Friday, December 31, 2010

Florida Birds

 The Florida birds were a delight to view and photograph.  Here we have the white egret, the blue heron, and and a pelican taking off after a lunch of fish.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fast forward

The sports setting on the Canon Rebel was very handy when photographing some mobile animals during a vacation in Florida.  At 10 Thousand Island park, the motorized boat took us out to the islands covered with red, black, and white Mangroves. As the boat moved along, the dolphins swam to the boat for a "free ride" in the wake or in the front of the boat.  It appeared to be great fun for them and was definitely entertaining for the passengers.

Osprey nests are numerous near the beaches and many were inhabited by fledglings.  Here is a picture of one parent leaving the nest to secure the next meal. The sports setting was also useful for photographing flowers moving in the wind.  The wood stork posed for a while, then started walking away. The camera caught the motion without any blur. Great setting to play with!

Sunday, December 26, 2010


It has been a while since I have seen Southern sunsets, so the holiday escape to Florida was a real treat for such viewing and photographing.  I vacationed in Ft. Myers and visited the beach as often as possible to capture the sun during its final stages of the day.  Here are some of my favorites.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Abstract Cement Sculptures

The sun was perfect today in Ithaca to photograph the cement sculptures in the sculpture garden of Cornell Plantations.  With no leaves on the trees, there was little distraction from the magnificent cement objects.  I am continuing to work on a series of abstract montages, which are a distinct diversion from my focus on flowers over the years.

Here is one of the montages I produced today.  Would love to have any feedback.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Shagbark Hickory Tree

This was a submission to a blog on the Cornell Johnson Art Museum website.

Each day, this tree greets me as I view it while walking to pick up the paper or mail. It has grown in its present position for years on the golf course and I cannot remember a time when it was not there.

The tree changes its hue and expression depending on the time of day and season. Right now, the gold leaves are brilliant in the autumn sun and announce the beauty of the season.  In the early morning, the sun shines through the leaves from the East and in the afternoon, the glow of the setting sun illuminates both the leaves and the irregular bark.

Each season, the tree is interesting to view. In the winter, the rugged bark is poignant against the harshness of the climate.  The many grays of the shagbark denote the sculptural lines along the trunk and branches.

From winter to spring to summer and then to fall, this tree has been a visual reminder of both change and consistency.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Artistic lotus pods

There are many ways to use the lotus in artwork in addition to photography.  I made cement molds from the leaves and use them as stepping stones, garden decor, water fountains, and bird feeders.  The pods can be used for swatches for the door, arrangements, and holiday wreathes.  With a bit of spray paint, you can transform the pod into a very crafty object.  The attached photo shows me at a garden club event with my silver sprayed lotus pods arranged among Artemesia.

Monday, October 4, 2010

End of the season

Even the lotus leaves turn color at the end of the season.  They lose their chlorophyll and the yellows and browns in the leaves show through. Eventually, the leaves shrivel and die and fall into the water to decompose.  With the amount of leaves in the pond, one would think that the pond would fill with decomposed matter.  Fortunately, the process does not quickly change the pond and the spring will bring renewed growth. It has been a gorgeous season with about 500 lotus blooms decorating the pond for 2 months.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Another cement abstraction

I made several versions of the cement sculptures before I settled on this one to submit to the State of the Art Gallery for a show in October.  I am on the Greater Ithaca Art Trail open weekends in October in Ithaca, NY and the gallery show is intended to help advertise the trail and its artists.

Would love any feedback. This one was printed on canvas, 20 x 30 inches.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Abstractions in the Cornell Sculpture Garden

One of the architecture student projects in the '60s was to produce massive cement sculptures.  Nobody wanted them to be placed on the central campus, so the decision was made to put them in a remote area of the Cornell Plantations. At that time, the area was agrarian.  In the '80s, the managed area of the Plantations expanded and the sculptures are now part of a large sculpture garden in the arboretum.

I find the sculptures very photogenic during all seasons and all angles of light. The warm morning and afternoon light, however, give the best hues on the cement.

As a project for an upcoming art show, I chose to produce an abstraction from some of the pieces.  What do you think?  Would love to have some feedback!  Thanks.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Morning Glory Montage

After a busy day of taking photos and running errands, I sat down and produced this montage, using manipulative tools in Photoshop. How do you like it? Would love any feedback.

Magnificent Morning Glories

This is the time of year to enjoy Morning Glories in Central New York. Friends of mine have them growing on the side of a barn, along with some very pretty Diplodenia.  The sun was perfect for some late morning photography. Attached are two images. Next time, I will pack my tripod!

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Magic Beans"

My daughter and I refer to these beans as the Magic Beans, because of their magical qualities.  The Hyacinth Bean Vine, Ruby Moon, twists its way up any support system and looks especially interesting twisted around my copper sculptures.  This photo was taken after a two day rain, which we desperately needed, with the water drops still clinging to the vine. The bean grows well in sunny locations and has flowered much of the summer. I usually save the bean seeds to replant another year.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Playful Photoshop

Much of my artwork involves some manipulation in Photoship to extract parts of flowers and then to produce montages.  There are so many functions in Photoshop that I have not begun to explore, but started playing with some of the artistic filters the other day.  I chose one of my lotus pictures and then applied some different filters.  I like the result and hope others do too. This is yet another approach to digital photography. Would love any comments and feedback.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back lighting after a rain

I love the morning light behind the flowers, especially with a hint of rain on them.  The pictures here are of Echinacea and Crocosmia, early in the morning this week. Rain has been scarce this summer and the pond is down several feet.  I have to water the gardens almost every day to keep everything healthy and flowering.  The days are becoming shorter already and the insects serenade in the evening.  Geese seem to reflect on the changing day length and sign a chorus of confusion flying back and forth in the sky.  Ah, but the summer is lovely.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Cornell University

The sun was perfect on Sunday for taking pictures at Cornell for a Cornell Campus Club poster.  Two iconic buildings, the Uris Bell Tower and Willard Straight Hall photographed well against the bright blue sky.  I will use the tower for a poster, and will use both buildings in some artistic renderings for montages.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Lotus abound!

Each morning is a thrill for photographing the lotus!  About 100 are in bloom right now, with buds still coming on.  The pods from the withered blooms are enlarging, with seeds beginning to show in their development.  Great season for these flowers!  I am enthralled by them.

Here are two images. One is a straight photographic image and the other is a montage produced through manipulation. I actually like them both. Your thoughts?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day lily montages

After taking several digital images of the Day Lily Days flowers on Saturday, I am ready to manipulate some of them to produce some lily montages.  Note the extra white space after the manipulation. Hope you like it this way.

Luscious Lotus!

The lotus are filling the pond behind my gardens and are numbering about 50 in bloom at one time.  Hard to convey the full sense of the flowers swaying in the gentle breeze, glowing in all types of light, and changing hues depending upon the time of day, the age of the flower, and the amount of light.  I photograph them early in the morning, when the light is soft, or late in the afternoon for the intensity of back lighting.  This pond will be on the Garden Conservancy tour on July 31st, 10-4, if you are in the Ithaca area.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Day lily cultivars

The wild day lilies are abundant in NYS but can hardly compete with some of the gorgeous cultivars available.  These cultivars have a breath of colors, are robust, and beautiful to observe. Here is one I purchased a few years ago from Daylily Days, Ann Rider, in Ithaca.

Friday, July 9, 2010

nancyridenourartist: Lotus Montage.7.8.10

nancyridenourartist: Lotus Montage.7.8.10

Lotus Montage.7.8.10

The Artist Market is on July 30th at the Farmers' Market in Ithaca and I am working on some new montages to sell at the market.  Since the lotus are in glorious bloom, I have been lured back to photographing them at every possible angle and time of day.  Here is the latest montage.  Love to hear any comments and feedback.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Lilies that grow from bulbs are in bloom in Ithaca right now.  The day lilies are also in bloom but are not the same plants.  According to an internet site, Lilies are believed to have been under cultivation longer than any other ornamental flower, having existed in gardens 3,000 years ago. Floral designs, particularly of Lilies, made their appearance and became very popular in the 18th dynasty of Egypt. Many flowers have interesting symbolism and use, which is always fun to study.  This lily was photographed back lit by the afternoon sun.


The first sunflower reminds me of the fields and fields of sunflowers in Provence and the wonderful Van Gogh art that was inspired by them.  The intensity of the light in Provence is truly unique and well described by Van Gogh as almost piercing your brain through your eyes.  Here is a sunflower montage produced from a photo taken yesterday in a friend's garden.  Hope you enjoy it.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lovely Lavender!

I visited friends who have an exquisite collection of Lavender in the peak of bloom.  The bees were seeking nectar with abandon and the lavender swayed in the very slight breeze. Such a hot day here in Ithaca, but it was fun trying to catch the flowers in the afternoon sun.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Public Library Show

Several members from the NYFA MARK program (marketing program for artists run by 

New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA)

) are participating in a show at the Tompkins County Public Library, which will be up for a couple months.  I submitted three pieces:  Lotus Montage, Tree Peony Montage, and the Cornell Uris Bell Tower with lotus montage.  If you live in or near Ithaca, please drop by to see the show.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lotus are in bloom!

Three gorgeous lotus flowers greeted me this morning!  This is over two weeks early compared to other years. The size of the flower is also smaller than other years and is not as tall stem wise. So, what in the environment contributed to this situation?  It is the season to cherish the beautiful blooms that glow in the sunlight, are fantastic with back lighting, and sway gracefully with the large leaves of the lotus plant.  I am hoping the display continues, since I have the Garden Conservancy Open Gardens on July 31st for people to see the lotus.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Artful Cornell

In 2008, I produced a small book through Lulu Press entitled "Artful Cornell".  It contains images of Cornell buildings and sculptures with a variety of overlays and other artful treatments. Attached here is the Cornell Uris Bell Tower with a transparent overlay of a lotus flower.  Please tell me what you think about this approach.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Magical Mist

The early morning mist after the overnight storm was truly magical the other day as it hung over the pond.  Looks very tropical!  The lotus leaves are emerging above the pond much earlier than other years.  Another sign of early growth are the day lilies, which are usually in bloom in July!