Welcome to my world

Enjoying Spring

Sorry I’ve been a bit quiet.  You all know how life gets … but we’re a very lucky family … all is well!  YAY!!

We’ve finally been enjoying some warmer weather in our area, and it’s gotten me to thinking about being outside … taking walks, picnics, bike riding.  Even curling up in a comfy chair with a good book and a nice tall iced tea.

“Sitting Pretty” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

And what would outdoor fun be without our furry family members by our side?  So I’ve been working on a few images that I thought I’d include here.

The first is a gorgeous golden retriever who wandered into the lives of dear friends of ours several years ago.  Both our friends and the pup were very lucky to have found each other.  I captured his original photograph during a picnic where he ran and played with his new doggie friends all day.  It was big fun to watch, too!

“Good Boy” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Next is one of my favorite images … our own Sadie smiling her beautiful Samoyed Smile at me from the perennial terrace of our garden.  Surrounded by cone flowers and black-eyed-Susans … nothing could be sweeter.

“Happy Gal In The Garden … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital art

The last one I’m including is my true love, my Peachie, a Maltese.  As you can see, she’s also enjoying the perennial garden … and also wearing a big smile!!!

“Nuttin But Love” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

So while the sun is shining and the temperatures are moderate, grab your dog’s leash and head outside for a walk.  It’s good for your dog, but good for you, too!

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Clicking into each image will bring you to my web page where the pics can be seen at a better resolution on lots of styles of wall art as well as some fun gift items.  As always, watermarks do not appear on purchased products.

 

 

 

 

The Cherry Blossom Festival

Imagine taking an early morning stroll along Washington DC’s Tidal Basin during the magnificent Cherry Blossom Festival. If you get there early enough, you’ll miss the mass of tourists and you’ll see the icy gray sky clear to a gentle powder blue.  You’ll be the first to see the beginnings of morning light, when even the pinks in the petals take on the glow of the warming sun.

I’ve lived within shoutin’ distance of Washington DC all my life.  And in all that time, I think I only saw the cherry blossoms, that magnificent pink and peach and white gift from Mother Nature and Japan, at Festival time, once.  Once, that is, until rather recently.  A drive into DC with my son a few years ago, and another visit one early morning with my husband, after a snowfall the night before.  Both trips were great fun … and both resulted in lots of pictures.

“The Cherry Blossom Festival” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

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As always, my images are available in lots of varieties of wall art as well as unique gift items.  And also, as always, watermarks do not appear on purchased products.

An Irish Pub In Scotland

A day late and a dollar short, that’s me!!

The image I’m spotlighting today was supposed to have been posted yesterday which (at least for the next 26 minutes) was St. Patrick’s Day!!  But … well … you know how it goes sometimes …

“Biddy Mulligan’s Pub” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art … with Rich Bryan

When my son was studying in Edinburgh in 2012 he did a lot of traveling around Great Britain as well as several spots in Europe. Before he left, I gave him a crash course in photography with my old Nikon D40x. He has taken to photography like he’s held a dslr in his hands all his life.

I’ve been enjoying going through his images again recently, and one of my favorites is the capture of this wonderful pub, Biddy Mulligans, located in Grassmarket, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK.  I had a lot of fun working it up in Photoshop CS6 and digitally painting it in Corel Painter 2015.

A bit ‘o’ Ireland in Scotland, to me, this looks like a perfect spot for a “pint” on a warm day, and the kind of place my son must have loved after a long day of studying for exams.

Well. After a long day, at least.  

And oh by the way, yesterday being St. Patty’s Day and all … I did drink a green beer last night!!!  My first ever!!!

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A click on the picture will take you to my website where the resolution and watermark will be a bit nicer, and, where you’ll find lovely gift ideas in addition to the finest produced wall art.  You know.  Just in case you’re interested.

 

The Secret World Of Coneflowers

Original Title: “When Fairies Come Out To Play”

I am convinced that things go on in this world of ours that we know nothing about. I’ve never seen anything out of the ordinary, at least not since growing out of little kid-hood, but that doesn’t matter. (If you can read between the lines, you’re welcome to let your imagination wander ).

“The Secret World Of Coneflowers” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

I’m pretty sure all the critters, the birdies and the froggies, squirrels and bees and butterflies party-hardy (or is it party-hearty?) when none of those pesky human beings are looking. And even the flowers join in. This particular image is my private flight of fancy, imagining some fun goings-on in that wonderful secret world that was my garden.

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As always, apologies for the watermark … one of these days I’ll go into a bit more detail as to why I use them.  If you wish to see the image in a nicer and larger resolution, give it a click and off you’ll go to my website.  There you’ll find wall-art and gift options and a nicer watermark.  Watermarks which will magically have disappeared on any product you might wish to purchase.  (Could the woodland-fairies have been at work removing them?)

Thanks for stopping by!

 

To Protect And Serve

A few years ago my family and I had the great pleasure of attending a wonderful small-town Fourth Of July festival in the charming town of Queen Anne, Maryland. There was a fabulous parade complete with Parade Queens, the local Fire Department trucks giving rides and everything you could wish for.

After the parade everyone gathered in a large area for an old-fashioned bazaar. There were home-made cakes and pies being raffled off, penny-toss games and a band playing on a small stage.

I felt like I’d been magically transported back several decades.

Off to the side I spotted this beautiful motorcycle. Police presence was not noticeable, but obviously someone was watching over the happy crowd of families and merry-makers. I snapped this shot of the policeman’s bike and have held onto it all this time.

“To Protect And Serve” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Our general area has just experienced yet another tragedy. Two policemen were gunned down in the line of duty a recently ago in Harford, Maryland, and it got me to thinking about this old image. I decided to sit down with it and see what might happen. Lots of times I’ll do this, spend hours and hours … or days … on an image and never feel it quite lives up to my expectations. But this time I was pleased … and so I send it out into the Universe as my appreciation of what our police force around this great country of ours does for us every single day.

Thank you.

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As always, a click into the image takes you to my main image website … wall art and gift items are available there.  Watermarks will not appear on purchased products.

Lily Of The Incas

I love flowers. I used to love growing flowers, too, until the local mosquito population discovered what a tasty morsel I am. So when little me gets a bouquet of pretty posies, you can bet at some point the camera will probably come out, and I’ll take some time to play.

“Lily Of The Incas” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

This particular image was originally snapped mid April of 2014, so I’m guessing this tiny lily was part of a birthday bouquet from my dear hubby. I’ve seen these guys in my arrangements from time to time but never knew quite what they were. After having some fun with it in Photoshop and Corel Painter the other day, I decided it was high-time I learned a bit more about them.

Internet research finds that they have an interesting history. Grown mostly in the area of the Andes mountains in South America, formal name Alstroemeria Lily, they are also known as the Peruvian Lily and the Parrot Lily. They are smaller than the lilies I’ve been used to growing and seeing … but as I read, and as I can confirm, they are very hardy … being usually the last little blooms to die in any combination floral bouquet.

According to Flower Info Dot Org, “The alstroemeria flower is best known as a symbol for friendship and devotion, and is often given as a gift to represent a longstanding bond between the giver and the recipient. It is also thought to symbolize good fortune, prosperity and wealth, and is sometimes presented as an emblem for good luck in new ventures and important life changes.”  You can learn more about these sweet little flowers by visiting here .

Original image captured with the Nikon D7000 and the 105mm Nikkor micro / macro lens. A bit of adjusting in Photoshop CS6 then lots of fun experimenting with various brushes in Corel Painter 2015 for a free and easy impressionistic-y look.

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As always, don’t fear the watermark … it will not appear on any purchased products should you happen to click the pic and find you’ve landed on my main image-website … where you’ll find lots of wall art and gift-item choices.  By the way, watermarks here and on my website are for internet display purposes and discouragement of image theft.

 

For Tradition’s Sake

One of the things that makes holidays and family gatherings special to a lot of us is tradition. At least in my family, we like to go to the same family member’s house for a particular holiday and we like to see the same yummy things on the menu. Even down to the same china and silverware on the table, we do love our traditions. Tradition brings back thoughts of childhood, of happy times, good memories of those who have gone on, all of which can be very comforting.

Recently my husband and I did the “downsizing” thing which we knew would throw our family’s customary ways of doing things into a loop. How would the rest of the family react at the holidays? How would my husband and I ourselves feel about it when it came time to sit down to that big family meal in a totally different place?

“Time For Tea” … from Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Sometimes it’s the little things that bring all the pieces together. The cup and saucer pictured here originally belonged to my father’s sister, my Aunt Alice. She used these dishes every Thanksgiving during my childhood. Though I’m pretty sure the set isn’t wildly valuable as a collector’s item, it’s very special to me. At about the same time I inherited the set, I also inherited the hosting of the big Thanksgiving family dinner. The dishes have never seen the inside of a dishwasher, so you can probably imagine the back-spasms I sometimes experience while hand washing these babies late at night after days of house cleaning and a couple of days of standing, preparing and then serving everyone’s different favorite recipes. But the extra work is completely worth it to me … for tradition’s sake.

And for the record, even though we were in a new place this past Thanksgiving … I think all of us being together and keeping some traditions alive made the holiday just as memorable.

Original photo taken November of 2010 with the Nikon D300 and the 105mm Nikkor Macro / Micro lens. Adjusted in Photoshop CS4, 5 and 6 (don’t ask) … then off to Corel Painter for a complete digital hand-painting. My thanks to Karen Burns for the hint of texture and to her and to John Lowther for the excellent brushes.

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As ever, clicking the image takes you to my website where the resolution is crisper and the watermark is duller.  Don’t let those pesky watermarks put you off … they’ll never appear on any purchased items.  

 

A Peacock At Beallair

Ok kids, today, let’s take out our history books … we’re going to make some notations in the margins.

You see before you a colorful peacock displaying his magnificent plumage on the lawn of historic Beallair near Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.

“A Peacock At Beallair” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

“Beallair … or Beall-Air, also known as the Colonel Lewis William Washington House, is a two-story stuccoed brick house in classical revival style near Halltown, West Virginia. It was the home of Colonel Lewis William Washington, great-great nephew of George Washington and hostage in John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.”

Thank you Wikipedia.

Now. As the locals tell it, the story goes that one October evening in 1859 Colonel Lewis Washington was asleep in his bed, which on that night was in the room to the right of the front porch, first floor, when visitors suddenly and loudly came a callin’. Apparently, they crashed through the ornamental glass to the side of the front door, unlocked the door, and in they came. Lo and behold, it was that crazy John Brown, the infamous abolitionist, and his merry band. Their plan was to hold Colonel Washington for ransom and later that night descend on the nearby town of Harper’s Ferry and gobble up its enticing munitions storage area. Turns out, nobody wanted to pay poor Colonel Washington’s ransom. Somehow, however, he did manage to get free. Whether he cleverly escaped or whether he was left by the side of the road when the smoke cleared from all the commotion at the raid, I don’t know. But as Colonel Washington lived to tell the tale, he was quite brave and valiant throughout his ordeal. It’s said that John Brown, however, told the story a little differently. That there might have been a wee bit of down on the knees, begging for his life going on … but … ah well. We’ll never really know, will we.

To the best of my knowledge, no peacocks were harmed during these activities.

The original home, now the rear portion of the house, is believed to have been built by Thomas Beall prior to 1800. Beall’s daughter Elizabeth married George Corbin Washington in 1807. George Corbin Washington was the grandson of Augustine Washington, half-brother of George Washington. The present front of the house was added in 1820.

The original photographic image on which this digital piece was based was taken in July of 2014 with the Nikon D7000 and the 18-200mm vr Nikon lens. Much play in a few digital programs for a painterly look, which included several lovely paper textures. The image of the peacock was seen and snapped at a different time and place and added for the fun of it.

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A quick click on the image will bring you to my website for a larger version of the image.  White there, mousing over the image will give you a fun, magnified peek at the detailing.

 

Counter Seating Available

Every time my husband and I stop in at the Denny’s Diner in Breezewood, PA, there’s a moment when I’m whisked back in time to the neighborhood diner of the ’50s.  And yes, I do remember the ’50s … you know, vaguely.  Very vaguely.  It was a time of bee-bop music, swinging pony tails, black and white oxford shoes (hated those things … couldn’t keep the whites white), poodle skirts, and hanging out at the local diner, curled up in the booth, sipping on a chocolate milk-shake and listening to Elvis crooning away on the juke box.

Well, no not really, lol.  Actually, I never did any of that. Well, yeah, okay.  Maybe I did swing my pony tail once or twice.  And I really did hate those uncomfortable shoes.  However. For some of us of a certain age, I think it’s in our genetic memory to have done all those things … by osmosis or something, right? I’m probably getting my sciences mixed up, but you get my drift.

Point is, this particular diner has been the subject of a couple of images scattered through my portfolio … and here’s another one. Hope it brings back a fond memory or two (real or imaginary) and hope you enjoy.

“Counter Seating Available” … from © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Lots of fun with this, first snapped in January of 2012 with the Nikon D300. Not sure which lens, probably the Nikkor 18-200mm as I love its flexibility. Piles of fun in Photoshop and Corel Painter 2015, falling in love with a great brush by John Lowther for the counter stools.

A rather sad update … as of this writing, 4/2/19, the diner, though still there physically, is closed and has been so for about 2 years.  I hope it comes back some day … bee bop music on the juke box and all!!  

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As always, a click on the image takes you to my website with purchase options … just in case.  And also as always, would love to hear your thoughts … about the 50s … or diners … or … ??  

Forest Snowman

Since we’re directly in the path of an oncoming, mondo snow storm (January 22, 2016), thoughts of the upside, fun side of these kinds of weather systems have naturally been on my mind.

"Forest Snowman" ... © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

“Forest Snowman” … © Lois Bryan Photography and Digital Art

Building snow men (and ladies), skiing and boarding, sledding, curling up with a good book in front of the fireplace, a fire pit surrounded by your friends and a mug of hot mulled wine steaming in your gloves … or just a good old fashioned snowball fight.  Winter has a very special charm.

But I was wondering … did I start playing with this little snowman when we first heard about the storm a few days ago in an effort to get myself mentally prepared for what was to come? Possibly! Or was I trying to appease the Snow-Storm-Gremlins to keep us all safe and warm?? Probably!!  And yes, I am just a wee bit superstitious.

This little guy turned out way more Christmas-y than I anticipated when I first got started, but it’s funny how sometimes these things take on a life, or at least a mind, of their own. I noticed that when I used to do a lot of creative writing.  Now that can get a little spooky.  But … I still think the snowman’s cute.  Plus, I think I’ve got my Christmas card for next year all set!  

Hoping everyone in this storm’s path stays safe and warm … and that your power stays on and the food and the toilet paper hold out.

Original image captured with my Nikon D300 and the 105mm Nikkor lens at the Juniata Crossing Mercantile in Everett, PA, in November of 2009. Lots of fun in Corel Painter 2015, fully digitally hand painted with tablet and brushes including some fun ones I’d never used before.

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As always, a click on the image takes you to my website where the resolution is nicer and the watermark less offensive.  Always remember, too, that watermarks will never, ever, ever appear on purchased products!!

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So?  What’s your favorite way to spend a snowy day??

 

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