Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Art and Photo Gallary

I know it has been ages since I posted anything on this blog. You should know that I've moved my art and photo gallary to my own domain. Webshots went away, so I moved most of my stuff to the new gallery.

Dianne's new art and photo gallery.

I have almost 800 images in the gallery at this time. I'm hoping to add more over the next few months as I go through all my images and as I create new art. When you get to my gallery, you will find two folders: Art and Photos.

PHOTOS: Contains photos in several categories
ART: Contains my art projects in categories
Please visit my gallery and comment by clicking the comment area beneath any image. I hope you enjoy the gallery site.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Handmade Book of Cards

A friend of mine, Maria, gives me handmade cards every week! Yes, every week. She blames me for her addiction to making cards as I introduced her to the craft. I wanted to celebrate her artistic flair and wanted an excuse to make a handmade book. So I combined the two in this book. Her favorite color is pink, so of course I used some of my prettiest pink scrapbooking papers to cover the book covers and spine. I used pink ribbons to tie the book together when it is closed.

The spine and end papers (inside the book) match.
For inspiration, I looked to one of my favorite books, Expressive Handmade Books, by Alisa Golden. The cover is called a split-board binding (see pages 128 and 129). I used the accordian structure she describes. I added flags to the accordian structure so that I could attach the pretty cards to the book without changing the cards in any way. See Alisa's Single-Flag Book topic (pages 57 through 59) for tips on how to incorporate the flags.

I wanted to be able to open the cards so I could read the sentiments inside and the cards were not the same size. I attached the cards, back-to-back, two cards to a flag. I matched the card size as best as I could and adhered the backs of the cards together. This gave the cards strength for flipping. I will treasure this little book for its contents and for its cute look.
Think about the possibilities for some treasured event like a birthday or wedding. You could collect the cards in one place for sharing.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Alligator Juniper Trees

I like to explore the wilderness and I particularly love the shape and form of trees, rocks, and boulders. Today I would like to share with you one of my favorite trees, the alligator juniper. I hope you enjoy these alligator juniper photos and that they help you to appreciate their character as much as I do.

These trees are fairly common here in Prescott. They take an incredibly long time to grow because they live in such an arid landscape. When I walk in their shade, down nearby hiking trails, I take note that some are hundreds of years old.

This is a nice specimen with a full canopy. I took this photo on Prescott trail 62, near The Ranch at Prescott. This tree could be a couple of hundred years old. Not many of the trees that I've seen are this symmetrical or this full.
I'm not sure why some of the alligator juniper branches die and break off, but this seems to be pretty common also - at least around here. I took this photo on Prescott trail 301 (near the Lynx Creek Pueblo ruins). It was sheltering a nearby, hollowed out alligator juniper tree tunk (below).

I just had to stop and take several photos of this hollowed out, dead, alligator juniper tree tunk. It reminds me of a crazy, pointed crown. The colors are lovely, and the branch near it is covered with green moss.
Alligator junipers have a very distinctive bark with a scaley appearance (thus the name). The scale colors range from gray to brown.

As the trees form branches, the scales grow around them. When the branches die and fall, they leave a distinct "hole" around what is left of the dead branch.

While the trunks have a scaley pattern, the branches have the look of shaved chocolate - brown and peeling away (yum).

On Prescott trail 62 in January, I came upon an alligator juniper that had dropped most of its berries. This is a close up of just a few of the thousands of berries that blended with the carpet of juniper needles.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Trip to Grand Falls AZ

Robert and I went on a trip to Grand Falls, Arizona, which is on the Navajo Indian Reservation. We first heard about the falls on a local show called Arizona Highways (yes, like the magazine). They mentioned that the falls were seasonal and typically ran only after a large snow melt (in the spring) or after hard rains during the Arizona monsoon season (in late summer).

I figured we would never see them run, as I usually have bad timing about such things. However, a friend of Robert's took him to see the Grand Falls the week before our trip. The snow was just beginning to melt into the Little Colorado Springs river and the falls were running pretty nicely. So Robert and I planned a trip so we could see it together.

The snows had begun to melt in earnest, so when we got there, the water was higher and the speed of the water over the falls was stronger. When we first got there, we stopped at the river's edge before proceeding to the falls themselves. I zoomed in so that I could get a good photo of the snow capped San Francisco Peaks in the backgound.

Notice the rapidly moving water in the foreground. The color of the muddy water is a chocolate brown. This gave the falls the nick name of the Chocolate Falls.

I was told that the falls were created when a lava flow redirected the water. The whole area was volcanic at one point in time. Notice the black, lava dirt and rock formations on the left and the natural terrain on the right.

Here is another shot from a different direction. I think this shot from the top edge gives you a pretty good perspective of the falls and gives you a close up of some of the lava rock.

When Robert went with his friends, they did not have a chance to walk down to the bottom of the falls. And, of course, I just had to go. It is like getting up close and personal with the falls. In some places the mist was so heavy it felt like rain (muddy rain). We ended up with a lot of mud on our shoes.

Robert and I are hoping to get to take more day trips in the future. We live so close to so many wonderful places and just can't wait to head out on our next trip.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Creativity Through Drawing

I struggle with the whole left-brain, right-brain thing. As a child I was fairly creative – always concocting stories and finding creative ways to make mundane chores seem like fun. But over the years, I learned how to be more practical, and took up a technical profession – software developer. Now, I’m an instructional designer (a person who develops on-line training for companies). I tend to spend a good portion of my days on a computer (for work and play). But I often ask myself, "Am I a creative person? Can I really function from the creative side of my brain?"

I fantasize about creating real art. I even took a beginning drawing course entitled So You Thought You Couldn't Draw” by Sandra Angelo. Using Sandra’s workbooks and her direction, I learned how to draw using photographs as my source and inspiration in just six weeks. My first real success was an eye. My next big accomplishment was a baby face from a magazine:

At the end of the course I drew a picture from a photograph of my mom and dad’s wedding photo. It turned out pretty nice – for someone who was just learning to draw.

It took over 40 hours to create this drawing. As I added shadowing and experienced each feature of my parent's faces, I found myself recognizing the quirks and subtle facial distinctions that I share with each of them. Creating this drawing was a very personal and intimate experience. It was like being able to stroke their faces for 40 hours. If you ever want to remember someone in your life, then drawing them is the best way to make that experience happen. It's interesting what memories came to mind as I applied the thousands of pencil strokes it took to make their resemblances.

As I move through this creative journey of paper and books, drawings and photographs, I’m learning how I see the world and how the world touches me. My left-brain and right-brain are starting to communicate more and I am beginning to struggle less and accept myself and the world more.