Monthly Archives: May 2008

Michigamme Building I

Michigamme Building I, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Michigamme Building I, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Michigamme Building I, photo copyright Kim Nixon

 

A Man and His Boat

Man and Boat, photo by Kim with Mike's new camera

Moonshine Ball

Moonshine Gallery Ball in Tree, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Coming soon–more digi shots from Michigamme, Michigan on Memorial Day weekend. This magic was hanging in the tree outside the Michigamme Moonshine Art Gallery. Mike and I camped at Van Riper State Park and on Day One visited Michigamme where I captured the best shots. I traveled with my Journey JuJu and I have to believe it helped it not snow (as we traveled home it was in the 40s).

I’m calling it a showdown…

Showdown, the close of my first exhibit, photo by Kim Nixon With mixed emotions, I headed to “A Mission Gallery” at Dead River Coffee, part of Mission Roasters, which will be moving this weekend to their new location. The purpose for my visit was to sit with a cup of locally roasted Ethiopian coffee and stare at my exhibit before taking the show down. My exhibit closed today after a battle–a showdown with the local economy–paying 4.29 a gallon for gasoline may have kept people from making a purchase. I think the art would have fueled them further than 20 miles of their lives.

In keeping with my promise to donate a portion of the proceeds to local environmental concerns, I will donate a framed photo to Save the Wild U.P.  for a future auction. The exhibit was a success with WLUC TV6 picking up both my press releases on their website and an interview that was on the 11 o’clock news. Many wonderful comments came my way and a photographer I admire commented they were quite good. I feel that the scariest is over, the first hanging, and learning to talk about my photography. I am encouraged to continue and this weekend I am heading out to Lake Michigamme  for a camping trip at Van Riper  where I will be taking notes and photos for future blog posts and travel articles.

The school year closes on June 9th for me. This will bring me down to one job, respite services to special needs individuals. I am looking forward to having more time to pursue my freelance career and am setting goals to carry me into the second half of the year. So, there is another showdown as we approach the end of yet another school year and I take a serious look at my writing and art. Once again, I have people who ask when I will have a real job?

Today, my repsite boss said tell them you have two real jobs. I actually have three, if we want to count, perhaps more. I keep reminding myself that I am creative at finding open doors, employment options surround me, but first and foremost I am an artist. My employ with the schools and respite are solid jobs that will always need good caring help and these positions will continue to support me.

Yet, there are the showdowns, the close of the day where I have to bolster my esteem, the people who will always question, my own inner critic. But a good friend of mine taught me long ago, there are sunrises, every morning, the sun rises up out of Lake Superior and graces us with another start. I will watch this weekend, to see where the sunrises in Michigamme. I will pray for abundance for all.

Note: Dead River Coffee and Mission Roasters will open next to the Marquette Children’s Museum on Baraga Avenue after their move this weekend. Kate and Theo brew the best cup of Joe in the Upper Peninsula. The beans are roasted in store and you can buy your beans in house or at the Marquette Food Co-op.

Thursday at Wetmore Pond

Blooming at Wetmore, photo copyright by Kim nixon

Pitcher Plant, photo copyright by Kim Nixon

Wetmore Pond, Photo Copyright Kim Nixon

I once read a quote on “Ground of Being” and I like to think of the Wetmore Pond area as my ground of being, walking beneath old growth hemlock, the magic of the bog mat, climbing Hogsback, or even crossing the road and going to the shore at Wetmore Landing where I can lay out on a granite boulder and slip into freezing cold Lake Superior, this is the land that renews my being.

On Thursday of a very busy week, my “Magic Man” took me to the trails in search of morel mushrooms. The nights had been balmy but with not enough mositure, we soon abandoned our hunt for shrooms and fell in love with minutia and reflections–of course we both had our cameras.

Mike took the new shot that appears as my avatar here at WordPress. It is one of the few shots of myself that I have tolerated, in fact I am quite enamored of this shot. I actually look healthy, young, and not so chunky. I feel and look happy and vibrant. Good Job, Mike!

An Artist and Her Day Job (and Night Job)

Kim on a Hike, Photo by MikeAs an artist and writer, I have a day job. Creating is a challenge. But you can still create, exhibit, freelance, and promote on a schedule that often seems inhuman. This is a sampling of two weeks from my planner, ending on Memorial Day. I will share more on this when not so tired (sigh).

  • Monday–Sub 4rth grade 1/2 day morn. and respite shift 5:45-9pm
  • Tuesday–sub high school health and antatomy (full day)
  • Wednesday–sub high school spanish and world cultures (full day) and meet with TV6 for interview at exhibit and Respite shift 5:45-9pm
  • Thursday–sub PPI-preschool (full day) and hiked a mile or so taking photos
  • Friday–sub PPI-preschool (full day)
  • Saturday–8:30am to 2:00pm Respite
  • Sunday–8:30 to 2:30pm Respite
  • Monday–8:00-12:00 sub 2nd grade (1/2 day) Traded this shift to a co-worker :-) Respite 5:45-9:00pm
  • Tuesday– sub at two schools in same city–one in morning and one in afternoon
  • Wednesday–sub all day middle school 7:45-2:45 and Respite 5:45-9:00pm
  • Thursday–sub all day in TMI 7:45-2:45
  • Friday–off
  • Saturday–off
  • Sunday–off
  • Mondayupdate: Family says take the day off–former shift Respite 5:45-9pm

Nature Photographs to Benefit Local Environmental Causes

Kim Nixon, Northern Michigan University Alum, has committed a percentage of sales to local environmental issues.  Nixon’s nature images captured on trail show the beauty and uniqueness of the Upper Peninsula; they often include a water element.

 

“I live in the Upper Peninsula because no other place calms me. We are gifted to have such a wealth of trails to explore locally and throughout the Upper Peninsula. Nature gifts us each day and I want to give back, to help maintain these lands and waters for my grandchildren.”

 

Kim Nixon’s first exhibit includes images from the Eben Ice Caves, Porcupine Mountains, and the Ontonagon River.  “I’m learning about texture and light, how we are called to witness nature, and how the colors of winter ice and brown water have depth.”

 

A percentage of proceeds from the show at Dead River Coffee will be distributed to local organizations to protect the lands and waters that calm Nixon.

 

Kim Nixon’s exhibit will be on display through the month of May at Dead River Coffee, 143 W. Washington Street, Marquette, MI 49855.

Guerrilla Marketing Tools

Secret Garden, photo copyright Kim nixon
This image was turned into a postcard at vistaprint.com and on the reverse side was a short “Creative Inspiration”. The inspirations are short articles of 200-250 words that inspire one’s creativity and they have been published in Health and Happiness Magazine and Inspired Times. On the back of the postcards, I also list services, and contact information.

These postcards are perfect for leaving at coffeehouses, art galleries, libraries and gift stores as promotional items. I have some at Dead River Coffee with my photo exhibit. They are a great guerrilla marketing tool and you can get them very inexpensively.

The garden is a mystical place to take photos! And visiting another’s garden can heighten the sense of discovery–this photo was taken at Ramblin Rose Art.

A Gwinn Morning

I pulled up to Gwinn High School and the large plow-pile (of snow) had completely melted and the sun was up. On the drive in, I spotted three sandhill cranes down in a hollow of land with standing melt water. Nothing is green yet, the rushes and grasses from last year stand yellowed and broken. Only catkins and pussy willow are showing a bit of color. The trees have yet to go thru green-up this spring–we need rain.

Today I teach within my major, English. It is the first time this year that I have spent the whole day teaching English. I’ve instructed everything from Chemistry to German. And today, I walk in to giving a test on Shakespeare’s J. Ceasar. My favorite Shakespeare works are Hamlet, King Lear, and Romeo and Juliet.

But I want to drop back in thought to this morning. I love coming to Gwinn–this is the school where all three of my children graduated. It was my first school–as a substitute. There is always a feeling of coming home. Winter mornings remind me of dropping off my swimmers for 6 a.m. practices. Spring of track, prom and graduations where I have cried and watched so many young friends march. I am proud to be from Gwinn. Some people think this is not a place to be proud of–it is being stereo-typed and treated like some inner city. But Gwinn is old school, if you let it. Gwinn is hometown pride, if you let it. Gwinn is  a place of hard work and perseverance.

Gwinn gave me the confidence and backbone to overcome, chronic fatigue, back pain, and my marriage. And I am a teacher, here. Yet I still learn everytime I am in the building.

Song Bird Trail, Marquette

View of Little Presque, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Delta Reflection, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Up a Tree, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Last Year's Bounty, photo copyright Kim nixon

Duck Eggs, photo copyright Kim Nixon

 Beaver Berm, photo copyright Kim Nixon

Today I went to Song Bird Trail in Marquette, Michigan to scout for a hike I will be on with others this Saturday. I wanted to know the path and I wanted to spend my day off out-of-doors.

I saw a red squirrel, deer droppings, two Canadian goose flying over head, various song birds in the delta brush, and I flushed a duck, on accident, and took the opportunity to quickly take a shot of the duck eggs. I believe she was a female mallard. I saw my first live fresh water calm and spaced it out to the bottom of this post–the colors are not great due to shooting a macro thru water–when I get a new camera I hope having a polarizing lense will solve problems.

I saw lots of deadfalltrees and many cut by beaver for a dam, berm but did not see the lodge. I saw high bush cranberry, lowbush blueberry, Labrador Tea, and wintergreen. Not much is green or new–we are still on the edge of spring and winter in the Upper Peninsula.

The water level was low but at the mouth of the delta where I thought I could cross I sunk past my knees into a type of quicksand. Luckily I had my Keen sandals and wool socks off and my pants were rolled. This was Lake Superior water washing up creek and winter melt coming down. I was iced! I had to pull my legs up slow and place them carefully backing up my steps to the shore I started on.

I had started out on the trail with a fleece jacket, sweat shirt and t-shirt, winter hats and gloves. I had my red backpack (with wings), lunch, water, and extra batteries. I met a couple from Colorado who were biking trails. They shared thier dissappointenet that the ferry was not yet in season to go to Grand Island in the Munising area. I told them what bike sho0ps in town could help with maps of trails. I finished the trail much warmer. I found sun on sand and warmed myself. My pants were wet to my hips. I had over half the trail to go.

 Fresh Water Clam, photo copyright Kim Nixon

 

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