09/8/17
Corrales fine arts show

29th Annual Corrales Fine Arts Show

29th Annual Corrales Fine Arts Show, During the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta

The 29th Annual Corrales Fine Arts Show begins with a reception October 6 at the Old San Ysidro Church. The show will be open daily, October 7-15, 11am-5pm, except closing at 4pm on Sunday October 15th. The show opens after the morning’s Balloon events, and closes in time for you to make it to the evening’s Balloon events.

Corrales fine arts show

Old San Ysidro Church, Corrales

I love showing in this venue. The building itself is historic, and part of old New Mexico. The light in autumn is beautiful. A portion of the proceeds from the show go to maintain the structure. The show consists of paintings, sculpture, photographs, textiles, and other arts. It is as varied as New Mexico itself. The show is juried by artists.

This year I am showing three pieces:

Corrales fine arts show

Fruit of Ancient Myths

Corrales fine arts show

Awakening

Corrales fine arts show

Emerged

The show is free, as is parking. All items are available for purchase.

If you live in the Albuquerque area, or are coming to visit for the Balloon Fiesta, plan to visit the 29th Annual Corrales Fine Arts Show.

08/11/17
colorful sunflower

Sunflowers of August

Sunflowers of August

Sunflowers go with August in the same way that the smell of roasting chile does, at least if you live in New Mexico. I could have had blooms a bit earlier. However, I waited to put out the seeds until the pansies from last fall finally faded with the heat. In another month it will be time to plant pansies again. By then, these will have finished blooming and the birds will have consumed the seeds. Monsoon rains also go with August, and this afternoon I got 1.5 inches of rain in about an hour. It was actually a very pleasant rain, although the Weather Service issued flash flood warnings. This monsoon season, so far, 5.5+ inches of rain have fallen at my house. The flowers are happy.

sunflowers buds

Sunflower Buds

sunflowers

Sunflower Takes Flight

colorful sunflowers

Colorful Sunflower

sunflowers after rain

After an Afternoon Rain

07/31/16
monsoon light

Monsoon Light

Monsoon Light

Monsoon light makes for some remarkable skies here in the high desert. The rain is always welcome. That is especially true this year, which has been very dry to this point. Monsoon season seems to have finally arrived, with heavy rain in some parts of Albuquerque two nights ago and an inch of rain at my house last night. Photographer friends here in Albuquerque remember the monsoon skies of 2009. 2016 may be remembered for its rainbows. Albuquerque has a reputation of sorts for its rainbows, especially the double ones. This has been a great year for rainbows!

Two nights ago I photographed a striking, although single, rainbow. I knew it would develop because of the special monsoon light that appeared as the clouds cleared from the west, with heavy clouds to the east. Anyone who has been here for any length of time and has watched the skies at all knows what this looks like.

monsoon light

Goldfinch Lit Against a Dark Monsoon Sky

7:17pm, MDT. Sun breaking through storm clouds to the west lit this little goldfinch and the branches of a neighbor’s tree dead from the prolonged drought. Heavy, dark clouds covered the mountains to the east. This is the set-up for a rainbow here in Albuquerque. The little spots are not dust on the sensor, but light reflecting off very light drizzle falling at the time.

7:19pm, MDT. A very faint rainbow appeared.

By 7:25pm MDT a magnificent, full arc rainbow had completely developed, persisting for some time.

monsoon light

Rainbow and Sunflowers

I chose this particular evening to focus on the interplay of the monsoon light with things I enjoy in my yard. The large sunflowers are almost ripe with seeds for the birds. This image seems to speak to people with a variety of different beliefs about the cycle of life, with the fading sunflowers that will soon provide nourishment for the birds, and the rainbow, a symbol of hope for people of many different beliefs.

Monsoon light – just one more reason I love living in the high desert of New Mexico.

10/29/15

2015 ANMPAS

2015 ANMPAS – Annual New Mexico Photographic Arts Show

2015 ANMPAS, the Annual New Mexico Photographic Arts Show, will once again be held in the Fine Arts Building at EXPO NM. It is open to the public December 6 through December 27, 10:00am – 5:00pm, except December 24 and 25. The show is free to the public throughout. Some days, particularly the weekends, EXPO may charge a parking fee. The opening reception is December 5, from 2:00-4:00pm.

This is a juried show, and artists participating must be residents of New Mexico. All artwork is for sale, and may be taken by the buyer at the time of sale.

I have enjoyed participating in ANMPAS and the related InSight shows over the years. These are the brainchild of organizer LeRoy Perea, who has watched the submitted entries grow in both quantity and quality over the years.

I am thrilled that for 2015 ANMPAS, the jurors selected three images from my series, Persephone.

Those of you who have followed me very long know that sunflowers are frequent photographic subjects for me, as are butterflies. I grew these sunflowers, and they are from the second crop of 2015. I really liked the structure of the sunflower plant in the “Heart of the Matter.” My son appreciates structure, especially in black and white images, and I converted the image immediately.

2015 ANMPAS

Sunflower in Black and White

My son liked it as much as I had hoped.

I showed that image to a friend, Jim Stallings, with whom I have corresponded over the past couple of years and whose input has influenced some other photographic work, such as “The Observer/The Observed,” which I decided to show after Jim wrote a short poem. He wrote in the context of activities of autumn, after seeing the sunflower image:

…it is that ancient mythic time for the daughter Persephone of the Earth Goddess Demeter to return to the Underworld and stay there until the return for Spring. So all that feeds into the unconscious…the separation of between life on the surface of the world of fall and winter and waning and yet returning light and another go at renewal and new life. It must be motivating in your photographic subjects as well.

It is true that my fall images, even of bright flowers, tend to be dark.

I had not read mythology in a long time. As I read some of the stories of Persephone, I was struck by the fact that she did not seem to be constantly miserable in her months in the dark Underworld with her husband, Hades, who had first abducted Persephone with the permission of her father, Zeus. Mythology is full of plots and subplots, but I decided to create this particular series using some of my favorite subjects – flowers and butterflies – around the theme of hope in a dark spot.

Butterflies have multiple meanings to me. They are a symbol for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus – “lupus” – an autoimmune chronic disease with multiple manifestations, with treatments but no known cure. One of the manifestations for some people is the so-called “butterfly rash,” and thus, the butterfly as a symbol.

The particular butterflies I chose to use in this series have special meaning to me. The butterfly in “Heart of the Matter” is a tiny hair streak butterfly photographed at the Corrales home of friends Tim and Laurie Price: special friends, special place, special day. People who have brought hope to some of my dark places… The butterfly in “Awakening” is a glass wing butterfly photographed at the Albuquerque BioPark. The butterfly in “Emerged” is a red lacewing photographed at the Tucson Botanical Gardens.

I was asked to write a brief description of “Heart of the Matter:”

Persephone, goddess of Spring, was abducted by Hades to become his wife in the Underworld. Her mother, Demeter, goddess of the Earth and of the Harvest, in her anger and grief, caused the earth to go barren in her daughter’s absence, our dark winter months, and to bloom again upon her return in spring. This series is about the annual descent into the underworld of the darkness of Winter and rebirth into the light of Spring. “Heart of the Matter” represents the potential for rebirth – from any dark situation – in the developing bud (the heart) of the sunflower, and in the butterfly (with its heart shape), showing the strength, delicacy, and light of hope.

2015 ANMPAS

Heart of the Matter, from the series, Persephone

2015 ANMPAS

Awakening, from the series, Persephone

2015 ANMPAS

Emerged, from the series, Persephone

I have been asked whether there will be more in this series. Persephone’s story is one full of plots and subplots, all very stimulating for this photographer. These particular three, tell one of the stories I wanted to tell. There are many more I look forward to telling visually, but I do not anticipate black and white sunflowers with colorful butterflies as the vehicles of the next set or sets.

The Persephone series that will be shown at 2015 ANMPAS means much to me on a very personal level, and I thank LeRoy Perea and the 2015 jurors for selecting these three images for the 2015 show. I hope those of you in the Albuquerque area will come out for the show in December.

09/16/15

Autumn Sunflower

Autumn Sunflower

Autumn Sunflower. Autumn in New Mexico is a magical time of year. Corresponding to events rather than calendar dates, its beginning is generally marked by the arrival of the season’s green chile crop, with the pungent smell of roasting chiles everywhere. Major events following in quick succession are the New Mexico State Fair (EXPO NM), the Corrales Harvest Festival and Pet Parade, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (accompanied by the Corrales Fine Arts Show at the Old San Ysidro Church, one of my favorites!), the Marigold Parade marking the Day of the Dead, and the the All American Thanksgiving Day celebration. For me, mixed in with that, are personal celebrations and activities with family and close friends. Autumn is my favorite time of the year in New Mexico! And, also, the busiest!

Autumn is, of course, ultimately followed by winter. (Reminder to self: buy a new snow shovel before winter’s arrival with a predicted strong El Nino!) Even early in the current season are little signs the glorious days of autumn cannot last forever. But, even these signs carry their own kind of beauty.

autumn sunflower

Fading Sunflower in Autumn

09/8/15

Old Cars and Sunflowers

Old Cars and Sunflowers – Icons of New Mexico

Old cars and sunflowers are each, in their own right, icons of the New Mexico landscape. Imagine my joy as a photographer when I found the two together!

old cars and sunflowers

New Mexico Icons: Old Cars and Sunflowers

Those of you who have followed this blog for some time are aware of my interest in old adobes and every now and then, in old wooden buildings. I don’t have a series of old cars (yet 🙂 ), but more sunflowers are definitely on their way.

I could not resist this image of an old car surrounded by sunflowers!

11/29/14
ANMPAS 2014

ANMPAS 2014

ANMPAS – Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show, 2014

ANMPAS 2014, the Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show, will be open to the public this year beginning December 7 and running through December 29. Hours are 10-5 daily. The show will be closed on Tuesdays, as well as December 24 and 25. The opening reception will be on December 6.

This juried photography show, organized by LeRoy Perea, has become a yearly photographic event widely anticipated in the art community for the month of December. It is held in the Fine Arts Building at EXPO NM. There is no charge for admission to the show itself. EXPO NM does charge for parking, however. There is parking directly across the street from the Fine Arts Building, making it quite convenient, even on cold winter days.

All photographs in the show are matted and framed in accordance with this show’s specifications, and all are available for purchase.

My entry in ANMPAS 2014 is “Fibonacci Sequence – Sunflower.”

ANMPAS 2014

Fibonacci Sequence – Sunflower

For a quick view of the Fibonacci Sequence and its occurrence in nature, check this link or this link.

Future posts will have more about this fascinating sequence of numbers and its occurrence in nature.

08/13/14
crab spider

Crab Spiders

Crab Spiders

Crab spiders have been abundant this year. They are quite tiny, but also quite amazing. This year, in my yard, I have been particularly impressed with the variety of colors I have seen. On the rose ‘Foolish Pleasure,’ I saw a pinkish one. On the leaf of datura, I saw one that was white. Elsewhere I have posted an image of a yellow crab spider on the yellow stamens of a cosmos bloom. These spiders are known to change color depending on what flower they are on. That certainly has seemed to be the case in my yard.

Today I saw a crab spider on a sunflower, and was, once again, impressed with the way this little spider seemed to match the flower.

sunflower with crab spider

Sunflower with crab spider

Notice how well the little crab spider blends with the sunflower:

crab spiders

Crab Spider

Another fun morning in the garden today!

Links:
BBC
CrabSpider.org
Wikipedia

09/8/13

Sunflowers!

Sunflowers

– gloriously bright flowers that almost require people who see them to smile!

2013 has been a great year for sunflowers in New Mexico, and I have enjoyed photographing a variety of them, as well as some of the creatures attracted to them: bees, crab spiders, and even some attractive flies. I’ve been surprised at the different sizes and colors of the different flowers themselves.

Fall is approaching, and the blooms of the sunflowers around me are coming to an end. But they have seed heads, which are attracting house finches and gold finches and jays, among others.

This is the summer I have been smitten with the humble sunflower.

This slideshow has some of my images from this summer. A few more will probably be added before the bloom comes to a complete end. I hope you enjoy these sunflower images.

All of the images in this slideshow are available for purchase as prints at Susan Brandt Graham Photography.

Some of them are also available as 5×7 inch folded note cards, either in landscape orientation or in portrait orientation.

sunflowers

Approaching Autumn