there is grass under all that snow

We are buried in snow right now, with below zero temps and arctic winds buffeting the house.  It’s a great time to think about the grasses that are dormant beneath the icy layers of snow, just waiting to spring forth in a few months.  And who better to give you the feeling of grassy growth than Santa Fe artist Charlie Burk.

2014-0127burke3Luxurious Passage
49×97″ oil on panel

Burke has been painting landscape for over 40 years. His paintings seem a blend of abstraction and realism, with their vibrant colors and grassy stems and seeds.

Charlie BurkSerene Afternoon
48×48″ oil on panel

Burke is one of the artists represented by the Winterowd Fine Art Gallery, one of the galleries that recently participated in the LA Art Show.  The show took place at the LA Convention Center, January 2014. The Winterowd Gallery is located in Santa Fe, and notes that “many of our artists have an enduring fascination with nature that continue to inform and inspire.”

Charlie BurkStride Spirited
24×24″ oil on panel

When walking in the nearby parks here in the Midwest, I am fascinated by the tall prairie grasses. I try again and again to capture their beauty, but don’t seem to quite capture the magic to my satisfaction.  I am a little gratified that they seem to echo the feeling of Burke’s work.

Photo by Chelini & OefflingPhotograph by Chelini & OefflingPhotograph by Chelini & Oeffling“We find that it’s ever so
In this life’s uneven flow;
We’ve only to wait,
In the face of fate,
For the green grass under the snow”
– from “Consolation”, Annie A. Preston



a new look, reflecting

It’s a new look for the Rowanberry Blog this year, and I have a new goal to strive for in continuing to post.  Reflecting back on this artistic journey, I just can’t let it go and give it up.  I have to keep trying to find the time to share artistic inspiration, at least more consistently if not as frequently. I also wanted to upgrade the look of the blog to be able to share larger images.  There’s nothing like the impact of a large, beautiful image.  For those who spend more time on the phone screen, I guess it might not matter, but if you get home to a nice large monitor… wow!

Today I am sharing some beautiful and somewhat surreal photography from Cody William Smith.  He is a photographer and cinematographer with some interesting work.  These pictures are from “A Moment’s Reflection”, from June of 2013.

Cody William Smith“A Moment’s Reflection” is my ongoing study of specular, or mirror-like, reflections. My intention is to draw new connections between familiar forms by introducing specular reflections to environments where none would typically exist. The mirrors serve as a focal point within a given scene and also function as a window to provide an entirely unique perspective on the same location. -Cody William Smith

Cody William SmithSmith specializes in landscape, fine art, and environmental portraiture.  In the film world, he freelances as a gaffer, 1st AC, and photography assistant.  He has an interesting set of credits to his name, including being involved with several professional music videos, short films and magazine shoots.

Cody William SmithVisit Smith’s website:

Birds like you have never seen them

I came across some unique and beautiful photography today, from the lens of Bob Croslin.

Bob CroslinBob Croslin, “Cedar Waxwing”

Croslin starting taking portraits of injured birds at a local bird sanctuary in Florida.

Bob CroslinBob Croslin, “White Pelican”

Every Wednesday I would show up and photograph a bird or two never knowing what kind of bird and if I’d even come away with an image. I’d set up lights and a back drop and cross my fingers. Birds, like humans, don’t like to be in a new environment and would immediately run for the exit. Add a camera and several lights and inevitably we were corralling birds – no easy feat because several of the birds were still flighted. I can’t count how many times I was told by a sanctuary volunteer that there was no way I’d be able to photograph a particular bird – especially the shore birds. Every time I’d make an image that would blow them away. Nothing like a challenge to bring out the best in me. – Photographer Bob Croslin

Bob CroslinBob Croslin, “Yellow Crowned Night Heron”

Croslin was, in his own words, a “punk rock kid” who discovered a love for photography.  Floating around without a definite goal, he ended up at the University of Florida, majoring in Journalism.  This is where he really fell in love with telling stories with a camera.

His photos have a surreal quality, making you want to study them closer.  They do draw you in to the tale.  See more of his work on his website:

reflections and mist

Although Sandra Kantanen’s work is photography of real landscapes, her technique is other-worldly, fantasy come to life.

Sandra Katanenforest, sandra kantanen

In her earlier work, she was inspired to work in the tradition of Chinese landscape painting, developing a technique to combine painting and photography.
In this series, Shadow Images, she has photographed places in China, Tibet, Finland, and Japan.

“Entering these different cultures have given me insight into very different ways of perceiving image.” Sandra Kantanen, from Helsinki School

Sandra Katanenlake3valmis, sandra kantanen

Kantanen creates acrylic paintings on metal plate, then prints her photographs with pigment over the painting, finishing with varnish. The results are magical, misty and dream-like.

Sandra Kantanenlake4valmis, sandra kantanen

Each beautiful work evokes a story; I feel like I am peering through illustrations of a fantasy novel.  See her website for gorgeous, large images of her work:

natural patterns

The snakes photographed by Guido Mocafico are all over the blogosphere this week. (butdoesitfloat, colossal) It is unlucky to feature scary subjects on Friday the 13th?

Guido MocaficoSerpens Series, Guido Mocafico

The photos are breathtaking, although I am partial to snakes anyway. It is Mocafico’s eye for patterns in nature that pulls my eye and holds my attention.

Guido MocaficoRoses Series, Guido Mocafico

You know and recognize his subjects, but his arresting work takes you past the reality and into the mesmerizing patterns.

Guido MocaficoMedusa Series, Guido Mocafico

Mocafico lives in Paris, and specializes in still life photography.  He works for several international magazines and has undertaken many advertising campaigns for renowned designers such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, and Hermës. He has several books published (see Amazon) as well. See his website for more exquisite composition and detailed still life photography:

tearing into a new dimension

Artist Scott Hazard works with photography to turn it into a sculptural piece of art, drawing the viewer in to explore. His work is being featured in the New Works Exhibition at Artspace, a visual arts center in Raleigh, North Carolina, where he is an artist in residence.

Scott HazardScott Hazard

Hazard creates new physical spaces by layering images.  He considers his work more sculpture than photography.

Scott HazardScott Hazard

He photographs dozens and dozens of images, then reviews them to select a few that have room for a space to explore.  He will also search for elements that can be highlighted, as in the photo above. Part of his work involves sketching different sculptural voids, experimenting with what looks best.

Scott HazardScott Hazard

Read an interview with the artist online at:   See more of Hazard’s work on his website:

get closer to the music

I have to give a shout-out to Colossal for today’s blog post, featuring photographer Bjoern Ewers. His advertising task was to create a campaign for the chamber-ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker. The goal of his photography on this project is to show the instruments from the inside, taking the viewer as close as possible to the creation of the music.  Bjoern Ewersphotography by Bjoern Ewers

Ewers works out of Berlin, Germany as an illustrator, photographer and art director.

Bjoern Ewersphotography by Bjoern Ewers

His images are creative and powerful, giving you quite an amazing perspective inside classical instruments.

Bjoern Ewersphotography by Bjoern Ewers

Ewers is featured on Behance Network, an online showcase for creative work:  Also see his website: