Thursday, May 7, 2015

Faeries and Fairy images - new work

A lot of the new work I'm generating centers around portraits of faeries (or fairies, if you prefer), fae folk and the faerie realm.

I never realized how it would influence my work, but I've always enjoyed fantasy and faeries and magic. Growing up I loved to pretend in the woods (by "the field" in our old neighborhood - where all the kids would always meet and play).  Fantasy movies in the 80's also sparked my imagination as a child and I was constantly on the lookout for any sort of movie or book with a fanciful theme.

I used to review books for a small fantasy/sci-fi/horror publication.  Once I reviewed a retelling of Thomas The Rhymer, a minstrel who was spirited off to the faerie realm by the beautiful and somewhat terrifying Queen of Faeries.  I've often thought of that book, and after I created this image I knew this was my vision of Mab herself.  (If you're in Arizona, you can see this work entitled "Form of Spirit" this month at the Firehouse Gallery's "Geek Love" exhibition.)

I'm sure some part of it's because I have two imaginative, unicorn/dragon/fairy-crazed children that it's come back into my consciousness.  We definitely connect over all things fantasy.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Photographing butterflies at the Desert Botanical Garden

Last month I visited the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix with some friends. It's one of the most beautiful places in the area. There are so many incredible plants and birds and critters to see, but by far my favorite part this visit was the Spring Butterfly Exhibit.

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly (Battus philenor)

Buckeye Butterfly (Junonia coenia)

As you walk into a lush, tropical and colorful tented area you see the exhibit is chock FULL of these amazing winged creatures. They are very fast and I was ill-prepared to take photos, but I did my best with my limited camera equipment.

Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae)

Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly (Battus philenor)

All of these photos were taken with my Nikon D3100 and a 50mm f/1.4 lens (my favorite) and I think it did a pretty good job!  However, I'm still looking forward to the purchase of some new equipment in the near future that I've been scrimping and saving for.  UPDATE: I am very happy and excited to announce that I have finally upgraded my camera to a full-frame - it was part of my birthday present this year! Yay birthdays! 

Julia Butterfly (Dryas iulia)

Julia Butterfly (Dryas iulia)

Buckeye Butterfly (Junonia coenia)

Luna Moths mating! (Actias luna)

 I love macro photography.  I could have stayed in there all day. It was so peaceful and lovely to watch these gentle creatures flit about and glide through the air.  Ahhh, nature.