Category Archives: Checking In

The Library Book Is A Must Read

“The Library Book” by Susan Orleans is a must read for your summer or fall reading list. If like me, you grew up going to the library as a form of entertainment, you will find this book relatable and very interesting.

Susan Orlean’s book resonates with me in several ways. She also had an affinity for the library having gone as a child, so I found her personal story very relatable. For myself, growing up in a family of eight there was always lots of noise. Often I remember how quiet the library was. The library offers a whole different ecosystem and a world of it’s own. 

Ms. Orlean’s book also gives a history lesson about Libraries and specifically the Central Library in Los Angeles wrapped up in a story telling style that kept my attention.  A key part of this history are the many librarians and their philosophies as they guide the library through changes over the decades.

Of course the main theme throughout the book is the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Central Library. This devastating event lasted over seven hours and burned extremely hot due to all the books.  During the fire over 800,000 books were destroyed or damaged. In addition thousands of historical documents, photographs, microfiche and historical artifacts were destroyed. The library closed for seven years affecting hundreds of employees and patrons.

Harry Peaks, an aspiring actor and pathological lair was suspected and arrested but never formally charged or convicted for the crime. To this day the fire at the library remains unsolved.

One last thing this book details is the importance of the library system in people’s lives. Not only does it provide enrichment and answers for people, but it is also a refuge for many when their lives are broken. The library accepts everyone, rich, poor, homeless or not.

For me, the library is a special place often a spiritual place. If you were lucky enough to grow up using the library, I am sure you feel a forever connection also. A library is full of knowledge and freely shares it. It provides community and hours of entertainment to all who use it.

Amazingly, all of this is free. Truly, a fascinating read. “The Library Book” by Susan Orleans is a must read this year!

Thanks for reading and you can view my art at susanmcanany.com.

New Year Full of Opportunities

A New Year, a different President and hopefully both things bring a much better year than last. Last year was one of great angst and disappointment on many levels that I can’t believe this year could be any worse. Like everyone else I am happy to shut the door on 2020 and start anew.

I will say though much to my delight and surprise, I had a pretty good year selling photography prints and photo instant downloads. I guess everyone staying at home was ready to improve their home decor or take on exciting projects.

Although sales and shipping was not without it’s challenges. One thing last year definitely taught me and maybe you also was patience, especially with the delays in printing and shipping. Luckily, we managed to make it through 2020.

For this year I am adding to my collection of fine art prints at both my Etsy Store and Saatchi Art portal. Both of these online retailers offer proven track records for secure sales and I am happy to partner with them. I am optimistic 2021 will be even more successful.

In addition, I will be adding new and exciting image downloads to my stock photography collection on Etsy. These are perfect for both print and digital projects along with printing for home decor. I have received some great feedback on them. If interested please check out my Digital Download of Food, Nature, General and Textures images. They are reasonable priced and many of them quite unique.

When thinking about a New Year, nature comes to mind and all of the regrowth Mother Nature gives us each spring. My wish for all of us is that we may all be like a tree. Ready to sprout new growth of beautiful leaves, flowers and fruits in the year 2021!

New Year is like new growth on a tree.

Solo by Susan McAnany

Thanks for visiting and more of my photography can be viewed on my website.

Happy Halloween

The season for ghosts and goblins is upon us again. To join in the Happy Halloween celebration, I wanted to post an image different than the typical pumpkins, witches and candles. This image was shot in the forest in the northeast US in the summer. The whole scene was incredibly green. I wanted the subject to stand out, so I converted it to black and white and brought the color back  for the model, manikin and bench.

woman and maniken on bench

fine art black and white print

Lalita was a great model, dressed in what appears to be a wedding frock. The setting in the forest with the miniature manikin on the bench gives the image an eerie feel. Although, at the time an eerie feel was not my concept. My vision was one of a maiden lost in the lush green forest and stumbled upon the bench with a smaller version of herself causing her to reflect on her life and future. The eeriness evolved in post processing and I rather like the direction the image took, especially at Halloween.

So Happy Halloween everyone! It is the prefect day for a mask and don’t forget to catch the full moon tonight.

More of my work can be viewed at website, Saatchi Art or at my Etsy Store.

Thanks for reading.

 

Fine Art Print Rolling Hills

This week I shipped out a fine art print “Rolling Hills”, number 5 in a limited edition series. This is a very vibrant green piece of art and prints beautifully.

I was extremely happy that my professional printer was working during this difficult time of the pandemic.  They did a fantastic job as usual and delivery was prompt and undamaged. Hoping it arrives at it’s destination, my client, with just as much speed and care.

Rolling Hills

Fine Art Print Shipped Rolling Hills

When printing I like to have an half inch to inch white border around the print. This allows for ample space for a signature and numbering and also easy handling.

This fine art print “Rolling Hills” was photographed in Washington state near or in Steptoe Butte State Park. This is a beautiful agricultural area and in June the rolling hills are lush green and a delight for the eyes. The year I was there was an especially lush year. There is also an abundant of old barns that are seriously fun to photograph and make for wonderful fine art prints for resale.  Here is another post that shows other images from the Palouse area. It truly is a magical place.

I just wanted to share some good news during a the pandemic. It seems as though there is lots of negative news around and this sale helped combat it. So I am extremely thankful.  I am also thankful for the support for artists and all others along the supply chain that helped my sale and shipping of the fine art print Rolling Hills to be completed.

Thanks for reading. More of my fine art prints can be viewed on my website or also at Saatchi Art.

Greeting Cards for Resale from Art Prints and Stock Images

Recently I started looking through my work for images that would convert well to greeting cards for resale. It was easy to find the obvious candidates such as my most popular fine art prints or re-pins from Pinterest.  But, to really have a good inventory of note cards, I needed to look through my library of stock images to find some unique shots that would also work well on greeting cards and provide more variety in my inventory. Luckily, I was a little more organized than I thought so I was able to find a good assortment of images to use for greeting cards for resale.

Here is an example of a couple of greeting cards from my collection.

cake image for greeting cards for resale

nature coastline image for greeting cards for sale

The next step was to figure out how to print the cards and what kind of paper to use. I wanted a fairly thick card stock with a matte or luster surface. I used the web to research card stock manufacturers/resellers and order a lot samples. Over the next few weeks I experimented with a variety of greeting card stock and becoming a lot more acquainted with my Canon Pro-100 printer. The Canon Pro-100 is a nice printer but it does have it’s limitations when printing greeting cards.  Ultimately, I decided to have the note cards professionally printed.

I partnered with Modbox to help facilitate these batch printings of greeting cards with my images. In addition, they were interested in setting up a website selling the greeting cards also. Can’t help but feel I am on my way!

In addition to Modbox, I am also selling greeting cards at my Etsy store, so if you would like take a look click here. I think you will find some interesting content.

I still have a lot to figure out on selling greeting cards, but as my Mom used to always say ” by the inch it’s a cinch; by the yard its hard”!

I hope COVID time has inspired some new projects or hobbies in your world! For more inspiration check out my blog post on creating abstract images in your home or studio.

Stay safe everyone!

 

To Mask or Not to Mask During A Pandemic

I have to admit just writing that title “to mask or not to mask during a pandemic” gave me a weird feeling in my stomach. Yet, there is quite a bit a controversy over this topic. I like to think of myself as having an open mind so I listen to what people are saying on both sides. The Webster definition of pandemic is “a widespread outbreak of disease.”  We have heard from Dr Fauci and other Medical professionals COVID-19 is highly contagious. This only makes me want to wear a mask more when in public, especially any indoor venues. Especially with the increase in number of cases.

Obviously, my number one reason I wear it is to make every effort to protect myself and others from COVID-19.  I also strongly feel I have a civic duty to provide this protection. It is the one very small thing I can do to help contain the virus and help society reopen, heal and move towards being fully operational. I fully believe masks and social distancing is the path to recovery for our economy.

masks for pandemic

In addition,  I can’t forget and I hope you won’t either all of the doctors, nurses, EMTs, medical and hospital staff and the other essential workers. They put their lives on the line for us throughout this pandemic. Wear a mask for them and so they do not have to go thru what NYC did. Wear it for your local hospital if you won’t wear one for yourself.

The reasons not to wear one are varied and on several I agree. Sure the mask is uncomfortable and it often fogs my glasses. Sometimes I do feel stupid in it. And often I have a little stuffy nose after wearing it, but that is a small price to pay for helping society and the economy.

Thanks for reading and more of my work can be viewed on my website.

COVID Update – Hope

Like everyone in America and throughout the world everyday we cope with changes due to Covid. We fill our day with work, research and projects that are on our lists. After awhile watching TV becomes old, worry becomes exhausting and making masks boring. This is the time to get creative.

Going thru my WIP folder, I found a photo project named Hope, I started six months ago that got derailed by other projects. Happily I had a piece to complete and exercise my creative muscle.

This piece shot in studio used a macro lens and studio lighting. The concept is to create a repetitive patterns of objects that can be easily found.  However, I also want depth of field, so multiple images were taken using different focus spots. Keep in mind, the height of the objects is only one inch or less so attention to detail was important.  In post processing, my favorite stacking software was used, Zerene Stacker, to merge all of the different images.

This software is easy to use and does a great job lining everything up and permits edit of the stacked composite image on the different source images.  Of course, use of a tripod to shoot all images helped tremendously.

After the stacking process, I took the image into Photoshop for my final edits and to apply the different colors to the different squares.

Here is the image I call “Hope”

Colorful abstract fine art print.

I love this piece because I was able to combine many of my favorite aspects of photography. One is working in the abstract with a physical subject and the many technical considerations from lighting to composition.  Another is being in the studio, where I have all my toys and tools available. And of course the post processing is vital step and truly makes each piece unique.

If interested, you can view more of my work at my website, Etsy or Saatchi Art.

Please everyone stay safe and well!  As always, thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

Create Abstract Work In the Studio

As the doldrums of summer set in I am once again in the studio. Today I am experimenting with macro work and combining water and oil. I have worked in this medium before and find it to be really helpful for creating abstract work. In addition, it also strengthens my technical skills.

The set up first requires the mixture of water and oil in a glass container. This container is then situated on plexiglass, elevated around 12 inches. Below the plexiglass is a multi- colored cloth or paper to create the colors in the water and oil mixture. To create the bubbles, the mixture needs to be gently agitated by either moving the container or stirring the mixtures.

My camera is on a tripod and a fast shutter speed is used to freeze the moving water and bubbles. Conversely, a slower speed creates more blurred or abstract images that can be very interesting also.

Thanks for visiting and happy shooting! More of my work can be viewed at www.susanmcanany.com.

Easter Stock Images Available

Easter is fast approaching and if I have some wonderful Easter stock images. These are high quality jpg images photographed in studio. The images are instant downloads and available as soon as your purchase is complete at my Etsy store. There are both religious themes and commercial bunny and egg themes.

Here are a couple of examples:

Assorted sizes and colors of eggs in Easter green grass

Multi-colored art glass in various shapes.

Downloaded image will be free of all watermarks. Because they are digital downloads here are my Terms of Use:

The image is a high quality Royalty Free jpeg (.jpg) file and may have the following uses: on your website, blog or in a creative or personal project. You may resize, crop, print or manipulate the image and sell it as part of a new product you create. You may not sell, resell, give, loan, share or transfer the image or jpeg file to any third party. Susan McAnany maintains the original copyright and is the sole owner of the image.

If you have any questions be sure to contact me.

I you get a chance, hop on over to my Etsy store and check out all the Easter stock images and other stock images available via digital download.

As always, thanks for stopping by. More of my work can be viewed at my website or at my Etsy or Saatchi Art sites.

Above all, have a wonderful Easter holiday and break!

Happy New Year – 2019

fireworks clipart

As we say goodbye to 2018, there are so many things to be thankful for and happy anticipation for the projects and events awaiting this new year!

So thankful in 2018, I was able to travel on several occasions not only to capture some great images, but I am also grateful for the experiences that travel provides. Any trip whether international or domestic gives opportunity to open up to world different from the one we work and live in everyday.  And if you are taking pictures, like I usually am, it is a delight.

I am thankful for the love and support and sales I received for my art this year. Nothing validates an artist more than sales. And when they are not there, love and support keeps me going. Thank you to my family, friends and of course clients!

I am thankful for my health and the health of my loved ones. I keep loving and positive thoughts for friends and family not doing so well. May this year be better for you.

I know 2019 will bring a host of new opportunities and experiences for me and hopefully you. And along the way, lets make some great photos!

Happy New Year!

Susan

Check out more of my work on my website.