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IceKanse! Calendar Reveal-Reflections…Refractions…Relativities

The new calendar proofs came early!

Reflections…Refractions…Relativities- a unique prospective through ice.  Join us for the video reveal!

order YOUR unique calendar, where Nature is artistic collaborator in every image, by clicking here.

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Haiku Read-Throughs

Think you’ve guessed which images in the Haiku Exhibition are mine? (if you haven’t been to the Firehall gallery or seen the video walkthrough click here.

The organizers requested framed reproductions (Sorry about the inevitable glare!)  I’ll state the original medium next to each title.  In addition to playing with poetry, I wanted to show a sweeping variety of imagery.

“Emergence” Original Acrylic on Canvas, 16×20

Galloping burst from

isolation! Thunder dance

through my joy tossed mane!


“Portals” 30×20  Photo (part of “Icekanse”, a body of work created through a handheld “lens” of water tough ice rather than any digital manipulation.)

hawk dives, worlds converge

air… water… in the tumult

who is fish…who bird?


“Love Song from the Sea” Original 5×7 Oil and cold wax


“Tom’s Cove Twilight” Original 5×7 Oil and cold wax


“Tidepool Trysts” Original 5×7 Oil and cold wax



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Pathway to a Palette

The choice of a color palette dictates the mood of a painting.  Color theory is an ongoing source of inspiration, frustration, and constant study. And yet, as each season unfurls, I’m struck with nature’s ever-changing, harmonic color, and EFFORTLESS palettes. Einstein urges, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”

And so I do.


From each hike, run, and round of farm chores, the world gifts me new palettes to explore.

Or not….

Toni Morrison reminds us: “at some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint, or even remember it. It is enough.”

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Fire and Ice Gallery Show


Press Release—For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Judith Chesley, Treasurer, Jefferson Arts Council


“Whisper the Dragons”

The Jefferson Arts Council Presents Our January 2020 Gallery Show

Fire & Ice



CHARLES TOWN, WV–The Jefferson Arts Council (JAC) is excited to announce the first Gallery Show of the New Year, Fire & Ice – Reflections…Refractions….Relativities—featuring two local artists, Kirsten Lee and Frances Brolle, at the Fire Hall Gallery in Charles Town, WV located at 108 N. George Street.

Entranced with the play of light and color while breaking and removing ice from her horses’ water troughs during deep freezes, Ms. Lee started using selected ice slabs as a lens to the landscape around her, literally holding the ice between her camera and her subject. “The fractured dance between light, ice and subject, rather than digital manipulation, forms the worlds reflected and implied,” said Ms. Lee.  What started as intrigue with the play of light and ice during frigid farm chores became a fascinating, fun and heartfelt photographic exploration.

Ms. Brolle began studying metalsmithing and making jewelry in 1999 with a special interest in silver smithing. “I fused pieces of dichroic glass to create glass cabochons to set into sterling silver settings.  Glass and silver are fascinating to me,” Ms. Brolle said.  “Glass is sturdy and fragile at the same time and my work involves hot glass and hot metal,” she said.

Dickinson and Wait and the Bridge Gallery in Shepherdstown, WV, as well as other regional shops and locations, represent Ms. Brolle’s jewelry.  “There is nothing as thrilling as seeing someone on the street wearing a piece of my jewelry,” said Ms. Brolle.

Visit the Fire Hall Gallery throughout the month of January and see Fire & Ice represented through photography and glass.

The Fire Hall Gallery is open to the public Thursday and Friday from 12 – 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 – 3 p.m.  The public is invited to attend a reception on Saturday, January 18, 2020 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. at the Gallery.

The Jefferson Arts Council is a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to supporting cultural and artistic events and programs throughout Jefferson County, WV.



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A friend posted this Mary Oliver poem this morning, and it reached into my core.

I know each and every one of you, my friends, roars a different story behind your dark, private waterfall. I wish, I pray for each of you that when the echoes fade, your healing and spirits are as swift and ebullient at the waterfall that receives your roar!

The Poet With (Her) Face In (Her) Hands

You want to cry aloud for your
mistakes. But to tell the truth the world
doesn’t need anymore of that sound.

So if you’re going to do it and can’t
stop yourself, if your pretty mouth can’t
hold it in, at least go by yourself across

the forty fields and the forty dark inclines
of rocks and water to the place where
the falls are flinging out their white sheets

like crazy, and there is a cave behind all that
jubilation and water fun and you can
stand there, under it, and roar all you

want and nothing will be disturbed; you can
drip with despair all afternoon and still,
on a green branch, its wings just lightly touched

by the passing foil of the water, the thrush,
puffing out its spotted breast, will sing
of the perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.

-Mary Oliver

The photo above is a close-up of a piece in my Icekanse series. I had not seen the face with the jagged crown and raised arm until Mark pointed it out. Is it crying the agony of the earth as it sinks? Or raising a song of defiance and deliverance? I have seen it both ways, lived it both ways.  It is the cascade of desperation.  It is the “perfect, stone-hard beauty of everything.”  But the cycle always ends in uprising, in rejuvenation.

I’ve been calling it “Singing the Roots.” Perhaps its true name is “Roar.”

An exciting aside: this piece will be a part of my first solo show next month!

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“Picture Wild Ponies” Launch!!!

IT’S ALIVE! I’m thrilled to announce the launch of my new kickstarter campagn combining my love for horses, for art and for our public lands! I’d be grateful for any of your ideas on how to make it better, for sharing with friends who might be interested… and if any of the rewards appeal to you, I would be honored to welcome you as a supporter! Stay tuned-the campaign will include an ongoing commentary behind the scenes at the Chincoteague pony swim!

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A Starry Night Celebration

“Starry Starry”


It’s almost here!  Jefferson County Vision’s Starry Night Celebration benefit gala at Breaux Vineyards! Even if they weren’t riffing Vincent I’d be totally stoked!  Jefferson County Vision is the nonprofit dedicated to “preserve and protect the quality of life for all residents of Jefferson County West Virginia.”  The gala is benefiting the legal fund, which is in active use in our battle against the Danish Rockwool corporation’s attempt to build a grossly polluting factory next to one of our elementary schools.

I have donated two framed, limited edition prints from my current photographic series to the silent auction. Moving forward, I’ll donate a portion of the proceeds from this series, which was born from the effects of global warming and calls for change.

Come join the fun!  Purchase your tickets at

click here to explore the series as it evolves

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Two Months More

What a difference two months makes! Y’all remember “Through and Beyond” from the series I created for the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts.  I revisited its core subject with this morning’s gift of ice.  A burgeoning Spring, an ice slab so delicate it was melting down my arm into the hungry baby greening.  Same subject.  Same technique.  Two totally different tales being told!

“Two Months More”



“Through and Beyond”

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A perspective shattered by climate change: a world photographed through the ice formed and broken by a polar vortex. Both gossamer veil and barrier between the worlds, where portals reveal, static separates, and archways beckon ever deeper and beyond. 


At once a metaphor of the creative journey, slowed and distorted through chronic disease, but never abandoned. The dizzyingly glorious world at stake. The promise of a way through. Of homecoming. 

Continue reading Icekance