Summer Lovin'

...having a blast!

That song always makes me smile, as do many of the other songs from Grease.  In high school, I was part of the stage crew that worked on Grease.  I think I moved props off during set changes, but I remember the performance itself - and the rehearsals more.  We wore white shirts and jeans, in a minimalist nod to a classic look that's withstood the ages.  Also, not to be very memorable as we hustled on and off stage.  That was tenth or eleventh grade, I can't remember correctly now.  It's funny how these things all get hazy after a while, but it was so important and exciting at the time.

Well, now that you know I was a theatre geek, I'll move right on.

The title did have something to do with the post, because I'm firmly in the throes of summer here, even though they are predicted all showers and thunder for this weekend.  It's been hot, and on occasion it's also been sunny, which is all one can hope for from this time of the year.  I've made a desktop wallpaper for you all, to celebrate the season.  Feel free to use it all year long, if you ever need a little piece of summer to warm your days.  Click the picture to be taken to the download.

This weekend I'm busy trying to finish a story, and doing some house painting if I'm feeling up to it.  My original high hopes had included going to New Hampshire to take a few photos, but I'm not feeling so hot.  I thought for a while I had overdone it at the gym because I had body aches that corresponded to my sore muscles.  This morning I  was sneezing and coughing to go along with it, and out came the cold medicine.  Combine that with an unfavorable weather report, and I think I'm in the for the weekend.  Which is always good for the state of my house.  Hopefully any sniffles will blow over in time to get some great July 4th photos!

Have a good weekend!


Featured On Empty Easel

Today I'm the featured artist over on Empty Easel.  Empty Easel is an artist website that I found in April 2012 on a rainy trip to Lake George.  It instantly became a favorite, not just for the insight I've gained, but for the easy and accessible way its presented.  There's volumes of great information in the archives, and the weekly newsletter is a highlight in my inbox.

They've done a fantastic write up on my photography, and you can head over there to check it out.

Thanks a bunch EE for featuring my work!

Slush Pile: Autumn Child

I'm an autumn child.  Born at the end of September, fall speaks to me like no other season does.  Perhaps it is in my blood or it calls to something in my very nature.  Regardless, I do the bulk of my shooting in the autumn, as it cools off and the nights get longer.  It's one of the aspects of my work that I like the best.


I originally meant for this to be an audio post, and I apologize because I haven't been able to dedicate the time to that that I'd like.  Quality matters to me, and I will do it well when I do finally set up audio posts.  But here's a little bit about inspiration that I wanted to share, because creativity and inspiration are commonalities we have as artists, no matter the medium.  Obviously, I want to inspire you, but I also want to let you know that I have hard times too as an artist.  There are dry spells and times when I feel like I just can't be bothered, and overwhelming times when I get up in the middle of the night thinking of all the work I should have done.  None of that should stop any of us.


Love Letters

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Saturday Beach Wedding

Last Saturday I went to a beach wedding on this rocky little cove.  It was a beautiful backdrop.  This same friend did my hair for my wedding almost four years ago now.  Time simply flies, because it feels like it was just yesterday for me.  I was so happy for him!

The weather was wonderfully mild and warm after all the days of rain we've been having, and it descended into a breathtaking sunset just as we were leaving the ceremony.  I came home exhausted with sand between my toes and a smile on my face.  Spending an evening on a beach watching friends get married is one of the joys of summer.

This is Forty Steps Beach in Nahant, Massachusetts, but I forget whether or not it was actually forty steps to get down to the beach.  I counted!  But then I forgot, as I am prone to do when there are more important matters.  However many steps it took, it was worth it, because the small inlet is so scenic and lovely, I can imagine scores of people have been married there.

Since I was a guest and not the photographer, these were shot with my powershot - it fit neatly into my small bag.  My only complaint about the photos is that I didn't get more becfore we headed home!


Slush Pile: On the Banks of the Charles

I may or may not have borrowed the title of this post from the MSU Fight Song.

But here's a shot from a day I spent on the esplanade in Boston last September.  I have many unused photos like this one, just hanging out and watching the sailboats go by.  There were so many good shots, it was hard to choose what got edited and what got set aside.  This one could use a little better framing and angling, so I left it out of the pile when I started working on them.

Even in black and white, I can't quite bring the balance to this photo I would like to see, so it will forever remain in the slush pile.


Monday, Monday - every other day of the week is fine.  The Mamas and the Papas got that one right, Monday always comes too quickly and never fails to make its presence known.  After a weekend, especially one where I've been busy, Monday is the return to the organized chaos that I thought I tamped down the week before, only to find that it has grown wild and unruly in my absence.

This morning I woke up a little sick, I often have stomach troubles and eating rich wedding food yesterday got to me.  I skipped my trip to the gym this morning in order to put calamine on my new mosquito bites, and I swear they've multiplied since last night.  Then I went to my office and promptly started knocking things over with all the grace of an elephant on stilts, and got cardstock stuck in my printer and realized I was nearly out of ink.  My kitchen is a mess, and the house painting project I was working on last week is in dire need of another coat.  The days are getting away from me, I can't believe it's the middle of June already.

But I'm still feeling really good today.  Maybe it's all the wedding cheer I indulged in this weekend, or the feeling of being around friends while wearing a new hat.  Whatever it was, Monday isn't going to get me down this week.  In fact, I made this to share with you all, because today is our time to shine, even if it is a Monday.


Slush Pile: Maine

This is Kennebunk once again, as I was walking around on a cloudy day back in 2010.  It's got a quaint town square that looks like all those shows that take place in Maine.  It was good to see the real deal!

I've been painting with pastels recently, and using up so much ink on some other pattern work that I had to order new supplies today.  It's a good feeling to be productive.  Organization helps immensely, and I've started really changing my office around in the hopes that I will be able to find everything more readily.

Clouds in my Coffee

I've unearthed a batch of cloudscape photos I took last October and am editing them.  The last photo is already up for sale, but the others are still works in progress.  Looking up - it's not something I do often enough.  I feel like the last time I looked at the evening sky was on vacation.

Sometimes I feel the need for a vacation or mini-break at the most unexpected of times.  This is a busy time of year, and I have a friend's wedding to go to this weekend, but it's local and I can't indulge my desire for travel.  Still, I feel the urge, like pulling on strings insistently and I know that I am going to adventure again soon.

Purchase Evening Clouds

Back to Black

Another photo from 2009.  I find this one very calming.  I haven't been to the beach since it got warm here, but the days of sun have been punctuated with days of rain so often that I feel like the summer has been more wet than warm.  But this photo is a good memory of a sunny, August day at the beach, so I like to set it as the background on my work computer from time to time.

Purchase Back to Black.

From the Slush Pile

Like many a photographer, I have a lot of pictures that I haven't used for one reason or another, that are perfectly good photographs.  Some of them are just very similar to one another, and I didn't see the point in using a bunch of photos that looked the same.  And occasionally, I will take a photo that is more personal than professional, and those get edited and shown to my family and friends and put away.

But I can share them here.  Some of them might even go up for sale from time to time, but this is mostly sharing.  I call it "The Slush Pile", which is a writing term.  It's not exactly perfect analogy, because a slush pile is usually unsolicited work, but I had in mind the measure of vastness.  Agents, editors and other publishing professionals never see the bottom of their slush pile, because new work is always coming in.  My photography feels like that.  Whenever I shoot, the roll always has shots that aren't used for one reason or another.

If you'll forgive me the slight misnomer, I'd like to introduce "From the Slush Pile" as a way to share my old pictures with you.

This one doesn't have a name, but it's of the mist over Lake George in the morning last October.  I woke up fairly early and went outside to be confronted with an overwhelming amount of things to photograph.  We'd driven up to Lake George the day before in heavy, blinding rain that lasted through the night.  But in the morning, it was gone and it was beautiful, glorious autumn.  The colors were rain-slicked and brighter, the mist was rising from the lake, the sun was a gorgeous beam of light from a cloudless sky.  It was a beautiful morning, and I took as many photos as I could, because even though I grew up in the Great Lakes Region, I have never seen mist rising off a lake before.

Eventually, it went away, dissipating into the warmth of the day.  I did manage to get to another part of the lake to take shots from another vantage before it completely faded out.  It was such a wonderful sight - a great way to start off a trip!

New York Love

Scenes from my trip to the city last weekend.  Both photos are of Grand Central Station, and the second one is of the ceiling.  If you ever visit, be sure to look up.

I haven't done a BEA wrap up, and I am not sure I am going to now, because I haven't even had a chance to spread all of the books out and look at them.  But I definitely want to go and do more city photography in New York.  I am so intimately acquainted with Boston after living there for so long, I forget that I can go to new cities and find new things, as strange as that sounds.

It's been over a decade since I moved to Massachusetts, and I don't feel finished with it yet - at least not artistically.  Though I no longer live in Boston, I find myself in love with the beautiful mountains on the Berkshires, or wondering about places in nearby Connecticut.  I've traveled a lot through Maine and New Hampshire, but not as much in Vermont or Connecticut.

Though I've been fortunate enough throughout my life to travel, I haven't always been a photographer.  I find myself wanting to revisit old places for new inspiration, or wondering what kinds of new flora I might encounter in an already visited place.  But there are new cities to see too, even in regions I considered well-explored by me.  I'd like to go back to Los Angeles and see it through my lens.  I want to take every lens I own on my next trip to Las Vegas, so I can go back and properly photograph Red Rocks.   The possibilities are endless.

If you have suggestions on places to go - no matter where in the world, let me hear them!  Even if I can't get there in the foreseeable future, I still want to know about them.

Buy Grand Central Saturday (the top one)

Quick Reminder - Stop in my Etsy shop and use code HELLOHELLO for 20% off your order!  Only until June 15th!

Finished! Cream

A while back I put this picture up when it was a work in progress.  I didn't quite know where to go with it, but I liked the sepia tones on the flowers, but nothing was jumping out at me.  Now, I've finished the post-processing to my liking, and I think the picture is far more striking this way.  It's called Cream, because of the beautiful soft light in the background and the colors it casts in the sepia tone.

I am still getting back into the groove of working after my weekend trip to the city.  The expo was a lot of information to process, and whenever confronted with books, I tend to shut myself off and read for a while.  Luckily, I got the chance on Sunday when we came back to finish one of the stories I started, but since then I've been working a great deal on my illustration work and the house.

I haven't quite gotten around to making a total of the number of books we came away from BEA with yet, which is mostly because I haven't done much unpacking yet.  Clothes, yes, but books have stayed mostly in their bags.  It's likely to be a large number, because we both got bonus bags from Macmillan Publishers for being some of the first 1000 Power Readers there on Saturday.  Plus my husband got his mother to send up some two boxes of his books from home, so combined with all the newly acquired books - we now have a small path where we walk in the den.

But books are never a problem and we will figure it all out this weekend.  Oh, and I wanted to mention that I am delighted to have gotten into the fPOE group on etsy.  The Female Photographers of Etsy have their own blog and are a great resource for photographers.  I am proud to be a new part of fPOE.

Purchase Cream


I'm still getting myself back together after the awesomeness that was BEA, because it was truly an adventure.  All the books!  Meeting people!  Packages of candy!  More books!  Celebrities!

But it was a great time for both my husband and I, and it was the first time in a long while that I've gone to NYC.  It reminded me of the time I went to Wizard, but with more free stuff.  Despite the very hot weather, navigating the expo and the city were no problem at all, and it was a great trip.

I came back to find that this photo entitled "Primavera" has become one of the most popular items in my etsy store.  A lovely, welcome surprise.

Purchase Primavera