Thursday, October 27, 2016

A Walk Through the Woods

The bright sunshine beckoned us out for a walk through the woods. The leaves were already quite deep in some places along the path, but Meko (the dog) was keen in accompanying us.  

The afternoon sun cast long shadows on the leaf-strewn forest floor. Many of the trees are already rather bare, allowing even more light to penetrate.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Sanghyang Dancer, Pastel

My latest pastel painting - Sanghyang Dancer

As the last performer of the night, I want to leave a lasting impression on the audience and of course, the gods. I am proud to be one of a small select member of the Pemangku temple priests. I deeply breathe in the incense that a fellow priest wafts in my direction. Now possessed by the celestial soldier deity Gandarwa, I enter a trance and mount my hobby horse.  The chants and percussive rhythms of my fellow performers encourages me to imitate the movement of a soldier on horseback as I dance in a circular motion around the blazing fire of coconut shells. After several circumnavigations, I have achieved the state needed to pass directly through the fire, filled with the energy and powers of Gandarwa to scatter the red hot coals with swift kicks of my bare feet. Surely I, as with previous Sanghyang dancers, now have been endowed with the power to drive out illnesses and disease. 

See more artworks at

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Framed by Yellows and Oranges

Shortly after I started my walk yesterday morning, the clouds gave way to reveal the sun. A great opportunity to take a few photos of the changing colors in my neighborhood.

If only the colors would last!

Monday, October 17, 2016

One Lonely Leaf

Although some trees have really begun to change, there still are a fair percentage whose leaves are green or yellow-green. While walking in Tenney Park, I spotted this maple tree which had a highly contrasting red leaf dangling from a vertical branch. Perhaps it had more courage or was in no mood to procrastinate.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Early Morning Rays on the Yahara

The shorter amount of daylight has really become apparent these last few weeks, making it harder to get up in the morning. I waited a bit longer so it was lighter before I went out for a walk. I headed down to where the Yahara River is a tributary into Lake Monona to see how the autumn trees were looking. Still at 7:40 AM, the sun was still rather low in the sky, its golden reflection bouncing off the water. 

The trees weren't all that far yet, so I sought a different subject. Some warm-hued leaves were backlit just above the dewy grass.
The combination of cool shadows and warm sunlight peeking beneath the arched trees was quite pleasing. Perhaps with the nippy evenings these past few days, the rate of coloration will increase, prompting a re-visit in a week or so.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Tenney Park Bridges, Autumn

The other evening I went for a walk to nearby Tenney Park. The early autumn lighting was quite nice, complemented by the very still conditions.

Here I focused on a few of the bridges in the park, combined with some the some changing leaves.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Lanterns of China and Seoul

When walking through the Chinese Lights display at the Boerner Gardens, I couldn't help but compare them to the Lanterns I had seen in South Korea. I went through some of my MANY photos of the lantern festivals I had seen in South Korea, and paired them up here with ones similar at Boerner Botanical Gardens.
Chinese Dragon, Boerner
Korean Dragon, Seoul

Fish, Boerner
Fish, Seoul

Pandas, Boerner

Pandas, Seoul
Flute Player in Lotus Flower, Boerner
Amongst the Lotuses, Seoul
Which do you like better - the Chinese sculptures at Boerner, or the Korean ones in Seoul?

Friday, October 07, 2016

Chinese-themed Lanterns at Boerner Botanical Gardens

Although all of the 1,000 silk lanterns at Boerner Botanical Gardens were created by Chinese artists from Sichuan Tianyu, there definitely were some displays that felt more Chinese in theme. 
The warm hues of the Chinese Palace lanterns contrasted beautifully against the sapphire night sky.

The fan was one of my favorites, portraying elegant peacocks, flowers, and butterflies.
Detail of the fan

The Chinese zodiac lanterns were a crowd favorite. People posed in front of the zodiac animal from their birth year. I even had my photo taken in front of mine.

The display also had several Chinese figures, such as the operatic performers below.
A bit of China in Wisconsin!

The China Lights display can be seen at the Boerner Botanical Gardens through the end of October. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

China Lights in Wisconsin

When living in Seoul, South Korea, I eagerly looked forward to the Lantern festivals which took place at the Cheonggycheon stream as well as the parade of the Lotus Lantern Festival. I loved seeing how illuminated sculptures formed from wire frames and hanji paper could display such elegant beauty. 

Upon hearing that the Boerner Botanical Gardens was having a China Lights Festival, I knew I must attend. Despite the rain, my friends and I traveled from Madison to Hales Corners (near Milwaukee); by the time we arrived, the rain had just stopped. In compensation for the cancellation of some opening events and muddy pathways, we were allowed to hold onto our tickets and return another time. Being hardy paid off! 

When we began to walk through the gardens, it was still rather light outside. It enabled us to see the natural flowers and landscaping, but the colors of the silk-covered displays were not as dynamic.
Soon, the night darkness arrived, enabling the China lights to shine forth in glory. 

Saturday, October 01, 2016

Washington's Ribs

Madison, Wisconsin has many places set up for those who like to bike or go for walks. In fact, views are afforded to such alternative travelers that are not able to be seen by those in cars. Such is the case with Washington Bridge. A walking/bike path follows the Yahara River and goes directly under the bridge and avoiding any interaction with the busy vehicle traffic above. 
For those individuals willing to take a few moments while traversing under the bridge, they are afforded a great interplay of line and value. I love how the "ribs" of the bridge reflect in the rather calm water.

Change your vantage point, move farther away from the light, or tilt your camera, and you've got a variety of abstract compositions.