Random thoughts and bits of life of a coffee loving artist

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

A Wandering Artist - Days 6 & 7

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back to the mayhem. I do apologize for the delay on sharing the last leg of the journey but between spotting/non-existent internet and the traveling, I've only now been able to sit down and transcribe the shenanigans that had ensued. So without further to do, here is how my adventure concluded. 

Starting point: Hill City, South Dakota
The day finally arrived for the reunion! The morning was absolutely perfect with warm sunlight, mostly clear skies and flowers blooming in the various gardens. Meeting my boyfriend's mother and younger sister at his grandfather's place, we were met by his older sister and her family. Sharing a few laughs before we got into our respective vehicles and caravan-ed our way to the meeting where the rest of the family was located. The meeting location itself was at a ranch called Compton Canyon which is a sizable piece of property in the back country owned by the family which they allow to be rented by hunters in the winter.

Following Mr. Compton along the route to the ranch, we made our way out of town and onto a gravel road through the forests and meadows. Remember in Day 3 when I mentioned that my car is able to handle being off road if completely necessary but it isn't advisable? Yup!

This is one of those moments. Though the environment was absolutely beautiful, dotted with wild flowers for splashes of color, we were bounced around as we traversed the gravel road which ribboned its way through the trees. Eventually we reached our destination and spent several hours with my boyfriend's family listening to stories while enjoying some delicious home made food. After a while, we bid our good byes as we gathered ourselves and headed off back onto the road. The route we decided on would take us down into Nebraska then back into Wyoming. With what remaining hours of daylight we had left, we wanted to make as much distance as we could. 

Wyoming, why must you torment me?
Traveling south into Nebraska, we made wonderful time. Clouds began to roll in from the storm front that was moving into the area since the area we were going through are in their monsoon season at the moment. Of course this opened itself for some amazing cloud photo

opportunities. As the sun began to slowly move lower in the sky, we came to the border of
Wyoming and automatically were welcomed with rough roads. That's right folks- just after the 'Welcome to Wyoming' sign as you get  into the state, we were greeted by close to 12 miles of road that no longer had asphalt due to being under construction. So once again we were jostled and shimmied in my tiny vehicle. What added to the difficulty was that ever so often a large truck would be coming in the opposite direction which caused a cloud of dust and gravel to obscure our vision which was already being tested by the glare of the slowly setting sun. Hearing tiny rocks ping and ricochet off of the windshield while we're blindly driving through a glowing cloud of brown is a test on the nerves. Once out of the construction zone, we were thrilled to be on solid ground once more. Of course this celebration was short lived as we found ourselves having to go through at least 3 more zones before we finally made it to the town of Douglas where we decide to stop for the night. By then, the grey clouds overhead were heavy with rain and occasionally sparked with lightening that would touch the ground from time to time. At this point, we were just happy to find an available room to pass out in. Thankfully the room was comfortable but
attempting to connect to the hotel's internet so it was basically a no go on getting on to update folks of where I was in the country and such. After a good hour or so, I ended up giving up and decided it would be best to get some much needed sleep.

Let the insanity begin
Waking up early in the morning, we packed our bags and over breakfast made our plans. We were ambitious and probably a bit delirious when we agreed to see if we could make it from Douglas, Wyoming all of the way home in California. For those who are curious, from point A to point B is about 1115 miles. It meant that we would be driving through the rest of Wyoming then through Utah and Nevada before going into California and heading down past the Sacramento area. It was certainly an ambitious plan but one we wanted to see if we could do it. Getting the car loaded up with our things and getting it fueled up for the first leg of the trip home. We couldn't help but joke as we headed out into the morning rain that we were going to find all of the other road construction along the way as we headed out of the state. We just didn't realize how true that was going to be. Traversing through the rest of Wyoming, we had to go through a small handful of zones before entering Utah. 

Surprisingly, Utah barely had any zones where there was road work happening and the weather in the area had cleared up for the most part. Traveling through the salt flats was relatively entertaining since there had been some art installations put up by folks with amazing senses of humor. There was an abstract tree, a shark, and even a miniature of the Loche Ness Monster emerging from the white crusted desert near the highway to entertain and make travelers have a chuckle. It was a wonderful way to break up the long stretch of nothingness that motorists were commuting through. They were certainly not there the last time we had gone through, or if they were, I don't remember them. The clouds didn't start making an appearance again until we got closer towards the mountains as we made our way towards Nevada, signalling that we would possibly be driving into another bit of storms. The clouds made for an interesting pairing with the flat salt covered terrain and dark mountains emerging from them, that's for sure. 

By Nevada, the storm clouds had gathered and were occasionally letting loose rain. Ever so often there were lightening strikes along with gusts of strong wind that tossed the dry dirt up into the air causing miniature sand storms. If it wasn't raining or windy, sunlight fought its way through the clouds. It was such a mixture of weather and elemental forces that we were amazed by things. Of course with the gusts of wind, I could feel the car get pushed around on the highway. At one point, I was able to catch a glimpse of a triple rainbow just peeking out of the clouds. It was so vibrant and you could see the clear division between the colors. Now remember how I mentioned that there had been lightening strikes? Well we didn't think much of them on our journey towards California. That was until we started going down a hill and noticed that there was a highway patrol vehicle in the right lane at a full stop with his lights on. As we passed the officer, the man signaled for us to slow down. Not knowing what was going on, we complied and were careful as we made the turn in the road only to see a cluster of fire fighting vehicles and a couple more officers. At first, we thought that perhaps that there was an accident. Nope! What we say was actually the result of a lightening strike that caused a grass fire next to the highway. With the ground still smoking and spots showing glowing embers, it was obvious that it was fairly recent. 

It was about a little after 9pm when we crossed into California and the storm clouds that we were experiencing in Nevada had parted to give us clear skies. I watched as the last bits of light dropped below the tree line, giving way to a clear starry sky. We didn't finally get back to our home until well past 11 in the evening and by then we were all too tired to celebrate. Instead, we trudged inside with our bags with plans on quickly falling asleep in our own beds. Out of curiosity, we calculated how long it actually make it home and discovered that the trip would normally take 16 hours and 38 minutes according to Google but somehow we managed to make it (including stopping for gas, changing drivers and spots of road construction) just a little over 15 hours. 

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Wandering Artist - Day 4 & 5

Time to recharge - Day 4
Since we had a couple of days before my boyfriend's family reunion, we decided to spend the time
resting and recharging. Though we were well aware that it would be rather uneventful, we thought it would be for the best. My car, though functional, is small and rather cramped so when two tall men are having to fold themselves up in order to get inside, are in that position for several hours at a time then nearly have to roll out when exiting the vehicle it is rather difficult on their joints and bodies. So I suggested that we rest. Of course there was at least one thing that I wanted to do. There is a small hiking trail called the George S. Mickelson Trail which winds its way through the Black Hills here in South Dakota. What's nice is that it runs behind the hotel. Grabbing my camera, I went forth and wandered the trail for a bit. 

The trail gently weaved it's way along through the area and is often used by the locals for biking, walking and jogging. Since I wasn't sure of how far I should go, I kept my exploration of the path brief. However I took it slow in order to enjoy the sound of the stream that ribboned through the area. The water was moving quickly and made me remember some of the streams I remember from my childhood growing up in Germany. Joking with my boyfriend, I had commented that it would be interesting and entertaining if we could go tubing along the creek and just follow it down stream. He was amused at the suggestion but had to let me know that the depth of the water wasn't deep enough to allow something like that and there was the possibility that the rocks would puncture a hole or two into the tube. Oh well, it was fun to think about at the time. I couldn't help but marvel at the amount and variety of wild flowers in the area. Several seemed similar to the ones that I was familiar with in
California but in colors or sizes that I hadn't thought were possible while others I hadn't seen before. I also couldn't help but marvel at the vibrancy of the colors. Maybe it's because of the mountain air and dependable amount of rainfall during this time of year or the richness of the soil but I couldn't help but ponder how much more vibrant the landscape of the Sacramento Valley in California would be if the weather there would be like this. 

Chilling and making plans - Day 5
Grogley waking up and pulling ourselves out of bed, the thought that we only had one more night at the hotel was starting to sink in. Over breakfast, we made our plans for the next leg of our journey. The plan we agreed to is that after the reunion, we would be on the road once again and making our way back home. Of course the route back would involve us going through Wyoming then the Salt Flats of Utah. It's a route we're well acquainted with and is perhaps the fastest way back (depending on the amount of road construction that is going on at the time), but it's also perhaps the most unforgiving simply for the fact it is Summer and we'll be going through desert regions that tend to be one color. So the likelihood of driver exhaustion or eye strain is high. It's
just something that we need to prepare for.

With another day for relaxing and preparing for the days ahead, I decided to take the time to go through the various images that I've taken up to this point to get them organized. It was also an opportunity to brainstorm a plan for what I needed to get done when finally home since I still have deadlines coming up (more information about that in a later post). I also wanted the chance to possibly sketch out some ideas that have been floating around in my head. Flipping though image after image, I couldn't help but be amused about how many images of wild flowers and even dried wood I had captured from the trip so far. I just couldn't help myself as I commented 'Look! Photo references for more art!'. Of course this earned me some amused looks from the guys since they're both used to some of my shenanigans. I can only imagine what the next few days will give me in the way of photo opportunities because the possibilities for ideas and inspiration is so high.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

A Wandering Artist - Day 3

Starting point: Greybull, Wyoming
7:30am MT - Sleep acquired and the start of this new day has commenced! Grabbing some food
and getting some fuel into the car, we were soon on the road once again. With the route that we decided to take led us through the Bighorn National Forest. Carefully weaving our way through the canyon which revealed some stunning views. Occasionally we would turn off designated spots so that I could have the chance to take some pictures. Of course there were some at the start of the canyon pass that I would have really liked to get but I'm pretty sure it would have been frowned upon to have my dad just stop in the middle of the road in order for me to hop out of the vehicle, take a few shots then dive back in as if I was on some sort of mission.

Shell Falls, Bighorn National Forest, Wyoming
9am MT - After our slow trek through the canyon, we decided to stop at what we thought was a
simple rest stop with a view of the canyon. Getting out of the car, we quickly discovered an amazing waterfall that fed into the river that ran through the area. It had been a long time for me since I've last been near such an awe inspiring body of water, so the fact that the stop had paths which wove around the area giving a close view of the sight was outstanding. I found myself taking pictures of the rushing water and the resulting swirling white crusted pools below but for the most part, I was just taking in my surroundings with wonder. One thing I noticed were the colors of the water in the swirling pools below me. Unlike the bubbling pools in Yellowstone which were a stunning crystal blue, the water here was showing an array of greens due to the moss and other plant growth. I did notice there was some foam as well along the edges of the water, probably caused by the various things in the area being repeatedly stirred up from the churning water. I was
a bit disappointed when we decided that it was time for us to move on but I have to say that I completely enjoyed myself. 

So... did you know
--That a Ford Taurus can go off roading? I certainly wouldn't recommend it but in a time of need, it is possible. Okay so let's give you some contents to this. Every time we go on road trips, we seem to end up finding all of the random road work zones in the area. With it being Summer, it is to be expected. However it seems like we are magnets for them when it comes to our travels through Wyoming and often the ones we come across would be labeled as 'Rough Roads'. Of course we've always had the truck in those situations. Jump forward to this trip. Here we are in a car which, for some unknown reason, is built surprisingly lower to the ground then most vehicles currently out and we are about to enter such a 'Rough Road' section. Now you might be imagining just a lot of potholes and chunks missing. Nope. That would have been preferred over the mess that we were about to traverse. What laid before us was a road that had been completely stripped of all asphalt and was now a gauntlet of watered down gravel and dirt with large sections so traveled by heavy equipment that the undercarriage of the car would easily be hit if it was moved one way or another. The only markers as to where we were going were a pair of motorcyclists and truck who were traveling in front of us and a scattered array of seemingly randomly placed orange
plastic poles. Did I mention that this was how we had to travel for 11 miles and a mere 30mph? Yup! So here we are, traveling along and being bounced around inside like popcorn ready to be spill out of a kettle. Luckily the road afterwards was fine so we were able to continue without incident.

End of the day: Hill City, South Dakota
4:37pm MT - Finally arriving at our destination 3 days ahead of schedule, we returned to a hotel that we've been to before and have enjoyed. So settling in, we make the plan of staying until the scheduled event and during the next couple of days, we would go ahead and explore or relax. Who knows what the morning will bring. 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

A Wandering Artist - Day 2

Starting point: Twin Falls, Idaho
6am MT - Yeah you read that right. With maybe 4 hours of collective cat naps through out the night, I was out of bed at the equivalent time of 5 in the morning Pacific time. What was even stranger of how I started off the day was that I didn't have any coffee at all when we got ourselves some breakfast. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, I ended up starting out my d'm ay in a state of adrenaline fueled sleep deprived delirium.

Hi Montana. Bye Montana.
11:49am MT - After a rather long drive, we entered a corner of Montana. This would be a brief visit through the state since we were aiming for Wyoming. Even though it was a relatively short journey, the fact that we were going through one of the national forests made me thrilled. The weather up to this point has been absolutely amazing. Though it has been in the mid to high 90s, there has been a steady cool breeze that has made the sun tolerable.

Yellowstone, Wyoming
1pm-3pm MT - We arrived to our goal for the day! My dad, boyfriend and I have never actually been to Yellowstone National Park. Conclusion? We decided that we would make sure that we stop off and spend as much time as we could. Of course, we totally forgot that since it's Summer, that the tourist crowd would be rampid. So, we were prepared to enjoy ourselves as best as we could without being swamped by wild children and adults basically being oblivious of those around them as they marvel at the wonders around them.

Even with having to bob and weave to avoid the elbows and torsos, your resident short person was successful in getting some relatively decent shots. My goal was to have some references for possible future images or just ideas and color references. Of course some things that I was able to witness weren't able to be
captured on camera but at least they were highlights to the day. Such things included seeing a buffalo and several elk. They were such majestic creatures but I was able to resist the urge to invade their personal space  to get closer. Instead, I just admired them from a safe distance and let them do their thing.

As we left Yellowstone, the environment changed so absolutely drastically. From forests recovering from damage that they had sustained over the years from fires and pests, to bubbling hot springs, to immense cliffs and jagged canyons. We were able to stop off and check out one of the spots marked for the continental divide, which was fascinating. I still have so many images on my phone that I need to find a way to transfer to my hard drive but I'm sure that I can figure that out once I'm home.

End of the day: Greybull, Wyoming
6:30pm MT - Once out of the canyons, we were plunged into the familiar environment that I'm well acquainted with from previous trips through the state. The flat and expansive grass plains with storm clouds over head. Tired, sore, and hungry, we finally found ourselves a place to stay for the night and was able to find some nourishment. So now to rest and recharge for tomorrow.

Monday, July 9, 2018

A Wandering Artist - Day 1

It's that time again. Where I bring you lovely people with me as I end up wandering across the states. So every few years, my boyfriend's family attempts to have a family reunion. This year seemed that we would be treating it as an extra special type of road trip because it marked the end of some behind the scene stresses and issues that we were finally able to end and what better way to celebrate by a road trip? Of course, what adventure with me would be complete without some form of comedy of errors that occur at some point? Well, get a drink, grab a snack because honey, you're in for a ride.

And this is why we have Plan B
So like any experienced adventurer (or just someone who is somewhat experienced with long trips on the road), you want to make sure your vehicle of choice is primed and ready ahead of time. about 2 weeks in advance just in case there needs to be some work done on it. Normally for our trips, we use my father's truck and were planning on using it again this time around as well. That was until Ford sent a notice. What some of you might not know is that there is a recall in place for airbags in certain vehicles that were created by the Takata company. On the plus side, the auto companies affected will replace the air bags at no charge of the customer. However, there is a large issue with how the whole situation is being handled. Problem is, with the notice, they let drivers know that they can't drive the vehicle until the parts come in, then the vehicle is needed to be brought in so that it can be taken care of. Ford, in its letter to us, makes the comment that it offers rental vehicles but the customer is responsible for insurance on the rental. Consumer Reports has an article on the issue which explains the situation a bit more thoroughly then I can so I recommend it: Takata Airbag Recall.

Well, there went Plan A out of the window. Our back up plan? Using my car which I inherited from my mother after her passing. That is where we went into a whole new set of problems. I knew that she hadn't really taken good care of the vehicle due to being busy and then it became an after thought as her health declined. So what was I preparing for? I knew that the car had new tires on back in 2011 but were never rotated and the breaks had never been replaced since she bought it in 2004. With time running out, I knew that we had a lot of things to check on the car to make it ready. And then it happened. The drop of water that made things spill over. A nail in one of the tires causing it to go flat. So here it is, the Monday before we start our trip and we're limping the car to the nearest center we could to get it fixed up. By Thursday, everything was taken care of but the list was interesting: Tires fixed and air pressure checked then rotated, front breaks completely replaced due to being thin and 1 having a break through it, stabilizer replaced, ball joints replaced, fluid levels topped off, windshield wipers replaced and vehicle completely cleaned.

Start your engines - Starting point: Elk Grove, CA
7:30am PCT - The morning of the trip has arrived and the car has been packed with bags and the large forms of my traveling companions - my dad and my boyfriend. Considering that my vehicle is a bit smaller then what either of them are used to being in for any length of time, watching them get in was like witnessing a pair of large Vikings attempt to fold themselves into a mini tank. I'm pretty sure at some point I'm going to need to help pull them out. Or watch them just tip and slowly tumble out onto the ground. Either scenario is possible. So on the road we go!

South Lake Tahoe, CA
9(ish)am PCT - After a bit of trudging up the mountain, we reached our first stop. There is a little restaurant that we enjoy stopping at when we're in the area called the Bear Beach Cafe. So we made this our destination for breakfast in order to have something in our systems. The meals were delicious, as always, and we had a chance to lay out a loose plan as to what our goals for the day were.

Nevada, the land of shrub brush forests
10am-6pm PCT - Ladies and Gentlemen, I've come to the conclusion that Nevada is where all of the tumbleweeds in the country are born. Oh. My. GOD. I wish I was kidding. Okay so for those who are not in the United States or have had the chance to drive through Nevada, let me explain. The environment of Nevada is rather dry and arrod. It's not the type of desert environment where you invision sand, rock and cacti everywhere. It does have rock and plenty of it. It also has the most acres of nothing but dry grass and shrub brush as far as the eye can see. If you're traveling from California, the pine trees that add dimension to the Sierras stop just before Carson City. After that, be prepared for some of the most barren landscape ever. Oh there's patches of trees here and there but they're usually dotted around people's houses or had been used at some point as territory markers. At some point during
our journey through Nevada, I found myself trying to convince my father that all of the scrub brush were actually tiny trees and we were actually going through an expansive forest. Needless to say, he glanced over at me with the look of 'You have lost your mind'. Yup.

End of Day: Twin Falls, Idaho
8:47pm MT - First off, I would like to say a huge Thank You to the state of Idaho for simply having COLOR! I never thought I would be so excited as I was at just seeing corn growing. And cattails! Ahem.. ANYWAYS, moving on. We finally arrived to where we were going to stay the night. Of course there was a bit of a hiccup in trying to find a hotel. After deciding it was best to pass up several motels that were basically being used as apartments, we finally find a hotel. Or so we thought. Turns out that since there's so much construction happening in the area, many of the crews were staying at the various hotels in town and the one we stopped at didn't have any rooms
left over. Our option was a room with a King sized bed and jacuzzi which meant that one of us would be sleeping in the bathtub and in on the floor while 1 had the bed, all three of us on the same bed, or 1 on the bed and the rest on the floor. Any combination was bad and we decided to continue looking. Luckily they gave us directions to another hotel that had the possibility of a room that had two beds. Hotel located and room secure, we declared the rest of the night was for resting and getting some sleep before the next leg of the trip.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Reality meets Fantasy

Very rarely do I find the need to explain one of my images, leaving it to others to form worlds and stories from them as they see fit. However, this is one of the few times that I need to explain my thought process. So recently, while working on a new piece, I found myself contemplating a title for it. I was leaning towards naming it 'Order of the Swan'. Of course there was a part of me going "wait a minute... Double check to make sure that doesn't already exist". So onward to Google I went. Come to find out the Order of the Swan does actually exist. It was started as a spiritual chivalric order started in Germany during the 1440s consisting of princes and nobles honoring Virgin Mary. So perhaps 'Swan Song' could be an option? Swan song tuns out to be a metaphorical phrase for a final gesture, action of performance given before death or retirement. That certainly got the brain cells going. What would happen if I combined them?

Tamen In Morte Cantabius by Dawn Star Wood
Creating a world 

I found myself pondering a world where the 'Order of the Swan' was a guild, filled with members of various creeds, species and social statuses all working together to try to improve their world which had fallen into dark times. I'm not sure how or why but I found myself seeing this world a bit like Bloodborne meets Lord of the Rings with those within the guild almost having an Assassins Creed motif. Yes, I realize that it was an odd mix of genres so I apologize. Basically I saw the world with a mix of Human, Elf, Darkin (Demon descendants) and mix breeds. Those within the guild were all trying to work together for a mutually beneficial end against a force that threatened to wipe them all out. So the image became a mix of symbols which would work within their world. The blue ribbon that is seen in the image, in my mind, represented hope and clear days ahead. The roses were a nod to the real world Order of the Swan since they are commonly associated with the Virgin Mary. At the bottom, the lute and sword hint at the fact that their members are from all walks of life. At the very bottom, the motto of my fantasy guild reads Tamen In Morte Cantabius which translates to 'And yet, in death, we shall still sing'

Creed of the Swan

Feeling the urge to add a little more background to the image, during the rough draft period when I was brainstorming, I just started writing. The end result was what might be considered something that members would know by heart: 

Many would see our works as fool hearty attempts to change a world too far gone. They attempt to discourage us from trying. They try to change our history to discourage others. Even with this, we shall not stop for we have what they do not. Hope. Our works have already stirred the hearts of those who we have helped. our words and actions shall continue long after the records of our existence has been burned for we know that even in death, we shall still sing. 

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Spontaneous Adventures

Marsh Wren in reeds
It has been an interesting adventure today for me and though I'm tired, I feel oddly rejuvenated. A couple of days ago I had mentioned to my friends and family that one of my goals for 2018 was to be a bit more spontaneous. I just wasn't expecting to have things happen so soon after posting the comment. While waiting for my coffee to brew, one of my best friends had contacted asking if I was up to go with her and her father to a local nature preserve. There was the sleepy side of me originally thinking "No, I just woke up and it's chilly outside" but what took over was the overwhelming thought of "Oh hell yeah! I could use some new reference shots for future project". So I let her know that I would be up for being dragged off into nature.

While charging my camera's battery, I chugged my coffee while getting dressed for the day. While I was getting ready for my outing, my dad wanders into the room to let me know that there was a Call for Artists that the Sacramento Fine Arts Center was having for their upcoming show 'Art Where Wild Things Are' show. I couldn't help but blink and be amused at the timing. The show is an annual juried show which aims to benefit ARNHA and the Effie Yeaw Nature Center.

Egret fishing for food
Onward to Adventure!
My dear friend and her father swung by and picked me up before heading out to the Cosumnes River Preserve which is a nature reserve where people could come and observe marshland waterfowl, turtles, frogs and other such creatures. We are currently towards the end of Sandhill Crane season so we were keeping our fingers crossed that we might be able to spot them while we were out but since the day was overcast and grey, trying to pick out certain shape was going to be an interesting challenge. Arriving at our destination, the coos, twitters and quacks of the various birds in the flooded marshlands greeted my ears. 

Female crawdad traveling
with egg sack
Wandering along the paths, there was several flocks of Wood Ducks, Cinnamon Teals, Mallards along with an array of geese bobbing around in the water. Little Marsh Wrens and Red-Winged Black birds darting between the reeds and tree branches. With it still being winter here, the sky was grey and overcast. Of course new plant life and buds on the trees showed that Spring was just around the corner. 

Little Surprises 
During our adventure in nature, I had noticed a bit of movement in the grass near the path we were on. It had taken me a moment to realize it was actually a crawdad (crayfish). Not only was it alive but with a closer look, I realized that it was female with an egg sack tucked under her tail. We were both awed and perplexed at the unexpected discovery. How long did it take her to get all of the way where she was and why wasn't she near the water? We decided that it was best to not bother her and let her continue on her way just in case she knew something we didn't. So we continued on with our adventure. We could hear the croaks and ribbits of some Pacific Tree Frogs but they were so small that it was difficult to find them but we could hear their movements through the foliage. There were some small flowers here and there but of course I'm not very good at identifying the types of plants that they were from. 

Early Blooms

Once I returned home, I couldn't help but be delighted as I went through the images that I had taken. Looking through each one, I took the time to ponder which would make interesting painting and how I would create the image. Will I actually enter into the juried show? I haven't quite made a decision as of yet but I'm sure I will be able to make that choice before the deadline.