Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Deer and Twin Fawns Magic Moment

I went down to the ocean's edge at low tide last week. I like to go there to think sometimes. Yes, I can think anywhere I happen to be but there's something special about the thinking I get done when I'm close to the ocean. I think the salt air helps.

I've been thinking a lot about my mortality lately. You see, a friend of mine almost died the other day. All of a sudden he collapsed and stopped breathing. His girlfriend was sitting there with him when it happened. She was calling 911 when he stopped breathing. When he gained consciousness again she called my partner and he raced over there.

The hospital couldn't find anything wrong with him. Scary stuff.

Living in a small town, you're more likely to hear about it when someone dies. Many of my friends and acquaintances have died the past few years especially. You remind yourself that every day is precious and if you have a bucket list, you better start chipping away at it. Now. Today.

But you know what seems to happen? You just continue on with your same old routines. Maybe you make small changes, but unless you're very uncomfortable or threatened, it's usually the same old, same old.

Anyway, like I said, I went down to the water's edge to get my think on. I hadn't been there but a moment when I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye. It was a mother deer with her two twin fawns and they were climbing over boulders to get to the ocean.

deer, fawns, deer fawns, deer family

It was one of those magic moments. I froze. It looked like the mother was either going to go for a swim (I've seen a mother and her fawns swimming there before), or maybe she was going to have a drink of water to get some salt on that hot morning.

low tide, deer family, black tailed deer

Unfortunately one of the fawns was startled by a noise from above and she ran off, followed by her sibling. Although they ran right towards me, I dared not move a muscle for fear of scaring them even more. They were about 12 feet away and didn't even seem to notice me. Eventually the family wandered off into the bordering forest, forgetting that moments before they were running in fear.

I'd like to be more like those deer. You react when you're in danger and then you forget about it. You live for the moment. You stay in the present time, forget about the past, and don't fret about the future. That's the ideal, anyway. It isn't easy though. I'm constantly bringing myself back to the present moment. I'm trying to savor even the seemingly ordinary moments when nothing "special" is happening.

I'm starting to think that even so-called ordinary moments can carry the seed of magic within them. Every moment can be a magic moment.

Here's a fascinating TED talk on synthesizing happiness. I recommend checking it out.

fawns art

Monday, August 11, 2014

19th Annual Sleepy Hollow Show 'n Shine

Sechelt Farmers' and Artisans' Market, and 19th Annual Show 'n Shine 

This past weekend the 19th Annual Sleepy Hollow Road Run and Show 'n Shine took place in Sechelt, B.C. Cowrie Street was closed off so that they could line the road with antique cars. Every Saturday from April through September the rest of the street is closed off for the Sechelt Farmers' and Artisans' Market. As you can see from the picture above, the two events are quite popular and draw a huge crowd. The canopies from the farmers' market are in the foreground and I was selling my photography and jewelry, as usual. Yes, the place was hopping!

Cowrie Street, Sechelt, British Columbia

I didn't get much of a chance to photograph the classic cars this year but last year I spent a little more time with some of those timeless beauties. Even though I usually photograph wildlife, I really enjoy taking pictures of vintage cars...their sleek lines remind me why automobiles are often named after animals.

Here's a shot of the hood ornament from a 1935 series 58 Buick Victoria that I sold as a very large canvas print earlier this year. This was photographed at last year's Pender Harbour Show and Shine  held in Garden Bay. This car show is in a more intimate setting, surrounded by the ocean and forests, and conveniently right next door to the Garden Bay Pub!


If you're into cars, please have a look at my collection of classic cars that are available for purchase through my third party printer, Fine Art America. Prints are available on archival paper, canvas, and metal, and there are an impressive number of matting and framing options available.

classic cars art

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Another License by Hallmark Cards

squirrels cocktails hallmark
Squirrel at Cocktail Hour...Cheers!

A couple of months ago I blogged about Hallmark Cards contacting me to license my squirrel drinking a cocktail photograph that's shown above.

Well, they licensed my picture again! According to the contract, Hallmark Cards will pay me every time they want to license the image for a new design concept, and that includes if the sentiment on the card changes. So now they have two design concepts to work with and they've licensed my photograph for three years for each concept.

I'm of course very happy about this new development. Artists and photographers can't even submit their work to Hallmark, so I'm especially thrilled that they searched me out in the first place.

My photograph has been licensed for cards only, so hopefully at least one of the design concepts will make its way onto published greeting cards in the not too distant future.

I can also continue to sell the image on my own. If you're interested in purchasing a print of Tipsy the Squirrel enjoying her cocktail, please click on the photograph above to be taken to my third-party printer, Fine Art America.

alcohol art

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Pigs Gone Wild!

The other I was driving down a logging road to one of my usual hiking spots when I saw a surprising sight: two baby pigs ran from the road into the woods nearby. I pulled over and the piglets soon emerged and continued eating some grain that had been thrown on the road.

They were such cute little guys with unusual black and white coats. One of them got a little curious about me sitting in my car, taking pictures.

baby pigs
Baby Pigs

The piglet started to approach while the other little one continued to vacuum the road.

feral pigets
Feral Piglets

 Curiosity got the better of the pig and he walked even closer. I've often experienced a baby animal being so curious about my clicking camera that it seems to lose all fear.

piglet
Piglet Closeup

Eventually the pig went back to eating alongside his sibling. I made the mistake of throwing them a date that I had in my knapsack...both of them squealed and bolted into the woods. I waited for awhile but they didn't return.

The next day I was driving down the same road and came across an even more amazing sight: a whole tribe of pigs of various sizes including the two babies and, judging by her full teats, their mother. There were seven pigs in all. Again, I pulled over and whipped out my camera to document the scene.

Family of Feral Pigs

To be honest, I'm not sure if these are feral pigs or if they belong to a nearby farm. I'd noticed the owner of the farm putting up a sturdier fence so it's possible the pigs kept escaping and that was her incentive.

After the pigs and I had a staring contest, I eventually figured out that they wanted to cross the road safely and were unsure about me sitting there. Finally their leader (mama pig, pictured on the right), seemed to understand that I was harmless and the pigs crossed in front of my van and trotted up somebody's driveway.

group of wild pigs
Tribe of Pigs with Big Mama

I guess the new fence worked because I haven't seen the group of pigs since.

You never know what you're going to see around here...never a dull moment!

baby pigs art

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Fine Wine and Art Offer

grapes

I have a special offer to tell you about today. From now until the end of July, any purchase of my artwork on my website hosted by Fine Art America will come with a $100 gift certificate towards your first purchase of wine on NakedWines.com. Take advantage by following the link below.


Get Voucher Details Here: http://us.nakedwines.com/100voucher

Is that a great deal or what? Enjoy!
grapes art

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Happy Canada Day!

beavers

I want to wish my fellow Canadians a Happy Canada Day! The weather here is gorgeous and I hope the sun is shining for you wherever you are.

I thought this photograph of a beaver family was an appropriate shot to post today since the beaver is Canada's national animal. I photographed the happy family pictured above behind our local post office where there's a marsh with a boardwalk over it. There was a small island right next to the boardwalk and the beavers weren't too shy about settling in there for a fine meal of bullrush stalks. Judging by her size, the beaver on the left is mama, and she's busy grooming...beavers are constantly spreading the oil from their glands over their fur, especially after they've been in the water. Big Daddy (on the right) is chowing down and baby beaver is looking on, begging for food by the looks of him.

The first time I heard a baby beaver was a startling experience. Did you know that they cry just like a human baby? This family had two babies and one of them was constantly crying and couldn't seem to bare being alone for a moment. The other baby had a very different personality and was quite independent. I've noticed how animals seem to develop their own personality right from the get-go and that's how you can tell them apart.

Anyway, enjoy your special day celebrating our amazing country, my fellow Canucks!

beavers art

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Do You Like Your Nature Natural?

I sometimes like to play around with my photographs and add various effects and textures to them to give an image a more painterly appeal. As I showed in an older post, all nature photographs can be treated in this way, but one of my favorite subjects for textured images is flowers.

forgetmenots

I added several filters to heighten the dreamy quality of the forget-me-nots in the above photograph and then layered on a few painted textures as well. I also played around with the tones. Photoshop gives you endless possibilities for different looks to your images...I find it thoroughly addictive!

But not everybody likes this look. Do you like your nature natural? If so, you might prefer the image below...although I still played around with the forget-me-nots in this shot to enhance the softness of the flowers, it's much closer to the original.

forget-me-nots
Forget-Me-Nots in Vase

So which photograph do you prefer, au naturel or painterly?

forget-me-nots art