been in the studio very much at all.  In fact, most of my time has been spent working outside, especially at the local cemetery where I photograph for Find a Grave, and also planning my upcoming May walking tour of the historic parts of the cemetery. I enjoy both doing research and getting outside to stretch my legs.

I have been working in sketchbooks a bit, and on a self-portrait. But today I'm tooting my personal horn about being included in a new art book called Portrait Revolution: Inspiration From Around the World For Creating Art in Multiple Mediums and Styles, by Julia L. Kay. Julia Kay started an online group on Flickr devoted to drawing a painting portraits.  People join the group, post photographs of themselves, and then are free to interpret the photos in any way.  Some people draw, some paint, some use digital media, one even did portraits on an Etch-A-Sketch. Some portraits are realistic, while others veer into abstraction or caricature.  All are interesting.

Anyway, months ago I was asked to submit a couple portraits for the book.  I was flattered to be asked, but had no idea what the final product would be like.  This past week I ordered and received my copy, and was thrilled to see what a beautiful book it is.

When I was first contacted about including two of the portraits I did, I was a little disappointed that the ones they chose were not favorites of mine.  But looking at the book now I can see what an effort was made to include a wide variety of artists, and a wide variety of media and artistic approaches.  I tend to experiment a lot, and both of my portraits included here reflect that. One is rather abstract and brightly colored, the other is a monoprint, enhanced with colored pencil.  I love seeing the way the folks who compiled these portraits show the original photo, plus several different approaches JKPP folks used to create art.

So thank you, Julia Kay for bringing together so many diverse folks from around the world to create art, and to find artistic kindred spirits.