Saturday, November 28, 2015

Great Blue Heron - A Lanky Waterfowl

Great Blue Heron

On a chilly winter day near Nebraska’s North Platte River, a great blue heron swooped in searching for prey. After a brisk feather-ruffle, it proceeded to patiently stroll along the shoreline of an icy pond.

Sharp eyes scanned the water’s surface for small fish. With its sinewy neck coiled into the shape of an S, the big bird was ready to strike. A long, dagger-like beak would deliver the final death blow.

After an unsuccessful hunt, the lanky waterfowl became annoyed with the uninvited intruder. It promptly straightened up, delivered a harsh croak and soared swiftly to the safety of a nearby cottonwood stand.

A chilly winter day

Searching for prey

Ruffled feathers

Patiently strolling

Sharp eyes

A sinewy neck

Coiled into the shape of an S

An unsuccessful hunt

A lanky waterfowl

Straightened up

Saturday, November 21, 2015

About Art, Paintings and Drawings - An Interview

"Trout Lake" Colored Pencil

Recently, I had a conversation with my friend Adam Ziemba from Noble Portrait about art, paintings and drawings. Somehow, Adam was able to weave that information together and he published the results of our discussion in an interview format.

It’s always gratifying when someone shows an interest in your creative work so I appreciate Adam’s inquisitive enthusiasm. If you’re interested in learning more about my philosophies of art, photography and nature, please check out Adam’s article.

Prepared by Adam Ziemba

Dan Miller, a top 100 colored-pencil artist, was kind enough to share his experiences with and passion for fine art on our pages of Noble Portrait.

Born to an artistic family in western Nebraska, Dan quickly discovered his lifetime passion for fine arts. Ever since he began with a pencil as a child, he has developed expertise in photography, writing, and oil and acrylic painting. Dan searches and seeks for truth in the world. His inspiration derives from nature, landscapes and wildlife, which truly shows on his many artworks.

In the interview, Dan expands on his education and career path. He talks about some of the most important lessons and most difficult challenges which he encountered on the way to becoming a fine artist. He shares his observations regarding imitating styles of other artists (even most famous art masters like van Gogh, Rembrandt or Dali), as well as painting photo-real portraits. Dan also shares advice with other established and aspiring fine artists.

Please join us for the entire interview “About Art, Paintings and Drawings with Dan Miller”.

Evergreen, Colorado

Nature is inspiring

Photographing the Colorado landscape and beyond

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Observation Point - An Unreachable Destination

Zion Canyon

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” - Greg Anderson

Zion National Park is known for its dry heat, clean air and bright colors but on this day the canyon is cool and wet. During a steady drizzle, we begin our steep ascent up the dark, weeping wall.

Despite the limited light, the narrow gorge displays a wide value range. Under such conditions the desert can’t be seen in black and white, it must be expressed with a thousand shades of gray.

Lofty height is earned quickly from a steady effort exerted up the long switchbacks. The far rim vanishes in a veil of dark clouds as the storm descends below and settles over the riverbed.

The dangerous ravine is approached with respect but climbed with confidence. While walking a narrow line, the airy landscape is visually stunning but frightful vertigo is induced to the sensitive viewer.

A slender cavern provides surprisingly dry cover during the heaviest downpour. Pressing ever forward across slippery rock, the massive landscape is completely quiet.

After taking it to the limit, our unfortunate return is reluctantly arranged. Unfazed by the uncomfortable elements, we just miss the vertical max because time expired.

Despite our best efforts, the Point remains unreachable but that’s okay because there’s something I’ve learned concerning life. The journey is what brings us happiness, not the destination.

A steady drizzle in Zion National Park

The gorge displays a wide value range

A thousand shades of gray

Lofty height is earned quickly

The far rim vanishes in a veil

A storm settles below

The dangerous ravine is approached with respect

The airy landscape is stunning

Unfazed by the elements

We missed the vertical max

We gave our best effort

It's the journey, not the destination

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Hobbs Peak Park - A Secluded Reserve

Ocelot Cliffs at Hobbs Peak Park

Hobbs Peak Park is a hidden oasis landlocked by surrounding private property. The centerpiece of the secluded reserve is a photogenic rock formation known as the Ocelot Cliffs.

Native Americans revered the unusual landscape, evidenced by arrowheads that can still be found at the sacred site. The place may have been used for ceremonies and other spiritual activities associated with origin stories and oral traditions.

During the 1970’s, the area was a climber’s mecca that attracted adventurers from all across the country. Currently, scaling the cliffs is illegal and if caught, the penalty is as steep as the rock’s south face.

The little piece of land is bursting with wildlife where red foxes roam through the forest while mule deer graze in the meadows. Rumor even has it that a reclusive mountain lion stalks the sequestered woods.

Featuring the Mount Evans Massif, a marvelous vista appears to the west while traversing the park’s narrow spine. Whether seen in the spring or sprinkled with snow, this special area is blessed with beauty during all seasons.

Protective locals are gracious hosts but they clearly hope the hidden gem remains off the radar and who can blame them. It’s pretty nice to have such a pristine wilderness all to yourself.

A hidden oasis

The centerpiece is a photogenic rock

Native Americans revered the unusual landscape

A spiritual place

Meadows are bursting with wildlife

Sequestered woods

Marvelous vista to the west

Beauty during all seasons

A hidden gem

Pristine wilderness