Re-Boot Your Life

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Re-Boot Your Life

I had the opportunity to re-visit the old haunt yesterday.  I was in Southern Colorado on assignment and ended up running head on into the most beautiful colors in the Cuchara and Weston areas.  We were fortunate to have lived in these Aspens and Pines for seven seasons and I shot a photo from this exact spot about 10 years ago.  I’ll have to dig it out and compare.

From time to time we become overwhelmed with the complexities of life and we get locked up, paralyzed, much like our computers do when we overwhelm the RAM memory.  When that happens to me, I look for a way to shock me out of the gridlock.  This photograph was exactly the Re-Boot that I needed yesterday, the right thing at the right time.

Once In A Blue Moon

Full Moon Over the Spanish Peaks and La Veta, Colorado

“Every Artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

There is something powerfully captivating about this land, where high alpine twin peaks stand alone between the Rocky Mountains and the Great Plains.  The Ute, Comanche and Apache tribes called these mountains the Huajatolla(breasts of the earth) and considered this aesthetically poetic region to be sacred.  Today, these mountains are known as the Spanish Peaks and artists are drawn here from all over the world to become inspired.

Stepping Out Of The Box

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” ~ Emerson

We all have the necessary ingredients within our own imaginations to formulate the existence of our choosing.  Why is it then that so many of us struggle through so much of life trying be something that we are not?  For me, I suppose that it had much to do with fear of failure, fear of success and perhaps a false notion that material success is somehow on par with creative independence.  Blessings counted, I can now say that I’ve stepped out of the box.

If you find yourself trying to be something that you are not, my best advice is to surround yourself with people who thrive in their own originality.  It doesn’t take long to understand that the happiest people are those who fix their imaginations on a self defined purpose and then proceed to work tirelessly toward that end.  I hope you will take a short minute and a half to watch the artist profile that my wife and I just completed for one of the most original creatives that I personally know.  Annie Enke is an out of the box artist who makes of all things…boxes…and much more.

Two Ducks, Six Bears And The Misadventures Of A Landscape Photographer

Mr. and Mrs. Duck

First there is a warning quack, then a resounding quack-quack followed by the fluttering of wings.  “There goes Mr. and Mrs. Duck” Tammy will say and we watch the pair skim over the water in the same easterly direction.  And so the chain of events repeats itself, day in and day out as we take our daily walks.  Ahhh, summer in the mountains of Southern Colorado.

When I was a kid, I’d take an old shoe box, poke a hole in the end of it and tape a piece of black and white photo paper inside.  It always amazed me how I could miraculously produce a photograph using such simple tools.  Today, it amazes me that with all of the fancy equipment I can’t seem to get a wildlife image that looks much different from those pinhole camera pictures.  Shooting photographs or video of wildlife is an art form that I have not neither mastered.  I am persistent however and I have the desire, a combination that will eventually unlock the door to success.

So, back to that elusive pair of Ducks and the comical scene that unfolds each time I try to photograph them.  I’ve done everything shy of dressing in camouflage and building a duck blind to capture their image.  I have indeed, crawled through the grass on my belly and hidden behind a nearby shack a number of times.  Holding my camera in shooting position, I peer around the corner as if I’m an FBI agent on a drug raid.  “Quack…Quack Quack….Flutter Flutter”, they’re gone before I can take command of my focus ring.

Quack…Quack Quack…..Flutter Flutter

It seems as though the same scenario plays itself out no matter what the subject matter is.  Tammy and I drive everywhere with cameras ready and tripods extended for when and not if we see a heard of Elk, a Bear or a Mountain Lion.  The way it really seems to work is quite different from what we anticipate though.  In the past 7 days, we have seen a Blonde Male Bear, a Black Male Bear and a Momma Bear with three darling little Cubs.  When we see something really great there is an adrenaling rush and a very confusing attempt to communicate with one another that could easily lead to disaster.  “Stop” “Go” “Roll Down the Window” “ Move out of my way” “We need a new windshild” are the types of things you might hear in that moment.  It’s not uncommon for me to lose my mind and attempt to take pictures from a moving vehicle, while I am driving.  And then there are the times when we are whispering and moving very slowly to get into position.  I open the door with the key still in the ignition and the “ding-ding-ding” announces to the whole forest that we are there, larger than life.

So go easy on me when you judge these pictures.  They aren’t as easy to get as you might think.  You can bet that I will be bragging it up when I finally get that award winning wildlife shot.

Super Moon Rising

“I never did a day’s work in my life, it was all fun” ~ Thomas Alva Edison

When opportunity knocks you have to answer the door, right?  Hmm, I’m not so sure about that one.  Who says Opportunity makes housecalls?  If you think about it, even the winners of the powerball must first make the effort to exchange their hard earned money to buy a ticket.  As Thomas Edison, one of Mankind’s most influential creative’s astutely observed, “opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work“.

In my experience, opportunitiy is a kind of omnipresent, latent circumstance that is waiting to be claimed.  If I put myself in a position to cross paths with it, and if I am patient, and if I believe, more often than not I end up banging loudly on opportunity’s door.

Over the course of the past week, Tammy and I had the opportunity to visit the same general area of the Cuchara River Valley to film evening interviews for projects that we are working on.  On both occasions, the interviews ended just before sunset and we seized the opportunity to capture the valley in the most incredible light.


Show And Tell

“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.” ~ E.E. Cummings

Welcome Home, You Painter’s Sky.  I’ve missed your graceful, billowing clouds, the way that they float silently across the front range of the Rockies and into the heartland.  I’ve missed your contrasts and your textures, especially the whitest whites against the cobalt depths of space.  I’ve missed the way that your shadows slip across the landscape, causing the dazzling colors of summer to flicker and dance. Welcome Home, You Painter’s Sky.

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After Monday And Tuesday, Even The Calendar Says WTF

April Fools Day came and went without a glitch.  For a change, the first of April completely snuck up on me and I failed to pull off a single stunt.  On the flipside, I was not on the receiving end either. The Kids(23, 21 and 20) were visiting for the weekend, we played frisbee golf on the property, had a bar-b-q and got sun burned.   Well, Today is the 3rd, and guess what?  Somebody put a slow burning fuse on a pretty good April Fools prank, three feet of snow and still coming down with a fury, boy did I get punked.

I usually try to refrain from profanity in my posts and all the more in a headline.  Today is the exception to the rule.  I know we need the moisture and this storm is an absolute Godsend as far as the wildfires and the farmers are concerned, but the truth is, I’m Mad as Hell about it and I’m not gonna take it anymore, I Want Summer!

I thought I’d write down some of the crazy thoughts that have gone through my mind and some of the things that have come out of my mouth so far this morning.  Enjoy.

–        (Laying in bed at sunrise) – “looks kind of cloudy outside.”

–        (First look out the window) – “OMG – Looks Like I’m gonna have to put the plow back on the four wheeler.”

–        “Hey, where IS the four wheeler?”

–        “Hey, where did I leave the plow?”

–        “My snow boots must be in the car.”

–        “Hey, where IS the car?”

–        “I don’t think the four wheeler could plow four feet of snow anyway.”

–        “Where are my keys?, oh yea, left them out on the deck next to the ….oh shit!”

–        “I’ll just cozy up and get some work done on the computer.”

–        “Did I really write a post called Two Springs Forward And One Spring Back just one week ago on the other blog,”

–        “I’ll write another post today called Spring Back, Way Back.”

–        “Why isn’t the satellite working?”

–        “Charlie (our dog) needs to go potty, c’mon Charlie lets dig our way over there.”

–        “Where did I leave that snow shovel?”

–        “%8&-#!^0, my back hurts.”

–        “Charlie..Charlie where are you?”

–        “Ok, where is that satellite dish?”

–        “What time are those 30 MPH winds suppose to start again?”

–        “Am I out of wine?”

–        “April showers bring May flowers, April showers bring May flowers, April showers bring May flowers.”

–        “I can use profanity in my posts every once in a while, can’t I?”

–        “The last thing I remember I was reading my Law of Attraction book, and then I was hoping it wouldn’t snow anymore.”

–        “I can’t wait for the temperature to get back in the 60’s the day after tomorrow?”

–        “I thought…maybe mud season was over”

–        “I sure am glad I graded out all those deep ruts in the driveway last week”

–        “I sure am glad we didn’t hide those Easter eggs in the yard.”

–        “Have they ever cancelled Easter?”

–        “Today is a good day to paint.”

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Colorado Snow and Painting

"Midnight Crossing" oil on canvas 18x24

It started snowing yesterday, which made it a perfect day for painting winter scenery.  I have been working on a series of full moon winter adventure paintings since January and I don’t want to stop.  The foot of very wet snow that fell overnight is a blessing for two reasons, we have had an extremely dry winter in the mountains of southern Colorado and I’m not sure how I can justify painting the cool tones of winter once the forest comes to life in an explosion of green and yellow.  These spring storms are helping me delay a shift in focus.

Mid May Snow Brings June Flowers

I so much want to share the entire series right now but as you can see, I have not even signed them yet.  Most likely I’ll release images of them one by one as they are completed.  This painting is called midnight crossing.  The mountain the West Spanish Peak, a near “fourteener” that literally is my back yard.  The rest of the props come from my imagination and memories of backcountry skiing with friends around Gunnison and Crested Butte, back in the early 80’s.