Unusual Easter Eggs

I am really stretching the Easter egg theme this year. Having just returned from Chicago and now watching baby Lauren while other Funny Bunnies are in Hawaii with mommy and daddy (tough life I know) coloring eggs, baking goodies just isn't in the plans for this Easter weekend.
However, I can't let the special occasion pass without something to share and hoping you have a beautiful weekend with friends and family.  

A gigantic chocolate bunny and spring colored eggs outside one of the many quaint businesses and homes in St. Charles, IL.
This is just too yummy.

The charming homes lining the streets are the best of Easter egg colors!

Since we didn't color eggs, this is the next best thing I can share.  I believe you will be able to figure these images out.

Cupcakes would be lovely right now but lets try something a bit different.  Tea anyone?

Wishing all you dear friends a lovely Easter celebration. And if not Easter, a spring time weekend filled with happiness.

The Fine Art of Engineering Part 1

When I was in college, it seemed that the brainiest, most "admired" degree was engineering. Engineering, engineers, dreamers in chrome, steel and glass come back to mind each time I visit our family in Singapore.

The amount of construction is mind boggling... it is a small island after all.  Each new building over shadows the complexities of the last....case in point is Gardens by the Bay with its dome shaped glass pods that send shards of mercurial light upon the carpet of plants, trees, shrubs and ponds.

Visiting Gardens by the Bay is a bit like Alice tumbling into Wonderland. From the sky high windows, suspended bridges to the floor covered with lush vegetation. There is so much to share about this magical place that this is the first part...the engineering phase

When I took these photos, I had in mind the beautiful architectural compositions that Brenda shares on her blog. I felt that they translated best in black and white, with a few touches of color to delineated the living from the man-made. 

This is the very loft of the structure. Vertigo is not welcome. I couldn't help but think about the men and women who dreamed and designed with lofty thoughts and the builders who climbed these heights to create this amazing structure.  It is all quite breathtaking. 

In a few days we will be closer to ground level. Amazing as the glass and steel structure is, the living plants, trees, blossoms, ferns, palms are truly breathtaking.....Alice never had it so good.  

Thanks Brenda, for reminding me that those structures that surround, hold, touch and support us are incredibly beautiful and inspirational. Brenda hosts Third Thursday Challenge stop by her blog and see her amazing work and the photography of others on this challenge. 


What do I know for sure?  Well for one thing: it is easier for me to post photography related articles than those on painting.  It gets a bit lopsided at times.  Love both creative outlets, but let's be truthful here....painting just takes longer for a myriad of reasons.  Today's photography can be instant gratification, clarification and sharification.
That said, I have finished two smallish 8x8 paintings that are now posted on my website. YAY, progress.

Before you scroll to the paintings, I just want to mention that my favorite gallery I have been a part of for many years...way north in Havre de Grace, MD has opened a new website.  You can see all of the talented artists, potters and sculptors on this site. 
RiverView Gallery

"Down the Lane"  available, comes framed.

"Sunflowers in Black and White Vase" available, comes framed.

These paintings are on hardboard panels. Next to real linen canvas, they are my favorite substrates.
Most of my oils are transparent, with a few exceptions...and obviously white. Although there is a transparent white. Using transparent colors allows for a clean, clear palette with fewer muddy colors.

There is a new collection, "Encaustics and Cold Wax," opened on my website, Sharon Furner Fine Art.  Slowly I will be adding more pieces done in this wonderful new medium. Always something new to learn.

Have a great day and find a few minutes to create....how about Peep topped cupcakes?
Okay, maybe read a book.

Blossoms from Provence to Charlotte

I would like to paraphrase van Gogh's words by inserting: and photographers....
This past week I attended a lovely dinner. Each table showcased a crystal clear Mason jar filled to bursting with blossoms.
It was like walking into a fragrant grove of trees.
Immediately what came to my mind were the blossoms that van Gogh painted in Arles.

"I am up to my ears in work, for the trees are in blossom and I want to paint a Provencal orchard of astonishing gaiety."
And he did.

Imagine your bedroom ceiling painted wall to wall with beautiful branches of delicate blossoms.

After the dinner I asked the hostess if I might bring home a vase of blossoms. 
With a yes, I smiled and thought of all the wonderful photographs or paintings that could be created from such a simple gift.

Today is Texture Tuesday, from which I have been absent for awhile. But I am back using Kim Klassen's textures on three of my photos. It is pretty amazing what a texture can do for a photograph.

Thank you to Kim. I used her Cloth and Paper Collection.
Thank you dear Vincent for the continual inspiration you shower on me.

Funny Bunnies at the Asian Store

One day, well actually towards the end of Chinese New Year, yes, I know this is a bit late, we dropped by the local Asian market near our home. Market is a bit of an understatement for it is complete with its own Asian bakery, tanks of living fish and Chinese take out.

On the outside of the market, colorful Chinese lanterns had been swaying in the breeze for quite some time, so before they either blew away or were removed, it was time to go inside and see the fancy wrapped Asian candy, Good Luck Bamboo, the tanks of live fish and crates of exotic fruits.
I took the Funny Bunnies who were quite excited to choose candy with strange names and colorful wrappers to the store. 
Come join us?

RED is the color for the day!  Everything has red on it somewhere.  
Funny Bunny was told he could choose one piece of candy....that is like taking me to a bookstore and telling me I can only have ONE book!

Sorry about the "big blur" I was trying to be discreet with my phone camera.  

Lucky Bamboo was next.  Someone with infinite patience trains the stalks of bamboo into intricate patterns, weaves and shapes.  Of course the prerequisite RED has to show up somewhere.  I have had a lot of Lucky Bamboo and it actually  thrives and becomes quite leafy. But being bamboo I would not dare to transplant to the garden, unless I had a real Panda living with us.

Cobras riding piggy back on goldfish...that is a new twist for the year, except that it is the Year of the Snake.  
What we really wanted to see were the HUGE tanks of live fish, crabs and lobsters. One can't help but feel sorry for the cramped conditions AND lurking fate.
You can choose your fish and it will be transferred to the "restaurant" area for you know what.  That is fresh, folks.

Resting under the flying dragon heads were boxes of Dragon fruit !!

It was a happy OUTING as we left with wrapped candy and big bags of Chinese take out....but NO FISH!

International Women's Day

Celebrating Women Worldwide


 International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, International Women's Day is a national holiday.

I would like to share with you an article from the Central Asia Institute  (click here) that tells the story of a woman in Kabul, Afganistan, a mother of six who couldn't write a grocery list.  It is an inspiring story.  Sadly it is one that occurs to multiple millions of women and young girls worldwide.

May we join by hearts and hands in behalf of our sisters around the world who desire to fulfill their potential; receive an education and vocation; nurture, feed, and clothe their families; have good health care and live with security for themselves and their loved ones.

There are so many charitable institutions who work tirelessly on behalf of our sisters all over the globe.
I would like to share my favorite with you.
Women for Women (click on name)