Category Archives: Blogging

Weekly Photo Challenge: Silhouette

Superior Silhouettes ~ Courtesy of Lake Superior

On the way to a Sunset,
approaching the steps,
anticipating beauty,
appreciating now.

Silhouette Sisters

Silhouette Sisters ~ Courtesy Denise and Sue

Chance meetings on beaches
silhouette sisters
sharing sunsets shadows
laughter with strangers.

We become sisters and brothers sharing sunsets and laughter in silhouettes.

Namaste ~ Starbear

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Big ~ Happy ~ Color Post ~ Waiting for Yellow

Big Happy Color Post

Big Happy Color Post ~ Waiting for Yellow to Fly

Big. Happy. Color. Perfect challenge topics for this artist, photographer, writer. This post marks my studio on the beach. It is a very BIG beach on Lake Superior. I call it my Happy Post. Last year I wrote about it in a post called Celebrating Life Sharing Joy.
In my recent absence from blogging, I have been on a fabulous journey of exploration. On this journey I discovered some of my addictions.
I am addicted to COLOR.
I am addicted to JOY.
I am also addicted to Happy People, Stones, the Beach, Teaching, Art,and being Healthy.
In early October, as the colors of summer quickly turned to the fleeting palette of fall, I was out shooting as often as the weather permitted. It has been a very cold and wet fall, snow already, mixed with other harbingers of winter.
I now have thousands of images to sort through from a few good color shooting days… indoor work for snowy days.
For the past four months, almost the whole summer,
I have been quiet. I have been in a wee bit of a No Comfort Zone. I was physically limited by 2 injuries. One to my foot, the other to my hand. At one point I could not type, hold my camera or even a cup of coffee. Nor could I hike the dunes or trek to the beach so often. Miracles happen. The last two months have been miraculous. I learned how much I value my ability to hike the dunes to get to my beach studio. (Thank you feet!) I learned how important my hands are to me. (Thank you hands!) I learned that even when I am apparently unable to “do” much, that I am able to be very happy.
The Big Color Happy Post was restored with new ribbons, full colors.
Recently, I rejoiced in the opportunity to spend several afternoons in sunshine, shooting the flying colors in the beach breezes.
While the Big Happy Post on the Beach marks my return to my studio, this blog post marks my return from silence. I may not write as often, and although this one is long, I may have to become economical with words here, with three books in progress. I am also making some new big art pieces… and have been gathering stone for winter works.

I laughed the whole time I was shooting these. I laughed with the sky; it was such a deep rich clear blue. I laughed as the ribbons danced in the the wind and cloud vapor repeated their rhythm in the background. I laughed with the bubbly cotton ball clouds billowing up on the horizon. I laughed with the sound of the waves and the smell of fresh air.
I laughed as I waited for the yellow to fly and I rejoiced in my colorful life.
I laughed out loud as I lay on my belly on the warm sand to shoot color against the sky while my spirit soared and I connected once again to the universe and myself. I laughed with the joyful knowledge that my hands still work most of the time and my feet carry me off on wonderful adventures.
Life is good, full of color and joy. I am comfortable with that.
I have missed you all and it is good to be back.

Big Happy Color Post

… and then the Yellow lifted up and soared.

Namaste ~ Star Bear

Postcards from my Dream – Unfinished Angels

Angel from the Woods

Angel from the Woods ~ Angels of Light

It is hard to fathom that so much time has passed since my last post, Dark Storms and Rainbows. For the last 55 days life has been kind of like that – dark, stormy, with many beautiful moments of color and light… Sometimes life moves faster than I seem able to keep up with…

Blogging took a back seat to Life – teaching, completing classes, beginning new classes, participating in my community, saving my home from foreclosure, my truck from being repossessed, my internet and utilities turned on, repairing the tractor, preparing for snow, printing photo and greeting card orders from angels… and making new art, from stones and painting – angels, and assisted and supported by angels in my communities, online and right here where I live. I would not have survived without assistance from angels…

This is the story of The Unfinished Angel ~ the Angel that wouldn’t dry, I thought, in time for a deadline! LOL!I painted her as part of a community project for the H.S. Key Club. Participants purchased a blank wooden cut-out of just the angel, painted them, and then they were put up for silent auction to benefit the community. They are quite large – about 18″ high and some will decorate the community Christmas tree. A friend bid on mine and I told her if she won the bid, I would finish it just for her. At the last minute an unknown bidder won her away, so she is decorating something somewhere. I guess they didn’t see her as unfinished…are angels ever incomplete?
I called her angel of the woods. I finished her on the computer and she is now my Christmas card. Another friend, upon seeing the unfinished original dubbed her the Angel of Light. I like that! So, Merry Christmas from this quiet little angel of light and me. May your holidays be filled with angels…

Yes, Angels! I have been spending time with many angels in the last 55 days! Could it be that it is part of taking “A Course in Miracles”? 🙂 I am grateful to all of the angels in my life who have lifted me up, danced, laughed, cried with me, and pushed me forward and up!
May your holidays be filled with Miracles and Angels, time with friends, family and much love.
Namaste ~ Star Bear

P.S. to subscribers – I will be e-mailing the 10 Tips for taking better photos after January 1, 2012. Thank you for you patience! You are not forgotten!

Post-a-day 2011 ~ Teaching Learning and New Art

I make art. I write. I teach. Most of all, I learn. I am surrounded by beauty and beautiful people. OMG I am blessed!

Teaching~writing~creating.
I notice small things. I make big things out of small things.

About the joy of teaching:
“My” students are learning and excited about what they are learning. They are producing beautiful drawings and paintings. They are bringing them to class and sharing. They are motivated and doing more outside of class. They come into class and share AHA! moments that happened for them during the week. They are having fun with art and sharing with their kids and grandkids! They are seeing trees, colors, faces, shapes, light, contrast, textures, balance, the moon and the world in new ways!

Adults, they came into class thinking they “couldn’t” draw. They wanted to learn to draw. Oh! Did I already say how excited they are?… excited about learning and I am excited about how much they are learning and seeing. I teach from a fundamental principle of 90% of learning to draw, or paint, or make art is learning to see… then learning how materials work in the physical world, how our optical nerves register information and eye-hand motor skills. We practice. Then we practice some more – like riding a bicycle, practicing until AHA, we find our balance!
We look at art and what has been done before and why. We talk about art history, artists, why art, what’s art and what’s Art and who decides or decided. I ask a lot of questions, they think, then answer thoughtfully, listening to each other. I actually don’t “teach” much, I allow them to teach each other and me… shh! Don’t tell them. LOL! I’ve just learned to ask questions… and love seeing them think, watch eyes pop open and “get” their own answers, discovering, uncovering what they already know…

We are having fun, laughing a lot and are noisy and silly in the Library. Shhh! (Our Library is an exciting place to be!)

Teaching inspires me… opens my brain to new ideas and ways of looking at the world, people, my own work, what I know, what I have learned from GREAT teachers and friends and students.

About making art…
I first learned to see by looking, to draw by drawing, by daily practice… and now I make environmental art, noticing the small, putting many small things together, noticing shapes and colors and patterns in my messy studios. My students have inspired me once again… Less computer time and more studio time, working with my hands and physical materials.

As I tell these students, I once learned to draw like Michaelangelo, and he already did that and is dead! Revered, admired, copied ~ he did what he did so beautifully. The ability to draw is in each of us if we can write our name or make marks on paper or walls.

So, now I paint and draw with stone from a natural palette calling attention to small things. I paint with light, photographing nature and stones. For me, making art is an amazing balance between light and dark, heavy and weightless, lifted by laughter & joy and built on a solid foundation of ancient wisdom, observation, and yes, feeling. It is a dance requiring access to both sides of the brain simultaneously. Even that requires practice.. daily doses of right and left brained activity.

The color filled display of fall has fallen, leaves are on the ground, returning to nurture the earth through winter ‘til spring. The seasons flow and I will go to ground, as well, in a sense. Working with my hands and eyes and in my studios. I LOVE creating OMG responses, in myself and others.

This video says it so well: OMG moments from Louie Schwartzberg – Gratitude (shared by Cheryl Richardson)

Here is a tiny peek at my winter series in stone – many, many works in progress… this is part of one.

Bloomin' stone

May your day be filled with creative living and dancing with the right side of your brain! Life is not set in stone, just some of my art work. 🙂

Namaste ~ StarBear

Post-a-day 2011 + Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Fall Gold

Golden Sky, Golden Sparks on Ancient Stones

Ten straight days of sunshine and warm temperatures, unusual for October here, brought the most amazing color to the woods this fall. A friend laughed the other day as he said, “I think my eyes may have improved, the color seems more brilliant and is everywhere this year!”
For me, this has created a wonderful dilemma: viewing and editing 150 images a day and what to share online, what to keep for the books I am working on? On Sunday, I went to Lake Superior, a favorite beach, at dawn. This is my personal church service, to thank Creator for all of the incredible gifts this year. I am grateful for the gift of light, of eyes to see, for the spectacular colors and changes of seasons and life.
I am also grateful for the gifts of my way of seeing and for the cameras which allow me to capture and share. I am grateful to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates for their willingness to dare and create what allows me and us to share this beauty. I am grateful for their willingness to try include everyone in their sharing. Because of their daring, we are capable of sharing globally. We can choose to share problems and we can share beauty. We can ask questions and perhaps find answers to global issues. As people Occupy Wall Street, I occupy the woods, the beach, in awe, gratitude and wonder.

I went to the beach in gratitude and returned home with one splendid agate, 150 photographs of nature’s splendor, and unlimited reverence for nature and the rhythms of life.

Golden Ripples, Golden Daze

Tide Pool Prism


Food for the soul, may you enjoy the feast of these simple images.

Namaste ~ StarBear

Post-a-day 2011 + Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Fall Upstream

Fall. I fell for fall long ago. The beauty of fall is partly why I stay in Michigan, along with winter, summer, and spring. The changing seasons seem to match my personal rhythms, the flow of nature.

River Bend ~ Manistique River

While shooting these, and totally enjoying the day and the sun light, I thought there was a stick causing the ripples on the mirrored surface of the water. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a sleek furry critter, swimming upstream. Hoping it was a beaver, I watched it swim closer, then dive, disappearing quickly under the river bank. Probably a muskrat, although beaver and otter also live here.

Mirror Bend

Michigan often gets a bad rap as it is known primarily for the Motor City, Detroit, with the negatives. I grew up in Detroit, trained as an artist in Detroit, grew up on a tree lined street where once upon a time we raked leaves into big piles, then hid, jumped and played in them. After dark the neighborhood parents supervised bonfires of leaves. Sometimes we even roasted marshmallows over burning leaves. I can still remember the wonderful smells of those evenings. Do kids still do that? It was part of the rhythm of life, even in the city, a fall ritual as mornings grew colder and days grew shorter.

Just for giggles, how about a little different rhythm?
You can alwys listen to “Muskrat Love” (c. 1976) or “Muskrat Ramble” (c. 1926) by Louis Armstrong.

May your day be warm and filled with colorful rhythms of Nature!

Megwitch ~ Starbear
Copyright 2011 Betsy Lewis

Post-a-day 2011 + Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Fall continued…

For all of you who do not get to see this every day…
a few more views from roads travelled. The fall color just keeps becoming more brilliant? Raucous? Audacious? Spectacular? Gorgeous? Beautiful? Splendiforous?
Sometimes there are no words.
A friend of mine once coined the word “Brazilliant” to name one my images he owns. It was such a fun and discriptive word, I use it for the title.
What do you call the amazing arrays and displays of color in the fall? Nature’s palette is so palatable and yet so brief in its display. I am so lucky to witness this each year and it’s never the same and always thrilling. Enjoy!

Reflected Glow


Lake Anne Louise, near a tiny place named Blaney Park always offers spectacular views across the lake. Lined with mix of hardwoods and conifers it creates a perfect complementary color scheme. (I happen to be teaching color theory currently – can you tell? LOL!)

Hardwoods and conifers line the shore demanding attention...

I know the photo challenge this week has changed to “sunsets”, and I’m choosing to stay with Fall for now, so more fall is forthcoming to be celebrated while it lasts! I think it’s called “Making hay while the sun shines.” The sunsets will be fabulous this week as well – no rain predicted for 10 days, so also no storms to take the leaves away.

More soon!

Megwitch ~ Starbear

Post-a-day 2011 + Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Fall

Fall ~ So fall this Fall so far is mostly RED!
Oh! Poor me. Life is so hard! LOL!

This fall is RED... 20 miles of walls of color...


I am forced to drive each day this road to work within these leafy walls
lined with red of every tint shade hue…
dark and light and wine and glowing reds
ablaze against green against skies of gray and blue.
The road glows without sunshine and where is yellow?
Hiding, peaking, sneaking, teasing between other brilliant views.

How glad the woods, they be not shy
shouting color to the sky…
“Look at us” they call, demand.
“It is FALL and we are leaving!”

Envy not this place in which I roam
travelling to work, then returning home
within and through these walls of color.
Poor me! Forced to endure this beauty for hours on end
over hills, around a bend…
a brief time this willing prisoner will remain
within these walls of color to exclaim
in awe and gratitude and joy.

Megwitch ~ Starbear

Post-a-bit! Post-a-day 2011 ~ Time Matters

Taking a month long hiatus, cutting down on computer time in order to be with people in my life. My old computer is being renewed soon, updated to provide faster, better access, more memory. This is thanks to my wonderful offspring. House guests started descending in mid-August, a very special gift out here in the boonies… and while torn about blogging vs. not, I intend to enjoy each and every visitor to the max.

Ahh!  Fresh Air, Quietude, Blueberry Snacks, Wildlife - Char's on vacation!

NTC - on a ridge overlooking Lake Superior ~ Ahh! Fresh Air, Quietude, Blueberry Snacks, Wildlife - Char on vacation!

Last week, it was my friend Charlotte visiting, and I was delighted to be able to share a day hike on the North Country Trail with her. This week, my favorite (and only) son is here. At the same time, I have to work at my day job, produce artwork for an upcoming sale and prep for fall classes. A single blog post can take 3-4 hours with my limited access and slow computer (and sometimes perfectionism), so from now until September 21st I shall continue be more hit and miss than usual. Still taking lots of images, and thinking of my devoted readers.
Playing on the trail, taking time to smell the pines, taking leaps of Faith and growing… time to live more offline, for now. It is simply a matter of time… and loving the company I keep. Finding balance, yet again. I turned 66 on August 17th, and realized that with only 33 more years to live, it is a matter of time! 🙂 Time Matters!

Living on the Edge and Taking Leaps of Faith - Yes!

May your days be filled with leaps of faith, miracles, and love for life in the other real world of the senses.

Thank you for your patience and kindnesses, always!

Related Posts:

Megwitch ~ Starbear

Thank You !

Spiritual Harvest


Yesterday’s Post was #100 on this blog. That seemed significant, a nice round number. So Thank YOU, reader, friend, for visiting, encouraging, commenting. While making the commitment to postaday2011, I was not fully cognizant of how slow my posting goes. I include images whenever possible, and love sharing beauty. I seem unable to post just to post, yet showing up is part of the game… especially in life!
Some wonderful people keep encouraging focus on just one thing – stoneworks, photography, or writing. For me, they are interconnected, inseparable. Combining visual art with writing is my “thing.” I am grateful for being me and the energy life gives me. What is my focus? To continue to share beauty, it is everywhere and always available, in nature, in people, in the universe. That may take the form of images, constructions, nature, words or in combination.
So for today, I am simply grateful for where I live, each breath I breathe, and the life I get to live and share, with friends and strangers alike. Thank you for being you, being who you are, doing what you do.
Another commitment has called, taking priority – completing artwork and other projects. My postaday2011 commitment has not been reached, and yet it is so useful to discover how commitment works.
At times I have commented that when I am fully committed to something, I may just have to be committed in an institution somewhere… LOL!
While I may not post every day, I am here, working, reading others blogs, slowly. Play time is also essential, and getting to the beach… which is playtime, worktime combined.
An earlier post says part of it, and now YOU are a part of the Basket of Abundance .
I am renaming it “Basket of Abundance & Gratitude” just for you – You are all part of the abundance, variety, diversity, life on this planet!
Thank you for being in the basket!

May your day be filled with beauty and love, and if you cannot find it, just look in the mirror and smile!

Megwitch and Namaste ~ Star Bear