Here's proof that my coloring book, Memories of the 1970s, appeals to all ages. Savanna's big sister got the coloring book as a gift and Savanna had to color a page from it. Thanks for sharing with me Savanna! You did a great job coloring!
Here's what I've been working on the last few months! I have created a coloring book that will take you back to some of the fun things of the 1970s! The 1970s were my "growing up" years. I loved all the artwork in bright colors and the bold designs. I spent many hours creating colorful doodles on my blue denim three ring binder, my brown grocery bag book covers, and my folders. My favorite medium was Flair markers, but I also used colored pencils and pastels. If you're a child of the '70s like I am, I think you will enjoy some coloring fun and de-stressing with my coloring book "Memories of the 1970s". It's available on Amazon here. Let me know what you think of it. If you love it, I'd appreciate you leaving a positive review on Amazon.
Art for Your Heart ™....what is that you ask? Art for Your Heart ™ encompasses my photography, painting, and other projects that make your heart happy. I am still doing traditional photography of people and pets, plus I'm also offering digital drawings and painted portraits, fine art, and even coloring books!
Capturing your story and creating Art for Your Heart™ that will take you back to a special moment in time is my goal. Art for Your Heart™ could be a family portrait, painting of your pet, a fine art piece for your home, or a coloring page that takes you back to your youth. Memories and smiles will be the results!
Commission your own Art for Your Heart ™ by completing the form on my "Contact" page. I look forward to working with you!
Went to see The Imitation Game on New Year's Day. Excellent movie. This is my watercolor version of the theater.
On August 7, 2014, five photographs I created were accepted into the General Collection of Professional Photographers of America's 2014 International Photographic Competition. My images will be on display at the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee Feb. 1-3, 2015. This International Photographic Exhibition is held in conjunction with Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers and several photographic associations.
A panel of 45 eminent jurors from across the United States selected five of my photographs from nearly 5,000 total submitted entries. Judged against a standard of excellence, just over 1,800 images were selected for the General Collection. My image, "Did You Say Baloney?" was one of approximately 200 selected General Collection images that will be published in the "Showcase" book by Marathon Press.
Titled "The Original Hipster”, “Radiation”, “Did You Say Baloney?”, “Weapons of Mass Seduction”, and “There’s A Band Playing In My Head”, my photographs will be in the International Photographic Exhibition alongside other top photographic works from the competition and traveling and special invitational displays. These images constitute one of the world's largest annual exhibits of professional photography gathered simultaneously under one roof.
I also earned PPA’s Bronze Medalist status by having all four of the images I submitted in the Photographic Open category accepted into PPA’s General Collection.
Today is Memorial Day, a day set aside to remember all the men and women who have died in the service of our country. It's also the unofficial beginning of summer celebrated with cookouts, swimming, boating, and all sorts of outdoor activities. While you're celebrating the beginning of the summer season, stop and take a moment to give thanks for the true reason we should be celebrating. We are free to celebrate as we like because so many have given their lives for those freedoms.
I have been researching my family's genealogy and have found that I come not only from a long line of preachers, but also a long line of soldiers. My 5x-great grandfathers on both my mom and dad's sides of the family fought in the Revelotionary War. Several of them and their sons fought in the War of 1812. Great grandfathers and great grand uncles from both sides of the family fought in the Civil War. I remember stories of uncles that fought in World War II. I remember all too well stories from friends and family about Viet Nam. And of course I've known quite a few people that have served during the recent war on terrorism.
If you've never visited a Veterans cemetery, I would suggest that you do. You will be amazed and humbled at the thousands of graves. Even if you don't know any of the soldiers, take a long look around at the headstones. While all of these men and women may not have died during a war, they all fought for the freedom we enjoy today. As you celebrate the holiday today, don't forget to celebrate and salute the men and women that fought in the past and are fighting today to keep us free.
My mother's hands.
I've been thinking about Mother's Day a lot this year. This is my first Mother's Day without my Mom. She passed away on December 2, 2013 after a three year battle with lung cancer.
I was in Walgreens recently and went down the card isle. I saw the Mother's Day cards and actually started to pick one up when it hit me I didn't have to buy a card this year. Or a present. It hit me pretty hard too.
There are so many things that remind me of her. Flowers in bloom, cardinals singing, doves cooing, sitting on the porch drinking coffee. And so many things I do that she taught me. Just yesterday, while doing laundry, I was shaking the towels out as I got them out of the washer because she taught me "it won't take them as long in the dryer if you shake them out first instead of letting the dryer do it." That's just one of the many things.
My Dad, my brothers, and I, and lots of other family members and friends, miss her so much. But we know she's in a better place and she's not hurting any more. Those last few months were so hard on her, but she fought until the very end. She's still the strongest woman I know.
Little did we know that when I took this picture of her hands, she probably already had tumors growing in her lungs. I still remember taking the picture...telling her to hold still while I took a shot of her hands holding the coffee mug like she had done so many times while we talked and drank coffee.
I though it would be fitting to post the picture because it brings back so many good memories. I wrote the following to go with the picture of my Mom's hands on March 25, 2010....
"These are the hands that made our house a home growing up. These are the hands that taught me how to cook, sew, iron, take care of a baby, crochet, wash dishes, sweep and mop the floor, make a bed, plant flowers, write, paint, and all the other things I needed to know to make a home of my own. These are the hands attached to the arms that are always open wide for a hug whenever I need one. These are the hands of one of the strongest women I know. The woman that taught me how to be strong and always told me I could do anything I set my mind to and be anything I want to be. She still tells me this whenever I need encouragement. My mom is the one that taught me how to be a mom, a friend, and how to love, all by loving me. My hands look a lot like hers, so one day this could be my hands. I just hope I am able to give to my daughter and granddaughters everything my Mom has given to me. For all of this I will be eternally grateful. I love you Mom! "
Happy Mother's Day Mama. I love you and miss you.
In March I was honored to have two of my images selected by a panel of judges at the Southern Professional Photographer's Association (SEPPA) as being "worthy of a merit." These two images will go on to compete in the International Print Competition held by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and will be on display at PPA's national conference in Nashville in February 2015.
In January I attended the Professional Photographers of American annual convention that was held in Phoenix, AZ. Since I had never been to Arizona, a few days of exploring before the convention were in order. The list of places I visited included, Tucson, Bisbee, Tombstone, the Pima Air and Rocket Museum, Old Tucson, and of course the desert. These are some of my favorites of over 1200 images I took in the area. When someone asked, "What is there to see in Arizona?", my reply was "Lots of things, beautiful things!" I hope to make another trip back someday and explore the northern part of the state. Did I mention it was in the 70's and low humidity every day I was there? Quite a changed from the -1 degree temperature at the airport the morning of departure. It was a really welcome change for January!
I am excited to announce that two images I created have recently been accepted into the Professional Photographers of America's (PPA) General Collection of Professional Photographers of America's 2013 International Photographic Competition!
As part of the General Collection, they will be on display as part of the International Photographic Exhibition at Imaging USA, an annual convention and expo for professional photographers, which will be held at the Phoenix Convention Center, January 12-14, 2014, in Phoenix, AZ.
Titled “Frozen in Time” and “Infinity and Beyond”, these images will be in the International Photographic Exhibition alongside other top photographic works from the competition. These images constitute one of the world's largest annual exhibits of professional photography gathered simultaneously under one roof.
Both boys recently had birthdays so mom thought it was time for a new family portrait. The boys were a delight as usual even though baby Lennon was on the move the whole time. He's crawling like a champ and thinking about walking soon. Big brother Denney was so cute trying to hold on to Lennon so he'd stay still!
Baby Hayden will be here soon! I had the pleasure of photographing mom and dad, Jessica and Jeremy. Jessica is absolutely glowing even though little Hayden is expected in a month or less. You can tell by the look on their faces that Jessica and Jeremy are going to be wonderful parents. Can't wait for Hayden to make his arrival and do his newborn portraits!
On a recent trip to my Mom and Dad's, I decided to take some photos of the many beautiful flowers my Mom has in the yard. While I was taking the photos I looked up to find I had an audience. These cows all seemed quite curious about what I was doing. They are Amish cows, owned by my parent's Amish neighbors, so I guess they had never seen a camera before. ;) They stood staring at me until I got a little closer than they felt comfortable, then they started backing up, all the while still staring.
Little Gauge is 3 months old! It doesn't seem like 3 months since I took maternity photos of his mom, Dana. He is such a cute little boy. He was all smiles because he was staying with his Nana Judy who was doing her best to spoil him!
Skipper is always on watch for those pesky squirrels. He was staring out the window at the tree where two squirrels had been just a bit earlier. He barked and scared them off. He's a good watch dog!