OPENING SOON: My Etsy Shop, This Is The Day Images, where you can purchase my vintage~rural~contemporary, mostly fun and quirky (sometimes more serious), always down to earth, unique and original Digital Art in classy formats including ready-to-hang Canvas Gallery Wraps, Fine Art prints, and even prints on metal and in acrylic! STAY TUNED!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Northbound Swans Feeding

Just a quickie post to show you these images of swans taking a break on their way north, to feed in a large puddle in my Mom's field.  The farm on the horizon is the family farm where I grew up, where my Mom and brother live.   My Brother stood next to me while I took this photo, while taking the same shot with his massive 12 pound very long telephoto lense.  I'll see if I can talk him into sharing one of those photos, which should be way awesomer than mine, which were taken with my ever present iPhone.  I'm so glad to have had ANY camera to help commit this breathtaking event to memory!  The swans only show up on the farm every ten years or so...  (So Mom, if you read this, ask Bryan to email me his best image or two, OK?  Thanks!)

(App: PicShop.)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Fickle Spring

What a Beautiful Spring Puddle
What a Beautiful Spring Puddle

What a Beautiful Spring Puddle 2
What a Beautiful Spring Puddle 2

A south wind breathes: winter sighs into fickle spring:
snow upon snow
at once a rushing verdant glow.

Riffe Road in False Spring
Riffe Road in False Spring

Riffe Road in False Spring 2
Riffe Road in False Spring 2

As if swaying on a string, the sun now in full swing,
southward daily striding,
daybreak weary of hiding.

Cloud Caught between Heaven and Earth
Caught between Heaven and Earth

Sprightly swiftly northward, chattering joy as they wing:
a sparkling chorus twittering,
feathery dancers flittering.

Spring Horizon
Spring Horizon

With haste we pray, please, budding leaflets and florets bring:
spice and balm, fresh bouquets,
sweetness enough to fill the days.

Spring Muddy Road Composition
Spring Mud Composition

Yet you charm, beguile, tantalize, tease! 
You lead us on with mirthful ease,
then fell a flurry "just one more time"!
Are you so cruel? Or are you sublime?

Frosty Spruce Branch (with animated snow!  How did THAT get there?)

Frosty Haven (with animated snow!  No, really, how DID that get there?)

(You may not believe this, but I have NO IDEA how the animated snow appeared on these two photos.  It was such a miracle I had to post them. ..  I DO know that I used the app, PicShop, for the photo editing on this story.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sansa for Prez

Agent Klahn successfully removed the cat from his cereal, and Sansa became the Leader of the Free World.  KJB stands for Kitten Jujutsu Bureau.

This post brought to you through fun experimentation with the app ComicBook! 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Heart Day

 Some messages of Valentine Love for my husband Casey.  We celebrate our 20th Wedding Anniversary in just 12 days!  The greatest 20 years of my life: I love you, Hun!
Casey, Happy Valentines's Day heart rocks photo
Luv U heart rock
  "be mine" heart rock

These Valentines were joyfully developed with found art from my extensive Heart Rock Collection, and the following apps:  PicShop, and PicArt.

As a follow-up to my February 2 post on Found Art, let me say that heart shaped rocks are probably my favorite form of God's communicative art found in nature.  Call me silly, I don't care at all.  I will laugh with you!  But I unapologetically feel God's love more, every time I come across another heart shaped rock.  They feel like divine Valentine's Day cards, created throughout the millenia of earth's creation, mailed specifically from God to me, to be received throughout each year; God knowing where I will be and walk and look throughout my life, He strategically placed each one, ready to be found and cherished.  Knowing I would need to hear it once again:  "God loves me!"  Sign me up for a mental evaluation, go ahead.  But before you do, keep in mind that we all think ourselves to be the most sane person in the room.  And I know that God has my address!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Branches Telling ~ My Haiku

By way of testing and experimenting with the INKredible App, I decided to create an illustrated Haiku, using the Calligraphy Pen.  With so many beautifully inscribed winter branches around, leaflessly revealing their stark and graceful lines against winter skies, it wasn't difficult to write about nature's banquet of inspiration:

I like this app for the ability to write while lying down relaxing, without having to a) type, and b) have ink flow troubles.  I still wasn't able to completely relax, but close.  The stylus, which I purchased at Radio Shack specifically for its small nib, drags more than I would like.  If they could invent an extremely smooth stylus, I would love it, especially if the tip were very small and pointy, that is, precise.  Does anyone know of such a great stylus?

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Happy 100th Birthday, Barn!

"We're worried about you guys.  You're so isolated out here.  Maybe you should move back to the city, where you would be more in touch with society.   Where you can see your friends more often.  We miss you guys!"

Can you hear and feel the love in that statement?  She broke my heart, and I wanted to cry, I was so touched.  But, I burst out laughing instead.  Not entirely appropriate, true, but Casey and I were very pleased with ourselves for having pulled off the Great Escape, as we called it: we had gathered our worldly belongings into two U-hauls, and pointed the tires back in time.  Away from Seattle, the Rat Race, the road rage, the horrid commutes, the Pressure Cooker.  We were already planning to live out our years here, and we were still young!  It was 1998.

This farmer's daughter never could feel that Seattle was her town.  Instead, I felt like the city was eating me alive.  After moving here, remembering my 18 years living in Seattle seemed like watching a movie of someone else's life.  I guess that means we did the right thing...

I think what ultimately shocked my friend the most, perhaps with a last-straw effect, was that we had chosen not to go ahead with the HD TV movement.  We turned the "Mind Suck Machine" off instead.   "But... but...  how can you live without TV?"  This blurted reaction became such a comically common question over time, and seemed so difficult for people to grapple with, that we eventually pretty much stopped telling people.  It was just too fatiguing, being looked at as if we'd fallen off our proverbial rockers with both of our two proverbial heads!  (At least, telling this truth here on the blog, I can't see the shocked look on your faces!)

We often said that we would rather watch paint peel than watch TV.  This statement is somewhat literal - treasuring the history here, the heritage, the astonishing strength of the homesteaders - is a mark of our rural life.  We think of the small village of outbuildings on our land as Portals to Another Time: the barn, the blacksmith shop, the WWII quonset hut, the two bunk houses where the harvest crews slept.  In the early 1900s, when our land was broken out and the farmstead built, it took dozens of workers to bring in the grain with horse-drawn equipment and implements.  The most accurate and beautiful depiction of a 1916 wheat harvest I've yet seen is the 1978 film Days of Heaven, starring Richard Gere - truly a jaw-droppingly stunning film.

Please enjoy the sublime patina of our 1914 barn (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BARN!), in these photos taken yesterday during a brief spate of what I call "Slow-Mo Snow" - flakes falling gently, silently and softly, like blessings from Heaven.  Slow-Mo Snow never lasts for long, and only happens here once or twice a winter, so when I saw the first goose-down feathers drifting earthward, I ran outside in my jammies!  (TMI?)

super barn doors
Portal Doors by Lorie Klahn

Alas, my iPhone did not capture the snowflakes quite as stunningly I had wished, but I like how the images turned out.  They were put through several apps, and I'm especially pleased with the enhanced contrast, which lends delicate strength to the twigginess of the trees, reverse-silhouetted against the barn and sky.  The barn's volume, presence and personality make it seem almost superhuman.  The trees seem to reach out to it, but - are they afraid to touch it?

One Hundred Years Standing
One Hundred Years Standing by Lorie Klahn

To finish the story, when we first moved to Bald Ridge, many of our Seattle friends enjoyed the serenity and fresh air here so much that we actually saw them more often than when we lived in The Pressure Cooker alongside them!  For most of them however, the visits have slacked off over the years, and we never see some of our Seattle friends at all.   But we love and miss them as much as ever, in fact more, and although facebook is an inadequate substitute, it is something... 

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Found Art: Conversations?

My Pinterest collection of black and white abstract art is boringly named "Art--Bold--Black and White".  At around 800 pins, it is embarrassingly vast, which is a story for another day.  The assemblage of smart, tantalizing works feels oddly serene, pressed together into ranks, marching neatly up and down across my screens. 

In that the commonality among them is the contrast and conversation between black and white, it occurred to me that the plural noun for the group might be "A Conversation of Black and White Abstracts".  I would even congratulate myself on my cleverness by renaming the Board, if I didn't need to maintain such a perfect nomenclature system in order to keep control of my Frenzy of Pinterest Boards! ( 260!...  and counting!...  Yikes!)

But there is another reason I might consider renaming the Board.  Don't we often say, when gazing at a gorgeous piece of artwork, "It speaks to me!"  Can't art be a conversation, if one defines art as "a statement that an artist intentionally makes, in an original / unique way", or "a way that an artist expresses (tells about) himself"?  I am wondering out loud here, realizing that these definitions would depend upon the intention of the artist, and his art process.  I also see that a statement is not the same as a two-way conversation.  However, art is meant to be experienced, and interacted with, so, I am theorizing that our response to an art statement constitutes at least the beginnings of a conversation.

Among the pins on that Board, recently re-posted so you can easily find it in the collection, you will find the following image:

At first glance I thought it to be an original image created upon some unusual contemporary ground, perhaps an etching on aluminum.  But no, it is a photo: the Whirlpool Cloud, a photo by NASA Goddard Photo and Video.  It is a favorite image, emoting chaos in motion and gentle sensitivity, all at once.  It makes me think of God's holiness: wrath tempered by mercy. 

To continue my bloggish question above, is this image a conversation? And to take it one step further, if the art we are conversing with is "found art", then who are we conversing with?  For pondering this question, here is another abstract black and white artwork:
A Montage of Wind Activity in America on July 28, 2012, by Lorie Klahn
I created this found-art triptych from this Wind Map website.  I was so taken with the gracefulness and artful dance of the wind activity lines, and how they fluidly compose themselves in such pleasing, affecting and dimensional ways, that I felt compelled to somehow capture the experience.  By looking through the Wind Map website archives and choosing what looked like a day with interesting lines, I zoomed in, took a screenshot, cropped away the kerfuffle, and fiddled ever so slightly with the contrast, times three, and quickly had a trio to collage.  But truth be told I played on this sight for at least an hour, with rapt fascination. How could airstreams be so hypnotizing...  so beautiful   ...such a profound statement?

Within my personal basis of belief, the answer is, that because it is made intentionaly by the Inventor of Art Himself, found art is the truest of true art: His self-expressions, messages to us, conversations with us, placed everywhere for us to find, like a grand Easter Egg Hunt.  He wants to take our breath away!  He wants us to know Him and converse with Him by what we see in His creation.
For behold, he who forms the mountains and creates the wind,
and declares to man what is his thought,
who makes the morning darkness,
and treads on the heights of the earth—
the Lord, the God of hosts, is his name! 
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Randomly Capturing Randomness: Wanna Play?

There is nothing like recovering from the flu to test one's patience.  On about day 10, in my case, one's mind is finally clearing enough to let some motivation begin to seep back in.  And yet the body stubbornly lags far behind, insisting there must still be all those awful symptoms whenever verticality is attempted.

Alas...  But we can make the best of it:  Hallelujah for iPads and photography apps!  Let's play the Randomly Capture Randomness game!

To play, take or find any ordinary snap-shot quality photo that says something to you, for you, today:  here is one which speaks to me as I gain determination to overcome this flu.  I took this at 50 mph while driving to town last early summer:  please don't tell Casey, but I literally stuck my iPhone out the window, while driving, and pointed it at the sky.  I was cresting the shoulder of Getty's Butte, and the clouds hung so enticingly low, you felt you could reach up and touch some fluff:

(I guess since I only have one Blog follower at this point, who is Casey, he's gonna find out, huh?)

The beautiful thing about the Randomly Capture Randomness game is that the photographic qualities one would usually be concerned with - composition, exposure, focus - are out the window! (har har!)  In fact, part of the fun is seeing how far you can transform a bad image.  If I had followers, we'd hold a challenge to see how each person could start with the ugliest, plainest image, ending up with the most emotive, affective image!  But alas, an exercise such as that between just Casey and I might not be quite as much fun...  Still, Hun, you wanna play?

It should probably be stated somewhere that if you prefer to try this exercise without putting your life at risk while driving, just go for a walk and hold the camera above your head where you can't look at it, or close your eyes.  Just don't do these things while crossing the street or walking near a construction zone.  Randomly capture the randomness that is all around you, but please don't include any ambulance lights or ER ceilings!

So, what shall we try with our random image?  I'm really liking the Sketch Guru app, which I just discovered a couple of days ago.  Although it only has the most basic starting adjustments one might need (such as contrast and crop adjustments), it boasts a wide assortment of some very nice artistic filters.  We'll start by cropping the image to a square:

then pumping up the contrast a little.  This is not this app's forte, so if you have a snap which needs a lot of work on straightness, exposure and even sharpness, I'd recommend PicShop for those steps.  Onward we go, however, in Sketch Guru, since this photo doesn't need much done on the front end:

So that's looking pretty nice.  Now to make it fun and bright, which is the feeling I'd like to pull from this image, in memory of that day:  it was a gorgeous early summer day, with a brilliantly deep and bright blue sky scuttled with fantastical cloud formations which veritably commanded me to stick my hand out the window while holding my iPhone, and get some pics!

How about the "8Bit filter?

Meh, let's try Gouache:

Interesting for some purposes:  it rendered the clouds very softly, which might be useful for a sympathy card, perhaps?  

Here's the Sketch filter:

I actually think this is really interesting!  I like how the darker, thicker strokes work with the angles of the pole and wires, which somehow for me makes the sky feel connected to the earth.  This is a keeper, for its compositional qualities.  (I am a real pack rat of images that I like...)

Here, the Watercolor filter:

Ah, yes, this captures what that day was for me.  The colors and poofy, light cloud shapes lift my spirits, and the power pole and lines lend motion and the feeling of freedom one gets when driving over hilltops under low clouds, wind and sky swirling together, the sun and the day bursting with joy...  This image carries me up and away from the fog of flu and mid-January.  

Hooray for art apps that help us randomly capture the beauty of randomness all around us!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rhyme on Frost (and some Frost on Rime)

frosty grass fronds and field (c) L Klahn
Frost Flower, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

"Frost is the greatest artist in our clime - 
He paints in nature and describes in rime”  

— Thomas Hood

Frost Ribbons (c) L Klahn
Frost Ribbons, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

"The seasons alter: hoary-headed frosts
Fall in the fresh lap of the crimson rose."

— William Shakespeare

Frost Calligraphy, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frost Calligraphy, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

"Some leaves hang late,
some fall before the first frost--
so goes the tale of winter branches 
and old bones."  

Frosty Haven, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frosty Haven, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
"Whether the eave-drops fall
Heard only in the trances of the blast,
Or if the secret ministry of frost
Shall hang them up in silent icicles,
Quietly shining to the quiet moon.”

Frost and Silhouette 1, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frost and Silhouette 1, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

Frost and Silhouette 2, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frost and Silhouette 2, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

Frosty Tunnel, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frosty Tunnel, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
“All that is gold does not glitter, 
not all those who wander are lost;
the old that is strong does not wither, 
deep roots are not reached by the frost. 
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, 
a light from the shadows shall spring; 
renewed shall be blade that was broken, 
the crownless again shall be king.”  

Frosty Landscape and Barn, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frosty Landscape and Barn, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

"Poverty, Frost, Famine, Rain, Disease, 
are the beadles and guardsmen 
that hold us to Common Sense.”  

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Frosty Curlicues 1, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frosty Curlicues 1, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

Frosty Curlicues 2, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frosty Curlicues 2, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

"Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice."

Fire and Ice

Frost Field, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frost Field, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

"From its chamber comes the whirlwind,
and cold from the scattering winds.
By the breath of God ice is given,
and the broad waters are frozen fast.
He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
the clouds scatter his lightning.
They turn around and around by his guidance,
to accomplish all that he commands them
on the face of the habitable world. 

Job 37:9-12, English Standard Version Bible

Frosted Grass, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frosted Grass, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

Frosted Pine Needles, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frosted Pine Needles, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

Frosted Stems, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frosted Stems, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
"Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: 
Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? ...

Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? 
Tell me, if you have understanding. ...

Have you commanded the morning since your days began, 
and caused the dawn to know its place, 
that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, 
and the wicked be shaken out of it? ...

Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, 
or have you seen the storehouses of the hail, 
which I have reserved for the time of trouble, 
for the day of battle and war? 
What is the way to the place where the light is distributed, 
or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth? ...

From whose womb did the ice come forth, 
and who has given birth to the frost of heaven? 
The waters become hard like stone, 
and the face of the deep is frozen.'" 

Frost Aglow, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frost Aglow 1, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

Frost Aglow 2, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)
Frost Aglow 2, photo by Lorie Klahn (c)

Images captured via iPhone at the Klahn property on 1-20-2014.  I used PicShop Photo Editor App on all of these photos, giving them a slightly vintage look.  It is one of my favorite apps.