Friday, August 30, 2013

Up & Away

Have you ever parasailed?  If so, then you know the drill; however, for those not familiar with this kiting activity, I will give a few details.  Basically, those 'sailing' are in a harness that is attached to a specially designed canopy wing (resembles a parachute) and are towed by another vessel, including boats.  In the photo below, the canopy wing is visible while the passenger is still on the boat.  As the boat's speed increases, the parasail ascends and the passengers enjoy a great view!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Salon 2013 Opens Saturday

The Salon Exhibition Opening Reception

The Salon announces its second exhibition of work by up-and-coming local artists. Named after the Salon des Refus├ęs, an exhibition of works rejected by the jury of the official Paris Salon, the Salon seeks to promote artists who have applied to and were not accepted by the annual VOICES from the Warehouse District exhibition and the Dubuque Art Museum’s DuMA biannual exhibition. The Salon aims to provide a space to promote emerging talent from the Dubuque area.

This year, The Salon’s opening, on Saturday, August 31, will feature works by new artists, invited artists, alongside pieces by last year’s contributors as well as live entertainment from area musicians and a multi-media performance featuring music, live painting, and real-time video manipulations. The 2013 Salon will be at 902 Main St., a building with 4200 sq. ft. of dedicated gallery space for wall-hanging, and conducive to large scale and installation pieces.

Opening Reception: Saturday, August 31, 6 PM - 11 PM
Music: Kristina Casteneda & Shawn Healy, Feast Of Mutton, and Venereal Crush
Food, beer, and wine available, $5 suggested donation
FREE Admission
Iowa Skyscraper, by Stephanie Funke
The above image, Iowa Skyscraper, is one (of six) that I will have in this exhibit.  Hope you can stop to see all the amazing work created by artists in the tri-state area. 
A special thanks to Ivonne Simonds and all others who have done so much in order to make this exhibit possible.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Ways to Beat the Heat

Currently our weather is HOT, HOT, HOT with plenty of humidity!  So, I thought that these pictures would be a reminder of fun summer days at the lake AND, at least for a few minutes, take our minds off of the heat.  Since most swimming pools are now closed (as the lifeguards returned to college and school started), maybe just a box of popsicles will do the trick!  Stay cool.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


"Every friend is to the other a sun, and a sunflower also.
He attracts and follows."
                                                           --Jean Paul Richter

Monday, August 26, 2013

Iowa: Full of CROP!

Recently I saw a t-shirt that contained an outline of the state along with the expression "Iowa:  Full of Crop."  After laughing at that clever remark, I nodded and said, "How true!"  As seen in these images, we are fortunate to have soil that produces abundant crops of corn and soybeans as well as other cover crops.  Although Iowa isn't a tourist destination known for its beaches and mountains, its natural beauty is apparent in the lush, green countryside, rolling hills and plenty of space to explore the beauty of the heartland.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Invite to Gallery C

A new art gallery is set to open in Dubuque, and you are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening and Artist Reception!  The piece below contains details about the artists and a glimpse of some of their work.  Mark your calendar for Friday, August 30, 6 - 9 p.m. at Gallery C, 900 Jackson Street, Dubuque, Iowa.

Hope to see you there!
Gallery C
900 Jackson Street
Dubuque, IA 52001

Thursday, August 22, 2013

On a Dad's T-shirt...

While at the Iowa State Fair, my husband started laughing and turned to me and said, "Get a picture of that!"  When I looked in the direction he was pointing, I saw the back of a man's t-shirt that is the feature photo on today's post.  Some of these statements are humorous and I hope you enjoy the lighthearted nature of this image.  And, if you are a parent, my guess is that you understand this man's desire to protect his daughter while having a little fun.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Grass Labyrinth

"Art is born of the observation and investigation of nature."

"Art is everywhere, except it has to pass through a creative mind."
                                                                        --Louise Nevelson

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Stick Together

"I'll lean on you and you lean on me and we'll be okay."
                                                --Dave Matthews Band

Monday, August 19, 2013

July Photo of the Month

This photo won the July Photo-of-the-Month competition conducted by Photo Pro of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Each month there is a particular theme, and, in case it's not obvious, the July focus was water.  If you have any interest in viewing the work of previous winners, seeing the current month's finalists and/or checking out upcoming contest themes and instructions for entering, go to this site:

So, as the sun was setting and the clouds appeared so puffy and scattered, I took this shot from the shore of West Lake Okoboji (in northwest Iowa) just between the lake and Arnold's Park Amusement Park.  Taking photos at this time of the day is really interesting with the low-light conditions and I encourage you to give it a try.  However, be sure to use a tripod to help capture a clear/crisp image.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Iowa State Fair: Super Sized

As noted in earlier posts, the Iowa State Fair has hundreds of competitions, including those that reward the 'BIGGEST' entrant in a given category.  So, today's images contain shots of the biggest bull, the second biggest boar as well as the biggest pumpkin.  The bull, named Squirt, weighed over 3000 pounds and the other weights are visible in the pictures.

908 pounds of pumpkin

Willie, Reserve Big Boar, rests...what else can he do?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Iowa State Fair: Traditions

Just like the last two posts, today's blog also features some scenes from the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines where some things are simply mainstays at this annual event.  For example, the Butter Cow, a bovine sculpture made of butter, is an attraction that visitors flock to see.  Although the photo contains a glare, it gives a glimpse of this year's creation.

Food of all types, including many "on-a-stick" concoctions, is also a significant component of the fair.  From just the one photo, you can see a few of the many offerings that delight hungry fairgoers.
And, in addition to a traditional midway full of rides for all ages, this sky tram is an Iowa State Fair tradition that provides riders with a birds-eye-view of the many attractions below.
Finally, be sure to see tomorrow's post that will include some of the Fair's BIGGEST entries!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Iowa State Fair: Balloons Galore

Located in the Center Atrium of the Cultural Center on the Iowa State Fairgrounds is a wonderful creation by a talented balloon artist.  Although I didn't get her name, these photos show the multi-story Ferris wheel she constructed along with several other features that accompany this main attraction.  While passing by, both young and old stopped to marvel at her work and to point out all the little characters, like the monkey, that were tucked into the large, moveable piece!  If you go to the fair, be sure to see this.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Iowa State Fair: Photography Salon

It's fair time!  Underway now through Sunday, August 18th in Des Moines is the 2013 Iowa State Fair.  As you may know, this event is quite a spectacle with a wide variety of competitions, entertainment, food and more, including the 74th Annual Iowa State Fair Photography Salon.  For this one competition, 3,678 photographs were submitted and judges selected 862 for display, including three of my images -- Tiki Huts, Time in a Box & Enveloped.  Of course, I am honored to have my work in this wonderful collection and hope many of you have the opportunity to stop by the Cultural Center on the fairgrounds and view the many artistic creations of Iowans and folks throughout the USA.

Tiki Huts is the vertical photo just to the right of my hand.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Tulip Taffy Returns

Although this image has been in previous posts, I always enjoy sharing this beautiful creamy, dreamy shot of a milky white tulip with streaks of red.  Recently it received recognition in the online "Botanicals" exhibition on the Light Space & Time website.  To see it and several other gorgeous shots of plant life, go to

Friday, August 9, 2013

Summer Scenes: Art Outdoors

"As the sun colors flowers, so does art color life."
                                                                  --John Lubbock

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Summer Scenes: Nests

"All the beasts in Howling Forest were safe
in their caves, nests, and burrows."
                                                                        --Michael Ende
"There was an old man with a beard,who said:
'It is just as I feared!
Two owls and a hen, four larks and a wren
have all built their nests in my beard!'"
                                                                           --Edward Lear

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Summer Scenes: Blooms of Gold

"Earth laughs in flowers."
                             --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Summer Scenes: A Surprise

So often I write about all my unexpected findings that make such unusual and interesting subjects to photograph, and this shot is no exception.  Recently, after leaving the area where I took yesterday's images of all the corn, I headed in a slightly different direction, and, after just a few minutes on the alternate route, I encountered this painted, wooden giraffe erected just a few rows from the edge of a cornfield!  Pretty cool, huh?!  And, if you live in the area and want to see this for yourself, it is just outside of Greeley on the south side of Jet Road.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Summer Scenes: Corn

This week my posts will feature images of Iowa in the summer, including several shots of living organisms that adorn our landscape throughout the warm-weather months...and one surprise!  That is set for tomorrow.  Anyway, back to the corn that grows everywhere in the region; hence, we live in the "Corn Belt."  Of course, today's photos include the traditional scenes of a cornfield and tassels as well as something a bit more unusual -- brace roots.  These help anchor the stalks as the ears develop and keep the plant vertical in the event of heavy rain and strong winds.

Brace roots


Friday, August 2, 2013

Picture for a Poem

"...Two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
                                        --Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken