Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Field Sparrow

I saw this Field Sparrow shortly after the American Woodcock.  This was right at the beginning of my walk but was the last clear photo.  The clouds took over shortly afterwards and didn't even really leave enough light for me to see, let alone identify, the remaining birds on my walk. 

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

American Woodcock

I wasn't sure I even wanted to take a walk yesterday.  I'm sick and it seemed like it might be better to go home and recover a bit but it was about 41 degrees and I just couldn't pass up a chance to walk and not freeze.  I'm so glad I did.  This American Woodcock was hanging out along the pipeline and we just walked right into each other.  He hung around for a while prancing and showing off.  Totally awesome.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Saturday, January 25, 2014


Thanks to "Seeing Trees" I now know that these pores in the bark are called lenticles. 

Thursday, January 23, 2014


To round out my recent studio posts one of my recent watercolor paintings.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snow Storm

Somehow, even though I've been inside for two days, I've managed not to get to my blogging done.  I've been on a kick to clean and organize which set me up for a tetanus shot.  Note to self, be more careful not to let razor blades fall on the ground where they might wedge themselves under your desk and cut you when you are sliding the power cord for the phone under the desk so your phone will stop crashing to the ground every time you open the drawer.  But at least now I can cross "get tetanus shot" and "fix phone cord" off my list.  Oh, and I also found my flip flops...

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Pile I

I have a new work installed at the Crane building as part of a show, Current Climate, which will be up until Jan 25.  It's very different from the digital project I've been working on, and again very different from the watercolor paintings.  But they are all part of the same exploration, about the world around us and our relationship to it.  I imagine these sewn pieces, which are constructed from my old paintings, as being more psychological than the other works.  They are my space to explore how the natural world can inform my understanding of my self/experiences. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Birding Project Update

I've been working away on my birding project.  These are digital/photo fusions.  I'm finding that the "plain" brown birds are the most complex to render.  Much more work than the brightly segmented birds.  But it's partly a proximity issue.  I've decided to let each rendering reflect how much of a particular bird I can actually see which is of course affected by how close I am to the bird.  So the Bald Eagle that was WAY up in the sky took about 5 minutes to render and these sparrows took about 5 hours each. 

These images are my property and may not be used without written permission. © 2014 Colleen McCubbin Stepanic

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Dark and Grainy Morning

A few more images from my walk at Crow's Nest Preserve.  I've spent the whole week planning classes and writing syllabi.  Two down one more to go.  It's going to be a very busy semester.

Monday, January 13, 2014


Some images from my first walk of the new year.  It took some time to get around to thanks to orientations and freezing cold temperatures but it was well worth the wait. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Red-headed Woodpecker

I had an exciting morning as I got to try out my new boots, rain pants, & fleece and see my first 3 or 4 Red-headed Woodpeckers.  It was terribly gloomy and dark and the woodpeckers stayed far away so the photo is cropped a lot.  But there it is, nicely clear (in a grainy sort of way.) 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Busy Bird

Birds are no less busy than bees, especially in the winter.  The White-throated Sparrows are everywhere at Heinz these days and sometimes very accommodating to passing wanderers.  My mind has been just as busy.  It seems as one door prepares to close three or more open and I'm supposed to go through them simultaneously.  All I need to do is to imagine free time for it to disappear but I'm sure I'll work it all out.  I am looking forward to teaching 3 classes this semester at two schools.  So I'm not going to be missing my teller least in terms on income. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Moving On

This is my last weekend at the bank.  Hopefully next Saturday I'll be getting ready to join the bird walk at Heinz instead of getting ready to stand around counting money all day.  My anticipation is starting to build but I really am going to miss my coworkers.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Another Great Tree

At some point today I'm determined to get out and walk in the snow.  But I definitely do NOT want to drive in it.  My ride home from work last night was suicidal.  Seriously none of the roads were plowed at all.  I had to get out twice to knock the ice off my windshield wipers.  It was pretty much like driving blind.  I only have one more week of tellering after which I won't be driving home through impossible conditions.  I will also not be counting...anything...haha.  Well, except the birds.  I will be continuing (and making much faster progress on) my Birding Project.  These photos were taken on Dec 30 when I saw just as many cool trees as birds and I saw lots of both. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

From the Trees

I'm reading a really great book about trees, "Seeing Trees" by Nancy Ross Hugo, but I don't expect it to spend much time on the fungus grows on and from trees.  I'll have to find a good book about that next.  In the mean time I'll just have to keep exploring on my own.