Yay! My Poe-inspired piece, 'The Raven', has won First Place for June's Nibblefest Art Contest! I do believe this is a first for me (if I remember correctly I've won Second and Third place in the past, but never 1st).....and I'm thrilled! Thanks so much, Nibblefest Art Contest! (click here to see NFAC's Facebook Fan Page)......
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
|My entry for June's Nibblefest, a painting inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven"|
A tribute to Poe, painted on vellum and permanently mounted onto an old/weathered 3.5" x 9" x 1.5" found and reclaimed piece of wood....
Ah, Nibblefest. The fun and friendly monthly art competition rolls around yet again! To tell the truth, I'm a little shell shocked at just how quickly the past four weeks have WHIZZED by (a little too fast for my taste --please, if the rest of the summer flies past like the past four weeks have, it will be over before I even realize it!). Nevertheless the passage of time marches on, and with yesterday being the 20th I did manage to come up with an entry for the June theme, 'Feathered Friends'.....
Oh, Poe. But of course I would be tempted to take any opportunity to create a wee tribute piece to this classic American author. I mean with a theme like 'Birds', who could resist...? Indeed I've always admired Edgar Allan Poe's lifesworks, having read and shared many of them to my own children and students over the years (my FAVORITE-favorite of ALL his tales being, 'The Cask of Amontillado". Which I will happily read aloud to ANYONE who asks). The following is my auction/entry description:
"...When thinking about 'Birds' as a theme this month, one of the first things to pop into my head was Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem, "The Raven" (probably because my daughter is reading a lot of Poe this summer). It's one of his most well-known pieces, still to this day, having been published innumerable times over the long years, and this in spite of the fact the poem did not actually prove all that lucrative in his own lifetime. Nevertheless, there is still something very compelling about that old raven, sitting (always sitting), quietly above the chamber door -- that is, except to every so often utter the word, 'Nevermore'.
Pretty smart crow I'd say.....!
|Very bad side view pic displaying the extra thick (1.5") painted edges.|
Nibblefest Art Contest: Great art starting at just .99 cents...!
Sunday, June 17, 2012
A Happy Father's Day today to all my fathered friends....!
We will be spending the day with extended family (including my dad) -- dining out together, then gathering at my parents' house for dessert (I'm multitasking and making a Banana Cream Pie as I type!). So it's promising to be an enjoyably busy day today -- always fun. In fact, get-togethers with my extended family, lively bunch that they are, are ALWAYS guaranteed fun. Case in point, here are some pictures from what we were all doing exactly a week ago today (to the minute!), when my kids and I spent the day hiking with family and friends at a beautiful state park just a little over an hour's drive from us.....
|We were a group of eight....|
|It was a gorgeous sunny day, and perfect for hiking in a beautiful wooded setting.....|
|My daughter trying to NOT get her feet wet....|
|I love all the rocky ravines....|
|It was a warm and humid day, but relatively cool and pleasant in the canyon's shade.....|
|My son was easy to spot in his red shirt....|
|My nieces scrambling over cliffs (note they are dedicated workout queens and half marathoners who are in MUCH better shape for this sort of activity!)....|
|Lots of uphill hiking (huff puff)....|
|In all, a wonderful way to spend a sunny summer Sunday.....|
|Hiking up the creek bed made for slippery going at times -- happily no mishaps though!|
|A pretty little gurgling stream....|
|We opted for the designated 'rugged' trails, which included in some cases going up and down ladders.|
|Kind of freaky really -- just don't look down as you climb....!|
|There were also stairs on the trail. Lots and lots and lots of stairs.....|
|More stairs, of stone.....|
|Navigating around big rocks....|
|As well as fallen logs (with my son hanging out on one)...|
|Hiking along the rock walls....|
|We haven't had our usual amount of rain this spring, so the river that runs through the park was quite low....|
|After hours of hiking, the sun is getting low in the sky....|
|We wrapped things up before leaving for home with a stop at an old, historical house that is park of the park complex -- in any case, what a great way to spend the day....!|
Saturday, June 16, 2012
So I have here just one more trip-related post in order to upload the last of my photographs from our recent San Francisco excursion. Hard to believe it was already EXACTLY two weeks ago (pretty much to the minute!) today that we were on Alcatraz Island's night tour -- and a fascinating experience it was indeed. So fascinating in fact that we weren't quite ready to leave it when it was time for the last ferry to depart the island for the day -- I hadn't finished my self-guided audio tour tape before I had to relinquish my earphones to the guides trying to corral us out, nor did any of the four of us have the chance to watch the informational movie set up for tourists in the old building that houses the gift shop (which we didn't get to check out either). It's our own fault really for being so pokey I suppose -- we (well, mostly me) are those annoying types that if there is ANY information, we have to read every word of it, as well as linger upon any and all details, and crawl over every available nook and cranny. But oh well -- just leaves stuff for us to get back to NEXT time we go out there.....
And so, here are my many and gratuitous Alcatraz Island tour pics....:
|Getting ready to board the ferry from the Fisherman's Warf/Pier 39 area. We had been looking forward to our tour for a long time and were pretty excited (Note: The tours fill up fast so it's important to book them well in advance)....|
|While standing in line for the Alcatraz Island ferry I snapped this pic of the iconic TransAmerica Pyramid in the distance....|
|Plus a photo of this well known S.F. hilltop landmark, the art deco Coit Tower.....|
|This photo gets them both together in the same shot.....!|
|The hilltop Coit Tower getting smaller and smaller in the distance as the ferry pulls out of the harbor on its way to The Rock.....|
|Looking over the other side of the boat at the Bay Bridge in the far distance, connecting S.F. to Oakland.....|
|And there it is, The Rock.....!|
|Getting closer to Alcatraz....(and might I just say how super chilly and blustery it was out there on that boat....?)....|
|Lots of cool old outbuildings that made up the Alcatraz complex. Most of these predate the actual prison itself.....|
|Civil war era buildings near the waterside, with the Prison behind on the top of the hill....|
|Looking on the other side of the boat, you can see the sun is setting (this was the Night Tour after all), and the fog rolling in (if it weren't for the mist, you would otherwise be able to see the Golden Gate Bridge toward the left).....|
|My daughter with Alcatraz Island in the background.....|
|We disembarked, ready to explore. On our hike up the hill to the prison we passed lots of old buildings, some of them mere shells of their former selves, like this one.....|
|Lots of angles and geometry looking down upon the roof line of the outbuildings from our vantage point from further up on the hill.....|
|Alcatraz is today now a haven for birds -- they are everywhere on the island....|
|There are also tons of lovely, colorful wildflowers that thrive there (plus you can lots of HUGE tanker ships, like this one that I managed to capture in the shot, cruising back and forth across the Bay).....|
|Inside Alcatraz -- an example of a typical prison cell.....|
|My daughter hanging out inside a a cell in 'D' block, reserved for inmates sentenced to solitary confinement (and my most fervent wish as a parent that this is the closest she EVER gets to experiencing prison life!)....|
|A cell with some examples of the personal effects an inmate might have had....|
|Looking down into The Yard, where the prisoners could access the outside and take exercise....|
|It was incredibly blustery out there that evening, the wind and mist whipping around something fierce, but we braved the elements and checked everything out.....|
|Looking up at the prison from down in The Yard, and the steps the prisoners would hang out on...|
|Another view from The Yard....|
|Heading back upstairs into the prison....|
|Always lots of steps everywhere in S.F. no matter where you go....|
|More steps. And nesting birds are everywhere, having claimed Alcatraz as their own (those black specks on the rock down at the water's edge are all birds)....|
|Moonrise. A shot looking over the bay from the hilltop just outside the prison doors....|
|The original old lighthouse -- it survived a severe fire....|
|The one-time visitor's entrance into Alcatraz prison....|
|A display mannequin modeling a typical 1950's-era guard uniform (Alcatraz closed for good in 1962)....|
|The mess hall. At one time it would have been crowded with prisoners taking their meals....|
|Fun to tour at night! Creepy too. But, they kicked us out, so reluctantly we had to go and head back to the last ferry to leave the island for the day (definitely NOT a place I would care to be stranded to spend the night!)....|
|Hiking back down the hill toward the dock....|
|Passing the old ruins....|
|One last view of Marin County on the other side of the bay, and what I'm guessing are the lights of Sausalito......|