Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Dissatisfied with last night's angel, I took another shot and am reworking.

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008--All Rights Reserved

Lesson: Redo/edit any work with which you are not satisfied.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Returning to A Renaissance Style

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008 -- All Rights Reserved

The holidays are almost over and it is time to get back to shooting. Being away from the camera for more than one day, is not good. Tomorrow I will work with cabbages again.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Looking Ahead and Looking Back--Now

The New Year approaches and I look forward to looking back in time for inspiration. Renaissance and Medieval paintings teach composition and lighting. Light in art and photography is everything. Without light there would be nothing. To become a better photographer pay attention to light illuminating objects and scenes...warm light and cool...hard and soft...light and dark.
Suggestion: Keep a record of what you see. How are you moved? What are you feeling? Can you paint, write or take a photograph expressing these feelings and emotions? If so, do it!
Creativity comes in many shapes and disguises. A couple of nights ago, we had a spectacular dinner, at a friend's home. The dinner was a combination of taste sensations and savory flavors--creativity in action. The woman preparing this meal created a royal feast. Pumpkin soup, turkey, stuffing, gravy, exquisitely seasoned mashed potatoes, a three-layer jello cranberry salad, rolls, blackened brussel sprouts and a baked sweet potato casserole. Everything was made from scratch using natural ingredients. Never have I tasted food this good. She gave her all and the results were breathtakingly delicious. I am honored to have met this master of culinary arts. Kudos to you, Margaret.
The Lesson: We must follow our hearts and go where they lead us. Fearfully stifling who we are (and what we think and feel) is lying to ourselves and others. If we do not dig deep into our psyches, the work is less than our best. It ends up being superficial, or even worse...boring. Authentic creativity is true and honest. Creativity needs freedom to express itself and we, as artists, need courage to share these truths.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Meditation Bell

Living alone during holidays can be stressful. One way to cheer up is to find something that brings you joy. Years ago I began this practice and continue it today. What you choose does not have to be expensive. It can be a pine cone, a pebble or some fresh flowers. The important thing is that it lightens your mood.

My "special find" arrived yesterday from the Smithsonian.

Meditation is an important component in my creative process, as it helps me maintain emotional balance. Often I listen to sessions from a Buddhist retreat. The facilitator suggests sitting in a quiet, relaxing place and listening intently to the sound of a gong, or bell. Focus. Stay with the sound as the resonance trails off. The result is peace in the moment. The past is gone, the future is a mystery...all we have is the now...the Present--a time of giving and receiving.

Today, refreshed, I open the holiday box of ornaments and family treasures. A snow globe, the small Christmas tree, Mr. and Mrs. Claus purchased during my parent's first year of marriage (when they had no money), a musical wooden horse barn and my antique decoy ducks (wearing red velvet bows) perk up the decor.

Soon Bob and I will bake cookies. Several tins and a large glass apothecary jar are washed and waiting for sugary treats.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Another Foggy Morning

This morning in a Photography chatroom, I was asked to do a high contrast photo of morning fog. (Please take note: my evasive hawk buddy is sitting in tree).
You all would have loved to see me shooting this morning. My old desk chair, was on the porch waiting to go next door since I am not using it in the office. So...this morning I rolled it down the driveway, plunked myself down in it and began comfortable shooting.

Photographs by Elisabeth Bacon 2008--All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Experimenting with Soft Focus Portrait

This image represents, for me, today's grandfathers and reminds me of Norman Rockwell's style of painting, as well as that of some WPA artists. However, I realize this image is not in that league.
Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008--All Rights Reserved

Foggy Morning

What a beautiful day! My kind of morning...fog drifts across the mountains and through the orchard.

Photographs by Elisabeth Bacon 2008--All Rights Reserved

Monday, December 15, 2008

Merry Christmas--Is Anybody Out There?

The holiday season must be keeping folks very busy. Visitor comments have dropped off and I miss hearing from y'all. Yooooo hooooo...come on in...put your feet up...have some coffee. And, if you can...before you leave...let me know what you think. Thanks!

This morning I finished addressing Christmas cards and will take them to the Post Office today. Oh, oh...I changed my mind again. I like the FROST FRAKTUR image better than the ornament. Folks receiving the real-life Fraktur card will be able to frame it. Here is my online adaptation:

Card by Elisabeth Bacon 2008--All Rights Reserved

And... I must say:

I wish you the happiest holiday ever and the very best in 2009. May all your dreams come true.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Portrait

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Little Bits of Light

The string of lights arrived and now our front door wreath glows. More lights are on order. Lights lift my spirit.


Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008
All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Woman Can Change Her Mind

Woke up this morning with a head cold. Darn. Well, life goes on... so... I started experimenting with card possibilities. I like the first image best (red and green didn't cut it)...So...Here is the result:


Card and Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008--All Rights Reserved

This, too, may change.

This shot is a perfect example of shooting when sick. Don't do it folks...the image will always be less than your best. Perhaps I will retake this card image and replace, as soon as I am up to shooting again.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Card Beginnings

Today the process of Christmas Card creation began. I am late this year. Printed out the foundation image and did some test cards. Soon this image will be bedecked with gold ribbon, framed and adorned with glitter. Tomorrow the ornament will be pasted on card stock and the finishing touches added.

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008--All Rights Reserved

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Today's Photo

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon--All Rights Reserved

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Have wanted to take this shot for some time. Finally got around to it. Am fascinated with clean, stark images processed in black and white, or sepia.

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008

Reality Is. During this holiday season, I get to reminisce about past Christmases, snow, candles, church services, choirs, solos, O Holy Night, parents, grandparents, children, shopping, baking and Christmas trees. My Reality expands to include What Was in What Is.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Crayons Galore

Crayons, crayons and more crayons--120 of them. Wow! The joy...the excitement...childhood memories flood in...the smell, the colors--a plethora of glorious rainbows in wax. I am filled with anticipation. Ta-da...time to begin:

And more Ta-da:

Elisabeth Bacon 2008

All Rights Reserved

At times, it is fun being BOLD.

For Today: Play!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Speaking Out

Written in remembrance of walking away.

Why do some folks stay in abusive relationships? Some are afraid to leave, some don't want to admit to making a mistake and some actually derive a hidden pleasure from being the underdog. The victim often gets approval and pity from friends and family. They become important through negative instead of positive attention. Some actually believe they don't deserve better.

However, a bully can only continue being a bully if his, or her, behavior is accepted and endured. The only way to fight back is to decide not to put up with this negativity. Mental and emotional abuse is as detrimental as physical mistreatment and can have long-lasting effects. Get smart. Walk away. Get away and stay away.

It has been said, "If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem." So, if you aren't happy, then only you can choose to change. Develop a legitimate plan, then follow through. Only you are responsible for you. This is true in all areas of a person's life. No one is responsible for you, but you. If you don't take care of yourself, who will?

The lesson learned from close proximity to abuse is one learns the telltale signs. When confronted in the future, a red flag goes up in your head. Pay attention to that red flag. It means, DANGER. Listen. Run. You don't need it. You don't want it. No promise is worth selling your soul.

One way to combat negativity is: Say "Stop It" to yourself, or out loud if necessary, when dealing with negative thoughts and behavior. Instead, surround yourself with people of like mind. We have a choice. We are in charge. We are alive. We are here and we have a right to be here. We are worthy of success, health and happiness.

One more thing...The myth that an artist must be unhappy to be creative is not true. One can be creative and happy. In fact, the most creative people I know are happy and have the freedom to create anytime anywhere.

My wish and prayer for the New Year is that the abused will realize their worth, stand tall, and walk into a world of creative good.

Remember: Be Good, Do Good and then Strive to be Better.
Believe in Yourself. Be Creative. Be Grateful. Love life. Life is good.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Challenge 1: Typing with a cut finger poses a huge challenge. Who would have thought creating a bound journal could be hazardous.

Challenge 2: Working with images in Photoshop is more fun than working directly in a bound journal. Am considering doing pages in PS and pasting them in journal.

Journal Page 1 with Type:


Photograph, Layout and Design Created by Elisabeth Bacon 2008
IlShakeFest Font ©1995 Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Note to Self: Permission Requests Required

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Art Journal Continues

Image and Artwork © Elisabeth Bacon 2008

Page One (before words).

Section of Page Two

© Elisabeth Bacon 2008

Page Two Detail of Section in Process

Friday, November 28, 2008

Art Journal

Yesterday I played with my Art Journals. No sloppy, share who you are, for me. However, I did come up with an idea and am exploring possibilities.

Here is a detail photograph of a background section:


This is original art work done with Renaissance tapestries in mind. Now that I am painting again, it is hard to stop.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Roasting turkey smells permeate the air while our pumpkin pie cools. I can hardly wait. Am hungry already.

Hope you all have a fabulous day.

Today: Remember to make a list of blessings.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Light Studies

Am studying light again (still...always). As the sun set last night, these images popped out inside the cabin...light and shadow on an old cupboard door and an antique corner chair.

Today: Food, food, shopping, cooking and giving thanks.

Time to get some journal supplies for offline play. Consider giving handcrafted items to family and friends. Make handcrafted journals/books? Dust off sewing machine?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When Will You Be A/An __________?

When will you call yourself an artist, writer, photographer, performer, musician, whatever? When will you claim your title? And...what does it take for you to call yourself an artist, or photographer or ????? When will you be that? How about now? You must believe in yourself. You become what you believe you are.


Study and learn all you can about your craft. Listen to what the critics say...they may have a point and you can learn from their criticism. Listen to what folks who like your work can learn from them too. (One of my favorite things to do at an exhibit is to eavesdrop on folks viewing my work.) After having said that: follow your heart, your Muse and your path. Never do anything artistic to please someone else. Always work to please yourself. Then, you will be on the right track even if your path is different from what has been done before.

Do what you want to be doing. Do it regularly.

Join a group, or groups. Be with people of like mind, i.e. art organizations, camera clubs, etc.

Enter exhibitions and competitions. Sell your creations.

Be are doing what you want to be doing. How many people can say that?

* * * * * * * *

I never felt like an artist until I entered a competition in Albany, New York, back in the 1970s, and walked away with third prize. It wasn't first prize, true, but it was something. After painting and painting and painting, recognition. This happened thirty years ago and I remember that epiphany moment like it happened yesterday. I got the news and the next morning woke up saying..."Holy cow, I AM an artist!"

Most important: You must believe in yourself and your talent.

The greatest downfall I hear is what folks say about themselves. They do excellent work, but don't believe in themselves and their creations. Their words and actions show their disbelief. If your work is good, then accept that fact and price it accordingly. What does it say to the world if your work is selling framed for $5.? How much do you value your work? Be realistic and don't EVER put yourself down. (If you say bad things about yourself, or your work, people will believe you.) Your ideas, your time, your energy and the years of study invested in creating anything significant is worth more than five dollars, isn't it?

Something to think about:

When someone gets something for nothing, they don't appreciate it. So let folks pay for your creations. Don't give your work away.

Today's Reminder: Be Good, Do Good, then Strive to Be Better!

Remember: BE THANKFUL FOR EVERYTHING! Being grateful increases awareness.
Winter is approaching...Are you interested in creating a photography journal? Learning how to take better pictures? Having some creative fun, fun, fun? If so, email me. I am thinking about starting an online workshop...So...let me know. My email address is on my profile.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

I have received the Arte y Pico Award. Thank you Judith Heartsong. Judith is a grand supporter of the arts and a talented, gracious artist. If you haven't visited her journal, please do. There you will find valuable information and inspiration.

The Arte y Pico Award was created originally "to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their creative energy and their talents, be it writing or artwork in all medias" and is given to bloggers who merit recognition for their creative efforts. The Arte y Pico Award originated here.

This is the first time I have received this type of award. It is my understanding that a recipient may pass it along to five bloggers deserving of recognition. I also understand that passing the award forward (to other creative bloggers) is not mandatory. So...rather than presenting this award hastily, I have decided to wait and give this presenting matter serious thought and consideration before choosing recipients. I wonder...Can this award be presented to one person at a time? :-) there a time limit on choosing recipients?

Again, thank you very much, Judith, for this award. I am honored.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Today's Shoot

We went to an estate sale last Thursday and I found an old school bell similar to one I had years ago. Arriving home, I left the bell on the dining room table. This afternoon I decided to quickly snap this image. Tomorrow I may reshoot and add a candle. Do any of you remember the movie, "Bell, Book and Candle?"

What Do You Want to Know?

Today I am curious: What questions do you have about photography, art, writing and creativity? Asking questions launches the quest for answers. What do you want to know?

Write out your questions. Make a list. Then, look for answers.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sunset (Unaltered Photographs)

Every time I wonder about what to post next, Mother Nature comes through. The colors seen from the living room windows can be phenomenal.

Photographs by Elisabeth Bacon 2008
All Rights Reserved
Last image is being posted for its color and not for clarity or crispness.

Two More Journal Pages

Images and Pages by Elisabeth Bacon 2008
All Rights Reserved

Supplies are important. Back when I was studying with Jack Flynn (a watercolorist), he stressed the importance of supplies. If your paper and/or paints are inferior the results will most likely poor as well. That advice stayed with me.

As a photographer, "good glass" is primary. A good lens will last a lifetime if treated well.

The pen I bought back in the 70s still feels good in my hand. The Hasselblad I saved for and finally got during the 1990s changed my life. Having good equipment makes a person work harder to live up to the equipment's standards.

Of course, when starting out, I was thrilled to be taking pictures. However, as you progress keep in mind...garbage in, garbage out and think twice about what supplies and equipment you want to invest in to enhance your talent.

Getting the best you can afford is worth the wait.

P.S. Also, remember...a good photograph is the result of the person holding the camera.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Old Penmanship Boards

Playing with "Sloppy" Journal Pages

While creating a sloppy art journal page, I discovered several things...the main thing being: I don't like doing them. I have trouble being "sloppy" with my art and my work. So, it is back to Photoshop for me. In Photoshop, I can clean up my handcrafted journal pages and make them better. Too many years have been invested in learning how to do things well. I will continue to draw in my journals and write down ideas as they surface for use later. However, doing a sloppy ART JOURNAL is not going to happen any time soon. Excellence and quality are primary around here..."sloppy" is out.

Page and Images
© Elisabeth Bacon 2008
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Living Room Sunset and Other Observations

I redid last night's experiment to show sunset and reflected light as seen through living room windows.

Photographs by Elisabeth Bacon 2008
All Rights Reserved

* * * *
Last night after viewing several Art Journal demonstrations, I realized what bothers me about this new journal "art." One of the demonstrators said, "You have to be sloppy," and that sums things up pretty well. I do understand the need for folks to play, to experiment with techniques and to release emotions through art. liberating as all this "artistic" venting may be, high-quality work may not be the result. No matter how many times one says, "my work is good" doesn't make it so. Sorry about that fellow journalists. There is nothing wrong with having fun and enjoying the process. I say: Go for it...and while you're at it, how about taking an art course, or two...or even three? Knowing the rules is important...then how one uses that knowledge is limitless. Knowledge truly is the door to freedom.
* * * *
Alternate "Art" Journal Titles: My Journal, Thoughts and Feelings, Rantings, Letting Go, Day by Day, My Emotional Self, All About Me, Playtime, Love, etc.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Snow Stopped--Light Watching Continues

Images by Elisabeth Bacon 2008
All Rights Reserved


Snow flurries! We hardly ever get snow here. When we do, it lasts for a day and that's it. This year may be a different story. I swear the Universe knows how much I want to go back to Pennsylvania for a visit. Oh well, the trip can be made in the Spring.

Lately I have been reading some schizophrenic-like art journal books...just kidding (sort of). Yet...some of the work I am seeing called 'art' has me puzzled. Am I missing something? Today I may throw some similar journal pages together. Letting go for the heck of it can be lots of fun. One idea gleaned from this reading binge is: create more original digital brushes. Am warming up the scanner.

Also, I must bring home my old IBM computer to burn a CD of contest entries. The laptops have decided not to cooperate...don't you love it when these things happen? Often I consider these roadblocks "mystical" and heed their warnings, but not this time. I have wanted to enter this contest for two years and put it off until now...Now is the time...the images are ready to go and go they will.

Today: Research Photoshop brushes and PLAY...HAVE SOME FUN WITH IMAGES and TYPE.
Remember: Be Good, Do Good and then Strive to Be Better!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Giving Thanks

This is my "NOT TO BE INCLUDED IN THE JUDGING" entry in the Blogger's Community Photo Challenge. If you would like to enter, please click on the link above and follow the Guidelines.

If the only prayer you say in your life is "thank you," that would suffice. ~ Meister Eckhart

Where to begin? What to share when grateful for everything? The list is infinite. I feel extremely fortunate. It is good to be alive.
I give thanks to Creator for many blessings:


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our Elusive Hawk

Fog stayed around all day yesterday. It was fun watching the landscape disappear, then reappear. Between three and four o'clock, I decided to take a picture of the fading walnut tree. Here is the result, but this is only half of the story.

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008
All Rights Reserved

Suddenly, the hawk Bob (Eaglesbrother) is in love with, flew up from the brush and landed in the tree. I moved closer. CLICK...
And....................................................................hawk flew away.

Tomorrow is another day.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fascinating Fog

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008

All Rights Reserved

Looking out the living room window this morning, fog enveloped the young willow. Fog fades fast. With photography, it is now or never. Don't take the shot and poof it is gone.

* * * * * * * *

Yesterday was estate sale day. We went to a lovely retirement community similar to the community where Dad lives. Outside apartment doors a variety of artwork was hung on the walls sharing the occupant's preferences. There were posters of doors, photographs of rushing streams, kitty cats and autumn wreaths. Several exhibits included paintings. Traveling those halls was fun and illuminating.

We came home with two oriental throw rugs, a jade necklace and one small, blue and white ginger jar inscribed with symbols for "wedded bliss." Found several packets of nature cards distributed by Coca Cola and Arm and Hammer during the 1920s and 30s which may be useful in scrapbooking, although I will have to research copyright restrictions. Louis Agassiz Fuertes (1874 – 1927), an American ornithologist, was one of the artists. Last night was research night.

The desire to do more collages and still life setups is back. Found my grandfather's slant-top, slate portable desk. Inside there are wooden penmanship and drawing strips. The art of penmanship is diminishing and I find that sad. One of the first things I was told to do as an artist was to practice writing my name--to create a distinctive signature. No block letter distinctive. Now, that sounds easy, but it isn't. Try it sometime...develop a distinctive signature to use on your work.
Suggestion: Play with writing your name or initials in a distinctive way.

* * * * * * * *

Today: Follow up on guidance from the Muse and do a setup or two and perhaps start planning genealogical collages.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Notes on the Mundane and Random Observations

"A bird peeps in the night
Awakened by the window light." ~EB
* * * * * * * *
Rusting Barrel Behind Neighbor's Shop
Photography is meditation...a shift in awareness...wabi-sabi. Listening and looking at what is--Ordinary things...A solitary, withering leaf...A stripe in dirt...the crunch of earth.

Photographs by Elisabeth Bacon 2008--All Rights Reserved


Every now and then an insight happens. When these "ah-ha" moments hit, I am always amazed. These insightful moments pop up in the middle of a down cycle. Any working artist knows what the "down cycle" is...that time when no new ideas are showing up--when the Muse is on vacation.

I get back to my "ah-ha" moment this morning. After reading this post at the Bloggers Community Photo Challenge: Photography Basics 101 Ü (which is excellent, by the way), I began thinking about the other Levels of Photography and how some of these other Levels are seldom shared.

Reasons for this may be:

1. These Levels automatically evolve over time and become intuitive.

2. Professional photographers (ones who do exceptional work) keep some of these Levels secret.

3. When some of these Levels and Principles are explained, folks don't get it.

Things To Do Today:

1. Define Level 2 and Level 3 in an understandable manner.

2. Explain the use of light, movement and mood (Level 2).

3. Share various unusual lead-in lines. (Not all lead-in lines are as obvious as the classic "S" curve.)

4. Research and contemplate: Seeing that goes beyond seeing--an occurrence evolving after years of shooting (Level 3).

Note to Self: Reading about these Levels is not enough. One has to experience them.

Solutions: Shoot, shoot, shoot...edit and refine...become a detached editor. Learn the difference between a good photograph and a bad one using the Basic Rules of Photography.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

One of My Favorite Things

On my To Do List is: Take Photographs of Favorite Things.
Yesterday I took this shot after shooting the early morning sun on the mountains. Favorite things remind me of how grateful I am to be alive. What a joyous journey this is!
Navajo Wedding Basket
Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon--All Rights Reserved