Friday, August 29, 2014


Since Labor Day weekend is here, I decided to share some images that remind us of all the fun folks have while boating.  Whether in a kayak, motorboat or sailboat, being out on the water is a thrill for many of us who love being on the water.  Enjoy these photos as well as the 3-day weekend.  Monday be sure to check out a few more images of summer fun.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dubuque Salon des Refusés

Romi Rhinestone by Stephanie Funke

In the tradition of the Paris' Salon des Refuses, the 3rd Annual Salon Exhibition in Dubuque, Iowa will feature works by artists rejected by other juried shows in the area.  So, if you are looking for something interesting this coming Saturday night, check out the collection at 902 Main Street in downtown Dubuque.  This opening reception goes from 6-10 pm and features live music and muralists -- see names below.  My above photo, Romi Rhinestone, is one of four images I have in the exhibit.


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A Herky on Hump Day

Graduation Herky by Anne Johnson

In case you aren't familiar with Herky, let me first say that is the name of the University of Iowa mascot -- Herky the Hawkeye.  Anyway, currently in parts of Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty, there are 84 statues that make up the Herky on Parade exhibit.  Each was originally created and has a particular theme.  Located at South Clinton and Iowa Avenue, Graduation Herky represents the post-secondary degrees earned by U of Iowa students.  He is sporting a traditional graduation gown over his retro "old gold" checkered trousers, collared shirt and "old gold" checkered tie.  His hair consists of dyed fiberfill. Artist Anne Johnson, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, created this unique Iowa alum.

Next hump day will feature another Herky.  Stay tuned.

Graduation Herky at the intersection of S Clinton and Iowa Ave

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Sea

"You can't cross the sea merely by standing 
and staring at the water."
                                                   --Rabindranath Tagore

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pretty Petals

If you regularly view my blog, you know that I often feature beautiful blooming things.  And, that is exactly the case with this post as I photographed some late summer bloomers and wanted to share the pretty posies.  Enjoy the dreamy shades of purple and pink in a lush green background.

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

Friday, August 22, 2014


"Flexibility in a stem makes a tree stand in a storm.
Flexibility in behavior makes a human win hearts."
                                                          -- Inspirational Think

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Quite a Contraption

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."
                                       --Herman Melville

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Scratch Where it Itches

"Women and cats will do as they please,
and men and dogs should relax 
and get used to the idea."
                                 --Robert A. Heinlein

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Wanna Take a Selfie?

Then may I suggest a visit to The Bean in Chicago's Millennium Park.  Take a few moments to look at all the individuals in this photo and notice how many have a digital device in hand and/or are trying to get a glimpse of themselves in this enormous sculpture.  Each time I look at the scene I notice someone new or smirk at how we have become obsessed with selfies.


Monday, August 18, 2014


The image below is a combination of a restored warehouse along with snip its taken from an acrylic street art scene.  What is it?  Not exactly sure but as I started working on the black-and-white warehouse, I had fun inserting the colorful yet slightly bizarre acrylic characters.  So, I went with it, and this is the result.

"As my artist's statement explains, 
my work is utterly incomprehensible 
and is therefore full of deep significance."
                                                                   --from Calvin & Hobbs

Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Scenes from Rural Iowa

These vistas are from rural roads nestled among the rolling hills of Dubuque County.  Definitely we can see that Iowa is "full of crop." While driving through these parts, the daylight was quite harsh (as you can see) but I decided to snap a few of these images anyway as they highlight the lush green environment in which we live and produce food for the world. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sinsinawa Mound Exhibit Open

Looking for something to do this coming Friday evening?  Join us for the opening reception of this photography and glass art exhibit in the art gallery of the Sinsinawa Mound Center.  Below are two of my images included among those on display; however, in addition to photographs are beautiful, hand-crafted pieces of glass created by artist Barbara Z. McKinlay of Dubuque, Iowa.  

The drive to Sinsinawa Mound Center is easy from Dubuque as it is just across the Mississippi River into Wisconsin and then a few miles off of Highway 151.  Detailed driving directions are available on the website ( but the address is 585 County Road Z, Sinsinawa, WI.

Read on for details about tomorrow night's opening reception along with our artist statements for this particular collection.  

Fog on the Bend by Stephanie Funke

Now Showing
August 12, 2014 - September 30, 2014
“Nature: Water and Wonder” 
Featured artists: Barb Zehentner McKinlay, Glass art & Stephanie Funke, Photography
Opening Reception: Friday, Aug. 15, 6-8 p.m. 

Zehentner McKinley captures a lifetime of memories of living along the Mississippi River, layered upon one another: the sounds of breaking ice, the bubbles that signal the underwater passage of aquatic wildlife, the smells and textures of backwater algae and mosses, the colors of the changing seasons. She works by hand to create pieces reflective of the river on a base of clear glass with layers of hand-made cubes or bubbles flowing with ground glass (or “frit”). The cubes or bubbles are formed by firing first, then multiple additional firings fuse the pieces and frit to the desired texture and “slump” them into their final forms. “This work explores the images of my mind’s eye remembering the places and times I have spent along this beautiful and unique landscape,” she said. 

Much of Funke’s work is of the outdoors as she is easily captivated by the overwhelming power, beauty, intense extremes and profound lessons of nature. Patterns, lines and the presence and/or absence of light also influence her images. When photographing the world outside her door, she is amazed by the endless opportunities to capture the predictable as well as the unexpected, bizarre and often overlooked elements of nature. This collection of photographs combines various regional landscapes along with scenes from hydrothermal features in Yellowstone National Park to highlight some of Mother Nature’s amazing and naturally charming attributes.

Tinted Trunks by Stephanie Funke

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Dog Days: Taking it Easy

Who doesn't want to join the above 4-legger while he dozes in the shade on a lazy summer morning?  Looks like a great idea.  In the photo below sits a furry, easy rider in a crate made for the attachment being pulled  behind a bicycle.  Yes, that pooch traveled across Iowa in a wooden box while his master pedaled the 7-day RAGBRAI route.  Needless to say, this image demonstrates how so many masters love their loyal, kindhearted canines and will go to great lengths to keep them comfy and at their sides.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Dog Days: German Shepherd

"Dogs never bite me.  Just humans."
                                                 --Marilyn Monroe

Monday, August 11, 2014

Dog Days: Golden Retriever

"The reason a dog has so many friends
is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue."

Friday, August 8, 2014

Light Up the Night

"I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a ferris wheel."
                                                           --E. B. White

Night Ride by Stephanie Funke

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dusk at the Lake

"The sky is the daily bread of the eyes."
                                                                  --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ride On

A few more images from the recent RAGBRAI that passed through our area.  The second photo is inspiring as, according to his sign, this rider is older than many of us and still participating -- how awesome.  Have a look.

This group stays cool riding shirtless...or maybe they want to attract admirers!

The sign on his saddlebag says, "88 and doing great!"  Now that is admirable.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Costumes for the Ride

The tooth fairy

Bride & Groom

Here's a look at just a few of the costumes riders wear for the week-long ride across our state.  Trust me when I say that, after participating in this event for a few years, these outfits are pretty tame but fun nevertheless.  On RAGBRAI it is possible to see just about anything!  Regarding the bride and groom, I don't know more about this couple but I did hear that a wedding was held on the route -- maybe these folks are the newlyweds.  Look for a few more images tomorrow.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A Week in the Saddle

...of a bicycle, that is.  Ever heard of the The Register's Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) ?  If not, this annual 7-day event sponsored by The Des Moines Register is, according to the home page, "the oldest, largest and longest bicycle touring event in the world."  Starting in 1973, this summertime tradition begins somewhere near Iowa's western border on the Missouri River and culminates at a site along the eastern border on the Mississippi River.  Each year the route varies but the ride is always the last full week of July.

Want to learn more about this moving carnival of thousands of cyclists who make the trek across Iowa and have lots of fun doing so, then check out the website.

Enjoy these images that portray a few common scenes from any given day on the ride.  In the next couple posts I will share a few more related photos, including some of the unique gear and costumes.