My webpage (inc. awards, upcoming events, etc.)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Another Painting & End of Voting (Updated)

I painted this one a little while back. It was hard to photograph, as the metallic gold paint misbehaves in the presence of my flash.

4 Pagan Women
Acrylic on 18"x14" canvasboard

In other news, today (July 31st,) is the last day to vote for my photo in the contest. It's the bottom square in the "photography" column (the sunset at the beach, if you're not familiar with it.) The winner will be announced by August 10th.
(Update; My photo didn't win the art contest.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Change in Dreams

I've noticed a significant change in my main dream themes over the past 10 years or so. I used to dream a lot about dead or murdered children (most often killed or endangered by their mother.) More recently, my main recurring dream theme is police. The police aren't typically protecting or coming after me (although, of course, in different dreams they sometimes do either or both.) Most often they tend to be just...there. Interpreting what they mean depends highly on the context of the dreams they appear in, but they often seem to represent power (& it's potential for abuse,) generalized authority figures or my superego.
How about you? What symbol (if any,) do you find most prevalent in your dreams & what does it mean to you?
The picture is of a couple of dead, mating, stick bugs of some kind we found on our front steps the other day. It must've been some kind of session! That big female's about 3-4" long.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Golden Sunset

Due to thunderstorms at sunset on Saturday, we got this strange glow. The dots/circles are the flash reflecting off of the raindrops. These photos are completely unedited.

Sky Watch is the brainchild of Tom Wigley.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Another New(esque) Painting

I went to a group "paint out" this afternoon, sponsored by the Art for Madisonville group I belong to. I met some wonderful people (a couple of which live very close to me, as it turns out,) & had a good time. My regular readers may recognize this painting, which I've done many times now. Just last week I shipped one to a friend in Canada, who wants it as a tattoo.

Great Blue Heron
12x9" acrylic on masonite
Peoples' Choice Award winner at Festinblanc, January 2009.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Sky Watch

This is a photo of the launch of NASA's Space Shuttle, "Discovery," on June 2, 1998. This was the last shuttle mission to Russia's MIR space station. They were also trying to detect antimatter & it was the first time they used an especially lightweight paint on the main fuel tank (the large, orange unit the orbiter is attached to before launch.) Formal statistics regarding this mission are here. The building not far to the right of the launchpad in this photo is the VAB.
This was the only shuttle launch I've ever seen live & I would recommend it to anyone & everyone. Then again, I'm a total nerd/astronomy nut, so take that as you will. At the very least, a visit to Kennedy Space Center should be on everyone's "to do" list. Save an entire day for it & spring for the bus tour & at least one IMAX movie--you won't be disappointed!

Sky Watch is the brainchild of Tom Wigley.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Contest Semifinals; Your Vote Needed! (Updated)

One of my photos has made it to the semifinals in an art contest hosted by "A Singular Creation" & your vote is needed! Final voting ends July 31st.

(Updates: Jul. 23, 2008; This photo was featured on the front page of the St. Tammany News. Aug. 2008; I didn't win the contest, but thanks to those who voted, regardless!)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

More Young Birds

Brown thrasher & one of two chicks.

Juvenile Eastern towhee. It has yet to come close enough to the house for me to get a really good picture. At some point between Friday & today, it lost all of its tail feathers (presumably to some kind of attacker.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Art & Bird News

I was delighted today to learn that a pencil sketch I'd submitted last year for the cover of Charles' new, poetry chapbook, "Wanting the Mouth of a Lover," was accepted & published.
In bird news, I've been struggling to identify a chick that's been hopping around our yard lately. Although it acted like a brown thrasher, that clearly wasn't what it was. Unfortunately I haven't been able to get a picture of it yet, but at least I was able to positively ID it today as a juvenile Eastern towhee.
This morning, I spotted this juvenile red-headed woodpecker out back. He followed the juvenile red-bellied woodpecker around like they were brothers (much to the seeming chagrin of the latter.)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sky Watch

This past Sunday's moon, as seen from my front yard.

"Sky Watch" is the brainchild of Tom Wigley.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Recent Flowers

Some flowers in my yard over the last couple of days...

This morning; a wild hibiscus.

Pale meadow beauty. (The "haze" is this morning's high humidity on the camera lens.)

Unknown, small, yellow flowers.

Yesterday evening; A 2nd rudbeckia Indian Summer starts to bloom.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

New Yard Babies

This picture of a mourning dove, a brown rat & a r@t b@$t@rd are from yesterday afternoon. The rat has gotten bolder--I watched her chase a female cardinal & a dove away from the seed before settling down to eat. Shortly after that, two, smaller rats came from the same area to also help themselves to birdseed. This is the first time we've seen what I'm assuming are mama rat's babies. Athough there are also local predators (snakes & whatnot,) the birds have more competition for seed now than they have since we started feeding them. I'm giving more thought to installing more rodent- & raccoon-proof feeders. I'll have to do some research, visit some local birding stores, for starters.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Sky Watch

The sky over our house on April 8th of this year.

"Sky Watch" is the brainchild of Tom Wigley.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Last Night's Dream

I was at some kind of museum event with other artists where alcoholic drinks were served. One of the guys who had a display had done an incredibly lifelike painting of a huge slab of reddish stone that he also jogged around. It was only about 2.5’ high, but probably spanned an acre or more. Some of us jogged with him for a while. 2 other young, new, female artists were given much attention. I was largely left out. Very few people were featured at the event & the older/more established the artists were, the rarer were their displays. One of the young women had designed a bridal ensemble. She was told she still needed to create a "pea bag" (purse) for the outfit. Another related side project involved large letters made of fabric. I was asked to create an "e" for this. I intended to do a printed, capital "E," but all of the other 3 letters were of a different style. I considered a cursive, lower case "e," but that would be too simplistic. I had a pen in my hand as I thought about it & one of the people running the event came over to ask me if I always drew out my plans in pen. I said "no," that I was just using the pen to sketch some ideas.

Insecurities about my own art have bled through here (regardless of the fact that I sold another painting at the Lacombe Crab Fest a couple of weeks ago.) Either that or I shouldn't watch "Design Star" before bed.
The picture is of a rat b@$t@rd & a brown thrasher (doing his thing in dead leaves last Winter.)

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Some Recent Chicks

One of these blue jays is a chick (it still does the "feed me" wing fluttering & chases its parents around.) The cardinals are all young. There are many more than this, but they're so all over I can't get them all in one shot.
Even the crows come by (on occassion) with their brood. There were two more, seeming to act as lookouts, out of range of this shot.
This young cardinal is starting to show his maleness.
I can't resist putting up another picture that includes the red bellied woodpecker chick. He's just adorable.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Help! Mystery Tree & Plant (Updated)

I have 2 of these trees on my property. These pictures are from the smaller one (the lowest branches on the taller one are at least 20' off the ground.) I have no idea what kind of tree these are. They don't really seem to match anything in my field guides.
I thought maybe they're some kind of magnolia (particularly as they're evergreens,) but further investigation hasn't turned up a likely match in that department, either. The leaves & flowers are too pointed & neither have the usual "leathery" consistancy of magnolias.
In addition, magnolias in our area all seem to bloom at the very beginning of May (like clockwork.) The flowers on my trees didn't bloom until the 2nd week of June. I e-mailed these pictures to the horticultural department of LSU.

Update; Dr. Lowell Urbatsch of LSU responded to my e-mail about the flower on July 7th & has notified me that this is a sweetbay magnolia (the evergreen variety is magnolia australis, rather than virginiana.)

The other day I noticed this large, strange flower blooming by our front stairs. These first 2 pictures are from yesterday. Although I did plant seeds when we first moved in, either they never bloomed or our yard guy just keeps cutting everything down (against my specific instructions.)
I've largely forgotten what I'd planted by now, but this seems more like a weed than a formal "flower," anyway. The entire plant is pretty hairy (even the backs of the petals.)
This picture is from this morning. The flower's pretty large--about 5" across. The plant's about a foot tall. I can't find this in my field guides or net searches, either.

Update; Thanks to NatureLover for identifying this flower as Rudbeckia Indian Summer, a type of black-eyed susan! Dr. Urbatsch of LSU also confirmed this ID.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

June 30th Sunset; A Stunner

"Sky Watch" is the brainchild of Tom Wigley.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I'm Honored

I was honored today to see that Michelle (from Artscapes,) awarded me with the Arte y Pico award (& on Canada Day, no less!) Michelle is a wonderfully talented painter who makes realism seem easy. She has a keen eye for interesting photographs, as well. I highly recommend a visit to her blog.
And now, the formalities...

The “Arte y Pico” award was created and to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creative energy and their talents, whether it be writing or artwork in all media. When you receive this award it is considered a “special honor.” Once you have received this award, you are to pass it on to at least 5 others.

1) The winner of the award must choose 5 bloggers that they consider deserving of this award for the creativity, design, posts and contribution to the blogging community, no matter the language.
2) Each award given has to have the name of the author and a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award winner and the giver of this award must show the link of the "Arte y Pico" blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5) Post these rules.

I had a very hard time picking my 5. I almost broke the rules & nominated at least 15. I can think of even more than that who deserve it, however. I strongly recommend everyone on my blogroll for various reasons; their creativity, humor, straight-forwardness, intrigue, inspiration, kindness & a million other adjectives. They wouldn't be on my blogroll if I didn't think they rocked, after all. Not to mention that they're all just great folks, as well.

That said, here are my 5;

1. Caroline at Caroline's Crayons, whose blog inspires me not only in creativity, but in life, itself.
2. Christine Kane at Let's Paint Nature, whose blog is so personable, you'll feel like you're over for coffee.
3. Gale Rainwater at Gale Rainwater Photography, whose nature photos may be the most stunning I've ever seen, not just in subject, but in technique.
4. Abe Lincoln at My Birds Blog, whose close up photos of birds make me want to get a digiscope for my own camera RIGHT NOW.
5. Marvin at Nature in the Ozarks, whose blog not only shares natural beauty, but also teaches you all about it.

I know that some people lead very busy lives. As such, I won't take any offense if any of my winners ignore their nominations completely. Just know that I appreciate & applaud your efforts!

Note; I linked up the English translation for the "Arte y Pico" page (which is originally in Spanish,) above & it's totally worth a laugh.
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