The Jacaranda Tree – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

We were in Los Angeles for Memorial Day weekend (weekend before last) visiting our daughter and son-in-law, but more importantly our first grandchild (just hit the 6 month mark). We try and go as often as we can for obvious reasons. I volunteered to do the daily stroller outing into the neighborhood each day while we were there (she loves to be outdoors enjoying the fresh air, sights, birds, etc.). I always wandered up into the hills with her as the climbing was good exercise for grandpa and the views were spectacular for both of us (more on that next week in my post). One of the things I particularly enjoyed was the Jacaranda trees in full bloom.

If you’re not familiar with Jacaranda trees, they are native to subtropical regions of Mexico, Central America, South America, Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas. Having said that, this particular species of the Jacaranda family has been widely planted across the globe and regions well known for them now include South Africa, Australia and in the US, Florida, Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles. I love this time of year when they are in full bloom. I have seen pockets of neighborhoods across Southern California where they have been planted in abundance and this time of year you have a sea of purple.

I have attached five shots I took on one of our outings giving you an idea of the beauty of these trees in bloom.

Jacaranda One

You can see how they add a dramatic touch of color and of course you have the mess of dropped petals to contend with (well worth it to me…we had one at the end of our driveway in San Diego and the concrete was always covered in purple as the petals dropped).

Jacaranda Two

This shot shows two next to a driveway on our walk through the hillsides.

Jacaranda Three

The trees are scattered throughout these hillside neighborhoods and give you that pop of color.

Jacaranda Four

This gives you a close up look at the blooms…

Jacaranda Five

as does this final shot. Thoughts?

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Evening Sunset Along The Walk – Featured Art Print

Evening Sunset Along the Walk is a wall art print I created using an abstract watercolor technique of an evening sunset along the walkway. This technique uses abstract shapes and bold colors to create a clean modern look.

The setting is Carlsbad, California along the coast highway. Carlsbad is located in the northern part of San Diego County and is a popular beach town. In this particular area, there is a sidewalk up on the bluff overlooking the beach and surf of the Pacific Ocean. It’s a great place to take a sunset stroll and enjoy the cool ocean breeze. In this print, the sun is just getting ready to dip into the ocean for the night. The setting is beautiful with not only the sunset, but also the palm trees in the foreground of this print. Thoughts?

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Pink Sherbert – Featured Art Print

Pink Sherbet

This week I wanted to feature one of my abstract prints. This particular print reminds me of frozen sherbert, especially the colors. Growing up in the midwest (Iowa), ice cream was the dessert of choice and for whatever reason I just didn’t care for it. On a visit to my grandparents house one year, I was introduced to frozen sherbert (the days before Sorbet was readily available). I love the rainbow variety and the different fruit flavors. Something about the consistency and vibrant colors appealed to me and I was converted. To this day, I’m still not an ice cream person, but love a good sorbet. That is how the title came to fruition and the next question should be…”I get that abstract art can be very esoteric, but what in the world are these shapes and colors based on?” Great question and the answer will probably surprise you.

This print was created from a photograph taken of the sun setting over a very foggy ocean. My wife and I were traveling up the Northern California coastline and had stopped for the night. A very thick layer of fog was rolling in just as the sun was going down. The scene went from where you could hardly see the water or the waves breaking to a bright spot of light and massive color display in the fog reflected off of the water to hardly seeing the ocean again. From the picture, I worked with this particular technique (Impasto…bold brush strokes) and chose this color palette until I had what I was envisioning for an abstract print. Thoughts?

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Pondering The Surf – Featured Art Print

This particular art print is something a little different from my usual norm. I typically don’t focus in on people, but in this case there was a mood element that caught my eye. The look of solitude and intense thought is what drew me to this scene of a man just standing and “pondering” the surf. To create the mood I was perceiving, I used the same technique I had used on the New Orleans series I featured last week. With that series, it complimented the old world look… in this case it helped create a subtle mood to highlight the sense of what I saw in this scene.  Because of that element, I have also used this print twice in my Inspiration Gallery with a prayer overlay on one and the Lord’s Prayer as on overlay on the other. 

Whether it’s a black and white or color photograph or one of my digitally painted art prints, my attempt is to capture a moment or a scene that invokes some type of an emotional or visual response. Thoughts? (side note: the setting for this print is a seclude beach on Kauai in the Hawaiian Islands. The beach is accessed by hiking a trail that takes you up and along the cliffs of the Na Pali coastline and then down onto this beach) 

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New Orleans – Two Featured Art Prints

I did my New Orleans series years ago (before Katrina…yes that long ago) and chose a gothic oil technique for the entire series. This technique focuses on bold brush strokes and earth tone colors creating an old world look. This type of style compliments the “old world” atmosphere of the French Quarters. Whether it’s just people watching, enjoying the architecture of the area or the great food, there is always something to do in the Big Easy. From that series, I am highlighting two of my favorites, New Orleans Cafe and Balcony Cafe. These two seem to always get purchased as pairs as they do compliment each other very well. Thoughts?

I invite you to stop in and browse through the rest of the New Orleans collection. The series is located within my Street Scenes/People Gallery.

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Lounge In The Back Yard – Featured Art Print

 

The 1st of May has arrived. May has always been one of my favorite months and when I think of May, the attached picture is what I think of. I can just picture myself reading a book sipping an ice tea on a warm spring day in a yard like this….I came across this scene during the month of May a few years back on Martha’s Vineyard just off the coast in Massachusetts. Enjoy!!

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Writer Inspires Artist – Artist Inspires Writer or On The Radio – Meet Hank

I could call this week’s post – “The Art of Visualization: The Key Element to Writing, Art and Photography”, but the result of that ability is “On The Radio – Meet Hank”.  I’m doing a joint collaboration with one of my favorite authors, Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. One of my most consistent comments to her after reading her writing is: “I love it…I am instantly pulled in because I can visualize everything you are writing about”. When she asked me to do this joint post, her request was simple: “Go through your art and photography portfolio and send me a picture that you would like to have me weave into one of my novels”. I narrowed it down to Cedar Rapids Barn because this capture of an old dilapidated barn created a visualization of a rural setting and the mystery surrounding the structure (side note: I was driving on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the heavily wooded hills along the river when I spotted this structure nestled in the trees. Of course I had to stop…hike into the woods and take some shots with my camera). So with that, I would like to turn it over to the star of this visualization, Teagan: 

Hi Kirt! Hello everyone, I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, from the blog, Teagan’s Books. It’s my pleasure to be a guest here at The Wall Gallery. Thanks to Kirt for working with me on this joint post!

3-things-cover_3-2016As I get ready for the takeoff of my next 1920s novel, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I, I’m doing some collaborative posts with other bloggers. We’re combining their unique talents with my stories. From his wonderful collection, Kirt chose this image, Cedar Rapids Barn. I let it spontaneously lead me to the story below.

This tale is set in the Roaring Twenties world of my flapper character, Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip. (For more about Pip, see The Three Things Serial Story click here.)

Today meet Hank Hertz. This vignette is part of Hank’s backstory. He’s a young man Pip will meet when she is sent to live in Savannah, Georgia with her grandmother. However, this vignette takes place at some point not too long before Pip arrives there, so she is not in this story.

On the Radio — Meet Hank

No harm in trying one more time, Hank Hertz thought as he stacked all manner of electronic components on the counter.

“Hi, Mr. Hardscrabble,” Hank mumbled, trying to avoid eye contact with the hardware store’s proprietor.

“Hank, I already told you. Your ma told me not to sell you any of this gadgetry tomfoolery. You might as well put all that stuff back on the shelves, son.”

Hardscrabble put a hand to his balding head in a frustrated gesture. He found his spectacles there and smiled because he’d forgotten where he put them. However, he brightened when the door opened. One of “Savannah’s finest,” Detective Dabney Daniels strolled into Hardscrabble Hardware. His finely chiseled features remained neutral, but he raised an eyebrow at the tableau at the counter.

“Now get on with you, boy. Put everything back. I can’t take your money,” the store owner repeated before turning to a real customer. “That boy gets more like his granddaddy every day. Detective, what can I do for you?”

1928 Detroit police radio Blue

“No need to rest on formality, Homer. I can’t find my flashlight, so I’m here for another one,” the detective replied then looked sheepish. “Go ahead and laugh about things going missing at a police station. I can tell you’re holding it back.”

Hank watched the exchange between the tall detective and the portly shopkeeper as he reluctantly made trips from the sales counter back to the shelves. He could have carried more things at one time, but he delayed the inevitable, hoping Mr. Hardscrabble would change his mind. As he picked up a few more items to return to the shelf, the detective stopped him.

“What is all that stuff, son? If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were building a ham radio. Or at least intended to before Homer shut you down.”

For a moment Hank’s face lit up at the mention of his passion — all things electronic, especially radios. He looked dejectedly at his feet.

“Momma wants me to study law. She says electronics and inventions are a distraction. She even said they were toys!”

“So all the old fogies are conspiring against you, huh? Well, you’d better ankle all that stuff back where it came from, like Homer told you.”

***

1920 Radio News

After supper Hank got an armload of books and headed out the kitchen door. His mother looked at the heavy tomes and gave a satisfied nod. Hank knew she was watching from the window above the sink as he walked to the little red barn. Vines of Cherokee roses ran riot over the building. The Hertz family used the barn for storage, but Hank made it his personal spot to study or just hang out. He also had a workbench tucked in one corner where he discretely kept his radio equipment.

The horizon blazed red with sunset when Hank slipped out of the barn. He pedaled the motorized bicycle he had made until he was far enough away that his parents wouldn’t hear the noise of the motor. Dusk descended as he rode into town.

Hank didn’t pay any attention to the dark Ford parked on the corner, or to the fact that someone sat inside it. He rode down the alley and came up behind Hardscrabble Hardware. The back door was locked, but he found a window he could open. He took his flashlight and climbed into the store.

He knew exactly where to find everything he wanted. So it didn’t take Hank long to gather all the electronics he tried to buy that afternoon. He stood at the sales counter and added up all the prices. He figured the tax. Then he left the full amount of the purchase, plus two cents, because he didn’t have enough pennies to leave the exact change.

Putting everything into his bag, Hank turned toward the back of the shop. It felt like an electric charge shot from his neck down his arm when he heard a cough behind him. Hank jerked around to face the sound.

1920 Victoria motorcycle ad

The boy thought he’d lose everything he ate for supper when he saw the police detective standing there, arms folded.

“So you actually broke into the store and paid for the things Homer wouldn’t sell you? Son, I don’t know what to make of that.”

Hank stumbled back a step. He wanted to run, but the copper knew who he was and where he lived. Besides, Hank had a pretty good idea that those long legs could catch up with him before he got to his bicycle. His breath caught in his throat. Hank couldn’t have spoken even if he’d known what to say.

The detective closed the distance to the counter in a single step. He pointed his new flashlight to the paper where Hank had added up his purchase. Then he pursed his lips as he thought. He stared at Hank as if he could see every fib the boy had ever told. Hank gulped.

“Where’d you get the money for this stuff, son? Allowance? Money for odd jobs?”

Hank only nodded, still unable to talk. Finally he found his voice and croaked out a reply. “It’s my money sir. Fair and square. I wouldn’t steal anything.”

“I guess I’m going to have to have a talk with your parents,” the Dabney Daniels said, slowly shaking his head.

Poor Hank felt like he might sink through the floor, right then and there. His knees felt weak.

“But this,” the copper motioned at Hank’s bag full of stuff. “I don’t see as any law has really been broken. After all, I walked in through the front door, which was unlocked. I know Homer leaves through the back door and forgets to lock the front. But being as you’re here, I assume he left it open for you.”

Hank gazed at Daniels in wide eyed confusion.

“Besides, I hate doing paperwork. If you had actually broken into this store, I’d have to haul you to the station and spend the rest of the night writing up the report. I do have to talk to your parents though,” he added causing Hank to sink further.

The young man managed a groan.

“You know, I really need an intern down at the station. I think your mother will see that working for me would be a good learning experience for a future lawyer. In a way, that’s where law starts isn’t it? With the police? Meanwhile you can put your talent with radio gadgetry to use. How does that sound?”

The end

***

And so Savannah’s youngest policeman began his career. If you want to know more about the other characters in Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I, click here. Thanks for reading.

 

Copyright © 2016 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene

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