Monday, April 30, 2012

Reaching for the Sun

Wild flower

I stumbled upon this wild flower in the woods behind my delicate flower, in the midst of tall trees, happily existing with no worries. How I wish I could be like that flower, free from worry and life's everyday stresses! Finding it made me smile and brightened my day; flowers always do that. They're so perfectly beautiful, each and every one - especially the wild ones. They weren't planted intentionally by human hands; they were brought to that place by the wind, by the whims of mother nature, sprawled there and growing...basking in the elements and not worrying about what the weather or tomorrow will bring. What a beautiful reminder.


At the bottom of my heart
In that place just before tears
Lies a dark, hidden hollow
Strewn with hesitations
Swollen seeds of fear
Smudged with my fingerprints
An untended mess, an
Overgrowth of worries
In an arc that won't disappear

While outside in nature's garden
Sprawled along earth's fault lines
Every flower has tended itself
In the succulent air of spring
Accepting its part in the story
No woeful beatings of the heart
Its petals steeped only in dew
Purely basking in the essence
Of its own color

Flowers reaching for the sun
With no squaring off or circling
Around the rain and thunder messages
Just an unquestioned knowing
While their roots lie in darkness
To sleep tenderly in the soil
To wholly grow tall toward
The light and blue sky
If a story is to be told at all.

© Sherri Brannon

 then, she {snapped}

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Shades of Pink

“Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of their character, though few can decipher even fragments of their meaning.” ~Lydia M. Child

pink flowers

pink flower

pink and red flowers



Saturday, April 28, 2012

Floral Art

PSE flower

Leanne over at Photos by Leanne has started a new weekly photo prompt called "Floral Art Friday". Using flower photos, you add layers/texture, etc., to make your photo look more "artful". Since this is my favorite thing to do in PSE, I'm excited to participate (one day late)! If you want to give it a try, click on Leanne's button at the bottom of this post! For this image, I started with a purple flower I saw in Occoquan, VA. I added a couple of textures over the top, one blended at Difference and the other at Vivid Light. For the flower center, I used a reverse layer mask and the Lighter Color blend mode to add in the tiny flowers (public domain image). I then finished it up in Radlab to lighten and brighten it slightly.

Original photo:


Friday, April 27, 2012

B is for Butterfly

B is for Butterfly

For Photo Art Friday, we were to use one of Bonnie's textures while creating our photo art. I used her "Heavenly" texture at Saturation/100%. I started with a photo I took of some ivy on a wall in Occoquan, VA. I also added additional layers and a butterfly, followed by the text.

Original photo:

Photo Art Friday

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Holly

Holly berries

In this photo I took, the background looks like spring, but the holly and berries make you think it's a fall photo. This is our neighbor's gorgeous tree...I never really thought about the fact that there are holly trees?? Excuse my lack of knowledge about this, but I'm not much of a gardner. I always assumed anything "holly" related was a bush, but this is a definite tree and it's about 25 feet tall. It has the gorgeous red berries on it year round. I couldn't resist getting a shot of it during my spring search for images.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

HeARTful Wednesday

Let your colors show

No photography prompts for me today, so I thought I'd go in the digital art direction. Digital art is becoming one of my favorite things to do, and if I hadn't picked up my camera last year and then moved on to learning PSE, I never would've discovered this wonderful creative medium! For this image, I started with my original charcoal sketch of a girl (loosely based on a vintage photograph). I then added various layers, including a painted background I created. More layers and textures were added, and I played around with blend modes for each. I added the text at the end. Digital art is so much fun! The only limits are in your imagination.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Delicate Bells

And the Naiad-like lily of the vale, whom youth makes so fair and passion so pale, that the light of its tremulous bells is seen, through their pavilions of tender green. - Percy Bysshe Shelley

lily of the valley in the window

lily of the valley

lily of the valley

Lily of the valley

I picked some of my lily of the valley blooms and put them in my trusty photo-op vase. I placed them here, there, and everywhere to get some good shots. Here are a few of my favorites. For Kim's Texture Tuesday, on the first photo I used her "Let Go" texture at Soft Light. Everything is so green here in Virginia now - it looks like summer, even though it was only in the 40s yesterday. To those of you who visited my blog yesterday, thank so much for your kind comments on my Monday post. The sun is back today, and my mood is sunnier, too. Your encouraging words were wonderful.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Thoughts on a Monday

EDITED: I'm participating in Kim Klassen's Beyond Layers class, and shortly after posting the words below this morning, I checked our Monday lesson. Our assignment was to post an image that is symbolic of "brave". I gotta say, when I read the lesson I felt like my "lonely post" was perfect for the exercise. Honestly, I hesitated a lot this morning before posting about my lonely day. As a very private person, it's hard for me to show my makes me feel vulnerable and that's a feeling I tend to avoid. When I was typing up my words, I didn't know if I'd have the courage to hit the post button and let others see that I have days where I don't feel 100%. I felt a bit queasy, about sharing both my post and my poetry (which always reveals my most vulnerable thoughts). But I'm glad I was brave - it's not much, but for this introvert it's quite a lot. And my image, to me, is very symbolic of that part of me that doesn't always have it together...that part of me that sometimes struggles.


I'm a very solitary person, and 95% of the time I'm completely content and happy with my alone time. But every once in awhile, I wake up on a gray morning and my "solitary" turns to "lonely". Has that ever happened to you? I'm having one of those days today and, yep, it's a dreary and cold day outside (the two seem to be connected). Being a loner works well for me creatively, and I do think this is exactly how God wanted me to be. But sometimes I spend too much time alone, and that's when I get an internal mood reminder to get out there and reconnect. Message received, universe...and meanwhile, I have to say that I'm so grateful for my online friends and readers of my blog. Your "company" is deeply appreciated each day! The photo is one I took of a statue in Warrenton, VA, and fits my mood today. I love statues...there's something so incredibly beautiful, yet sad, about them. It's as if they've been frozen in time, while life carries on all around them. And that's sometimes how loneliness feels, don't you think?



In quiet contemplation
A statue stands frozen
A human facade
In endless repose
An eternal monument
Beside a garden, as
The sweet cadence of rain
Fluid and fleeting
Pours down on her

And the statue yearns
While life breathes on
Around her:
Ruffling invisibly across
Perched and feathered wings
In a solitary gust
Quivering on a silent deer
Fearful and delicate, so
Shy in the woods
Tumbling wet across
The blue-gray stones
Of a river

And the statue aches
As her loneliness
Stirs the air
Thirsting to dip her hand
In those cool waters
For just one taste
But her cold, hard fingers
Are set in stone and
She's forever alone
Stuck inside her head
As the river rises and foams
The clouds' curtains spread
And the sunset casts kindly
On her eyes.

© Sherri Brannon


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Scavenger Hunt Sunday

This week's Scavenger Hunt Sunday prompts are yellow, something that makes you smile, antique, splash, and in the sun.

1. Yellow - pretty pansies!
yellow pansies
2. Something that makes you smile - Last week I was out in the front yard trying to capture some good shots of my azalea bushes. My sweet corgi decided to stroll into my could I be upset with that happy smile? For the record, she's actually standing up in this picture - corgis have very short legs!
3. Antique - I don't know if this qualifies as an antique, but it's an old pitcher my Mom bought when we lived in Turkey many years ago. It's very large, and these types of pitchers were used with their matching wash basins for sponge baths. (I believe our basin got broken during a move). It's definitely a family heirloom and something I treasure. I like the dramatic shadows in this photo.
4. Splash - A splash of color...I love this flower but have no idea what it is (taken in Occoquan, Va.).
pretty flower
5. In the sun - another Occoquan shot. The bright sun on the pot of flowers looked so pretty amidst the shady areas around it.
In the sun

Saturday, April 21, 2012

R is for Rhododendron

I stumbled upon the "Leap Into Spring" prompt yesterday and am excited to participate...this week's prompt is "blossoms/trees". Click on the button at the bottom of this post if you'd like to play, too! I've been taking shots of my rhododendron bush all week in various states of weather and bloom. I'm sharing my favorites - I wish all these gorgeous spring trees, bushes, flowers, etc., could bloom all summer long. rhododendron morning rhododendron rain rhododendron sunset rhododendron fog

Friday, April 20, 2012

Photo Art Friday: New Life

Every flower is a soul

For Photo Art Friday this week, we were offered the prompt of creating something relating to "new life". This tiny, yellow flower seemed perfect, and I took a very close-up shot of it. It's actually about the diameter of a pea. I added several public domain patterns and textures, and also used Bonnie's "Heavenly" texture. The interesting pattern along the bottom of the image is actually an old stitching pattern from an 1800s embroidery book! It looks beautiful as a layer. Have a wonderful Friday, everyone - click on the button below to see more photo art creations!

Photo Art Friday

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Purple Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

I spent some time taking photos in Occoquan, VA on Monday. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and there was color everywhere. Looking through my shots later, I noticed lots of purple! Here are a few of my favorites. Does anyone know what the name of the flower in my first photo is? Is it a type of daisy? A zinnia?? It's so beautiful!






Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Winning the Sky

The tree is more than first a seed, then a stem, then a living trunk, and then dead timber. The tree is a slow, enduring force straining to win the sky. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Pink tree reaching

Canopy of green

White blooms in the sky

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Earth Laughs in Flowers

For this week's Texture Tuesday, I used Kim's "Now" texture at Multiply/57%, and I added a quote because it's so fitting for this time of year. There are flowers everywhere! I love it. I've taken so many photos these last few days that I'm adding a few more of my favorites from the last week.

Earth laughs in flowers


reds and pinks

bowl of azaleas