The Eskimo has 52 names for SNOW.

 There ought to be as many for LOVE !
                                                                                                   Margaret Atwood

               Love.  Appreciation. Understanding. Acceptance. Reverence. 

These past days, week, have been hard to watch on news broadcasts. Incomprehensible. Stunning. 
How do we reverse. How do we change the tide. How do we make a difference.
I suggest it takes:
Little steps. Baby steps. 
Read poetry to a shut-in.
Trade smiles with a passer-by.
Slip a note into a book sharing what you loved about the book, for the next reader to discover.
Hold hands with the elderly.
Knit gloves, neck scarves for a rest home, homeless shelter.
Build a birdhouse for a neighbor. Better yet, paint it bright colors.
Keep dollars in a pocket to slip into the red bucket.
Let another car merge in front of you.
Be a Fairy Godmother to a neglected child.
Change one's mind, attitude and perceptions.
Hug another.
Care for animals, all living creatures. Adopt from a shelter.

Donate gently read magazines to a neighbor, a doctor's waiting room, senior home, hair salon.
Choose a charity that really makes your heart happy.
Listen deeply when another speaks.
Understand and learn about other cultures.

It is funny being human, share your humorous stories, generously.
For one day, only say "yes."
Meditate upon what it means to not go hungry.
Forgiveness multiplies and melts away rigid positions.
Hang a chalkboard in an accessible place, write weekly affirmations.
Donate to charity items that are worthy of our brothers and sisters.
Tithe your talents to another, an organization, a worthy cause.  Give liberally.
Hang a world map on a wall, mark where different people live that we want to better understand. 
Read often to a child.
Listen to a child Read.
When we see sadness in others, catch their tears.
Listen more than one speaks.
Open your mind to looking at people and actions with clarity. 

Celebrate the qualities that we share with everyone.
Hang a world map on a wall, mark where different people live that we want to better understand. 
Read often to a child.
When we see sadness in others, catch their tears.
Listen more than speaking.
Open your mind to looking at things from various angles.

Celebrate small moments in your day. They are the cream on top. 
Hand out popsicles in the park.
Invite friends over for an "art night" to create something unique.
Be a fabulous friend to someone seeking friendship. 
Look for the good in ALL. 

May 2015 be THE YEAR where we ALL seek to love, understand and value others. 
Little Steps.     Baby Steps. 



In December I planted assorted bulbs and succulents to bring a touch of summer warmth and light into the darkest months of the year. 
Indoor bulbs planted in "treasure to trash" containers.
Although I do not have a gardner's magic touch, everything did grow, in fact so tall and gangly (in some instances, over two feet!!!)  that many long stems and leaves, before they could bloom, fell flat on their "faces." 
Pretty obvious I didn't really know what I was doing. 
But some did me "proud." 
And THEY lined up to have their portrait taken.

Joining Kim Klassen's Tuesday Textures.
Texture: Abstract 

"Life comes in clusters, clusters of solitude, then a cluster when there is hardly time to breathe."
        May Sarton


From Earth and Sea

From Earth and  Sea

  Raw Elements

 The Beauty of Nature

Grace for our Souls.


Leaving Orange Behind

Why I Love ORANGE.
Orange and Black were our junior high school colors!
Moon, glowing orange.
Sacred color in Buddhism and Hinduism.
Fizzy Orange soda.
Seedless mini Oranges...yum!
Pumpkins, squash, gourds peppers,
even Orangish Tomatoes.
Marigolds, Mums and Asters. 
Saffron and Apricots.
Colors worn by me once a year.
(plus black fingernails)
Trees burgeoning with leaves.
Sunset reflections on rippling water.
Thick bitter-sweet Seville Marmalade.

From our Home to Yours
Farewell Autumn !


Around the World...the Food Market Way

For your enjoyment: a few photos of food markets that inspire me from around the world.

Sketch Journal Page

May our abundance be shared more equally with all.  
Local food banks, children backpack programs are a great way for all to share. 


My Love Affair with Sunflowers

Of all the flowers I have painted over the years, the Sunflower wins hands down as my favorite. Why is this so?  The Sunflower shows stalwart strength yet vulnerable flexibility. She stands vertical..tall..adding contrast against the turquoise sky. She stands strong and capable to weather the winds and storms of life living raw and fully open.  

The Sunflower is maternal a provider of life, generous: offering nourishment to the many birds and animals that are drawn to her nourishing seed; snacks for we humans..raw or toasty and salted. The Sunflower shares her abundance with a gracious heart.

The Sunflower is beautiful in all her stages of development: as she unfurls her buds; is in full-open spectacular splendor; or naturally drying, curling, withering as she ages. Her life span is long, each living phase building on itself, becoming more and more unique.  

The Sunflower shares the painters' dream: expressive petals and leaves that curve and tangle; rich, deep, radiant colors of cadmium yellow, cadmium yellow- orange, orange, burnt sienna, bronze, red, deep greens. Her colors are intense like the lowering Sun at Sunset, thick, heavy with impasto stroke work.  The Sunflower reminds me of different cultures, each variety having its own strengths, lessons and values.

Painting the Sunflower in its many varieties, sizes and colors makes me happy, content and feeling like I am using my time wisely.   

SUNFLOWER, the very name makes me SMILE.  Sharon


Eyes Wide Open

Today while to much of the World seems to be in Chaos, may we find moments to Walk Slowly with our Spirits Open to all of the Positive and Good.

Thank you for taking a few moments to visit with me.  Sharon

LR:  KK Light Airy/ 4make matte   PS: KK Anne/soft light 60%    Thank you Kim for the wonderful presets, they are a joy to work with.  The original photos are intense with brilliant color, a few tweaks and it is like seeing an ocean through  a different filter.


The Slowing of Summer


The summer Fruit and Vegetable Stands have been without equal.  We have several right by our home, each a bit different.
We have never indulged in so many watermelons as we have this past summer.  On Sunday we ate, perhaps our last for the season, a sweet sun-ripened miniature watermelon.
Cantaloupes weren't as plentiful, but what we had were yummy.  
A nice change from the watermelon we consumed...and easier to cut!
Of course, mounds of strawberries, red grapes and raspberries are always tempting us.

                                                    Pink Pear  30x30  Available

This week the air feels different. Last night we had a storm of all storms...zinging lightening that never stopped, thunder that shook up the pups and adults, pelting rain that I thought would come straight THROUGH the roof. 

We stood under the shelter of the porch and marveled at the display of nature's wrath: after we turned off all electronics and lit candles!!! 

Stealthily sneaking in are the autumn colors edging their way into the thickly leafed branches, an abundance of peaches and ripe tomatoes are sitting center-stage.
Next will come the hearty squash, pumpkins, beets and carrots. 

Down the road from our home...love the women who work here..they place everything with an artistic eye.

Fruit and Vegetable Stands are 
for the Soul
Bon App├ętit


Catching Sunflower Petals

"Multi-purpose" post in chapters.  

Chapter I
 I have never mentioned the photography equipment that I use, other than to say "Big Mama." And that is exactly what my Canon DSLR camera is...a hunkin' big camera. I also use Canon's L lens and they are beauties, but so heavy.  The combo gets to be a bit much to "shoulder".....so my interest has been peeked with the new compact APS-C cameras that are sprouting like tossed sunflower seeds.

After researching way too many hours, and deciding what I would sell in order to switch over, I finally decided to rent at least one camera.  Our local camera stores don't rent these as of now, which would be more convenient.  So again back to Google and finding some reputable rental businesses.  I decided upon Lens Rental. (click on name)

You must order a lens if you don't have an appropriate one in addition to camera.  I settled on a Fuji X-T1 and Fuji Prime 1:1.4  35 mm lens.  

It arrived carefully packaged...returning via Fed EX 7 days later.  I bought the insurance JUST IN CASE!  
 They emailed the pdf manual.  Oh, my goodness, over 150 pages long and teeny tiny print.  Yes, I did print it out, then proceeded to mark it up. 

In all honesty this is a big learning curve...everything is different: WEIGHT-YAY,  controls and buttons.  ( just over 1 lb. )  The bells and whistles are at first overwhelming, so I decided to start on page one of manual and go from there....working through the settings one at a time.   

Chapter II
The Sunflowers are glorious right now.  Down the road from our home is an acre of Sunflowers, they are propped in buckets at the fruit stands and  cellophane wrapped in grocery stores.  I buy a lot of Sunflowers.
 I decided to air dry the sunflowers as they withered.

Chapter III
Kim Klassen's email post for Be Still arrived.  Always fun to see what she is suggesting as a photography prompt and seeing what others do with it through link ups.
The lesson was on sharp focus.
I knew that my Canon with macro lens would do a fantastic job.  But what about the Fuji?

Chapter IV
This morning I awoke to mist and haze due to high humidity, the Fuji on the table, a vase of fresh sunflowers and a handful of drying, crumbling sunflowers.  Seemed like a good way to practice my manual reading from last night. 
These are the shots from the Fuji using macro mode. Since I shot with bokeh ( dreamy blur) and a sharp small focus, you may have to look closely for the sharply defined areas.

Macro was quite easy to set up, and this light weight, amazing camera made it possible to really get close to the subject. My first shots were disappointing. So I exchanged a white cloth for blue, put light onto subject and tried again.  Much more interesting.  The prime lens was sharp and gave beautiful color.

I can tell that should I ever switch camera gear it will be a very large investment, a large commitment of time to learn the new formats and replacing lenses. It is unfortunate that Canon, at this writing is lagging way behind Fuji, Olympus, Sony for APS-C cameras. Otherwise I wouldn't have to invest in lenses.

I loved the feel and weight of this camera.  The color is excellent.  The auto focus is fast. I was very happy with first choice. 
I might try the Olympus OM-D E-M1 at a later date.  
Lens Rental was an excellent company to rent from. However you get charged for everything separately.  Make sure you are aware of what COMES with the camera rental.  You also need to check a box to request a pdf manual.

This is just one reason why I love photography.  One of the littlest monkeys on our family tree.
SOOC shot with iPhone camera.  HMMM much less hassle than either the Canon or Fuji!!

Prime 35mm: 1.1.4  Macro setting