I went on my first ever photography workshop, to Costa Rica, in early
June 2018. It was just the beginning of the rainy season and although
there was rain most days it did not last long and did not interfere with
our expeditions. Indeed, some of the macro images of plants and
flowers benefited from the left over water droplets. The heat and
humidity were impressive to this desert dweller.
The Osa Peninsula, where we spent the entire trip, is at the southwestern corner of Costa Rica. Although this small country has 5 million
inhabitants, 3 1/2 million of them live in the capital, San Jose. The rest of the country is sparsely populated and the Osa Peninsula is largely rain forest. Within this small peninsula live an astonishing variety of wildlife, including all four species of monkey found in the country.
Lush tropical plants, flowers, bugs and birds abound.
The pace of this workshop was exhausting but the company was good and the food and accommodations superb. I came home with about 1500 images (and that was minimal; one man took 10,000 pictures!) and was totally overwhelmed with the prospect of culling then editing them. I set them aside for a few months, occasionally checking to see if anything looked worth pursuing but not being tempted until I came upon the image above. It made me smile and inspired me to seek out others that had that quality. Invariably these were of monkeys and so the theme Monkey Business emerged. I created a book and had a show at the local library with that title. Once started I found choosing and editing with a purpose the enjoyable activity I’ve always experienced. The book and the show were rounded out with images of other creatures and colorful flora. Here are some of the images shown.
BTW, I donated sales from the library show to the library’s Children’s Programs, ~$250; very satisfying.
I plan to add a gallery page with these and more images from Costa Rica in a format that will allow you to pick and choose and linger if you like. Watch this space!
The New Mexico Art League’s latest exhibition features representations – in a variety of media – of the fabulous skies in this state. All three of my submissions were accepted (a first) and the one above was taken right up the street from my house. It’s titled Eldorado, the name of our little unincorporated community about 12 mile southeast of Santa Fe.
Another image, A Proper Perspective, is a variation on a theme. You’ve seen it before in black and white. Here is the color version.
A Proper Perspective
The third image, Virgas, may also be in a gallery on this site, called there Into the Rain. It was taken in NE New Mexico, near a town called Roy, where the land begins to become plains. I changed the title because on closer examination I thought the rain wasn’t actually reaching the ground, hence virgas. What do you think?
Upcoming at the Praxis Gallery in Minneapolis is an exhibition of black and white photographs and one of my submissions was juried into the show. It’s called Saguaro and it’s reproduced below,
The exhibition runs from July 26 through August 9 so if you happen to be in the area at that time do stop by and have a look.
Note added, July, 2020: Turns out I got the Juror’s Choice Award for this image. I didn’t know this until I recently received the little book Praxis published with all the images from the exhibition. They do this for every show. If you have an image in the show you can buy the book but it’s gratis if you get an award. I hadn’t ordered the book so was surprised to get it in the mail and when I opened it discovered Saguaro was the Juror’s Choice: a welcome surprise amid the COVID19 gloom.
Past Show (Sept.-Oct., 2018)
I usually only submit images for consideration to local exhibitions because schlepping my images any further than Albuquerque is unacceptable. Packing them off to ship even more unacceptable. When the Praxis Gallery in Minneapolis indicated they would print and frame the 30 images chosen for their The Shape of Things international exhibition I figured it was worth a try. Of the five images I submitted, Sunnylands I was accepted into the show and went on to win the Juror’s Choice Award.
Friends who live in Minneapolis visited the Gallery and took a video and still pictures for me. I can’t put the video on this site but here’s a picture of the main panel of the show. My image is on the upper left. Thanks Liz nd Di!
Praxis Gallery, Minneapolis MN, Sept., 2018 – Oct., 2018
Future Show, December, 2018
The Shades of Gray exhibition of black and white photographs by New Mexico photographers continues to be one of the most popular in this area, if attendance is any measure. I continue to submit entries and am pleased to have two out of three submissions selected this year: LA and Look Up! Here they are.
LA’s Disney Center
Exact dates for the show are on the Welcome page of this site. Information about and directions to Expo New Mexico can be found here.
I’ll save the book for the next post but if you want a preview check this out.
The New Mexico Art League has juried in two of my images for the above titled exhibition. It will be an exhibition of prints, drawings, paintings, mixed media and photographs. That’s quite a mix so I’m pleased to have been included. The image above, Gorge, is one of them and the other is O’Keefe Country, below.
Not far from Abiquiu, NM
The show runs from Sept. 4 through Oct. 6, 2018 at the Art League, click for directions. More information about the Art League and its programs can be found here.
Some thoughts about trees
Most of us are familiar with Joyce Kilmer’s poem with its vivid imagery of trees suckling at the breast of mother earth and his self-description as a fool for trying to describe in words such a magnificent creation. I share his frustration.
I am always attracted to trees, to the patterns and textures shown by the bark, the limbs and sometimes even the leaves. Their visual complexity is alluring, especially in the spring when the gloriously complex structure of deciduous trees are tinged with a delicate yellow green halo of small leaves.
I’m often tempted to anthropomorphize: trees “hide” their structure with a covering of leaves or needles; some “show off” with stunning coats of color in the Fall; all “go with the flow” of wind and weather. But here is a lovely example of the opposite:
“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreen and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You’re too this or I’m too this.’ That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.”
I hope you will enjoy the woods that I have created.
Here are some images of trees that do not appear elsewhere on this site.
Angkor Province, Cambodia
Until today I had listed the wrong times for an opening reception for my Trees show at the Vista Grande Library, That has been corrected and the opening reception is Friday, June 1, 4-6pm. Do come; there will be food, lots of interesting people and, of course, images of trees.
A future post will show some of the images in that show that are not otherwise on this site. The one above is 4th of July.
Black and White: An Exhibition of Drawings and Photographs
The show will be exhibited from April 17th through May 26, 2018 at the New Mexico Art League gallery, 10 am-4pm, Tuesday through Saturday.
The image featured above, Taos Country, was chosen to be in this show. It’s the same one that garnered an honorable mention in the New Mexico Magazine’s annual photo contest in 2017.
I made this triptych for my friend Charlie who lived here while he worked at what was then the Southwest Regional Office of the National Park Service in Santa Fe. He moved on to other positions in other locations but always loved this area and wished he could return. Alas, it was not to be.
The image on the left is the Rio Grande gorge as seen from the road to Taos, an iconic image. The middle is Taos Pueblo North. I am especially fond of this image because, unlike most that emphasize the towering massiveness of the Pueblo, it is put in the proper (to my mind) context of the land and sky. The image to the right was taken while camping at Wild Rivers Recreation Area near Questa, NM. Here the Rio Grande and Red Rivers converge at the bottom of an 800 foot canyon. This image is looking north, up the Rio Grande. Putting them together in one frame would, I hope, give my friend and anyone else looking at it a taste of this magnificent land.
Each year hundreds of photographers submit thousands of photographs to the Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show (ANMPAS) which showcases the finest photographic work being done in New Mexico. A jury of professionals selects only the best photography from Santa Fe, Taos, Albuquerque, and elsewhere in New Mexico for inclusion in the annual show.
I read that somewhere and saved it for an occasion like this. I probably would not have been so extravagantly boastful. I’ve known about ANMPAS for about 8 years now, since I began to show my work but have managed to submit entries only half those years. Traveling in the RV during the winter I either forgot or didn’t have the right images with me. When I did submit I usually got at least one entry juried into the show. This year I was determined to not let the deadline slip by and got a couple of images accepted:
YELLOWSTONE MAGIC The hot springs and pools at Yellowstone National Park provide endless variations of color and abstraction.
BUNKER HILL Not Boston’s, LA’s!
Here are images accepted in previous ANMPAS shows , 2011-2013.
Great Sand Dunes NP
The ruins of the original church of San Geronimo are reminders of that brutal deed.
Near Garfield, NM, the springtime flood irrigation of the groves promises pecans.
Jin Mao, Shanghai
The show runs from April 1 through April 23 and the Fine Art Gallery at EXPO New Mexico will be open from 10 am to 5 pm. Opening reception is Sat., March 31st from 2-4 pm.
For the second year in a row the Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show (ANMPAS) has presented an all black and white photography exhibition. This juried show features about 200 images from New Mexico photographers who may submit up to three images. I am pleased to have images selected for both shows. Here are five images of mine that have been juried into the exhibit in 2016 and 2017.
Death Valley National Park
Funnerary of a 16th C. Spanish mission south of Tubac, AZ
Death Valley salt flats from Dante’s View.
At Oliver Lee State Park near Alamogordo, NM
The opening reception for this year’s show is Sat., Dec. 2 from 2-4 PM at the EXPO New Mexico (the old Fair Grounds) Fine Art Gallery. It is open to the public Sunday, Dec. 3rd through Wednesday, Dec. 27th; closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Gallery hours are 10am – 5pm.