Printing, Hiking, and Art

ImaBridge Africa, originally uploaded by pejnolan.

The days take forever, but the weeks and month are rushing past! How does that happen?

I've completed the ImaBridge Africa limited edition moku hanga print (shown above). It is for a fundraiser to build a fresh water well in Nigeria. The ImaBridge Africa project began in my church and they have done some amazing things over there! It started as a visit home for one of our priests and his parishioners from the United States and ended up helping numerous people live better lives.

The dark area at the top of the print is the country of Nigeria. A black crested crane is the national bird of Nigeria and happens to be a waterbird. The top symbol that looks like two hearts spiraled around one another is called "A Sase Ye Duru" meaning "The Earth Has Weight" and represents the importance the Earth has in sustaining life. The second symbol that is more geometric is called a "Boa me Na Me Mmoa Wo" or "Help me and Let Me Help You." It is a symbol of cooperation and interdependence.

The next thing I want to tell you about is that I have joined a new gallery! Dan Grych at The DeKalb Gallery / The Art Box accepted me as one of his artists. This is a great opportunity because I will be able to have one solo show per year at his gallery. Plus many other amenities like professional photography of my work and discounted framing. He had an open house recently and it was crowded with people all loving the artwork and building our local art community through personal relationships. 
Rebecca McAnly's "Marry the Life"

I also attended a reception at the DeKalb Area Women's Center (DAWC). It was an interesting show by Rebecca McAnly called "Marry the Life" and reflects on the bridal dress as an emblem of a woman's married life. It was a fiber arts show that included more than just the wedding dress pieces. There were yo-yo walls, beautifully hand-dyed and sewn Asian inspired pieces.

I went for a long walk down to the lagoon  and spied this beaver busy swimming along. It was a bright, sunny day and the yellow weeds wildflowers were gorgeous shining like stained glass.

During the week, I noticed that the goldfinches were back. They like to eat the thistle and purple cone flower seeds from my neighbor's garden. I took time to just sit with my camera and look out the window. They didn't really notice me, so I snapped a few photos. They really are beautiful.
Goldfinches in Kaiser's front yard Garden
Next came Labor Day weekend. I had my husband drop me off at a Shabbona State Park and I walked all the way to the other side of the lake and ended up in the forest preserve. Three hours of quiet solitude. Many times I stopped following the main trail and went onto deer paths.

One of those paths took me down a steep incline to a small creek that fed into the lake. Far above the creek was an old dumping spot for the farm that was there prior to the state park's existence.  The garbage had, over the years, been sent down the hill by rainwater. There were old Coke bottles, blue flower vases, vintage perfume bottles, and more nestled in the mud and stones next to the creek.

The forest was really thick here and minnows tried to find a bit of light to sun themselves. I couldn't see the tops of the trees. I felt like no one had ever been at this spot before. I sat down and enjoyed the lush green, the sounds of the creek trickle over stones, the sunlight dancing over the leaves and making the water sparkle. 

Then I jump across the water... twisted my ankle and thought to myself, "I'm by myself. No one knows I am down here. There is no trail, it is steep and rugged going - how on Earth would I be able to get back to the main trail if I had just broken my foot?" It was sobering until I realized that I could just call someone with my cell phone if needed. Thank you technology!

There were so many wonderful sights on that walk. I'll share some of them with you now:
A White Egret relaxing next to the no motor area of the lake. 

Racoon tracks near the creek.

Bumble bee on a white thistle.

Me with my old wide-brimmed hat - no sunburn!!

A painted turtle sunning itself on a metal grate.

Minnows sunning themselves in the shallows of the creek.

A damsel fly warming in the sun.

Hiking in the prairie section of Shabbona State Park.
It was a perfect day.

1 comment:

starkeyart said...

Great print, Erin! Very graphically pleasing.