Archive for beauty
Winter arrives…the temperatures drop, winds begin to howl, there’s a pink to the atmosphere, heralding, perhaps, a coming storm. I’m ready for a wall of snow. I’ve been waiting for the winter of all winter’s ever since I moved to the Northeast. Five years, I’ve been waiting. I’d be lying if I said that I haven’t enjoyed these mild winters, but something deep inside cries for a tempest.
This is an unusual winter day, in central New York…wet and windy after a night and morning of torrid rain. We continue this winter’s pattern of unusually mild weather with spikes of freeze.
The rainbow was a nice surprise, Henry and Valentine sauntering beneath it, too.
Ah, winter in central New York…
Just over five years ago (after too many years in LA), I moved to central New York to renovate an 1820’s farmhouse that I had bought sight unseen off of a Facebook post.
Central New York. The beauty of the area, the seasons, the open spaces…brought me to my knees. Literally. It was what made of me an Iphonographer.
It was as if, so far into the middle of nowhere, I could see again.
That first winter was mild and wet, too. I wondered where the fabled heavy snows and ice storms of the NE had gone.
I remain grateful for the reprieve…as do Henry and Valentine. Their endless foraging continues unhampered by pesky ice and snow. Miller (not pictured) continues to lay eggs.
And I continue to take photos with my iPhone, unable still to use it as an actual phone..in the middle of nowhere.
Winter is hard, my dears. Waiting is agony. Until you apprehend the story. The beauty of spring and summer in the northern climes depends on time ticking ever so slowly. Soon enough, the first bud, the first bee, the first peeper in the thawing pond. If not for these endless days we’d lose our wonder at what is coming…You know what is coming…how spring sashays and summer swaggers…even now, in the stillness, you know it well. XO, V
My peonies sleep
curled into their red roots
frozen with the ground.
I walk with what is left of winter
and discover a tiny animal, wet and black,
bereft of possibility.
It’s too close to spring to die.
we need a month of sunny days
before we dig and plant.
a hale storm threw
a million tiny pearls
onto tawny fields
as soon as they landed.
Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love — that makes life and nature harmonize. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. ~George Eliot, letter to Miss Lewis, 1st October 1841
My third Fall in Central New York!
Yesterday, I drove to Sharon Springs for the HarvestFest and took back roads, it was a blue sky day, the leaves are changing, the corn is blonde.
I LOVE this place. This is the kind of thing that turns me on- a perfect crisp Fall day.
When I left LA , three years ago, I had no idea what to expect. I knew I was going to the east coast, I knew it was somewhere in the middle of NY state. I knew one person, the guy who posted the picture of my house on Facebook (neighbor, Tim), and I knew that the house I bought sight unseen from that post was waiting to be renovated.
I didn’t know where I would work, I didn’t know how far away a grocery store might be (12 miles). I said goodbye to Starbucks (nearest one, 100 miles away) and all the trapping of a city.
Because I had no expectations everything is a bonus.
I am in the middle of nowhere but there are great people here (always great people, no matter where I roam)- Tim has a girlfriend Margo, whom I love and is my photography muse- one of my muses, out here I have so many muses.
The guys who demo’d and rebuilt my house, a fun group of rag tag gypsies, all turned out to have hearts of gold.
I found a job with Beekman 1802 (wholesale director).
I’ve met a fantastic group of women (Leslie, Cheryl, Susan, Carla, Tina, Margo, Kristen, Marjorie, Rose Marie…on and on).
I’ve found a thriving artists community that has a long and storied history from Ginsberg’s beats back to The Hudson River Valley School and before that, settlers and, of course, native Americans artisans.
Recently, I’ve gotten to know one of the rag tag gypsies, the tall one with the long hair, the one with the tattoo on his bicep, the one with the sexy smile, the one who can repair a stove when the mice have taken over, the one who can play guitar, sing like an angel, chase me like the devil, the one who is sweet sweet sweet…he is a handyman if there ever was one.
The beauty and fun of this place never ceases to thrill me.
Dunga Brook Diary
Infused Metal Plates
Float Mounted, Ready To Hang
Art comes into being in that abstract interval between a thought and reality, and no one – not even the artist who created it – can remeasure the influences that caused it.” (Edgar A. Payne)
“One of my mentors, Miss Pamela des Barres, imagines that if my images were music they would sound like Beethoven, Sinatra and the Beatles combined. I’ll take that.
It is my intent to deify and illuminates the ordinary and my desire is that you might find the beautiful in the ordinary, too.
Each photo is imbued with the mystery of love at first sight, infused with my present and my past and my daily rebirth into a new freedom, a swan dive, if you will, into the deep end of the pool, lit by color, texture, and emotion.”
If you are interested in being a collector, thank YOU!
There are 5 in a series, some near sold-out, email a description of your selection.
Credit cards/Paypal, shipping- West Coast $15, East Coast $10
For D. D.k. Crawford…the story of Chevy’s return home.
Chevy disappeared this past Thursday as I was walking him, I had dropped his leash for a minute to look for my grandmother’s ring, which was refashioned from my grandfather’s platinum and diamond hat pin (he was a dandy back in the day), the ring had gone missing near the creek, probably broke when I scaled the walls of the creek, earlier in the day).
No ring and when I looked up from my search, no Chevy. He had disappeared into the tall grasses around us- we’ve had so much rain he could just poof, disappear. He likes to mosey off to look for fun creatures, I wasn’t too worried as he always reappears, in 10 minutes or an hour, he always comes back.
One time he flushed a deer from this very spot, he chased close to her heels as she zigged and zagged, trying to shake him. She crossed the road and jumped a fence. So did he. I could hear heavy breathing as she plunged into the woods 30 acres away. He came back ten minutes later, heaving and breathing heavy, himself.
But this time, he didn’t come back. I called and called. My son and I searched until 2am. No Chev. That night, I was lying in bed when I heard his bark, it was 3 am. I went outside and called, no Chev. I sat out there for an hour, he never barked again.
Next day, more searching, the hills and woods held no clues. We expanded miles past our home, nothing. We made flyers, we called pounds and vets. Friday at 3 am that bark again, I went outside again, called and fell silent, hoping to hear him again, I was trying to get a read on where the bark was coming from. No more barking.
Saturday morning, I was up early, walking towards where I believed the bark was from, behind Tim’s barn. My neighbor, Margo had heard it, too. No luck. All day Saturday there were false sightings. I drove for miles, handing out flyers. A woman had seen him an hour from here. Someone on the next road had heard barking.
I knew these weren’t him. He is a wanderer, not an escapee, he comes home, an hour tops, and he keeps his circle close to home, even on the trail of a deer, nipping at a deer’s heels, he will circle back in a bit when he is worn out. I was devastated. I was sure, despite the barks, he was gone.
My fear was his leash was caught and he was strangled in a panic to escape. This deep sorrow was actually, I believe, the realization of how much I love this guy, how much he has been my touchstone for the past two years of my journey into the middle of nowhere. How much I need this guy. We aren’t done, I kept thinking, please.
He is my photographer’s assistant. Every meaningful photo I have taken, save the past few days, he has been by my side. A gorgeous close up of his eye was my first test photo for the aluminum prints I have had so much success with. He is a subject in all of my photography shows. He is in every image, in spirit.
Despite being sure he was gone, my feet wouldn’t stop walking the woods and the fields he loves so much. About to give up, I gave it one more walk, an hours walk, no luck. Returning home, behind Tim’s barn, I heard a bark. I stood on a hill and looked at his barn, I texted Connor, come back, I hear him, he’s here, meet me at Tim’s barn. I scoured the barn with my eyes, calling his name. No answer. I got closer, I called and called. Is he in there? It is a behemoth of an old barn, you could lose an elephant in there.
A bark! The burdock in front of me, down the hill towards the barn rustled, shook and I called again, it shook harder, he is there! Chevron! You are ALIIIIIIIIIVE, I yelled, My baby lives!
I fought my way through giant weeds to the burdock, he was their wagging and wriggling and licking my face as I unspooled his mangled leash from the base of the giant weed. Nearby was the gopher hole he’d been trying to reach.
Oh my god, I love this guy.
He dragged me to the creek, joyously flying through weeds for his first full drink of water in 3 days. And, relief.
That is the story.
Discover Cooperstown’s best kept secret…Origins Cafe at Carefree Gardens.
Locally harvested food in a gorgeous greenhouse setting…this is the brainstorm of two equally gorgeous Cooperstown, NY, sisters.
Kristen and Dana Leonard have lovingly crafted a creative breakfast and lunch menu full of fresh local and organic ingredients.
Free spirits and staunch supporters of the Slow Food Movement, and of our local farmers, these women really know how to make things happen in a delicious way.
Lucky for me, the girls love my iphoneography and now Origins at Carefree Gardens keeps a mini gallery of my work on their cafe/greenhouse wall.
Address: 558 Beaver Meadow Rd, Cooperstown, NY 13326
The floral and veg images were gathered from my daily walks around my 1820’s farmhouse and my drives around Otsego County, including the beautiful Cooperstown area.
Each 8 x 8″ photograph is infused directly to aluminum, float mounted and ready to hang, each one is signed and numbered (5 in a series).
The photos are limited editions and once the tourists arrive in C-Town they will sell like organic panini.
To view the photos, stop by the cafe and say hello to the Leonard sisters and their parents, Brent and Mary (who fell in love at Cornell and founded Carefree Gardens over 28 years ago).
Buy a plant, have a smoothie and a panini, and you will fall in love with the Leonard’s and C-Town, just like I did.
BANK Gallery presents Vicki Whicker’s iPhoneography
Dunga Brook Diary: On The Road
204 Main, Ste. B
Sharon Springs, NY
“This is my Love Letter to Central New York.”
BANK Gallery@Decades Showroom is the location for the Friday night, May 31st, opening of iPhoneographer Vicki Whicker’s exhibit, Dunga Brook Diary: On The Road.
Dunga Brook Diary: On The Road features evocative 8x 8″ limited edition photo images of Central New York infused directly to metal and float mounted. Each image sold at the opening will be signed and numbered and will be on exhibit at BANK Gallery for the month of June.
“Coming from LA, this is another paradise- the lush trees, the long country roads lined with Queen Anne’s Lace big as pie plates, the crimson and gold fall leaves, those first pristine snow flakes of winter.”
Dunga Brook Diary: On The Road is opening, Friday, May 31, from 6-9pm at BANK Gallery@Decades Showroom, 204 Main, Ste. B., Sharon Springs, New York. http://www.DungaBrookDiary.com
Praise for Vicki Whicker’s Images
“Looking doesn’t have to get any better than this, Vicki Whicker demonstrates a mastery of this genre through wit, heart, critical awareness, style, technique, and an infectious appreciation of her subject matter.” Kristen Henderson, Director Cherry Branch Gallery, Cherry Valley, NY
“Vicki Whicker has an eye and a heart that go together to create images which are both profoundly moving and beautiful. She has an especially fine and original take on micro images, showing us in close up magnification the glory of nature around her, things we would never see on our own.” Ronee Blakley, Actress/Singer/Songwriter, Los Angeles, CA
“Such an eye! We are blessed that Ms. Vicki Whicker is able to capture and reveal the glory of natural reality with such exquisite precision, taste and charm. If her photography was music, it would sound like Beethoven, Sinatra and the Beatles combined…”
Miss Pamela Des Barres, Author, Founder, Groupie Couture, Venice Beach, California
“Coming from nearly 20 years as a professional graphic designer and now a full-time, fine arts painter, I have always appreciated the style and care in which Vicki has portrayed in her photo works. Her images transcend the usual “pretty picture” snapshot… capturing another level of thought passion and narrative. They are scenes that I can get lost in and the more I look, the more they tell me. Truly works of art and passion.”
Steve Curry, Fine Artist, Ojai, CA