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Lewis Kemper’s work is really beautiful. He primarily works in color and takes pictures of landscapes and even does some mirror imagery as well. What makes his work seem so interesting is how everything looks so etherial and different, as well as seeming so dream-like in a way. Even though all the pictures are taken in the real world, the way he takes them make them seem so dreamy. I find this aspect to be very interesting and just all around pleasing to the eye. Furthermore, ther vibrancy of the colors really makes his work so beautiful as well as a pleasure to look at. Also, much of his work seems to utilize HDR (high dynamic range) photography, which really brings out the colors of so many images.

This image of Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska was taken by Lewis Kemper and really has a lot of blues and purples in it, due to HDR photography.

This image of Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska was taken by Lewis Kemper and really has a lot of blues and purples in it, due to HDR photography.

What makes his work so interesting is that his work shows people in different places and he gives them a uniqueness that makes his work so interesting to look at. He uses vibrant contrasts with black and white to make his pictures seem so vibrant and rich. His main medium is black and white photography and he seems to photograph the mundane and even the sacred in some way, putting them in a new light, but not being disrespectful about it. Furthermore, much of his photography has a powerful play of light, dark, and the shadows they cast.

A lot of Irving Penn’s work appear to be of people and faces, not really landscapes or anything else for that matter, which makes his work stand out from scenery.

A powerful contrast of light and dark. This is an example of Irving Penn.

A powerful contrast of light and dark. This is an example of Irving Penn.

I really do get the feeling that I have gotten to know the I-15 a lot better this semester. Last Friday’s trek north (and slightly to the east), involved a trip to Rainbow, a picturesque, pastoral little community not too far from Fallbrook (which is also a small little community tucked into the middle of nowhere. Not that nowhere is a bad place, because it’s not. It’s just a ways away from civilization, that is to say, bigger cities). So, once again my mom and I took my car (better gas mileage and everything) and headed on up to Rainbow. You see, Deborah Small (my instructor for my Advanced Digital Art and my Artist Books classes) was having a little get together with a few classmates, which involved preparing foods with native and naturally grown ingredients. Not only did we get to participate in cooking along with the students from the Native American Cultures class (taught by Joely Proudfit) and sample the goodies, but we got a great opportunity to learn about food photography. One of the dishes we got to photograph was nopales (or cactus salad), which had a little bit of kick to it. Upon sampling it, it felt like I had a party in my mouth and everyone was invited. 

 

This tasty salad had cactus bits, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, and a whole slew of tasty vegetables. Mmm...mmm...healthy!

This tasty salad had cactus bits, onions, cilantro, tomatoes, and a whole slew of tasty vegetables. Mmm...mmm...healthy!

 

Of course, no one really got to eat anything right away, since it was a buffet and there was going to be a whole lot more that needed to be photographed before we got a chance to eat any of it, but that was ok (I think everyone had breakfast before coming on up, plus there was banana bread from Trader Joe’s to help keep everyone satisfied until we could all eat). Following along after the cactus salad, were some very tasty beans. Pinto beans with a little soy chorizo. They were very good and had a little bit of kick to them as well.

These were some very tasty beans. Full of flavor, protein, and fiber. Very healthy!

These were some very tasty beans. Full of flavor, protein, and fiber. Very healthy!

The main course consisted of a vegetable-laden salmon dish, which was very delicious, albeit a bit on the spicy side. Topped with tomatoes, zucchini, potatoes, and onions, the salmon seemed more a like a salad than an actual fish entree, but that was fine with me, I like vegetables. Normally, I don’t really go for fish, but I’m adventurous and willing to try new foods and this one was pretty darn tasty (but a little on the spicy side). 

 

This was very tasty fish entree. The cayenne pepper is what gave it that flavorful heat.

This was very tasty fish entree. The cayenne pepper is what gave it that flavorful heat.

To cool off from the cayenne pepper-crusted fish, there was chia lemonade (and no, no Chia Pets were harmed in the making of the lemonade), which had a refreshing tart sweetness. Made with oranges and limes and sweetened with a little stevia (a natural plant based sweetener that’s a million times better for you than Splenda, Equal, or Sweet n’ Low), this beverage was very, very tasty and really took the edge of the spice. I’m not really that big on spicy foods in all honesty, but like I said, I was more than willing to give it a try.

Oranges, limes, and a little chia make up one heck of a refreshing beverage.

Oranges, limes, and a little chia make up one heck of a refreshing beverage.

The chia refers to those little grayish seeds that are floating around in the drink. They look a little like poppy seeds, but are slightly bigger and pack a lot of protein, Omega-3s, and fiber. They’re pretty potent for something so small. 

There were so many delicious dishes. There was another really tasty dish on top of everything else (ok, so everything was delicious. I can’t help it if I liked almost everything. I like food!) The dish I’m referring to was the yucca and Indian lettuce salad. That had a very light flavor and was surprising filling. The Indian lettuce look like little lily pads on stems, but these don’t grow in lakes or ponds. Nope, they just grow on good ol’ terra firma. The yucca blossoms take a little time to prepare. They have a bit of a bitter taste, so they need to be boiled a few times to remove the bitterness from them. After that, they taste pretty good, almost like a very mellow squash. Quite good!

 

Yucca flowers are the little yellowish things on top and the Indian lettuces is underneath. A very light-tasting salad that's surprisingly filling.

Yucca flowers are the little yellowish things on top and the Indian lettuces is underneath. A very light-tasting salad that's surprisingly filling.

We also had some of the tastiest strawberries I’ve ever tasted. They had so much sweetness and were very juicy, plus they were organic, which made them even better. They were paired with some apples to make a tasty dessert.

Fruit always makes a healthy dessert. Organic fruit makes an even tastier one.

Fruit always makes a healthy dessert. Organic fruit makes an even tastier one.

All in all, the cooking, the eating, and the photographing was a lot of fun and I was glad that I could be a part of such a fun experience. I’m hoping I can try out some of these recipes at home myself. Now, all I need to do is find some chia and then I think I’ll be set.

Funes Art Entries

 

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink

 

Purple Phantasy

Purple Phantasy

 

"X" Marks the Spot

"X" Marks the Spot

Daley Ranch as well as Dixon Lake were very beautiful places to visit. If there was any place that was off the beaten path, these were definitely the places that could be considered such (not that it’s a bad thing, mind you. Our first stop was at Dixon Lake ($5 to park, who knew?) My mom was just along for the ride, but was willing to pitch in the parking fee (thanks Mom!). After finding a good place to park, which wasn’t too far from the lake (it’s actually a resevoir), we got out and walked around a bit, snapping a few pictures of the lake and some of the native plant life that surrounded it. I even suggested, albeit kiddingly, that we take a rowboat (or paddleboat, or whatever aquatic vehicles they had for rent), out on the lake. Naturally, my mom said no (I think her sense of adventure was still at home somewhere), but in all honesty, I didn’t really mind being on dry land.

The lake was very beautiful and the water was very blue that day. Truly picturesque.

The lake was very beautiful and the water was very blue that day. Truly picturesque.

 

Another shot of Dixon Lake, looking towards the another shoreline.

Another shot of Dixon Lake, looking towards the another shoreline.

 

Some of the "locals", keeping cool.

Some of the "locals," keeping cool.

 

 

 

After wandering around and taking a few pictures of some of the local wildlife, we drove back up towards Daley Ranch and walked around some of the trails. It was a pretty warm day (well, we were out there around noon, thereabouts), so we didn’t really want to be out too long, since it was so warm (air conditioning is a blessing. Really!)  We hiked around a bit and took some pictures of some of the native (and maybe there were some not so native plants. Sometimes it’s hard to tell because after awhile all plants start to look the same.) One plant that was really amazing (ok, so maybe it wasn’t that amazing, but it was big) was the Agave Whipplei that was in bloom (or starting to bloom). I remember seeing a few Agaves while at Pechanga and Indian Rock, but none of them were in bloom. Some of them that we encountered on the trail were looking pretty healthy.

An Agave stalk in bloom.

An Agave stalk in bloom.

There were numerous other plants that we encountered, some I don’t recall seeing (there was one that I don’t ever recall seeing on any of my other field trips, but like I said, after awhile all the plants eventually look the same). I did remember seeing some mulefat, which was a native plant and it was interesting to see it growing out here in the middle of nowhere (well, it felt like nowhere).

Mulefat is a California native plant. A very hardy plant for the arid environment we have.

Mulefat is a California native plant. A very hardy plant for the arid environment we have.

After wandering around, we decided it was time to head back into civilization. We were getting kind of hungry and we were tired (the heat takes a lot out of a person), so it was time to head back. I think we might go back there again one of these days, maybe it when it’s so warm. 

 

Daley Ranch is a nice place to go for a quiet stroll amongst the native plants as well as to just get away from it all.

Daley Ranch is a nice place to go for a quiet stroll amongst the native plants as well as to just get away from it all.

Las Pilitas 3/28/2009

 

The Las Pilitas nursery had a wide selection of native plants for all your native plant needs.

The Las Pilitas nursery had a wide selection of native plants for all your native plant needs.

 

 

I think this term I’ve gotten to know the I-15 freeway quite well, considering how often I seem to be driving on it now. Not that that’s a bad thing, it really isn’t, it’s just more of a comment really. Saturday March 28 seemed like a good day to head to Las Pilitas nursery (I didn’t have work that day, so I figured why not take a trip out that way and do a little exploring?) So, my mom and I took my car (I get slightly better gas mileage with my RAV4 than she does with her Highlander, but it isn’t really too much of a difference. Probably about 5 mpg or so, so not a HUGE difference. Also, I do a little more driving than she does, so I kind of know my way around these areas). So up we went to Las Pilitas, which I must say, was a very pleasant drive (there wasn’t too much traffic on the freeway). After about 45 minutes (at least, that’s what Google maps said it would take. I think it was a little less), we arrived and it was rather warm. I don’t really like really warm weather, but this wasn’t too bad. Only about 79 degrees, which was tolerable. 

We wandered around quite a bit, taking pictures of all sorts of native plants and I must say, it was a nice little nursery. I don’t recall seeing so many native plants in one area (ok, maybe the Wild Animal Park and Quail Gardens could be put into that category as well), but there were certainly a lot plants that I don’t recall seeing when I was visiting those other places. 

 

This is a shot of some blue-eyed grass, which doesn't really look all that blue, but it is a native plant and would probably look good, surrounding some oak tree.

This is a shot of some blue-eyed grass, which doesn't really look all that blue, but it is a native plant and would probably look good, surrounding some oak tree.

The above blue-eyed grass was definitely one plant I hadn’t, or didn’t recall seeing before. I don’t know why it was called blue-eyed grass because it sure didn’t look that blue to me, unless it’s supposed to be sad, but it didn’t really look that way to me either. It looked more cheerful if anything. 

I think there was one plant there that we really both liked. That was the Joyce Coulter Ceanothus (my mom had to buy that plant because her name is Joyce and it just seemed fitting). Truly a pretty little native plant that we were going to plant somewhere on our back hill, which would look very pretty once it really takes off.

My mom had to get this plant. She just fell in love with the color. It's kind of hard to see the little purple flower on it, but it is there.

My mom had to get this plant. She just fell in love with the color. It's kind of hard to see the little purple flower on it, but it is there.

We continued to wander around, taking pictures of all sorts of native plants. There were so many different kinds of mallow that I didn’t even know existed. There was the tree mallow and bush mallow, both I don’t remember seeing on any of our other trips. Both were pretty, although they both looked the same. Still, I thought they were both pretty would make nice plants for the yard. 

 

This was the bush mallow in bloom. I don't remember it having much of a fragrance, but I think it did.

This was the bush mallow in bloom. I don't remember it having much of a fragrance, but I think it did.

This was the tree mallow. Didn't seem to have any flowers on it, but it did look a little similar to the bush mallow.

This was the tree mallow. Didn't seem to have any flowers on it, but it did look a little similar to the bush mallow.

All and all, the trip was pleasant, albeit a bit warm and a lot of fun. I wouldn’t mind taking another trip back out there again some time in the near future. There were so many wondeful plants and the area itself was pastoral and peaceful.

This was a shot of a nearby oak tree and some scrub. Just a small sampling of the area surrounding the nursery.

This was a shot of a nearby oak tree and some scrub. Just a small sampling of the area surrounding the nursery.

Quail Gardens 3/11/09

Quail Gardens was a wonderful little excursion in my own backyard. It was fun visiting there, since I hadn’t been there in quite sometime. We decided that Wednesday would be the perfect day, since I didn’t have to work that day and the weather was perfect. We had originally planned on just going for breakfast at the local Coco’s, but I grabbed my camera and decided that we head to Quail Gardens afterwards. 

After a tasty breakfast of omlettes and waffles (they do have good waffles), we hopped in my RAV4 and away we went…which was less than a mile and we arrived at Quail Gardens where we hiked all around, looking at the many different plants. We took more time with the California native plants, since that was mainly what we went there for. Of course, there were other plants to look at, which we took time for afterwards, but the native plants took priority. 

 

Jojoba is native plant that the Native Americans used for medicines. Also found in many lotions today for its nutritive properties.

Jojoba is native plant that the Native Americans used for medicines. Also found in many lotions today for its nutritive properties.

The collection of plants that Quail Gardens had was immense. There were so many plants that I don’t think we had encountered on other field trips (maybe that’s not entirely true, but there were some that I don’t remember seeing). Anyway, we headed over to the California native garden and noticed a local resident “sampling” some of the lawn. I guess he was just doing his part to keep the lawn trimmed. If you haven’t guessed already, that little local was none other than a cute, little, bunny rabbit, out for a midday snack.

A "local" having a snack, or possibly doing his part to keep the lawn trimmed. With the economy being what it is, the park should be glad he works for free!

A "local" having a snack, or possibly doing his part to keep the lawn trimmed. With the economy being what it is, the park should be glad he works for free!

It was definitely a good time of year to go, since many of the plants were just starting to bloom or were already in bloom. The lemonade berry was in bloom and we thought it was pretty plant. I explained to my mom that the berries have a sour taste and taste just like lemon candy. Unfortunately, I didn’t see any berries on the plant, so I couldn’t show her (she wouldn’t have eaten them anyway). Oh well, maybe next time. 

 

The flowers of the Lemonade Berry. Unfortunately, I didn't see any berries on it, so much for tasting them.

The flowers of the Lemonade Berry. Unfortunately, I didn't see any berries on it, so much for tasting them.

As we continued our hike, we trekked on over to the Native People, Native Plants area of the gardens to see what else was over there. There were other plants that we didn’t see over at the other native plant garden. I didn’t see many signs or indicators for a lot of the plants, saying they were native (I guess there was a lot of overgrowth covering them up. Either that, or the lizards ate them). However, there was sign that did mention what the natives used some of the plants for.  Some such uses of some native plants were medicines, food, poultices, and seasonings.

An informative sign, describing some the uses of native plants.

An informative sign, describing some the uses of native plants.

 

Another informative sign about native plants that we discovered while we wander the gardens.

Another informative sign about native plants that we discovered while we wander the gardens.

After we explored the native plant gardens, we explored the rest of Quail Botanical Gardens and found some very interesting topiaries. They were very clever, being shaped like people and all. It was a cool way to shape ivy, and give it a little personality as well. 

 

This topiary was one of the most interesting ones I've seen. A lady of ivy, whom I appropriately nicknamed, "Ivy."

This topiary was one of the most interesting ones I've seen. A lady of ivy, whom I appropriately nicknamed, "Ivy."

Quail Botanical Gardens was a lot of fun and I will definitely go back there, since it’s so close. There were numerous little gardens all blended together. They were truly inspirational and truly enjoyable. I always enjoyed flowers and gardens and this garden was no exception.