Commitment: the state of being emotionally impelled to do something. My commitment is to making art, loving life and doing well.

Daily Artworks... my continuing challenge for 2015: Observe and record. Record and observe. And stretch - s-t-r-e-t-c-h - myself.
What will I discover?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 30 -

Broken Ice

Broken Ice - early season ice melt  

Source photo

Unseasonably mild temperatures and strong winds have combined to weaken and loosen the just-formed river ice upstream in higher terrain. Masses of slushy frozen water and brittle sheets of thin ice have broken away from the shore and are being carried downstream, pulling more melting ice along with them as they float past.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 29 -

Red Sky in the Morning...

Red Sky in the Morning  - sailors take warning. 

Source photo

Weather traditions that enhance our ability to predict our day come from generations of observation, and are a form of practical knowledge. The weather proverb "Red Sky in the Morning, Sailors Take Warning" means there will be wind or stormy weather coming during the day. "Red Sky at Night, Sailors' Delight" is the concluding part of the verse. In this case, it is a red dawn, and yes, there is wind.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 28 -

Snowy Birches

Snowy Birches  - an overnight accumulation

Source photo

This time of year, with the temperature hovering around the freezing mark, some precipitation falls as rain and some falls as snow. Rain and drizzle make for dreary weather, but November snow is a novelty and it's quite attractive to look at, so we put up with the inconvenience of slush and slippery conditions underfoot.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 27 -

Blanc Sablon Surf

Blanc Sablon Surf - high winds and heavy storm surge beat surf onto the exposed shoreline  

Source photo

Yesterday's forecast for high winds was accurate, and the predicted storm took all day to blow itself out. Here on the exposed shoreline, it was difficult to stand upright, let alone walk outside the vehicle, but the brilliant sunshine and the intense blue colors in the sea and the sky were worth the effort.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 26 -

Crepuscular Rays

Crepuscular Rays - Jacob's ladder, or light scattering through broken clouds?  

Source photo

Myths and legends accounting for atmospheric effects exist right next to scientific explanations about light, optics and meteorological physics.The weather forecast on this day was for stormy conditions with wind, and the sky was darkening as moisture-rich clouds were pulling together and obscuring the late-afternoon sunshine. Somehow it's more reassuring to look at the sky and think that the sun's rays are reaching to touch the ground and making a connection between earth and the heavens.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 25 -

Snowy Contours

Snowy Contours - velvety textures from many snowy trees  

Source photo

These hills beside the river are thick with uniformly sized and shaped black spruce trees, and the branches of every tree are heavy-laden with deep mounds of snow. Close-up the trees are a dramatic contrast of black, dark green and white shapes, but in the distance, their collective surface softens and the trees define the contours of the terrain.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 24 -

Sunrise Reflections

Sunrise Reflections - why are reflections in still water so calming?  

Source photo

I'm a sucker for a good reflection photograph - and this morning's sunrise gave me one of the nicest picture taking opportunities I've ever had.
What is it about a mirror reflection on a still body of water that makes us feel so calm and peaceful? Is it the horizontal and diagonal lines repeating harmoniously throughout the image? Or is it being able to see the tranquil color scheme twice over? Or maybe simply resting our eyes and taking a break to view this quiet scene?  

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 23 -

Sunrise Start

Sunrise Start - a beautiful sunrise to start a road trip 

Source photo

"A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step," said Chinese philosopher Lao-tzu. It's a good start when the view you are traveling through is as lovely as this, and the weather is as agreeable. Just back from a road trip of just over a thousand miles out and a thousand miles home again, I am pleased to have carried this view with me along the road. 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 22 -

Break of Dawn

Break of Dawn  - light emerging from darkness

Source photo

It's not so much getting up early that makes photography at dawn an adventure. The real thrill comes from watching as hidden hills and trees emerge from the background, when the strangeness of a darkened location becomes familiar again as day takes over from night.
Changes in the early morning landscape are intensified by changes in color, like this morning's sunrise with yellow-orange shafts of light cutting through a break in a cloud-bank into violet-blue shadows. And then, just as quickly, the sun went behind the clouds, and the quality of the light changed again.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 21 -

Winter Fireweed

Winter Fireweed  - a pioneer species waiting for its time

Source photo

Fireweed is called a pioneer species, because it establishes itself rapidly in areas where the ground has been burnt-over or where the soil has been disturbed.
In summer, the fireweed sports bright magenta flowers on a straight tall stalk, and in winter, the fireweed's leaves dry into curved hooks which mat together and trap the plant's fly-away seeds in with other wind-borne material. Fireweed seeds remain viable in the ground for years, waiting for conditions to be right for a new plant to spring into blossom. A pioneer indeed!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 20 -

Pearlescent Early Morning Light

Pearlescent Hills and Clouds  - early morning luster

Source Photo

Early morning light shining at a low angle gives an iridescent luster to the hills and clouds. The sheen of these distance-smoothed surfaces is reflected on the ripples of the river as broken patches of pinks and purples on a dull gray background. A quiet start to the day.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 19 -

Alders for Winter

Alders for Winter - food for overwintering birds 

Source Photo
Alders, birches and poplar trees provide food for birds and small animals during the winter. It's fun watching the red polls and chickadees peck at alder cones like this to release the seeds hidden inside.  It's a natural bird feeder.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 18 -

Shoreline Reflections

Shoreline Reflections - a quiet moment

Source photo

Sometimes it's the close, quiet moments that become the most important. To take a photograph only requires a fraction of a second and some camera gear, to make a photograph requires some thought, some "reflection" to consider what needs to be represented in the image.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 17 -

Snow on Distant Mountains

Snow on Distant Mountains - patterns of snow shape the mountains in the distance

Source photo

The contrast of sunlit patches of snow against shaded blue terrain enhances the three-dimensional appearance of the Mealy Mountains in the distance. Close-up, the snow is mounded on the branches of trees growing on the slopes. The next windy day, the trees will release their loads, and this early-season visual effect will change.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 16 -

Mist on the River 2

Mist on the River 2   - an  atmospheric effect in the distant landscape

Source photo
In the distance, clouds of mist add definition to the river landscape. Currents of water are strong here and a great volume of cold water flows, condensing thick patches of fog and mist out of the warm, moist air. The mist rising from so far away adds to the drama of early morning light.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 15 -

Mist on the River

Mist on the River  - a localized atmospheric effect in the landscape

Source photo
Morning mist on the river appears where relatively warm moist air churns against colder river water, causing the layer of air closest to the river to chill. Cool air cannot hold as much moisture as warm air, so the moisture in that chilled layer of air condenses into small particles of air-borne water, which we call mist or fog. The patchy mist drifts with the gentle wind current. The mist will gradually dissipate as the chilled air warms up with heat from the sun and is able to hold more moisture again.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 14 -

Crisp Morning 2

Crisp Morning 2 - ripple patterns indicate a slight breeze  

Source photo
It's a crisp morning, with a slight breeze coming from upstream on this quiet river channel. The golden early-morning sunlight looks warm, but its appearance is deceptive, and today you will want your gloves, or else you are going to jam your hands into your coat pockets as you walk along in the open.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 13 -

Crisp Morning

Crisp Morning - cooler temperatures kept yesterday's snow on the ground  

Source photo
Yesterday's snow has stayed on the ground, gleaming white in the early morning light. Yesterday's footprints are still visible, too, the tracks of joggers' sneakers and dog-walkers' hiking boots, the paw prints of dogs, rabbits, squirrels and other creatures too small to be seen. Birds, too. This part of the riverbank is a busy spot, but you're only aware of it when you can spot the tracks left on the ground. Snow is good for that.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 12 -

Alpenglow Colors

Alpenglow Colors

Source photo
Alpenglow is a breathtaking blanket of pink light that surrounds everything, before dawn or after sunset. It doesn't happen often. Necessary conditions include a general but not too intense atmospheric haze, and for the sun to be below the horizon but striking the particles in the atmosphere, which for viewers on the ground, glow in the red end of the light spectrum. I have seen Alpenglow on the river, and it is a stunning event.
Disclosure: this is not an image of a true alpenglow, I manipulated the original mild sunset colors in the photograph to get the overall pinky tone. However, the photo does serve as a reminder of how beautiful the original event is.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 11 -

Snow on the Riverbank

Snow on the Riverbank - an overnight dusting of snow

Source photo
There's just a riffle of a breeze on the water near the riverbank, but the overnight dusting of snow on the shoreline is undisturbed. The tree branches and the tall grasses on the shoreline have been able to shake the snow off, but the chilled moisture in the sand will be able to preserve the snow until the sun hits it and evaporates the white stuff.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 10 -

Sunrise Through Snowy Trees

Sunrise Through Snowy Trees  
- backlighting from early morning sunlight through trees with snow

Source photo
I took this photograph on the same early morning shoot as the images in the previous two posts. Here the golden early morning sunlight silhouettes the trunks of a mixed grove of birch, poplar, alder, willow, spruce and red osier dogwood. The snow clinging to the branches and the trunks of the trees holds a brilliant incandescent light, just briefly, until the sun's angle changes and the magic is gone.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 9 -

Dogwood Berries for the Birds 2

Red Osier Dogwood Berries for the Winter Birds 2  
- backlighting from early morning sunlight on overnight snow

Source photo
Golden early morning sunlight silhouettes a cluster of Red Osier Dogwood berries, food for the overwintering birds. Migrating birds have already picked the neighboring clusters bare. That fluffy cap of snow with the glowing light behind it will melt during the day, but this photograph saves the fleeting impression.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 8 -

Dogwood Berries for the Birds

Red Osier Dogwood Berries for the Winter Birds - early morning sunlight on overnight snow

Source photo
Flocks of migratory birds passed through here earlier this fall, stripping most of the wild fruit from the trees and bushes. However, some bird species stay here all year long, feeding on what is left on the trees, like these berries of the Red Osier Dogwood bush. Before the winter is over, even these bird-raisins will be eaten, and the birds will be foraging in some other trees.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 7

Squashberries for the Birds

Squashberries for the Birds - black and white conversion from color photograph

Source photo
Digital cameras take full color photos, and normally strip away information to give the image the user wants. I'm pleased with the original color image, but I wanted to show the berries as gleaming gems, hanging on the branch, tantalizing for the birds. By taking away the color, I hope that the viewer can concentrate on the shape and the weight of these juicy pearls. Oh, and squashberries? That's the local name for the high-bush cranberry, Viburnum edule. Humans like them too.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Art Every Day Month - Nov 6

A Flash of Color

A Flash of Color - a scrap of birchbark, backlit by a shaft of sunshine in the woods

Source photo

Some things just grab your attention out of nowhere. It had been a generally overcast afternoon, with scattered breaks in the clouds. But the sun broke through while I was photographing in the woods, and it highlighted a scrap of birchbark, which normally looks opaque and pinky-beige. With the sun behind it, the birchbark was now glowing brilliant orange - and all I had to do was crop the image to make it into a fine color arrangement. Such good luck!


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