I’m participating in the online adventure travel and outdoor photography magazine
This week’s Challenge is: Clouds!
(*Initially when I tried to find out more information about the Garden of the Gods in Southern Illinois, I was taken to a park with the same name in Colorado.)
Garden of the Gods in Southern Illinois is part of the Shawnee Forest. It has a very tranquil energy and is a great place to watch sunsets. It’s hard to believe that this was once a part of the ocean.
Driving up to towards the North Shore of Oahu along Kamekameha Highway, I noticed remnants of what appeared to be an old building. Of course, I had to stop! They reminded me of sugarmill ruins that I’d photographed in other locations. Upon investigation, I discovered that these are the Kualoa Sugarmill Ruins (cir. 1863), a place rich in both royal ancient Hawaiian history and tragedy.
Interestingly, the landscape looks very much the same today as it did nearly 100 years ago.
The waters -
the path -
the mountain -
the destination -
I was taking an abstract painting class in the Florida Keys when I painted this. I don’t quite recall what the assignment was, but I believe it had to do with creating a landscape. I had no intention behind it when I started to paint, but this is how it ended up. Can you see the little people?
About a year ago I purchased an inexpensive point and shoot that had been converted with an infrared filter. Being that I’m the typical artist that bores easily, I was like a kid getting a new toy. I found that one of the best ways to use the infrared that I have is to take photos of scenery or objects that result in a lot of contrast, especially since the photos turn out black, white, and grey. The biggest issue I discovered with this particular unit was that the subjects have to be well lit or have a pretty good light source within the frame or the pictures turn out blurry.
With some of these photos I have adjusted the shadows and highlights in Photoshop CS5. However, editing them takes away from their quality and makes them pixelated in some areas.
People that have followed me know that I enjoy taking cemetery photos, whether it be of angel statues, old tombstones, or other types of cemetery “activity”. I find cemeteries to be both peaceful and interesting places for stories. I often see a name and date and think, “What is that person’s untold story?”
These are some of the photos I took of the cemetery in Jerome, Arizona. Due to it being on a mountainside, taking a photo in which things do not look crooked was a challenge. Other than that, I think they have a pretty good view, one in which I wouldn’t object to when my life here is done.
This is a work in progress. I’m almost finished, but for now I wanted to post what I have so far. I call this piece “Meditation Mountain”, aptly named for the visualization I have while meditating. (I wrote about this on my writing blog.) I painted this very similar to the shape of the landscape I saw during these meditations except that I added more vivid colors.
Today I opened up a book by Ted Andrews called “Nature Speak” to page 194. Its subtitle was “Beaches and Dunes.” On the page is a photo of the same mountain/beach that I have seen in my meditation. Is this an incredible coincidence or an insignificant miracle? I’m going to say the latter, because I believe that coincidences happen for a reason.
At this point I realized that I wanted to add a moon, so the red had to go. I also wanted some of the red to show through the blue.
I wasn’t happy with the way the mountains look. Believe it or not, mountains are difficult to paint because of their terrain. So I did what I do best and added more color.
The moon was a huge task alone. Drawing a circle is easy with the right tools, but painting a circle can be very tricky. One slip-up and you have to start over. Since the moon is not bright white, adding the right amount of grey was a challenge. In fact, I am still working on the moon, which is why I haven’t finished this piece yet.
In my mind, the moon didn’t look the way it did on canvas. I decided that in order to balance this piece out, it needed a little bit of cloud coverage. Colorful ones, of course!
This is Salem. He likes to be an assistant to everything I do, even though he’s not exactly helpful leaving blue paint paw prints on my chair.