Summer Artwork*

It’s been a while since I have added any new images to my printed portfolio.  I took some time yesterday to sort through some recent images; I even had time to work up another sunflower!  Some of these you have seen before ….

click an image to view larger

Next up:  Beginning to work on the 2014 Calendar!! Stay tuned.


The love of gardening is a seed that once sown never dies * Gertrude Jekyll

April 2 *St. Johns Bridge

Today I decided to get my camera on and shoot the bridge in St. Johns, Oregon.  So I loaded the Pup into the truck, and off we went.  I had hoped for more sunshine, to produce more shadows.  But of course springtime in Oregon comes with lots of cloud cover, especially in Portland, near those two big rivers.

The St. Johns Bridge was built in 1931 with two Gothic towers holding up the suspension bridge.  It’s also the tallest bridge in Oregon.  But if you want more facts than that you will have to Google it.  The real thing about this bridge, and Cathedral Park below the span is that I just love it.  It reminds me of my beloved Big Mac (Mackinaw Bridge in Michigan) and just has a great industrial vibe about it.  Many years ago, when our kids were small and we had a boat we would run down the Willamette River and sit near her span and marvel at the way she looked.

Now days she is a destination when we feel like driving, but not too far, and want to look at man-made wonders.  Or to place our cars underneath and take pretty pictures. Today I just wanted to get the bridge, and with the trees not all leafed out yet, that is just what I got!


the trees are just beginning to bloom below the bridge

the trees are just beginning to bloom below the bridge

this angle really highlights the supports beneath the bridge.

this angle really highlights the supports beneath the bridge.

showing off the cyan color of the bridge.

showing off the cyan color of the bridge.

the real workers, the supports beneath, standing here you can really sense the power of the road by the thunder the traffic above creates.

the real workers, the supports beneath, standing here you can really sense the power of the road by the thunder the traffic above creates.

one of my first shots, its my favorite

one of my first shots, its my favorite

here I played with the now common filter effect of HDR toning.

here I played with the now common filter effect of HDR toning.

this effect is basically monotone to show off the Gothic towers.

this effect is basically monotone to show off the Gothic towers and the famous Portland clouds.

Sunday @ the Spring Garden Fair *

Sunday dawned with blue skies and the promise of a much warmer day!  We did have a short scare when some fog blew over the Fairgrounds, but fortunately it left almost as quickly as it arrived.

Walking around on Sunday morning before the Fair opens is relaxing, one of the things I love about this volunteer gig.  Took care of some clean up with my signs and then started snapping photos!  The low sun shining thru the big tree on the Main Lawn is a favorite view thru my lens.  The empty rows rolling past the vendor booths whisper for foot and wagon traffic; the sign of a successful event.

Gates open, the crowd is smaller on Sunday.  It’s a peaceful day, for a moment.  Wheels roll past on the pavement as the chatter of excited shoppers begins to rise.  My goal for the day was to walk the rows in order, not zig zag the way I did it Saturday;  of course the plan was to wait for buying until later in the day, but I ended my walk with a small flat in one arm and my camera in the other!

Artwork sparkles in the sunshine, and the plants are plentiful.  Conversations are easy early in the day.  I checked in with a grower that brought in some plants for me, and talked to a few artists, calling out comments to some in passing about some of the photos I have taken. My thoughts were “Sunday is going to be a good day!”

Cheerful shoppers, friends and family walk around us. Parents and kids walk together, I saw several families chatting away, and my family came by too.  For Hubby’s mom we chose a beautiful fuchsia basket for her patio, and my granddaughter was walking around with a big grin, holding a pepper plant she had talked her dad into buying.

As the day grew later, the air was warm enough to shed the coats I had been wearing every day since the set-up began.  What a pleasure the sun is!  Vendors and volunteers look a bit bedraggled by mid-afternoon, and we all start to think about the tasks ahead; putting it all away for another year.  Putting on this event is a much bigger job than I had ever realized as a shopper.

I usually had Hubby drive me over with my wagon. I would walk the rows, choosing my plants for the year then walk the few blocks home.  It seemed like Sunday was a better day to go, less crowds if I got there early enough.  But it would really depend on the weather which day I chose to attend.  I don’t believe I ever had to shop in the rain.  The real work for me then was planting my new purchases when I got home.  I never dreamed that many of the people I walked past all those years would later become friends.

Around 3:15 it’s obvious that things are winding down.  Rumors of a vendor selling all their hanging baskets for $20.00 circulate among the Master Gardeners.  The vendors begin to line up their trucks in anticipation of loading up and leaving.  My job is to collect all the signs that I put up around the grounds. I have a helper for this task, which was really nice after two long days of walking around.  We drive the cart around the late shoppers. Each sign we take down makes the grounds look less like ours; for two days now it has been home to the Clackamas County Master Gardeners.  I enjoy staying busy, and pitching in when there is work to be done.  I think that is why I like taking care of the signs.  I do take most the photos for the group, and help with the webpage and more … but when it comes to hands-on projects, I am usually just taking pics.  On Sunday afternoon I feel like I am really part of the group, not just a recorder in the wings, and doing my share of what needs to be done.

By 6:00 most of the vendors are gone, and its just us left to tie up loose ends.  We smile tired smiles at one another, because we know the job we have done really makes a difference; to the vendors that offer their wares, to the shoppers looking for that special plant, or just the begonia that they get every year from that vendor in row A.  In a world of changes and fast pace living, our “little” Spring Fair is an event our shoppers have come to count on for a relaxing time; from buying plants to learning more about gardening, to the simple fellowship with like minded people.  Remember, we are all friends here!

Now there is more to the story, as there always is. Let the pictures tell their tale …. as we close the gates on the 28th Annual Spring Garden Fair.  We have the memories, and the plants to prove we were here!

(if you click the first photo a carousel will open to view the images larger) 

I want to thank my family and my friends for all the support you give me, allowing me to give so much to this event.  I will see you all next year, May 4 and 5, 2013

other posts in this series: 

Saturday @ the Fair*  

Setting it all up* Spring Garden Fair  

Pre post * Spring Garden Fair  

Oregonshar * a review of 2011

To begin something new, sometimes a look back is a great way to start.  Before we get to my promises for 2012, I wanted to review my writings from 2011 with you, and choose some favorite images and ideas.

For me as a blogger/writer it has been very difficult to write about myself.  The galleries and societies that I have become involved with always want a bio.  The mirror gives different view than what you see.  But the one piece I still like is what I wrote about Oregonshar for the blog pages ~ if you haven’t read it yet: *oregonshar.

So, now you know why I came here.  Its been interesting to see what direction my musings took over the last year.  It took a while to get started.  Like many gardeners I know, it was the summer that really inspired me to begin my work.  A few random posts came early in the year; they were admittedly difficult and not very inspired.  It was the work of two amazing women that really inspired me, opened the door that I walked through in July. And without looking back, I have been writing and seeing differently ever since.

Dulcy Mahar and Bee helped me to discover what I had really come here to do …. so today, lets see where we have been.

In May I wrote about the Spring Garden Fair ~ I told the story of our weekend event.

This birdcage caught my eye and reminded me of the one I had when I was a kid.

In July I posted a few photos from a Master Gardeners project:  More Gardens  and began to post more photos than words.

Here is my fave image, a chance photo of a crab spider on a Calla Lily ~

A trip to the beautiful gardens at Laurel Hedge in July gave me some unique images: Just Popping In  * .

I saw an amazing plant I have seen before in gardens around Portland. A Winged Thorn Rose, I love the cool photos I was able to take with the light that day.

In July a local garden writer and beloved Portland gardener died.  Her writing was always down to earth and real.  Her weekly columns were both funny and inspirational.  I set out to photograph her garden, and wanted to share what I had seen with friends.  Thus began the format and idea for the blog that I have created since then.  There were two posts: Flamingo’s for Dulcy and A Walk Through Dulcy’s Garden.

Of the many pictures I took that day, this piece of cats painted on a weathered pain of glass and mounted in front of the window still inspires me.

In August I wrote about some of the processes I go through to capture and edit an image. I learned a lot with this series: *this and that … with pictures !

I love the way the focus drops off towards the top of this image ~

By this time I was getting pretty good with the medium and working with WordPress.  When the time came for me to produce some info about a new gallery show, I posted that info for everyone to see in this post:  my artwork ~ Uncommon Everyday Art 

My homework that week was to get a new headshot for my portfolio. Taking photos of myself is worse than writing about myself and my work !

In September I was once again in an amazing woman’s garden.  I had the wonderful opportunity to make a photo record of Bee’s garden for her family and friends.  There were two posts full of pictures of her beautiful Blue garden.  I was so inspired with her work ~ and the way she lived her life.  The photos are only a small part of the woman, and the images I shared here gave me a small taste of what I can do here for you.  Bees Garden and In her Garden  were those articles.

As I was shooting in her garden, I kept returning to this Blue Bottle Masterpiece

Taken from a visit in 2010 to Bee's Garden ....Cobalt bottles, arranged on a glass and rusty metal table.

My next few posts were personal, many were one image posts.  I made the decision to always include at least one image with each post after the success and comments I received from all of you.  As I began writing on a more regular basis I began to think ahead about what I may want to say or talk about next.  If a Picture Speaks a Thousand Words,  friends? , October, Summer Began.., Always the Photographer, Jury Duty and my Veterans Day Series (11.11.11) were all the results of this idea.  Of these posts, I liked this image the best:

I like this one so much because I created it FOR this blog post, the meaning is in the image and the date it was taken : 11.11.11

I think I am pretty much up to date.  I have been talking a lot about the Christmas Season, sharing  pics about the holidays.  Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Zoolights, Christmas Ships and my Decorating stories.  I love talking about the holidays, about taking pictures of the holidays and looking at pictures of the trees and lights and everything there is to do.  It was a very busy time, and of course my mind if filled with ways to make the 2012 season even better than this one was.  I can’t choose a favorite image, so here are three:

I always love the Christmas Ships, and rarely miss them sailing on the Willamette

All the lights were amazing, but the Croc's kept pulling me in...

I don't think I need to explain why this is a fave photo ♥

There you have it, an overlook of what I have been doing, thinking and seeing in 2011.  Tomorrow we will set the course for a new dream, the year 2012.

If you need me, I will be in the garden*  either my real one all wet and soggy in this winter rain, or the one I have created here on my computer!

* ZooLights 2012

Just a week until Christmas ~ I am deep into the traditions that make this time so special for me.  The beginning of the season everything we do is like saying hello to an old friend we haven’t seen for a year.

ZooLights at the Oregon Zoo joins other zoo’s around the country celebrating the season by transforming their grounds into a twinkling Holiday themed light show.  A time of year that the animals aren’t the star attraction; the zoo population is joined by life sized and larger than life colorfully lit versions of their animal kingdom family.

*click the collage to begin the gallery carousel & view the images full size with captions

Up next: the Portland Christmas Ships ~ stay tuned !

zoolights* teaser

It’s been a busy week for me, I really should be packing my art to set up my show for the weekend.  Don’t forget to stop in and and see me if you are in the area !!

I wanted to show you a teaser for the pics I took at the opening night for Zoolights at the Oregon Zoo last week.  This weekend I will have the rest for you, including the Alligators, Elephants, Butterflies and Giraffes.   So, for your viewing pleasure, I give you these!

The entryway to the main part of the zoo, they lit the bridge in green led lights.

Some lighted Pacific Northwest birds, a Heron and an Eagle

Who doesn't love Flying pigs? They were on a barn in the Farm exhibit.

* Jury duty

“The envelope came in the summer, and I dutifully returned the questionnaire.  Now I am sitting in a room of strangers, waiting.

Are we really strangers?  We share a community.  Some of us are very similar.  I can hear the murmer of conversations around me – a middle aged artist (like me) discussing her work – a 40 something woman talking families and kids with a 30 something mom.  A few seats down is a 20 year old young woman with a beautiful butterfly tattoo on her arm, reading something on her cell phone. I have something in common with each of these women.  I wonder how random it is that we chose to sit near each other?

Pause.  A woman came into the room to take some jurors to a courtroom – the room fell silent as we all listened for juror numbers.  Thirteen assembled in the hallway as the room conversations remained halted.  The jury coordinator turned the quiet radio back on, after they left, but we all seem content to remain silent for just a bit longer.  Lost in my own thoughts, I wonder what everyone is thinking?  About the video we watched about our duties as a juror? It was inspiring and sobering. It talked about how to be a good juror and what to expect if we move from this room to the courtroom.  Do I feel relieved that my number wasn’t called?  Or disappointed?  The trials for today were just one day trials, so being chosen wouldn’t have been a hardship.  After 30 minutes of quiet or hushed conversation, the noise level in the room began to rise. ”

I wrote the above on a sheet of paper as I sat in the jury room last week.  We were all dismissed around noon, they only took those 13.  My day, like the rest of the people in that jury pool, went on as usual.  But did it really?  I think we all felt a sense of community, even as we assembled in the parking lot down the street.  I walked the 5 blocks to the courthouse with another woman, someone that I had not met before and won’t see again. But she is my neighbor just the same.  There are a lot of jokes and excuses made about serving on a jury.  But when all is said and done, if YOU got into trouble, or needed a legal hand, wouldn’t you want someone like YOU helping to decided the outcome of that chapter in your life? Facing that kind of thing is stressful enough. Its nice to know that if it comes down to something serious, that requires legal action, the jury that will decide MY fate will be comprised of neighbors.

This single photo I chose was taken in a State park not far from here.  Open to the public, me and my neighbors.