Monday, June 29, 2009

The Canvas Project 2

I was playing around one day and discovered the Art House, a gallery that organizes "projects". They define a project as " a collective of artists participating towards a unified outcome that ultimately turns into an exhibition."

The project that caught my eye was The Canvas Project 2; each participant receives a package of five 3x3 inch canvases along with a list of 5 randomly selected, community generated words - one word for each canvas. The mission is to visually create a definition for each word on its respected canvas using any media.

The canvases are exhibited at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport's Atrium Gallery in Atlanta, GA and at least one of each participants images will be included in book documenting the project.

Well, I'm definitely a painter "want to be" and it was emphasized that the project was not just for professional artists....

So my five words and canvases arrived. Some of the words were easy to interpret...and some not so much.
Here's my five images:






What do you think my words were?

(#5 is actually a phrase and my image is somewhat embarrassing!)

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another Generation

A large diving duck with a long thin bill, the Common Merganser is found along large lakes and rivers across the northern hemisphere.

Mergansers are sometimes referred to sawbills because of their long, serrated bills. These narrow bills, hooked at the tip and set with numerous horny denticulations, are adapted for catching fish, a merganser’s primary source of food. Mergansers primarily feed on small or medium-sized fishes which they capture underwater by swift pursuit. These divers also supplement their diet with frogs and aquatic insects.

They build their nests of leaves, grasses and moss lined with their own down in tree hollows, cliffs, both available in abundance on Mackinac. Six to sixteen ivory-white eggs are laid, which hatch after about one month of incubation. The ducklings are led to water and closely supervised by mama duck. Favored resting spots are rocks exposed above the water of the lake, where the ducklings are save from from turtles.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Empress of Summer

I've previously noted that Trillium can be considered "Queen of the Spring", but come summer , the "Empress" appears - Yellow Lady's Slipper.
We must have ideal growing conditions this year, I don't recall ever seeing such an abundance before, with large clumps and many double blossoms.
They're form is so interesting, almost shyly emerging and then flaunting a huge cupped lip and flirty, curling petals.

Their season is fleeting, but they provide spots of sunshine on the forest floor and are the first of the yellow flowers of summer.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Would That be a Double Birdie?

Spotted this pair on Grand's golf course on my way home this evening:

Actually, they're fakes, someone was having a bit of fun and removed them from their pond - but they certainly were catching lots of second looks!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

My Rabbit Frustrations are Multiplying!

Cute isn't he? But at the moment he's my arch nemesis, as he joins his family in devouring my garden. So far , they've clipped the blooms off my tulips - and didn't even eat them, just left them on the ground - and I've lost a flat of flowering kale. I'm not holding out much hope for all the various greens I had hoped to enjoy myself this summer.
But even after all that, I do think they're cute. so I thought I'd share some rabbit items from some Etsy artists - enjoy!

This is an original oil by RozArt.

A porcelain pendant by poodlebreath.

nimbusnovem, hand engraved this image on black marble.

A framed drawing by scratches's.

And finally, the view I like to see in my yard, a bounding bunny by spindriftstudio.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Red Day

"And Then I Saw Red..." was this week's Thursday Sweet Treat challenge, so I spent a day shooting all the red in my life...and it was a blast!
I submitted two photos of Mackinac Island icons to the challenge, but I ended up with a number of additional photos that I was pleased with, so here they are, for your viewing pleasure:

A Front Porch Favorite

Horse Lead

Around and A Round

A Geometry in Red

Drum Line

Long May She Wave

Setting Sail

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Lovely Invader

I recently encountered a plant that took a bit of research to identify: Henbane or Hyoscyamus niger (LINN.)

It's considered to be an invasive species found throughout Central and Southern Europe and in Western Asia, extending to India and Siberia. As a weed of cultivation it now grows also in North America and Brazil. It had become naturalized in North America prior to 1672, as we find it mentioned in a work published in that year among the plants 'sprung up since the English planted and kept cattle in New England.'

The medicinal uses of Henbane date from remote ages; it was well known to the Ancients, being particularly commended by Dioscorides (first century A.D.), who used it to procure sleep and allay pains, and Celsus (same period) and others made use of it for the same purpose, internally and externally, though Pliny declared it to be 'of the nature of wine and therefore offensive to the understanding.'

All parts of the plant contain scopolamine, atropine, and hyoscyamine and can be deadly poisonous.

It is supposed that this is the noxious herb referred to by Shakespeare in Hamlet:
'Sleeping within mine orchard,
My custom always of the afternoon
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
And in the porches of mine ear did pour
The leprous distillment.'

For a plant considered to invasive and noxious, it's quite attractive. The flowers are yellowish-green, bell shaped and covered with a delicate webbing in purple - attractive on the surface, but hiding a possibly dangerous secret nature.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Parade Day

It seems that nearly every small town has it's signature festival, on Mackinac it's the Lilac Festival.

Mackinac lilacs are special; our very favorable growing conditions allow very, old, large, fragrant bushes, trees really! Lilac Festival has evolved into a ten day long celebration, culminating in a parade on the final day. Being Mackinac, of course no cars are allowed, but we manage quite nicely without them.

The parade traditionally begins with "Duck"Andress (a descendant of Chief Mackinac) in the lead, carrying the flag:

We have a variety of bands:

Including this bunch of clowns - the Scottsville Clown Band, whose signature piece includes a bump and grind.

Lots of horses, of course:

or bartenders pretending to be horses!

Beauty queens are always a part of the parade, here's the Northern Michigan Beach Queens:
And the King!

It was great fun, as always and another parade to look forward to next year.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Let's Eat

At the peak of the season, we have upwards of 300 teams of draft horses working on the Island and they work hard, hauling people, freight and even their own feed and manure. Just like us, they have a work schedule - so much time in harness, time in the barn and according to schedule a full 24 hours in the open paddock.

During their day off, they act a lot like us, relaxing, playing and EATING!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A Walk on the Wild Side

The woods are just overwhelming beautiful right now, the cool and rainy weather has extended our spring wildflower season and the mosses and ferns are just lush. Everywhere the eye can see is a new life. On my last walk I spotted four different types of violets, forget-me-not's, trillium, smooth solomon's seal, Jack -in-the-pulpit, foamflower, blue bead lilyand white baneberry, as well as many different types of fern.

Enjoy some details from my "walk on the wild side".

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Don't Call Him a Worm - Le Luxe Caterpillar

This little guy was my submission for this week's challenge at the Thursday Sweet Treat, "Then Suddenly It Came To Life..."

We were challenged to interpret our favorite children's book. I choose The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. I have fond memories of reading it with my son nearly every night for years, even after he was somewhat too old for it - we just couldn't give it up!

The caterpillar is formed on a base of tubular netting with extravagant embellishment and even tiny fringed feet.
It seemed appropriate to have him pose on the front porch of our library; luckily, the beautiful planters had just been put in place, giving him some tropical plants to crawl upon.