Welcome to my world

Good Intentions

As far as good intentions go, I guess I’m as good as or as guilty as the next person on their way down the primrose path.  I mean … by this time, over a month after my “Under Construction” post, I’d fully expected to have added back the bulk of the old photos that disappeared, and to have re-created most if not all of the posts lost during The Hack.  

But … sigh … I got distracted.

Instead of knuckling down (you youngsters ever hear that expression?), I’ve been playing.  Artistically, I admit, but playing.  

So … here are a couple of my latest plays.  They’re springtime related … who doesn’t love and long for flowers in the last-gaspy days of winter and the teasing and capricious weather of early spring?  All are non-photo based … meaning, freehand sketched and painted in Corel Painter with a Wacom tablet and the art pen using pastel brushes … and all but one were created during the past couple of weeks.  

“Daffodils” …. from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

“Two Roses” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

“Wild Roses” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

“A Rose In A Vase” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Apparently I have a thing for roses.

The big deal … well you know, big deal to me … is that after having been glued to a camera for so long, it’s exciting and really quite challenging to create from thin air again.  I’ve been moving further away from the strictures of straight photography over the years and lately been trying to return to the love of my youth, drawing and sketching and painting.  But it’s still a weirdly difficult transition.  

Going through any transitions yourself?  

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As always, a click into the above images should, if the moon and stars align, bring you to my website where you can view the pics with a much nicer watermark (that will never appear on purchased products, btw).  If you happen to stumble onto the home page of my new image-website … fear not.  It’s been revamped (another sigh) and one of these days I’ll get around to figuring out ITS behind the scenes bits and bobs.  In the meantime … it’ll do, it’ll do.  

Now … who’s still with me and knows the origin of the “it’ll do” reference … and what word did I leave out??? 

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Update / Under Construction

Hi all!

If you’ve found me from my previous site, so happy to have you back, and if you’re visiting for the first time, welcome!!

Sadly, my previous website got hacked … then hijacked …

 

“The Bluebird Of Unhappiness” … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

If you have a link to the previous site, you may or may not be greeted by an Asian page.  My old blog has been completely eliminated, but the Asian page may still show up for some of us. Or there may even be a link-over to here.  I guess it depends on a lot of different factors … all of which are beyond my feeble understandings of this stuff!!

I hope none of my blogger friends have had to go through this.  There was an update a while back that either WordPress or JetPack were being quite adamant about.  I put it off, but they always get you with their “security” warnings … so I ultimately updated.  And of course, nothing was ever the same after that.  All my “sharing” buttons disappeared as well as my “like” buttons.  I followed the bread crumbs of either WP or JP and got the basic sharing buttons reinstalled, from WP or JP by the way, but never did get the “like” button to work again.  All this after many emails back and forth with both.  However … somehow, one of the sharing buttons I installed … and again, I got them from WP or JP … had a weakness.  And in the bad guys came.  Da bums.

Not all my old posts have been unearthed, so there’s a bit of a gap between March of 2017 and today, March 10th of 2019. I’ll be focused on filling in as many of the missing posts as I can as well as adding the images to the existing posts, too.  After all, that is what my blog is all about.  

Anyway, we’re back up and well, if not running, at least working on it. I’m still figuring out the  mechanics of the behind-the-scenes of the new theme.  

But mostly tonight I wanted to send a warm and happy shout-out and thanks to Abbie Shores of Our Arts Magazine for all her hard work on dragging so much of my blog back from the abyss!!!!  Thank you again, dear girl!!!

“Eastern Bluebird On A Bluebird Day” … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

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In closing, as always, I’d love to hear from you all … hopefully without horror stories about disappearing blogs!!!  And also, as always, clicking into the images above will take you to my website where you can view details of my little birdie friends by mousing over the images there.

Thanks for dropping by!! Read more ›

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Mom’s Daffs

“Mom’s Daffs” … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

The beginning of March in the Mid-Atlantic area of the US is the time most of us begin to head outdoors and inspect our landscape friends, to see who made it through the harsh winter, who needs some tlc and who went off to see the wizard.

In this case, 2017, our local winter was a mere whiff of its usual self. Little to no snow and though we had some cold days, they didn’t last long. Most of the flowers and plants seem to be waking up and stretching their little green arms out to the sun. These days of renewal and awakening are a joy and … well, frankly for some of us (me) … exciting in their own quiet ways.

This image is of the daffodil borders I had at our old house in Maryland. They’re very special to me as their little bulbs were a gift from my mom, from her own garden, many years ago. I brought several of the original bulbs to our new house and planted them the fall we moved in, 2015, but was disappointed in that there were no flowers last year.

I’m eagerly watching over the currently 5-inch tall green shoots this year … and hoping …

 

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As always, click the picture to be taken to my website, if you like.  And … what’s YOUR favorite spring flower … or spring memory!!  Let me know in the comment box below … would love to hear from you!!

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A Beautiful Mystery

A Beautiful Mystery … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

You approach the courtyard with mixed feelings. You’ve been dreading this day … what awaits you beyond the doors is anybody’s guess.

It’s an incredibly beautiful spring afternoon … one of those days that exemplifies what spring should always be … cornflower blue skies, blooming flowers, soft fragrant breezes, the sweet songs of birds, the sunlight golden and soft like the hand of friendship on your shoulder. As if the occasion that brought you here, which fills you with uncertainty and apprehension, were a mere nothing.

Gently, the surroundings nudge your spirits … make you want to take a deep breath of good air into yourself … and you feel your heart begin to rise.

Well, things usually have a way of turning out for the better when you give them a chance, don’t they.

Here we go.

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Thanks so much for stopping by … as always, a click into the image will bring you to my website where you’ll be able to view at a much better resolution.  You can even scoot your mouise over a spot, click, and get an up close peek at the detail-y bits that I love to create.

Got a beautiful mystery in your own life?  Let me know about it in the comments section below!!

 

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The Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse

Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

On our drive to an event in New Hampshire a few years ago, we made several tourist-y stops. One of our favorites was the visit to the Cape Neddick Nubble Lighthouse in York, Maine.

A glorious warm day in early September, still summery but lacking the bite of the heat, the sight of the lighthouse was picture perfect. We were impressed by the kindness of the people there, as well … one of the groundskeepers even positioned me in just the right spot to capture the best angle and composition.

Would you like a bit of history?  A lighthouse was requested on this site by local mariners as early as 1807, but a formal proposal in 1837 was refused on the grounds that there were already several other lights in the vicinity.

Tragically, not 5 years later the bark Isadore wrecked just north of the island.  Legends tell of a dream dreamt by one of the Isadore’s sailors the night before she sailed on what would be her final voyage.  In his dream,  seven coffins were lined up on the shore and a voice told him that one would be his. Another crewmember, Thomas King, dreamt of its wreck as well and hid in the brush, emerging only after she sailed. Seven bodies (including that of the prophetic seaman), washed ashore, followed by the captain’s leg.

Some say the phantom ship with its crew can still be seen sailing past the light.

It was nearly 40 years more before Congress finally appropriated $15,000 for the construction of the Nubble in 1876.  The 41-foot cast iron tower, lined in brick, was illuminated for the first time on July 1, of that year.

I hope we can make a trip up that way again some day.  Glorious area, and I’d love to do a lot more exploring.

So?  Any lighthouse stories out there that you’d like to share??  Mariner-ghost stories?  Would love to hear from you!

By the way … I did not see the ghost ship.

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As always, clicking the image will take you to my website where another click will bring up a green magnifying box so you can peek at the detail-y bits that I enjoy working on.

 

 

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Corfu Kitty

“Corfu Kitty” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Well, your fantasy has come true, and there you stand right smack dab in the middle of the Greek Island you’ve wanted to visit since you were a kid. Corfu. Read a book about it when you were little, and that sealed it. Never in your life did you ever expect to find yourself there, but dang … you did it. The excitement you feel everywhere your eyes fall is like a scream you’re holding onto inside … after all, mustn’t frighten the other tourists.

Your visit to the island is taking you to place after place that you never knew existed, each more magic than the one before. Now after climbing steep, narrow, scary roads in a gear-grinding, rickety old bus (praying the brakes work), you’re standing in the courtyard of the Paleokastritsa Monastery, high above the Ionian Sea. The glorious sunlight warms you right down to your bones. Flowers everywhere are bursting in blooms of flaming color, sure to bedazzle the eyes and the heart.

Suddenly a kitty appears in the doorway, eyes full of questions … will you come inside, she seems to ask? Her mysterious appearance has one mission … to ground you and complete the job of making your dreams come true.

The only question now, is, who’s purring louder, Kitty or you?

Hope you enjoyed this one … as you can probably tell, there’s a lot of love and joy wrapped up in it.  As always, would love to hear about a trip you made to one of your bucket list destinations, or about something that made you so happy you, too, had to hold onto that inside-scream of excitement.

Life can be a pain in the butt sometimes, can’t it … so it’s good to reflect back on the crazy good stuff now and then.

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As always, a click on the image should whip you off to my website where you’ll be able to click and get a closer-up view of the detail-y bits of the pic.  Also, bunches of choices of wall art options from different papers (I love picture rag, by the way) to lots of mats and frames, to some fun and rather unique gift ideas.

Thanks for stopping by!!

Corfu

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Moonshine On The Snow

“Moonsine On The Snow” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

A wintery scene, an old stone barn surrounded by snow-laden fields all lit with the magic of a full moon … a scene from my imagination … and from my life.

I can remember sitting in the backseat of the car as my parents drove home from Sundays spent at my grandmother’s farm … the snow with an amazing icy crust on top and the moon gleaming and glancing over it as the car sped along. To my little-kid self, the moon and its glistening light were following me … playing a quiet, private game with me … all the way home. I also remember a night many years later, again the passenger in a car. This one driven by my former husband … the moon following me, comforting me … as I contemplated the coming end of my marriage.

“The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do.” Tahereh Mafi

My sincere thanks to Karen Bonaker’s Digital Art Academy, whose classes inspired this image and brought back the memories.

The barn itself is real, I must add, and its photograph was incorporated here loosely. It’s a wonderful old thing not far from where we used to live in Montgomery Country, Maryland. Happy to say that during the many years we were there, it went from tumble-down to beautifully restored.

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Thanks for stopping by … as always, a click into the image should bring you to my website where you’ll find a nicer watermark (which will never appear on any purchased products, btw), and if you hover your mousie over a spot that looks interesting, you’ll see a magnification of that area that’s kind of cool.

Any fun winter moon stories to share?  I’d love to hear them!!!

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Approaching Storm At Antietam

Approaching Storm At Antietam … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

I am a leaf-peeper.  A bona-fide, card carrying, dyed in the wool autumn leap peeper.  This past fall was a bit of a let down, though I did give it the old college try, I was disappointed with the images I got.  In addition to my quest for the perfect autumn image, one of the reasons I stopped by the battlefield at Antietam (Sharpsburg, Maryland) on this particular October day, was the interesting things going on in the sky. As I gazed over at a somewhat ordinary looking field (though heaven only knows what went on in this exact spot 150 or so years ago … far from ordinary) I was amazed to see a rain squall coming up in the distance, and coming up fast. Loved seeing the still-clear blue sky to one side, while the other end of my field of vision was going to get a drenching. (Notice I did not say “left” and “right”?) And soon the whole scene would be rain soaked.

There’s a metaphor to current events in there somewhere. I leave it up to the viewer to decide what it is.

Btw … always been a huge John Constable fan. My mom had a giant copy of The Hay Wain over the sofa for what seems liked forever. In no way, shape or form am I comparing my little image to Mr. Constable’s magnificent creations … but … he was on my mind. Admittedly there’s a bit more color … but then … what else would you expect from me?

I do love color.

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Don’t forget, clicking the image will take you to my website for a better view at a better resolution.  And don’t forget, purchase options are there.

Also, don’t forget I’m up for licensing.  Just let me know if interested.  

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Hidden Gems

One of the odd things I like about the internet is sometimes tripping over a pretty cool quote. A personal favorite, which at times I’ve added to my bio here (and may be here now?), is by author Roald Dahl who wrote “Charlie And The Chocolate Factory,” among many other stories. He was actually a pretty interesting guy. First book was “The Gremlins” … he’d been in the RAF and he and his buddies routinely blamed the gremlins when things went wrong with their aircraft. I mention this, not because anything went wrong with the image I’m including here, “Hidden Gems,” but because that’s what my dad always used to say as he puttered around the house … and things would go wrong.  I frequently have occasion to fuss at the gremlins myself.

Anyhow, the quote that I wanted to include is this one:

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” I believe that with all my heart.

“Hidden Gems” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

And that brings me back to “Hidden Gems.” My husband, our dog, Buddy, and my camera and I went for a long drive last summer … one of our stops was at a flower farm. Yep … just like cows and corn, they have flower farms. This one was in beautiful Loudon County, Virginia. But instead of neat rows of zinnias, the red ones, here, the purple ones there, etc., things were in a bit of a jumble. In the case of “Hidden Gems” the jumble included these lovely green-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) attended by dancing Queen Anne’s Lace, which I’d always thought were a wild flower.

At first glance, the photo on which this image is loosely based looked a confused mess. I wondered why I bothered to snap it. But … taking the advice of Mr. Dahl, I looked harder at the unlikely scene … and saw the magic. Hope you do too.

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As always, I urge you not to be shy … tell me some of your favorite quotes, or a story about something wonderful you found in an unlikely place!!

Also, don’t forget, clicking on the image whisks you to my web page where you can view up close and personal (mouse over the image and you’ll see a little green box … with a bit of patience and luck, the close-up will appear!).  Also, you’ll find a few ways to purchase the image either as wall art or on gift items.  I don’t mention it often, but I also license my stuff.  For a book cover, for example, or for your web page, lots of other uses.  Just contact me and we’ll work something out.

 

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Portable Magic

I’m not a hoarder, I’m really not … but I do admit that once I love a book, it’s pretty hard to let it go. In fact, I don’t.  If I didn’t hate it (yes, there have been a few), chances are I’ve still got it around here someplace.  That is, with the sad exception of a few super favorites that I’ve lent (as in … expected to get back!!!) to people I trusted and loved … who never gave my book back.

I don’t lend books anymore.

Portable Magic … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Main reason is, not that I’m all that selfish and stingy, but I do love to re read my favorites.  “Ben Hur,” pictured here in the center of this stack of dear old tomes, is one such. I read it for the first time when I was a teenager. Some of it probably sailed right over my head, but that was fine. I got the gist. I read whatever was in the house and if a word didn’t make sense, by the time I got through the paragraph, it usually did. I read “Ben Hur” again a few (10? 20?) years ago and I’m thinking it might be due for another go-through. The cool thing is, every time I re read a book, I discover something new.

I found several fun quotes about books and reading while I was researching a title for this image, and thought I’d share some here.

The title is actually part of a quote from the fabulous Stephen King “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” it’s from his “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.”

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
― Groucho Marx, The Essential Groucho: Writings For By And About Groucho Marx

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can’t Avoid (I always bring a book)

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
― Ernest Hemingway

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
― C.S. Lewis

“So many books, so little time.”
― Frank Zappa

“… a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

So … ya tired of the endless reality tv shows and sports games and those icky crime shows? Turn that tv off … grab a cup of tea and a good book. If you need some suggestions, just ask me.

Now it’s your turn … tell me some of your favorite books!!
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As always, a click on the image should zip you over to my website where you can view in a nicer resolution, with a less horrid watermark … and you’ll find some cool purchase options, if you’re so inclined.  (Watermarks don’t appear on purchased products, btw.)  If not, that’s okay, too!    And as always, many thanks for dropping by!!!

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