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

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Painting & Camera (Updated)

I finished this painting late last night. It was inspired by some of the astronomical imagery between the scenes on "3rd Rock from the Sun."

"Edge of Night"
Acrylic on 10x8" gallery-wrapped canvas
(Update, Feb. 2011; I've painted over this to create Gone Fishin'.)

At today's art market, I had & took the opportunity to purchase a digital SLR camera and 2 lenses at an unimaginably great price. It's something like this & I'm greatly looking forward to the use of a telephoto lens again!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

All Kinds of Various Information

Big news for tomorrow, Nov. 30th;
1. I'll be participating in an art market here in Abita Springs, on the grounds of the Berkeley Gallery & Studio from 9am 'til 2pm. We're hoping to make this a weekly event, so I'll likely be there every Sunday for the rest of the year, at least.
2. Tomorrow evening provides the greatest astronomical conjunction of the year. On Monday evening, Venus will be eclipsed by the Moon (called an "occultation.")

We've been seeing the occassional robin or two lately, but yesterday a flock of at least 100 flew around our house (this is but a small part of the flock);

And now, a few more pictures from our recent hike at Northlake Nature Center...

Yaupon holly

Friday, November 28, 2008

Recent Nature Photos

Saw this great white egret during a hike at Northlake Nature Center the other day.

The boardwalk at Northlake.

3 blue jays (a cardinal pair wasn't far off.) Shortly after taking this shot, a handful of mourning doves came down to eat, followed by a flock of 12 red-winged blackbirds, the most I've ever seen here (or anywhere, to be honest,) at once. I also saw my first 2 goldfinches of this Winter yesterday.

One of our 30ish chipping sparrows.

Yesterday there were 3 huge leaf footed bugs on our front door & windows. (Thanks to Marvin for the correction!)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

SkyWatch (Updated)

Nov. 23rd sunset, seen from my front yard. It all started with a strange, colored cloud-line across the sky...

(Neither video is over 23 seconds long, fyi.)

(Update, Jan. 23, 2009; This photo was featured on the front page of the St. Tammany News.)

Visit the SkyWatch homepage.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Review; "Odysseys and Photographs"

I recently had the pleasure of reading another book from National Geographic; "Odysseys and Photographs; Four National Geographic Field Men." This coffee-table style, high-quality book weighs in at 224 pages and details the adventures of Maynard Owen Williams, Luis Marden, Volkmar Wentzel and Thomas Abercrombie. Spanning 75 years of the magazine's history, the book is also a window on history, a testiment to how far and fast humanity has progressed, technologically.
The book is informative in other ways, as well. I didn't know that Ben Franklin had been one of the Presidents of the National Geographic Society, for example. As usual, the photos (both color and black and white,) are stunning. The stories behind them are even more impressive, and in some cases give a clear indication of the Western mores of the time. An intriguing look back, from 1919 to 1994, in both words and pictures.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I was given this award recently by both Laughingwolf & Demon Hunter (thanks, y'all!) Again, I have to break with tradition due to lack of time, but if you want it, the rules are over on either of their pages.

Monday, November 17, 2008

This Weekend; Birds & Bloggers

The annual explosion of chipping sparrows is officially "on." There are 11 in the photo to the left (click for large view,) but I counted 20 altogether this morning. There was also a blue jay & a female cardinal out there at one point, but they're "regulars." I saw a brown rat amongst the bird seed the other day, as well. The last we'd seen of mama rat or her 2 babies was before Hurricane Gustav.
The other day Charles & I were fortunate enough to meet Marvin (a fellow blogger,) & his wife (who makes wonderful pottery,) at the Three Rivers Art Festival. Unfortunately I'd forgotten my camera (again,) & there wasn't time or energy to introduce them to some of the local hiking areas, but I'm glad we had the opportunity to meet, nonetheless.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Recent skies around the old homestead...

Visit the SkyWatch homepage.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Michelle at Artscapes - Musings on Art & Life was kind enough to give me this award the other day. She's an incredibly talented, Canadian artist & I highly recommend a visit to her blog, particularly as she celebrated her 1 year blogiversary on Nov. 9th.
Tonight my "Dreams of Glastonbury" painting won 2nd place in the Apprentice Division of the Slidell Art League's "Artist of the Month" competition. It will be on display at their gallery for the next 2 weeks, then will be moved to the Beignet Station (downstairs from the gallery,) for display through December.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

MTM; Louisiana in Autumn & Bird News

Photos from in & around our yard the other day.

Honeybee on asters.

Unfortunately most of the fall colors in our area come from the highly invasive Chinese tallow trees.

A variegated fritillary.

More Chinese tallow trees.

Potter wasp on asters. (Thanks to Nina & Marvin for the wasp ID!)

Purple asters & goldenrod.

Little wood satyr butterfly.

I dreamt last night that the chipping sparrows (Winter visitors to our area,) were back in force. Ironically, this morning I saw my first one (this year,) at our feeders.

My Town Monday is the brainchild of Travis Erwin. Stop by his blog for more posts from all over.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Today's Art Market

Today I participated in an art market held by Art for Madisonville. It was a lovely day, if a tad windy from time to time (fortunately I had no wind-related problems!) I met some very nice & interesting people & sold a couple of pieces; Among Them & Bold. I'm $11.91 in the hole overall, but it was a nice day to be out, regardless.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's My Blogiversary! (Updated)

Today's The Dreaming Tree's 1 year blogiversary. The U.S. just elected Barack Obama President yesterday, so I know this little post will virtually vanish in the flurry of political posts that are certain to crowd the blogosphere today, but I thought I'd toot my own, teensy horn, anyway. Thanks to Charles for his support & to all of my readers. Without you this blog would have probably gone the way of my last one, "I'm Surrounded By Idiots" (which I quit long ago.)
To express my thanks, I'll send a painting (of my choice,) to whoever best expresses (in my humble opinion,) which one of my posts has been their favorite so far & why. Please leave your entries in my comments. Feel free to be creative, humorous, a brown-noser, etc. Be as outrageous as you'd like! I'll announce my decision by Nov. 12th.
And once again...

Thank you!

Travis Erwin has won the contest, because his entry had me on the verge of happy tears. Congrats, Travis!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Abita Springs Playground Party + Award

This past Saturday I was invited to the Friends of the Park volunteer appreciation party. There were bands and free food and drinks (hard or soft.) It's the first time I've been to the park since everything's been fully completed, & it was great to see the finished product.
The entrance to the playground, which has a Choctaw theme.

This fountain was installed nearby for kids to play in. It shoots water in different heights & configurations.

There's the panel I painted for the park.

Changing leaves on a sweet gum tree.

In other news, I had another of my photos published on the front page of the St. Tammany News this past Sunday.

Thanks also to Punam, who gave me this award the other day. I'm going to break the rules, again, as I'm still too swamped with other projects to engage in all of that work, but if you'd like the award, all of the details are over on her blog.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Review; "Visions of Paradise"

I recently had the pleasure of reading the latest book from National Geographic, "Visions of Paradise." At a whopping 306 pages (including bios,) this coffee-table style book is jam packed with images provided by a bevy of talented photographers. The book is divided into three categories--land, water and air--and each section begins with an eye-opening essay.
The "land" essay, written by journalist Linda Kulman, begins by stripping away romantic notions about aboriginals that many people don’t even realize they hold, then goes into some shocking realities regarding our lack of adequate land usage and maintenance.
The "water" essay, written by Joel K. Bourne, Jr. (a former senior editor of National Geographic,) points out the fickleness of human memory--the danger inherent in not knowing how things used to be. He also touches on some good news, but the message is clear; there is some good news, but not nearly as much as there should be.
The "air" essay, written by Brian Doyle (editor of Portland Magazine,) has a more poetic feel than the first two. Not only does he write about the environmental challenges we face with the modern, mass-pollution of our breathing medium, but he reveals just how little we truly know about our atmosphere.
There were only two things about the book that I may have done differently. Although the essays center on our lack of proper resource management, there are photos taken from and of places where this mismanagement is clearly evident; photos taken from taxis and airplanes, photos of cities, a helicopter and a tiger at a now-bankrupt Six Flags facility. Although there’s good and bad in everything and there are certainly few easy answers, personally I wouldn’t consider these images "Visions of Paradise." Others are free to disagree with me, of course. In a similar vein, the book doesn’t seem to be printed on recycled paper (if it is, I couldn’t find any mention of it.)
The other, occasional disappointment was that some of the photos were printed across two pages, in which case the crease of the book swallows part of the image. The effect is minimal in most cases (landscape photos are more forgiving in this respect,) but it’s noticeable in a few (particularly in the case of photos with singular, main subjects.)
Despite these, the book is stunning. The wide range of photographic styles and subjects are a joy to behold. The book, itself, is well made. I expect it to outlast me and I look forward to passing it on to my nephews. The message of this book is as insightful and dire as it needs to be. I only hope that the news will be better by the time my nephews reach my age.

In conjunction with the release of this book, National Geographic is also holding an online photography contest, requesting YOUR visions of paradise! Winners (which will be announced Jan. 12, 2009,) will receive a copy of the book with their image on the cover.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Random Tidbits

Arts Evening went well last night. Although I didn't sell anything, I got a lot of exposure, met a lot of nice, interesting people & Charles & I both had a good time. My sincere thanks go to the City of Slidell for putting on this annual event, to Hilda & Tony of Postal Plus/Bargains Plus who hosted my work & provided us all with food & drink & to Charles for sacrificing his evening to provide me with moral support. Unfortunately, in my focus not to forget anything art-related that I needed (i.e.; price stickers, float, business cards, etc.,) I forgot to bring my camera.
This afternoon I'll be attending the Friends of the Park volunteer appreciation party. It'll be nice to get together with everyone who made this wonderful dream a reality & to finally see the completed park in it's entirety. I painted a fence panel for the park this past Summer & was glad for the opportunity to contribute to the project.
This past Friday the St. Tammany News published another one of my photos on the front page. The exposure & appreciation is great.

I spotted the 1st Winter visitor at our feeders this morning; a white throated sparrow. Soon we'll be inundated with goldfinches, chipping sparrows, etc., etc. I can hardly wait!
The photo above (of reflections in the water,) was taken at dawn at Big Branch Marsh NWR a couple of weeks ago.
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