Images are available on Fine Art America. Working on adding to a large inventory of abstract nature images that will be available soon.
Images are available on Fine Art America. Working on adding to a large inventory of abstract nature images that will be available soon.
I have wonderful memories of zoos growing up. My dad had a passion for travel and zoos were one our families’ favorite destinations. My brother and I have since carried on that passion
for travel with our families.
Caverns, aquariums and zoos are some of our favorite places for my son and I to explore and we have magnets to remember each one.
We have been to the Dallas zoo many times but it’s a different experience when you go alone. Even as my son got older, he would have specific animals he was interested in, usually he would antagonize the monkeys.
The experience was usually fast-paced but today I went alone. Even though I missed his company, it was a unique feeling being alone.
I spent the first thirty minutes watching the gorillas. I talked to the zookeeper and learned about each gorilla by name and she told me about the chimps.
When you’re alone you get to stop, you have no agenda, only getting photographs of specific animals. I was able to enjoy each animal in a relax unhurried pace.
I spent much time in the reptile house and because it was during
the week, it was uncrowded. I got to listen to the zoo keepers information about the elephants and I I learned not just more about each animal but about the zoo and what they were doing to protect certain species.
There are so many more zoos I need to visit, across the country
and across the sea, so many more animals to enjoy. It is the child in me that loves to see animals and though I would prefer to see them in their natural habitat, I am glad zoos are a beacon for society to see that these amazing animals are worth saving.
These are portraits from the animals at the Dallas Zoo. I hope you enjoy and will seek out a zoo near you.
To create when nothing inspires is where discipline comes in. You are forced to see beyond a gray winter day and seek light when there is none available and I believe that is the fuel that feeds creativity when the muse doesn’t show.
I have also been in a situation where the scenery was so breathtaking you couldn’t do it justice even if you tried. I was in Glacier National Park and between altitude sickness and a feeling of being overwhelmed, it was hard to shoot something that was truly remarkable.
There is a great space where you need to work a bit harder to see beyond what is obvious and yet the light is perfect, this is the sweet spot and what follows is a landscape where the creative thrives.
I love the patterns in nature. As an artist, finding a unique perspective that can show a viewer something they might not have seen before is a large part of my artistic intent.
I have always painted landscapes and seascapes but I could never perfect what is already real. I am competing with the greatest artist of them all: God. All I can hope for is to show the viewer an aspect of that image that moved me and perhaps move the viewer with the same or varied feeling.
As I have been photographing more regularly, I have found the need to see deeper than just the landscape. Especially when the light does not cooperate with the subject or doesn’t show up at all.
I learned to isolate parts of nature when my desire to photograph didn’t lend itself to the light of the day. On a gray winter day, when there is nothing but flat, bland light and no objects are discernible by any effective modeling, I have discovered a new way of seeing the landscape.
I started seeing how images were painted by stray bits of light. Suddenly instead of a bland landscape, I was able to find just a piece of that landscape that could be a graphic object. I don’t even care if the final image is discernible, it is more the aspect of its abstract nature that intrigues me.
I have started gathering autumn leaves, green leaves and patterns in water, in the past I would have struggled to find something in abstract but now the image jumps out at me. It’s a muscle and to strengthen this way of seeing the landscape has changed my whole outlook on contemporary art.
I believe that bringing nature into the house can evoke a calm center as well as a conversation piece for visitors. I like how without representing a specific subject, the image evokes something without trying too hard to be abstract or artsy. I have found my way to the abstract and contemporary subject.
Interiors are from Adobe Stock-Photographic art Artbygordon
I got lost in the long flowing stalks of bluestem grasses, the great blue sky looming above where hawks dance in slow spirals. I sat on the cold, moist ground and listened to what it might have been like when bison and Indians roamed the backland prairie.
The clouds drifted with a calm indifference, the wind breathed and than exhaled followed by a ritual silence. Meadowlarks flew in patterns from fences and crows called out breaking the stillness, it is like going back in time.
I guess the fact that the winter chill that settled in my spine and slapped my exposed skin with pins and needles would be a good incentive not to go to the prairie. I assume that’s why both times I’ve gone there has been no one there but I consider it my oasis of silence.
I am comfortable sitting on the cold ground. My breath is still, my senses charged with the sounds as I try not to miss anything. I can hear cattle in the background and even a truck in the far distance but for the most part all is consumed with the rush of the wind through the grasses.
All that moves is the grasses, swaying back and forth as if haunted and the clouds marching passively across the plane, I am in awe of the silence and calm.
I have been dwarfed by mountains, the ocean but never by a huge open field. I have images of our history and it’s inhabitants that made a life out here and imagine the distant cows that cry out now were probably the sounds of wagon trains and troops of coyotes, maybe even the bison.
The coyotes are still here, I see their tracks and scat but the bison are long gone. There hawks of all kinds, the red tail, the kestrels and the prairie falcon, their mood is pensive with a mission. They rise and fall in the golden field as it should be.
I learned about this place from a trail guide at the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center and I have been back twice. Yet another great place I learned about from the Blackland Prairie Raptor center, great people and wonderful birds with lots of knowledge, if you haven’t gotten a chance to go on the first Saturday of the month, I would highly suggest going.
I’ve just realized why I have been avoiding painting recently, not really avoiding it but just having a harder time settling down. Many of the works have been in progress for quite a while so getting back to them is often like picking up a strangers painting.
The amazing point is when suddenly you stop thinking about what you need to do and just start slashing at the canvas with purpose. There are unseen shapes and connections of shapes that come out of the surface of the paint and you fill in the blanks instinctively.
A stumbling block is the fear, especially when you like what you’ve started but there is no room for timid strokes in painting or anything else creative. Once you stop and think or attempt the safe way you might as well save painting for later.
Painting should be bold, excited and even a bit reckless. My thought is every painting is a potential mistake that will never see the light of day. This is the time you learn the most, when you are free to forcefully and confidently paint without fear of failure.
One particular technique that takes a lot of time going back and forth is the light on water, it starts out overly dramatic and slowly becomes more realistic. There are points where the light seems right, others when there seems to be a bump in the horizon and you have confidently fix the problems and continue to focus while you see the image you’ve been working on go from good to worse to good again.
Another aspect is painting objects, straight lines and architecture, something that often needs to be reworked and perfected. You are happy with the background and suddenly you’ve just destroyed it with the object that you overlapped-often the background needs to be reworked with the object as you work to perfect both.
There are so many different feelings when you paint, sometimes it’s pushing paint around, sometimes it’s deliberate, even mechanical and sometimes it’s instinctual, tonight’s sitting was a little bit of all of them.
I started with an under painting and it was one of the more deliberate paintings I’ve started, unfortunately I didn’t have the full picture, just an idea of clouds moving forward over the viewers head. The actual image is from real life, I have photographs for reference but I’m not completely sure where the clouds end and what the landscape looks like.
I painted the background with perspective lines, every form, every color and every space will be designed with the idea of perspective and I want the viewer to feel overwhelmed by the clouds overhead.
As I tend to do, I switched gears after finishing a monochromatic under painting I turned to the painting of a scene from beneath Shark River Inlet in Belmar New Jersey. This painting was inspired thirty plus years ago and it still stood clear.
I painted with a clear feeling of purpose but as suddenly as it began it ends and I wasn’t sure if I was done with the painting or should start all over. The problem is the idea and image is strong but the recollection is so hard to bring back to mind. I will continue to study it until I know it’s either done or time to start over.
Another thing about painting, sometimes you feel like you’ve created your best work and sometimes the same painting looks like a mistake. I got back to the grackles above the city, an image that I started at the end of the last series, again I had that feeling of instinct kick in and for thirty minutes or so I painted like I figured out the problem.
None of the paintings are finished but I feel like I’m shaking off the stagnation and getting in the process. The most exciting thing about painting instinctual is that images appear that you didn’t necessarily know you were creating they just come out of the details you’ve worked in feverishly.
I’m excited about this series and feel it will be a huge step toward my future painting style and feel.
Stay tuned, more paintings coming very soon.
So many things in gardening mimic life, it’s realizing them that offers us wisdom.
After ridiculous heat and a garden that got away from me, after all the beautiful blooms I anticipated have failed, I forget why I started gardening in the first place.
In Texas heat and humidity you stand and look at a mess you started in the spring that is now out of your control and succumbing to summer heat. Welcome to one’s life, finding that joy is what this post is all about. Here are my wisdoms from the weeds.
We all need a thick skin, it will keep the bad out and keep the
good in, a parent needs to start mulching their children at a very
young age-a thick skin is important.
Don’t overwater your children or yourself for that matter, don’t
take yourself too seriously and don’t rush in to make sure your
kids have everything they need. A little bit of patience and
perseverance grows character and it’s a beautiful flower.
This is twofold-don’t surround yourself with toxic people and
don’t try so hard to solve a problem you end up causing more
problems, think first, realize consequences before
you create more for yourself.
Transplant yourself, change is great for the soul. Often a change is
the best thing you can do to start living again, challenge yourself,
awaken your inner seed.
Don’t hold on to old ways or things, sometimes we need to throw
off our pasts, our old language and doubts before we can grow
Be more interested in the long term than the transient. Don’t panic as things in your life change and be patient as you discover the big picture.
Know who you are, be who you are. Don’t force yourself into someones’ perceived garden, realize how much more work and attention you will need for the same result.
Sometimes we are so intense about living, about goals, about expectations we forget we are here to enjoy, to have fun. Today I dug in the garden and it felt amazing. Stop, and enjoy your life, winter will be here sooner than you think.
I also found plants that had reseeded, last years flowers that reappeared, I love perennials. I would have never even realized them if I didn’t stop and dig in the soil and rejuvenate the garden. I remembered why I started gardening in the first place. Despite the heat, despite the sweat and toil and scars on barehands, I never use gloves. I realize nature is the force that rejuvenates me and gardening makes me remember that.
So get out there, enjoy nature, start a garden or just stop and enjoy someone else’s, Learn, read, find out what you loved as a child and rejuvenate your own garden, the results will amaze you!
Back to the original post, it takes time. There are shortcuts to find and retaining clients but there are no shortcuts to knowing them. You can’t fake relationship with a potential client, you must be there for them as they are for you.
I speak with the metaphor of a gardener and being one, it seems appropriate. Disperse seeds, don’t expect a quick pay out but realize why you are in the business in the first place, do you care about your customers?
If you don’t care about them, they will quickly not care about you and your product. I believe in laying the future, getting to know people, having more people realize you may something they need and living life with a passion that pays when others endeavors don’t
In the end, I have no doubt that I will reap the benefits of the broad garden of pictures, thoughts and ideas which will one day be book covers, stories in e-books and paintings on walls, it just takes time, did I mention it takes a lot of time.
You just need to use your time wisely. Do what you love and do it well and often and share it with as many people who care about what you are selling, the rewards will come much like the garden that grows from the seeds you planted in the spring, and it will be beautiful.