Dahlia Blooms – Close Up and Macro

My wife, our oldest daughter and myself did a day trip over to Whidbey Island last week (Whidbey is just “off shore” in the Puget Sound north of downtown Seattle, but literally just west of where we live in the northern suburbs of Seattle). It doesn’t matter where we go, I always have my camera ready as you never know what you will see that hits you as a photo opportunity. One of those opportunities occurred right after lunch and just before we were going to catch the ferry back to the mainland. We had stopped at a nice outdoor restaurant for lunch and next door to it was a massive nursery with tons of flowers and plants. It caught my wife and daughters eye, so after lunch we ventured over to check it out. As the three of us ventured around the nursery, we came across some stunning Dahlia plants with very (and I mean at least 12 inches/30.48 centimeters) large blooms. The photographer in me immediately went to work on capturing the largest blooms, framing those and then taking another shot as a macro close-up. I have attached eight captures of four different blooms.

Soft Pink, Yellow And White Dahlia Bloom
Macro Soft Pink, Yellow And White Dahlia Bloom
Bright Pink, Yellow And White Dahlia Bloom

Macro Bright Pink, Yellow And White Dahlia Bloom

Red And White Dahlia Bloom

Macro Red And White Dahlia Bloom

Yellow Dahlia Bloom

Macro Yellow Dahlia Bloom

Thoughts?

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Fountain Urns

This week, I’ve attached three art prints I created from a photo shoot in a winery located on the hills above Napa Valley in California. The winery grounds were very beautiful and all items of landscaping design (such as these urns) were imported from Europe. From different points on the estate there are tables and chairs that took in the view of the valley below. Everything is elegant and done to allow you to enjoy the beauty of the winery while you enjoy their wine. The fountain itself is designed to have water quietly cascade down the sides of the urns and effectively creates a peaceful, serene setting!

Spanish Urn Fountain

Two Large Urns

Three Large Urns

Thoughts?

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Downtown Seattle High-Rises in Three Formats

In most cases, my artwork starts out as a photograph that I then play with digitally to see if I like the same subject in completely different formats. An example of this are the three different presentations of two captures of high-rise office buildings in downtown Seattle. It started with the original captures below:

Seattle High-Rise 1

Seattle High-Rise 2

The first aspect that I used was to turn these captures into black and white photographs as shown below:

Heads Up
The Tall Three

Then also like a very subtle

For the next two presentations, I used a detail drawing technique and a subtle watercolor to highlight the details and color of the buildings. To highlight the details of the buildings, I used an abstract approach to the sky resulting in keeping that aspect simple.

Up The Building

Halo Effect

For the next two presentations, I went in a completely different direction. For these two presentations I used a more abstract drawing technique to create the buildings and then filled it with bursts of watercolor on and surrounding the structures. This approach creates a completely different visual for high-rise office buildings.

The Soaring Building

Sketched Towers

Thoughts?

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Lavender Field

This past week my wife and I went to a Lavender field on Camano Island which is on the Puget Sound north of the Seattle area here in the Pacific Northwest. This time of year there are a lot of Lavender fields in full bloom and many farms invite you to come and pick bouquets (I use that term loosely as you actually cut them with a sharp blade) for a price. Each plant has numerous blooms rising from them and on this particular farm you are encouraged to cut the blooms of an entire plant which equates to numerous bouquets.

Camano Island is a very heavily forested island without a lot of open fields. There are farms on the island, but it is mostly dense forest. Having said that, the setting was beautiful and the “Lavender Farm” was owned and operated by a very nice young family. Their children helped those of us that came to cut by giving us the tools we would need and barrels to put our “pickings” in while we were in the field.

I asked permission to take pictures of the field and was promptly asked by their children to take a picture of them (which I did and have since sent it to them). I’ve attached six captures from the shoot for this weeks blog. Enjoy:

Lavender 1
Lavender 2
Lavender 3
Lavender 4
Lavender 5
Lavender 6

Our girls and some friends will be the lucky recipients of very fragrant bouguets!!

Thoughts?

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Variety of Styles for Orchid Blooms

This week I’m featuring four art prints of orchid blooms that I have created using totally different styles. I like each and everyone, but for entirely different reasons. I’m curious for feedback regarding your impressions.

The first one I created using a very shape defined approach as it relates to shape and outlines.

The Beauty Of An Orchid

The second one I created using a sketching technique.

Sketched Orchid Blooms

For the third one, I used a technique where the watercolor is brushed like puffy clouds and then the drawn blooms are used as an overlay.

Orchid Blooms Watercolor

The fourth and final one, I created using a pastel chalk technique.

Pink And Purple Orchid

Thoughts?

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Bright and Bold Art Prints

Last week I featured an art print depicting a very quiet, serene scene. This week I’m featuring four bright and bold art prints. I created them using a fauvism technique that creates bold surreal colors and somewhat abstract shapes to depict a scene.

The first two prints are based on scenery surrounding the Lake Dillon area of Colorado. Lake Dillon is on the western side of the Continental Divide from Denver. The first print is of the mountain range that surrounds the valley Lake Dillon is located in.

A Field, Forest And Snow Capped Mountains In Colorado

This second print represents a vacation resort near the lake.

Colorado Vacation In Fauvism

This next print is of a swan swimming in a pond located at the Los Angeles Zoo.

Lone Swan In Pond

From there I take you to the New England coastline.

New England Coastline

Thoughts?

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Beach Tranquility

Periodically I go back through some of my old photo shoots to see if anything grabs my attention that I haven’t already worked with. The attached art print was actually from a photo shoot I did in 2009. We were living in San Diego as new empty nesters because our youngest had gone off to college the prior fall to the University of Washington. My wife and I decided to do a coastal drive up to Seattle to spend some time with her before the 2009 school year started. Along the way I was doing photo shoots of lighthouses and other coastal scenes. I had a number of captures that ended up in my gallery (many of them still there) and as I was looking through those shots, this one popped out at me. I remember the setting and the look and feel of this area. A marine layer (low coastal clouds) had come in as the sun was going down. The beach was empty with the exception of what looked to me like a father and son walking and talking. I capture a few shots of them playing with the way I framed them. I migrated to this one with them in the bottom right of the shot as it highlighted the desolation and peacefulness of the beach setting. For me using a digital watercolor technique seemed to be a perfect fit for this scene as the color pallet was pretty consistent from the sky to the ocean to the beach. The tranquility aspect of it was not only the empty beach, but the marine layer also softens sounds and the father and son looked like they were relaxed and enjoying each others company.

Beach Tranquility
Beach Tranquility

Thoughts?

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I Quiet My Mind

I wanted to share two new art prints I completed for my Inspirational Prayer Gallery. In that gallery I take either photographic or art prints and overlay them with an inspirational thought or prayer. With the two I am sharing today, they are both from prior hikes that I have done here in the Pacific Northwest. The overlay is a thought I go through daily using prayerful meditation. I like to start the day with prayer and the first thing I need to do is quiet my mind (not easy to do) and then focus on seeking His peace and joy with gratitude and thankfulness.

The first one is from Lake 22 Trail which is located near Granite Falls, Washington and has an elevation gain of about 1500 feet that brings you up to a lake.

I Quiet My Mind: Lake 22 Trail

The second art print is one of two falls known as Twin Falls. This stream runs through the valley where North Bend, Washington is located. This valley nestled in the Cascade Mountain Range is the home of many hiking trails spreading out and up.

I Quiet My Mind: Forest Waterfall

Thoughts?

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Tulip Art

I wanted to share five of the art prints I created from my tulip photoshoot in April. I used a soft watercolor technique on all five prints. I certainly had a number of shots to work with and I narrowed those down to ten. After working with all ten and satisfied with what I had created, I saved them and didn’t revisit them until the end of last week. I spend so much time with each print making numerous changes, etc until I feel like I have a completed piece of art. I found over the years that by “sitting” on them for a week or two, I can view them with a lot less bias and narrow that group down to what I like the most. I go through the narrowing process a few times until I don’t see the need anymore. Having said all that, following are the final five:

Family Of Red Tulips
Soft Purple Pattern Tulips

Dark Purple Tulips Opening

Yellow Tulip Cluster

The Land Of Tulips

Thoughts?

(on a personal note: our third grandchild entered the world this last week. He is our second grandson and arrived on the projected birth date….go figure. All are doing well!!)

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Can’t Wait To Get Back To Hiking

It has been an unusually wet winter and spring here in the Pacific Northwest. We moved up here (per my earlier blogs) in March. It was the middle of March when we received our furniture via the moving van and we have been settling in ever since (that’s short for painting every room, updating all three bathrooms, furniture shopping, donating furniture we shipped but aren’t using, new appliances….that kind of stuff).

Having said all that, I have been itching to get back to hiking, but with the wet weather I’ve acquiesced to waiting and the above items have kept me busy. With summer coming and the rains easing up, I’m ready to get back out there!! I’ve attached four captures from hikes I have done up here in the past to get me back to it!!

The lush green awaits…….

Thoughts?

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