Author Archives: Rebecca Finch

About Rebecca Finch

I'm a stay at home / work from home wife and mommy. Some say it's the toughest job in the world and I will admit that it's a very challenging balance. I take care of my little 1 year old dream of a baby boy. When I can squeeze it in, I paint in oils, illustrate for fun, meet graphic design deadlines, do photography sessions, and play the harp in church and for weddings, concerts and banquets. I'm thankful everyday for God's gift of experiencing and creating art in everyday life and I enjoy bringing it to others. Beautify your life!

Taughannock Falls, NY

This weekend, it seemed that everyone had the bright idea to be outside. Fall was making it’s presence known on this wonderfully warm autumn day.

Taughannock Falls autumn photography

We saw tons of professional photographers, and even one plein air painter enjoying the inspiring falls. Enjoy the view, we sure did! See more images on my website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taughannock Falls autumn photography

Taughannock Falls autumn photography


The Gift of the Magi

A beautiful Christmas classic illustrated with fresh whimsy. 

The Gift of the Magi

© Lisbeth Zwerger

I just had to share this book and illustrator before Christmas came and left. Lisbeth Zwerger is one of my favorite illustrators. She has a very old fashioned feel to her illustrations with toned backgrounds and stray sketched lines, however the composition (how the image is laid out and cropped, centered or off-centered, etc.) is very unusual and intriguing.

The Gift of the Magi

© Lisbeth Zwerger

“One dollar and eighty-seven cents is all the money Della has in the world to buy her beloved husband a Christmas present. She has nothing to sell except her only treasure — her long, beautiful brown hair.

Set in New York at the turn of the twentieth century, this classic piece of American literature tells the story of a young couple and the sacrifices each must make to buy the other a gift.

Beautiful, delicate watercolors by award-winning illustrator Lisbeth Zwerger add new poignancy and charm to this simple tale about the rewards of unselfish love.”


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If you want to buy a children’s book this Christmas, make it this one. It will warm your heart. 
The Gift of the Magi

© Lisbeth Zwerger

Want more?

View more of Lisbeth’s work


 


Christian Art and Aesthetics

Does “good” art have to be beautiful? Here is an interesting video about the need for real life to be reflected in the realm of Christian arts in terms of music and visual art.

The video below accompanied an article on the Gospel Coalition Website and brings up some interesting issues regarding how Christian arts are and should be changing. Some feel the tone is pompous, and I feel that their complaint is a bit unfounded. Judge for yourself.

I do have a few thoughts after watching:

I do have to disagree with their opinion that too much Christian music is happily fake and too much like the unrealistically beautiful Thomas Kinkade paintings. Maybe I listen to a different grouping of music than they do but I tell you, a lot of what I hear is brokenness in music right now. The CCM artists are getting very real. Just listen to Blessings by Laura Story. There are hundreds of songs (maybe thousands) that also give the impression that the writer has come through a difficult time of life, and they’re not afraid to sing about it. Take “Down Here’s” newest album, or half of the songs from Jeremy Camp’s Unplugged album that share brokenness and pain are where we learn about God more, become stronger and more solid in belief in Him.

This song has been so powerful in my life. Jeremy Camp’s wife died of cancer after 4 months of marriage. He can still write a song about being in the greatest pain of life yet still believing in what God has promised.

I also say we need balance. They are saying there’s not enough real life. Well, for those who are going through the trenches, yes we need to hear the songs like Blessings, but we also desperately need the songs that give real hope. The songs that take our focus off our situation and bring us to the bigger picture of Who we serve, what He is like, and what our long term future holds. It’s necessary for daily survival. We need the songs that Chris Tomlin and Matt Redman are writing because we need relief from our situation. Not just fluffy happiness, but real relief that points us to our Creator and is a genuine comfort.

Yes, there needs to be a recognition that we are destitute and life isn’t perfect. Right now life is so painful I can’t take in all the facets in one glance and the days that I try to, my tears fall all day long and my body hurts. . .BUT I have a Savior and He is walking with me, helping me through, and I have His promises to lean on when I’m so distraught that my hands shake. There’s a difference between celebrating the truth of God in my life and putting on a fake front that everything is okay.

I’m saying that we need both, and in the music industry of CCM, we certainly have both.

As for Thomas Kinkade? As an artist, I agree with their perception of the artist’s opinion of him. But as a Christian? Maybe people’s lives are so difficult they need the warm glow for some relief. Again, balance.

Yes, the Psalms are full of David simply crying out to God in distress, but you can pretty much count on David in the last few verses to remind himself Who God is, and why he can be joyful even though the tears are flowing.


My Other Skills

You no doubt have seen some of my paintings, but did you know that I also do graphic design?

Here are some examples of the work I can do for you:

Logos and Business Card Design:

Promus Logo Design

Promus Logo Design ©Rebecca Finch

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Grace Baptist Church Logo and Business Card Design

Grace Baptist Church Logo and Business Card Design © Rebecca Finch

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Her Majesteas Logo Design

Her Majesteas Logo Design © Rebecca Finch

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Black Diamond Logo and Business Card Design

Black Diamond Logo and Business Card Design © Rebecca Finch

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Postcards, Brochures, and Bulletins:

Rothlynn Fine Art Logo and Mailer Design

Rothlynn Fine Art Logo and Mailer Design © Rebecca Finch

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techPartner Outside Cover Brochure Design

techPartner Outside Cover Brochure Design © Rebecca Finch

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Grace Baptist Church Bulletin Cover Design

Grace Baptist Church Bulletin Cover Design © Rebecca Finch

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Magazine Advertising Design and Photography:

Virginia Harp Center Magazine Ad for the Harp Column Magazine

Virginia Harp Center Ad for the Harp Column Magazine ©Rebecca Finch

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Camac Harps Photography and Ad for the Harp Column Magazine

Camac Harps Photography and Ad for the Harp Column ©Rebecca Finch

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Camac Harps Photography and Ad for the Harp Column Magazine

Camac Harps Photography and Ad for the Harp Column ©Rebecca Finch

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If you have graphic design needs, please contact me with details for a quote.

Want More?

Contact Rebecca for a Quote
See more work on Rebecca’s Website
Visit Rebecca’s husband’s Graphic Design Site: BFinchDesign.com 


From the Model’s Perspective

Long story short: I found the stop motion Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer on Youtube for my little boy to watch, we snuggled for a while, it was wonderful. Then I started looking for other stop motion videos and stumbled on this one. I love the humor between the artist and the wooden model.


Viewing Earth from Space

“Around the World in 90 Minutes”
Check out this beautiful look at earth from space.
My favorite parts have to be the thunderstorms and the Northern Lights.

 

The background music in my opinion leaves a little to be desired. My suggestion? Mute this video and play one of these as you watch:

Greendjohn’s Smooth Depth  (Orchestral)
Chris Tomlin’s Indescribable 
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Chris Tomlin’s Wonderful Maker (Softer CCM)

Filmed by the crew and edited by Michael König, he states  “All in all I tried to keep the looks of the material as original as possible, avoided adjusting the colors and the like, since in my opinion the original footage itself already has an almost surreal and aestethical visual nature.

Shooting locations in order of appearance:

1. Aurora Borealis Pass over the United States at Night
2. Aurora Borealis and eastern United States at Night
3. Aurora Australis from Madagascar to southwest of Australia
4. Aurora Australis south of Australia
5. Northwest coast of United States to Central South America at Night
6. Aurora Australis from the Southern to the Northern Pacific Ocean
7. Halfway around the World
8. Night Pass over Central Africa and the Middle East
9. Evening Pass over the Sahara Desert and the Middle East
10. Pass over Canada and Central United States at Night
11. Pass over Southern California to Hudson Bay
12. Islands in the Philippine Sea at Night
13. Pass over Eastern Asia to Philippine Sea and Guam
14. Views of the Mideast at Night
15. Night Pass over Mediterranean Sea
16. Aurora Borealis and the United States at Night
17. Aurora Australis over Indian Ocean
18. Eastern Europe to Southeastern Asia at Night


What’s With the Weird Hats?

Help me rescue the poor stereotyped artist from the beret. 

Monet Sporting a Beret

Monet Sporting a Beret

Last week I asked on my Facebook Page, “When you meet an artist or see their work, what would you most like to know, but perhaps find yourself not asking?”. An unexpected but very good question came from one of my friends: “What’s with all the weird hats?”  I realized that I had no idea, but that it would be a good topic to research. So, here we go into a light history of the beret.

Rembrandt in a Beret

Rembrandt in a Beret

It’s an interesting hat that takes on many different subtle forms. It can be very tight and serious used for the military, some older versions are baggy, it is crocheted and knit, and has survived over 20 centuries of fashion. That’s quite a hat.

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Beret Wearing Carving

Beret Wearing Carving

The beret originated in the 5th Century BC  in Ancient Greece. They lacked seems and so they were water tight. Very handy.

Soon after, the Romans adopted the hat and reformed it into more of what we would recognize today. Only aristocracy could wear white berets and thus the beret achieved its first social symbolism.

In 1280, the hat appeared in France. Here is an image of a stone carving depicting a figure wearing a beret on a church portal near Orthez, France.

As a result of Napoleon’s soldier’s having worn the berets, the style was adopted by men and boys by the 1900′s and soon became a part of the standard French school uniform.

Cezanne Wearing a Beret

Cezanne Wearing a Beret

Artists and anarchists in France and eventually all over the world wore the black beret as cultural symbols. Its a little known fact but they actually keep their sandwiches in the bit that hangs down.

Answerbag.com said that only the wealthy wore hats and berets were more of bohemian style. A commenter noted that, “The Cyprus College of Art asks its graduating students to wear berets, instead of the usual academic mortar boards, at its graduation ceremony. Apparently it stated at the college as a bit of a joke, with the students dressing as left-bank artists at the graduation party, but now its become the official college dress.” So I guess berets will be making a comeback.

From Chacha (yeah, I know – great source, huh?) “Artists wearing berets is a stereotype. It originated with the artists of Montmatre and the Left Bank of the 19th century, the traditional starving artists’ areas of Paris.”

In conclusion, I didn’t find a lot of information about artists wearing berets, though.  It seems that it was just a common fashion for that station in life at that time in France and it has become a stereotype attached so strongly to the artist.

I myself wear a hat while painting, but it’s only to keep the light that shines on my still life out of my eyes. The bill-less beret won’t help with that so I use a baseball hat.

So, the next time you meet an artist or see one painting don’t assume that they’re really good if they’re wearing a beret and don’t assume they’re not the real deal if they’re only wearing oh say, a worn out old baseball hat.


How Did I Get Here?

Find out how I came to enjoy art, who influences me, my favorite studio music and more on West End Talk’s blog.

West End Talk

While you’re there enjoy some art by an accomplished group of artists. You might discover a few new favorites.


Daniel Keys Painting Demonstration

Have you been interested in seeing the process of painting? Art enthusiasts and artists, this is the 1st video in a series of 6 showing Daniel Keys pulling a painting to an end. Enjoy for curiosity’s sake. Drink in for instructional means.

Who is Daniel Keys? Here is a look at his amazing work. Enjoy.

 

Want more?

Daniel Keys’ Website
Daniel Keys’ Blog 


Gallery Survival Guide

So you think you might be attending your first gallery opening, and you’re not quite sure what to expect? Wipe the sweat from your forehead, get a tissue for your clammy hands, and breathe a deep sign of relief for I am here to help you.

Romanticizing, detail ©Karin Jurick

Romanticizing, detail ©Karin Jurick

Yes, sometimes a gallery is a place where people who know a lot about art, who love to drink wine and eat cheese, and who could easily purchase a wall full of expensive art like to spout out long sophisticated words and keep the average joe in the dust trying to figure out what just happened.

But I don’t think you will find this
to be the norm at most galleries.

Blue Blood Denim, detail ©Karin Jurick

Blue Blood Denim, detail ©Karin Jurick

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As you prepare for your excursion, here is a glimpse of the atmosphere you can expect to find at most gallery openings:

Its Subjective, detail ©Karin Jurick

Its Subjective, detail ©Karin Jurick

• A large group of people trying to move around a packed room to view art.

• An open house structure which you may arrive at any time and leave when you wish

• Sometimes there is live music. Take it in and enjoy.

• Light refreshments are usually served.

• You may see the gallery director floating around making guests comfortable and being available for any questions or sales.

• The artists will usually be present and the well known ones will probably be in a perpetual conversation.

You will find people who genuinely love art, love to create it and love to talk about it. That’s where you come in. You don’t have to know a lot and you certainly don’t have to put on a front of art history knowledge. Art is meant to be enjoyed, discussed and felt. And if you’re new to this, there’s no shame at all. You just need to observe, ask questions, form your opinions, and enjoy.

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Federal Case, detail ©Karin Jurick

Federal Case, detail ©Karin Jurick

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There are a few common sense rules that I will list here, but I’ll try not to give you too many because the goal is for you to enjoy yourself and not make you even more paranoid.

Gallery Etiquette:

  • Dress appropriately. Somewhere in between jeans and a T-shirt and a suit and tie is the appropriate dress for most galleries. You don’t have to be fancy, just don’t be a slob.
  • Turn off your phone. This is not a place for phone calls or texting.
  • Don’t head straight for the snackies. Enjoy some art first. And when you do hit the snacks remember they’re snacks. Not dinner.
  • Please respect the paintings, sculpture, and glass by keeping a distance. It’s best not to touch art that you don’t own.
  • Refrain from making negative comments on a work of art because the artist, their friends or family could be in earshot. Share your critical comments over dessert or during the ride home.~
Starry Eyed, detail ©Karin Jurick

Starry Eyed, detail ©Karin Jurick

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And here are some tips to help you enjoy your visit to a gallery:
  • Step in and take in the whole space, noting the flow of traffic and the direction you would like to proceed.
  • Begin observing the art. Making note of how you feel about the artwork. Do you like it? Why or why not? See if you can find something positive to say just in case someone asks, keeping in mind that the artist could be nearby.
  • See if you can find out something about the artist. There are usually statements or bios nearby.
  • Hunt for at least one piece of art that you like the most. Or, if it’s a group show, figure out who your favorite artist is.
  • Ask yourself why you are drawn to certain pieces of art. Analyze your gut reactions.
  • Do you have questions about how the art is created? The subject matter? If you feel up to it, ask the director if they can point the artist out to you so you can ask your questions. Again, artists love to talk about their craft (even the humble ones – they are passionate, not cocky).  Don’t be afraid or intimidated.
Be sure to enjoy the atmosphere, the food, opportunity to learn something about art, the live music, and above all else enjoy seeing beauty.
Beautify your life!

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Dance Hall ©Karin Jurick

Dance Hall ©Karin Jurick

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I hope this little lesson will help you as you venture out into the art world. As far as I’m concerned art appreciation can be as simple as enjoying something that you’re seeing. If you don’t have plans to attend a gallery opening, then make some. It makes for a great date night accessory in the middle of dinner and dessert. Bring some friends and talk about the show over something drippy and chocolatey.

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Want more?

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Want more of Karin’s gorgeous paintings?

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Unusual Medium*

surrounding my hands in the stain of warmth sinking

surrounding my hands in the stain of warmth sinking - acrylic, pencil, found foam, lichen, lily seed, moss, mylar, photo transfer, pine, plasti, sage, sedum, sponge, wood, wire

It’s always interesting when a work of art’s medium* is a long list of random objects. For Gregory Euclide’s works, there is a small paragraph sharing things that were used to create his relief * pieces. In the lists you will find, bark, hair, wheat, wire, fern, pine cone. . .and the list of objects continue. How unusual. How beautiful!

optical delusions and small realities

optical delusions and small realities - Museum Installation

Gregory’s pieces are beautifully assembled landscapes created by many of the same objects that make up a real landscape. Enjoy these beautiful multi-dimensional scenes.

what bounded my routine unknowingly fell clear over the foundation

what bounded my routine unknowingly fell clear over the foundation - acrylic, canvas, found foam, fungi, leaves, lichen, moss, mylar, paper, pencil, petg, sedum, waxed thread, wood

Capture #9

capture #9 - acrylic, buckthorn root, cedar needles, foam, grass, paint can, sedum, sponge variable

* Medium – here refers to the materials used to create the art. For example an oil painting’s medium is oil.
* Relief – a projection of parts in a painting, drawing, that gives the appearance of the third dimension. 

Want more?

Visit Gregory’s Website
Visit Gregory’s Blog
Purchase Gregory’s book 


Opening Reception at West End

This month, I will be exhibiting my paintings in a gallery in my first group show. I am honored and very excited to be one of West End Gallery’s represented artists. 

Christmas Past I ©Rebecca Finch

Christmas Past I ©Rebecca Finch

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Opening Reception
November 18th
5:00pm – 7:30pm

Open to the public and available to see during gallery hours until December 31st.

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Interested in the  show but need more information?
View my information page to see the paintings, Gallery address, reception times, and a map to help get you there.

Interested in the show but live too far away? 
View Rebecca’s paintings
Contact West End Gallery

West End Gallery

West End Gallery Corning, NY

Frightening Exhibition

So today is the day. The time of year we love to be scared, grossed out, and horrified is at its peak. But I must say that I’ve been feeling uneasy about something long before this year’s Halloween came around.

The Creeps ©Rebecca Finch

The Creeps ©Rebecca Finch

As October approached this year, I became aware that there is a frightening trend that is not confined to the autumn season but exists all year round. That unseen but very real troubling impression, my friends, is the intimidation and confusion that most people feel when they venture into the art world.

Perhaps you can identify with comedian Brian Regan as he fumbles through a fearful conversation about art.

I have to believe there’s a bit of truth here.

The Willies ©Rebecca Finch
The Willies ©Rebecca Finch

People are drawn to art because they see something that appeals to them, but a lot of the time there is a gap between seeing something we enjoy and understanding it, the process or even the person who has created the work and that tends to make people uncomfortable. We are afraid to ask.

Even as an artist I have felt this highbrowed distance that is created by beautiful but cold galleries, eccentric artists with even more eccentric lifestyles, titles that give no explanation, elitist curators or observers who use big words, talk about unfamiliar artists and art movements and seem to enjoy leaving the general public in a fog when it comes to art.

I resent this behavior because it pushes people away from art. I can feel it even as an artist and am aware when talking to seemingly cowering non-artists about art. I love to explain things and put them at ease about what they’re seeing. I enjoy telling a story behind why an artist painted a piece, what might be going on in their lives at the time, or why a certain painting is seen as important. I love to let them know that it’s okay that they don’t know a lot about art. This invites everyone to ask questions and learn.

 I polled some of my Facebook fans to see if I was correct in my feelings and got a few interesting responses to the question, “Are you intimidated by the art world?”

The Chills ©Rebecca Finch

The Chills ©Rebecca Finch

“I guess I am a little intimidated but mostly because I have very very very little artistic ability”

“How do I know what is “good” art? Is it “bad” art just because it doesn’t appeal to me?”

“A lot of art seems to me to be the emperors new clothes. There isn’t really anything to it but there is a big deal made of it. If you don’t understand it it’s because you aren’t smart, or educated enough. Seems to me good art ought to be self evident.”

“I don’t “get” all of it, but I figure that’s ok”

“As a non-artist, I am always intimidated by the art world. Elitist mindsets prevent non-artists from experiencing what I believe was God’s unique intent for us to emulate (or watch someone else emulate) the most pure example of humankind relating to His Creation: ART! (Disclaimer: not every person is an elitist)”

Some who responded explained feeling intimidated after seeing art they found beautiful, but were told the artist’s technique is not so stellar . . . technique? What does that mean? Now we have a viewer who unfortunately will second guess their own opinion of what they enjoy.

Some felt that the art world sets up rules for what is acceptable art – sort of an elitist clique.

Personally, I feel there is room for compromise on both sides. I completely understand the non-artist who loves looking at art or is interested in it, however fears their opinion is incorrect, that they don’t know enough information, or it’s a world that they can never be a part of.  However, at the same time, we who feel intimidated by certain aspects of art should still reach out for knowledge if there is a desire to enjoy art more.

Heebie-jeebies ©Rebecca Finch

Heebie-jeebies ©Rebecca Finch

Artists, museums and galleries, let’s be more open, friendly, inviting and informative to the general masses and you just might get more people walking through your doors.

If you fear the art world, don’t understand it or resent it, stick with me. I would love to be your guide to experiencing beautiful and thought provoking art. You will always find with me a desire to explain things so that they can be understood and enjoyed.

Goose Bumps ©Rebecca Finch

Goose Bumps ©Rebecca Finch

So pull out your flashlight, put the garlic around your neck, get out the wooden stake and your silver bullets, walk past the ghoulish display of elitism and come with me into the exhilarating world of art and fear no more!

Want more? Take some action.

•Check out the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website. View their media page for interesting videos about art. The interactive section is pretty fun, too.  Choose to not be intimidated. Just enjoy!

Contact me with any questions about art and I may just write a blog about it.

Future Plans:

I have many plans for the future of this blog which include posts on the concerns and feelings specifically expressed by the quotes here, an easy to understand group of blogs on art history, a continued stream on my Facebook page of what I feel is beautiful, and my commitment to make you feel completely comfortable where you’re at while pushing you to learn and experience more.  Stay tuned here and on Facebook to beautify your life.


Into the Woods . . .

As winter approaches, we enjoyed autumn’s fleeting fireworks display.

Red Solo ©Rebecca Finch

Landon's Laugh ©Rebecca FinchMy husband and I take turns each week planning a little date. Only real rule is that we will devote some time to spend together to focus on us. And if we don’t get a babysitter for the little man, then we focus on our family and having fun together.

This week was actually my week to plan, but Ben was the one with the stellar idea so he went again this week. He took us to Tanglewood Nature Center where we enjoyed a little collection of various animals on display. It was fun showing Landon the snakes and fish, but I was most mesmerized by a case filled with bees busily working on making honey. It was just sitting there in the middle of the room  and we almost missed it. So now I must research the whole bee thing.

Park Grounds ©Rebecca Finch

After our trip through the displays, we walked one of the many trails surrounding the property and enjoyed the fall grandure that comes but once a year and doesn’t last nearly long enough.

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Flaming Tree ©Rebecca Finch

Flaming Tree II ©Rebecca Finch

Flaming Tree III ©Rebecca Finch

Landon's Smirk ©Rebecca FinchLandon really seemed to enjoy the ride – the very bumpy ride over leaves, branches, logs, and deep mud. Everything is an adventure and he was taking it all in.

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Ben and I seriously have a thing for Birch trees. We love the contrast between the white trunk and the black branches. Add the fall factor and we are practically drooling. . . well at least I am.

Bright Birch I ©Rebecca FinchBright Birch II ©Rebecca Finch

Splash ©Rebecca Finch

Orange Flames ©Rebecca Finch

HawTHORN I ©Rebecca Finch

This is NOT a tree that you want to fall into. We couldn’t believe the thorns. They were both disturbing and beautiful at the same time.

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Autumn Berries ©Rebecca Finch

Trail Markers I ©Rebecca FinchAlong the path there were markers nailed to the trees to distinguish between the various trails. It seemed that they had been there for quite some time by the looks of how the trees were growing over them. Near the end there was a marker that was all but 1/4 ” swallowed up.

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Trail Marker Humor ©Rebecca Finch Trail marker humor. Har, har.

Crayola Fluorescents II ©Rebecca Finch

Spotted Leaves I ©Rebecca FinchWe enjoyed taking in the vibrant colors in the leaves. From the bright solid red to the spotted variations of red, green and everything in between, we enjoy pointing things out for each other to enjoy.

Enjoying Simple Things II ©Rebecca Finch

Enjoying Simple Things III ©Rebecca Finch

Welcomed Contrast ©Rebecca Finch

Crayola Fluorescents ©Rebecca Finch

Smooth Trunk ©Rebecca Finch

Well all of the walking that Ben and I did must have really worn Landon out because he fell asleep even as the trail was still quite bumpy for him. Such a sweet little babe. (collective, “awwww”)

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Solitude for Dreaming ©Rebecca FinchThis seemed to be a perfect spot for some quality time with your honey.
If it hadn’t been at the end of our journey or so chilly we might have stopped for a spell.

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Leaf Contrast ©Rebecca Finch

We had a wonderful time walking, chatting, pointing out God’s beautiful creation, watching Landon experience new things, breathing in that particular autumn fragrance while getting a little exercise at the same time.

Here’s a challenge for you to stop the busy pace,
and do something leisurely and explorative to beautify your life. It’s a choice.


Tragic Art – controversial healing for 9/11

The dilemma of expressive art on the still raw emotion of 9/11

I recently stumbled on an article entitled Terrible Beauty written just before the September 11th ten year anniversary, and even though it’s a little old, I’d still like to bring it here to this blog. The article visits the difficulty of presenting art, photography, and memorabilia to the public due to the wide array of reactions that may result. This is not a mere matter such as whether or not someone appreciated an artists’ work, it is however a potentially explosive subject because the event has so deeply devastated and changed Americans.

Unidentified Woman

Unidentified Woman ©Sarah Charlesworth 1980, created 21 years before 9/11, this piece is a prime example of art that can unintentionally be connected to 9/11 events.

In the article,   notes “For New York museums, it’s not clear whether creating content related to the anniversary of 9/11 is a responsibility, an opportunity, or an invitation to inevitable and unwanted controversy.” Some art can appear insensitive and have been removed from public display, for example, Eric Fischl’s Tumbling Woman was quickly excluded from the Rockefeller Center. In these cases, “priorities of patriotism, as well as the moral rights of victims and their families, trumped freedom of expression.”

The Museum of Modern Art in Long Island, NY currently has an entire floor devoted to September 11. The catch is that most of the installations were created before the September attacks, however they surprisingly bring on a connection to the attacks due to their unintentional, however iconic nature.

Francesc Torres, a professional photographer who documented the wreckage brought to a hangar at JFK,  grappled with concerns that his photography of 9/11 events would appear too much like art. His photographs can be found in the National Geographic book, Memory Remains.

“The chronicle in the official book of the 9/11 Memorial, A Place of Remembrance (National Geographic), shows, as if any more proof were needed, how sensitive, delicate, and fraught each object, image, and symbol of the attacks remains.”

A Place of Remembrance

As I read this article I am unsure that we will find the right answer for the public as a whole. It seems that we are teetering on a necessary tightrope of expression to heal and remember but there is always the danger of being offensive, insensitive, and exploitive.

Where is the balance? I believe it’s in the individual to either attend the exhibitions, memorials,  sift through the books if that is what will help them and stay away if it is offensive. Within reason and sensitivity, I believe that artistic expression is necessary especially if the artist themselves is honestly grieving and a journey through 9/11 art creation will genuinely be a healing experience for them. If this is the case, I’m not sure if the tragedy can be depicted in a hurtful offensive way.

Memory Remains The bottom line is, people are still grieving and as grief takes on many forms people are compelled to behave in different ways. What might help one person heal may also send another into a crippling tailspin of despair. We all need to be sensitive, without being too sensitive. Together, in the remembering, crying, and telling of their stories whatever form that may take, America will slowly begin to heal. I believe it has only begun.

Want more?

Visit the official 9/11 memorial website
Comment to share your opinion on this blog or my Facebook Page.


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