Walk along the Middle River

One afternoon recently, I had the pleasure of spending a hour or so along the banks of the Middle River that runs near my home, through Augusta County in Virginia.  This time of year it was just exploding with all the beauty and possibilities of Spring.  It was so soothing to walk along the dirt road that follows the path of the river and hear the water running over the rocks.

While the views of the river are lovely, I am more drawn to the small details along the way. The bank along this particular stretch of the river was awash in wildflowers just making their appearance for this year.  Many of the wildflowers were ones that I was not familiar with because they don’t grow in New York state where I lived for so long.   I’m looking forward to revisiting this spot many times during the year to see how it changes.

The Middle River, near Verona, VA.

The first Bloodroot flower I’ve ever seen.

I loved the way these tree roots framed another Bloodroot plant.

The flowers really do look like little pairs of pants on this Dutchman’s Breeches plant.

Cutleaf Toothwort gets its name from it’s historical use to treat toothaches.

Virginia Spring Beauty is most aptly named.

It was too early in the bloom for me to know what this shrub is but I loved the airy patterns that the branches created in the afternoon sunlight.

 

Open to Delight – Spring

Browsing the images on my phone a few days ago, I realized I had quite a few Delight images that I had not shared.  Here’s the current installment of Open to Delight with just a few of the moments that have given me delight recently.

How have you been taking note of these moments in your life?

(If you’d like to see the images larger, just click on the first one and you can scroll through all of the images.)

April Snow

 

We woke up to a couple inches of snow the other day.  The cherry tree that had just surprised me with blossoms earlier that week was covered in snow.  It looked like a pastry chef had delicately and artfully placed frosting on all the blossoms.  It melted quickly once the sun came out but the way the light danced around the snow and the blossoms begged to be photographed. The last image doesn’t show the cherry blossoms but the forest, with bits of new green just showing under the light frosting of snow. It was a lovely morning!

Open to Delight: A Walk in the Woods

We got out for our first hike of the year the other day.  It was just a short bit of a hike since the water in the stream was too high to cross that day.  It looks like a hike that would be fun to do several times throughout the season as there are huge groups of mountain laurel as well as rhododendrons, and who knows what else?!  And if you can cross the stream and go further there is a waterfall to enjoy.  Hiking in Virginia in late March was such a delight.  We are used to  Mud season in NY’s Adirondacks that makes hiking a challenge in the spring time.

Here are just a few glimpses of a lovely time in the woods.

Out There, again…results.

Thanks for all the input to my post earlier this week, Out There, again.

I have news to share.  🙂

One of my images was accepted by juror Michael Pannier to the Seasons exhibit at the SE Center for Photography in Greenville, SC. This image is a personal favorite of mine so I’m happy as well as honored to have it accepted into this relatively small show. The entire exhibit can be viewed at this link.

Calm Waters

For the NVACC  Eighth Annual Abstract Photography Exhibit, two of my images were accepted by the juror, Joseph Miller.  The exhibit opens Sat May 5 and runs through Mon May 28, 2018 at Joseph Miller Center for the Photographic Arts in Gainesville, VA.  I’m not sure if they will show the entire exhibit online at any point but will let you know if they do.

Marina Reflections 3

Ribbons of Color 3

Now I need to prepare prints and get them shipped.  Thanks for all your input and support!

 

Out there, again.

A while ago, I shared a post about submitting my work to exhibits otherwise known as call for entry.  In that post I explained why I spend the time, money, and emotional energy doing this: Entering images provides me with another outlet for my work, a way to have BNF’s (big names in the field) see my work, and to receive some feedback on it, even if that feedback is simply being accepted or not.   Having work accepted for an exhibit helps me to build a resume that shows my work has been exhibited at the national level.  And it’s just fun!

I’ve been up to it again recently.  The themes for three calls for entry seemed to fit with some of my work.

Photo Place Gallery in Middlebury, VT had a call for the theme, Capturing the Light. None of the images I submitted were selected for the exhibit, but you can see the final selections here.

The Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs (NVACC) is currently putting together their 8th Annual Joseph Miller Abstract Exhibit.  This is a new venue for me but it was appealing because it is in my new home state and because much of my work falls into the category of abstract, so I thought this call for entry would be worth a submission.  Do you think any of these six images will be accepted?  Results are due this weekend.

The SE Center for Photography in Greenville, SC. is also a new venue for me apply to a call for entry.  They currently have a call for the theme Seasons.  “Spring is fast approaching and what better time to celebrate the use of color in photography. We usually think of color and seasons to mean landscapes, but this time let’s not limit it to just the landscape, or Spring. All subject matter relating to seasons, digital, analog or alternative methods.”   What do you think the chances are for these images?  Results will be announced next week.

I recently found this wonderful article by Douglas Beasley, a well respected photographer, on what it’s like for a juror.  It helps put the whole process in perspective for those entering their work.

I’ll let you know next week how my images did in the Abstract and the Seasons exhibits.

 

 

 

A Glimpse of Spring

I was going through my image files today, getting prepared for an exhibition that I am applying for (more about that another time).  My files are full of images that I haven’t done anything with yet, just waiting for their time to be noticed.  Sometimes, when I create images they don’t really speak to me at that moment in time.  I have learned to be patient and revisit them at another time.  Not always, but often, the images will speak to me months or years after I’ve created them.

As I was reviewing image folders, I found several different groups that had a similar point of view.  They were all taken at ground level and very close up, sort of like an ant’s view.  So I began to put them into one collection and see where that leads.

Perhaps because we are on the cusp of spring, these four images particularly appealed to me today, so I thought I would share them with you.  Meanwhile, I will continue to think about the idea of shooting with the perspective of an ant.

My new Photo Encaustic Workshop

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with you my new studio space.  Since then I’ve been working on setting up the encaustic workshop and it’s ready to do it’s job.  I became interested in photo encaustics in January and took a couple of workshops over the summer. (I shared about those workshops here.) Moving time came and all the encaustic supplies were packed up.  Here is the great unveiling, so to speak.  I haven’t yet, actually worked in the space creatively but will share as the experiments and creations emerge.

Open to Delight…again

Sometime in the past several months, I realized that I had, in all the craziness of home searching, stopped taking photos of those little moments of delight that appeared in my days.  I hadn’t really stopped noticing them, but I hadn’t been recording them.  And I think, the act of recording them makes it a bit more intentional to keep my eyes and heart open to what delight there is in the world.

I’ve written and shared about delight before many times (you can read them here) but as a reminder, I believe that our lives are full of moments of surprise and joy that add up to delight.  Sometimes they are big things but often they are the small things and often we totally miss them if we are not paying attention.  It has been my practice for some time to be more aware of those moments. Taking photos of them helps to be more intentional about it.

I restarted taking my delight photos in August, right in the midst of major moving activities.  I use my phone camera to take the photos, in an effort to keep it simple.

It’s more about noticing the delight than creating a work of art.  The work of art is in the moment itself. 

What’s more, when they are on my phone, I don’t really look at them until it’s time to write a post like this.  Then I get an additional dose of delight when I look back through the photos on my phone and re-delight at all those moments.

Hope you will find delight in some of these images and perhaps go on your own mission to be aware of the delight in your days.

Back in Business, Mostly

It’s been a very busy 5 weeks since we moved into our new home in Virginia on September 7.

Sometime about a week after we had moved in I had this thought as I was waking up one morning.  Moving is a bit like a puzzle.  The puzzle is your life and you take all the pieces and mix them up and put them in a container. Then when you get to the new home, you take them out and begin to put them back together. It’s still your life but they all go together a bit differently than they did before. 

In the past five weeks we have unpacked scores of boxes, painted a few rooms, painted the front doors, moved the silver ware drawer 3 times (I think it’s in the right spot now), organized closets, given away piles of boxes and packing paper, rearranged furniture multiple times, learned how to navigate the area without GPS, figured out which hardware store is the best, visited the local paint store at least once a week, tried at least one restaurant per week, attended a beekeepers meeting (Michael), joined the art school in town (Gail), obtained VA driver licenses and registrations, and much more.  It’s tiring at times but energizing as well.

This week, my goal was to finish my office/studio.  In it’s first 22 years, this space was a hair  salon but it’s taken quite readily to it’s new role as photography studio.  I’ve had the computers and printers in full working order for about 2 weeks now thanks to our generous and technologically savvy son, Adam.  There were, however, still piles of boxes and nothing other than the computers was really set up as I wanted it.  So it’s almost done.  All that is left to do is unpack the books, which I will do as soon as I find the pegs that hold up the shelves on my bookshelves.  🙂  Where the boxes of books currently are in the corner is where I am planning to have a studio lighting set up.  I have a head full of ideas that have been waiting for this new space to be able to create.

Here’s a few photos to give you an idea of the process and what my wonderful new space looks like. I added the first 3 photos of my space in NY to refresh your memory.

In the next few days, I hope to finish setting up the encaustic workspace (it’s at the other end of the house, in the basement) and actually do a bit of work there.  It has been calling to me! I will share photos when that is complete.