Let the Beauty of what you Love be what you Do...

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hummingbird Studies

Hummingbird Photography & Fun Facts~

Hummingbirds are native to North & South America. Their average speed is 20-30 miles per hour, and some migratory species fly up to 500 miles non-stop!

They are the smallest bird, yet their brain comprises 4% of their body weight, hence they have much bigger brains than their larger counterparts.

Their little hearts can beat up to 1260 times per minute. Surprisingly... they do sit still sometimes, just not for long!

Sadly, the majority of hummingbirds don't make it past the first year of their life... but if they do, their average lifespan is 4 to 5 years, though some live up to ten years.

There is an estimated 325-340 species of hummingbirds. They are a fascinating bird... fun to watch, and challenging to photograph!

Equipment used: Nikon D80 w/ 18-135 lens & iPhoto for basic cropping. Pictures taken to get about 10 good shots: approximately 140.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Ocean Beach Sunset

Hello my bloggy friends! I've been quite busy, but have been having an enjoyable time catching up with friends & family. I met a friend of mine for fish tacos at the beach yesterday & was lucky I had thrown my camera in the car... the sunset was amazing! I lived in Ocean Beach, Ca for about 6 years in my twenties... a great place to live during that time of my life, and I try to get down there at least once when I'm in town. It was nice to see the ocean again & stick my toes in the sand... not to mention the wonderful show put on by mother nature!

 I hope you're all doing well, & I'm off to catch up on your blogs!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Random Post...

I've packed up all my things & said my goodbyes to Oregon... at least for the summer. I'm off to see family and go back to my travel job... in an attempt to finance another quarter of school in the fall. I've made this drive quite a few times, so I don't often stop for pictures. 

Well, except for Mt Shasta... I never tire of photographing this mountain. I absolutely love it.

Speaking of love~ coffee! This was a frequent stop along the way. Did you know that coffee is the number two import... just behind oil?! I have a love/hate relationship w/ Starbuck's.  I love that they have the cleanest bathrooms (which is a huge perk to a traveler!) and I love a venti-extra-hot-no- whip-mocha. But don't let the fact that they now serve a few varieties of fair trade coffee, or have had a few brochures made about their eco-friendly practices fool you. This is a fairly recent development... and they are still hugely "Corporate America," and specialize in making a huge profit off of you & me, and often at the expense of others. Not at all trying to slander them... like I said, it's a love/hate relationship.
There's an excellent documentary called "Birdsong & Coffee; A Wake Up Call " that examines the relationship between coffee, cultures, corporations, & ecosystems... I highly recommend it. 
Moving on... Purple Mountains Majesty near Tehachapi, Ca.


That about wraps it up for now! I'll be spending the week with family before I head out to the next job...
I'm contemplating changing the name of my blog, as I am no longer an art student... at least for the summer. Any ideas?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

This Old House

Oh, how I would have loved to get closer to this old house! O.k... not just closer, actually. I would love to go in & explore, but again with the "no trespassing" sign! How sometimes I wish I were a kid again when you just didn't notice such things! Or maybe you did, but as kid, you felt less compelled to follow the rules...

But, since I am grown up (dang it!), I felt compelled to follow the rules... so I could only get "closer" with my zoom lens. The front of the house looks like it could topple any minute... and check out all the growth on the roof! The old truck below sits in the yard... I wonder how long it has been there, and I find it rather curious that the bush decided to grow through it rather than around it.

Keep Out

In between packing up, tying up loose ends & running last minute errands... I scheduled in a little "photo field trip" with one of my fellow art students. We set out with no particular agenda... just to drive around & photograph whatever we found interesting. The theme for the day turned out to be old dilapidated houses...

I've always loved old structures like this~ ever since I was a little kid. Note the "keep out" sign on the right. There was also a fence & "no trespassing" sign, which made it difficult to get as close as I would have liked.

Having a zoom lens helps a bit, but not quite enough to pick up all the wonderful textures of peeling paint and moss growing on the roof & siding.

I wonder how long this old house has been standing... whether it will soon be demolished, or if nature will simply continue to take it's course...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Nature's Gifts

"If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has the power to move you, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive."
~Eleonora Duse

The Spring quarter is officially over! Which means no more ceramics or printmaking posts for quite some time. I've enrolled for the fall quarter, but due to financial & other concerns (like is it the best use of my time & resources here on this planet? how will it benefit me in terms of making a living? do i really want to live here for 2 years? etc, etc.) that could all change by the time fall rolls around. SOOOOO! In the meantime, I am once again returning to my photography roots! (Ceramics & Photography being my two favorite artistic loves!) The skies were absolutely beautiful the other night & I was lucky enough to get a few good shots... so I thought I'd share. For those of you that know me... you know that in addition to my love of nature... I also LOVE a good quote! And there are so many wonderful, inspiring quotes out there... so it's highly likely that you will be seeing them paired with various photographs I'll be taking. I hope everyone out there is having a wonderful week, & thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Clay Creations!

Well, this is it... the end of the term. Had a little delay in getting back the last of the ceramics as one of kilns was down. Now I'm in the process of packing them up & deciding which to give away, which to keep & wondering if I can wait as long a Christmas to share them. Probably not, as I've already started giving them away! Here's the bulk of my creations this quarter, minus the 20 or so I've given away~

And some "up close shots" of some of my favorites... of course I made some more of the coffee bean mugs~

Here's the big salad bowl I was so happy about in a previous post, though it doesn't look so big in this picture! I also made 4 smaller bowls to go with it. I wasn't ecstatic about the glaze choice afterwards, but chose a clear glaze to try to bring forth the natural dark clay body~

One of my favorite bowls I decided to keep for myself... I just love this glaze~ 

It looks like a plate here! I think I'm a lot better at landscape photography than studio photography! Here's the back... I'm experimenting w/ different "signatures" & liked this one.

The next one I call the "Zen Bowl..." I don't know... it just looks Zen to me. I've decided who this bowl is going to, but that is top secret!

Another "keeper," I've already used the bowl below for french toast! (None of my plates turned out well, and I don't really like making them, so I just cut the french toast into bite size pieces, add banana & syrup.) This funky bowl was an experiment in carving & use of stains.

The glaze in the bowl below kinda looks like an eye, doesn't it?

And just a few more favorites~

It was fun experimenting with different glazes!

I think the use of different glazes can totally define what the bowls are used for... whether decorative, salad, soup or ice cream. I love the glaze in the one below, and it was difficult not to keep, but I already gave it away... it's fun to give handmade gifts!

I've really enjoyed my ceramics class this quarter, and am hoping I can figure out some way in the not too distant future to have this sort of creating be present in my daily life!