Friday, August 31, 2012

Pretty Pond

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rain Hawk

I spotted this handsome guy hanging out on our fence during one of the last bands to pass through from Isaac:

I could be wrong, but I think all the rain was making him depressed.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Monday, August 27, 2012


(I've put up some posts to auto-publish while I'm offline. Any comments you care to leave will likely not show up right away as my stand-in moderator works days.)

For the month of August I've been working in series on the 1K Cards Project, and using one fat quarter of violet batik fabric I love plus beads, old jewelry and quilting to make a special card set.

This old cracked abalone pendant wasn't wearable, so I decided to incorporate it as part of one of the violet cards:

Using broken bits gives me a chance to repurpose, and since I hate throwing away anything I've plenty to work with:

Although it's simple I like the way this one came out; the contrasting Sulky holoshimmer thread looks a bit like copper:

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Hello Spider

I am unplugging today to get ready for the incoming storm, and will probably not be posting again to the photoblog until after the weather clears. In the meantime, here's one little guy I encountered the other day who has a lot more to worry about with this storm moving in:

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Black and white is definitely at home in any cemetery. This shot is of one of the gravesites in the Old Colonial cemetery in Savannah. I think removing the color from this one makes the damage the occupying soldiers did during the Civil War more evident, and certainly sadder, too.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lunch Break

Black and white filtering can add emotion to an image. This ordinary shot of some stuff a couple of painters left on a curb looks a bit sad (or maybe ominous) minus the color.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


This was a centerpiece atop a piano in the White Room of the tea place we visited last week. The original colors weren't that far off from black and white but I filtered it anyway to see if it would improve it. I like the antique feel of the result.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Same Day Service

This was a neat but tough pic to work with, very busy both in color and black and white. After filtering out the color, I adjusted the exposure to darken the shadows and boost the highlights; that seems the best way to enhance an image that otherwise wouldn't have much contrast.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Industrial or mechanical objects seem particularly suited to the neutrality of black and white imagery, especially when they're complicated. This telephone pole was so overloaded with stuff I really didn't see all the details until I filtered out the color. The light background helps, too.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Bright Idea

I've been wanting to play with black and white imagery again, so for the rest of the week I'll be posting the results.

To me the best subjects for black and white pics are uncluttered with strong lines and distinct contrasts. Like this light bulb:

I also didn't realize this shot was a little fuzzy until I put it through the black and white filter in my photoshop program. Color tends to distract us, I think, while black and white shows every flaw.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

White Room

Some shots from the white room at one of my favorite tea shops; this was a part of it that I'd never before seen:

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Mama & Babies

I haven't discovered its proper name, but this red-beaked black bird always hangs out near the water. This is the first time I've seen one with chicks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012


The camera doesn't like to take photos at night, but last month, when we had a particularly beautiful full moon rise over the house, I had to try:

The main problem is light, of course -- my little point and shoot needs a light source for the auto-focus feature, and at night that's very limited:

I fiddled with the settings, zoomed in very close, and finally got this:

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Poisonous Study

I am not a fan of spiny catepillars, so when I saw these guys infesting a bush between our property and our neighbor's I warned everyone to stay clear of them:

I don't like exterminating anything without knowing exactly what it is first, however, so I went online and did some research. Turns out these are oleander catepillars, and those evil-looking black tufts are not poisonous or stinging. They morph into a white polka-dotted moth that resembles a wasp but is also harmless.

What is remarkable is that these catepillars feed only on the oleander, which is a highly toxic plant. I had not recognized the bush they were feeding on as such; I've only read about it in books. Since poisonous plants are not something we want on our property, we're going to have it removed this winter -- after our scary-looking but ultimately helpful little pals have finished using it for their life cycle:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Lion Spits

One last shot of Savannah; a fountain I love for reasons best left mysterious:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Secret Garden

I've always wanted to sneak back behind this house in Savannah and see if there's a garden behind it. I have the feeling there is a beautiful one, just out of sight.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


This is a wall at the back of the old Colonial Cemetery in Savannah, which dates back to the eighteenth century. The cemetery was closed to new burials before the Civil War, but when Sherman invaded the city he quartered some of his troops there. Unfortunately they desecrated many of the headstones and graves. After the war the city did their best to put it to rights, and the headstones that couldn't be matched to the proper grave were placed on the wall.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

St. John's Rose Window

At the back of the Cathedral of St. John's is a balcony level where the church's massive pipe organ is located. Behind the gleaming pipes is one of the most beautiful of the church's stained glass windows, the Great Rose Window:

All of the celestial figures in the window are playing instruments or otherwise making music:

This is another window I'd really love to paint; the faces of the angels are so serene:

Friday, August 10, 2012

Sunset Watcher

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Flannery's Crib

Many writers who visit Savannah make a pilgrimage to this rather stern-looking 1856 row house, which was once southern author Flannery O'Connor's childhood home. I've photographed it a couple times but I've never liked it; the first time I saw it I immediately thought "prison."

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Ascension Window

Here's another amazing stained glass window from the Cathedral of St. John's in Savannah:

I picked out some sections to sketch and possibly paint, like this lovely detail:

One thing I love about photographing old stained glass windows are the little details you don't always notice at first, like these cherubs having what looks like a tug of war:

Monday, August 6, 2012

Come Sail Away

Sunday, August 5, 2012

City Tags

Unsurprisingly there isn't a lot of graffiti around the city of Savannah, and what little I saw seemed to be more of a subversive discussion than mere tags. Like this statement, sprayed on the wall of a building down the street from our hotel:

Right next to it? A pointed reminder:

I liked the chalked messages on the sidewalks best (for their impertinence as well as their impermanence. Here's a cute one that I thought the other two artists need to read:

Saturday, August 4, 2012


A bench in Forsyth Park in Savannah. There are dozens just like it all around the city, just waiting for someone to sit down and relax.

Friday, August 3, 2012


These signature bricks were sold back in the eighties to help pay for the cost of restoring the lovely old fountain in Savannah's Forsyth Park (and they now surround the basin.)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

1K Cards Project July Update

After falling behind on my 1000 cards project in May I was determined to do two things: 1) get my head and my heart back into my art and 2) avoid churning out a lot of cards merely to catch up with my project quota.

To help achieve those goals I deliberately didn't work on the project every day; instead I waited for the proper inspiration to come along and only then worked on something. Some cards took only a few minutes to complete while others took several days to finish, but I simply followed my instincts and let the project take me where it wanted to go.

It was tough starting over, so I eased my way back in with these sticker art cards, which are the simplest and most fun to make. I paid homage to another of my favorite cities, my lifelong love of the sea, and cheered myself on with some thoughts.

I also experimented with mixed media with the usual mixed results. I loved how my little uncaged cardinal card turned out, but I discovered mosaic art is a lot tougher than it looks.

I made only three quilted/beaded cards this month, but I took a pantser approach and just free-quilted whatever came to mind. This is not my normal method but under the circumstances I felt it was the right approach, and I enjoyed it.

I had two cards that alternately pleased and dismayed me. I loved using some scrapbooking supplies to give myself a little report card (probably the teacher in me) but I was not so happy with my marker doodling. I don't think I'll ever be an expert with markers.

I painted a series of ten cards using alcohol-based ink and Yupo. I also worked out some of my feelings of despondency by adding an argument I was having with myself.

I also composed a Haiku on recycled bits of last year's calendar, messed it up halfway through, but corrected it and liked it anyway. The mistake merely reminds me that I'm human.

I finished up my cards for the month with thirteen photos, twelve of which were taken during my trip to Savannah. Rather than try to make cards of all the grand sights I photographed, I used smaller details from the trip, and was very pleased with results.

My total for July was 46 cards, and while I didn't catch up to where I should be with the project I definitely got my groove back, passed the 400 card mark and feel ready to return to a daily work schedule.