sunflower heaven


The Chilliwack Sunflower Festival in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley was the perfect place to visit today in these challenging times to enjoy fields of sunflowers of every kind together with wonderful gladioli and dahlia bonuses.




finding comfort


“I find comfort in contemplating the sunflowers,” Vincent Van Gogh.

I hope this bouquet gives comfort to all those grieving and suffering across the world tonight, with special thoughts and condolences to the parents of 3 year old Alexandra Najjar who was shielded by her mother after the explosion in Beirut but sadly died in hospital two days later. Just one story among so many but one like all the others that breaks our hearts.

the courage bouquet

Inspired by the memory of Vincent yesterday I spent the afternoon in my studio painting alone and thinking of all those struggling in isolation in hospitals around the world without their loved ones beside them. They are always in my thoughts. “What would life be” Vincent wrote, “if we had no courage to attempt anything.” The courage, sacrifice and love of so many will be the lasting inspiration and memory of our time. With this bouquet I thank and honour them all.

Remembering Vincent

Today is Vincent van Gogh’s Birthday. He was born on March 30, 1853. I thought I would celebrate the occasion by reposting Vincent’s Room which I originally posted on The Changing Palette in June 2014. During these difficult days taking a moment to look back on the life of someone who had to “suffer for his sanity” but was still able to show us the beauty that surrounded him in his own wonderfully iconic way should inspire us all.

Who can look at a sunflower and at the same time not think of Vincent? Let us celebrate his memory together, and please listen to Don Maclean’s “Vincent” imbedded in the post. I promise you will it will be the highlight of your day.

“What would life be if we had no courage to attempt anything.” Vincent van Gogh

Vincent's Room i

Can there be a more iconic room than Vincent Van Gogh’s bedroom at the Saint-Paul Asylum, Saint-Remy, France where Van Gogh entered voluntarily as a patient on May 8, 1889 and remained until May the following year. During this time he painted the gardens, with their wheat fields, olives groves, irises and sunflowers, all of which he could see from his bedroom window.
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Studio 365: Day 240

Day 240

Anniversary Bouquet 28.8.15

Sunflowers for our 41st wedding anniversary today for the one who brings sunshine into my life each and every day. If you would like to see the real bouquet I have posted it on this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge, together with one of our special wedding presents, which is as beautiful today as the day we received it forty one years ago. Take a look.

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Every Angle

For this week’s Photo Challenge Shane has asked us to photograph a stationary subject from three different angles. What could be more appropriate on our 41st wedding anniversary than this Minton “Spring Valley” tea service that is as beautiful today as it was forty-one years ago when we received it as a very special wedding present . Tea anyone?

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…and Happy Anniversary to the love of my life.

From Light Painting to Masks

Nothing like a little experimentation. Yesterday it was Light Painting, today it’s all about learning to understand masks. This is my second attempt at masking using Photoshop Elements. The first was putting our hiking boots on Machu Picchu in These Boots Were Made For Walking. The photo of the boots was in fact taken at home and then added to the Machu Picchu panorama. Today I have added the sunflowers from our deck to the glorious view from the Liquidity Winery in the Okanagan. The final image seemed too good not to share. I hope you agree…

Nighttime is the Lighttime

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Dear Diary…Early this morning, around 3:30 am, in response to Ben Huberman’s Weekly Photo Challenge: Nighttime, I decided to attempt my first Light Painting photography.
Subject: Sunflowers on the kitchen deck featured this week in From Seed To Sky.

  1. My Pentax Kr DSLR
  2. Infra red wireless shutter release (newly bought, and so worth it)
  3. Tripod
  4. Confused cat (not expected)
  5. Disturbed wife (also not expected)

Result…well, you can decide comparing the same sunflowers in this morning’s sunshine…
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Plan: Early night after the final season opener of Boardwalk Empire.

From Seed To Sky

…or the story of this week’s Monday Bouquet.

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These Seeds from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum in Sante Fe New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment where we visited this Spring, have given us a glorious display on our kitchen deck for the past several weeks, greeting us each day and adding New Mexican enchantment to our morning coffee. I like to think that Georgia O’Keeffe would have approved.
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Now it’s your turn to be enchanted…

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