The Light Of Life

Lighthouses are a great symbol of guidance to safety. I’ve attached two art prints I have created of lighthouses using entirely different approaches. On both, I added the same verse which I thought fit perfectly with a lighthouse. The verse refers to the “Light of Life”, which I think of as Love, Hope, Peace and Joy. We all seek that and find comfort in these feelings. With the Christmas Season upon us, especially this year, we definitely could use as much Love as we can muster for each other and the Hope that we will conquer this pandemic sooner rather than later. Peace and Joy we all seek in our everyday lives on a daily basis. All of this is within our ability as individuals and is one of the few things we can actually control on a daily basis.

This first print, I created the lighthouse in a very abstract matter.

Light Of The World

The second print, I created using ink drawing to outline the lighthouse structure and then filled in the color with a watercolor/airbrush technique.

Whoever Follows Me

May your holiday season be filled with Love, Hope, Peace and Joy!

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Bold Orchids

I have attached two newer prints I created using orchids as a subject matter. In the case of these two, I used an impasto technique to create two strong visual experiences. This technique uses large and bold brush strokes creating a very distinctive visual texture. Add bold colors and the prints definitely stand out.

Purple Impasto Orchids

A good friend of ours has a green thumb with orchids and I used two of her plants as inspiration for these prints. I loved the deep purple of the one plant which inspired the first print.

Back Lit Orchids

I also like the look of back lighting these types of flowers (the blooms are thin enough to create a glow when back lit) and tried to replicate that look with these red orchids.

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Lake 22 Trail

I wanted to share a little hiking/photo adventure with you from our trip to the Pacific Northwest. My son-in-law and I love hiking and have been on numerous hikes together. For the last few years I have had to succumb to the fact that with my knees continuing to get worse, I was to the point I couldn’t do much hiking at all. As I have mentioned for those of you that follow me, I had knee replacement surgery on my right knee last year and in June of this year, my left knee. My personality is such that I am all over the physical therapy needed to get back to “normal”. I was looking forward to this trip for many reason, one being to get back into my love of hiking in the Pacific Northwest and the photo opportunities they present.

So on his day off, he suggested a specific trail he knew I would like called Lake 22 Trail near Granite Falls, Washington. It’s about 4 miles one way with an elevation gain of about 1500 feet. At the top of the elevation gain is a lake that the trail goes around….perfect!!

On the day of the hike, it’s raining and turns into a steady solid drizzle as we near the trail head. My backpack is waterproof along with my jacket, so we are good to go. The only thing I was concerned with was my camera getting wet. With that in mind, I pre-set everything to a landscape mode with exposure on auto. That way, all I had to do was pull the camera out and snap pictures quickly (I had it hanging around my neck under may jacket). Perfect….we start out and the rain picks up and we are hiking switchback after switchback gaining altitude. When I see a shot worth taking, I stop, unzip my jacket, grab the camera, snap a few and put it back under my jacket before it gets soaked.

As we started the hike, the trail was well maintained and smooth. The further we got and the longer we hiked, the trail turned into a rocky creek. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I had been able to walk by securing my footing on one rock….balanced myself as I moved my other leg to the next rock keeping me out of the water. At first it wasn’t at all natural and I looked like a drunk initially. We were both laughing at it and eventually it all came back to me. But of course he thought it would then be better if he followed me in case I fell, thus the attached two pictures. I got past that issue and all was good. We had a great hike and I took what I thought would be great pictures.

Lake 22 Hiking Trail One
Lake 22 Hiking Trail Two

I was finally getting the balancing thing nailed!!

Well, when we got back to their house and I pulled my camera out to put it away, I noticed that the dial had gotten turned to “manual” for all pictures. In other words, somewhere in the “in and out” from under my jacket I ended up losing my automatic exposure and focus ending up with very, very dark pictures that even all of the digital support of photoshop couldn’t resurrect. I tried every trick in the book when we got home, but to no avail except for one capture and that is the one I have added to the end of the post.

Lake 22 Trail

This particular stream was halfway up the trail as we climbed in altitude. I snapped it on the way back down and believe me there was more water coming down this little stream then there was when we were headed up.

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Northern California Coastline

In continuing with my series of our road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle and back, this week I am sharing some of the photographs I took on the Northern California Coastline. The shots are from the Mendocino area of the coastline. That would be about halfway between Eureka (on the very northern California coastline and San Francisco).

The drive that day (Pacific Coast Highway) took us slightly inland for awhile and then rejoined the coastline. The slightly inland part was stunning as it took us through Redwood Forests. Unfortunately we weren’t able to stop and grab pics of that experience as the shots I would have liked to have taken occurred while we were driving without the ability to pull over. It was fascinating to see that you’re driving on this nice wide two lane (sometimes four) highway with broad shoulders, then suddenly the speed limit goes way down and you round a curve to the road narrowing down to just two lanes without shoulders. That was to protect the existing redwoods where their trunks are literally right next to the pavement. The road would wind between the trunks and I must say it was stunning.

When we were able to rejoin the coastline, I was able to get the attached shots.

Northern California Coastal 1

I loved the rock structures along the coastline similar to what you see along the coastline in Oregon. You can tell from the white tips of the protruding rock structures in the water that birds spend a fair amount of time gathering there.

Northern California Coastal 2

The other thing that is different along the northern California coastline versus the southern or central coastlines are the trees (similar to Oregon, but not as lush) that come right up to the coast.

Northern California Coastal 3

It was a beautiful fall day for strolling the beach.

Northern California Coastal 4

I love the different color shades of the ocean as the depth changes. Notice how clear the water is in the little bay.

Northern California Coastal 5

We hit the weather perfectly along the entire drive. The prior day we had left Seattle very early and made it all the way to Arcata, California just north of Eureka along the coastline. On this day our destination was Santa Cruz along the northern portion of Monterrey Bay, which is south of San Francisco. The next day we drove the final leg home exactly two weeks after we left.

Because of the current pandemic I did want to touch base on how we handled that issue. We were diligent with our masks whenever we were out of the car. We brought sanitary wipes for pumping gas and hotel rooms. The hotel rooms were an issue we researched ahead of time and found that the Hilton chain of hotels seemed to have the best programs. We were able to do remote check-in prior to arrival so we just went to our room and keyed in the code we were given. The rooms had tags sealing the door to verify the room had been disinfected. To protect our family here in Los Angeles and in Seattle we got tests done before heading up and after returning just to verify we were ok.

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Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

As part of my continuing series over the last few weeks from our recent road trip to Seattle and back, this weeks post is of Crater Lake National Park. Located northwest of Klamath Falls in the south central portion of Oregon, it was formed 7,700 years ago when a violent eruption triggered the collapse of a tall peak. The collapsed caldera has become the deepest lake in the United States fed by rain and snow and one of the most pristine anywhere on the planet.

In all of our years going up and down the west coast to Seattle, we had never stopped at Crater Lake. I have seen it numerous times from the air flying back and forth, but seeing it up close and personal is an entirely different experience. One of the most recognizable features of the Lake is the island on the western side of the lake. Because of this feature, it makes it easy to spot even at 36,000 feet in the air.

Crater Lake 1

The first thing you notice about the lake is the deep blue color of the water. It looks fake even in person it so so blue.

Crater Lake 2

We drove around the entire lake and as you can see from this capture as we approach the island, it isn’t as small as one would believe, which gives you an idea just how large this lake is.

Crater Lake 3

The next capture (Crater Lake 4) was taken from the drive as it took us around in the upper right coastline of the above capture (Crater Lake 3).

Crater Lake 4

This next capture was a surprise as we continued the drive from Crater Lake 4 going left from that shot.

Crater Lake 5

Love the unique feature that nature created here. Looks like a small castle on an island. To give you a point of reference, the island itself is on the far right side of this capture.

There is so much to do in the Park and so much to see. This just gives you a flavor of the lake itself. Again, the surreal deep blue color of the lake boggles the mind every time you look at it no matter which side of the lake you are on.

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Hood River Valley, Oregon

In continuing from last weeks post from our recent road trip up to the Seattle area from Los Angeles, I wanted to share some captures from the Hood River Valley in Northern Oregon. We stopped here after visiting Crater Lake in Southern Oregon (pics from that coming soon). Hood River is a town located on the confluence of the Hood River and The Columbia River. Just south of the town is a stunningly beautiful agricultural valley. The valley is known for its tree fruit agriculture—including one of the world’s largest pear growing areas. There is a mapped out drive around the valley called the “Fruit Loop”. It lists a number of places to visit where the twenty-nine member stands offer you a variety of wines, fruits, vegetables, flowers, ciders, and food. We chose to stop at an apple orchard where we were able to pick our own fruit. Loved the experience as neither my wife or I have picked apples from an orchard since we were young. It also high-lighted an old country store where in respect to covid, goods were displayed outside in front of the historic building.

This weeks captures were taken along the fruit loop and as Mt Hood is a prominent backdrop in the valley, I couldn’t resist these shots with the fall color.

Hood River Valley Fruit Stand
Mt. Hood Oregon
Autumn Colors Hood River Valley
Mount Hood Close Up

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Marymere Falls in the Olympic National Park

My wife and I just got back to Los Angeles from a 2 week road trip back up to Seattle. For those of you that follow my blog, you will remember my post from mid September of the thick smoke in Seattle that we experienced when we were up there then. Yes, we turned around in a couple of weeks and returned this time via car. The early September trip was a last minute one to help on a family matter. This trip we had been planning all summer to take a few days going up, stopping at Crater Lake and Hood River Valley in Oregon. On our way back down we went through Oregon and cut over to the coast to drive down the extreme Northern California Coastline through the many redwoods that populate that geography. So for the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of my favorite captures from our trip.

I’m starting this week with two captures of Marymere Falls located in the Olympic National Park which is on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. This was an awesome day trip we did with our two daughters and their husbands that live in the Seattle area. We took one of the many ferries that connect Seattle to the surrounding islands and the peninsula. From the arriving ferry port, we still had another 1.5 hour drive to the park.

There is so much to see and do with the many trails, etc, but my favorite one for the day was the attached two captures of Marymere Falls. The trail is just a quick 1.7 mile hike and ends with this 90 foot waterfall. There are two viewing platforms at different elevations to choose from. This first capture is from the lower platform and the second one is from the upper platform.

Marymere Falls
Marymere Falls Bottom Half

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Candy Cane Roses

October is the time of year in Southern California where roses hit their seasonal stride with an incredible showing of blooms. I decided to feature three art prints that were inspired by one of my favorite roses, the Candy Cane Rose.

The first one is an abstract watercolor rendition of one of the blooms.

“One Candy Cane”

The second and third prints are from the same plant and on these I used a slightly more subtle abstract watercolor technique.

“Two Candy Canes”
“Candy Cane”

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And More Lighthouses…..

With last weeks picture of an abstract lighthouse, I thought it would be appropriate to go back to the lighthouse theme I did in August. I drew those lighthouses using an ink and watercolor technique. I have completed three more lighthouse drawings since those posts of Oregon Lighthouses, with these being in the state of Washington.

Mukilteo

The first one is my rendition of the Mukilteo Lighthouse on the east side of Possession Sound in Mukilteo, Washington. The lighthouse is an operational navigational aid built in the 1950’s north of Seattle and just south of Everett. The Mukilteo location also sits next to one of the ferry terminals serving auto and pedestrian commuters between the mainland and the numerous islands in the Pacific Northwest.

West Point

The second one is West Point Lighthouse which is located in Discovery Park (Seattle, Washington) It sits on the north part of the park on a piece of land that juts out into Puget Sound on the north end of Elliot Bay (Elliot Bay is the body of water that downtown Seattle fronts opening into the Puget Sound).

Admiralty Head

The third and final one in the series is Admiralty Head Lighthouse constructed to replace the original structure in 1903. The location of this lighthouse marks the north end of Admiralty Inlet which connects The Strait of San Juan de Fuca with the Puget Sound (for ocean voyage between the port of Seattle and the Pacific Ocean, you would sail out of Elliot Bay into the Puget Sound heading north towards Canada sailing through theAdmiralty inlet to connect to the Strait of San Juan de Fuca which separates the two countries and then westward out to the Pacific Ocean).

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