Receptive

To express your emotions, you have to be very loose and receptive. The unconscious will come to you if you have that gift that artists have. I only know if I’m inspired by the results. ~L. Bourgeois

Hay Is for Horses (1 of 1)
Receptive Horse

Whenever I drive by horses out in a field, I stop. Camera or not. Sometimes there are a herd of them (usually 4 or 5 total) grazing out in the distance and I will call them over and inevitably there will be one or two who come running. Others may not be as receptive to my human overtures and they will glance over to my way for a few seconds and I can almost hear them say, “Pfft, now why would I want to interrupt my day for you?”. But the friendly ones sometimes run up so fast I barely have time to change my camera settings. I am not sure if they are disappointed once they get to me and wonder where the carrots or apples are but they obligingly take a pet or two. If they are lucky, there will be some greenery that I can get to by the side of the fence that I will pull and feed to them.

The likelihood of greenery seems to be small these days. Dry scorched grass is all I can anticipate. Summer has arrived and it should be upwards to 100* in Prescott this weekend; Phoenix will hit 115*. I hiked from 8 AM to 10 AM a few days ago and decided I will need to roll out of bed by 6 AM if I want to truly enjoy my outings. Sometimes it is not the temperatures that get to me, it is the blasting sun from which there is little relief. This weekend will likely be pretty much an indoor, a/c kind of weekend for me.  Come on, summer…don’t fence me in!

Main Street

“You were all that remained
Everything else slowly fades away
You are the one who forgets
You rode me on your bicycle down Main Street”~ lyrics, Angus&Julia Stone

Down on Main Street-Prescott, AZ
Down on Main Street-Prescott, AZ

This was a canary yellow auto that took up the whole composition but I wanted to go for more of a feel of reminiscence, hence the B&W. Now if I could only clone out those other cars!

Wild

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” ~ M Oliver

Wildfire
Wildfire

One thing I noticed about the horses in the Navajoland is that when well cared for, they are gorgeous specimens. I saw many Appaloosas and painted ponies of various sizes and colors and horses with a fierceness and spirit of independence in their eyes. They have spirit. The horse above was grazing with a herd of about a dozen and they all ran from me as soon as I got close enough to have them fill my frame. I am not sure if they were a wild herd or just a cautious bunch.

Two cool things happened in regards to my photography last week. First, I was contacted by The Discovery Channel to use one of my images in an upcoming production on gold mining. Then a RE agent asked me for local shots for their company’s website. That will pay for my next trip to Mexico at the end of the month. I work to enjoy myself and live my one and only precious life. It’s really not as irresponsible as it may seem. I swear.  🙂

Monument

“Death comes to all, but great achievements build a monument which shall endure until the sun grows cold.” ~ RW Emerson

Monument Valley (1 of 1)
Monument Valley-Monument Valley is really a spectacular place. I plan to go back in October and camp in the park not only to be able to shoot in the sunrise and sunset but also to see the night sky and take a horseback tour.

A road trip took me to the Navajoland area of Canyon de Chelly and Monument Valley, a location I have always wanted to visit since seeing images of these beautiful and unique places. We left for Chinle on Friday and the entire northern part of Arizona was experiencing an unusual May rainstorm. We decided to reschedule our tour of Canyon de Chelly from Friday to Sunday due to the weather and hoped the gray skies would clear out by Saturday when we were planning our day trip to Monument Valley. When we left on Saturday morn, the storm had not yet cleared but as we drove on, some blue began to show in the sky, and along with that, clouds began to roll in. I cannot tell you how happy I was about that; I almost felt like a kid on Christmas morning. And they were not just average clouds, they were billowy and plentiful and they filled the entire landscape. It’s not always possible to photograph at sunrise and sunset and sometimes mid-day is your only option. Clouds are your savior under those circumstances and I was blessed to be able to come away with images that I liked….all because of clouds.

 

 

 

Sweet

“Life is short and it is up to you to make it sweet.” ~ S Delany

Pie Shop

We have an old-fashioned pie shop in Prescott that sells pies of all kinds and it is the real deal. The outside drew me in and I stopped to take a picture of the front of the shop. I already previously had snapped a shot of their adorable pie truck (https://artizenimages.wordpress.com/2014/11/24/pies/)  and wanted an image of the mechanical toy horse.  Then a sugary, baked good scent wafted through the air and hit my nose; there really is nothing like the comforting and irresistable smell of freshly baked pies. It was a Pavlovian draw that insisted I go in as my mouth began to water.

Free Ride (1 of 1)
What kid can resist a free frontier ride?

I myself just took a free pass on the pies…..as much as I wanted a slice of the apple rhubarb, the health coach inside my brain insisted that I forgo. This time. 😉  As Arnold once said, “I’ll be back.”.

 

 

Tower

“About the old tower, dark against the sky,
The beat of my wings hums,
I circle about God, sweep far and high
On through milleniums.

Soleri birds (1 of 1)

Am I a bird that skims the clouds along,
Or am I a wild storm, or a great song?”~R M Rilke

I am in Tempe visiting my son and I made a point yesterday to stop at Canal Convergence at the Scottsdale waterfront. It is a twice a year event, celebrating the Salt River Project canal, water ( of course, a very precious commodity in the desert) and the Equinox.  It’s mostly art installations in and around the canal and the Paolo Soleri designed bridge (part of which is shown above), including various performances. Prescott used to have an all day performance and art event called Tsunami in The Square that I really enjoyed but that ended last year so I now usually try and make it here to get an outdoor art fix. It is really best seen at night, everything is all lit up, including the flowers floating in the water below. Rain threatened yesterday to help fill up that canal but it never really materialized, exactly why water is such a precious commodity here and celebrated!

canal (1 of 1)

 

Enjoy the weekend. ☺︎

Flow

“May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.” ~RM Rilke

flow (1 of 1)
Flow Like Water

I took a walk the other day and the brisk wind chilled my face and caused my hair to fly like a kite but I find something very satisfying about that. It makes me feel so alive. Too cold of a breeze and it can make me shut down and cause me to want to run for cover, too hot and I feel drained and less energetic so I do really enjoy a brisk day here and there. I climbed up on the rocks hoping to get a shot of the snow-capped San Francisco peaks in the distance (in Flagstaff, some 75ish miles away) but I could not quite get at the right angle and gave up on that idea. You can’t always get what you want so sometimes you just have to go with the flow.

Solitude

” Loneliness is a poverty of self, solitude is a richness of self.” ~ M Sarton

Solitude (1 of 1)
Solitude Serenity

I took a bit of a hike yesterday.  With some threatening rain clouds, the sky was rather dull but I am testing out the camera still, learning to work with it and I have decided to keep it. I like what I see and love its portability. Sony makes a full frame mirrorless which looks to be fabulous but that (and the lens) would be out of my budget comfortability right now. At some point, maybe mirrorless all the way will be the way to go but I do not foresee that for me for a number of years.

 

Vision

3 Ducks (1 of 1)
Sometimes it is hard to walk around the same place and come up with a different photographic vision.

” The only worse thing than being blind is having sight but no vision.” ~ H Keller

Yes, sometimes finding something new in a place you have explored many, many times before can be trying. And winter and its starkness adds another challenging dimension…..bare trees, nothing in bloom and not much lively.  But part of the reason I do this blog is that I believe that one must find beauty in the everyday.  Sometimes that beauty is not so exciting, as in the duck image above.

Rock Design (1 of 1)
Do you see the owl in the rock?? Clue- Its left eye is directly under the dead tree….

I heard someone once say that if you want to take better images, put yourself in front of better things. That is not always possible, though, is it? We cannot always be on vacation, visiting beautiful places and having different cultural experiences.  Maybe we would like to do so but time or money gets into the way. We have real responsibilities and other priorities. So that is why I shoot and blog a post like today’s anyway, despite feeling that the images are quite average.  It means needing to stretch one’s vision and seeing a different perspective in things you know in an almost intimate way. In some ways, it is like a relationship. Once you feel you know everything regarding your partner and that you have seen it all, you must still reach deeper to find another view, another vision, another picture . A fresh perspective. Of course, in actuality, you have not seen it all but sometimes it feels that way and some days are just average, C+ “duck” days. And you keep going and learn to appreciate a duck or two.