Sixth Annual Exhibit
SUN SHADOW ICE & SNOW
seasons along the panhandle trail
featuring poetry inspired by the trail & woods
plus paintings & sketches from prior exhibits
prints of paintings and photos
handmade gift items inspired by the trail
Opening Friday August 23, 2019 5:00 P.M.
through Saturday August 24 11:00 P.M.
Panhandle Trail Quarry Area as part of Rock The Quarry
At the last minute I had a change in plans! I had planned this year’s exhibit in early spring, well before I learned my hip was on its way out for usefulness and needed to be replaced, planned for October. As the exhibit drew near I found I couldn’t print and frame all the photos I’d intended, so I decided to save that idea for the future and instead introduce a new medium: writing! Really, what took me so long?
Typically I alternate a focus on paintings and photos with each year of the show, beginning with paintings in 2014. I had planned this year’s exhibit of four seasons photography well before I learned my hip was on its way out for usefulness and needed to be replaced. In fact, at that point we thought it was a hairline fracture on its way to healing.
As the year wore on my hip joint made it clear there was no healing in its future, after I had already modified my schedule as a maker and as a vendor to the point where I’d only do this exhibit this year because I just couldn’t NOT be there. But as the exhibit drew near I found I couldn’t print and frame all the photos I’d intended for my “four seasons” gallery.
It’s difficult to convey how very physical is the life of a creative person, and for me it starts with walking those woods and trails for inspiration, and goes to standing at an easel, cutting a linoleum block, screen printing, gathering materials and making handmade gifts, carrying around large and small pieces of artwork, packing it all up with tags and signage and putting it all in my car, heading for a destination and setting up an entire shop inside a tent, standing all day, taking it all down and putting it back in the car and coming home, and putting it all away, until the next time. I actually used to come home, unpack my car and put everything away before I would let myself rest, often after 18 hours on my feet. I love it, every part of it, but it is physically taxing, and my artist friends and I support each other in that all the time.
I was disappointed and wondering what I’d do as a theme, then I decided to save that idea for the future and instead introduce a new medium: writing! Really, what took me so long?
A poetry folio
I’ve created a small folio of my poetry inspired by my walks on the trail and in the woods with art and photos interwoven, and also created posters and gift items with some of those inspiring thoughts and images. I have eight poems written while actually on the trail or in the woods, or written afterward, gathered from my visual impressions, my experiences, my thoughts and dreams as I wander in nature’s welcoming spaces.
Here are a few lines of the featured poem as an example:
At a bend in the trail,
The scent of wild apples greets me.
A tree abandoned from an old orchard
Or sprung up on its own from old stock, wild and uncultivated,
Heavy with small round burnished apples.
The late summer heat releases their scent,
Sweet and tart, that the world may know they have reached their prime;
The wild perfume of the coming season.
From another tree one single leaf lets go
And falls, papery, dry and curled, slipping through branches
Clattering to the summer-hardened clay of the trail,
Loud in the silent heat of the August afternoon.
Winter lost her grip, and, one by one,
The wildflowers of spring began to bloom,…
You can read the rest of this poem on my writing website www.PathsIHaveWalked.com, or purchase a folio for all of them.
Time spent in nature gives me the freedom to expand my thoughts, touching all my senses and leading me to a greater, deeper, even new understanding of myself and my world. Poetry is a perfect way to express that.
Purchase a folio
A published article
Also, each of my paintings and photos have a story of how they came to be. I found a magazine that was happy to publish not only the essay about “The Rope Swing”, but to publish the art as well. I had that with me, and several more copies you can purchase.
In addition I’ll have paintings and sketches from previous exhibits, prints of photos and paintings, and new handmade gift items featuring my art and photography of the trail: keepsake boxes, decorative trays, cabochon pendants, gift bags and coasters, and who knows what else.
I’ve been visiting the Panhandle Trail since 2002 with my bike and on foot, for exercise and inspiration, more inspiration than exercise, packing in with backpacks of camera equipment and art supplies. I’ve taken thousands of photos along the trail and off in the woods, but I’ve also done a number of sketches while there in pencil, charcoal, pastel and watercolor, and arriving home in my studio to do more from photos. I’ve collected a number of these for an exhibit, but not in a gallery—right on the trail, where I’ve spent so much time and found these inspirations. It’s the place where I found the scene of one of my favorite paintings, “Dusk in the Woods”.
From the very first show it’s been one of my best and one of my favorites. Most of all I love to get the chance to talk to others who love their trail and share with them both the familiar places and the extraordinary moments.
This year I took the role of soliciting vendors for the event. Once I’d talked to them and sent an application, two others took over with collecting the money and mapping out spaces.
My display in 2019…
And at night, with me in it!
Below are the new gift items I added to my display this year. Click on each image to see the listing and purchase if you’d like. I will have all the new products listed as soon as I can get them all photographed and set up.
A bunch of new Wildflower & Butterfly votives
Last year when I prepared for this exhibit I really wanted to tray out my idea for votives made from recycled pickle and condiment jars. The first idea was to handpaint them with designs using alcohol inks, but I knew I wanted a print of the art on there. I did not discovered attempt them for last year’s show but waited until my holiday open house. I discovered clear vinyl labels and designed the “Dusk in the Woods” and many others, and the following spring handpainted the one I’d first visualized, using that wonderful oval jar and covering it with woodland sunflowers. Then came all the other wildflowers.
New cabachon designs
I purchased a few bags of cabachon frames and glass and many were quite decorative. I love the flowers and butterflies I’ve made, but I could also picture other elements of nature, like the red-tailed hawks that constantly soar above against the blue sky, and the moon from my painting “Sycamore Moon”. Two of the frames had trees etched onto the back of the frame, and I decided to use my photo “Find Your Roots” in those two. Most exciting for me, I had purchased a large bag of silver and gold beads in various designs because I’d wanted to dress up some of my cabochons, and so I did.
Here are all the cabochons designed for this exhibit.
Another thing I’ve been wanting to do! I made an attempt last year with polymer clay and fabric transfers with a technique I’d read about, but it was too inconsistent. I did figure out the best way to use transfers with polymer clay, but I also decided to try them with wood cutouts. I used 3″ circles of 3/16″ unfinished wood and the transfers took to them in seconds. I did like Dusk in the woods as it was, but it’s the holidays with all those little lights and I wanted a little sparkle, so I gave them one thin coat of a fine sparkle finish.
I also wanted to give another winter painting a try: Snowfall. In the original scene that I painted, the snow was falling quite thickly as I sat in my car with my pastels. I had the idea to add text to it and finish it off with clear/white crystal snow to mimic the falling snow. The crystals turned out to be multi-colored glitter, but I still like it, and so did others. I think I’ll probably look for the white crystal glitter too. Either way, I like how they turned out.
Another idea I’ve had for a while, these are made with purchased wooden circles about 3/16″ thick. I used fabric transfers for light colored fabric to transfer the image onto the wood, and because the transfers are washable on fabric once they are heat pressed, so the coasters can be washed as well, and the designs are quite durable and bright.
And some things from last year
Trees of the Trail Coasters
Trays Inspired by Trail Scenes and Wildflowers
Found Along the Panhandle Trail Keepsake Cubes
The following three photos were features again in this year’s exhibit, all taken on the morning of March 10, 2017. To visit the page to purchase a photo, click the image.
When I reached the trail that day the sun was just beginning to break through small holes in the the clouds that cast beams of sunlight like spotlights. I knew I wanted a photo of an icy, snowy tree completely alight against the deep gray clouds of the storm as they left the area. The photo above was from the very beginning, as soon as I arrived at the trail and I saw the sun moving over the trees, changing every moment. I just began photographing, zooming in and out, capturing different lighting. Everyone who saw the photo recognized the bridge as the very first one on the trail and knew exactly where I’d taken the photo.
Though “Dramatic Light” was my first love from that magical morning, there was another photo I wanted to capture just as much. As I drove to the trail I looked at all the tree-covered hills that looked as if they were frosted with powdered sugar. I did photograph a few of the hills, but I knew that the steep hills surrounding the valley where the trail and Robinson Run were would be even more dramatic, and when I arrived, as soon as I’d photographed “Dramatic Light”, I turned to the hill on the left and it did not disappoint. The sun moved like a spotlight over the hill and I did capture several where one treetop of many was highlighted. But it was when a quick flash of hazy sun through thinning clouds touched the hillside that I saw what I’d envisioned: treetops frosted with white to fill the frame. As I organized my exhibit “Frosted” quickly captured me and I decided to use that photo as my feature at the front of my tent.
The Ice Palace
This photo, with the trees leaning in and the brightness above, made it feel as if I was in a secret, protected place, albeit cold, like the Winter Palace in the movie Dr. Zhivago.
These photos were ones that worked well as freestanding photos, but I captured dozens of photos that morning, and found 39 of them most interesting. You can see them all in the gallery Dramatic Light.
Photos included in the exhibit
Clicking on any image in the gallery will bring up a full-size image, and you can also see the images in a slideshow. I know that some are missing from here because I decided at the last minute to include them.
Only a few of the images below are available on this site. Now that I know which ones are more popular at exhibits I will add them.
Paths I Have Walked
22” x 28”, pastel, $650
Running Through the Woods
16” x22”, pastel, $500
Other paintings and prints of paintings included in the exhibit
I’ll be previewing new works over the next few weeks. Clicking on any image in the gallery will bring up a full-size image, and you can also see the images in a slideshow (photos are below).
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What’s the quarry? The Panhandle rail line, which was removed to built the trail in the old rail bed, runs right through a century-old limestone quarry, a portion of which is still actively quarried. The quarry ponds are there and that and the woods around make a natural gathering place.
I use this trail all the time, and part of my giveback is to maintain their website and the little bit of social networking that we do, along with photographing things. I use to volunteer during the event, usually in the kitchen dishing out easy food, but this is much more fun.
For more information on the trail please visit www.panhandletrail.org.
Other pages for Sun Shadow Ice and Snow exhibits:
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