Autumn didn’t last long in Calgary

fall leaves covered with ice and snow
frozen leaves; captured by the snow and ice.

Yesterday Mother Nature hit Calgary with snow – records breaking amounts of snow dumped on Calgary. I have talked to many who spend hours in traffic.

I wandered the streets and park pathways. Okay, I will admit that it is nice not having a full-time job downtown, I get to choose how I spend the day, and yesterday I choose to go for a walk. Yes, it was hard walking through the 10 plus inches of snow. But it was also very beautiful. Especially when I walked into a section of the pathway that had just been cleared by the city snowplow. Along the walk was a thin sheet of soft snow and ice, covering the leaves. I felt like a three-year-old who had just found their first leaf!

I know kinda crazy, right. But they are beautiful, so many shades and patterns, colors enhanced by the wet snow. I know walking through the snow, and photographing the leaves isn’t for everyone, but I had a great day.

How do you spend your time when you have a snow day?

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Bok Choy

bok choy_25A3652
bok choy; on the windowsill

I trying something new; aside from giving me an opportunity to practise my macro and close-up photography and hopefully, I hope to be eating some fresh vegetables that I have grown.

I have always loved the idea of gardening, I love spring, when we start to see the plants wake after a long winter, and I love the idea of growing my own vegetables. I idea of growing some of these vegetables from those end bits that we normally throw away is even more fun.

So far I have tried bok choy, soon we will be adding these to our salads. I have tried celery, it is growing beautifully, the leafy ends have started to sprout and getting longer, although I anticipate it will be a while before I am harvesting any long stocks or enough for more than a snack.

I am not too interested in potatoes or sweet potatoes, they take up a lot of room on my from patio, but I am interested if you have any other suggestions for vegetables I can try growing? I will keep you posted on my little garden.

Coffee; First coffee then the world

espresso coffee, coffee beans, first coffee then the world gold background
first coffee then the world

Saturday mornings have started to look like every other day of the week. It has been almost 1 year since I quit working a regular job, and it has been quite a year! But the last couple of weeks, we have been home and I have been sick. Cold, sinus infection and bronchitis! I guess it was time for me to come home and rest!

So, it has been a quiet couple of weeks, and now I am rested and getting ready to work on some projects. I entered a couple of images into the Stampede Photo Gallery, we shall see if any of them get accepted. I want to start doing more portraits again this summer. I am thinking about Photo Encaustic Painting, something new to explore, learning something new is always good, but I am not sure about the medium or if I want to dilute my schedule, available time and brain power with one more thing!

I have been adding more images to my Society6 page, that is easy to do while sitting and drinking tea, and it seems a good way to start my venture into selling prints. If you have any other suggestion, I would be happy to hear your thoughts on selling photography on line.

I have had my morning coffee, time to get busy, off out of the house and into the world to see what awaits me!

PS. I wanted to mention there is a sale on Society6

1/21 – 1/22: 25% Off Everything With Code ART25OFF
Start: Sunday, 1/21/18 at 12:00 am PT
End: Monday, 1/22/18 at 11:59 pm PT

Winter Walk

If you seek creative ideas go walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk ~                                                                        Raymond I. Myers

room to breathe, man sitting on Nosehill Park Calgary, enjoying the view and a beautiful winter day
winter calgary man sitting on a bench nosehill park

I am not sure who this Raymond I. Myers is or where he lived, but I am guessing that he didn’t walk in Canada during the winter, where a good hat is essential against the frosty cold wind that blows in my ears! But the walk despite to cold wind and snow does give me a chance to breathe some fresh air, and clear my thoughts and find inspiration.

My assignment today: Find a simple subject…. an uncluttered background….. experiment with different POV’s (points of view). Leave room in the frame… negative space is a beautiful thing.

Negative space in art is defined as the space around and between the subject(s) of an image. There is plenty of space on Nosehill Park for walking, dreaming and for listening to the angels if you like, the only thing negative is the temperature! Forgive me for harping on about the cold, I know I am not the only one putting up with these temperatures, it is just not easy to get use to, it will take me a while to adjust!  Until then, I hope you are enjoying your day, and that you are finding room to breathe and be creative.

Prints are available on Society6

I have been missing my daily walk!

Wall Mural in the village of Burguete (Auritz) Spain of a gentleman going for a walk with his umbrella
Walking is my therapy

Bill and I love our daily walks, and there is a lot written about the importance of getting out into the fresh air and getting some exercise, and over the last couple of years we have spend most of our holiday time walking. Twice now we have done the Camino Francis, the photo about is just one of the wall murals that we took note of.

The Camino Francis is a pilgrimage through northern Spain. While the camino includes walking through several cities, it is mostly the countryside and small towns along with the relaxing afternoon in the Plaza Mayor that people enjoy. We also love the large city centres that have pedestrian streets filled with cafes, shops and people.

We returned to Calgary last week, mid winter, the streets and walking paths are a little icy, making the walk difficult, at least that is what I tell myself! you see, last winter I worked on a series of photographs called “My Morning Commute”,  one photo a day taken on my way to work. So the cold and potentially icy streets don’t normally have such a negative impact on my walking routine. So I am going to blame it on my sleep, or really the lack of sleep, you see my sleep schedule, it is way off. The combination of living in a different time zone for a number of weeks, and the long trip home, almost 30 hours in transit, yes one very long layover, has played havoc with my sleep schedule! I am caught in a bit of a catch-22, too tired and unmotivated for a long walk, yet deep down I know that walking would help return a healthier rhythm to my day.  I am pretty sure if I thought about it I could find (or make-up) one or two more excuses for my failure to take a walk over the last week! What do you do when you are stuck in a rut that isn’t good for you?

I remind myself  that “Demons don’t like fresh air” ~ Ingmar Bergman, one of my favourite quotes, and a reminder to me to get out of the house!

Time to get things in order! today we walk, hopefully tonight we sleep!

Prints are available through Society6

Last Day of 2018

horse racing Ascot Perth Australia
Ascot Races; Perth Australia

We spent yesterday watching horse racing at the Ascot Race Track near Perth. Watching the ponies run is something we enjoy doing once in a while, especially when the weather is nice, was +32 very warm for us, and the Australian sun seems to burn a little hotter than what we are accustom to!  I don’t think anyone made any money, okay I think the bookies made some money, but we had all the fun!

If you are interested head over to my society6 shop I have provided a link to canvas print page, if there is an image you like you can click on it and see the other products that the image is offered on, or click on the link to see the shower curtains totebags or notebooks but there are lots of other products on sale as well. 12/31-1/1: 25% Off Everything .  Start: Sunday, 12/31/17 at 12:00am PT . End: Monday, 1/1/18 at 11:59pm PT

Koi Fish; Swirls of Color Society6 sale; 2/31-1/1: 25% Off Everything Start: Sunday, 12/31/17 at 12:00am PT End: Monday, 1/1/18 at 11:59pm PT
Koi Fish; Swirls of Colour Society6 sale; 2/31-1/1: 25% Off Everything Start: Sunday, 12/31/17 at 12:00am PT End: Monday, 1/1/18 at 11:59pm PT

Poppies in the Bright Sunshine

Poppy flowers in a sunny field
Poppies in the Bright Sunshine

Often found growing along roadside ditches and other humble places, these flowers have enchanted poets for centuries. I found these poppies growing along the side of the Camino Francis in northern Spain, the ditches in many places were lined with them.

Pony in the Pyrenees for Monochrome Madness

 

Horse on the slopes of Pyrenees Mountains
Pony in the Pyrenees 

The first day walking the Camino Francis, one of the popular routes to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, involves walking through the Pyrenees Mountains. St Jean Pied de Port to Roncesvalles 24km, and is said to take 7 to 9 hours. We have made this trip twice now, our first days were both days were were at least 8 hours on the road.

During the day we climbed from St Jean Pied de Port at 200 metres above sea level to just above 1,400 meters then descend steeply back down again into Roncesvalles at 900 metres, which can be hard going on your knees and shins. Pack a lunch, while there is often a coffee truck on the road the options for food and water are limited.

More Monochrome image on Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness weekly blog. Prints are available on Society6.

Society6 Stocking Stuffer Sale

sale dec 10 2017
society6

$6 Off Tote Bags, Carry-All Pouches, T-Shirts, V-Necks, Biker Tanks, Tank Tops, Coffee Mugs, Travel Mugs, Metal Travel Mugs, Stationery, and Notebooks. 20% Off Phone Cases, Stickers, Leggings, All Over Print T-Shirts, Tapestries, and Art Prints.

Starts: Sunday, 12/10/17 at 12:00 am PT
Ends: Sunday, 12/10/17 at 11:59 pm PT

Screenshot 2017-12-10 07.47.45
society6 carry all pouches

 

Screenshot 2017-12-10 07.53.50
metal travel mugs
Screenshot 2017-12-10 07.38.49
society6 Christmas tote bag

 

 

Door knockers: Monochrome Madness

door knockers
Door Knockers

As we walked the Camino to Santiago de Compostela I was drawn to all the beautiful old door knockers. Of course they came in many different shapes, sizes and colours, and they were all on different types of doors. In order to have a cohesive tryptic I needed to do some work in photoshop.

I processed each of the images individually to have a similar tone and colour balance, then copied them onto one canvas together. I used the transform tool  so that the door knockers were all close to the same size. I used the black and white adjustment layer to convert the image to black and white, and then a levels adjustment layer to complete the project.

Fine art photographer Leanne Cole has a weekly challenge called Monochrome Madness each week that has inspired me. I am going to try and post one black and white image a week for this challenge.

Image of the tryptic panel as well as the each of the image will be available on Society6 if you are interested in adding them to your collection.