Finding spirit wherever you go

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Above: Patterns of Spirit, Yachats, Oregon

Besides our spiritual connections at home or wherever we are, we frequently travel in search of additional spiritual cleansing. We flush the toilet of constant chaos and refill the bowl with clean water.

Inevitably, the center of our search is a much kinder form of chaos: the sea.

Once there, we immerse ourselves (not literally!) in the power SeaLegsand the energy and the total awe of the ocean. The sea engulfs us spiritually, with its neighboring forests, towering cliffs, fog and windy sands to help mesmerize and fascinate. Releasing ourselves to it, we realize just how fully we are one with it.

Whether rolling gently in with the tide to a quiet sandy beach, or smashing themselves against rocks wearing away from the force of it, the waves have much to say.

Sometimes, it’s what the waves leave behind that tells about the life within. The patterns of their presence flow in sand as well as water, mystifying the eye and mind. The ocean cleanses and refreshes, and leaves behind its potent evidence for all.

Left: “Left Behind

Without the refreshment and renewal a coastal experience provides, life can sometimes overwhelm, like rip tides that deposit small creatures and little Dungeness crabs on the shore, leaving them to scramble away and dig themselves in before the gulls arrive. More often than not, they don’t make it. The beaches are strewn with their pecked-clean shells.

For those of us fortunate enough to not be crabs, exhilaration and a boosted sense of well-being permeates at the sea. We will always find our way back.

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Above: Mussel Beach

Below: Crashing surf

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Biggest trip in years

Our insatiable need for the coast and its atmospheres expands to our grandest trip of all this year: fall in New England, with a stop on the coast of Maine.

We’re making up for a very late start in our travels this year due to health concerns that sidelined me throughout spring and early summer.

Beginning late September, we’ll be traveling east to visit family in Ohio and attend a wedding in Pennsylvania. We’ll spend a couple of days getting glimpses of Manhattan, then off to begin our fall foliage odyssey in New Hampshire, exploring the White Mountains and the Kancamagus wilderness. From there, we’ll follow Lake Winnipesaukee along its western shores en route to Ogunquit, Maine, where the coast awaits our arrival.

We swing south to see family in northeastern Massachusetts before heading west along Route 2 to Williamstown, MA, following one of the most foliage-scenic byways in the northeast through the Berkshires.

From there, who knows…? Stay tuned.

 

 

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Disappearing Legacy: Old Barns

Photography web site documents ancient barns before they’re gone

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Above: Sheep take over an abandoned farm structure on the Idaho/Wyoming border.

Our travels throughout the Northwest always include a search for the nostalgic beauty of ancient, weather-worn barns. My photo-documentary, Disappearing Legacy: Old Barns of the West, presents intimate, detailed images of these majestic antiques.

I’ve photographed hundreds of these fascinating buildings over the past 20+ years. Some were still in use, but many more were abandoned to the elements, waiting to die.

The rest are gone, existing only in this growing collection of photographic artistic renderings, and in the memories of old-timers who worked the land, the animals and the tools.

By 2006, Idaho had lost more than half of its old barns, BarnVictorNurseryaccording to Arthur Hart, director emeritus of the Idaho State Historical Society, in an interview I did with him that year. Since then, many more have disappeared forever.

Similar stories are all too true throughout the Northwest and beyond. To me, it means documenting these old barns through photography, before it’s too late.  

At right, Victor Nursery barn

That’s why I’m offering fine prints from this unique collection: so that I may continue documenting these American icons, while giving a little help to folks who need it. I donate 20% of your purchase price to the Idaho Foodbank.

Images from this historical, one-of-a-kind documentary can be purchased through my barn web site at http://tinyurl.com/c9m4fq. Click on the image for options, and thank you! Contact me at ken@kenlevymedia.com.

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Left: Barn: Tensed, Idaho

I’ll be traveling and barn-hunting again in August, and I’ll be making a truly gigantic driving trip to New England in the fall. I’ll capture hundreds of new photos that  continue to document these disappearing barns of yesteryear. Your purchases will help fund this venture.

Follow this blog for the fascinating stories behind the barns. I’ll be publishing a book on the subject very soon. Stay in touch! Contact me at ken@kenlevymedia.com.

Art Down 45: Fighting back enough?

Fourth installment

By Ken Levy

This installment of Art Down 45 includes images of those fighting back against a hateful regime, and just one or two examples of who and what that regime is hurting.

Below: Migrant farmworker

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Below: Skittles

Refugee Rally Boise Airport

Below: Predatory

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Below: Women’s March

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I still work to help the hungry in Idaho by donating 20% of all my photo sales directly to the Idaho Foodbank. I have greatly lowered my prices for framed art photographs now  showing at the following locations. Beautiful framed images from my Collectors Editions are ideal for those empty walls at home or office.  Contact me for details.

Art Down 45: No comment necessary

© Ken Levy

Third installment

Warning! Some images may be disturbing; proceed with awareness.

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Democracy Down 45

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Heartless

 

 

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Hungry Children

 

 

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Ultimate sacrifice

 

 

Next installment April 22

 

Meanwhile, I’m still working to help feed the hungry in Idaho, by donating 20% of all my photo sales directly to the Idaho Foodbank.

To that end, I’ve dropped my prices for beautiful framed art photographs now showing at the following locations.

These selections from my Collectors Editions are more affordable, so more folks can get some help — and you get some nice art — when you buy.

Contact me for details.

Art Down 45: No looking back, ever

Second installment

By Ken Levy

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Rights, you say? by Ken Levy

Not a day, not an hour it seems, goes by without some fresh outrage against the values and democracy we hold dear.  Key legislation, virtually every executive order or congressional maneuver, stacks the cards against average America, whether it’s removing protections for clean water and air, working to stymie our ability to demand recourse for injuries perpetrated on us, hobbling our education system and forcing our most vulnerable populations to do with much less, or do without completely.

This, while those who govern lie to our faces and virtually dare us to challenge them.Bud Phillips Cattle

The challenge is on, and true patriotism requires our defiance…

This project continues to evolve, speaking to that defiance and a decent, safe, clean, healthy and prosperous America for every single one of us.

Herded like Cattle by Ken Levy

Next week’s images from Art Down 45, and those that follow, will speak for themselves, without unnecessary verbiage from me. Again, some images may offend, so if you continue to follow this project, be advised.

Meanwhile, I still work to help the hungry in Idaho by donating 20% of all my photo sales directly to the Idaho Foodbank. I have greatly lowered my prices for framed images showing at the following locations. Beautiful framed images from my Collectors Editions are ideal for those empty walls at home or office.  Contact me for details.

Art Down 45 looks at America in crisis: No April Fool’s joke here

By Ken Levy

Intro

The swamp has become a toilet, and it’s time to flush.

Things were far from perfect under the Obama presidency, but there was an element of strength, of respect, of some level of caring and compassion we have yet to see since he left. Regardless of his mistakes, America was still respected as a great nation, not only by her own citizens but also by much of the rest of the world. We held our heads high.

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“Bloated Pig” by Ken Levy

But we surrendered that greatness when we handed over the leadership of this country to those who run their offices with an arrogant, in-your-face belligerence heavily seasoned with blatant lies.

Beyond the hateful erosion of human rights and standards of fairness and ethics,  we see issues of health, environmental safety, education and the arts facing serious decimation by calls for military budget increases, a wall that won’t work and further tax breaks for the wealthiest.

Far from becoming great again — as though something got lost before we got here — average America is being dragged toward the abyss, while those who “lead” prosper at our expense. Not only financially, but at the demanded sacrifice of our environment, our Sheep43sense of decency and fairness and, perhaps the biggest casualty of all, the truth.

But there is a growing resistance in this country, and decent America won’t go down without a fight.

For me, part of that fight is coming out in imagery, a series of photographs dubbed “Art Down 45.”

“The Sheep Slowly Awaken” by Ken Levy

Beginning with these photos, the project includes many images that can shock and/or offend (but no x-rated stuff). All will portray my perspective on where it seems we are — and where we might be headed. You likely have seen some of these photos in other contexts, but be assured — this ain’t no fool’s joke. Unless we let the joke be on us.

This is an ongoing project, and I’ll be adding images regularly to this blog and to Facebook.

Meanwhile, I’m still trying to help hungry folks in Idaho, by donating 20% of every sale of my images to the Idaho Foodbank. To help boost that donation, I have severely lowered my prices for images showing at the following locations. Beautiful framed images from my Collectors Editions are ideal for walls at home or office.  Contact me for details.

Fine photos make great last-minute gifts, and feed the hungry as well

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Yachats Sunset, 30×20 framed, on exhibit and for sale at Blue Sky Bagels, Fairview, Meridian

By Ken Levy

There’s still time to get free delivery of my ready-to-hang framed images, which make perfect gifts for home or office walls.

I continue my tradition of donating 20% of the purchase of any of my images to the Idaho
Foodbank. Thanks to your generous purchases, the food bank got additional funds in time for the Christmas celebrations.

I like to keep this going year-round. Here’s how it works:

You get stunning photography for your home, office or as thoughtful gifts; each beautiful photo you buy also helps feed hungry people. I give 20% of each sale to the Idaho Foodbank.

I will deliver framed art free within a 50-mile radius of Boise, until Dec. 20.  Email me for details at ken@kenlevymedia.com

Visit any of my exhibits (below), and my web site, to make the perfect holiday purchase that gives twice:

FoggyTreesYachats1966At left: Coastal Inspiration, Yachats, Ore. 20×30 Framed, on exhibit and for sale at Blue Sky Bagels, Fairview, Meridian

  About my photos

These professional-quality images will add beauty and interest to every wall, including those of your friends, family and colleagues. You can find a huge variety of original art on my web site.

Keep an eye on my New Works page for updates to my photography, and stop by my Collector’s Editions  page to view some of my clients’ favorite works.

Email me for details at ken@kenlevymedia.com or visit my web site at http://kenlevymedia.com.

Consider making my images part of your holiday gift giving this year. Because no one should have to go hungry, and beauty makes a great gift for everyone.

 

Below: “Water and Ice.” Tiny stalactites dip their icy toes in the roiling water of Teton Creek. Framed 20×16 on display and for sale at Blue Sky Bagels, Chinden Ave., Boise.

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Photography road trip: Five autumn days in the heart of Oregon’s best

Here are some highlight photos from a quick trip across Oregon in early October. These images are truly spectacular when viewed hi-res.

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Paradise in Oregon lives up to its name any time of year, but especially in the fall, when the fog rolls in off the McKenzie River with a backdrop of golden leaves.

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I really appreciated the egret (near center of photo above) hanging around for this image of the Siuslaw River flowing through Mapleton, Oregon in early October.

 

I promised myself I’d egretfly5490get some egret photographs on this trip. This one was coming in for a landing on the far shore of Fern Ridge Reservoir at Perkins Peninsula Park outside Eugene, Ore.

 

 

 

 

 

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A gloomy morning barely allows a glimpse of idyllic, old town Florence, Oregon on the banks of the Siuslaw River before fog rolls in to obscure the scene. There is some incredible detail in this image, from the dock to the flag on the boat, the gazebo and the architecture.

 

 

 

Mo's Reflection, Siuslaw River, Florence, Oregon 5520

You’d have to agree the night entices us with her mysteries along the Siuslaw River in Florence, Oregon. Mo’s Restaurant is brilliantly lit from within, even as it is reflected from without, but what movement, what people, what secrets does this place keep, both inside and along its docks? One wants to peek in the windows like a peeping Tom… as the river flows rippling in the reflected light, shadows hide much more: the banks and the docks, and the river’s inevitable, invisible destiny.

Important news: My new exhibit is up at Blue Sky Bagel‘s newest location at 126 E. Idaho, Meridian, Idaho. (208) 887-5726. I’m now exhibiting at all four Blue Sky Bagel restaurants in Boise and Meridian, as well as the Center for Spiritual Living at 10464 Garverdale Ct, Boise, ID. Phone: (208) 375-0751. Visit my New Works: Photography page for new and extensive postings of fine imagery.

Contact me at ken@kenlevymedia.com.

Street photography and sweet architecture in Port Townsend

On the trail: Olympic Peninsula, part V

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Port Townsend, on the northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula, is a busy ferry stop to Coupeville and Whidbey Island. But its old-town architecture and visitors’ delights make it a must-see on any visit to the Washington sea.

From elegant shopping to quaint used-book stores and 1950s soda fountain, old downtown Port Townsend is a joy for the casual visitor wanting a taste of all three.

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It’s also a great place to people watch and get a few frames of street photography to share.

Take in a movie at the historic Rose Theatre, which, according to its Web site, “opened as a vaudeville house in 1907. We’ve experienced the transition from live theatre to silent film, to talkies, to Technicolor, and now to digital projection across three unique screens. We endeavor to bring the people of the Olympic Peninsula not only world-class film, but also high-definition ballet, opera, classical music and theatre from across the globe…”

The popcorn is fresh, they say, and the butter is real. They even offer local brews on tap.

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Base in Sequim for north Olympic Peninsula explorations

On the trail: Olympic Peninsula, part IV

Below: Moonrise over the John Wayne Marina, Sequim, WashingtonMoonriseJohnWayneMarina1434

You’ll pronounce Sequim wrong. The name, pronounced “skwim,” is derived from the native S’Klallam tribes, and means “a good place to hunt.”

Although that refers to the abundant wildlife in the area, it’s also a great place to base yourself for northern Olympic Peninsula adventures.

Here, you’ll find the Dungeness National Wildlife Area just north of town, with access to the Dungeness Spit, the longest — at 5.5 miles — natural sand spit in the nation, leading to the New Dungeness Lighthouse in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It’s a fascinating hike out to the lighthouse, but do it at low tide.

A segment of the Olympic Discovery Trail runs through town, over the historic Dungeness River wooden bridge listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The trail runs from Port Townsend to La Push, and is a great way to explore the north peninsula on foot or bike, if you have the time.

And, if you love quiet coves for your sailing craft, you’ll want to dock in the beautiful and upscale John Wayne Marina. The land was gifted by the late actor, and it’s a full-featured marina with docking, fuel, restaurant and public access beach.

While there, make reservations at the tiny but exquisite Dockside Grill. We shared a beautiful appetizer of crab in a very tasty sauce with Parmesan toast points that was so generous that Lana got at least one more meal from it.

For the main course, Lana opted for a perfectly prepared cedar-planked rib-eye steak, rubbed with coffee and spices and served with jalapeno garlic butter, with potato and veggies, a huge tender cut that got her two more meals as well.

I had cedar-planked salmon topped with a generous portion of Dungeness crab, cooked to absolute perfection with triple-citrus Riesling butter. Both meals were prepared using the very finest ingredients, the highest quality you can get, and the tastes were magnificent, tender and delightful. A fantastic meal, the best one we had on the coast, in fact on the entire trip, and the price was exorbitant to say the least: with tip, this feast topped $160.

More about Sequim and the northern Olympic Peninsula in my next post.