Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fourth of July Canyon - At Our Feet!

And, now, finally, the beauty at our feet. I was looking down so that I wouldn't trip over roots and rocks, and found these great images! The above image is what I think of as a still life. I didn't rearrange anything for that image. Nature just perfectly placed the three leaves.

This second image is of the wonderful red leaves that were all around us. The bright red leaves were on some very low trees boughs, and those in the background were off the trees and on the ground. I just love this image - I feel like if I put an appropriate quote toward the upper right corner, it would be a wonderful note card.

This last image is what I think of as an abstract. I just love the mixed colors of the leaves, and the various tree trunks and branches just create the abstract feeling. And, there's just a hint of the kiss of sunshine that acts as a bit of an accent to the piece. I just love it.


Fourth of July Canyon - At Eye Level!

This set of images were those that I found at eye level, so to speak. I loved the look of the tree bark as a background for the glorious orange-red leaves in the image above.

For this image, the contrast of textures in the tree leaves and tree trunk is almost like opposites attracting for me. The leaves are flowing due to the breeze rippling thru them, and the roughness of the tree bark just seem as opposite as black and white.

This image is one of my favorites! I just loves the leaves against the dark tree trunks in the background. It almost seems like a bit of an autumn mosaic to me.


Fourth of July Canyon - Look Up!

Last Monday, we walked the Fourth of July trail, and just enjoyed some New England-like colors! The above image is of the trail that we walked on - what a lovely way to spend the morning!

Isn't this color brilliant? We were sitting on a log, just catching our breath, when I looked up, I saw this incredible sight! This is really the color the leaves were - no enhancement on my part!!

This last "look up" image was taken as we were walking along. I just happened to look up to see what effect the sun would have on the leaves as it shined thru them, and this was the pretty result!


Monday, October 17, 2011

Colors in the High Desert

No, I'm not in New England! I'm on the dirt road headed toward the Fourth of July Canyon, about 45 min from where we live! The Fourth of July Canyon is the only place in New Mexico where you can see the oranges and reds of autumn! On Saturday, Jeff & I thought we might hike the trail there, and drove up there. This gorgeous tree was along the road leading to the campground where the trail starts. What brilliant color!

Here's another example of Mother Nature showing off! The perfect blue sky with wisps of white clouds, looking almost like that fabric one uses to make "ghosts" for Halloween! The remaining green trees set off the oranges of the changing leaves, too, don't you think?

I couldn't resist this image. A few years ago, there were some wildfires in the Manzano Mountains, which is where we were. The blackness of the standing dead trees really seem to accentuate the colors of the lower new growth. It's almost like a phoenix rising from the ashes, isn't it?


November Bizarre Holidays

It's another bizarre holiday month!! This month starts out with an ATC celebrating Button Day on November 16. I painted the background of the card tan, and then pasted some Simplicity pattern paper over it. I then added a couple of strips of actual fabric, and placed the button on top! I really like the vintage feel to this card.

For this card, I decided to go with a black background, just to set things off more. Added a little shopping list and a couple of images of the items on the list and there you have it! Pretty simple, but appealing to me none the less!

I just love this image of a statue at the cemetery in Ricoleta, down in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is just so haunting, I thought she was the perfect depiction of Occult Day, as she seems at times to be very sad, haunting, or for this holiday, kind of scary. The phrase that I found to accompany her image is "I have gone out, a possessed witch haunting the black sky, braver at night."


Monday, October 10, 2011

Apple of My Eye ATC Swap

As you might guess, apples were the theme of this swap. Rather than just making ATCs with apples on them, I tried to think of apples in a different way. Did you know that mojitos came in the flavor of apple? I didn't.....but I do now!

How else are apples liquid? The more traditional apple drink is apple cider, and the above ATC represents that! I remember when I was a kid, in the fall, when my brothers and I would come home from school, my mom would have glasses of apple cider set on the counter for us to drink. Ahhh, good memories!

And, finally, probably the most popular use of apples (besides just eating them) - apple pie!! Yummy, yummy! I love to bake apple pie, but then, there's just Jeff & me to eat it, and that's not very good for the waistline!


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Napkins ATCs

This ATC swap's foundation was to use napkins that we received in a previous napkin swap and create from there. One of the napkins I received had the US flag on it. I found the image of the man in a magazine, and just added the postage stamp to it. How can we not celebrate freedom when we contemplate it?

This was one of my favorite ATCs. The flowery napkin is the background. I then used a transparency of a postcard addressed to Paris (complete with postage) and a vintage image of a woman I imagine would have sent the postcard complete this little piece of art.

Another favorite! The napkin was one of Christmas ornaments. I added the vintage image of Santa and the definition of Christmas, and here's the result. I think I may use this as my Christmas card image for next year (I already have this year's done!).


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bottomless Lakes State Park

The second camping area we explored was in the southeast quadrant of New Mexico, just outside Roswell. It was a very different area from the area around Abiquiu, but there's beauty to be found there. I found the trees there really interesting, and the image above is of one of those trees while we walked a path between two of the lakes. The leaves and branches were kind of wispy, and that made it very cool and interesting to me.

Daisies abound at Bottomless Lakes!! To me, the image above just looks like a note card, doesn't it? I just loved this little portrait!

And, here's an image of some daisies along the shore of the lake, just blowing in the breeze. I just loved this image because it reminds me of the breezy days of summer, soon to be gone.


Vistas Along Chimney Rock Trail at Ghost Ranch

In addition to the wonderful natural tree sculptures that abound on this trail, there are beautiful vistas everywhere you look. Take the image above - how can you not have your breath taken away by this?

I couldn't resist taking this image as we walked the trail back from Chimney Rock, especially since it's a nice photo of Miki - see her on the trail, enjoying the vistas as well? And, in the background, was the Pedernal, Georgia O'Keefe's self-proclaimed "favorite mountain". The lake in the background is Abqiuiu Lake, where we were camping. Hopefully, you can now understand why this is now one of our favorite camping areas!

One of the things that this area is known for are the red rocks in the area. I thought this was such a pretty view of them, and helps to illustrate how wonderful they are. I just stood there enjoying them for several minutes before I took this shot.

And, finally, Ghost Ranch is also a movie location. Here's an image of an old movie set there. The cabin may look familiar, if you are a true movie trivia person. What movie is this cabin from? Give up? "City Slickers"! I just thought it made a great landscape shot!


Ghost Ranch Hiking - Portraits of Trees!

One of our days at Abiquiu Lake, we hiked around Ghost Ranch. Ghost Ranch is where Georgia O'Keefe purchased about 8 acres and built a house back in 1934. The entire acreage of Ghost Ranch now is about 21,000. Georgia O'Keefe's home is not open to the public, altho they do have tours of her home. She lived here and did much of her creating for many years. She lived to be 98 (I believe), and lived at Ghost Ranch up until the last few years of her life, when she moved to Santa Fe to live out her final years. The images in this blog entry were taken as we hiked the Chimney Rock Trail on Ghost Ranch. It's easy for me to see how this area inspired such a great artist. The above image was taken as we just started out on our trail. I loved the way the tree framed Chimney Rock.

Part of the way up the trail, I came across this dead tree sculpture - and that's the way I think of it. There's something about it against the beautiful landscape beyond. Again, how could this not inspire you?

And, finally, this portrait of what I believe to be a pinon pine (or juniper!). I absolutely love these trees, even if I'm not exactly certain of which it is! The character, line, and texture of these trees just appeal to me on some sort of core aesthetic level.


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Animals Along the Back Roads!

As we drove around the back roads around Abiquiu Lake, we met up with some animals along the way. The image above was what I think of as "standing guard". The shepherd in the front of the image took his job as protector of the sheep very, very seriously! As we drove thru the sheep, this dog started barking almost hysterically and kept pace with our car as we drove along!

Whew! After we passed The Guard, above, we came across another flock of sheep crossing the road. I was wondering if The Guard would catch up with us, but this group had their own guard to protect them!

And, finally, the sweet portrait of a Mom and her Baby! There was a small herd just meandering around and on the road, and this Mom and her little one just paused and let me snap their first formal portrait!


Autumn Beginnings along the Backroad

While camping in the Abiquiu Lake area, we explored along some backroads and came across some beautiful sights.....and at least one that made me chuckle! The above image falls into the beautiful category. There was no breeze, and the lake was like a mirror, with this beautiful result!

As we drove up the the road to the 10,000 foot peak, this was one of the views out the window of the Jeep. The colors are starting to turn, and it was rather breath taking.

And, here's the chuckle! I wasn't really sure what was going on here, but it looked like the four folks in the front of the image were sitting and watching the man in the back part of the image who was fly fishing. I never really thought of fishing as a spectator sport, and that's why this made me chuckle - couldn't you just hear the TV announcers trying to make this sound suspenseful to keep us on the edge of our seats? (tee, hee!)


Camping at Abiquiu Lake

Last week, we camped at Abiquiu Lake Recreation Area, in northwest New Mexico, near Ghost Ranch (where Georgia O'Keefe lived and created for many years). We had a beautiful campsite at the campground there. The above photo is one of the views that we had from our campsite.

This view looks out over another campground in the recreation area. Since we were camping during the week late in September, the campground was not very crowded at all! What a perfect time to camp - it almost seemed like all of this just belonged to us......and it did for a few days!!

The very cool thing about this view was that the mountain in the background is that it's the Pedernal, which Georgia O'Keefe painted quite frequently. It was really quite amazing to me to just think that I was sitting there enjoying something that inspired one of the greatest artists of our time (at least in my opinion!)!

And, at the end of the day, we enjoyed a beautiful sunset as we sat in front of our campfire. Life at its best!