Solitary Angel – New Lensbaby Art

Lensbaby Art – Solitary Angel

This is the latest addition to an ongoing lensbaby art and photography project I have been working on.  It was shot while traveling in New Orleans. I used my lensbaby, brought it into photoshop and played a bit!  It will be available for purchase in the Gallery Store soon!

art in new orleans, lensbaby project, Julie Plevak, Artist, Lensbaby Art

Lensbaby Art – Solitary Angel

Funk Zone Time!

2nd Saturday Art Walk – Funk Zone

If you’re in Santa Barbara on the Second Saturday of the month, make sure to find your way to the Funk Zone.  Every month over 20 artists open their studios and galleries to the public from 1-5 pm.  Many venues in the Funk Zone feature live music, and there are plenty of wineries to check out too!

Start early if you want to see them all!

My first stop was The Arts Fund Gallery.  They featured multiple artists inside, as well as outside.  They also had live music, a food truck and free tastings from Jun Brewery.

Funk Zone Tasting, Jun Brewery, Santa Barbara

Jun Brewery Tasting

This is not beer my friends! It is a craft fermented probiotic drink. It’s brewed with Raw Organic Honey and Jasmine. It does have a light alcohol content, so if you’re a lightweight, watch out… Kidding! Joking aside, it was a tasty alternative drink, and quite refreshing on a hot day. And, I’m pretty sure it’s good for you too! You can schedule a tasting by going on their website.

Next I stopped was over to check out the art of Stafford Taylor. I absolutely love his art and will provide a link to his website soon.

The artwork of Stafford Taylor, funk zone, Santa Barbara, CA

Stafford Taylor and His Art

Santa Barbara Art Foundry & Gallery was next on the list. This place is super cool. It is an actual working bronze foundry, which you are able to tour. The art is an eclectic mix. You can find metal and glass sculptures, paintings, photography, and more. Don’t forget to stop by the wine bar to try some local Fox Wine!

Santa Barbara Art Foundry & Gallery, Funk Zone, Santa Barbara Day Trip

Santa Barbara Art Foundry & Gallery

As I was walking to the next studio, I came across a truck parked on Yanonali Street & Santa Barbara St. At first, I thought it was some sort of food truck. I decided to investigate, and was surprised to find handcrafted treasures from local artisans and designers inside. How fabulous… Mobile Art! You can find The Habitat Factory in the Funk Zone on 2nd Saturdays or check out their website for more info.

2nd Saturday, Santa Barabara, Art, The Habitat Factory

The Habitat Factory

I should have started earlier! I was running out of time, and hadn’t even been to half of the studios! I managed to squeeze one more in before it all ended. I was drawn in by a pair of cowboy boots that had been converted to roller skates. There they sat promising more of the unexpected inside. In I walked to find the sculpture and assemblage art of Dan Levin. He refers to his art as Objects Of Curiosity, and that they are! Finished pieces coexist among a fascinating array of random objects.

Santa Barbara, art, Dan Levin

Dan Levin’s Art

Last but not least, I headed over to Seven. A girl’s got to eat… and ok have a beer too! They also are a part of 2nd Saturday, so I figured I could see some art as well.
The Pulled Pork Sliders, Parmesan Truffle Fries and a beer were the perfect way to end the Art Walk!

Seven in Santa Barbara, Art, Food

Outside at Seven

9/11 Memorial

9/11 Memorial – Remembering Those We Lost

I spent the past New Year’s Eve in New York City.  It was one of the shortest trips I’ve taken there, and I had not planned on going to the 9/11 Memorial.  I’ve never been able to bring myself back to the spot where we were attacked… The place where so many were lost, and forever changed our country.

Just hours before the city started celebrating, I found myself waiting in a long line to get into the 9/11 Memorial.  It was so cold, and had just started to snow.  It was the last place I had expected to be on New Year’s Eve, yet there I was.

As I walked towards the two pools, I remembered the last time I had stood on that ground… The towers were still standing.  I had been inside of them with a friend… It was so surreal.  I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it, despite the fact I was standing right there.

I walked around the pools, touching the names of the victims which are inscribed in bronze parapets.  I wondered who they were, and what kind of lives they had lead. I thought of the families that were left behind, and the unbearable pain they suffered.

As I watched the waterfalls cascade towards the center abyss, I couldn’t help but think of all the tears that had been shed… So many tears for all who were lost.

As I walked away, ready to begin a new year, I reflected on all the lost souls that no longer could…

pool at memorial in New York City, 9/11 Memorial

911 Memorial Pool

Pool, parapet with names of victims, New York City, 9/11 Memorial

Lost Souls of 9/11

9/11 Memorial remembering the victims

Always Remember

Grand Central Market Los Angeles

Los Angeles Grand Central Market

I discovered the Grand Central Market, while hunting for parking in the Los Angeles Jewelry District.  Driving by, I wondered why I had never heard about this hidden gem in downtown LA.  It just cried out “Park your car and come on in”!  So, after shopping, I did just that. I wandered over to Broadway to check it out.

This is a market that got it right!  It has a history dating back to 1917 and has been operating since then… Once again, how did I not know of it’s existence?

It encompasses 30,000 square feet, and is filled with a crazy amount of food choices. I circled three times before deciding what I wanted! It has a little bit of everything… Multiple restaurants, fresh produce, bulk grains, desserts, fresh juice, coffee, and even a liquor selection.

You can find moles, dried beans, rice, and specialty products at Chiles Secos  or try Valeria’s for an extensive selection of Latin dry goods.   Fresh seasonal produce and vegetable are available at La Casa Verde, Sun’s, or Torres Produce.  The restaurant choices are diverse… Kababs, Chinese, Hawaiian BBQ, Oysters, Salvadorean and more!  The prices are ridiculous… As in really good!

I had such a hard time choosing!  The debate was between Bento Ya Japanese Cuisine, Kabab & More, or Sarita’s Pupuseria.  I ended up going with Bento Ya Japanese Cuisine.  It was hard to pass up Grilled Teriyaki Chicken for just $5.75!  It was a decent amount of food for the price, and tasted good too!

I guess I will have to find a few more reasons to hit downtown LA.  How else am I going to be able to try all the other options that I could only gaze at?

Los Angeles Day Trip to Grand Central Market

Entry to Grand Central Market

Los Angeles Day Trip to Grand Central Market

Lot’s of Produce Choices!

Day trip to Los Angeles Grand Central Market

Fish Anyone?

Day Trip to restaurant in Los Angeles Grand Central Market

So Many Choices!

Which Historical Site Next?

Top Ten Historical Sites in the World

Do you have a bucket list?  And, if so, would you pick historical sites to visit?  I’m debating on what I should add to my travel list…  I’ve only been to one of the top ten historical sites so far, and there are a couple in the running for the very near future.

The List

Machu Picchu

Tikal

Pyramids at Giza

Angkor Wat

Petra

Stonehenge (Been There)

Colosseum/Forum

Parthenon

Easter Island

Taj Mahal

 

 

Gallery Store Is Up!

The Gallery Store – It’s Up and Running! I

I finally have the Gallery Store up and running!  There several different galleries.  Be sure to check them all out!  All images are available in a couple different finishes.  The metal prints have the image directly infused into the aluminum, and have a float mount hanger attached to the back.  The Metallic prints are unframed with a glossy finish, and metallic appearance.  
Come on in!
  There are many images to choose from!  Come back often, I am always adding more!

Gallery Store, Panoramic Photographs, Surfers, Julie Plevak

Available in the Panoramic Gallery

Image Gallery, Store Gallery, Prints for Purchase, Julie Plevak

Available in the Image Gallery

Mandala Art, Mandala Gallery, Gallery Store, Julie Plevak

Available in the Mandala Gallery

Hiking and Camping – Sedona, AZ

Twisty Things & Other Stuff – Sedona, AZ

I recently returned from a camping trip in Sedona, AZ.  It’s one of my favorite places, and it had been far too long since my last visit.   After looking forward to this trip for several weeks, a wildfire broke out in Oak Creek Canyon on May 20, 2014.  Our campground was shut down, the road into the canyon was closed, and people were evacuated.   After much contemplation, my friend and I decided to go anyway.  We were able to find another campground that hadn’t been affected by the fire, and another route into Sedona, AZ.

It was a vacation of contrasts, to say the least…  It was one of the most peaceful I’ve had in a long time, and one that ended with a traumatic injury.  I slipped while hiking, tried to save my camera, and ended up plowing face first into a small boulder.  Thankfully nothing was broken, however, I did end up with a concussion.  It’s been three weeks since the fall, and a very slow recovery.

In the end, the fire was finally contained on June 4, 2014… 21,227 acres had burned.

 

We arrived at Lo Lo Mai Springs Campground and were happy to find a tent site right along Oak Creek.

Sedona, AZ, Oak Creek, Camping, Travel, Julie Plevak

Oak Creek Campsite

 After we set up camp, we headed into Sedona, AZ.  This quickly put things into perspective.  Signs of gratitude were everywhere.

Gratitude, Sedona, AZ, Sedona fireman, Travel, Julie Plevak

Thanks Hot Shots!

The next morning we woke up to the smell of a campfire…  Not a good sign since they had been banned countywide!  The wind had shifted, and smoke from the wildfire was hanging low over our campground.  Air quality was poor, so we went back into town to find some sort of air masks.  We ended up with bandanas and goggles!

Sedona, AZ, smoke inhalation protection, Bell Rock hike, Travel, Julie Plevak

Protection From The Smoke

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The smoke was so bad, we decided to go kayaking on the Verde River.  We met up with the Sedona Adventure Tours team for a three hour guided tour.  These guys are awesome, and the tour was tons of fun!

Verde River Kayaking, Sedona, AZ, Sedona Adventure Tours, Kayak, Travel, Julie Plevak

Kayaking on the Verde River

Thankfully the smoke shifted and we were able to go hiking. We chose the Bell Rock Path.

Sedona, AZ hiking, Bell Rock hikes, Travel, Julie Plevak

Which Way?

The higher you climb up on Bell Rock, the more twisted the juniper trees become from the vortex energy.

Juniper Tree, Sedona Vortex. Bell Rock hike, Sedona, AZ, Travel, Julie Plevak

Vortex Twist

The views in Sedona are phenomenal.

Sedona Red Rocks, Sedona, AZ, Hiking, Hikes, Travel, Julie Plevak

Red Rocks of Sedona

After a four hour hike at Bell Rock, we headed over to the Airport Mesa Vortex. We wanted to grab a couple more photos, and it was a quick hike to the top.

Airport Mesa Vortex, Sedona, AZ ,hiking, Julie Plevak, Travel

On Top of the World

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was just about at the bottom, when I started sliding on some loose dirt. I landed face first into a small boulder, and had to take a trip to the ER in Sedona.

Broken glasses,black eye, Sedona, AZ, hike, hiking

The Aftermath of the Fall

Mixed Media Art

Mixed Media Art – A Fusion of Elements

This is a new project I’m working on.  It’s a fusion of photographs, organic elements & discarded scrap.  I’m planning on working with metal, stone, and glass.  The project is a collaboration with Christine Wetzel, a San Francisco Artist/Photographer.  She is creating photographs, incorporating what some might consider trash.  We will be hosting an Art Show in the Bay Area upon completion, and are currently seeking out a space.

Mixed Media Art

Mixed Media Buddha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mixed Media Art

Buddha Mixed Media

 

Mixed Media Art

Buddha Mantra Mixed Media

 

Lensbaby – Industrial Pieces

 Lensbaby Composer –  Double Glass Optic With Macro Converter

I brought out the Lensbaby Composer today, and am using the double glass optic combined with the macro converter…  I’ve been collecting some industrial “stuff” to use for art pieces.   This is one of my scrap finds… Not sure what I’m doing with it yet!  I’m hoping to use it in a mixed media art piece of some sort.  I just recently added the Lensbaby macro converter to my collection, and thought I’d see what kind of look it would give to this piece.  I’m actually pretty pleased with how it turned out.  I like the metal, rust, and texture of it.

Lensbaby Composer Double Optic Macro Converter

Industrial Piece & The Lensbaby

Lensbaby Macro Converter – Texture

Texture and the Macro Converter for Lensbaby

The Macro Converter for the Lensbaby was my choice again for week three of this project.  I was working with different textures, and the macro converter was the perfect choice here. This is a screen that is above my shower.  Normally, when the water and soap hit it, my first thought is not to grab my camera!  When I saw texture of the bubbles on the screen, I grabbed the Lensbaby!  I love the strange movement in it.   It’s almost as if it’s growing some weird alien matter.

Macro Converter for the Lensbaby

Lensbaby Macro Converter and Texture