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

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Art News (Updated)

This morning I set up my art and photo display at the Causeway library. It'll be on through August.

This afternoon, a friend & I spoke with a local gallery owner about a potential future show for Abita Artists (the group I founded in 2008 and still run.) He was amenable to the idea--we'll have 3 weeks in Oct., details TBA.

I rec'd some new photo prints in today's mail, so I'm framing them all up, getting ready for the Arts Evening "Best of Show" competition and my impending "Artist of the Month" show at Mandeville City Hall in Sept.

The winners of the Julia Margaret Cameron award were finally announced the other day. I wasn't among them, but I'm happy to have made the finals, nonetheless!
(Update, Aug. 9, 2010; I was notified by the contest administrators that they will publish my photo in "The Julia Margaret Cameron Award 2010" book if I permit them to, which I did.)

I'm happy to report that the library acquisitions department liked my photo book so much that they've ordered 4 more copies for the system.

Unfortunately I haven't been painting much lately, but the drive is growing again...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Shouts to the Blogroll, Pt. 1

It's been a long time coming, but I wanted to share some of the blogs that I visit here. There are many of them, so I'll be posting them in digestible chunks from time to time. Without further delay, I present to you some of the art blogs I enjoy;

A Look in a Creative Mind, by TJ Lubrano. Featuring chibis and other, colorful illustrations.

Artscapes--Musings on Art and Life, by Michelle Basic Hendry. Not just a talented, Canadian artist, but something of a historian and building conservationist, as well.

CT Studios; Art and Accessories for You and Your Home, by Lorrie. A local artist who does almost anything, from sculpture to fabric arts and more.

Dreamz Forever, by Punam. Poetry, art and philosophy.

Fazrul Arts Portfolio, by Fazrul Arhan. Truly amazing portraiture.

Let's Paint Nature, by Christine Kane. Not only a talented artist, but she'll also walk you through the process.

Peripheral Vision; Inner Sights, by Lynda Lehman. An artist, philosopher and photographer who understands why the music of gently babbling water is best.

The Art of Chrissy Marie, from the UK. Another fine artist/photographer with a real talent for capturing the spirit of animals.

Side note; Happy birdthday, Rick Wright. R.I.P.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Book Review; Masters of Deception

Written and compiled by noted authority Al Seckel, Masters of Deception; Escher, Dali & the Artists of Optical Illusion is is a really cool book. Coming in at 320 pages, this hefty coffee table book is packed with incredible illusions, perverted perspectives and striking surrealism. I've long enjoyed such artwork (which is beyond my ability to produce,) and have seen many examples before, so I think it's hard to "get" me. Considering this, I was particularly pleased that I had to look at some of the images more than once, or from a distance or different angle, to see what I was missing.
Works include anamorphoses, metamorphic art, ambigrams, inversions, op art, trompe l'oeil murals and more. Media includes everything from traditional paint to thread to chocolate syrup. 20 artists are featured, one per chapter, ranging from the 16th century to the modern day. Regrettably, none are women. The book also refers to a defunct website for further investigation of the illusions. There's a replacement website available, but it doesn't seem to have everything alluded to in the book. Regardless, I'm sure that some clever web searching could turn up the missing information, or something comparable.
All things considered, those drawbacks are small. Printed on high-quality paper, the images, artists and information in "Masters of Deception" won't fail to delight, intrigue and surprise. If you can't buy it outright, check your local library (that's where I found mine.) Enjoy!

(Vertigo update; The dimenhydrinate tends to knock me out cold, so I switched to the less-drowsy [& unfortunately less effective,] meclizine. I'm having more vertigo spells than before, but they're less intense.)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Baby Raccons & An Unusual Visitor

Recently mama raccoon (who you may remember from this post or this one,) has been coming by with her 5 kits;

Mama's the big one on the right here.

Thanks to my husband, Charles, for these pictures. Here are a couple I took tonight;

Do you see the 2nd raccoon in this shot?

This summer I've occasionally spotted a male indigo bunting in our feeding area. Although some do live around here in Summer, until now we never saw them here outside of migration time (& much more often in Spring than Fall.)

A couple of "our" young cardinals. Here the male (facing the camera,) is starting to get his black face.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

R.A.K. & New Fledglings

I experienced a Random Act of Kindness the other day. I ran into a gentleman acquaintance of mine. He knows of balance disorder & asked how it was going. I was having a particularly bad day & told him as much. He said he'd been a medic in the Navy & mentioned some medicines I should try. Hours later I bumped into him again & he gave me a box of dramamine, suggesting that it should help. This is my first weekend trying it & for the first time in almost 2 months there've been no signs of random attacks of vertigo & I can look up & down again without getting wobbly & nauseous. After 15 years and 3 doctors, it took a near-stranger's kindness to alleviate my suffering. I hope I run into him again soon. He deserves a BIG hug.

In other news, our backyard is virtually red & blue these days with cardinals (about 20,) & jays (about 11--our highest count here, ever.) One of the young, male cardinals has a freakishly tall crest--it reminds me of Henry from Eraserhead. Last week we had a random, male indigo bunting (which never happens outside of migrating season.) Charles also saw a hawk out back, feeding on a dove. Today, however, I spotted something brown hopping across the feeding area. Binoculars revealed a female Eastern towhee (left) & chick (right.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Photo Book (Updated)

(Update, Jul. 16; I recently learned that some IE users may have problems ordering. If so, please try Firefox or e-mail me & we'll work something out.)

In other news, I donated my hair to Locks of Love again. No photo this time--my remaining hair's a bit too short (but it'll grow back--like a weed--again.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

More from the Flatwoods

Here are some more shots from last weekend's hike at the Abita Creek Flatwoods Preserve.

Pale meadow beauties (we have these on the fringes of our yard, as well.)

There were lots of these common wood nymph butterflies around.

Charles pointed out this strange fungus.

One of many dragonflies.

The young golden orb weavers are already out (this one is about 2" long.) By October they'll be HUGE.

In one area we saw a few strange bugs covered with a sticky, soft, white material that came off easily when Charles touched them.

On the railing of the boardwalk I spotted this strange, little bug (possibly a monkey slug/hag moth larva.)

The yellow pitchers are starting to show their age. Some were so devoid of color they were virtually transparent.

Now that the heat & humidity here have driven temperatures over 100F on a daily basis, I suspect that hike will be our last for quite a while.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Birds & Charles' New E-Book

After some rains the other day it was cool enough to pop over to the Abita Creek Flatwoods preserve for a hike. While there, we heard 4 Northern bobwhites. These quail are nearly threatened, with habitat loss declining throughout their range, so it was nice to know we have some on these protected acres. During our hike, we inadvertantly flushed out a male & either 2 females or 2 young birds. In this video, you can hear one of them calling;

I also saw what remain a couple of "mystery birds."

Unfortunately this was the best shot I got of this one, which was fairly small (about 4" long,) & lost a couple of downy feathers tangling with some kind of flying insect.

This is a young...something. It was larger than the other, probably about cardinal-sized. Any help you can provide with an ID for either would be appreciated, as usual.

This short movie was taken from my deck after some rain the other day. It doesn't encompass the total bird chaos of the entire yard, but you'll get the point.

In other news, my wonderful & talented husband, Charles, posted "Killing Trail," an e-book of Western stories the other day. If you don't have a Kindle, there's an app for that.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Book Sale & Random Stuff

Some of my works were recently published (again) in "Anthology of Friends; An Original Collection, " (this time Vol. 8,) produced by members of the Ovation online community. Blurb is having a 20% off sale on it through the end of July. Just enter LIBERATION (in all caps,) as the promotional code. FYI, I get no monies from the sale of that book, but my works are available in numerous, other, cheaper formats directly through me (from which I do make a little money,) inc. books, postcards, mugs, magnets, hats, calendars, BBQ aprons, etc.

I've been quite busy lately. With Summer Reading upon us, I've been racking up extra hours working at the library, not that I'm complaining. I've also been busy with my art business. The "business" side of things typically takes up more of my time than the actual art does. I'm currently mulling over what to paint next but again, I'm not complaining.

I'm just about over a sinus infection that turned into a lung infection, but worse than that, I've been suffering through intense bouts of alleged vestibular neuronitis that've taken up most of this year (so far.) Bouts are "supposed" to last 10-14 days with long breaks in between. Unfortunately, for the last couple of years I've been experiencing the opposite (or worse.) Unfortunately there's no effective treatment that won't make me feel like crap in other ways & I already feel crappy enough.

On the plus side, however, I still stop on occasion to fully appreciate having the use of my left arm back. 3 cheers (again) for Dr. Petroff (my nurse practitioner,) and Dr. Devraj (the orthopedic surgeon.) Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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