Guitar Retreat

Wonderful weekend of art

This weekend, I’m enjoying myself at a guitar retreat, where we focus on songwriting, performing, playing and general creativity. It is a great time, as I don’t often get the time to focus on guitar for this long a period of time. As you can imagine, I’m learning a lot and having a great time.

Another wonderful aspect of this retreat is its location, at Essex Woods Retreat & Meeting Center in Essex, MA. The center is set in the woods and we’re surrounded by Nature’s beauty and art, as the center used to be an artists’ center.

What you see here are a couple of the art works, from among the many great ones that are on the property.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Woods

Sense of adventure

Welcome to Week 67 of the Tuesday Photo Challenge.

While I didn’t take a count of last week’s entries, I do suspect last week’s theme of Yellow may have produced the highest number of entries to date; and they were fantastic!!

This week, I’m sticking with Nature for inspiration with the theme of Woods.  Of course, these woods are not always the friendly, welcoming place that we might like, as we have seen in fairy tales…  Then again, they can provide respite from a long trek in the mossy bed that sprawls among the trunks of whispering trees.  The choice is yours, but I would challenge you to not just photograph the woods; set the mood with your image of what you would like these woods to give us…

As you walk into your favorite woods, open up your mind’s eye and breathe in the atmosphere that resides among the trees; let what it tells you be your guide in creating an image that tells the story of these woods.

And now for a bit of mood setting…

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Something in the Woods

The idea of Pan has always been a bit sinister to me, as you know that he can be the trickster of your demise.  Finding Pan in these woods, cross-lit to great contrast, was somewhat unsettling, but also irresistible.  What deal will you make with him for safe passage?

The full rules of this challenge are in TPC Guidelines, but here’s the tl;dr:

  • Write a post with an image for this week’s topic
  • Please tag your post with fpj-photo-challenge (if you’re not sure about how tags work, please check out this WordPress article about tagging posts)
  • Create a pingback link to this post, so that I can create a post showing all of the submissions over the week (note: pingbacks may not appear immediately, as my site is set up to require approval for linking to it; helps against previous bad experiences with spamming)
  • Have fun creating something new (or sharing something old)!!

My curiosity is already kindled by what lays ahead in this week’s creative minds!

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round Up 39

A blazing set of entries!

While the chill may be continuing off an on in New England, I was not surprised that this past week’s Tuesday Photo Challenge Theme of Fire lit up the responses!!  Our weather may be all over the place, but the level of creativity in your entries into this challenge has been steady and very high!  Thanks to all for participating and making this so much fun for me.

I strongly encourage all of you to check out each of the posts, as you’ll be both entertained and educated, while enjoying the lovely creative thoughts that are in the responses!

Here’s another little bit of fire to warm your hearts…

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Chestnuts Roasting

I captured this rather wintry scene with classic tones (actually, they were roasting marshmallows 🙂 ) during our visit to Tower Hill Botanic Gardens in Boylston, Massachusetts this past December.

The following were this week’s participants in the challenge with links to their posts:

  • Candace was first this week with her post in Netdancer’s Musings and Photography; she brought us a very happy occasion that has to do with making wishes.
  • ladyleemanila was not far behind, as she shared a wonderful variety of images inspired by fire in her post (it even included toes…).
  • Charles’ post in his blog charlesewaugh provided us with a truly gorgeous capture of fire!
  • Mini On Tour is a wonderful blog about the travels and travails of a Mini Mayfair; the TPC post with a wonderful photo of a fireplace left me longing for some port!
  •  Leaking Ink is just an amazing blog with great photography and interesting information; this week’s entry touches on Pongal, a Tamil harvest festival.
  • Progressing Into Solitude‘s entry is all about fire and lost control; the images are wonderful!
  • Miriam’s post in The Showers of Blessing puts us in front of the fireplace ready to enjoy the warmth and comfort of a relaxing evening!
  • Stella second entry in the challenge with a post in her blog Giggles & Tales brings us both great architecture and a beautiful capture of the essence of fire.
  • Susan’s blog Musin’ with Susan has lots of great photography, and her entry into this week’s challenge stands out!
  • Judith’s post in her blog, Nature Knows Best, captures some rather imaginative aspects of fire… you should check it out!
  • Emily’s post in her blog, Zombie Flamingoes, brings back memories of cozy fires from the past in a creative set of images.
  • In her post in The New 3Rs: Retire, Recharge, Reconnect Marie brings us an fantastic view of a great window of a cathedral that is highlighted by one of our favorite fires, the Sun!
  • Miriam’s entry in her excellent blog, Out an’ About, brings us a Fiery Ambience in all manner of images ranging from sunset to steam trains!
  • …and Debbie created another wonderful post in ForgivingConnects about her burning desire; you’ll like it!
  • …also, Khürt’s post in Island in the Net has a stunning image that is very appropriate for the theme!

Thanks to each of you for your participating in this week’s challenge.  I’ve enjoyed each and every one of your posts and appreciate the time you have taken in putting them together.  Now to decide on the next challenge!

Afterthought: looking at the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge of Ambience, I think this image fits rather nicely (as do many of yours!!)

Shiny Objects

Floating in Elm Park

In the town of Worcester, Massachusetts, which is close to where I live, we have for a number of years had an art exhibit aptly titled “Art in the Park” in Elm Park.  The installations for this exhibit are imaginative and truly impressive.

One of the fun aspects of this exhibit is that it’s a great opportunity to do some different photography, as these works of art can be very inspiring.  There have even been competitions for photography that captures these art works well and in unique ways.

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Water Rings

This installation of shiny objects is called Water Rings and created by local artist Lisa Barthelson, whose work is extremely imaginative and can be seen in numerous exhibits within our area.

This post was inspired by the WordPress Daily Post prompt of Shine.

A Truly Bespoke Piece of Art

Bespoke art is unique

I have to admit that when I saw today’s WordPress Daily Post prompt of Bespoke, I had to double-check the meaning and usage of this rather infrequently used word.  After checking and finding out that it refers to something made to order, to particular specifications, an idea came to mind right away!

A couple of years ago, I ordered a truly custom piece of art from Chris Alexander of Creo Design ; Chris is based in Pert, Scotland, and a truly creative guy, as his creations demonstrate.

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Graffiti Anatomy

The Graffiti Anatomy was designed by Chris as a truly limited edition of 10 pieces world-wide, each standing over 12″ tall.  Chris left the choice of paint colors and finish to each customer, making every one of them unique, and truly bespoke!  After receiving this beauty, I knew that I had to photograph it in all its glory, which I think succeeded.

That What Lurks Underground…

What looks upon us?

As the spooky season is coming upon us and hauntings will become the daily occurrences, it is interesting to see a WordPress Daily Prompt of Underground!

When we think of underground, there are a number of directions that our mind may take ranging from the literal of that which is below the surface to the possibly illicit and sinister, as it is hidden from the eye.

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Whence am I?

In looking at this image, I ask you where your thoughts take you: is this statue recently uncovered by archaeologists or is it a more sinister apparition that has risen from the depths of our planet?  Or, for the Whovians, could this be a Weeping Angel?

Technical Details

This image was captured with a Canon EOS 5D MkII and EF 24-105mm f/5L lens.  Exposure settings were at 1/50 second and f/10 at 400 ISO.

Urgent Meeting of the Minds

Brain salad surgery?

When the WordPress Daily Prompt suggests Urgent as a theme, I couldn’t help but want to take somewhat of a less than 100% serious spin on it.  In our daily lives there is way too much urgency already, as people hurry from one place to another without paying attention to the wonderful world, in which they find themselves.

It’s time to smell the flowers, take a deep cleansing breath and say hi to the people in your life!  If you must have a meeting, just make sure that it’s a true meeting of the minds…

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Jumping Brains gather for a meeting

The Jumping Brain is a creation by Spanish artist Emilio Garcia, founder of Secret Lapo Laboratories; each of Emilio’s masterfully crafted releases sells out in record time, as they are much sought after by collectors across the globe.  I consider myself lucky to have a considerable collection of his work, part of which you see in this photo.

Technical Details

This photo was taken with a Canon EOS 5D MkII using studio lighting.