10/26/17

Feeling Winter

Feeling Winter

Feeling winter? The weather in Albuquerque is still that beautiful autumn weather those of us who live here love so much. But, a change – hopefully brief – is coming. You know, the cold wind and significant drop in temperature. We know we are very lucky here. Even in the midst of true Winter, we will have sunny and often warm days. But I tend to turn inward in winter. I can feel winter coming.

feeling winter

New Mexico Autumn (Click to Enlarge)

Others’ Thoughts on Feeling Winter

“October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces.”
~ J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

“But if I was still alive, I’d have a damned fine day despite the rain, despite the depression, think of something you like doing and do it!…As for me, if I was still alive, I’d have a great cup of coffee, a nice breakfast, then I’d take a drive, walk around, smoke a cigar, eye the pretty ladies…hmmm, nice lunch, yes sir! Read a good book and listen to music, maybe hang out with friends, watch some baseball on TV, love good conversation…and maybe end the night with a little romance. You know what I mean? Live, live everyday, every night, then when you get over here on the ghosty side, you’ll say like me, hey, I did pretty damned good. I hardly moped around at all. I enjoyed my precious human life to the full! Yes sir, I sucked the marrow outta them ribs! ~ Jim Stallings, If I Was Still Alive

For me, I have stockpiled what seem like endless photographs I can edit, maybe composite, play with through the cold and dark days of winter. And before Winter truly sets in, I have more photography to get done.

Finally, make the most of your day!

06/24/15
Image New Mexico 2015

Image New Mexico 2015

Image New Mexico 2015 is Just Around the Corner

Image New Mexico 2015, begun by Pat Berrett and Tim Anderson, will be held again this year at Matrix Fine Art, which has hosted the show for the past several years. This is a juried photography show, and there are no restrictions on where the photographers live, but the images must have been created in New Mexico in the last two years. I am pleased to be showing two images this year, ‘The Observer/The Observed’ and ‘Harry’s Pearl’s,’ the latter from the series, ‘Living Jewels.’

Regular readers here have seen ‘The Observer/The Observed’ before. I created the image for myself in the dark days of January 2015, and did not intend to show it. But, after writer, fellow anthropologist, and friend Jim Stallings wrote a poem about it as a gift to me and my family, I decided to show it. It was in Insight New Mexico – Through Her Eyes and is currently on display at the University of New Mexico Continuing Education North Building until August 15.

Image New Mexico 2015

‘The Observer/The Observed’

Spontaneous Poem from a Treetop Crow

In the lofty life of a wise old crow
Swaying in the topmost backyard branches
Like a magical clock counting down mortality’s coil,
May it not be in some secret way
We the awed observers
Have all along been honored by a wiser watcher?

– Jim Stallings

The second image is from my ‘Living Jewels’ series. Flower arrangers are quite familiar with the dwarf tree, Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick. This spring, here in Albuquerque, Harry put on an outstanding display of male catkins. I have titled this image ‘Harry’s Pearls.’

Image New Mexico 2015

‘Harry’s Pearls’

Matrix Fine Art is located in Albuquerque’s historic Nob Hill on the south side of Central Avenue (old Route 66), 2 1/2 blocks east of Carlisle between Solano and Aliso. The address is 3812 Central Ave. SE, Albuquerque, NM 87108.

All images are available for purchase.

Exhibition dates: July 3 – 31, 2015
Sneak Preview: June 30 – July 2, 2015
First Friday Artscrawl Reception: Friday, July 3, 2015, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

If you are here in the Albuquerque area, I’d like to invite you to the opening reception on Friday, July 3, from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm. If you’ll be passing through Albuquerque some time in July, I invite you to stop at Matrix Fine Art to view Image New Mexico 2015.

05/18/15

UNM Digital Photography Exhibit

UNM Digital Photography Exhibit, Now Through the End of July

UNM Digital Photography Exhibit, arranged by the Digital Arts Program on the Continuing Education Campus, is up and open to the public from now through the end of July. It is in the Conference Center, the North Building.

Participants in the UNM Digital Photography Exhibit include the digital photography instructors, advanced students in the program, and graduates of the program (that would be me, 2009).

The UNM Digital Photography Exhibit is not a juried exhibit. Participants were invited to bring whatever pieces of their work they wanted to show.

The three pieces of mine that I chose have all been in juried shows. Although not intentional at the time of selection, I realized later the pieces represent a sort of developmental scheme.

‘Lily’

UNM digital photography exhibit

Lily; printed on fine art water color paper

This image was made in 2009 with a Canon G9, a somewhat advanced but still a point-and-shoot camera. To date, this is my most awarded image. It was juried into the International Biennial Exhibition of Fine Art and Documentary Photography at The Borges Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from January 19th through February 27th, 2010. It was also juried into the Corrales Fine Arts Show here in New Mexico. It was awarded “1st Place – Outstanding Achievement” in Still Life at the 8th Annual Black and White Spider Awards. It was awarded the Bronze Medal, 3rd Place in Nature-Flowers at the 2012 Paris Photo Prize, along with 3rd place for People’s Choice Award. Again, this was an early piece done with a point-and-shoot camera. The piece has special meaning because my mother grew the lily, and held a white background for me as the light was quickly fading in her garden.

‘Gathering Storm’

UNM Digital Photography Exhibit

‘Gathering Storm,’ printed on true Black and White paper

This image is from a trip to the Jemez Mountains here in New Mexico over Autumnal Equinox weekend in 2013. Everything about that entire weekend was full of the magic for which New Mexico is known. This was at the very beginning of the trip. I had planned to photograph this church before I even left home. My traveling companions could not understand why I would even bother to stop to photograph it! I just wanted to! By this time I had moved up to a Canon full frame dSLR. This image was juried into the Corrales Fine Arts Show as well as the Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show.

‘The Observer/The Observed’

UNM Digital Photography Exhibit

‘The Observer/The Observed,’ giclee print on fine art canvas

This image was created this year, and of the ones in this post, has the most meaning to me. Many of you know my son was diagnosed with leukemia over Thanksgiving weekend (he is now in remission and doing quite well, I’m happy to say), and this was done as I was trying to make sense of all that was happening. In mythology of some Native Americans, Crow is a messenger between worlds, as well as a trickster who can steal light from the sky (the sun) and carry it to people who need it. I rarely see crows in my yard, and this one stayed just long enough for this image. Editing it to show what I wanted to show took a long time; it also took my mind off a lot of things; and was the most creative thing I had done after my son was diagnosed. I had not intended to show it; I did the work strictly for me. But Jim Stallings, fellow anthropologist, writer, and friend wrote a poem about it as a gift to me and my family in those dark days of winter:

Spontaneous Poem from a Treetop Crow

In the lofty life of a wise old crow
Swaying in the topmost backyard branches
Like a magical clock counting down mortality’s coil,
May it not be in some secret way
We the awed observers
Have all along been honored by a wiser watcher?

– Jim Stallings

Jim’s poem encouraged me to enter the image, and it was juried into the 2015 InSight New Mexico show, “Through Her Eyes,” held in April. (It has also been juried into another show, to be held in July – more about that in a different post).

I invite my friends in the Albuquerque area, as well as friends who will be passing through Albuquerque between now and the end of July, to stop by the Conference Center on the UNM CE campus (Indian School and University) and see the UNM Digital Photography Exhibit, with works by the digital photography instructors, advanced students, and graduates of the digital photography program.

02/24/15
winter sunrise

Winter Sunrises

Winter Sunrises in New Mexico

Winter sunrises in New Mexico are as variable as the winter weather. We do have winter here, and every few years Albuquerque will have a heavy snowfall, such as 22 inches in 2006, or extreme cold, such as -12°F one night in 2011 and temps not above 5°F for three days. But those are extremes.

This was sunrise on a winter day in Albuquerque. It was cold; gusty winds contributed to the wind chill; it snowed a bit; and there was a fair amount of sun! Tomorrow will be warmer and less windy!

winter sunrises

Stormy winter sunrise over the Sandia Mountains, on a day that saw wind, snow, and a fair amount of sun.

This is about as bad as it gets in Albuquerque at this time of the year.

Many winter days, and winter sunrises, in contrast, are spectacular!

winter sunrises

Soft and beautiful winter sunrise on a day which had virtually no winds and above average temperatures

This sunrise was less than a week ago, on a day that was unseasonably warm and beautiful.

I do not have to be reminded how fortunate I am to call this “Land of Enchantment” home. Last winter I felt sorry for various friends in the Northeast dealing with the Polar Vortex. This year it seems to be not only cold, but wave after wave after wave of deep and heavy snow – blizzards!! Facebook friends are comparing various snowblowers, or concern about husbands having heart attacks while shoveling snow, and a variety of such concerns. (I keep thinking I really ought to buy a new snow shovel; I still have the one I had in Kansas City, and that was 30 years ago!! 🙂 ))))))) )

With the publication of the ebook, BOSTON SOLSTICE BLUES, a collection of 51 daily poems written in another year, between December 5 and January 24, friend, fellow anthropologist, and writer Jim Stallings has reminded me again how glad I am to be here and not there! On his blog, Jim has described how these poems came to be written. Of note, Jim and his wife are now living in a much warmer place!

A final happy note, at least from my perspective: Daylight Savings Time is almost here!!!! Sunday, March 8, is the day we will “spring forward” at 2:00am. One of my favorite days of the year!

01/31/15
through her eyes

The Observer, The Observed

The Observer, The Observed with “Spontaneous Poem from a Treetop Crow” by Jim Stallings

This image, once created, seemed ideal as a new header for this blog, with its subtitle, “A Southwest Point of View.” Jim had already written this poem (a gift of encouragement to my family recently), and I asked if I could post it here.

observer

Spontaneous Poem from a Treetop Crow

In the lofty life of a wise old crow
Swaying in the topmost backyard branches
Like a magical clock counting down mortality’s coil,
May it not be in some secret way
We the awed observers
Have all along been honored by a wiser watcher?

– Jim Stallings

To read more of Jim’s work, visit Jim Stallings: Books, at Amazon.com.

Thank you for letting my readers enjoy your poem here, Jim.

(The full image from which this header was created may be seen here:
http://swdesertgardening.com/2015/02/observer-observed/ )