Tagged: cleveland

perfect playground picnic

lemon pocket pie at the playground picnic (with its nutrition facts captured indelibly... oh dear)

As classes were winding down for the semester, the sun managed to beckon Brad and I away from our studies for a little photo-picnic.

Chicken salad, the best Apricot iced tea in the world*, blackberries, and lemon pocket pies made the perfect picnic lunch. It was a beautiful day, sunny and breezy, and it was wonderful to escape our books for a short while.

But this wasn’t just a little picnic: it was a little photo-picnic.

blue and red swings at cleveland's martin luther king jr. blvd

You see, there are these swings.

They are tucked alongside the almost-highway that is Cleveland’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. We’ve driven by them a million times, and I just love the juxtaposition of the bright red and blue swings against the green grass next to the gray, noisy street. Such a peaceful spot next to such a busy commuter zone.

And I’ve always wanted to take pictures.

blue jungle gym sunburst at cleveland's martin luther king jr. blvd

So we climbed, and swinged, and I snapped away.

red swings at cleveland's martin luther king jr. blvd

The commuters crawled by, onlookers gaped at me and my camera… but it’s their loss. I was capturing colors; they were sitting in traffic.

daisies and the blue jungle gym at cleveland's martin luther king jr. blvd

Don’t forget to take breaks, even on the busiest days! It makes all the difference.

*seriously, this makes the best iced tea. after trying my first batch i returned to the store and bought the last four boxes they had. now that it’s available in bulk from amazon, you know what i’m doing next.

cleveland’s west side market: exploring with a camera

colorful squash at the west side market in cleveland

I always love taking pictures. But there are some days where I can see things better with my camera than with my eyes.

green veg at cleveland's west side market

Lines, shapes, textures, colors.

"take a picture!" - west side market in cleveland

And then the produce salesman shouts, “take a picture!” and points to his papayas. I comply.

vegetable seller at the market who leaped into my photo!

Another friendly merchant leaps into my picture as I click the shutter. I am entertained.

A camera full of pictures and a sack full of fruits and vegetables: that’s a productive day in my book.

get stuffed! SPACES art gallery exhibition

I’m sure some of you are wondering how the adventurous whales have been doing at their art gallery home! So I’ll let you know… they’re awesome.

adventurous whales at spaces gallery, cleveland, ohio

adventurous whales - friendly seas; spaces gallery, cleveland, ohioThis is the first time I’ve ever had my work featured in a real gallery. Heck, this is the first time someone has referred to my plush as art! But I like being thought of as an artist, and I definitely like being able to put my creations in an open space for all to see.

SPACES gallery is a small contemporary art gallery located in Cleveland’s West Side. It’s definitely an interesting place. They tend to focus on unusual, highly modern, and highly interpretive forms of art, and even with this untraditional viewpoint they’re one of the most highly respected galleries in Cleveland.

There I was, little Sam, walking into a small art gallery with creaky wood floors and white walls bedecked with paintings. I turned the corner into the next room, and there they were– my whales and jellyfish suspended from the ceiling, floating against the bright white wall. It’s impossible to describe the wonder of the feeling. These are my creations, my pride and joy, put on display for everyone to see and marvel at and respect. Quite simply, I was overjoyed.

narwhal & arthur rouge at spaces gallery, cleveland, ohio

spaces gallery opening - photo by brenton pahl

photo by Brenton Pahl for SPACES gallery

get stuffed! plush exhibit at spaces gallery, cleveland, ohio - photo by jerry mann

photo by Jerry Mann for SPACES gallery

get stuffed! plush exhibit at spaces gallery, cleveland, ohio - photo by jerry mann

photo by Jerry Mann for SPACES gallery

I’ve never truly considered myself an artist. I’m a maker, a doer, a creator; but not an artist. It’s the engineering side of me, the practicality, that tells me to make things that people will use or hug or give, not things that people just look at. But to be told that I make things that are nice enough to be just looked at? That’s incredible! And the fact that I got to show my work next to the work of some ridiculously talented plush artists? What a privilege.

adventurous whales - friendly skies; spaces gallery, cleveland, ohio

So I understand, now, where artists come from. They want to see and be seen; they want to impact the world from inside the minds of the people. They want to make a difference just like anyone else. And I completely realize that there isn’t anything earth-shattering or symbolic about my adventurous whales… but all the same, I hope my art brought a few extra smiles to the world.

(this exhibit ran from November 9, 2010 to January 21, 2011. but i’m sure they wanted to keep the little guys there forever!)