Tag Archives: summer

Have a Great Memorial Day

It’s Memorial Day weekend.   As a kid, this weekend not only meant great food.  It also meant the ending of school and the unofficial start of summer.

Summer means art and we are putting the final touches on a new show starting in June.  look for future updates and more details soon.

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Waiting for Vacation
Waiting for Vacation

A Fact About Mockingbirds That’ll Keep You Up at Night.

The Mockingbird Waits is the latest addition to the gallery. This is a close up portrait of a Northern Mockingbird taking a relaxing break from his springtime song and hunt for bugs. In this case, this bird sits on a dead stump waiting to hear the illustrious call of a mate nearby.

While this bird lives in Texas year round, they become more active and appear more and more as the weather turns from the chilly ice-cold Texas winters to the blazing heat of the summers.

They get the name mockingbird because of their ability to mimic other sounds around them. They sing their own unique songs, mimic other birds, or even imitate sound making devices such as whistles and musical instruments.

In fact they carry out this task of mimicry so well, the only way to tell it’s not real and just a mockingbird is that they tend to sing their imitation in songs of three bursts.

Unfortunately, they not only sing during day but also on some moonlit nights. It’s during these all night concerts that people discover just how stubborn this little bird is.

While in college on the night before a final exam, I had one of these small singers decide to sit in a tree outside my window and exclaim its joy to the world at 2 am. This lasted for an hour before I took drastic measures. Only after attacking the tree with a baseball bat to make loud noises and shake the branches did I prevail in silencing its repertoire and scaring it away.

I was lucky.  These birds are very territorial and have The Mockingbird Waitsno qualms about attacking larger animals that wander into its perceived territory. In fact, I know of at least one person who received a broken ankle and another who broke his leg trying to escape the clutches of these relentless little winged terrors. They will sometimes attack eagles or hawks by dive bombing them and pecking at them until they leave the territory. They have no fear.

My office is now on the edge of a Mockingbird family’s territory. Recently, I was privy to the continuous call of a young mockingbird chick to its mother. It is clear that the mother bird was attempting to teach the youngster to hunt, with loud protests of displeasure from the young chick.

However, the youngster was having none of that nonsense and proceeded to squawk continuously for 4 hours before the mother finally gave up and fed the darling. After three hours, I began looking for any reason to be in another place than that office.

I thought about taking some pictures but they perched in a tree by the door. I didn’t wish to scare the mother away thus leaving me with an abandoned hungry chick. Thank heaven for earplugs.

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3 Suggestions On Creating a Beach Theme Bedroom

It’s been a very long and stressful day and like the beach huts in our photograph you are Waiting for Vacation.  This photograph simply screams relaxation, beach chairs, fish dinners and cold drinks.   There they sit, waiting patiently for the return of the summer crowd.

If only you could have that sound of the ocean and the feel of sand between the toes you might be able to handle tomorrow.  Unfortunately, your vacation still lies weeks or even months away.  Unless…

Why not make your bedroom your own little vacation sanctuary?  A few dabs of paint, flowers, and a throw pillow or two will get the job done.  I’ve listed for your convenience some of the basic items to think about before spending a fortune.

If you are the DIY type, then by all means think about your favorite beach, create a plan and start straight away.  If, however, you worry about your color matching ability or just don’t have the time or knowledge to do the job proper, I’d suggest investigating a local interior decorator to help.

Thinking about making your bedroom a personal beach experience?  Here’s how to start:

  1. Color.  No beach inspired room is complete without the proper colors.  The danger here is to go overboard with your favorite color.  While it’s possible that you want to paint the walls in a wonderful shade of sea-foam, I’d suggest pausing and imagining what an entire room full of a particular color will look like.  One trick is to take the free paint swabs at the home improvement stores and tack them to your wall.  After a couple of days, it is possible to remove the ones you don’t like and decide on the color you do.

As for the beach, think in shades of blues, greens, reds,

Waiting for Vacation
This photograph simply screams relaxation, beach chairs, fish dinners and cold drinks.

and white.  Those are the most common colors with a nautical theme and exist in varying shades on beaches.

  1. Furniture.  When you are looking for beach inspired furniture it is very important to envision the kind of beach you are using for inspiration.  For instance, if your beach of inspiration is tropical, you use furniture made of tropical materials like bamboo, pine or teak woods, and even wicker.  Other beaches, such as the beaches of New England or the Pacific Northwest inspire the use of different woods including oak and cedar.
  1. Accessories.   Items that remind a person of a beach are an absolute necessity.  The proper accessory will make or break the relaxing image you are trying to portray.  Items that help tie the beach themed colors and your new furniture will include:

Like what you read about Waiting For Vacation and Beach Bedrooms?

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What Lays Down that Dirt Road?

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,” – Robert Frost

 

Thus wrote Robert Frost in the last stanza of Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.   It is not unusual for one artist using a medium such as painting or photography to use another medium such as poetry or sculpture to inspire a work of art.  This happened when I saw this unknown country road in the piney woods of East Texas.

 

Country Road is an artistic work of mystery.   It develops a sense of interest in what lays down that dirt road.  The woods have both a dark foreboding feel to them and an almost inviting quality that inspires interest and investigation.

 

Do we rise to the challenge and satiate our curiosity?  Can we alter our preconceived notions of what may lay down this enchanting dirt path?  The constant themes of duality push us on.

 

A farm may exist on the other end of this forest or even a lost foreboding decaying confederate cemetery. Anything is possible in these areas of Texas.

 

You might guess a small town carved out of the green woods and growing underbrush impressing any “city folk” with its lack of size?  People who live in metropolitan areas are so often thoroughly shocked on how small towns or villages are so, well small.

 

The road with brownish red dirt and the tire tracks caused by many pick-up trucks become a human element.  Yet, this road contrasts completely with the dark natural forest in its greens and wooden greys.  The forest, or the natural world, indeed challenges the human element of the clay road.  The trees and vines push on the sides of the road and nature even encroaches in the middle of the path.  A tuft of green grass barely visible and only where the tire tracks have not pounded the Texas soil into the hard clay.  This action suggests that nature refuses to yield to humankind.

This photographic work is a captured slice of a summer afternoon.  It remains a permanent comment on the duality and conflict of man vs. nature, mystery vs. knowledge, and how something so dark appears lovely to us with untold of miles to go in our journey thru photographic art.  Country Road asks the question. What lays down that dirt road?

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Nature’s Puzzle Fun: Sunflowers and Shapes

This sunflower is an amazing example of living geometric engineering. I know of several middle school math teachers that would giggle with delight at this mouth-watering choice of shapes and forms.

 

As you view the sunflower carefully, the discovery of cones, triangles, circles and even pentagrams suddenly show themselves in a magical and alluring way.  Nature creates a puzzle of various designs and structures all the while implementing them in a living plant.

 

The amazing thing is the shapes found inside each shape.  Notice the focus on the band of black cones, each ending with 3 dimensional shapes in a star pattern on top.  All of those star patterns connect to a cone shape that sprouts majestically from a small pentagram.  Yet, all together, they form a sweeping black band in a semi-circular pattern that divides the work and flower into each part.

 

This band separates the ever-increasing density of the sloping conical-shaped face and the flat expanding petals of the flower.  Even the colors divide into separate areas due to that black and yellow band.  Nature even allows colors to join in this dance of geometry.  The sun-kissed greens of the undeveloped seeds slope towards the more traditional sunflower yellow of the petals.  Indeed, the sunlight striking the petals actually enhances our perception of the color changing from green to black towards yellow.

 

Only nature exists in such a perfect form.  All of these shapes and colors exist for attraction.  Sure, we has humans enjoy the fragrance, sight, and complexity of the flowers but it irresistible to the insects like butterflies and bees that the plant wished to attract.  Such beauty allows a perfect winning scenario. The sunflower becomes pollinated, the insects get a meal, and we get to decorate and have a snack of sunflower seeds.  Perfect wins all around!

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