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

Joy In the Morning

Took this yesterday. Decided to post it without any special effects.

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon--All Rights Reserved

Monday, November 10, 2008

Please Forgive Any Typos

Some days are better than others. I make a mistakes occasionally. Any errors will be corrected ASAP.

A Bonanza--Morning Light

Am getting a late start writing this morning since I froze my butt off waiting to catch the sun on the mountains.

Saw these two images while waiting for sunshine.

Then, the sun arrived:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dancing Willow

Yesterday when I came home from town, this young willow was stretching and bending gently to the right. The branches were leaning in unison--an autum ballet.

After seeing the willow, I hurried inside to write:

Soft breeze
Young willow

Today, late afternnoon...I ran, camera in hand, to catch the willow in yellow. Soon the costume will be gone.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Soft breeze
Young willow

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Where Are My Crayons?

Looking at yesterday's creation, FROST FRAKTUR, I want to grab my crayons, pens, ink and watercolors. Such fun it could be tinting it with a variety of hues and techniques. The older I get the more I revert to childhood pleasures. I long for a coloring book filled with detailed images. Perhaps I will make one. We have an old encyclopedia filled with etchings and drawings done in the early 1900s and I find these treasures tempting. They are calling out to me to do something with them. A coloring book in the making?

Sometimes I get the urge to draw and paint again too. Well? Hmmmm... Winter is just around the corner. Hooray, time to play.

Oh, just noticed something...Do any of you see the eye (person) looking out from behind the frost? That's a pleasant surprise. Actually, there are several eyes (and other things) hiding in there.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Have been playing with abstract image of Yesterday Updated. Bob says it looks like frost on a window.

By Elisabeth Bacon 2008
All Rights Reserved

Fraktur (Pennsylvania German folk art), a kind of Pennsylvania German folk art (definition from Wikipedia)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yesterday Updated

Image by Elisabeth Bacon 2008 (In Process)
All Rights Reserved

This image may be the beginning of something. There are many shapes and forms waiting to pop out. I may continue working on this one.


Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008
All Rights Reserved

This image goes against Camera Club rules because it is not perfect. However it does fit into the world of wabi-sabi. Yesterday is gone. Today is now...alive and vibrant.
P.S. I have fun playing with Polaroid (card) effects.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Autumn Afternoon

Autumn's dusk of
Crimson, gold and blue
A memory.

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008
All Rights Reserved

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Creating Old Pages

Began playing with an old look. For me, writing is similar to drawing--the sweep of the pen and the curl of the letters. Do they teach penmanship in schools today? Years ago they did and the results often were phenomenal (especially during the 1800s).
Image by Elisabeth Bacon 2008
All Rights Reserved

Setting Up Blog

Have been helping Bob (Eaglesbrother) set up a blog where he can share his gourd art and other thoughts. As soon as he sends me his blog addy, I will post so y'all can take a peek.

Here you go:

Eaglesbrother's Gourds and Art

Saturday, November 1, 2008


"The only competition worthy of a wise man is with himself."
~ Anna Jameson (1797-1860)
Entering contests is one of my favorite things to do. Challenge (whether personal or public) pushes me outside the box and offers the opportunity to take risks, to stretch and run the distance. When entering any competition, remember the other entrants are not your concern. What matters is that you do the best you can with the skills you have. Simply do your best. So, if an opportunity presents itself, Go For It. Take the chance. Enjoy the rush of adrenaline and... Be proud of yourself. You did it. You jumped in. You asked to be judged and accepted the outcome. (Also, if you do not the winning entry. What can you learn from from the winner? What can you do to be better at what you do?)

Through competitions (with self and others) we strive, learn and grow. When things are easy, we coast. The toughest and most powerfully remembered lessons are learned through experience and adversity. Adversity and challenge teach us discernment.

Today: Challenge yourself. Create something new. Then...stand back detached (be an observer) and view the results. Be honest with yourself. See what you could do better and also look for what you like. Give yourself a critique seasoned with praise. Both are necessary for balance.