I was fortunate to have two pieces accepted into this prestigious exhibit at the Cummer Museum of Art. I struggled during the submission process to decide on which pieces to propose. I always find it difficult to sort through work. Do you propose what you think others would like, or work that you truly like? I find it best to enlist the help of others. I'm more apt to choose something that is new rather than something that is richer or more meaningful. I tire of looking at my older pieces so fresh always seems best, which doesn't always equate to a good selection. Earlier this year I ventured out to several local parks and forests. On one very fruitful trip at the Ocala National Forest I captured several images that ended up in my collection of keepers. Sometimes you are blessed with good days. One photograph accepted is titled Forest Renewal and is a panoramic of a pine forest that was just recently burned to clear the underbrush. Earlier in the day I passed some work crews setting small fires at the base of the trees to eliminate the underbrush. The resulting scene left an eerie veil of smoke above the gray ashes and green pine needles.
The second photograph is titled Dancing Oaks. The National Forest is essentially a managed forest with pines which stretch out forever. Dirt roads crisscross the area forming a recreational oasis for ATVs and dirt bikes. While driving the dirt roads there is always an occasional oak or other hardwood tree, perhaps left over from earlier times or somehow transplanted there. I saw a grove of oak trees from the road and followed a small path to the area. There were roughly 30 oak trees growing in close proximity in the middle of the pines.
Opening night at the Cummer was exciting and the museum was packed. It was great to actually have a museum opening and to be in the company of many distinguished local artists.