December 29th, 2016
As we close and lock the windows and bolt and bar the doors on 2016 (enough already!), I'm happy to be relaunching my Fine Art America gallery with some new work over the next few days. I'll be uploading new photography and artwork and look forward to a new year of creative endeavors I'm looking forward to sharing here and on my website.
Happy New Year to all! Make it Meaningful!
August 19th, 2013
My spring and summer have been celebrations of all things wild and wonderful, natural, bright and beautiful! Journeys through Miami, FL, St. Louis, MO, and Baton Rouge, LA, have taken me, somewhat unexpectedly but with great delight, to some stunning gardens. Some manicured, some blossoming in wild abandon, and everything in between. Tropical gardens and rose gardens, and ginger gardens, and the elegant sculptured gardens of an Orangerie - a classically styled greenhouse. Everywhere a heady riot of scents and textures and colors.
I hope you enjoy browsing my latest uploads, and taking a botanical journey with me. It's not quite the same as being there, but it's pretty darn close!
August 17th, 2013
Now through August 31, 2013, receive a 15% discount on any purchases of artwork from TMWillingham Fine Art. Use the Discount Code FGMBLD when placing your order to receive 15% off your purchases,including the new customizeable iPhone cases.
August 16th, 2013
While uploading a backlog of photos to my galleries, I was amused to discover the preponderance of swamp photos I have. Evidently, I"m unable to pass a swamp or marsh without feeling compelled to immortalize it with a photo. Between Tampa and a recent road trip to Baton Rouge, LA, I found plenty of swamps to satisfy my affinity for leafy green bogs.
“To love a swamp,"wrote author Barbara Hurd in her book,Stirring the Mud: On Swamps, Bogs, and Human Imagination, " is to love what is muted and marginal, what exists in the shadows, what shoulders its way out of mud and scurries along the damp edges of what is most commonly praised."
It is precisely that "muted and marginal" feel of swamps that I love - a thick organic quietude that invites reflection, introspection, and a certain degree of calm awareness. There are vague and seemingly sourceless sounds in a swamp - a plop, a strange trill, a rasp, a rustle. Water mysteriously ripples, sending out broad bands of little waves across the duckweed. A branch dips. An owl hoots.
Hurd wrote, "There is magic in this moist world, in how the mind lets go, slips into sleepy water, circles and nuzzles the banks of palmetto and wild iris, how it seeps across dreams..."
I love the magic of these moist worlds, watching the seasons move through them as defined by water levels and wildlife, through thick canopies and thin, and through the lens of my camera.
June 23rd, 2013
Taking what author William Least Heat Moon called "Blue Highways," the back roads of America that are rendered as thin blue lines on road maps, makes a journey of almost any length into a journey of unexpected discovery. On a recent road trip up into north Florida, I by-passed roaring sweep of Interstate 95 and found myself meandering instead along two lane U.S. 129, along which I found the ruins of this old homestead, quietly collapsing into a field of wildflowers.
The journey took an extra hour, not so much because of the slower speed limit but because there was so much to see and think about along my chosen rural path.
“Instead of insight," Least Heat-Moon said, " maybe all a man gets is strength to wander for a while. Maybe the only gift is a chance to inquire, to know nothing for certain. An inheritance of wonder and nothing more.”
Maybe that's all we need.
February 16th, 2013
Recently, my travels have taken me to a variety of places of both natural, and somewhat manufactured, appeal. At a Heritage Festival at the Crowley Museum and Nature Center in Sarasota, opportunities arose to capture compelling images of both people and nature, and people enjoying nature - and history. Living history events give us an opportunity not only to play heritage dress up, but also to see ourselves as we looked in the past, and to gain a new appreciation for our future and role we play in preserving our heritage and securing that future.
November 17th, 2012
The natural landscape of South Florida, which persists through even the most determined urban construction in Miami was the catalyst for my love of the outdoors; a veritable botanical Eden populated with the ubiquitous palms – coconut, royal, date, queen and more, giant ixora, hibiscus blossoms of every color, massive Bougainvillea, heady banks of jasmine, walls of bamboo. Everything that can grow here, does, erupting in verdant abundance through sidewalks and stone walls and even from cars parked too long in one place.
And at the edge of it all, that massive River of Grass, the place where all roads south of the urban landscape of Miami fall away, one by one, until only a narrow handful venture past the fields and sawgrass prairies of Homestead and the Redlands and enter the stark, beautiful inevitability of the Everglades, a wilderness which so few understand and upon which so much depends. The Everglades is the place where I cut my hiker’s teeth, along the Gumbo Limbo and Anhinga Trails and later canoed miles of river trails. It is the place by which all other wilderness was subsequently measured, and could never compare, but the place which set my heart afire for all things wild and rugged. It is from the River of Grass that my love of wilderness flowed.
October 28th, 2012
"To the lover of wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries ... " John Muir said. For a flatlander like me, Alaska proved a study in stunning elevations, Alaska, I observed recently on my blog at TMWillingham.com, while touring this massive state, is big and wide and unlimited.
Within the timeless evolutionary landscape of a glacial valley, the momentary flash of our existence seems little more than the glint of sunlight on a rushing stream. And with the awareness of that smallness and brevity comes, to me at least, the brilliant wash of wonder and appreciation that I am here at all, and gifted not only with life, but with the perspective to make the most of it.
Even now, two weeks later, as I continue to winnow through photos, I find myself awed again at landscapes of seemingly impossible proportions, colors of strange and brilliant palettes, and I'm comforted to know such grandeur exists.
September 22nd, 2012
“Nature will try anything once,” Annie Dillard wrote in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. “This is what the sign of the insects says. No form is too gruesome, no behavior too grotesque. If it works, if it quickens, set it clacking in the grass.” All around me things are clacking in the grass. The abundance of summer rains have produced an abundance of life everywhere you look – and sometimes it’s best not to look too closely. For days I watched a rather amusing little orange insect trundling placidly among the white pentas in my yard. I researched, and ran it past my usual expert sources – All Things Bugs, and IFAS . But because I’m nothing if not curious, I decided to run a “What Kind of Insect is That?” contest at Fine Art America while awaiting an answer, to see what other kinds of interesting critters might be out there.
Nearly 200 entries of amazing insect photos were submitted. It was there that I learned my cute little orange bug was a juvenile assassin bug that would grow up to do just what its name suggests – assassinate other insects.
The winning entries are remarkable things to behold – a yellow and black treehopper, by Craig Lapsley , with giraffe spots on a humped head and an opaque eye; a rainbow colored lantern bug, by Roy Foos, right out of a Dr. Seuss book, with a red elephantine protuberance covered in white spots and sporting green and yellow wings ; and a bulbous cicada, by Shane Bechler , with enormous cellophane wings.
Visit the link to see the winning photos and my full reflections on "The Little Things that Run the World."
September 21st, 2012
Fall in Florida is a subtle but beautiful thing. The air is subtly drier, the temperatures a tiny bit cooler - all just enough for the acorns to start falling from the oaks, and new birds to begin appearing at the feeders. We've had a wet summer here, and the rivers are running deep and full along verdant banks overhung with vines and Spanish moss. In short, it's a wonderful time to take photos!