Friday, September 30, 2011

There's Graffiti, and Then There's Graffiti ...

Up along north Division in Spokane, set back from the main road is a very large building that appeared to be deserted. However, those large expanses of wall are obviously a tagger's dream!

Evidence of graffiti is all around the building, from ground level to about 10 feet up the walls. Some graffiti is quite sophisticated and attractive, but others are just ugly black marks. Someone is trying to discourage taggers from marking the walls, because all have been painted over, or plywood and paint rolled on to cover the graffiti.

Now, this, appeals to me, because the marks painted to obliterate the tagging offer some interesting compositions and colors. I think it appeals to me because the cover paint is meant to cover, but instead it is essentially another kind of graffiti.

I could add a whole slew of photographs; here are but a few examples:

September 29, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Don't fence me in ... or out ...

I had finished with a meeting and was heading home a back way I hadn't taken before. I was tooling along, humming a little ditty, when my eyes landed upon an abandoned house just back a bit from the street.

Did I stop? You bet I stopped; almost gave myself whiplash braking and careening across the road! The colors were too juicy and inviting NOT to stop and snap a shot or two.

Here they are, this Day 270 of 365

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Never Too Old for Blocks ...

... especially when the blocks have cool textures and configurations!

Out driving by Airway Heights I noticed this wall of cinder blocks. Not sure about the purpose of the different colors. The wall seemed rather helter skelter blocked together, but there may have been artistic method to the madness. Who knows? Who cares? I just had fun capturing the images.

I realize I missed yesterday's upload, so today there are two, which brings us to

Day 267 of 365

Cinder Blocks IIII

Gold Square

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Bounty of Bondo Images

Mel knows about my predilection for dilapidated vehicles, so while we were out doing the monthly shopping, she took me by an old vintage truck she had previously noticed out by Airway Heights on the way to the Base.  Thank goodness it was still there. I've had so many instances where I thought I would come back to photograph something, but by the time I did so, the treasure trove was no longer there.

I was in luck! It was there, but since I didn't know I would be doing anything except shopping, I hadn't brought along my camera. What kind of serious photographer am I, anyway? Ah ha! The iPhone comes to the rescue once again!

I'll have to go back and take some better quality images ... hope it will still be there. But in the meantime, here are just a few of the shots I took. I was shooting into a strong, afternoon sun with no way to compensate.

There will never be an end to my Bondo Series of photographs. Hooray!

September 21, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Playing Around ... Again

I took a photograph of some pine cones that had fallen onto a boulder someone had painted pink. Go figure. Anyway, I liked the grouping of the pine cones and the pine needles as they fell across the boulder. I even liked the peculiarity of the pink boulder.

However, all I had with me was my iPhone camera. Of course I shot the subject matter, but in the woods I was hiking and I had Suki with me, so the shot was taken on the fly.

I got back to my computer and uploaded the iPhoto, cropped it to eliminate some distracting light spots. Alas, in cropping the image I had to deal with pixelation.  We're not talking masterpiece here, folks. We're talking lets have some fun with this image. I still liked the composition and subject. So, I threw on a Crisscross Simple effect, which maintained the repetition detail of the pine cones but altered the pixelation.

No masterpiece, but a heck of a lot of fun was had today!

September 20, 2011 (Oh, did I mention today is my birthday? Woo Hoo!)

Pine Cones Pink Boulder
Crisscross Simple Effect Filter

Pine Cones Pink Boulder
iPhoto cropped without effect application

Monday, September 19, 2011

Printmaking ... Photography ... CREATIVITY

Earlier in my creative life, I really got into linoleum and wood block printmaking, especially the linocut, where the edges were so sharply defined. I particularly enjoyed reduction printmaking.

If you're not familiar with this technique, the printmaker cuts a preliminary image on a lino block, print it; cut more away from the lino block, ink, register the block with the original printing, and print the second image in a different color directly on top of the original print; cut more away from the lino block, ink and print the third image on, and so forth until the artist has the finished effect he or she wants in multiple colors. This is a very simplified description, but I hope you get the gist of the printmaking technique.

I moved on from printmaking to photography, and love it for all of its different, but in some cases parallel features and benefits.

But, when I came across the Cutout effect filter, I found it to be a technological marriage of two creative techniques I enjoy.  Here are some of the photographs I've taken, to which I've applied the Cutout effect. It doesn't always work out well, but these seem to translate well with the effect.

September 19, 2011

This was a white feather on a charred background,
which I applied a Negative effect, and then
applied the Cutout effect

This was a Cutout effect
applied to the original digital photograph

This, too is the Cutout effect
applied to the original digital photograph

Plank by Plank ...

My brother-in-law, Steve, built his back deck a number of years ago. As with anything, it requires regular maintenance and upkeep. Steve and my sister have been sanding and resealing their wood deck ... one plank at a time. They need to wait until the weather forecast is for drier days in order to apply the second coat. It looks great.

I'm trying to construct a new life here in Spokane, one plank at a time, so to speak. Some days I don't seem to have a sufficient number of nails, other days I can't find the right wood, and yet other days I misplace my hammer. One does the best that can be done within one's circumstances. I don't know yet what color it will end up. All in good time.

So, it seems appropriate that today's photograph would be some old planks leaning up against a wall.

September 18, 2011

A Couple

I thought I would be writing about a different topic and photographs, spent all evening putting it together and then when it came right down to typing, this totally different blog entry just forced its way onto the blog. Go figure!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Star Gazer

I love gazing up at the night sky and picking out constellations I recognize, watching the waning and waxing of the moon, luckily catching it just right to see a meteor shower.

Seeing stars during the daylight hours is fun, too. Like I was driving along Francis Avenue and lo and behold a star in the north! Yea verily, lo and behold!

Okay, so it wasn't part of a constellation, merely part of a sign, but I loved it! Hope you do, too!

Another treasury inclusion, folks. This I love, too!

Treasury: Granny Smith
Curator: Mary Ellen at
Photograph: Green Apples Red Bowl

September 16, 2011 Day 259 of 365

A Star in the North
(Poster Edge effect filter)

A Star in the North
(no special effect filter used)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Birds of a feather ...

Mel, Steve and I decided, while the weather was still hot, we would bebop east for a 30-minute drive to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. We figured since it was the middle of the week the lake wouldn't be as crowded as on the weekend.

It wasn't that crowded, but there were a lot of people nonetheless.

But we found a nice shady spot and settled down to our picnic. Before we left home I was instructed to bring a book, since Mel reads while Steve swims. I always bring way too many projects when I go on these jaunts. I brought a sketch pad, two books, a camera, a little field watercolor painting kit. I WAS READY!

I did start to wander off with my camera, and captured a couple of images.

There were a lot of birds: seagulls, ducks, Canada geese and a white goose. I found an assortment of feathers and stuck them together in a dead tree stump for the photograph I'm uploading today.

I think I'll mosey back to Coeur d'Alene on my own. I seem to function at a slower pace than most folks. Most people like to go from Point A to Point B, no dilly dally; not me. I wander aimlessly.

Aside from wanting to take more photographs, I bought an Idaho Mega lottery ticket that will prove to hold the winning numbers for Friday's drawing. I'm sure of it ;o)

I had some photographs included in an Etsy Treasury and one gal even included one of my photographs on her blog. Yay!

Hear the Bells
Photo: Indian Etched Brass Bells
The Wandering Reader blog:

Photograph: Hobbit Chair
This particular digital image is repeatedly included in treasuries. Go figure! I guess there are a lot of Lord of the Rings followers on Etsy, eh?

Day 257 of 365

Bark n Feathers

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A Sure Sign ...

My son, Owen, sent a photograph to me today of his hairy face, with the caption "Starting the Winter Coat." Yes, a certain sign that summer is coming to a close. Of course, I wouldn't attest to that since Spokane is still sweltering with 90-plus degree days.

But it's coming. Halloween and and Thanksgiving merchandise already in the stores are vying for your dollars.

Today's photographs, however, have nothing to do with seasons, although they are the direct result of weathering. I came across some more Bondo Series candidates, and those are today's uploads. Enjoy!

September 12, 2011 (oh, and it's a full moon, to boot ... all together now 1-2-3-HOOOWWWWLLLLLLL)

These bumps inspired a bumpy treatment
in some sterling jewelry I'm making
One never knows
where one will next find a great idea!



Saturday, September 10, 2011

Day 253 of 365

Today's photograph, as I'm sure you've already identified, is of an exterior brick building where a sign was removed but the adhesive is still there. I liked the slap dash irregularity of the adhesive contrasting the solid pattern of the bricks and mortar. I wish there had been a couple more of those blue plastic anchors, but one settles for what one finds.

I applied several different effect filters on this image, and modified it to a square format, but in the end, I preferred the unedited digital photograph all on its own.

So, that is what you get tonight. Unedited, raw brick and adhesive ...

September 10, 2011

Canon PowerShot SD790 IS

Homage to the unknown fountain maker

Today's upload is an edited digital photograph based on some brass fountain art I saw in Sandpoint, ID. I couldn't find the name of the fountain's creator, and I've monkeyed around with the image so much that I wonder if the creator would even recognize it.

But, I must give credit that the original water effect was created by someone and I appreciate their efforts.

Here's my take on it. I've changed shapes around and added color, and applied another effect filter.

Day 252 of  Project 365

Brassy Homage
iPhoto with Accented Edges effect

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Blinded Orchids

Mel was gifted a lovely orchid back in May, I think, and it is now in its second blooming. It's on the kitchen table and I delight in looking at it as I sit and savor a mug of hot, black coffee or enjoy a meal.

I shot this photograph in the afternoon, with the blinds mostly closed. I enjoyed the straight lines of the blinds contrasting with the sensuous curves of the orchids.

And ... because I'm having a helluva good time working with different effect filters, I applied a watercolor effect on this photograph.

Happy Thursday!

Day 251

Blinded Orchids
iPhoto w/Watercolor effect

Within a few blocks and farther a-field ...

Parasol Drum
iPhoto with Film Grain effect
 Today's photographs are inside and outside; here and there.

But first I have two Etsy treasuries in which my photographs have been featured, as follows:

Catching Fire
Photo: Harvest of Glass

Photo: Beach Love

Okey dokey! The image shown above was photographed at Drop Your Drawers Thrift Shop, maybe 10 blocks away on Garland Avenue. I've shot a number of quirky things at that place. This shellacked paper parasol and big bass drum were on display and I've wanted to photograph them each time I go through the shop. It was difficult to decide how to photograph two large, round shapes and make it work. I think this works. Well, it works for moi! I applied a film grain effect because it was dark in the shop and this effect on this photograph lightened the parasol and added more yellow, and darkened the skin of the drum.

The photograph from farther a-field is a field farther away in the foothills east above Spokane. I could not resist the dark-light-dark-light and the red barn was a no brainer! Get that shot! Got it! This image, too, has benefited from the film grain effect, as it lightens the light area and effectively manages the darks.

Red Barn
iPhoto with Film Grain effect

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Proud as a ...

Peacock Feathers
iPhoto with Paint-Fresco effect
 Peacock feathers are the subject of today's photograph.

I don't know how I came by it, but I receive Facebook link to "Blackbird: an online journal of literature and the arts." I don't always have time to read the entries, but today's I did. It was about Zero Hour, a radio show broadcast on WRIR, Richmond Independent Radio, with host Tim Bowring, who interviews visual artists, curators, critics, and editors. Blackbird provided a link to an out-of-issue archive of such interviews from 2006-2009.

I downloaded a couple of them to my iPhone and listened while I was working on a jewelry project. Although I wasn't familiar with any of the people interviewed, it was interesting to hear other artists discuss their slant on their art.

One I particularly enjoyed was the interview with Gordon Stinnett, photographer and at the time of the interview (2008, I think) he was teaching at Virginia Commonwealth University.

In the course of the interview, Stinnett spoke of a project he was working on to publish a monograph of photographer Gita Lenz. She was in her mid-nineties and Stinnett felt her work warranted bringing it to a larger audience. He started an independent publishing company, Candela Books, and they released the art photography book in September of 2010.

Stinnett's photography is quirky, deceptively simplistic, and his comments about his subject choices were insightful. One comment in particular hit home with me. He was talking about how he works, his process, but he said it was difficult for him to keep on task, or stay focused. Invariably he would meet with other creatives and he would experience "project envy" and go off on some other tangent because he wanted to try what "they" were trying. How well I understand this!

Anyway, Gordon Stinnett's work can be seen at and if you want to download any of the 20-30 other interviews, go to Blackbird at

Yes, right ... peacock feathers! I came across these in the least advantageous of positions, but I'll show you the original digital photograph and the effect filter I applied to it. I reformatted it to a square, because there was a lot that didn't add anything to the image.

Peacock Feathers
iPhoto reformatted to square

Monday, September 5, 2011


No, I'm not in Hawaii, not headed to Hawaii, didn't think about Hawaii until just this moment. But, today's photograph is of pineapples I came across in the produce section of the grocery store, about as far away from Hawaii as one can be. Well, I suppose Spokane IS a lot closer to Hawaii than a good many other locations I could mention, or you could think about. But, enough with Hawaii already!

Pineapple, yes, that's the subject matter du jour! I found a whole slew of new effect filters, and I finally just had to chose one, and here it is.

But first, I have to share a little bit of humor--very little humor--about an e-mail notification I received today. It was from Etsy notifying me I had sold a photograph! Hip Hip Hallelujah, right? Wrong. Almost immediately I received an email from the Etsy buyer, begging my forgiveness. She thought she was buying some vintage bottles, NOT a photograph of vintage bottles. She asked me to cancel the purchase and refund her money. It would have been sad, if it weren't so gosh darn funny.  Well, it was sort of funny. So, I assured her I would do as she bid, although it is a very nice photograph.

But, such is the nature of sales.


iPhoto/Poster Edges Effect

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Insomnia ...

Can't sleep, so what's a gal to do, eh? Pick up a camera, lie back, and click a photo or two.

Today's photographs are two shots of the lamp next to my bed. Surprised, huh? You thought they were zebras, right?

Well, some days are better than others ...

However, two of my photographs are included in new Etsy Treasuries.
Kaleidoscope Chicken Toaster
Photograph: Burnt Truck 4 (Bondo Series)
Just a Few of My Personal Favorites
Curator: Carol at
Photograph:"Hobbit Chair"

and now back to today's upload ...

September 3, 2011


Effect Filter: Embossed

Friday, September 2, 2011

All the little nuts and bolts of managing a blog

I'm trying to claim my blog so it'll show up in the catalog of accessible blogs on Technorati. So, bear with me while I plant this claim token so they can see I'm legitimate.


What? You also want a photograph? Okey-dokey ...

I was reading the other night and all the
other lights in the room were off, but the one
with which I was reading. Glanced across the room
to Mel's desktop computer.
This is a photo of the lights cast
by her hard drive on the wall.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rocket Bakery Garland

I love popping into small local coffee shops when I have the chance. I've driven by this little place on Garland every time I go check my post office box. I stopped in finally and found that it may have been very narrow across the front, but was long inside all the way to the back.

It was quiet and I practically had the place to myself as I sat and enjoyed my cup of coffee and a scone. All alone but for the man in the Hawaiian print shirt waiting for his wife to get back from looking at the Tinman Gallery just down the block, and the two folks at the counter who couldn't decide which baked good they wanted to order.

As I sat there, two elderly couples came into the place together and I overheard them talk with the barrista. The older man had once owned the bakery in that location decades earlier. He had helped build the place. One could tell he was quite proud of his accomplishment and it was an emotional moment for him to go through the establishment once again. He even wanted to go see the back of the building in the alley. Apparently he had a very prominent sign back there. It was gone, and he wasn't surprised.

It was so much fun vicariously enjoying the ex-baker's reminiscing. I also appreciated that the young barrista was very accommodating and encouraged the oldster's tale of long before she was born.

I felt very comfortable in this "little" neighborhood bakery. I took a number of iPhotos. Rocket Bakery on Garland in Spokane is one of about eight Rocket Bakery locations in Spokane.

Day 244

Front Window Seating


Table I occupied. Don't you love the table surface?
Film grain effect