Thursday, August 30, 2012

Under the Pergola, Past the Gazebo.....

While spring in the park is lovely, summer at the park has its charm as well. The long white pergola, which is covered in spring with wisteria, starts to fill in more with green leaves, as it makes its way across the beams.

As you pass under the vines, there are benches where nature lovers and joggers can sit and catch their
breath. Looking up through the greenery, you can see beautiful blue skies as you watch the clouds go by. 

Making its way up the white pergola are purple clematis. Gorgeous starry shaped blossoms, they line both sides, along with pink & white wild roses! Heavenly!

As summer goes by, the vines spread out more and more across the top and down the sides, until it becomes an amazing tunnel of green! The pathway leads down to a pretty white gazebo in the center and then continues on.

Coming out on the other side and following the path around the pond, there are two little ducks that have been here since birth. They seem to be content to stay, though all the others have left.

They have a nice big pond all to themselves....surrounded by pine trees, a willow tree & more.....

 As the season moves on the pretty yellow water lilies start to fill the pond. The ducks love eating the flowers!

Rain or shine, the park is a favorite place for many to connect with nature and renew the human spirit!

And you just never know who you might meet there! :)

Till next time....
Have a great day!


Monday, August 27, 2012

"Lost in Paradise"

"Serendipity". "The occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way." Don't you just love when life surprises you?

This past weekend, I had a photo shoot scheduled in the countryside. I had been waiting for some time to take photos of horses (didn't want to say "shoot horses") in their natural environment.

The area really wasn't too far away from where we live, and hubby, (who thinks he has a built in GPS), was driving. He said he knew exactly where they were and would not need directions. (of course :)  So, with cameras in tow, off we went......out in the countryside, left here, right there, up this mountain, down that road, around several bends, etc., etc., etc. 

They say when you go somewhere, leave yourself plenty of time "to get lost & found again". Good advice! We were definitely not where we were supposed to be.  We called for clearer directions, but we were way off in the other direction. They weren't even sure where we were! Thankfully, it was a kind friend who loves to spend every minute she can with her horses. We rescheduled and called it a day.

We then followed the country road out, hoping to find civilization again,  and finally ended up back down another mountain, which put us back in the city, very close to home! No horse horses...missed the shoot  :( But most of all, I felt bad about my friend waiting, though I knew she visits them often and didn't mind at all. I had already planned to give her some nice photos from the day and now maybe a little something extra.

Back home, my husband & I felt bad things ended up the way they had. We rechecked the directions and where we had been to see what could have possibly gone so wrong. It had seemed so easy!!! Then he suggested we try to find the farm again, that very day, and "yes," he would follow directions this time. (thank you very much! :)

Off we went again, cameras, cold drinks, & snacks. (Just in case we ended up spending the night in the woods, though I didn't tell him that! LOL.)

A short time later, breezing along through the countryside again......"turn left at the firehouse".....we passed a firehouse with the correct road sign. (Why hadn't we seen that before???) First of all, the firehouse building was BLUE! Who looks for a BLUE firehouse???! So, I insisted we go back, though hubby thought it was further down. We had to turn around at this little shed, and upon gazing out, we saw this field of flowers, we had never seen before. Very shortly after, it all came together, and we were there! Too late, of course, but we found it for next time. We eventually realized the road could be entered on one end, and later made a U turn off the mountain, where it came back out onto the same road. We had apparently gotten on the road, (having missed the BLUE firehouse!) at the further end, putting us far away from where we were going.

At this point, we decided to check out the flower field on the way back to take a few pictures so it wasn't a complete loss. I AM SO GLAD WE DID!

The closer we got, the more beautiful the scenery was. I hopped out and took a few photos (several...... lots!........who am I kidding here, right?) from a short distance away. Then, I started walking closer and closer, until I was right next to them! It was so gorgeous, no matter which way I looked! Hubby was very patient, as I clicked away....
"Champ de Fleurs" translation, Field of Flowers

As I took pictures of this amazing view...I looked around and could barely believe we had ended up here! If we hadn't gotten lost and come back to figure out why, I might never have seen this special place. Mountains, rolling hillsides, flowers, and hay piles rolled up neatly beyond! Though the day was a bit pretty!

"Lost in Paradise"

 Up close was even better, if possible....just one of many flower "portraits" taken that day! 

 "Merveille" translation, Dream, Wonder, Marvel

At this point, I headed back and saw my husband waving to me to hurry. When I got in the car, he told me he had just noticed a "no trespassing" sign posted! I guess it must have been a field planted especially for commercial purposes, the local farmers market, or whatever! I was even more thankful that I had been able to shoot so many photos undisturbed, and of course, I left the field as I found it. No flowers were injured in the making of these pictures. :)

And so, what did I learn that day? Just may not know if you are lost, or if you are right where you are supposed to be..........until you see how it turns out later! 



P.S. All photos above, now available on Etsy, with more to come from that lovely day "in paradise"! 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Walk in the Park: Under the Wisteria

Almost daily, I take a walk in a local park close to home. Like so many other places, it has so much throughout that feeds the eyes and the soul!

Nothing relaxes me much more than getting close to nature. Whether I am watching butterflies, hummingbirds, bunnies, or fireflies in the garden, seeing the mighty ocean, watching glorious sunsets reflected in every wave, or just enjoying fresh air, sunshine, and the simple beauty of a park, I am deeply grateful and just want to breathe it all in!  I want to save it with my camera or paint & brushes, or just impress a mental image to be remembered at a later time when least expected. Enjoyed once again, almost as much as the first time, perhaps, more. Memories.... happy moments, soften life.

So, here are a few more moments captured from these daily treks.....with more to come later.

One of my most favorite areas is a beautiful long white pergola & gazebo, which lines about one half of the duck/fish pond on one side.  In springtime, the white beams are covered with flowers of gorgeous pinkish lavender and white wisteria blossoms, which tumble across the top and down the sides. A stunning sight...... walking under them is a bit of heaven!

For a peek earlier in the springtime, see some of my previous blogs here:

More views of the park to come! :)


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The "Tuscan Side" of My Garden

I have almost always had a garden. I've planted everything from the usual lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, peas, etc., to strawberries, haricot verts, (french green beans) and potatoes. (Fun! Digging for buried treasure & finding out they actually grew!) I even tried an extremely small patch of corn that did not produce anything except stalks :)

Last year, I didn't do my garden in the traditional sense. With my new Etsy shop just opening at the end of January, time was very limited. So, other than the usual herbs that came up by themselves, I kept it simple and just put even more flowers than usual in pots on my front & back porches, along with some extra herbs. (Love the way flowers look in pots outside European cottages (think England, Ireland, France, & Italy!) and Greek courtyards (think "Mama Mia"!)

Having said all that, these days, just give me a nice little salad garden, some wonderful herbs, pretty blue cornflowers (or "Bachelor Buttons") alongside sunflowers, big & small, and I'm happy! Oh......and lots of flowers hanging (Must have a fuchsia!) and sitting in pots everywhere. (Have to have a hibiscus!)

But this year, we decided to have it all. My hubby (yes, of course, I have a wonderful husband!) and I decided to "take back" our garden! Though it was almost still completely there, we lost a few inches in the width of the garden. Over the years, our garden has extended further and further, and now we had to dig a bit more up! So while not exactly as wide as before, it is quite long. With a bit of a late start this year, losing a few plants through the winter, and hungry animals in the back yard, (who ate my daisies?!!!) it was also not quite as full as planned. But, we are quite happy with it!

So, if you saw my last post, ("This Artist's Garden") you have already visited the first half of my garden. Now come visit the other side, the sunniest side, where the herbs, tomatoes, & sunflowers grow, when all goes well.

"Honey Bee Heaven"

To get there, as noted in my last post, you have to go past the "Rose of Sharon" bushes. (Also past a new little member of my garden family, which you will hear about another time, that has just been planted and needs to get comfy out there.) You must go past the lettuce and the garlic chives to where the hydrangea should have been, where the purple phlox used to be, where the new butterfly bush now is, beyond where the daisies should still be, and past the English Lavender.....

As always there is a sweet little bunny or two. (who definitely ate the pretty phlox by the garlic chives!) This one thought I wouldn't know the difference between him (or her) and my lavender. (The onion chives have been moved since this photo was taken.) Note driftwood... brought back from a beach on the coast of Maine!

Next comes what I call the Tuscan side....the herbs..... Greek oregano and/or Italian, basil, etc. (Also thyme & parsley.) The bunnies ate the parsley, but it is coming back. No blue flowers this year. They had to be moved after blooming and didn't quite recover! *sigh*

Then onto the tomatoes, big & small...and my happy little sunflowers.....

....and my happy big sunflowers...(This is actually a close up of one of the smaller ones.) The mammoths haven't blossomed yet, but will very soon. Again, a later than usual planting, so I am very happy to have any!

  "Happy Face"

So, now you have seen my garden, or at least most of it! Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by! I hope you enjoyed it. Love to hear your comments :)

Have a wonderful week, & see you here again soon!


P.S. "Honey Bee Heaven" & "Happy Face" are now available on Etsy!
You can find me at:

Friday, August 10, 2012

This Artist's Garden

Though it doesn't look anything like Monet's wonderful garden at Giverny in France, (how I wish it did :) and it does require a fair amount of back breaking work, it is a happy retreat when I walk out to visit it and see how everything is growing. It is also so much fun to sit out on my little vintage, cottage chic porch and watch the rabbits, birds, hummingbirds, glitter bugs, (lightening bugs aka fireflies) & everything else that passes through!
So, welcome to my garden! Relax & stay awhile :)

The first thing you will notice on your way out are the beautiful Rose of Sharon bushes......

Looking back toward the house from the garden.....

One of the many bunnies heading toward the butterfly bush (so pretty with butterflies everywhere!)
            after munching on the lettuce....

Down to the English Lavender I love & am waiting to see spread throughout. Gorgeous scent!

On your next visit, you will see the other end of my humble little garden that brightens each day :)

Hope you have somewhere that makes your day brighter too! :)


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Part III....My Journey Continues...NYC!

And so my journey continues! From the beach, to "France" (sort of....see part II), to another City of Lights......New York City!

Although I had been to New York City from time to time in the past and had always enjoyed it, I had roamed around it a bit like any tourist, not sure of where I was going, but very happy to be there!

Something new & exciting is around every corner. Buildings so tall! Lights so bright! I had never seen anything like Times Square before. The lights from all the theaters, restaurants, hotels, etc. surround you, & the huge screens (Sony, Toshiba, Coca Cola) are all bright & enormous! Native New Yorkers, tourists, and probably a good assortment of celebrities, all move "en masse", shoulder to shoulder, especially as day turns into night!

The energy & excitement in Times Square can make you feel like you too could sing on a float in a parade, or  dance to one of those Broadway tunes without missing a step! Or...if, like me, you are way too shy for that, you will just want to take pictures of EVERYTHING that does or doesn't move, till anyone who happens to be along with you for the day wants to throw you & your camera/cameras off the Empire State Building! (Yes, I have photos of hands in front of my camera lenses. Probably, most good photographers do :)

Back to the city.....The traffic is so heavy and never really seems to come to a complete stop. If the cabs aren't coming from one direction, they are coming at you from another! (Except when you REALLY need to get back uptown, it's getting late, & you have already tried to flag one down for the past 13 long, long, long, honestly, long blocks, which you have already walked. But it is so much fun being in one, and most "cabbies' are friendly & fun to chat with! Love the ride down Park Avenue, through the tunnel, flying & zipping along on my way down to lower Manhattan. I always try to get a glimpse at my favorite, the Chrysler Building, as we pass 42nd!

At any rate, I started going to New York City more frequently than before and eventually knew my way around, possibly even better than where I lived. But this time, I went for a different reason. I wanted to see some of the amazing art that I had studied about! I spent ALOT of time in the Met (Metropolitan Museum of Art), especially in the "Impressionists" galleries. (But seriously, who could resist seeing the ancient treasures of Egypt as well!) Amazingly, I saw works by Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, & so many others! The very first painting I saw was a huge painting by Renoir of little girls sitting at a piano. The colors of their hair, their skin tones, clothing, and the detail left me almost speechless. There were glorious pastels by Degas of ballerinas dressed in every hue of the rainbow, glitteringly beautiful in their tutus! Paintings by very large painting where you felt like you were walking through a garden, looking down at the plants as you walked...and right in the lower right hand corner, there was a blob of yellow paint. I pictured Monet squeezing that last bit of paint out for the finishing the period at the end of a very important sentence.

Another trip to the city on one chilly fall day brought me to the MOMA (Modern Museum of Art), filled with contemporary art. The following photos were taken several years ago. Flashes were not allowed, and that combined with the camera I was using at the time created a VERY abstract effect! One that I actually found interesting considering they were taken in the Museum of Modern Art! The photos came out somewhat distorted, shadowy, and blurred, but kind of perfect for the situation!. :)

Visitors viewing the many works of art!

This one is one of my favorites! "Moment in Time"

I exhibited these and a few others in public, and happily they were accepted quite well! So afraid no one would understand what I was trying to say, but they "got it"! :)

But I kept waiting and watching for the special something that I just had to see! There were several panels of Monet's "Waterlilies"! Yes, the "Waterlilies"!!! Beautiful colors of blues, lavenders, pinks, creamy whites, & dark greens blended and swirled around each canvas! One more photo.....Please remember that these images were distorted & very blurry, & that I did not take this photo! I am also not a big pumpkin head with very frizzy hair! Though I do have a lot of hair and have been told I am really easy to find in a crowd, even in NYC! :) I am sharing it only so you can see the Waterlilies, if only in abstract form! Still beautiful!

"Monet & Me"

 Someday soon, I will have to go back again!

From there, what can I say? My love for art and the ocean...studying the Impressionists...being inspired by their work, both in books and in the wonderful museums of New York City,...led me to painting impressionistic seascapes, ocean photography, and painting seashells collected on the beach.

"Tropical Sunset"....

"I Dream of the Sea"......

"Seagull Serenade".....(all available on Etsy!)

Taking photos in New York City, whether the excitement of Times Square, the quiet, romantic cafes of Little Italy, or the beauty that is Central Park, gave me another world to share as well!

Though it seemed like one thing had nothing much to do with the other, all things eventually merged together  and finally became...... "ColorWorkStudio".

So that is my story......(Much longer than I expected! Forgive me! :)

I hope my little journeys "from the city to the beach" brighten, color, & enrich your world as they have mine!

Keri  :)

P.S. As on Etsy, all photos and art reproductions are featured in low resolution to protect the! :)