A Photographic Essay by Beth Bridgers Johns
Spring is such an enlivening time of year! Observing and photographing wildlife in the Spring is especially fun and heart-warming with animal parents caring for their adorable young. I’m sharing three series of photographs from my springtime experiences on and around Whidbey Island.
Newborn Blacktail Fawn
This sweet fawn was born on April 28th in my backyard on Whidbey Island and the photographs show its first wobbly steps and the doting care of its beautiful mother. Whidbey has a healthy population of Blacktail Deer, and they add to the sense of tranquility on this wonderful island.
These images can be ordered as prints or cards through Artworks Gallery.
Tufted Puffins on Smith and Protection Islands
Tufted Puffins can be seen in the waters around these islands beginning in June. They come to breed and build their nests in burrows dug up to 5’ deep into the cliffsides. They hatch their eggs and raise their young, teaching them to swim and fish, during the summer. Then they are off to spend the rest of the year living at sea in the Pacific Ocean. The young birds return to land only when they are 3 years old to breed on the nesting cliff where they hatched.
“Here’s Looking at You” and “Stretching Wings” are available as 12” x 8” prints on canvas through Artworks Gallery or the online store.
The Red Foxes of San Juan Island
Decades ago, San Juan Island imported Red Foxes to help control the wild rabbit population on the island. They have thrived due to the abundant food supply and lack of predators. When the kits are born in the spring, they are a joy to behold!
The series of 10 images is available as a set of boxed cards. The print “Beautiful Vixen” is available as an 18” x 12” print on metal through Artworks Gallery or the online store.
Art enriches reality by elevating our perception and the authenticity of everything on the planet. Art connects us ~ Nancy Frances
I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember. I started drawing in pencil as a very young child. I began painting over 40 years ago. Many people see me as an extrovert, but I love solitude.
As an intuitive painter, I delight in making abstract marks. When creating, my aim is to convey a visual language to speak directly to the viewer's heart abstractly with passion, feeling, and respect. I enjoy sharing my point of view and expressing myself, and the way I view the world, through my art.
Diversity Series #11 - 36 x 36 in. with float-mount frame - acrylic, ink, and pastel
The Diversity series has been the longest-running series of my career. I started the series in the fall of 2017 when our country, it seemed, was falling apart, and tolerance was at an all-time low. Being a daughter of an immigrant father from Sicily, Italy, the series was my attempt to express my personal perspective on the definition and the many nuances of the word "Diversity" using abstract visuals.
Nancy Frances is a working artist who lives in a 100-year-old farmhouse on Whidbey Island. She spends most of her time writing, painting and spending time in her garden. She enjoys working in all mediums, acrylic, watercolor, pastel, graphite, paper, and canvas.
This new glass passion came about by accident! People give me glass windows, shelves, and doors to use as up recycled raw material. A couple of years ago I had a piece of glass that I planned to use to create a bird bath. As I tried to cut the glass, it shattered into tiny bits. This is when I discovered it was tempered glass, also known as safety glass. Tempered glass is made by progressively heating and flash-cooling glass to create inner stresses. This allows the glass, if broken, to break into little pieces rather than long, sharp shards.
As I was sweeping up the shattered pieces, I realized the glass had an amazingly beautiful ice blue/aqua color when the small pieces were grouped together. I knew I had to find a way to use this beautiful substance. Always mindful of the transparent nature of raw glass, I thought a lamp might be the perfect design. However I faced a problem: How could I stick together these tiny glass pieces to form the large piece I imagined? In the kiln, glass starts to adhere to itself when fired to 1200 degrees. The heat softens the surface of the glass in order to fuse it together. In the case of my lamps, fusing the glass in the kiln would make a big blob as the edges softened and rounded. So I started experimenting with alternate “cold fusion” methods to preserve the beautiful crystalline appearance of the shattered glass. I tried various art mediums and glues until I finally settled on an epoxy resin for the best results.
The initial process is like the sand candles many of us have made, by using gravity to create the piece upside down. After the glass window or door has been cleaned and shattered, I collect the pieces in a large container. Prepared epoxy resin is then poured into the bucket and gravity takes over, creating various spires and shapes. The size and design of the lamp is influenced by both the preparation and the pouring method of the epoxy into the broken glass. After hardening, the lamp is lifted out of the bucket and its shape is further refined by hand sculpting. After the shape is sculpted and the sharpest pieces are removed, the lamp gets an extra layer of the resin to protect against glass cuts. The larger pieces become lamps and the smaller ones become candle holders. The finished products look like little crystal glaciers. The natural glass color ranges from very pale turquoise to darker blue-green, depending on the manufacturing formula of the original glass. I primarily work with this natural color because it’s so beautiful but can happily make customized colors. The turquoise lamp is the natural color, and the gold lamp has added color.
~ Morgan Bell
Our artists share their experiences and inspiration with you here. Comments and questions are welcomed!