2017 Poetry Awards

The Sigma Tau Delta Poetry Awards were held in the Brown Library Atrium on October 12 at 7:30 pm.

Print outs were made of the poems submitted to the contest between September 11 and October 2. These were laid out on three large tables so that everyone could read them. In addition, pens and post-it notes were on the tables so that people could write comments about the different poems. Many poems received comments.

Refreshments were provided and included cheese, hummus, salsa, chips, and cupcakes. Drinks were limeade, lemonade, watermelon juice, and water.

Multiple people read their poems, both submitted and unsubmitted, to the assembly.

President Steven Yang and Secretary Tori Ford presented the awards.

The third place winner was David Elliott.

The second place winner was Samantha Colmenero.

First place winner was Brady Manning. Brady was not in attendance.

Audience pictures:

Gruene: Black and White

The Digital Academy, through the Adams Center and the Learning Studio, took faculty and staff to Gruene, Texas and spent the weekend helping them get the most out of their digital cameras.

Since I had only used the SLR three times, and my husband’s camera only to take photos of him that he had set up, I was a novice, a rube, a veritable beginner.

I am pleased with the pictures that I took at Gruene. These are pictures of the others who were at the Digital Academy photography workshop.

These first few are in Gruene Hall.




Posted in Art

Gruene: Best of the Clay Festival

Images I took in 2011 at the Fall retreat. I am moving them from a different blog.

While you might expect that these pictures will be of the pottery at the Clay Festival, they are not so much. These are primarily the people I saw at the pottery show.

I only actually looked at the pottery in two booths. I couldn’t afford either set and I decided to stay away from the other booths because of that disappointment. I have since found out that I missed some amazing photo shoots because of that.

Perhaps next year I can go to the Clay Festival for its own sake (with my camera, nevertheless).

These first two pictures were of shoppers in the very first shop as I entered the festival grounds. I was amazed that I got shots good enough to actually see in the camera and, if their composition was not the best, at least it was a matter of simple cropping to bring them in line with the rule of thirds.

Gruene Clay Festival pots and lady in blue:

Gruene Clay Festival white capped shopper:

These next two are among my favorites, not because of their great composition, but because I love the colors. I think it was both relevant and potentially enlightening that the folks in the brightest colored outfits (me included) all had a tendency to drift towards the colorful pottery.

Gruene Clay Festival colorful ladies:

I love this composition because of the clarity of their accessories and the fact that their bright colors complement/coordinate with the bright pottery plates behind them on the wall.

Gruene Clay Festival colorful ladies with colorful pots:

Though this was actually among the last of the photos I shot at the festival, the coherency of the photo essay format requires that the pictures be grouped in a rational, visually understandable way. That means the two colorful ladies prints went together.

Here is a closer view of what both the colorful ladies and the older couple who are featured immediately afterwards were looking at so carefully.

Gruene Clay Festival frogs:

I loved these frogs. I didn’t even look at the price, though, because I hadn’t been able to afford the plainer, more simple autumnal plates that I admired. I also thought of my mother when I saw them.

I used to collect frogs, you see, and when we had a little bit of money, Mother would purchase a frog or two for me. They were always terribly kitschey and I dumped them at a Goodwill somewhere years ago–all except for the tiny pewter frog with the small crown on his head. I carried that into my married life with me and, though I don’t know where it is anymore, I still treasure it in memories.

I don’t have anywhere for these frogs to look beautiful, but I wished I did. I would have enjoyed owning one of these guys and, perhaps, just having him perch on the edge of the fireplace in the living room–even if that isn’t a typical froggy home.

Gruene Clay Festival couple shopping:

The fact that they are in Christmas-related colors, complementary rather than analogous, was evocative to me, as was the patience the older gentleman portrayed throughout the buying process at the frog-potter’s stand.

Gruene Clay Festival bargain hunting:

Really what tickles my fancy about this essay is that the older gentleman is waiting quite patiently for his lady, while a rather large hound dog hunts with his nose in the background.

Gruene Clay Festival waiting for wives:

Aside from the alliteration of the title, which appeals to my Old English-honed sensibilities, I like:
1. That the older gentleman’s wife is right in front of him, concentrating on her pottery purchase.
2. That the waiting of the older gentleman in the forefront of the picture is mirrored by the man in the background, with a similar cowboy hat, but a less patient arm fold.

Posted in Art

Gruene: Dora the Photographer

Images from a soon-to-be-defunct website. From Fall Break 2011.
Dora has since retired.

Dora G– W– is the Learning Studio librarian and an old friend, from when her husband and I were in graduate school together. She is incredibly photogenic and I had fun shooting her (photographically only) this last weekend. She was a good sport and allowed the annoyance.

Unfortunately I was not able to upload the best black and white of Dora. Apparently I did something odd to it and made it too large. I will try to reconfigure it and put it up later.

Posted in Art

Gruene: Made Art

Images from the fall of 2011 and posts I made on a different website back then…

One thing I did while I was playing with iPhoto and learning to use it was that I “fixed” pictures which were just too uninteresting or weird by making them look more like a piece of graphic design (which of course most of them were, since they were human-made) or art.

So, just for fun, here are some crazy pictures of things around Gruene.

Then, of course, once I had started that, I had to go in and take some pictures I liked but that didn’t work for one reason or another and play with them, too.

I had a lot of fun with this and hope that you enjoyed, or at least didn’t hate, the Made Art pieces here.

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Gruene: Corrugated Metal

From a soon-to-be-defunct blog. Images taken Fall Break 2011.
One of the things I like to do, have thought about doing, think is cool (or some such), is to do a series of shots that are all about the texture. I like the idea, but I have so far found that my ability to produce what I am looking for is lacking.

If you want to see a wonderful motorcycle picture, see Dora’s from the Digital Academy weekend. (The biker picture is excellent as well.)  If you want to see a wonderful brick walkway picture, see Cynthia’s from the Digital Academy weekend. Unfortunately neither of mine worked out.

However, I do like what I did with the corrugated metal that was on a building on the main street, just around the corner from Hunter Rd.

Here is the series:

Corrugated Metal Series- 1

Corrugated Metal Series- 3

Corrugated Metal Series- 5

What I wrote and did:
Of the whole series, I think 1 and 3 are the best, followed by 5. However, I am not sure about what other people would think. I have gotten positive comments on 1 and 5, but not so much on 3. So why did I put up all five and not just the three best? Because I took them to be a long swathe, getting smaller and smaller. If I just did three it might be better, but it might not.

Why I thought better of it:
I realized that really, with pictured art as well as words, a person showing each step is not necessarily the best choice. Sometimes the point is to show a progression in a larger movement. So I am going to edit this and leave only 1, 3, and 5. I think the series is actually stronger without 2 and 4.

What this means:
It means that even after the Digital Academy weekend is (mostly) over–because we are having lunch tomorrow–I am still learning.

Posted in Art

Gruene: Antique Store as Photo Op

I am moving things from a soon-to-be-defunct blog. These images were from Fall 2011.

I love to look at antiques. And the antique store in Gruene, on the corner of Gruene and Hunter, has some amazing collections. They don’t have any blue glass I don’t already own, which is good, but they do have some other wonderful things.

Almost all of these pictures had to be lightened because I took them Saturday morning when I still didn’t understand light and the camera and what controlled what. However, I think they are good and I like looking at them.

Though I had intended to post them in no particular order, I ended up putting them in the order I found them in the store. I wish I had known then that I could figure out how to lighten the photos in iPhoto, because there were many other things I would have taken pictures of. Nevertheless, I did get some I liked and I will share them with you.

Spurs that jingle jangle jingle:

Yes, I learned that song in first or second grade. If you don’t know the song, you may wonder why I mention that. It’s because it is a folk song about a single guy who would rather roam than commit–but enjoys his multiple girlfriends in various towns.

“Oh Bessie Lou, Oh Bessie Lou,
Though we’ve done a heap of dreaming this is why it can’t come true…
Oh Sally Jane, Oh Sally Jane,
Though I’d love to stay forever this is why I can’t remain…”

And the chorus says:
“I’ve got spurs that jingle, jangle, jingle,
as I go riding merrily along.
And they sing, ‘Oh ain’t you glad you’re single?’
And that song ain’t so very far from wrong.”

I’ve thought up other lines over the years, because it is that kind of song.

“Oh ‘Manda Jo, Oh ‘Manda Jo,
Though I know I said I love you, this is why it isn’t so…
Oh Sarah Kate, Oh Sarah Kate,
While I said that we would marry, this is why you shouldn’t wait..
Oh Lisa Lyn, Oh Lisa Lyn,
You may see me, but I really don’t know when…”

Early modern kitchenware:

I liked the fact that the owners or sellers put this stack of light blue plates in/on two white and red kitchen tables.

99 plates of blue willow:

There were so many… I don’t know if they are really blue willow, but they are white and blue and the idea of 99 bottles of beer on the wall came up as I looked at the stacks of plates. I’m not sure why, except that there seemed to be so many.

Chichenitza bag and serapes:

I liked the fact that they placed an unzipped travel bag of leather, tooled with pictures of Chichenitza, on one or more colorful serapes, typical of the “cultural” fare sold around Corpus Christi as Mexican forty years ago when I was a young girl living there.

Brown leather purse:

I will say that this was the first of four attempts to get this purse captured in the camera and surprisingly it was the best of the bunch. I was sure I would have gotten better with each snap of the button, but such was not the case.

Gruene antique store toys:

I think of this picture as “airplane with bunny” but that seems a little odd, so I gave it the more prosaic title. I don’t know why, since I went with 99 plates and jingling spurs; I suppose I thought there was enough frivolity for this post already extant.

Posted in Art

Gruene: Photo Essay on Love

My love, the illustrious Ron Davis, and I have been married for 23 years. We’ve never done an art weekend together, though both of us have done creative weekends separately.

This was a fun weekend and, while many of the photographs are of Ron as a photographer, he is so much more than that in my life. I am grateful for God’s gift of a shared life together with Ron.

Without further ado, Ron Davis:

And here is a gallery of pictures quintessentially Ron:

Posted in Art

Cave Paintings: Children Did Them

I’ve often argued that cave paintings were children’s work.

While not all are (or maybe not all are), some are.

Live Science has an article that says:

n fact, finger-painting tots were quite prolific 13,000 years ago in the Cave of a Hundred Mammoths in France, according to Cambridge archaeologist Jess Cooney, who presented her findings last week at a conference on the archaeology of childhood at Cambridge University. The main art form was finger flutings, decorative lines made by people running their fingers along cave walls.

“So far, we haven’t found anywhere that adults fluted without children,” Cooney said in a statement. “Some of the children’s flutings are high up on the walls and on the ceilings, so they must have been held up to make them or have been sitting on someone’s shoulders.”

Gruene: River Water

I went on Sunday morning to the Guadalupe River to take some pictures. I didn’t walk far and it was incredibly gorgeous.


Posted in Art

Beautiful Art

janet fish glass orange
by Janet Fish

found at lines and colors

I know I like it because of the blue glass and the carnival glass pieces, but this is so gorgeous.

Her website has a couple of beautiful depression glass pieces on the home page.

I am going to have to get something of hers, if I can a) find it and b) afford it.

I went to her website, but at least in Safari it doesn’t let me see prices of paintings or prints.

Posted in Art

Things taken out

Review the survey of African art.
1. Go to the Art Institute of Chicago and peruse their African collection. There are more than 400 pieces. You do not have to look at all of them. Find one that you think is interesting. Then find a modern corollary to the piece. Link to both the African work and the modern corollary in the homework post on DavisEnglish.com.


If Crimes Were Elevation

Doug McCune has mapped San Francisco’s crime and turned it into an elevation map. Very interesting.

See all the pictures here, as he has arranged them by crime.

Upon closer inspection the prostitution arrests are peaking on Shotwell St. at the intersections of 19th and 17th. I’m sure the number of colorful euphemisms you can come up with that include the words “shot” and “well” are endless.

I love the way the mountain range casts a shadow over much of the city. There’s also a second peak in the Tenderloin (which I’m dubbing Mt. Loin).

Playing with the Moon

from NPR comes the story of an astrophotographer whose book was published in France.

Beautiful pictures. I would love to get the book. It seems very whimsical.

Posted in Art

How Japan Saw the West

Looking at Japanese art and seeing their representations of the West is particularly interesting to me. I haven’t done a wholesale study of it, but I think it would be fascinating.

So I was caught by Happy Catholic’s visual and discussion of an article in the Wall Street Journal.

So while artists in 1860s Paris were discovering the beauty of Japanese “floating world”—or ukiyo-e—woodblock prints, many Japanese artists were heading to Yokohama, scouring European publications and creating their own genre of exotica: the Yokohama-e.

These prints are the focus of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s “Picturing the West.” Drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, its 97 works express little of Japan’s mistrust of foreigners—only excitement and curiosity. Typical of the genre, the prints are in turn amusing, beautiful, revealing and puzzling in their efforts to inform, entertain and sell. In the early rage for Yokohama-e, publishers churned out as many as 250,000 copies of about 500 designs.

Japanese pic of Russian couple 1861This is picture of a Russian couple from 1861.

A New Favorite Picture

The-Inundation-of-The-Biesbosch-in-1421 cat on the cradleLawrence Alma-Tadema painted this in the 1800s, after a true story from 1421 when a flood carried off a cat and a cradle. The cat jumped from side to side on the cradle to keep it upright.

I found the picture on Happy Catholic, who references the next site, Victorian Paintings, which said: “Depecting an incident from the great flood of the Zuyder Zee in 1421 where a cradle and a cat were swept away but the cat kept it upright by jumping from side to side.”

However, when I looked up “inundation of Biesboch” I found that Louis Bonaparte, King of Holland, wrote a fictional story about the inundation of Biesboch in 1815. Now apparently there were 16 villages in the Netherlands which were destroyed by a flood in 1421. Perhaps that is what the king was writing about.

Also, this article says that the flood was real and there was a cat and a cradle together in that flood, but the story of the cat jumping from side to side came from a 1589 newspaper story about that year’s flooding of the Hohenloe.

Since the picture was painted in 1856, it is quite likely that the two stories had been conflated through time. Or, perhaps, the cat jumped in both, but in the first we only have a picture and in the second we have the word witness.

Everett Millais’ “A Flood” was also about the same story. He and Alma-Tadema were friends.