The Change From Autumn To Winter

As we say goodbye to autumn … and with the recent record-breaking lake-effect snows in the north-east and other areas of the U.S. many of us already have  … I thought it might be fun to look back over some images that capture the changing of the seasons from fall to winter.  All were taken in and around Blue Knob State Park located between Pavia and Claysburg, Pennsylvania.

The first is autumn in all her glory.  A scene taken about halfway up Blue Knob Mountain, the brilliant colors which only last a few days seem to give a glow even to the air.

Oh Happy Day © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Oh Happy Day © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Captured on top of Blue Knob Mountain,  the next image shows a crystal coating of ice and light snow which fell while the colorful autumn leaves still remained on the trees.

Change of Seasons © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Change of Seasons © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

And don’t you love that point where some trees are bare and some still hang onto their brilliance?   The fields in the valley are cleared, now, and wait for spring which is still months away.

Falling Into Winter © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Falling Into Winter © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

A break in the snow storms in late December, rare for this area, gives us a peaceful vision of farm life in the valley … the very essence of hushed waiting.

A Profession Of Hope © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
A Profession Of Hope © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

And last but not least is Mother Nature at her most feisty as blizzard-like winds and temperatures and snow pound the mountain.

Red Shed In The Snow
Red Shed In The Snow © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

As always, to get a larger view and with a much-less objectionable watermark, just click.   Each is available for purchase as wall art, greeting cards, and phone cases.  They’re also available as tote bags, mugs, decorator pillows and more at other sites.  If interested (they make great, unique gift items!) please feel free to contact me for more info.

And also as always, I’d be delighted to hear from you.  Make sure you’ve clicked on the title of this page above to ensure you’re on this particular post and fill in the comment box.

 

 

The Beauty of Old-Fashioned Calendars

It seems all my life I’ve enjoyed looking through a new calendar and finding my one or two favorite images out of the twelve.  I’m always anxious to get to those particular months, so the prettiest images can be on display above my desk for four whole weeks.  I know a lot of us are all about the conveniences of our electronic gadgets these days.  Our smart phones, tablets and computers all have calendars right on them, and we even sync them up to each other.  Well, some of us do.  Ok, most of us.  But personally, I still love the idea of being able to look up while I’m sitting at my desk,  and seeing my monthly activities jotted down all nice and neat beneath a beautiful piece of art.

Just in time for the Holidays and the New Year Trillium Gallery has created and is offering for sale their all-new, 2015 calendar.  And guess what … there will be no waiting impatiently for a particular month to roll around to enjoy your favorite image, as each one will be your favorite, created by some of today’s finest living contemporary artists.

Even better, there is a separate calendar for photography images and one for art images!  Check ‘em out:

Trillium Gallery Photography Calendar:

Trillium Gallery Photography Calendar

Trillium Gallery Art Calendar:

Trillium Gallery Art Calendar

Clicking on either of the above will bring you to a page where you can click and see the selections in enlarged format, and where you can also scroll down to the order forms.  The first is for the Photography Calendar, the second is for Art.

And I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t indulge in a little shameless self-promotion … proud to announce that my own “Hilltop Farm” is the Art Calendar’s image for April (without a watermark, of course):

_DSC0376-4535CapNXDCmRwSclImgnVvzTxtrSkwSclProg3VvzBlndWTnmp5BlndWTpzImpClnPnt2ndImpOnLighten2VvzSkwSlightSkyNmeVvzPtchBlndCrlTxt2SMWtrmkSo if you believe the old fashioned ways are still worthwhile, maybe consider one of these spectacularly beautiful calendars as a special treat for yourself … and remember, they make great gifts, too!

 

A Celebration of Autumn

I admit it.  As each season rolls around, I’m one of those people who says THIS one’s my favorite.  Spring, summer, winter, fall.  Each one.  I really can’t imagine living anywhere that doesn’t have four distinct seasons.

But I DO love autumn.

To celebrate, I decided to include a couple of my new images, the first of which was taken at the bottom of Blue Knob Mountain, near Bedford, PA.

“The Necessary” is a story all to itself.  The term “necessary” is actually the word we used in our family for what most people call
“outhouse.”   And though I grew up in a typical suburban community with all the modern conveniences, since my grandparents’ farm didn’t have indoor plumbing or electricity, I became very familiar with the adventure a trip to a little structure like this could become.

The Necessary ... © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
The Necessary … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

The next is a herd of glossy black and white holstein cows tucked away in the shade for an afternoon nap near Everett, PA. The sunny rolling hills form a perfect backdrop on this peaceful, lazy Sunday-afternoon.

© Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art ... Enjoying The Autumn Shade
© Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art … Enjoying The Autumn Shade

Both images are based on my photographs, taken in October of 2014  with the Nikon D7000 and the 18-200mm vr Nikkor lens. They were treated with a bit of editing magic in Camera Raw, Photoshop CS6 and Corel Painter 11.

As always, clicking each image will take you to my website where you’ll have a much better resolution and much easier-on-the-eyes watermark.  And if you’d like to be notified of new blog entries, click the title above (to make sure you’re on this posting), scroll all the way down on this page and fill out the “notify me of new posts” form.

FaceBook’s New Route to Friend “Likes” on Fan Pages

Hey, here’s a quick heads up to anyone looking to invite friends to “like” your FaceBook business / fan page. We used to click up top right on the “building audience” tab … but that seems to be all about ads, now.

Instead … now look up at your header, where it says “Message” … then has three dots (elipses) to the immediate right. Click there and you’ll see your old “invite friends” link.

Screen Shot 2014-10-26 at 3.00.22 PM

Maybe I’m missing the boat, but about the only time I use this feature anymore is when someone requests me to like their page … I check to make sure they’ve liked mine and if they haven’t, I send them a request.

Turn about IS fair play!!

11/2/14 … a quick update … as of yesterday, it looks like FB has gone back to using the “building audience” tab for inviting friends to like our business pages.  And it may be that these tabs work differently from person to person.  A bit confusing!!!

Website Facelift

Autumn Oaks In Dance Mode © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Autumn Oaks In Dance Mode © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Happy to announce that my main website, which is connected to Fine Art America, has just undergone a major face lift.  Though I’ve only spent a little time tweaking it, I couldn’t wait to show it off …

Lois Bryan Fine Art Photography and Photography Based Digital Art

It still displays all my images, old and new,

The Colvin Covered Bridge © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
The Colvin Covered Bridge © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

but in “image” mode utilizes the “flow” concept for viewing that’s become so popular:

Lois Bryan Artist Website
Lois Bryan Artist Website

And still allows us to categorize images by Gallery as well, which is what you’ll see on my site as the default, when you first open:

Lois Bryan Artist Website Gallery View
Lois Bryan Artist Website Gallery View

I love it … and would love to have you drop by for a visit!!

As always, clicking the above will take you right to the images’ pages!!

 

The Beauty At The End Of The Journey

I’ve always had a great love of daffodils or jonquils or whatever they’re called. My mom used to have a beautiful row of them in front of the house when I was a kid

"Peeking" © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
“Peeking” © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

… and when I could smell their delicious fragrance not only did I know spring had finally sprung from out the depths of winter, but that my birthday was coming. Somehow the smell of jonquils and the smell of birthday cake seem to go together even today!

Though my art is photography based now, as a kid, I was the one with pencils and papers never far from my elbow. One of my first “important” works was the colored pencil recreation of a vase of Mom’s jonquils, long past their prime.

Back in the day … long, long ago in a very small-town-world, the depiction of a dead or dying flower was an unusual and unique concept. So much so that my art teacher requested the piece and entered it into something or other that summer. Of course we never found out what happened to it, and of course we never got it back. But my mom, well into her 70s, still bemoaned the loss of that little picture.

Not a clue why I never attempted to recreate it for her during her lifetime.

Beauty At The End © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Beauty At The End © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Many of the jonquils / daffodils in my garden at my present home are the bulbs and offspring of the bulbs given to me by my Mom. And every spring when they bloom, I carefully allow some of them to live out their beauty in a pretty crystal vase, right to the end of their own personal journeys.

As always, clicking the images will take you to their spot on my website where you can view them with a much less intrusive watermark.

The Awful Truth About Decision Making

I never used to have any trouble  making decisions.  My path seemed straight and narrow and, except for a stumble here and there along the way, the relatively inconsequential kind most of us make, I kept to it fairly well.  There was right and there was wrong and that was pretty much that.  But.  As I get older, there seems to be a bit more gray area in life than there used to be.  Take for example my photography / digital art ….

This is a newish version of a popular image on my website, Chanticleer, this one with more blue tones in the sky and a few other nuance-y tweaks that I’m probably the only one who notices.

Chanticleer In Blue © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Chanticleer In Blue © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

A few blogs back  ( Colorful Drinks On The House ) I announced that I’d made up my mind to go ahead and, if the spirit moved me, add different color variations of similar images to my photography / digital art galleries. I hadn’t been doing a lot of that. But after some thought and nosing around seeing what other contemporary photography / digital artists were up to, I decided to cut loose and add variations more often.

Then I promptly changed my mind.

With Chanticleer, here, I gave a lot of thought to switching the original out and adding the above, but as popular as it’s been, I decided not to mess with success.

I guess it’s one of those cases where I reserve the right to change my mind … even when I can’t make up my mind.

But I wonder, does the old adage that it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind  still hold water in this modern day of women’s / equal rights?  Do women no longer have that special back door … or … does it mean that men get to change their minds now, too?  (Apparently, they didn’t used to??)  I have the feeling we’re all supposed to be very self-aware and sure of ourselves these days, so my vague musings probably seem quaint and old fashioned to this forward thinking, determined and assured younger generation.

So, there I was earlier today, sitting on that same cold hard fence of indecision a lot of us have  spent time on,

Flame Trees © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Flame Trees © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

doing exactly what I said I wasn’t going to do … adding a second version of an image to my website that had a  slight but, to me, significant change.

The reason for the addition actually makes sense, in a rather round-about way. I’d uploaded the original to my website, and it became fairly popular within a relatively short period of time.  But before that short period of time actually had time to elapse, I’d created some greeting cards from it with a slightly different color tone, the one included above.  And that newer edition of the card has been one of my most popular.

Now, every time I sell that card, I feel myself leaning toward that version … and … every time the original wall-art version sells, I lean the other way.

Basically, I’m getting a bit sea-sick.

So here I go.  Hopping off the fence and changing my mind again.

Foggy Country Road © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Foggy Country Road © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

I guess the awful truth about decision making is it’s really quite ruthlessly easy once you’ve made up your mind.

Until you change your mind.

…….

As always, clicking the images will take you to where they’re located on my website for viewing with much nicer watermarks.

 

 

Apple Pickin’ Time

A cluster of three perfect red apples dangles just out of reach at wonderful Old Bedford Village, but not out of reach of my lens.

Apple Pickin' Time © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Apple Pickin’ Time © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

One of my favorite places to take pictures, Old Bedford Village, located in Bedford, Pennsylvania, USA, is a “living history museum” with reconstructed homes, churches, schools and shops to visit and explore. Plenty of interesting activities through most of the year to participate in that will take you back in time.

The official website for Old Bedford Village is:
http://www.oldbedfordvillage.com

Original photographic image taken with the Nikon D300 and the 18-200mm VR Nikkor lens in early October of 2009, just as the leaves were beginning to turn golden. Image treated to lots of fun edits in Capture NX2 and various versions of Photoshop to give it an artistic feel.

As always, to view the image with a much less nasty watermark, just click and you’ll be taken to my main website.

new shopping page now included!

Just a quick announcement about a new feature here on my blog … if you glance up to the top right of this page, in addition to the “About” tab which tells all the juicy tidbits about my private life … (well, no, not really ) … I’m including a “Shopping” page!

So, hey, the holidays are coming, right?  Now, don’t close this blog, run go grab a fresh cup of coffee or tea (or if it’s dark where you are, a nice glass of wine or bottle of brewski) and come back and click that “Shopping” tab and let’s take a visual journey through my images.

Clicking on one of the small thumbnails will bring you to a purchasing page.  Please note, depending on your browser and device type (computer or pad or phone) …

.. the product shown will be a print, but you will find the “7 Additional Products” notation and either be zoomed to a breakdown of more image choices from canvas to framed and matted to greeting cards to phone covers, or they’ll be floating around on your screen someplace.   Trust me.

Cool beans, huh?

So now, remember … though the holidays ARE coming  we don’t have to wait for Christmas … let’s start thinking about the beautiful autumn season here in the Northern Hemisphere …

The Road Home ©Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
The Road Home ©Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Let’s freshen up that guest bedroom … and that nook near the stairs … and ooo … something fun for the kitchen … and GIFTS … come on … you know Aunt Sally loves butterflies …

Seeking Sweetness © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art
Seeking Sweetness © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

As always, clicking the watermarked images here will take you directly to my website … but you can find these and oodles more “h”ever so conveniently by just clicking on my new “Shopping” tab right here!! (Actually UP, up here … top right … see it?)

Easy-Peasy!

If you’d like to be notified of new bog entries, scroll all the way down on this page and fill out the “notify me of new posts” form.

 

Windmills On The Horizon

Rural central Pennsylvania in autumn can be a brilliant vision. The fields patch-worked along the rolling hills and valleys turn the most delicious shade of old gold. Carved among the corn fields are pastures where milk cows graze in the last of the season’s warm sun.

Windmills On The Horizon © Lois Bryan
Windmills On The Horizon © Lois Bryan

One of the things that we are seeing in these glorious bucolic settings are the huge turbine windmills that now march across our horizons. They are the subject of much controversy among those who live here. Seen from a distance like this they are somewhat quaint. Up close … kind of scary.

This particular image is based on a photograph I took October 20, 2013 between Pavia and Roaring Spring not far from Blue Knob, Pennsylvania with the Nikon D7000 and the Nikkor 18-200mm vr lens. Much tinkering in Photoshop CS6 to create the painterly look you see here which included significant hand-painting with the Wacom tablet. My thanks to Jerry Jones of Skeletal Mess for the texture … one of my favorites.

As always, to get a better view of the image, a click will take you to my website where the watermark is less hideous and where you’ll find purchase options.

I can’t wait to get back to the mountains again with the camera … always a favorite activity this time of year.  (And yes, I’ll stay well clear of the windmills!!)