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

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Macro; Golden Orb Weaver (Updated)

Charles & I went for a hike at the Flatwoods Sunday evening. There we came upon the largest golden orb weaver I've ever seen, easily 4-5" long (legs included.) It hung low enough over the boardwalk for me to get some macro shots, although it was a bit unnerving putting my hands that close to such a large spider! I recommend clicking on the image for the larger view.

(Updates: May 2009; Published in the book of the Generation Fig Tree '09 art show. July 2009; MSNBC's "It's a Snap" photo contest finalist. July 2010; Julia Margaret Cameron Award Finalist and published in the book of winners and finalists.)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Ibises (Updated)

Inspired by my photo from Big Branch Marsh NWR from a couple of weekends ago...

8x10" acrylic on canvasboard

(Update, Sept. 2010; Donated to Robert Bateman.)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Space Mermaids (Updated)

I drew this little sketch years ago. It was an image from a dream that I can't find in my journal now for the life of me (which implies that it may pre-date the journal, in which case this may be over 8 years old.) The dream went something like this...
I was in a room--like a kids' classroom or a small building at camp. "Space Mermaids" was one of the posters on the wall. I was there in a business meeting with others, as I recall. They worked for a phone company (AT&T, I think.) No one would let me speak & when I finally did anyway, they dismissed my comments & laughed in my face. In the end I freaked on them, yelling, "F**k you! I'll use Sprint!" That seemed to shut them up & I stormed out.
At any rate, the idea's been in my head since then. I was intrigued at the image of mermaids swimming in space, which combines two of my interests; mythology/fantasy & astronomy. Unfortunately, to get the figure 8 effect of the design, I need a tall, skinny canvas, which I don't have at present. Still I figured I'd do a study of it, to see if it would make a viable painting. Here's the result. The light in the lower right hand corner is a reflection of sunlight from the photo process--apologies. I would change a few things, but I'm not unhappy with it.

"Space Mermaids"
11x14" acrylic on canvasboard
(Updates: Nov. 30, 2009; SOLD. June 2009; Click here for a larger, more recent & detailed version.)

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Upcoming Art Events + Award

Sat., Nov. 1; Slidell's Arts Evening. My work will be displayed at Bargains Plus/Postal Plus at 155 Robert St. in Slidell, LA. The raindate is Nov. 2nd.

Sat., Nov. 8; Art for Madisonville Market.

Sat., Dec. 20; Arts & Crafts Market in Abita Springs, LA.

I'm also supposed to supply a 2-3 paintings of fire dragons in the next few months for Facebook's Pet Dragons application, but that job doesn't pay, so it's on a back burner.

The Abita Artists meet at 3pm on the 3rd Sunday of every month at the Berkeley Gallery & Studio in Abita Springs.

I'll be signing up for other markets/opportunities, as well. Info will be posted here as it develops. In the meantime, I'm likely to vanish from the blogosphere for a little while as I focus on painting for these upcoming events.
As the holidays approach, remember that original art makes a great gift (that's not always expensive,) & that without patrons, the arts wither & die...but no pressure.

In other news, JJ at Nature Shows and Dreams bestowed this honor upon me today. Unfortunately I'm going to have to break the rules, though, as I just don't have time to nominate the required blogs & leave all of the required comments. I would bestow this award upon all of the blogs I visit regularly (you know who you are,) so if you'd like this, feel free to pop by JJ's blog for the official rules.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bogue Falaya Park (Updated)

Charles & I had our 1st picnic in at least 6 months today. We tend to go to Bogue Falaya Park for our picnics (& it's never busy while we're there, which is great.)

There were tons of butterflies, including this common buckeye.

The Bogue Falaya river. I've heard something recently about some possible dredging, so that boaters can get all the way to Lake Pontchartrain again.

This was my first definite sighting of an osprey (with a fish.) There was also a handful of bluebirds flitting among the trees.

It was surreal the way this water fountain was running by itself (we stopped it, to preserve water.)

The slightest flash of a mystery bird, unfortunately the best shot of it I got (click for larger view.) If it looks even vaguely familiar to you, I'd appreciate any input you might have. It seemed to be slightly larger than a blue jay & it flew pretty quickly, following the river. (Update, 3/16/10; This is a belted kingfisher.)

Stop by Travis Erwin's blog for more My Town Monday posts.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wild Things Festival

Yesterday we went to the Wild Things festival at Big Branch Marsh NWR Headquarters. There was so much to see & do & everything was free. Lets hear it for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service!

There was live music.

A hayride.

Although canoeing was available, we opted for a lazier way to get on the water.

From our pontoon boat tour of Bayou Lacombe. Here's a little video...

Northern cloudywing on blue mistflower.

We found a lovely little place to sit for a while.

Unfortunately not many people seemed to know what "nonpotable" meant. On the other hand, why would you pipe undrinkable water to a fountain?

Among the many displays (including wood carvers, young artists, TNC, Native Americans, etc.,) was a woman from Wind in my Feathers. All the camera flashes seemed to be bothering the birds, so I opted to do without.
Isabella, the American Kestrel.

Mariah, the Mississippi Kite.

Best of all, on our way back to the car to leave, I found $20 in the grass. So technically today wasn't free...We got paid!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Etc. New Orleans Shots, Oct. 13th.

Charles had wanted to go to the new insectarium in town, so I downloaded directions the night before. Unfortunately they turned out to be wildly inaccurate & led us to an industrial park about 30 miles away in Chalmette.
On the plus side, we ended up near NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility, where they make the booster rockets for the shuttle. Unfortunately the plant is being phased out as the US gov't has suspended shuttle missions as of 2010. The picture is of a Saturn V booster rocket (or more likely a mock up of one,) from the Apollo missions. Trust me when I say that you have no idea how HUGE that unit is from this mere photo.

Canal St.

On our way to lunch in the French Quarter, we came upon this monument in the sidewalk.

Hooray! We've finally found the Insectarium! In the enlarged version of this picture you'll see the little sign that says "Closed Monday" (can you guess what weekday the 13th was?)

At NOMA (which is also closed Monday.)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Big Branch Marsh NWR (Updated)

Charles and I got up around 5:30 Sunday morning to enjoy the sunrise at Big Branch Marsh Nat'l Wildlife Refuge.

One of many little groups of great egrets at dawn.

A water lily flower.

Nutria, an invasive species.

Great blue heron, wood duck box and a belted kingfisher. We also saw a fair number of ducks, including a wood duck.

Sedge wren.

White ibises. I later did a painting based on this photo. See it here.

One of many butterflies (including monarchs, buckeyes and sulphers,) a gulf fritillary.
(Update, Nov. 2, 2008; This photo was featured on the front page of the St. Tammany News.)

Eastern towhee on a burned branch. We also saw mockingbirds, a female red winged blackbird and red bellied woodpeckers.

Green lynx spider on goldenrod.

I was looking up the spider in a field guide and glanced up to see this bald eagle approaching.

We stopped for breakfast on the way home and then we napped. It was a great morning.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunset at Fontainebleau State Park (Updated)

For our anniversary yesterday we went to Fontainebleau State Park at sunset. This past May the entire park had finally reopened on completion of a massive restoration effort after Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately the park was closed again by damage done by Hurricane Gustav. Although they're still working on repairs, they opened for business again just this weekend.

A great blue heron.

A blue crab.

Hard to see in these photos, but the farther the sun sank toward the horizon, the more we were inundated by dragonflies. By the time we left there were hundreds of them all over the marsh.

On the other side of the sky, the moon rose. In the enlarged version (click to see,) the dark spots & streaks close to the horizon are some of the dragonflies.

Afterwards we went out for a delicious, Italian dinner (& our waiter treated us to an enormous slab of chocolate cake, gratis.) It was early to bed so we could get up before dawn for another hike...Stay tuned! (Update, Oct. 31, 2008; This photo was featured on the front page of the St. Tammany News.)

See other My Town Monday posts at Travis Erwin's blog.
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