strange sunsets

I’m not much of an early riser in general. If left to my own devices, I’m more likely to stay up late and wake up late. So it’s no surprise that in general, I’m a stranger to sunrises.

In fact, even the word “sunrise” seems to be unfamiliar to me: today when I was downloading the images to gather for this post, I named them all “sunset-1,” “sunset-2,” etc. Oops!

Obviously I’m much more familiar with sunsets! I enjoy the colors and the play of light amidst the clouds as the sun falls to the horizon, and I often can’t resist taking photos of sunsets, such as these:

sunset-clouds

sunset

For the past week and a half I’ve been up before the sun rose to get myself to Annapolis where I had an on-site freelance gig. When the sun began to rise, the skies were breathtaking, and I was inspired to snap a few shots during my morning commutes.

pinklines-2

sunset-glow

sunset-trees

misty-morning-2

Whenever I get up before dawn, I relish the soft glowing light of the morning. Despite the difficulty of having to get up when it was still dark outside, the sunrises I got to enjoy were a real treat.

instagram photos

This last week zoomed by for me. I had a few freelance projects that took up a lot of time, but I did find moments to take a few noteworthy photos that I shared on instagram.

Surprisingly, I seem to have found plenty of time to do some meaningful cooking this week. Since September I’ve been following a “Paleo” style diet, which essentially means that I don’t eat grains (especially wheat) or refined sugars (and I limit natural sugars for the most part too). I do eat some dairy, which is a Paleo-purist no-no, but I don’t have a bad reaction to it, so I do eat some cheese, and cream, and butter.

Does that sound awful to you? Well, truthfully, before I started I thought it would be SO HARD, but I gave it a shot for a month, and then I was hooked. Mostly I was surprised by how easy it is to maintain once you get going with it, and I have a ton of fun trying out new recipes.

This week, I made kale chips, fish salad “tacos”, and BROWNIES! Yes, brownies. Seriously. They are good.

kale-chips
I made these kale chips and ate them all within 24 hours. Ok, maybe it was more like 12 hours.

fish-salad
I had some leftover roasted tile fish, so I decided to make a fish salad. I stuffed it into some crisp romaine leaves for some paleo “tacos” with beet and carrot salad on the side.

brownies
Brownies! I made these as a trial run. My mom’s birthday is on Thursday, and she’s eating Paleo style too, so I thought it would be fun to have a wheat-free birthday treat. These are made with almond meal and sweetened with dates! If you’d like to try to make a batch for yourself, see the recipe on my friend Val’s blog, Oh Hopscotch!

Besides eating and working, I also found the time to be creative. I had a good time messing up my clean studio, doodling recklessly in my big sketchbook, and working on the pages of a collaborative sketchbook I’m a part of.

art
the bottom two images are a little sneak preview of the pages in the collaborative sketchbook, “portrait : landscape” that I’m a part of.

I got a fun surprise in the mail this week too. My first mailart from Kati Driscoll, a talented artist from Delaware.

mailart
I was so excited to open the big envelope this present came in, and was so happy to see the bright red bow around a big box that was just for me! I knew I was going to get spoiled, so I decided to take some photos of the box. and then Otto with the box. and then of all the envelopes that were in the box. i didn’t pause to take photos of the actual stuff that was in the envelopes, so I snapped a shot of the aftermath.

Lastly, I took a couple of photos of some quiet moments. One with Otto basking in the sun, and another while waiting at a stop light on a very blustery day.
moments

There were several days where I didn’t have a chance to take any photos at all, but I captured some happy, inspiring moments. I’m looking forward to see what this week has to offer!

I Heart Instagram

I know it’s been forever since I’ve really shared any of my art here. The truth is, I haven’t been making a ton of art lately; at least not stuff I can or want to share (some of it’s crap, some of it’s still a secret). BUT! I have been taking photos with my iPhone, and my app of choice lately is Instagram.

I’ve been thinking about sharing some of the photos I take each week on this blog, but I wondered if people would really like to see those images, so I had a look through the photos I’ve taken with Instagram so far (over 300 of them!), and I realized that I definitely have a few categories of various types of photos I tend to take. I thought it would be fun to share a few of these groups here, and see what people think.

First and foremost, of course one of the main categories is Otto and Kasi. They are my dachshunds (a.k.a. wiener dogs), and I take a lot of photos of them. Sometimes I wonder if I take too many photos of them.

otto
In the above photo, for example, looks like maybe Otto has had enough of being my model.

I take photos of Otto and Kasi on their own, and sometimes as a pair as well.
otto & kasi
Category: Wiener Dogs

Aren’t they cute?

Wiener dogs are not my only photographic interest, however. I also photograph another of my loves: art and the process and place where it happens.
drawings
Category: Drawings

palettes
Category: Paint Palettes

studio
Category: My Studio

My nieces and nephew make great models when they are around, and they are always doing fun stuff, so it’s hard to resist snapping photos of them.
kids
Category: Kids I’m Related To

I don’t think I realized I was such a bibliophile, but what can I say? I love books! I love to go to the library. I love to buy books. I love to thumb through and read them. I love to write in them (blank ones). And apparently I love to photograph them too!
books
Category: Books

I’m a freelance designer, so I spend a lot of time at home. When weather happens, I usually take a photo of my backyard.
my backyard
Category: Backyard

Same goes for sunsets. There’s something about bare winter branches silhouetted against a colorful sky that I just can’t resist. These are, incidentally, also all shot in my backyard.
trees and sky
Category: Trees & Sunsets

The last few categories are somewhat related. I was amused to find that I take photos of my hands, of my hands holding stuff, and of other people holding stuff.

my hands
Category: My Hands

me holding stuff
Category: Me Holding Stuff

others holding stuff
Category: Other People Holding Stuff

The last category that I thought I’d mention has to do with a little photo challenge that I’m taking part of this month: February Photo a Day.

febphotoaday shots
Category: #febphotoaday

The Feb Photo a Day has been interesting because I’ve definitely taken several photos that I never would have shot if it hadn’t been for the themes that correspond to each day. Some are kinda, “meh” like the photo of my cellphone, but others have turned out pretty nice–like the self portrait that I’m now using as my twitter icon. Taking a self portrait with an iphone is so awkward that I probably never would have taken it without having the “self portrait” theme. I actually doodled the suns that are pictured above for the “sun” theme since that particular day was gray and rainy. There are also a few photos from the challenge that I included in some of the other categories above, so I guess all in all it’s not a bad way to take some different photos and see what happens.

There are quite a few other categories that I noticed but didn’t make collages of for this post, so it wouldn’t get too crazy-long, such as “food” “art supplies” “flowers and plants” “stuff around the house” and “stripes”.

I hope you enjoyed seeing some of my Instagram photos. Like I said, I haven’t been churning out the drawings or paintings lately, but taking photos has been a really fun, quick way for me to be creative almost everyday, and I wanted to let you in on what I’ve been up to!

Would you be interested in seeing more Instagram photos from me, here on this blog? I’m curious to know if you have a favorite category of the bunch. Should I stick to the art-related photos, or sneak in a photo of Otto, Kasi, or a cute kid every now and again?

Just one final note that didn’t seem to fit anywhere else: Instagram is a little odd in that they don’t have a way to view images in a really meaningful or easy way online, other than direct links for individual photos, but there are some third party web-viewers that are pretty good. The favorite that I’ve found so far is Statigr.am. If you want to see more of my Instagram photos, you can check them out over there, where you’ll be able to see descriptions and comments, etc. And if you know of a better web-viewer, let me know!