on the 5th day of chookooloonks ... peace, love & colour

Houston is not known for its fall foliage -- unless by "fall foliage" I mean "sad brown leaves." And this year, with the droughts and the wildfires, leaves have been browner than usual, far earlier than usual.

But last week, we had an unusual cold snap (highs in the 40F's!), and this week ... well, I could be wrong, but ... it seems like a lot of trees have decided to use the cold snap to make like we're in New England.  I'm seeing lots of yellows and reds and oranges and even golds lining the streets.  I mean, don't get me wrong -- this is nowhere near Vermont in October -- but .... there seems to be a change.

So earlier this week, in the middle of the day, I went outside and took some photographs.  The neighbourhood was peaceful and very quiet (all of my neighbours must have been at work), and all I could hear was the wind through the trees under the grey skies.

And it was really, really nice.

(Incidentally, and as always, I'm talking about everything I'm grateful for (including the fall foliage) over at my gratitude blog, Bliss Your Heart today.  Please head over to Babble.com and check it out.)


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Welcome to Day 5 of the 12 Days of Chookooloonks, friends.  Today, I'm sharing with you the work of two artists who are epitomizing peace and love.


Photograph courtesy of Lára Allee Photography

I was so thrilled when Lára contacted me, offering her beautiful work for my giveaway:  her photography is crisp and the colours are vibrant, and represent exactly what I try to achieve myself when I photograph flowers and other wildlife.  Lára has graciously offered, not one, but three of her photographs -- 3 individual images above, each 8x10" and unframed, representing three stages of a lotus opening in bloom.  And since the lotus represents peace and enlightenment, how could I resist?

Here's more about Lára:

Artist's statement:  Lára Allee is a recovering Theater major who has found her creative home in photography.  Specializing in nature and macro photography, she lives in Arlington, VA with her husband of three years. Lára received her first camera at the age of 10, and has been a fan ever since.   She believes that photography must be in the blood, as both her parents are avid photographers and gave her an early crash course in composition.  Lára began selling her work on Etsy last year, after a few inquiries from friends.  More of her work can be seen here. She also enjoys traveling to far off lands, good food, and reading on her kindle.


 So once we have peace and enlightment, it's only fitting we add love:

Photo courtesy Kristine Mays

I love Kristine Mays' art.  I love the way she uses wire in a seemingly chaotic fashion, yet yielding typographically-perfect letters and other astonishing forms.  I love it so much, in fact, I purchased a "K" for myself years ago, and it sits in a place of honour in my studio office.  So when she offered her awesome "LOVE" letters (shown above) for the 12 Days of Chookooloonks giveaway, I didn't skip a beat in accepting.  These letters would be awesome in literally any room in your home.

Here's more about Kristine:

Artist's statementKristine Mays is an artist from San Francisco, CA. She creates life-size sculptures of garments from hundreds of pieces of wire. In creating garments out of wire Kristine Mays has managed to create the essence of the person wearing the garment as the invisible occupant is revealed among the folds and shapes that give life to the sculpture. The viewer is given the option of focusing on the physical or seeing the “soul” that has been captured.”   Kristine has exhibited her work in the San Francisco Bay Area and Northern California over the past 18 years. She has raised thousands of dollars for AIDS research through the sale of her work, benefiting local and global efforts. Collectors of her work include an eclectic mix of people, with her work hanging in many Bay Area homes and many private collections throughout the United States. You can see here large-scale sculptures at www.kristinemays.com.   A few years ago she started the tiny treasures project, selling small pieces that she created when resting from working on her larger sculptures. This project grew from a desire to make her work accessible to people all over the world.



And again, you'll receive a 2012 Chookooloonks desk calendar (comes packaged in a fold-out CD case), featuring 13 of my favourite images from 2011.


As always, for a chance to win these gifts, simply leave a comment below, saying whatever you'd like, before 12:00 a.m., Saturday, December 17th, US Central TimePlease leave only one comment.  Also, it doesn't matter where in the world you are.  I'll choose a winner at random using Random.org, and update this post when that person is chosen.

(For the duration of the 12 Days of Chookooloonks, please note that there is no guarantee that you will receive any items before Christmas.) 

As always, good luck!

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AND THE WINNER IS:  According to Random.org, the winner is Kate, who said "Love it all!"  Congratulations, Kate!  Please keep a lookout in your inbox for an email from me with instructions on what to do next.

Thanks for participating, everyone -- 7 more days left!


Song:  Peace, love & happiness by G. Love & Special Sauce