Category: art

Liken Lichen

photo by Jeanine Renzoni, camera Nikon Coolpix S9900

The Opposite of Succulent Wild Life

Symbiotic association.

Algae and fungi.

Food, dye, medication.

Grow so slowly.

Substrate, skull of deer.

Making, on that so iconic symbol of death;  white sun-bleached skull bones,

A new vegetative life. I like it.

Green, olive, ocher, crustose, squamulose … uncertain propagation.      —Jeanine Renzoni

photo by Jeanine Renzoni – Angles on Lichen Encrusted Deer Skull.





Finding crows

watercolorcrows 001
Watercolor  11 X15 Strathmore 140lb cold press paper, vision of a crow family.

As a teenager I looked early every spring to see if I could find a crow’s nest. My intent was to climb up and steal one of their babies. I wanted a crow for a pet. My brother and I scouted the woods. Crows nest very high. Very high.

I had raised a pigeon and taught her quite a few things. She even went to school with me one day. She liked riding on top of cars as they left the school grounds where we lived. Then she stayed with my grandmother when we went somewhere for an extended period and grandmother apparently released her to her resident flock of barn pigeons. Back to the wild for Freedom. I grew taller and the next time we saw her she landed on my younger brother’s shoulder instead of mine and he was surprised. Scared her. She never came down to us again, despite frequent attempts to cajole her. She’d just look, pace and coo.

I never found a crow’s nest that was anywhere near accessible. Probably lucky me. One year we did find an easily looked at blue jay’s nest with three eggs in a red pine tree, however they are a protected species. It’s changed since back then, crows now are also protected by the migratory birds law. Every once in a while, I still think longingly of crows especially when the local gathering gets rowdy. Such smart, irritating and funny birds.



Watercolorhorses poetry

My watercolor art – I thought I’d create a haiku explanation. It seems that the same event, viewed at the same time creates different emotions in all of us. Only time reveals the most correct response, which is then boggled by differing memories.

For you non-horse body language viewers: the red horse wants to swirl and run, the brown/white horse is willing to investigate … but if the red horse runs the other horse will go with it.

Interesting isn’t it?

Ice Creatures

We’re back to cold in Wisconsin – 7 degrees overnight and a high that barely skirts the 20s. Our brief springlike weather has blown over. But there is some melting, dripping, ice forming in the bright sunlight and that’s where the creatures are formed.

Icedragonfly 006a
Decorated ice photo – Dragonfly aka Mosquito Dragon photo Jeanine Renzoni
Icedragonfly 005
Ice creature in the honeysuckle vine. Photo Jeanine Renzoni

Dragonfly, serpent gleam;

Delicate bridge, to in between;

Icy drips, aching cold;

Sunlight streams, never old.

Icefrog 002a
Photo edited to intensify ice frog … – Jeanine Renzoni
Icedragonfly 002
Ice frog in the honeysuckle vine – photo Jeanine Renzoni

Sagging amid the honeysuckle vines,

Amphibian style so reclines,

Frozen in this awkward pose,

When will spring come, no one knows.



Wild flowers in August

Milkweed bloom by the end of the driveway, smells glorious and the bees agree.
Milkweed bloom by the end of the driveway, smells glorious and the bees agree. Photographed at 6pm overcast sky, thunder sounding in the not too far distance.

Tansy, yarrow, thistles and milkweed. Playing with the idea of light in photos of wild flowers.

Bees, spiders, beetles, flies, oh my!

Enjoying the un-gardened flowers and seeing how to depict them.

Bull thistle, easily 7 ft tall and very spiky, serious trunk.
Bull thistle, easily 7 ft tall and very spiky, serious trunk. Midday, clear sunshine photo.
Love the weird insects.
Love the weird insects. This is overcast sky, 6pm.
Midday photo.
Midday photo.
6 pm. overcast sky photo
6 pm. overcast sky photo
The thistles were very interesting because of their size and depth and bobbling bees.
The thistles were very interesting because of their size and depth and bobbling bees. Midday light, sunny.

What do you think? This is using my same old Canon PowerShot A710IS  on auto focus – an easy camera to just carry around – I keep on thinking of getting a better camera, but I like not worrying about wrecking it.

I enjoyed playing with outdoor light to see if I could get more depth in the photos. And wildflowers seem more interesting than the garden beauties and they attracted more bugs … cool.

Success, planning, life examined

Success, planning, life examined by Jeanine Renzoni

It seems like the weather is the mother of fated armchair introspection, of course having an antenna that went out and so the TV doesn’t work helps too. Excessive cold makes it easier to work inside. The shortest day, winter solstice,

Winter Solstice
Winter Solstice (Photo credit: Matthew Burpee)

is almost here – time to turn on the lights and review and plan and adjust instead of letting shadowy destiny arrive as it may.

Why? I worry that if I don’t do something pro-active many of the things I say and think I want, won’t happen. It’s too easy to put off, make excuses, do something that’s immediately more fun or entertaining or comforting – like read another book or go shopping or make cookies.

Outline or Mind map? I like to look at pictures and connections more than straight lines and words – at least if I’m going to look at them repeatedly. And since this process is all about me (or you if you plan to do it too) I want it to be as fun, entertaining and comforting as possible, but still meet the purpose of enthusiastically mapping out my plans, ideals, goals, and yes time frames.

I did a Lumosity brain preference quiz and it identified me as 62% right-brained, 38% left. This is likely too simplified, but fun as an explanation of why some things click and others don’t.

If you like outlines or specific kinds of paper, pens, computer software, iPad, smart phone, collages, paint, markers, stamps, stickers, calendars … use them, be authentic and enjoy it.

The most exhausting thing you can do is to be inauthentic.  – Anne Lindbergh

I’m doing some trading (my animal training ability for learning how to work in stained glass) and the artist I’m working with (Kathy Heir does lovely glass creations) suggested doing a collage first to clarify color preference, shape preferences and important things I like. Oddly I had just picked up a second-hand copy of Breathnach’s Illustrated Discovery Journal, which basically asked me to do the same thing – serendipity. It was fun and I ended up with an interesting piece I’ve posted in my craft room. If you haven’t done a collage (ever or recently) I’d strongly suggest doing it, cutting and pasting is more fun when you’re older (I disliked it sincerely in 2nd grade).

My collage of important things, preferred colors and shapes done before starting to work in stained glass.
My collage of important things, preferred colors and shapes done before starting to work in stained glass.

I saw a recent AP from Jack Canfield ( of Chicken Soup for the Soul fame) that uses photos and statements. According to him, the research states phrasing as if the goal were already achieved is the most beneficial way of posting/thinking of it to make it real. So instead of ‘I will’ statements change to I am or have or do or … In the world of this affirmative plan, events are already happening, in place, active, not just out there waiting to be started.

One of the secrets of a happy life is continuous small treats. – Iris Murdoch

I really like dog training, I’m really good at it, but I need to re-think what I’m doing if I’m actually going to make a second truly profitable career out of it. This year I got certified as an AKC Canine Good Citizenship evaluator, completed new simplified handouts for classes, in-depth trained four dogs, made lots of agility equipment for 4H (significant time spent here), volunteered as 4H dog project leader, took agility classes with my own dogs and am on board with S. Garrett’s training PP for the next 13 months. The current balance here is still on acquiring more knowledge instead of being paid for it. So far on the not happenin’ yet are self-produced YouTube/videos and anti-dog bite programs for school kids (although I did segments of this in each class and for the 4H dog project kids/parents). The weather this spring put a dent in the outdoor classes, maybe I need a goal about alternatives related to weather.

I like art and music and writing and gardening and food (know a lot about food and health) … So the process involves finding key things and focusing on key pieces of them that I think (you think) would make an important difference, a needed difference in making success (whatever the definition of success is for you). These are the goals, these are the stuff of dreams, but in this game they are already here, happening and do-able.

Life examined? So far on my 2013 mind map there are some nice completed successes and there are areas of stagnation. I wonder should I keep the things in that haven’t had much action? Were they as important as I initially thought they were? What actually seemed most successful? Am I holding myself accountable (in a friendly, frequently nicely treated way) or would I be fired if I worked for somebody else? What things did I concentrate on that I didn’t put in my plan?

Often a small jot on the plan can be a much bigger task than expected. The good thing about this is learning a lot about – details, deep understanding, process. The bad thing is time is taken away from everything else.

What might it look like if I did an outline?

10 year plan – 2014                                                   Finished

  • joined a professional dog trainers association
  • accepted as a guest speaker for dog club
  • participated in competition
  • submitted 6 articles to dog magazines
  • participated in dog club events
  • finished on training video ea. two weeks
  • completed dog art – photos, drawings, painting
  • put up large Cover-All for training classes
  • added agility equipment and sessions
  • limited novel reading (1/wk)

Two Years – 2015

  • designed a new website
  • competed in 3 agility trials (AKC)
  • wrote 1 dog blog per week
  • edited/completed 1 video per week
  • commissioned for 1 dog artwork
  • finished 15 strong pieces (art)
  • guest trained for other training sites
  • ?volunteered for Leaders Blind puppy trainer
  • attended Clicker.expo

Five years – 2018

  • offering web-based dog training
  • breeding and training service dogs
  • participating in two shows per year
  • attending schutzhund training
  • celebrated 

Ten years – 2023

  • writing/illustrating children’s dog book
  • finishing one great painting each month
  • transferred the training/kennel to protegé

This last section feels too far out, too hard to project as so many things could change and I’ll be past retirement age. I guess I’m not sure what I’m planning to do in retirement, I’ll have to think about it more. Plus the outline format makes me feel uncomfortable, it’s too linear or something, but if it works for you – go for it!


Mirror, mirror; DP challenge Wall to wall

What is posted on the walls of our home? What mood does the posting reflect? That is the daily post challenge.

In our house the walls mirror our life and the things we have done, places and animals we have known. The walls also show the gifts we have received. The artwork is, for the most part, created by us – each family member. The photos taken by us and framed and updated in the frames as new interesting photos are taken.

More carving, kinda retro...we don't worry about fashion, just what we like to have around.
More carving, kinda retro…we don’t worry about fashion, just what we like to have around. The brown chair is less than a year old, the kitty scratching post came soon after – it seems that the fabric of the brown chair inspires kitty claws (as you may notice, he’s been using the scratching post).
Dan, my husband carved the rays.
Dan, my husband carved the rays.
Clusters of photography include events like white water rafting, paddling a sale boat due to lack of breeze, rock climbing...
Clusters of photography include events like our first Airedale standing on his hind legs looking over a large wave on Lake Michigan for his ball, white water rafting, paddling a sail boat due to lack of breeze, rock climbing, wood pendulum clock by Dan…some old history and some new history.
Gifts dangle from the ceiling fans, plants add life, paintings done by my daughter or myself grace the walls.
Gifts dangle from the ceiling fans, plants add life, lamp from found pieces, paintings done by my daughter or myself grace the walls.

The mood is creative, eclectic, comfortable and colorful with lots of light coming in. The walls are white in the main areas to serve as a background for art. I like finding things and making things.

So do you make your own art and display it?

Down the road – Photo challenge: Forward

Canon PowerShot A710IS
Canon PowerShot A710IS through the window darkly.

Forward into the night,

Into the upcoming storm,

Headlights creating a path,

Speeding ahead is the norm,

But what don’t we really see,

When forward is all to be.


I took this photo because I liked the storm clouds and the color of the night, but then I saw the overlying reflection and thought about how often I look far ahead and don’t see what’s within reach.

People are like food – I hear we waste a lot of food

Will create masks for party with hopes that the pre-party creation isn’t the highlight of it all..

Wouldn’t it be great if people would know you well enough to just invite you to things you would like and skip it for the rest?

I like people, with food.  I like people, with purpose. Food and purpose is extra good, add beverage and yippee!

I like people in easy to use doses, single servings individually wrapped, not too processed, more fresh organic. Or even small groups, casserole style pot luck. Occasional gelatin molds or cheese whiz, okey dokey.

I like dinner parties with murder themes or costume themes or country themes like Brazilian or Russian. I like games or sports that I can take part in, not just watch. I’ll sing for my supper, or just because there’s a karaoke  machine.

Acrylic on poster paper 40X48″, Celebrate the Season created for log cabin window in office decoration effort.

But not a banquet. Usually then it is no longer fresh, too many repeats, too large to be really good. However, if I have a purpose, then the largeness of the group isn’t an issue, if I’m the speaker, caterer, emcee. Just being there is not a purpose. Some people would say it is; being seen, schmoozing and telling your elevator story over and over, ew. Even if I plan that kind of strategy I feel it’s largely a waste, most people aren’t listening or paying attention and if they are; exactly why? Alright, so I’m cynical and not looking.

I don’t like waste people…waste of time, waste of food, waste of effort. And I don’t like seeing people I like doing things that don’t reflect well on them, sure that’s ‘see no evil, hear no evil, say no…’ but it protects my psyche, and why not?

I wouldn’t like too close, like store shelves, too many people’s wishes to consider, too many conflicting desires. I need a place to recharge where it’s quiet, somewhere near wild asparagus and empty gravel roads.

Wester Ave in the morning mist