After an awesome long weekend in Wisconsin to visit with good friends and attend a wedding I got home to cover a couple of more Tampa Bay Rays baseball games and a Tampa Bay Buccaneers preseason game. The Rays are on a roll and The Bucs looked pretty good as well.
Birds and baseball. Close to home. Summertime entertainment. Also covered the red tide explosion in southwest Florida for Greenpeace. Too close to home, Summertime epidemic.
I've started bring my camera more often with me on my morning walk usually with a 14mm or 55 macro lens. Always something to see as the sun rises over Terra Ceia. We got caught in the rain one morning and spent some time keeping dry on the front porch of the Prine House. Later that day on my way home from a workshop in St. Pete, I stopped at the rest area on the south side of the bridge and watched the sunset at the Sunshine Skyway. Layers of clouds and colors. About 10pm that night I got a text from a neighbor on the other side of the island to tell me another cereus cactus was putting on its yearly show. I got my gear together and waited for Janet to get home from work. We dressed for mosquitos and left our house at midnight. Close to a hundred blooms. Pretty awesome to see. We photographed until 2am. A serious year for cereus blooms in the neighborhood. Ended the week with a wedding celebration at Seabreeze Park where I noticed the silhouettes from inside the party tent. Got some friends to line the wall for a photo.
Thanks to all patrons and browsers who came to the 30th Annual COOL Art Show at the St. Pete Coliseum. The welcoming atmosphere of this venue and the quality of artworks on display make it an awesome location to showcase your work. Had good sales, great neighbors, met some new folks and enjoyed being inside with air conditioning.
Covered a fun-to-watch Tampa Bay Rays home stand with the Detroit Tigers for the Associated Press and continue to be inspired by the beauty of our island neighborhood.
Fun week covering the final game of a Tampa Bay Rays home stand and making pics on my morning walks around Terra Ceia Island
Been busy this week. Woke up early to see a few beautiful sunrises, saw the ellusive neighborhood hawk on an eveving golf cart ride around the island and have covered the current Tampa Bay Rays home stand with the Nationals and Astros for the Associated Press.
It's been fun waking up early this week and look for photos. On a Sunday golf cart ride around Terra Ceia Island, my wife, Janet, and I came across a collection of egrets, herons and spoonbills feeding in the mangroves along Terra Ceia Road. A few mornings later over a span of several days, a cluster of cactus vines growing on Bayshore Drive began to bloom. It peaked one morning with at least a hundred flowers blooming like stars in the sky. I'm happy to live in such an amazing place and have the chance to photograph our beautiful island home.
Check out this video shot by the Tampa Bay Times photographer James Borchuck who came across the Skyway to Terra Ceia and film me during a golf cart ride around the island at sunrise, shoot an interview and ripping some salvaged wood on the table saw.
The year is ending with our final show in Cocoa Beach, a week after a great show at Art Works Eau Gallie. We're looking forward to another good turnout with back-to-back weekends in Brevard County. Should be great weather and a fun way to work off our Thanksgiving dinners. Support local artists. Come see us on booth SB-6.
Finding salvaged wood to use for framing is only the start of the process. The boards are full of nails, usually covered with dirt and weeds, and home to ants, spiders and snakes. Some wood is beyond salvage. It's too warped or splintered for framing.
When searching through a debris pile, I'm looking for the straightest boards and ones with flaky paint. Once I get the wood to Steve's World (my garage shop), I yank nails and stack the boards on a rack before milling.
The boards are next ripped to smaller widths for specific size frames and notched for glass and matting. Then the boards are mitered. Once the frames are glued and nailed together, each is cleaned with soapy water. After drying, a coat of tung oil and urethane seal the wood to finish the job.
Salvaged wood comes back to life with a little TLC.
The Thrill is Gone, my photo of the roller coaster in the ocean stops people as they walk by my booth at art festivals. Questions soon follow. "Is that Seaside?" "Are you from Jersey?" "Is that real?"
Next are stories. "Our family went there every season." I worked at the pier on summer breaks from college." "On one turn, you felt like you were going to fly into the ocean."
This weekend at the Cape Coral Festival of the Arts we heard something different, "That's my roller coaster," said Frank Storino, whose family has owned the Casino Pier since 2002. Frank showed us pictures on his iPhone of what's happening now. The pier has been rebuilt and a new coaster should be completed by summer.
Exciting new memories will continue to be made on the Jersey Shore. The thrill is coming back.
Since we completed our last show of the spring season, the phrase "Break a Leg" has been on my mind.
According to Wikipedia: "Break a leg" is an idiom in theatre used to wish a performer "good luck". Well-wishers typically say "Break a leg" to actors and musicians before they go on stage to perform. The origin of the phrase remains obscure. The expression reflects a theatrical superstition, in which wishing a person "good luck" is considered bad luck. The expression is sometimes used outside the theatre, as superstitions and customs travel through other professions and then into common use. Among professional dancers, the traditional saying is not "break a leg", but "merde," the French word for "shit," alone or in combination with "break a leg". In Spanish the phrase is "mucha mierda," lots of shit.
I've never used the expression "Break a Leg" or had it conveyed in any way during my career as a photojournalist, nor as an artist before a weekend art festival. But since breaking my leg as we were packing up at the end of Food & Wine on Pine festival in Anna Maria, I've accepted the Spanish version and may occasionally use it until I'm free of my fracture boot and crutches.
We had a great season to start 2016. We entered 14 shows in Florida, earning two first place awards for photography, an Honorable Mention and was selected for judging at two others. We are excited to meet Annabel and Les Snyder, who invited us to show our work at their gallery, AL's Art Studio, in Anna Maria Island.
We'll spend the summer finding new moments to photograph, searching for salvaged wood to build more frames, and tweaking our display for the Autumn season. Looking for the rest of the year to be as rewarding.
Until then "mucha buena mierda" to everyone.
It's a busy time for sjnPHOTO. We've been busy with art festivals and have several pieces on display at the Manatee Art Center in Bradenton, Fla., and at the Suntan Art Center in St. Pete Beach.
I stopped by the Manatee Art Center and saw the photo exhibit. I was very happy to see the prominent display of my images and the quality of all the work entered.
We just finished a show in Venice, Fla., our third show of a five-week run. It was an great show for us. This week. I'm building frames and getting ready for this weekend's Sarasota Spring Fine Art Festival. Looking forward to showing my work and meeting new friends.
Cool crisp mornings. Warm sunny afternoons. It's springtime in the sunshine state. This weekend we'll be set up at the Venice Art Classic. It's shaping up to be a superb weekend and we're excited to be showing and selling our work at this event. We're in the middle of a six consecutive weekend shows. We also have some images in shows at the Manatee Art Center in Bradenton and Suntan Art Center in St. Pete Beach. Come out and get your A-R-T on. Stop by and say hello.
Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Woke up to the sound of rain drops on a metal roof.
Got outta bed, made a cup of coffee. Looked at Sunday's forecast and weather radar. There's still a 30% chance of nice weather today. I went for a morning walk with my buddy, Jeff Franko, on a stroll down Highland Avenue and the historic Eau Gallie neighborhood. I'd like to say conditions will improve for today's outdoor art festival, but what the heck, you have to make do with what you have. For today, it looks like rain. Bring an umbrella.
We had a good deluge yesterday. We had to poke the awnings many times to empty pooling water. The streets never flooded. Thankfully, we stayed dry inside my tent. Had a few visitors hang out during the downpour, including my brother Doug, and his wife, Shirley.
Almost time to head down to the tent and open up for the day. The metal roof is quiet. For now.
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