• Art,  Life,  Photography,  Process,  Writing

    Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge {June 11}

    Time to answer another Black & White Challenge over at Cee’s photography blog!

    This week, Cee says, “Anything goes… pick your topic.”  My photo topics run the spectrum…. from a recent road trip to life in the studio and a personal message to keep me focused.

    My husband would tell you I’m not the best car rider. In fact, toddlers are probably better behaved in the car.  I get bored really fast when I have to sit still. Thank goodness for mobile devices! My iPhone became my camera on a recent road trip. When we travel in his car, we are definitely ‘flying low.”  🙂


    Photo Collage from the Car
    Flying Low…


    One of my favorite ways to write is to find words in books, magazines, newspapers – to use as jumping-off points – and create stories, poems, ideas … Now, I embed those found words into nearly all of my artwork. Inspiring, thought-provoking, silly, serious, heartfelt, happy, not-so-happy … you name it.  Words and images tell the stories.

    Black and white photo of words on book pages
    Found words… an important part of my creative process.


    Word Boxes in black and white photo
    Artful Words …. Inspiration


    Mermaid Secrets is a special piece of mixed media art I created for our middle sister – a surprise gift ‘just because.’  (Hope she doesn’t read this blog post!)  Striking in color (shades of aqua, cream, and fiery red – you can see her in my What’s Happening in the Studios gallery on the home page) and dramatic in black and white, Mermaid Secrets was created with ink, acrylics, water colors, found text, and found objects, including shells from our recent visit to Sanibel Island, Florida. Ms. Mermaid’s tail is made of crushed rough pen shells  that are deep purple on the inside.  The shells beside her are tiny creatures from Sanibel’s beautiful beaches.

    black and white image of a mermaid
    Mermaid Secrets… mixed media art

    Life is about seeing the details….

    Black frame glasses around the word "Life" - black and white photo
    Life, Magnified

    My favorite tattoo – yes, I’m an educator and veteran with ink…. (breaking stereotypes and rules!)  … is a personal message to myself and those who need it most. My high school students were fascinated when I first got it…”Mrs. Kyle, what did you write on yourself this time?!”  (I’m known to write small initials on my left hand, near my thumb as visual reminders)…. Were the kiddos ever surprised (and pleased!) to find it’s permanent!  The font is a nod to my love for writing.

    Tattoo on a wrist, black and white photo


    Thanks, Cee, for another fun photo challenge!

  • Art,  Life,  Photography,  Process

    Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge {May 14}


    It’s Friday again and I’m just now finishing this week’s post for Thursday’s Black and White Photo Challenge over on Cee’s photography blog . It’s been (another) one of those weeks. Phew!

    This week, Cee asks us to share liquids. Here are mine….




    The lake in Epcot, WDW, Florida
    “World Showcase Lagoon” – Epcot, Florida….


    coffee cup with whipped cream
    Hot chocolate nestled under fresh whipped cream. Blissful…


    Summer Shower in Florida
    Florida Summer Storm



    Lake Shore Drive Chicago
    Lake Shore Drive/Lake Michigan, Chicago – bird’s eye view

    Have a great weekend!


  • Art,  Life,  Writing

    Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge {April 30}

    So, it’s Friday evening and I’m just now getting to finish my post for this week’s Thursday black and white photo challenge over on Cee’s photography blog . It’s been one of those weeks. You know the kind. Ugh. But Friday is here and I’m actually sitting at the computer for a few minutes….

    This week’s Thursday b & w challenge asks us to share signs – road signs, buildings, fences, you name it…  Okay, here we go!

    An admitted ‘picture-snapping driver,’ all sorts of ideas came to my mind, but so did three specific shots taken in very different locations, each sign useful to the intended reader, but two of the three also lending themselves to quirky interpretation [enter The Hubs and me!]. (And none of them while driving) 🙂

    We love to travel whenever we can (and when we’ve saved enough $$!). I was so excited to show The Hubs one of my favorite cities, Chicago, a few summers ago. With nearly two weeks to play, we visited, toured, shopped, ate, and took over 1,000 pictures. The Windy City holds a special place in my heart. Its architecture, culture, history, food, diversity … all speak to my fancy.

    Indie bookstore- sign in window
    I try to shop locally as often as possible, and especially when we travel. Unabridged Bookstore did not disappoint! Worth a visit when in Chi-Town.


    Box Office Black and White Sign
    Such a regal sign to tell us where to get boxes!

    Really, this lovely sign is in the historic Chicago Theatre.  From one floor to the next, the Chicago Theatre is a masterpiece and should be on everyone’s Must See list when visiting the Windy City. Tours are available nearly every day of the year, I believe.

    Far from Chicago, but definitely quirky, is this week’s third black and white submission.  Who knew you could swap out children!? For what?  A new sports car? A new truck? A Harley?  A puppy or kitten?  If we’d known it was THAT easy, we might have had a whole bunch of them….

    Just kidding. Really.   😉


    Child Swap Sign
    A parent’s dream from time to time? We got a kick out of this sign.


    So there you have it – three signs to get you smiling this week. Have a great weekend!