Saturday, July 31, 2010

Autumnal Equinox

Here are some ATCs I just completed for a swap on The theme was Autumnal Equinox. I know, the end of July is a bit early to be thinking of autumn, but autumn is one of my favorite seasons, so I felt inspired as soon as I signed up for the swap!

The Autumnal Equinox is also known as Mabon and is symbolized by fall leaves and flowers. I used that as a base theme for these ATCs. The foundation of these ATCs are layers of paint, with some texture applied to the second layer. I then used some old sheet music snippets, and papers, both hand made and other. I used a punch to cut out various leaf shapes and used them throughout the pieces. I even used the pieces of paper from which the punches were made to create a sort of negative space type of leaf design, with the background being the leaf color.

I then searched one of my books of quotations for those that contained some reference to autumn. The variety was amazing, altho it is interesting how many seemed to focus on the sad side of autumn (focusing on the dying of the leaves, etc., end of a lifetime, etc.). Since I really love autumn, I wanted to focus more on the positive perspective of the season - change of seasons, colors, and sort of an energizing feel after the lazy days of summer!

For the above ATC, I decided on a green background because even during the autumn, it's amazing how much green is still around, and creates a wonderful dynamic for the warm, warm autumn colors!

And, finally, for the last touch, I stamped the cards with a marble effect rubber stamp. It really added a lot of character and texture to the pieces and reminded me of either a webbing (like a spider web you might come across during a walk in the woods) or the bare tree branches that occur after the magnificent colors are gone. Enjoy!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Altered House

Here are some photos that I took of a mixed media piece I created a while ago. I was just too lazy (or busy??) to take photos of it and get it posted!

A dear friend sent me a wood block shaped like a house. I painted the wood block, but left the wood rather rough. I really wanted to keep the rough exterior, just like a real house. I then thought about what home meant and what home and family was, and this quote summed it up quite perfectly. The family is the building block, the key to an ordered society. I love it.

Here's the back of the house. The roof is corrugated cardboard that I brushed color on, so that the undercolor still shows through. Handmade paper was placed over the top part of the house with a transparency I made placed over the back of the house. The transparency is a colorful background with the image of a bare tree on it. I took that photo a while back, and it's a great photo for a number of different reasons. I added a metal leaf that I believe I inherited from a friend (she gave me a bunch!). It just felt right to have a couple of lone leaves on the piece, to sort of symbolize the autumn, when having a warm, loving home is especially wonderful.

And, this is the front of the house. You can see the quote in the lower left hand corner of the house. Also on the front of the house is an old ruler (remembering measuring how much you grew every so often??), an old photo of a family gathered around their car, and more autumn leaves. The house is adhered to a wooden base that I also covered with the corrugated cardboard that I used on the roof. I used it for the "front stoop" as well because I really liked the texture of it.

I do hope you enjoy my creative efforts!

Antarctica and Sonoma/Napa

Here are two more ATCs that I created for the "Where in the World?" swap. The ATC above is a reminder of the beauty of the Sonoma Valley, which is right next to Napa. The barn and grape vines are a photo that I took when we visited there last September. We actually like Sonoma better than Napa - equally great wines and vineyards nestled on wonderful winding country roads.
This ATC celebrates the mascot of Antarctica (in my mind) - the adorable penguin! This little guy came right up to me when we visited there in February, 2008. Such a sweet little face just looking up at you asking you to visit him (or her??)! A fabulous once in a lifetime trip! Enjoy!

Bryce Canyon and Buenos Aires !

Here are two more ATCs for the swap "Where in the World?". The one on the far left is Bryce Canyon, a fabulous place right here in the USA, and the other ATC celebrates the Tango in Buenos Aires! Both of these are places that I've been lucky enough to visit - very different places, but both very wonderful and fun places.


Italy and Paris

Check out some of the ATC s that I created for a swap I'm participating in. In case you don't know, ATC stands for Artist Trading Card, and these pieces of art are trading card size, and that's exactly what the artists' do - trade or swap them! The theme of this swap was "Where in the World?" and we were to create collages based on places that we've been, would like to be, things we'd like to do at certain places, etc., etc!

These two ATCs are Italy and Paris, two cities that I've not yet visited. Italy is made up of maps, info from a tour book, and stamps. Paris is made up of an image of a French post card, and some tissues from a napkin focused on that exciting city! More to come! Enjoy!

Flowers !

This is the flower bouquet of the camping weekend last weekend - lots of different color blooms! Above is a very cool sort of pinky purple flower. Actually, I really like the photo above as a note card, with some very inspiring quote in the upper left hand corner.

And isn't this a beautiful floral portrait? I just loved the delicate purple bloom. It was very easy to overlook it - it was that tiny! Plus, I don't often get to see dew on leaves and blooms in the Southwest, so this was a double treat.

These bold red blooms were discovered along a dirt road we were exploring atop a mesa close to where we were camping. I just loved it as a sort of intimate portrait, including the barbed wire fence, field and sky behind the flowers. I'm not sure why, but this really appealed to me as the diverse character of the Southwest.

I almost missed this little white flower. I was actually retracing my steps back during our hike and I happened to glance down and see this little gem. I just love all the colors in this white flower. I always thought white was a lack of color - learned something new this day!

I just loved this field bunch of a sort of daisy, I believe. They are just so imperfectly perfect, I couldn't resist photographing them! Don't they just look like the word happiness? That's what I thought anyway!

Ok, so this isn't really a photo of a flower - I just loved the image of the dew on this leaf and couldn't resist including it. Isn't nature fabulous? Enjoy!

Antelopes on the Mesa

Here we are again, along the mesa. As we drove around on a little dirt road (just wanted to see where it went), we came across some prong horn antelopes enjoying the day. They were only semi-curious about us, and didn't really come all that close to the barbed wire fence between us. Yet, one of them (below) was the bravest of all of them. I just loved the area where we saw them - the green fields covered with little white flowers, and the big beautiful blue skies, with the white puffy clouds building up. These clouds would end up being the build-up for some monsoon showers later in the afternoon. For now, this was just a beautiful scene atop a wonderful mesa. Just us and the antelopes!

Folsom - Ghost Town

As we were driving around the area, we drove thru a little town, called Folsom. Altho there are folks living in the town, it's considered a ghost town. Above, there's what's left of what seems to be main street, with a number of buildings that used to be sort of a main business street. Across the street from that string of buildings, is the Folsom Hotel (below). It's a great brick building, and I just loved the old hotel sign painted on the side of the building.
This store (below) was in the string of buildings along the old main street. Looks like in the old days, it served multiple purposes, doesn't it? A supply store as well as a general store - I would have loved to be able to explore it when it was in its hey-day.

Enjoy this stroll down the memory lane of days gone by!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Johnson Mesa Church

As we were driving around the area, up on top of a nearby mesa, we came across this little church, called Johnson Mesa Church. It was first built and established in 1897. It's actually an active church and there were photos inside from the congregation from about 100 years ago, with reunions of the original members' families from time to time. I love the above photo because it really conveys the openness of the mesa surrounding this building. At the horizon, you can just see the cloud buildup of the afternoon monsoon to come.
I really like the above photo because it allows for a very interesting pattern of the window on the opposite side of the building mirroring the window in the forefront of the photo....and able to see the wonderful mesa beyond them both.

This photo is also a favorite of mine because it really conveys the feeling of peace I got when I went inside the church - yes, the door is open and available for anyone to stop. They even had a visitor's book so people who do stop in and register and let the people maintaining the church know that there are folks that stop by. But, it was so quiet and wonderfully peaceful in her that one could be tempted to just stay and reflect on any number of things for a long, long time. Enjoy....

Lake Moloya

Here's a few photos of Lake Moloya, the lake in Sugarite Canyon State Park. This lake is so close to the Colorado border, the north part of the lake is actually in Colorado! The lake is wonderfully clear, as you can see from the photos above and below. In fact, this lake is the source of the drinking water for the town of Raton, New Mexico. No swimming is allowed there......
....for humans, anyway. Miki, however, has never met a lake she didn't like! We found a stick for her, and she enjoyed a swim in "her" lake a few times.

Here's a close-up of Miki enjoying retrieving her stick and enjoying being a water dog! It was warm enough so that I was kind of wishing I was a dog, too!


Monday, July 19, 2010

Opportunity Trail

Here are a couple of shots that I took while we walked along a small portion of the Opportunity Trail at Sugarite Canyon State Park. The lake in the photo below is Lake Moloya, but there will be more photos of that in another blog entry! The top photo was taken as we walked along a trail that still had some great flowers blooming (again, in a later blog). I just love all the green, don't you? Jeff & I are still amazed at how green New Mexico is! I find it so amusing when people think that all of New Mexico is terra cotta - granted, a lot is, but there's a lot of other colors, too.

Camping at Sugarite Canyon State Park

Here are the first set of photos from our camping weekend last weekend. The above photo was of the glow of the sunset on a thunderhead that did rain down on us. Still, it looks pretty in this shot, doesn't it?
This is a photo of the back of our campground. The color of the face of this rise was just so warm and rich.

And, finally, this is the front facing view. We really love this campground, even tho it doesn't have any hook-ups (water and electricity) just because of these views. Plus, this campground is really pretty spacious - lots of room between each of the sites. One thing that was incredibly plentiful here that I didn't get a photo of was all the hummingbirds! I just couldn't get a shot of them - they move too quickly! And, they really came close! A couple of times they would pause just a foot or so from Jeff & me - once it was so close to me, the breeze from its wings actually ruffled my hair!! We decided that next time we would bring a hummingbird feeder and then I'd be able to get some good shots of them (hopefully!). Enjoy!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Another Fabulous Sky !!

What a show the sky put on yesterday evening! I love the above photo. I call it "Back Yard" because I took it from our back patio, but it's really Patches' (our neighbor's horse, also in the photo) back yard, as well. I think Patches help give one a sense of perspective and appreciate how "big" the sky is here!
The above photo reminds me that there is something much bigger than we are. Whatever you call it, God, Allah, Supreme Being, there's something out there bigger than all of us, and I like to think she's rather a cool being - after all, look at this sky!!

The cloud (above) was just highlighted in the coolest way, sort of like the creme filling in a blue Oreo cookie!

This photo was one I had to include in this collection because there are just so many layers that you can see - the mountain, darker blue clouds, lighter blue sky patch, pale grey clouds, the glowing clouds, the paler whitish clouds and finally, again, a sort of pale grey clouds in the farthest distance, and closest to the mountain in this photo. It is just amazing, and magical (I seem to use that word here a lot when describing the sky). How wonderful.

And, finally, this photo captures the evening sky finally coming in to claim this part of the sky. A peaceful conquest, that will be relinquished the following morning. True balance in life. Enjoy.