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Unique Finds on a Hike - Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

April 23rd, 2018

Unique Finds on a Hike - Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

I’ve attached two shots from a photo shoot I did during one of my hikes in the Cascade Mountains just east of Seattle. One is a macro of a single mushroom that I almost didn’t see in the undergrowth of the forest and the other one of a rotted stump. Both shots represent unique opportunities often overlooked in the sheer beauty of a hike in a heavily forested area.

I couldn’t have arranged the leaves and the mushroom head more perfectly if I had done it myself. This shot was along the path I was hiking and I almost didn’t see this single mushroom poking through the leaves of the surrounding undergrowth. Getting down on my knees and shooting it from a slight downward angle, framed it perfectly.

The uniqueness of this shot was not just the subject matter, but the sun shining on the rotted stump and the perspective of it in the view framed by live trees. The visual changed dramatically just walking a few feet in either direction on the path. The sunlight caught my eye bringing this large stump into center stage. The framing of the shot with the live trees had me walking the path forwards and backwards looking for just the right alignment, which I think I found.

Thoughts?

The Caboose and Train Station Platform - Black and White Sketches

April 16th, 2018

The Caboose and Train Station Platform - Black and White Sketches

Anyone that has been following my work, knows I have an affinity to black and white photography. As I have stated before, I began serious photography with black and white film and had access to a dark room to develop my own prints. The mood, contrast and elements that become center stage in a photograph is different when seen in black and white versus the same shot in color. With these prints I have taken that look one step further with a pencil sketching technique. Using a sketched look versus the original photograph gives the final print a softer more rustic feel.

For this post I chose two sketches I created from the Issaquah Train Station (now a museum in Issaquah, Washington). I have featured numerous prints from this location as it lent itself to so many opportunities.

I love these old baggage carts sitting on the platform.

Thoughts?

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Bright Colors - Abstract Watercolor - Hot Air Balloons

April 11th, 2018

Bright Colors - Abstract Watercolor - Hot Air Balloons

This week I’m featuring three of my hot air balloons. The technique I used creating these three art prints was an abstract approach. I used the sketching to define the subject matter of the balloons and then filled them with bright colors. Not being one who every stayed in the lines when it came to art, I let the bright colors bleed into each other, creating an abstract look.

We are all attracted to hot air balloons rising and floating in the air. The serenity of the scene as one looks skyward and sees these bright colored balloons quietly drifting through the sky. What drew my eye when my wife and I did the adventure in San Diego, was the prep work of getting them inflated and launched. To me there was an incredible beauty watching these large bags of color transformed into what we see drifting across the sky.

As the balloons slowly fill with hot air, they go from laying flat on the ground to slowly rising and when you see the different stages of inflation with a group of balloons together…it really is a beautiful sight.

Thoughts?

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Love And Gratitude - Featured Art Print

April 2nd, 2018

Love And Gratitude - Featured Art Print

Love And Gratitude is an inspirational art print I created using inspirational thoughts as an overlay on an original art print of mine titled: Candy Cane Rose Bud. I created this wall art print using a subtle watercolor painting technique of a rose bud just opening up. This technique uses subtle brush strokes and soft colors creating a warm look.

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I Trust You - Featured Art Print

March 28th, 2018

I Trust You - Featured Art Print

I Trust You is a wall art print I created using a biblical quote from Psalm 143:8 as an overlay on an art print of mine where I used a subtle watercolor technique of boats in Victoria Harbor.

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Wenatchee River, Washington - Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

March 19th, 2018

Wenatchee River, Washington - Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

For the weekend of March 10th, as a Christmas gift to the family, one of our daughters put together a family getaway weekend. The location she chose was up in the Cascade Mountains northeast of Seattle (two of our three daughters and their husbands live in the Seattle area – the other daughter who put this together, her husband and our granddaughter live in the Los Angles area and my wife and I live in the Phoenix area). She chose a location near Stevens Pass (spring skiing) and just outside of Leavenworth, Washington (Leavenworth is a Bavarian village featuring great German food, beer gardens and wine tasting from nearby wineries). The location of the house we stayed in is the subject of this weeks post. The house was located along the Wenatchee River which flows down from the pass area into the eastern side of the Cascades. Most of the river is white water rapids, but the portion of the river where the house was located is just upstream from a small dam. The dam backed up this portion of the river into what looks like a still water pond. The house was perfect with floor to ceiling glass windows allowing the views I posted to be seen throughout most of the house. (Click on more information to go to original blog with all of the pictures)

This first capture is straight across the river looking at a cabin in the woods on the other side (all it missed was smoke curling up from the chimney). The water appears very calm, but is actually flowing at a fairly rapid pace. Loved the reflection on the water.

This is just a close up of the cabin across the river…..

Standing in the same location as the first two shots, this is looking to my right up-stream along the river. If you could zoom in on the river where the green reflection ends, you would see white water rapids as the water flows into this calmer portion. We could hear the sound of the rapids from our location.

This is a cabin located downstream from the house….thought it had that great cabin in the woods look…from this perspective the river is reflecting the white snow of the hillside across from us. Thoughts?

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Barren Branches Go Colorful - Featured Art Prints

March 19th, 2018

Barren Branches Go Colorful - Featured Art Prints

In keeping with the theme from last weeks post, I am featuring two art prints where the subject matter is pretty simplistic, barren branches. These are shots of trees along the Cedar River in Cedar Rapids, Iowa during winter. I took this simple subject matter and started giving the branches a subtle abstract look to create images with more geometric patterns. As part of that process, I also changed the background to larger abstract shapes to keeping the focus on the barren tree branches. I created the Purple Barren Branches first and then wanted to use some of the same elements in the second one. I liked the power of purple and pulled it into the branches on the second one and notice the hint of green on the first one. I used it as the background on the second one, creating a different look altogether.
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Barns, Barns and More Barns

March 14th, 2018

Barns, Barns and More Barns

I was in the midwest during the middle of February. Living in San Diego, it's easy to forget how cold winter really is....that trip was a quick reminder. One of my goals was to do a shoot of barns. I found my opportunity around the Amana colonies (if you have never been there or heard of it....worth a visit...old German settlements based on concept of a farming commune). The colonies are located along the Iowa River Valley, so there are rolling hills and woods dotted with farms. It was a lot of slushy through mud...and that's a story unto itself. I got what I came for and I like the look I got. The trees were obviously barren, but that adds to the strength of some of the pictures. I am now going through the pictures I took and would like to walk you through the process I go through to create my art.

Step one: I sort through all of my pictures for the best shots....I usually take 2 to 3 shots of the same thing. From those 2 to 3 (assuming I like what I took), I weed it down to 1. That picture gets a hard look for "framing the shot" . Maybe it's just me, but it seems like I always have subjects just ever so slightly tilted...I must stand crooked?? �Anyway, I then crop and adjust accordingly...the samples attached show only a minor adjustment on this shot.....some are more extreme and some no adjustments or cropping are needed. All of that said, this completes the first step and then I put the resulting pictures in a folder for the next step...painting. More on that with this picture as I work through the rest of the batch from the shoot. Stay Tuned!!

Can you see the subtle differences? There wasn't any "tilting" in this one, but I did tighten up the bottom portion and if you look real close a "one way" sign disappears through the barn just above the hay rack.

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Simple Items to Vivid Abstracts

March 6th, 2018

Simple Items to Vivid Abstracts

The two art prints I am featuring today are simple items – three decorative balls. These are the typical kind you would find in a large decorative bowl to add a design element to a room. I took these three balls and did my usual photo shoot with various positions and arrangement changes to give me some choices to work with. Narrowing it down to a couple of shots, I then proceeded to do my magic utilizing an abstract technique to create the drawn elements and then started to play with colors. The final piece of the process was to take the resulting colorful “flat” prints and give them a final element of texture which is the impasto technique I employ on a number of my pieces creating large bold brush strokes. From simple decorative balls to bold and colorful abstract art prints.

Remember the Alamo

June 20th, 2013

Remember the Alamo

Who doesn't remember the legendary Alamo? Originally built as Mission San Antonio de Valero. From a contemporary artist / photograhers' viewpoint, the architecture and grounds speak volumes. Having not been to the Alamo since I was a teenager (trust me...many moons ago), my wife and I went to the San Antonio Riverwalk and the Alamo for a day. Both are spectacular and the city of San Antonio has done an incredible job keeping the flavor of both very much alive. What struck me about the Alamo, were the details in the architecture. I found the windows fascinating in their artistic appeal which leads me to this post.

I took a number of shots and have posted one of them here. I was starting with the original shot and then I felt compelled to paint the wood for an artistic impact. I have received mixed feedback on doing so and thought I would open it up to more feedback. I had a vision and does this capture the punch I thought would look good or is it an artist's delusion. Ultimately art is in the eye of the beholder and what looks good to one person looks not so good to another. Attached is the red I painted...