That’s a Wrap


The Christmas decorations are up and the shopping is done…   And now a little free time to catch up here on the blog; my favorite way to spend Sunday mornings.

Although I have not had the camera in my hand as much as I would like in 2018, there has been a pen and paper at the ready to sketch new composite ideas, and tutorials, such as on You Tube and Creative Live, to check out.  And it turns out reading, no, not necessarily photography related material,  but a novel or two; is a great way to work on visualization skills and get those creative ideas flowing.

As part of the never-ending learning process in this photographic journey, it’s finally sinking in that it’s not about the quantity of photos taken or the number of outings/shoots packed into a year…  There has been a steady decline over the last two years or so of photos that I’ve taken with my DSLR and this year even less.  But! There have been more “keepers.”  Because now it is about getting the shot I want – not just snapping away and hoping for the best. It’s being able to visualize the image and compose it in camera; whether it’s a piece to a composite, a landscape, or a portrait.   And this year, those were the images that got more attention than I could have ever imagined!

This too has brought a boost in confidence, especially with the composites, within the photo community and arts community alike.  And I celebrated this ever-developing photo-artistic direction by submitting images for the December issue of Living the Photo Artistic Life! It’s an amazing feeling to have two images among the many photo artists that have inspired me for so long.

Wishing everyone a wonderful Holiday Season and New Year filled with Love, Joy

and Inspiration whatever your passion!





The Eleventh Hour


Good Sunday Morning!  It feels good to be spending this cool, sunny last day of September morning enjoying a cup of coffee and rambling on about this hobby of mine.

Let’s talk about exhibits?  Do you enter your photography in juried exhibits/competitions?  Why… or… why not?

An idea board and “rough drafts” to keep track of my first series

Over the course of this blog, I’ve entered a number of exhibits/competitions.  I’ve been rejected and have won first place.  But whatever the outcome, the weeks, days, or with just an hour or two to spare leading up to the deadline are always the same…  Working and reworking an image, looking for the tiniest of details that might have been missed to making sure the title is just right, and always, always, thinking I could have, should have done this or that differently.  Then I hit the send button… and wait.

The call for entries for the 2018 Transformations Exhibit last week was no different.  Transformations is an exhibit where photography and the imagination meet, an exhibit where “Photoshopped” is not a bad word, and an exhibit that is all about what I love to do.  So why do I get so worked up? Partly because it is a competition, all the work and effort that goes into an image, and most importantly that my vision just might not come through.  When it comes to judging there’s the technical, but then there is always the subjective… maybe the judge is partial to portraits than landscapes, more straight forward images than obscure ones, or maybe the judge has their own vision when putting the show together and your image(s) just might not fit.  Even knowing the logic and not so logical behind competitions, there are two emotions I seem to have no control over… the excitement of being chosen and the disappointment of not making the cut; which when combined equals that anxious feeling that sticks with me until the results are in.

Tapping into my darker side at Pennhurst Asylum.

So why do I do enter?  It’s simple really… because with each and every one, I learn and grow a little more as an artist and photographer.

Well, the results should be in sometime this coming week and regardless the outcome, I will be very glad to say goodbye to this gnawing anxious feeling… until the next exhibit/competition I enter.

With fingers crossed,

Snow Day… 2018

Blog, Photography

What would you do with a snow day?  Go back to bed?  Spend the day watching movies?  Organize your photo library?

Friday lights out… game on.

When I got up this a.m., just like a kid, the first thing I did was peak outside {heavy sigh}… it didn’t look so bad.  Maybe the weather folks got it wrong.  Then, I got the text The Office is Closed (woo-hoo!!!).  That lasted all but few seconds because of the realization that apparently the worst is yet to come and thought’s of Friday’s Nor’easter are still fresh.    So for now, I’m taking advantage of the fact that the power is on (and keeping fingers crossed that it stays that way), enjoying a hot cup of coffee, and hanging out here on the blog.

Many of my creative ideas so far this year have been weather-related.  Not surprising though, as it has been a rollercoaster weather-wise and with that it is also now the season of potholes!

Now that’s a pothole! Interstate State Park, at Taylors Falls, MN, “Home of the World’s Deepest Potholes.”

So, how am I going to spend this snow day?  I’ll take care of a few things that require power… like catching up on the laundry.  I’ll definitely being out playing in the snow with the “boys,” possibly keeping up with the shoveling, staying warm and enjoying some creative time working on some photos… and watching the snow fall.

If you’re in the path of this Nor’easter, stay safe & warm.

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Creating Art is One Thing

Blog, Photography

Selling it… often feels more like a job.  Since I opened my Etsy shop two years ago, it has been somewhat slow going and a continuous learning process on how to be a marketer, a writer, and a designer.  I have had to learn about web logistics, SEOs, and social media management… with many hours spent surfing the web looking for how-to’s and what-not-to do’s.

My very first Etsy listing and product shot.

However, I learn something new with every Etsy listing.  For example, I started out by staging my own product shots, scavenging the house for items to include, working in a makeshift studio (i.e. a corner in my office), taking photos of my photos and then having to edit those.

Until I discovered the wonderful world of Photoshop mock-ups that include everything from the frames to the walls to the all accessories…  And with so many options, the most time consuming part now is making up my mind.

My latest Etsy listing.

Even for this do-it-your-selfer, these pre-made mock-ups are a huge time saver and even an extension of the creative process, making selling art a little less like a job.

Need a mock-up?  Checkout Creative Market. Also a great place for fonts, textures, and other goodies.

Chasing Balloons

Blog, Photography


Childhood memories…of sorts.  There’s a favorite place I like to go that sits up high (I’m guessing that’s why they call the adjoining neighborhood Highpoint).  From this spot, we would perch ourselves on a fence that surrounded a horse pasture and watch the jets fly from a Navy airbase barely visible in the distance.  I can still feel (and hear) those jets… and the planes just like the ones my dad used to fly and would take us to see when we were little.  The airbase and the jets are gone and so are the horses and the fence we used to sit on.  But if I situate myself just right, the homes that now surround this little patch of field fade away and time rewinds… if only for a moment or at least until one of the dogs pulls on his leash.

Until next time,