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Following the Swallowtail

July 27, 2014

Yep, that’s what I do when camera in hand and I spot a butterfly. The swallowtails seem to take a little longer to drink than the monarch, which  are very difficult to get pictures of. By the time I reach them with my lens, which is not a zoom but a prime 100, they are on the move again.

One nice thing this year is that I am already seeing more of both species than I have in the past few years. Although I’ve yet to see any caterpillars. This Oregon Swallowtail (Papilio oregonius) certainly had me following him around. One thing I do notice on some though, is how much of their wings they can be missing and still fly.

Swallowtail on Lavender Butterfly Bush-1

There is something very special about seeing a butterfly flying through the air. Maybe because they fly with such delicacy, but they can really move. I’ve watched them fly very quickly through the forest. Skippers have been clocked at around 30mph and some, such as the monarch, are known to fly thousands of miles. Amazing little creatures.

In the past year I’ve certainly been absent from here. Life has certainly been interesting. Technology difficulties such as my computer dying, twice! And then when I finally got a monitor calibrator in May it stopped working a month later. Now that things are fixed I need to keep the momentum going. Last year it was work that took me away from trying to pursue my art. But I find myself currently without employment and realizing this week that I must begin again and let inertia help keep me going.

I absolutely love what I’m doing! I have much to be thankful for in the midst of a lot of difficult things this Summer, but I keep following the Lord and finding ways to share the beauty He puts before me. I know that if I keep my eyes on Him, and not chase what is not the best for me, that I will do well.

I hope this week you have the opportunity to find butterflies and that your week is blessed in following your passions and the maker of our hearts.

“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.” Psalms 25:4

 

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Watching for Spring

February 8, 2014

First Forsythia Blooms

Today I was walking to an event and noticed a little yellow peeking out of a large pile of long twigs. To my delight, I found one of my favorite blossoms. Forsythia. So much of the U.S. is covered in snow right now as the latest storm flows through, in what has been a Winter of storm after storm in the East, and yet record droughts in the West.

And then, like every year,  Spring comes back, and we start noticing all the little changes until the landscape erupts in color.  Every year I am enchanted as I watch it happen.  This is my  favorite season!

And so I’ve returned too! To my blog that is, after nearly a year away and too much time in pursuit of jobs to pay the bills. Now it’s time to return to my dreams of creating an artful life.

And so my gift to you today is a little touch of yellow that tells us to hang on. Spring is close at hand.

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April 16, 2013

Ladybug chasing in the blossoms

I love photographing bugs! I’ve spent many hours this past year trying to get the focus just right on their eyes and have certainly learned that it is no easy task. Since last May I have been using Canons 100 mm L macro on my 60D. This picture was taken at 1/200 and f/4.0, but the real challenge, even though the light was in and out of the clouds, was the wind. I would like to have had both eyes in sharp focus and that’s what I aim for. But a moving subject on a moving object made me really work for this one. Shooting closeups and macros with a prime lens has kept me active. Good thing these guys are back at work as the cold Winter kept me way to inactive with out being able to chase the bugs from flower to flower.

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A yard of Lupine

March 19, 2013

A Yard of Lupine

I’ve been a little busy for the past month learning to paint again. A different kind this time as I have always wanted to make digital paintings from my photographs. I purchased a Wacom Intuos 5 and Painter 12 and am really loving it!

This is from a photo I took about 3 years ago when I had a yard full of Lupine. I know I will now be searching out different scenarios for my picture taking because I love putting lots of color into my paintings. Hope you enjoy!

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I’m Not Choosing!!

January 23, 2013

 

Pink Crocosmia

 

I’ve looked at some who create and have wished that I could be on a single artistic track, having focus and goals. But for all my trying I finally came to a standstill. I’ve felt paralyzed by not having a single direction. So many times I have made decisions and wouldn’t get two feet before it seemed that one of my other favorite artistic pursuits was calling out to me in sadness that I would not visit again for a long time. Although, last year at this time I made the decision to begin writing children’s stories again only to realize a month later that the visual arts were more my passion and I’ve been totally fine with that decision, if not even relieved.

And that is how I felt when I realized that I didn’t want to choose, very relieved and empowered. I’ve decided that I can’t choose just one art form to specialize in…because I love them all! Or a least all of the ones I tend to dabble in.

You see, I’m not just a photographer, or painter, illustrator, ceramic artist (my focus in college and an art form that waits locked in my storage) or guitar player or just anything. I love to do so many things, and I know that there must be others just like me.

Recently I read a blog post by Katwise, a gal on Etsy that makes really fun coats, called Insperspiration. She has started a blog because she always wanted to write, and in her latest entry she says “if there is one thing I have learned in this journey of “being myself for a living” is that you just have to power through.” I saw that and it hit me, that is what I’ve been wanting.

After spending over 2 years try to ‘choose’ and define my artistic talent down to one major one that could be the main thing, I realized that this is what has been shutting me down. Ya might notice it’s been 7 months since my last blog entry here. But today I realized….I just want to be me for a living. The me that sews and gardens and draws crazy pictures. The one that that has polymer clay and jewelry findings on a table waiting to be played with. The one who spends hours in a store looking through all the cool art supplies to find a new pen. I’m tired of putting pressure on myself to fit a mold.

And since I’m not fitting into anyone’s mold I’m making my own. I’m not sure exactly what that will look like but I guess we’ll find out along the way. I hope to share my own personal uniqueness and gifts that have been given to me and hope that someone finds it enjoyable or useful. Today I am embracing who I am as a creative artist and look forward to sharing my world with you more. I can’t wait to see what it looks like but I hope it has many more pictures like this one I am sharing with you. One of my favorites from this year.

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Today I Shall Encourage!

June 11, 2012

Yesterday I sent this picture to my daughter in hopes that it would cheer her up. It’s finals week for her, she’s living on her own, working full-time, and her car broke down.

Earlier in the day I was with a friend who said that when she went through an extremely difficult time in her life that her Christian friends were nowhere to be found. That made me very sad.

So that evening, after I left my daughter, I realized that I want to be a better encourager. I usually have no idea what to say when people are going through things…but I want to give it my best try.

We all have so many things that we are going through, and if it’s not hitting us personally it’s very likely that someone very close to us is struggling.

I hope today that you will be encouraged to find some little way to try and speak words of hope and peace to another. Take the chance and just speak a word of encouragement…that could be a life changing thing for someone. I’m pretty sure you’ll be encouraged as you seek to lift others up. Today is a perfect day to focus on others and may you be blessed when you do.

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Being organized = Freedom to create

May 30, 2012

I have a new lens and I am enjoying the fulfillment of a dream to shoot macro. Sometimes it takes just one little thing to help us get to where we want to be in our creative lives. What is that one little thing for you?

Lots of firsts happening in my life right now. Today is my first day teaching a painting class (@ Michaels for Grumbacher), my first blog post from a phone (well at least the first draft), and my first share of a picture with my new Canon 100mm macro lens. I am really loving it and am spending all my time taking pictures and learning to organize and edit them.

I am editing with the new Lightroom 4 and will be using Photoshop more as soon as I get a good handle on LR4. The program is a dream to use in viewing the uploaded photos. Definitely worth getting.

Now, hopefully, I’ll be so organized (and content with my artistic direction) that I will become better @ sharing with you.

So I am off to get ready for the big day. The demo is done for my class and I’m super excited to begin teaching. Of course I procrastinated until last night to do the demo but I hope to get better with that and have things ready in advance. I believe that is the key to eventually being able to give my own workshops. I know I feel better when I am organized and feel more ready to create art, and this applies to whether it’s knowing where all my camera gear is or having my art supplies all lined up and ready.

I would love to hear your thoughts about being artistically organized. Do work better in messiness or are you frozen until everything is in order? Has something that keeps you organized made a big difference for you in being able to create freely, or is that something still waiting to be purchased? Perhaps for you it’s been putting off being organized in your studio, and maybe you just need to make that commitment to get organized this weekend.

What will get you to that place where you feel free to create?

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