Thursday, May 28, 2009

Wild Things

As you may already know, I am a fan of pretty much all things nature. I can see the beauty in nearly anything living, whether breathing or not. Now, some people may argue with me about the art of a dandelion. These guys spread like wildfire and wreak havoc on our yard. Truly, the back of our house is a dandelion puff city. I don't want to sound like I'm making a case to leave the beasties in your yard. I'm not. I bought a 40lb. bag of weed and feed the other day to exterminate said puffs (sorry naturalists). But before I make sure that their lilting offspring don't reach the soil, I pay them tribute. Because really, they are quite pretty. So deceiving, don't you think? They are wild and numerous in our yard. On the other end of the spectrum, there is this lovely wild columbine. Sitting alone, I spotted this magenta gem. Wild yes, numerous, no. Not in our yard anyway. So here is the contrast of my wild things. One I wish to iradicate, the other I wish would multiply. Whichever happens, I guess I'll continue to see the art in both.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Backyard Art- LIVE!

{Before I even start, I need to let everyone know that I have been lazy. Lazy and tired. My kids have been sick for nearly 2 weeks. No excuses, but just so you know. I'm going to try to get back on the Art Wagon!}

I am a bird freak. I confess. And lately, anything that moves in our backyard has been of particular interest to me. I love that all of the migratory birds are back. Grosbeaks, finches, hummingbirds, redstarts, you name it, I try to get my camera aimed in their direction.

My dog also likes the critters in our yard. He has a special soft spot for chipmunks. The little guy shown here must have been staring at our Deuce for nearly 10 minutes before the kids and I walked by to distract the dog and he made his getaway. They are so cute!

Although their beauty is obvious, it is fleeting. The birds are here for such a short while (in Minnesota anyway), and the chipmunks scurry under decks, lawnmowers and hosta leaves so you can't ever really get a close up look. So I consider myself very fortunate to get these photos. I can stare at the delicate wings and chubby, hairy cheeks all I want. What an artful bunch we have in our backyard. I hope they visit for years to come.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Artful Classics {In the Flower Sense}

Aren't flowers just beautiful? Especially in the Springtime when they are new and fresh. I planted all of my annuals yesterday in several large pots that sit outside our house. I'm crossing my fingers that the weather stays a little warmer and I don't have to cover them against frost.

These beauties are flowers here at work. The very popular [but very messy, in my opinion] Flowering Crab Apple tree. And another likeable standard, the tulip. So, basically I wanted to give a little credit to some oldies but goodies in this post. Sure they are seen in hundreds of yards in nearly every state, but there's a reason for that. They are beautiful, fragrant, and above all, they are art.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Art of the Giggle

One of the best sounds in the entire world (to me) is the sound of a little kid laughing. Not a fake forced laugh, but a true little giggle or belly laugh. It's a sound that makes me smile just thinking of it. These are the times when I wish I had audio to accompany a photo. This cutie pie is my neighbor's son and he is turning 3 in about a week. We were being silly, which is easy to do with a 3-year-old. Running around the yard (he beat me), picking up worms (again), and playing with his enormous Newfoundland dog Max (big white mass of fluffy fur). All of this led to the giggles shown here. Sure you can make laughing noises all you want, but when you get a child to actually giggle, that sound is art to me.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

One more thing... Mother's Day Art

I would be a total failure as a Mother if I didn't post my kids' Mother's Day Art. They made these cool little jars with popsicle stick flowers, and Sean planted a marigold for me in Preschool. I love all of my gifts. (Plus the awesome new bird bath... thanks honey.)

Little Girls

I am so accustomed to boys. Dirt, worms, etc. as in the previous post. So when a little vision with curly hair, cute as a button clothes and fine features stepped every so daintily into the picnic at work the other night, I just had to get out my camera. This is my co-worker's daughter, and she was just the cutest thing ever. She was just so unlike my boys. Sat quietly, talked softly, and was already making my little William blush with her long eyelashes batting away. Little girls are definitely different creatures than boys. As my Will ran crazily in circles, nose running as well, she nearly pranced behind him, looking like a little fawn. Little girls are indeed art, just as are boys. But in very different ways. :)

Oh, and on a technical note, I tried to do a "cross-process" on the last photo. Found a website that gave instructions on how to adjust your curves to get this effecct. Kinda cool, although I'd like to tweak on it some more...

Friday, May 8, 2009


Friesian horses, to be exact. Wow are these animals magnificent. Yesterday I gave myself the assignment to drive about 20 minutes north to take some photos of Friesian horses for the magazine. First of all, these boys are huge. They are a little intimidating. But I warmed up quickly when I let one sniff my hand, and the owner said "Wow. He usually is very standoffish. He must like you." Aside from being massive, they are oh so regal. Jet black mane and amber eyes. I can see how people would pay the woman who owns the breeding center to fly to Holland just to buy them a horse. Wow. With that being said, I am by no means an equine photographer. And after my shoot yesterday, I have a whole new appreciation for people like Shelley Paulson (visit her website . . . it is amazing: . . . I got to meet Shelley at a photo workshop here in Brainerd.) Horses seem to be a little bit like shooting children. You have to be quick. Ready to catch that special moment at any time. I of course, missed a few moments because I was gabbing away, or just staring at them. How can you not? So here are a couple of my favorite shots. Horses are art. No explanation needed.

(Oh, and won't you please click on each image to see it a little larger? These deserve to be seen bigger!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Little Boys, Dirt and Worms

What goes together better than little boys, dirt, and worms? Not much. There is some elemental attraction between them. Maybe it's the texture of the grit or slime. Maybe it's the feeling of being able to control something so small. I don't know. I've never truly understood the fascination of boys and bugs. Dirt, I somewhat can get that, since I too like the feel of soil in my palms. Bugs . . . just not so much. So I'm not exactly sure why I'm calling this art today other than the fact that when little boys play with worms and bugs something sort of magical happens. The twinkle in their eyes becomes a bit mischievious, ready to chase and taunt with their miniature "snakes." Another reason to call them art is just for what they are. What cool little creatures. Bending, stretching, squirming, curling. Imagine being able to do that with your body.

So, today's art is worms. Like them or not!

p.s. I got a new lens! That's what I shot these with. It's an 85 mm 1.8 by Canon. So far I'm liking it a lot. :)