Monday, June 30, 2008

Columbine


One of the great things about living somewhere you didn't grow up is that you get to see in person some of the beautiful flora that before was unfamiliar or just on nature television. Columbine is such a striking flower, and it's not one you ever see back east. Too humid, I suppose.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

ETSY PLUG - Amanda Kindregan

I was looking recently for a piece of art for my best friend's baby room. There are so many artists with so many great works on Etsy, so of course I looked there first. I wanted a piece that didn't' necessarily say 'baby' and that could grow with Henry or could be displayed somewhere else in the house if he ever wanted to change his room up. Henry's room is a jungle theme, in green and brown. When I saw Amanda Kindregan's "See Ya Later" print, I knew it was the one. Below is the frame job. I think it will fit in Henry's room perfectly.

I love Kindregan's style. There is a sweetness, a whimsy about her work, and each piece is its own little vignette, with a story and a soul. Here are a few more of her works that I just adore.


In addition to her paintings, Kindregan also has lovely block prints in her shop. These two are printed in metallic gold waterbased ink, though she also has block prints in other colors.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Little Bear (is gonna be big!)

I can't believe how much Little Bear has grown! She turned six months old yesterday, and already takes up half of the sofa. She's gonna be a big girl! She likes to situate herself like this, standing on the sofa with her front legs draped over the back so she can watch me when I'm on the computer.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Lesson Learned (Maybe)


When I drive around, I make mental notes of scenes I want to photograph. I like to wait until the sun is just right, or I am on the same side of the road or any of a million excuses. I finally waited too long on one of them. I drove by a couple of weeks ago and this building was for sale, and there was no longer a car parked in front of the sign, and I was so mad at myself for not getting the shot. Sometimes I think things won't change, here in Wyo, anyway, but that's just not true. So when I drove back by this week, I was so excited everything was just as I had seen it before, and I pulled over right away to get this picture. Have I learned my lesson? I hope so.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

First International Sale!

I just made my first international sale yesterday - to a lovely lady in London. It's so exciting to be able to say that!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Rivers and Tides - A Film About Andy Goldsworthy

I recently finished watching "Rivers and Tides," a documentary on Andy Goldsworthy, who is one of my favorite artists. For those not familiar, he works with only natural elements to create amazing sculptural works. These works are made outdoors, and part of what makes them so special is how nature reacts with them. Some works are consumed by the ocean, others are blown away by the wind. Others will stand until they crumble in a lifetime far beyond our own.

This contemplative and meditative film follows Andy as he creates several of these works. The first we see is an ice sculpture, created beside the sea. The exquisite curves the ice makes are decidedly unnatural, but Andy only uses a bit of heat from his hands to melt the icicles, places them, and waits only moments for them to refreeze. He says, "I am the next layer on those things that have happened already." He takes what he finds in nature and rearranges it in unexpected and exciting ways.


IMAGES: FROM RIVERS AND TIDES


It's the simplicity of the work that is so exciting. You see him use lines and circles over and over in new ways. It's amazing that something as simple as a line of sheep hair against a dark stone wall can have such a visual impact. The same goes for the chains of dandelions or leaves he lets float down the river. You would have to be there to see what happens to these works, and the expert cinematography of the film certainly shows you more than you would see in another medium. But after the shot ends, you may still be left wondering what happened to that art Andy just spent all day creating. Andy is so connected to nature that he is not concerned with what happens. He says that nature doesn't erase his work, it just makes it better than he could.


When I see photos of Andy's art, I crave the knowledge of just how it was created. That's the thing that makes this film so special to me. You get to experience Andy's technique. He can spend all day creating these works, sometimes only to have them fall apart before he is finished. "I often take it to the very edge of its collapse," he says, "and that's a very beautiful balance." Though that's quite a zen attitude, you do hear him curse when things go awry, and you certainly feel his loss and frustration. But like any loss, he takes time to grieve and then starts again. The very nature of his work assures us that it was going to be destroyed eventually, and there is much appreciation that lies in the moments it was whole.

Another thing I love about Andy is that his art is not bound by form. He makes things, of course, but sometimes his art is movement, and lasts only seconds. An example of this is when he crushes rocks laden with iron into powder and introduces them strategically into the river, so that you watch a small waterfall become bright red. The color seems alien, of course, but when you remember that the rocks come from the river, the experience reminds you just how connected things in this life really are. This is just one more way that Andy finds the hidden beauty in nature, concentrates it, and shows it to us for just fleeting moments before it's reclaimed.


This beautiful film by Thomas Riedelsheimer left me in such a wonderful, calm state that I watched it over several days to savor the feeling it gave me. I wish I could really convey that to you, but I know I come up short. So see this film for yourself. As Andy says, "Words can do their job, but what I'm doing here says so much more."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Safe As Houses

I was delighted to see I was featured in this sweet Treasury by String Me Along. My photo "Diagonal Shadow" is in the bottom left corner.

To see a larger version of "Diagonal Shadow," click here.
And check out String Me Along's shop. She has lots of beautiful jewelry.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

ETSY PLUG - Baby Burrito

IMAGES: PROVIDED BY BABY BURRITO

One of my best friends just had her first baby, and I wanted to share some more of the adorable things I found for her, her husband, and Baby Henry. My first purchase of baby things came from Baby Burrito. I loved the beautiful blankets they had, with fresh, modern fabric. The above blanket was exactly the sort of color palette my friends enjoy, and I thought it said, "boy," while still being elegant and hip. My friends really liked the minky on the reverse. They were consciously incorporating a variety of textures into Henry's room and thought this would be a great addition. I also got this changing pad that has a pocket for a diaper. It rolls up nicely to fit in any bag. Again, I thought the fabric was beautiful, and both items were very well made.

It was VERY hard not to buy myself the Art Nouveau blanket, pictured below. This bright, bold pattern really suits me, and would be great for a boy or a girl. But it just seemed like a bad idea to buy baby things before I had a baby. I've known a few people to have a difficult time getting pregnant, and I didn't want any bad luck. But when I do get pregnant, this blanket is the first thing I'm going to treat myself with!


In addition to blankets and change pads, Baby Burrito offers a selection of cute bibs with Velcro closures that you can adjust for your growing child. I thought this one was particularly cute.


I want to wish Baby Burrito's good luck as she is launching a new Web site in a few weeks that will feature a new collection (with changepads, blankets, bibs and hats) with new fabrics. Be sure to check it out: http://www.babyburrito.ca/

Friday, June 20, 2008

Where The Buffalo Roam

On the last day of my parents' vacation here, I drove them to Sybille Canyon to see the buffalo and elk that the Wyoming Game and Fish Department keep. There are maybe a half dozen of each at any given time, I think for testing/disease control sort of stuff. Alas, there were no elk this time, but we still had fun getting up close and personal with the buffalo. You can walk right up to the fence and they were only a few feet away.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Boot Hill


My husband told my folks, here on vacation, that we should visit "Boot Hill" in the next town north. Somehow, I had never noticed it from the road, but sure enough, there is a little cemetery just outside of Hartville (the oldest incorporated town in Wyoming still in existence, you should know), up on the hill. So with Western movies and Johnny Cash in mind, I was expecting it to be a cemetery for the criminals of the past. Mostly, though, it was just children's graves from the early part of the century. So who puts the boots on the fenceposts? I have no idea. Nor do I know why. But it sure looks neat. I will be heading back there in the winter to photograph it properly. These are just snapshots, really, as I didn't factor in the location of the sun or anything else. And I sure wasn't going to poke around too much...I'm terrified of snakes, and it sure looked like a place you might find a few.





Wednesday, June 18, 2008

More of Platte County, Wyo

Here's a couple more pix from when I was driving my Mom and Dad around the area. The light is all wrong, but I couldn't get over this horse's personality. It just kept posing for me.



Tuesday, June 17, 2008

I'm Back, Even Though I Never Left

My parents were in town this past week, to visit Guernsey, WY for the first time. We did a lot of driving around, to see the area. A lot of it looks like this:

Saturday, June 7, 2008

ETSY PLUG - Stevester


I have a lot of favorites on Etsy, but Stevester has to be at the top of that list. I love the bold yet elegant graphic design Stevester brings to these soft and comfy American Apparel shirts. I bought these two shirts, Agapanthus and Peaceful Bird, as soon as I saw them. They are light and breezy - perfect for a hot summer day. Please excuse the wrinkles...they've been balled up in my overstuffed shirt drawer.

IMAGE: PROVIDED BY STEVESTER

I found myself thinking, "You know who else would love this shirt? My sister." I bought this Hummingbird shirt for my sister, in her favorite color, purple, and she absolutely loved it. I also gave the Agapanthus shirt to my good friend in Pittsburgh who loves those dusty, muted colors. Stevester also offers their designs on a variety of bags.

IMAGE: PROVIDED BY STEVESTER
I don't say this often, but it was truly a pleasure to do business with Stevester, on all occasions. Communication was fast, shipping was swift, and believe me, I'm thinking about who will be the next lucky recipient of a Stevester gift!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Pittsburgh - Cafe Interior



I was waiting for my friend after lunch at one of my favorite Pittsburgh cafes and became enamoured with the color combination of the chair and the wall. I took a lot of shots but this is by far my favorite.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Pittsburgh - Timely

I'm not about to discuss politics on this blog, but I will say Obama certainly had some artistic fans. The city of Pittsburgh was covered in these posters, sort of a guerrilla campaign.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Pittsburgh - Lawrenceville houses


Yet one more from Pittsburgh. I love how green it is there. Plants don't creep up the walls so much as conquer them.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Pittsburgh Series - Bloomfield


Many buildings have painted walls in Pittsburgh, but this one has always been my favorite.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Pittsburgh Series - Cafe




Here's a few more from Pittsburgh. I took these in a cafe on the South Side. I was just having lunch with my friend when I noticed all the bottles lined up along the counter. There were beautiful, and I played around a little with the light that was coming through them.