Design Studio: Promo Brochure for The Old Village in Downtown Bulverde

16 06 2019

WEB Bulverde Brochure

I just finished the design and production of this double gatefold brochure highlighting the artisan and eateries of The Old Village in Downtown Bulverde, TX. In the collage above, the top left image is the front cover. The two panels on the right are the “gates” that open to reveal the four panel spread in the third image. The fourth image is of the back cover.

Artisans and restaurants featured:

Texas Carpet Baggers
Ever want to design your own custom leather handbag? At Texas Carpet Baggers, we put the power of design into your hands! We focus on functionality combined with heavy duty hardware, quality construction and classic beauty. Make a statement with a Texas Carpet Baggers handbag. We specialize in concealed carry. 830.714.9201
www.facebook.com/TexasCarpetBaggers

The Makery
The Makery is located in a century-old building that originated as a German 9-pin bowling alley. The light-filled space includes a gallery showcasing paintings and jewelry by owner/artists Nick and Francesca Watson, as well as a selection of Texas handcrafts. The studio has open work areas where visitors can watch the owners create, as well as a large teaching space that is home to student members and frequent workshops and events. 830.980.9089
www.makeryarts.com

Sam Roberts Photography
Sam Roberts Photography photographs families and businesses throughout San Antonio and the Hill Country. Specializing in family, wedding, bridal, senior, and corporate photography, Sam Roberts Photography is a client-centered photographer ranging from traditional to one-of-a-kind portrait art. Studio and creative off-site locations available. Let us cover your event while you sit back and relax. 830.980.5666
www.samrobertsphotography.com

Plantiques Floral
Owner Brenda Fry and her crew love to create floral designs. Creating artistic and beautiful floral designs for over 35 years, Brenda has been a leading choice for exceptional floral design and quality. Housed in the same quaint Victorian building as the post office, Plantiques Floral offers unique gifts, collectibles, and fresh flower arrangements. Planning a wedding and want to make sure the flowers reflect your personality and style? Call Brenda at 210.284.0288 for an appointment.830.980.2837
www.plantiquesfloral.com

Alamo City Pottery Workshop
Alamo City Pottery Workshop, owned by April Grunspan, is a membership-based workspace offering 24-hour independent and unlimited pottery studio use without having to enroll in a class. We also offer private and semi-private, three-hour sampler workshops and six-week pottery classes. Call us for information or a tour of our studio.
210.488.5744
https://april-g.wixsite.com/acpw

The Vintage Barn
The Vintage Barn is a group of craftsmen and craftswomen dedicated to taking old wood, windows, doors, furniture and architectural salvage and reclaiming them to be useful in a modern home. We specialize in farmhouse tables, interior barn doors, accent walls, chalk painting furniture, and anything out of old wood. 210.274.7225
www.facebook.com/TheVintageBarn

Hair in the Village
Our shop was the courthouse when I was growing up. I definitely have a vintage vibe with cutting-edge experience and very talented stylists—a place where we laugh and get to know our community. The Village Team has many years of experience at high-end salons and thrive in the simplicity of our small town shop. 210.415.2484
www.hairinthevillage.com

Hatch 5 Market
Hatch 5 Market is a bakery and cafe located in the heart of Downtown Bulverde. This quaint little restaurant offers breakfast plates, kolaches, mouth-watering quiches, an assortment of sandwiches made on homemade bread, scrumptious salads with freshly made dressings, savory soups and more. Enjoy a specialty coffee or a glass of sweet hibiscus tea while sitting on our porch. We take pride in serving you in a welcoming, fun atmosphere. 830.438.1200
www.facebook.com/Hatch5Market

Wine 101
Hill Country gem in the heart of old town Bulverde. Friendly patrons, live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Enjoy wines by the glass or bottle. Craft, imported and domestic beer available. Sample a variety of tapas, custom-made pizzas, meat and cheese boards, and yummy desserts. Must be 21 to be on the premises. 830.438.8721
www.wine101bulverde.com

Verde Bistro
Our goal is to provide our customers with a positive, memorable experience in a relaxed setting with a cozy ambiance. Our menu consists of Latin-fusion dishes from countries like Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Italy—rotating tapas such as canapes, street tacos, artisan pizzas, grass-fed beef sliders, salads, salmon, ahi tuna dishes and filet mignon. Our food is carefully prepared fresh from scratch with the highest quality ingredients, as well as local and organic ingredients whenever possible. 830.714.7886
www.facebook.com/Verde Bistro-Tapas and Martini Bar
http://Verde-bistro.com

Eagles Landing Lodge
COMING SOON! The former Comal County Courthouse will be remodeled into Eagles Landing Lodge. The Lodge will have three elegant suites with private patios and one spacious apartment that will have dining, full kitchen, living, master suite, two full baths, and a private patio. The Lodge decor will be rustic yet elegant, with a modern flair—a place where couples or families can come stay and be within walking distance to the charming Old Village of Bulverde. Call Evanna at 210.557.1798 for more information.

 

 





iPhoneography: Blooming aloe vera

13 02 2019

Photographed at Mission Concepcíon in San Antonio, Texas (iPhone 8Plus, Camera+2 app in macro mode)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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iPhoneography: Live oak tree with Tillandsia air plants

13 02 2019

Photographed at Mission San José in San Antonio, Texas

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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iPhoneography: Wylie sky

12 02 2019

Sunset over Wylie, Texas (iPhone 8Plus)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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iPhoneography: Mission Concepcíon

12 02 2019

On the San Antonio Mission Trail this sunny day (the first in more than a week!) First stop: Mission Concepcíon (this was shot inside the church). Dedicated in 1755, the mission appears very much as it did over two centuries ago. It is the oldest unrestored stone church in America. (iPhone 8Plus, Snapseed 2 app border)

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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iPhoneography: Sunday sky in Texas

5 03 2018

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. iPhone 7plus / Snapseed app border

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San Antonio sunset

17 02 2017

I photographed this beautiful sunset last night in my sister’s neighborhood.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved. iPhone 6s / Snapseed app border

debbie-sunset-lorez





Altar at Mission San José Church

11 02 2017

iPhone 6s / Snapseed app

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Mission San José

10 02 2017

Portrait of my father standing in the doorway of the church at Mission San José in San Antonio, TX (shot with iPhone 6s, Snapseed app) © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

dad-doorwaymission-hirez





iPhoneography: lovely skies of Texas

11 11 2015

iPhone 6, processed with Snapseed app © Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Texas Sky Collage





Wildflowers, Hwy. 281 in San Antonio

9 05 2013

Here’s a record shot of the median strip on Hwy. 281 in San Antonio….there were wildflowers everywhere last month!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

TexasHighwaysWildflowers lorez





Scenes from a wedding: Ashley & Chase, New Year’s Day, 2013

6 02 2013

Ashley is the eldest daughter of my college roommate and friend, Sonya, and I had the honor of photographing her wedding in Austin at The Allan House in Austin, Texas. It was a nice way to start out the new year!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

AshleyChaseWedding





Sunrise over Lake Lavon

25 01 2013

I shot this image of an interesting sunrise over Lake Lavon after we left my sister Kelley’s home in Wylie, TX on Tuesday morning, en route from San Antonio back to Virginia.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

Sunrise Lake Lavon





Carousel horses

7 10 2012

I’m revisiting my Polaroid transfers made from some 35mm slide images I shot of the old carousel in San Antonio in Brackenridge Park. My dad told me the carousel was dismantled and sold years ago, so I went in search of information about the exact details and where it was moved. I found an article by Marian L. Martinello, a retired professor from UTSA College of Education and Human Development in San Antonio. Her article, “Inquiry as Detective Work: The Case of the Carousel,” describes this beautiful carousel in great detail and gives a bit of the background on its origin, so I thought it would be a perfect accompaniment to my Polaroid transfer photos. You can read it by clicking this link: Inquiry as Detective Work: The Case of the Carousel. I’ve contacted her to ask her if she knows what happened to the carousel and if she responds, I will share the results in a future post.

I sold enlargements of the carousel horses, along with some scenic transfer images, to Polaroid to hang in a gallery in their headquarters years ago (well before the company met its demise). I was contacted by someone involved in acquiring Polaroid-related images after he had seen my transfers on a website. My dad generously matted and framed all the pieces that were shipped to Polaroid. It wasn’t a huge windfall (I think I was paid about $700 or so for eight framed pieces, shipping included), but I was so honored to be part of the exhibit. Wonder what became of the images after the company shut down?

Want to learn more about the Polaroid transfer process? Click here to read a posting I wrote in October 2007, complete with links to various sites that offer tutorials and tips on creating transfers.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lyle Lovett at Wolf Trap

16 08 2012

Last night I went to Wolf Trap to see Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group perform. Nancy Dunham, my neighbor/friend/freelance writer, interviewed him last week for a music publication and he invited her to the concert and she in turn invited me. We picked up our guest passes and my photo pass, which allowed me to photograph from a designated spot on the sidelines for the first three songs.

Obviously, flash was out due to the distance from the stage. This didn’t stop some people in the audience using their iPhones with flash from 100 feet or more away! I definitely knew I had to bring my longest zoom—my Nikon 80-400 VR lens f/4.5-5.6. Next time I’m able to do something like this, I’ll be bringing a monopod, too (another photographer was there and used a monopod, but he didn’t have a powerful zoom, so I imagine his shots weren’t nearly as close as mine were). I braced myself against a wall and held my breath for all of these shots. I was also shooting at my highest ISO—3200—and wide open at 4.5. Some images were shot with exposure compensation, too. All in all, not too bad for handheld—in low light and variable light and with distance restrictions.

After the concert we went backstage to meet him, and Nancy introduced me as “a fellow Texan,” so that definitely helped to break the ice. Mr. Lovett (may I call you Lyle?) is as gracious, humble and down-to-earth as he is talented! The last shot in series of photos below is Lyle with Nancy. I highly recommend that if you have a chance to see him in concert, do so. While his upbeat songs had me bobbing my head and tapping my feet, I loved the ballads—heartfelt and passionately delivered.

I’ve told Nancy that I’m available “anytime, anywhere” to accompany her as a guest to a music venue; she’ll have her own personal photographer! Nancy, thank you, thank you, thank you for this opportunity. I’m a new Lyle Lovett fan and had a blast photographing and meeting him.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Lake Lavon

27 01 2012

I shot this image of a part of Lake Lavon as we were leaving my younger sister’s home in Wylie, TX on Tuesday morning, en route from San Antonio back to Virginia. Despite recent rains, the lake is still 12 feet below normal. At its deepest, the lake is only 40-45 feet deep. The North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD) receives raw water supplies from Lavon Lake, Jim Chapman Lake, Lake Texoma, Lake Tawakoni, and Lake Bonham for treatment and distribution to the region served. The North Texas Municipal Water District serves hundreds of thousands of North Texans. Learn more about the effects of drought on Lake Lavon here.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The (not so) Orphaned Images Project: Kindergarten graduation day

22 01 2012

From kindergarten through fourth grade I lived in San Antonio on 155 Farrell Drive in a little white ranch style house. My dad closed in our tiny carport to make a den (and did the same thing in the next house) so we would have more room. Our front porch was long and narrow, flanked by a low brick flower bed full of deep purple Wandering Jew plants.

Directly across the street lived “Aunt Opal.” I’m not sure why we called her “Aunt,” because she wasn’t a relative to any of us in the class or on Farrell Drive. She operated a kindergarten out of her home and had 11 kids enrolled when I attended. She, along with my father, were the first two people to encourage me to draw when they saw my creative potential. I remember one of my first drawing assignments was to draw a rose using colored pencils. Aunt Opal showed us how to draw the petals with a series of crescent moon shapes grouped together. I think I still have that drawing somewhere—temporarily misplaced in a safe place completely unknown to even me, of that I’m sure.

At left is my class graduation photo. I’m in the front row, second from the left, with my mouth hanging open. I certainly don’t look like the brightest of her students, but I’d truly like to believe I was. (Girls in front—as it should be!)

Aunt Opal wore June Cleaver-like, flowered dresses in polished cotton, accessorized with a single strand of pearls, big pearl button earrings, and dark cat-eye glasses. She had perfectly coiffed hair, sparkling blue eyes and looked a bit like the TV character Hazel. She always drank Tab after school was let out for the day. I know this because I shared one with her on more than one occasion while waiting for my mother to come home from work to walk me from school across the street to our house. Ah, my first diet cola—let’s blame Aunt Opal for our affinity for them now, shall we?

After driving by that house a few years ago, I blogged about 155 Farrell Drive in “Pressed between the pages of my mind,” here. You can read about how my younger sister and I staged pool parties in our back yard, sold lemonade to neighbor children and how I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was eight years old. That same plant-filled brick flower bed was where one Valentine’s Day, my classmate, Darren, dropped off a box of chocolate for me, rang the doorbell, then ran away. I’ve been scaring boys away ever since!

I was taken back to that time again recently when I came across the two photos below in a dresser drawer in my parent’s guest room. Now you get to see that Aunt Opal was just as I had described her—perfect coif, polished pearls, sensible pumps and all. Below that photo, I’m on our front porch in front of the flower box, proudly holding my first diploma.

Want to learn more about The Orphaned Images Project? Learn about the origin of the project here. Visit the site at  http://orphanedimages.wordpress.com/





Austin sky

13 01 2012

I know I’ve said it, but I’ll say it again (and again): Texas (at least for this cloud-crazed photographer) remains undefeated for stellar sky displays, hands down. There’s an amazing show virtually every day!

Photographed overlooking downtown Austin, 1.04.2012

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Self portrait, Texas sky

7 01 2012

Photograph taken near the town of Poth in Wilson County, Texas

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The Painting Years: Texas Bluebonnets

31 12 2011

This tiny painting measures just 4×6″ and is an original oil painting that I did when I was about 17 years old.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





The Painting Years: First florals

29 12 2011

Yesterday I organized my father’s “framing shed” workshop and found some of my old oil paintings that I painted from about ages 12-17. The two paintings below are framed and hanging in the house. Discovering the unframed paintings instigated this trip down memory lane and I thought I would share some of my first paintings with you.

My parents took me to the Lila Prater Studio in Weslaco, Texas, for an interview with Lila when I was just 12 years old. I had already been drawing since elementary school and they wanted to further encourage my interest in art. Lila had a strict rule—no students under 15 years old. Classes ran from 9:00 a.m. to noon every Saturday and she discovered that most younger students don’t have the attention span nor inclination to give up a Saturday morning to paint. My dad showed her my portfolio of drawings and I remember him saying, “she’s not like other kids.” (She’s still not!)

Lila decided to make an exception and give me a spot in her Saturday morning oil painting class. I remember there were about five or six students at the time. I was the youngest at 12, the next was a young man who was about 17 or 18, and the others were in their 40s and older. I don’t remember all their names, but I remember some details of my fellow painters. One dark-haired woman, possibly in her late 40s, always dressed up for class and never spilled one drop of paint on her white-colored clothing. She wore a simple white smock/apron and never got paint on it either. I, on the other hand, occasionally used my clothing as a wipe rag (much to my mother’s chagrin).

Another woman, probably in her 50s or 60s at the time, was a retiree named Violet Treasure, who wore her silver hair in a bun perched on top of head. Hers was such an unusual name that I thought it couldn’t possibly be her real name. I did an online search but can’t find anything about her, unfortunately, but I never forgot her name. She painted on really large canvases and almost always painted female nudes. She was a supremely talented painter. I marveled at her use of color—where I tended to see skin as one tone of beige, her brush strokes infused purple, lilac, pink, green and every other hue into the figure. I would learn just how difficult this was when I attempted to copy a painting of a young Native American girl. Initially, my subject was just one shade of brown (think coloring book style) and it was just so flat and uninspiring. Under Lila’s patient guidance, my subject’s skin began to reflect all those colors that Violet used in her paintings. I never did master skin tones but I had an instant respect for Violet’s painting skills.

The young man’s last name was Somerville (or Summerville), but I don’t recall his first name. My dad, who was in Customs at the time, worked with his father, Red Somerville, who was an immigration officer at the port near Nuevo Progreso (which was a mere eight miles from where we lived in Donna, Texas). I remember how slowly he painted and how meticulous he was. He hardly uttered a word while he was in class—he was too intent on replicating works of the masters. (He would have done incredibly well as a forger!) One painting I remember him copying was The Gleaners, an oil painting by Jean-Francois Millet. I always aimed to finish a painting in one or two weekends (impatient even at that young age, I was). He, on the other hand, spent three hours painting just the hands of the wheat gleaners! I marveled at his patience and expertise. When I moved on to a new painting instructor in a different studio, he was still working on his copy of The Gleaners!

There was a pass-through from Lila’s studio to her dining and living room, where her husband, Neil Giles Prater, was bedridden with a long-term illness. I just did a search online and learned that he died at age 83 on June 10, 1977 of pneumonia.

I actually spoke with Lila sometime in the 90s and she was about 92 years old then. She was in an assisted living home and had lost her eyesight. She remembered me and some of the images I painted. I just did a search and found that one of her two daughters passed away in 2010 and the obituary indicated she was preceded in death by her parents, Lila and Neil. Further research revealed that there was a Lila V. Prater, from Weslaco, Texas, who lived to 107 and died in 2003, and I’m pretty certain she’s one and the same Lila Prater. 107 years old—amazing, isn’t it?

Lila had a huge filing cabinet that she called “the morgue,” where we could sort through and find an image to paint. As a rookie, I invariably chose images to copy that were well out of my scope, and Lila would encourage me to pick another. Sometimes she won, sometimes I did.

My first painting was a landscape, and the very next painting was the first floral piece below, done on an 11×14 canvas. When I picked the painting I wanted to copy, she said it was too soon for me to do such a detailed work. I pleaded with her, stating it was to be a gift for Mother’s Day. She relented and I faithfully replicated the work. When I was 15, I painted the second floral, a 24×36 canvas, as a present for my mother.

By copying the work of other artists, I learned myriad painting techniques and color combinations. Lila also taught me how to use the grid method to enlarge or transfer an image to a canvas. Learn more about the grid method here. For this posting, I’ve made both images the same size, although there is a huge difference between them in reality—11×14 vs. 24×36.

I studied under Lila’s direction for about five years and rarely missed a painting session. She was a wonderful teacher and gave me a great foundation in painting. When I was about 17, I began taking lessons with another instructor, Richard (last name escapes me) in Donna, Texas. His teaching method was vastly different from Lila’s—he didn’t allow us to copy anything and we had interesting exercises like using limited palettes of black and white paint only. We did a lot of still life set-ups with fruit, bowls, vases and figurines.

Re: framing—my dad would buy really beautiful but very inexpensive frames in Mexico to showcase my paintings. I remember that we would swap them out whenever I painted something new that matched the color of a particular frame!





The skies really are bigger in Texas…

28 12 2011

I discovered this one above the local Target store at 8:00 a.m. the day after Christmas and couldn’t pass it up!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Wide open spaces…

12 07 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Windmill in hallelujah light

12 07 2011

I photographed this windmill in Bulverde, Texas yesterday. My sister and I were out scouting for locations for me to photograph those wonderful cloud-filled vistas found only in Texas!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Texas sky

10 07 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





From my library: The Hunting Years

3 05 2011

In June 1983, while working as a fashion illustrator for Jones & Jones, an upscale department store in McAllen, Texas, I accompanied my friend Andrea (also the store’s book buyer) to the American Booksellers Association convention in Dallas. (This was the same convention where I got up close and personal with several celebrities who had released books at that time: Dick Cavett, Erma Bombeck, Shirley MacLaine (can’t believe I actually found a recap from People magazine of her actual breakfast talk here!), Art Buchwald, Leo Buscaglia (‘King of the hug’ author—and yes, he did hug me, unsolicited), Leroy Neiman, Lana Turner and Richard Simmons (got a hug from him, too). I had them all autograph my badge; wish I knew where I squirreled away that item!) In the exhibit hall I picked up an “advance reading copy” of The Hunting Years, a novel by David Kranes. It was later published by Peregrine Smith Books in 1984.

Here’s the synopsis on the back: Hunt is an artist. To his wife Leah, he is an enigma. To his young sons, he is merely “sometimes weird.” In this melancholic/comic third novel, David Kranes gives us Hunt as an artist and family man trying to reconcile the life in his imagination with his life in The World.

Obviously I loved this book—it is still in my library after all these years. I’m not sure if it’s because I can somewhat identify with Hunt “trying to reconcile the life in his imagination….” or just because there are so many passages that are just painfully poetic. After I read it, I could envision it being translated into movie form. (I felt the same way after reading Sue Monk Kidd’s The Secret Life of Bees, and voila! the producers read my mind and the movie materialized a few years later. And Hollywood, if you’re still listening, how about a film adaptation of James McBride’s book, The Color of Water?)

In my favorite passage in The Hunting Years, Hunt’s wife Leah, who loves feeding the birds outside their home, is watching the weather suddenly change from sunny to a full-blown ice storm. She had put out food for the birds just before the drastic change in weather and twenty minutes later she returns to the window and sees the birds frozen in place on the lawn.

Hunt! It was Hunt! Hunt had done this! Somehow it was all connected in her mind. And all confused. All of Hunt’s sorry seekings and indecisions had made a heaven, had made a sky that acted with such swift and stupid cruelty. Leah ran outside. No birds moved. It was thirty degrees, another upswing, and sun broke everywhere, splashed carelessly through trees and all over the yard. It made no sense. Leah moved in one direction. Then another. Her throat unwound sounds. She was a murderess! She made a word: “…Bird?” But the world was motionless. No wind even. The food globes hung around like still crystal from their strings. Unable to bear any more complicity, finally, Leah bent and snatched up a glistening husk, an evening grossbeak in its shell of ice, and hurled it, high as she could, into the white pine branches. It was a dozen forms of denial, the act. But it was fury and rage, too. It was terrible anger. But a miraculous thing happened. The boughs of the pine delicately brushed and cracked open the ice. And it dropped away. Like pieces of the finest wineglass, bough to bough, the casing fell. And the bird…! Leah’s mouth swung open. It was as though, ice free, its down and feathers radiated from some center, took on a shape, substance, grew. Leah thought she was imagining. She believed that the madness she had thought possible throughout the whole winter had arrived. But the bird rose! Wings unshackled, it assumed the air. And its freedom…and its flight…were both real. Leah shrieked a new, wild, victorious scream. She ran from imprisoned bird to imprisoned bird, falling repeatedly but lifting and unfurling them high, high into the releasing pine. Now the temperature was thirty. Now above. The sun grew generous; there was a new benevolence in the air. Fractured ice crystals fell, sounding like windchimes. Another grossbeak took flight! A chickadee! A junco! Wings beat! and Leah was spinning and falling and hurling but shouting, “Fly!” to the birds. And, “Fly!”

Although this book is rather old, I did find this excellent review below by Miriam Berkley on the The New York Times website: “Like the ambitious and provocative novel he inhabits, the hero of The Hunting Years is brilliant and elusive. An artist living on a New Hampshire farm, Hunt is a well-intentioned man but not easy to deal with as he wanders through life seeking his proper relationship to the world. His paintings vary widely in both the style and subject matter, reflecting his state of mind. He fantasizes frequently, communicates erratically and equally exasperates his wife, Leah, and his paramour, Anne. (The affair with Anne is brief—the traits that make Hunt a difficult husband, especially his inability to let another person get close, also make him a frustrating lover.) One of two young sons observes, ”Sometimes dad lives on another planet.” When the novel opens Hunt is in his ”Blue Period,” a time of emotional and artistic paralysis during which his canvases remain empty and his marriage goes sour. One morning he awakens literally paralyzed and unable to open his eyes; a doctor’s punch in Hunt’s solar plexus finally unclenches them. Later, while visiting London, he tries to slit his wrists. The landlady at the rooming house tells him, ”don’t be blue,” and upon returning home Hunt follows her injunction and begins painting outsized fruits and vegetables in brilliant colors. As Hunt’s adventures continue—he travels to Las Vegas, Nev., and Tucson, Ariz.—we witness the gradual emergence of his capacity for love. And along the way, there are some wonderful set pieces and humorous scenes—a sendup of the art world, for instance, in which Hunt works as a ”ghost painter,” the visual equivalent of a ghostwriter, and produces a series of paintings that he cannot acknowledge, or the description of Hunt’s turning to minimalism as a way of life and art after being accused of excess. David Kranes’s prose is spare and lovely, his portrait of Hunt as well as that of Leah is compelling, even if at the end his hero remains mysterious. In the final scene Hunt realizes, ”this World is too large. It’s too vast. No wonder, for a while, I was painting only avocados.” Nearly killed in an accident, he’s glad simply to be alive, and thinks, ”It was all startling.” Readers following Hunt’s adventures will agree.”





Bluebonnets aplenty!

14 04 2011

Texas Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis), photographed at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. (Now if I could just get that jingle, “everything’s better with blue bonnet on it,” outta my head) Did you know that the flower gets its name from the shape of the petals? They resemble bonnets worn by pioneer women to shield them from the harsh sun. Even though I spent more than 20 years living in Texas, this year was the first time I had seen these lovely flowers up close and en masse!

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Pink Evening Primrose (Oenothera speciosa)

14 04 2011

Also known as Showy evening primrose, Mexican evening primrose, Showy primrose, Pink ladies, Buttercups and Pink buttercups, this perennial plant spreads to form extensive colonies that are hardy and drought resistant. Most evening primrose species open their flowers in the evening, then close them in the morning. The farther south they appear (in this case, Austin), they will open their flowers in the morning (as shown here) and then close them in the evening. Photographed at the Mueller Prairie

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.








Spiderwort studies

12 04 2011

Photographed at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Move over, will ya?

6 04 2011

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.