Tuesday, June 27, 2023

2023 06 Wisconsin State Fair Amateur Photography Competition

2023 Wisconsin State Fair Amateur Photography Competition

Every year I enter the Wisconsin State Fair Amateur Photography Competition which gives out a Best In Show, Judges Favorites (4), and 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Place Ribbons. On June 27th, the judges awarded the ribbons at a judging that is open to the public and I attended. The winning photos will be on display at the Wisconsin State Fair from August 3rd to the 13th.

I attend the judging each year with good friends and fellow photographers: Bob Crocker, Lynn and Chris Prober. Denice comes along as moral support and to fetch the photographs that are not selected, or as we affectionally call them--"Fifth Place."


1001. Animals, baby--DNP

1004. Animals, birds, songbirds, perching birds--DNP

1006. Animals, dogs--DNP

1010. Animals, zoo--DNP

1013. Beach--DNP

1018. Botanical, fungi/mushrooms--DNP

1022. Building/architectural – rural--DNP

1023. Building/architectural – urban--DNP

1037. Geometric shapes--DNP

1047. Kaleidoscope--DNP

1052. Leaves--DNP

1064. Rest and relaxation--DNP

1067. Shadows--DNP

1073. Transportation, air, land--DNP

1082. Windows--DNP

1108. Fall, Badger red--DNP

1201. Trees, summer--DNP

1202. Trees, fall--DNP

1203. Trees, winter--DNP


1030. Cobblestones--4th Place

1200. Trees, spring--4th Place


1040. Grandpa’s creativity in action--3rd Place

1065. Roots--3rd Place

1068. Signs, street, etc.--3rd Place

1079. Waterfalls--3rd Place

1106. Summer, patriotic blue--3rd Place


1019. Botanical, trees, bark, shrubs--2nd Place

1031. Doors--2nd Place

1062. Railroads--2nd Place

1094. March, St. Patrick’s Day--2nd Place


1029. Clouds--1st Place

1042. Hoops--1st Place

1063. Repetition in nature--1st Place

1078. Water--1st Place

1104. Spring, spring green--1st Place

Monday, June 26, 2023

2023 06 Explorations of the Wandering Mind with Andrea Matus deMeng


Explorations of the Wandering Mind

June 22-25, 2023

9am-4pm Thu-Sun

Andrea Matus deMeng


Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Today begins a new art adventure as Denice and I are both taking a class called Explorations of the Wandering Mind led by our friend from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Andrea Matus deMeng. We drove from Milwaukee to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport to meet Andrea at 5:00 p.m. when her flight arrived.

Our trip to Mineral Point is about two and one-half hours but we made two stops. First, we had a family dinner at one of America’s roadside staples, Cracker Barrel. Then it was a stop for groceries at the Dodgeville Wal-Mart. We got to Mineral Point around 10:00 and got Andrea settled into her lodgings. Denice and I are staying in the Mineral Point Hotel on Commerce.

Mineral Point is still under construction but Commerce Street where the hotel is located is mostly done. High Street, the main drag, has now got curbs but still no road surface. However, the locals claim the construction is six weeks ahead of schedule so that is great news for the rest of the summer here.

 Wednesday, June 21, 2023

 We meet this morning at 8:00 a.m. for breakfast at the Pointer CafĂ©. Then it is time to get Andrea into the Lind Pavilion where she can set up her teaching supplies while Denice and I unload are student stuff.

Denice and I took off for Dubuque, Iowa, which is about a 40 minute ride from Mineral Point. Our pick for the day was the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium which we both found to be much bigger than we thought and very entertaining. The photos from this visit will be on a different blog post.

 When we got back we met our art buddy Lynn Ovenden who we let into the Lind Pavilion to set up her work table. The three of us went to dinner in Dodgeville at Bitchin’ Bob’s Barbeque which is always satisfying.

Tonight there is a class on leaf printing in the Lind so I am unable to work in there as planned. Instead, Denice and I both got on our computers and went our separate Internet ways.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

It was down to the Lind Pavilion to begin the class Explorations of the Wandering Mind. Here is the course description: “Not all who wander are lost.” Embodying this quote we will follow the threads of dreams, projections, and thoughts to create an inspired series of artworks. Guided by abstract concepts, forms, and high-impact design patterns we’ll transform our thoughts to their existence on our canvases incorporating mixed media techniques. With a strong emphasis on form, composition, and palette we’ll discuss how to make multiple artworks that connect in a series. I’ll walk you through the process of creating your own collagraph using unexpected and exciting materials. We’ll create geometric functional forms and I’ll share the tools and methodology I use to simplify the process that results in mesmerizing collage constructs. You’ll create rich layered backgrounds, mix colors, make transparent glazes, and add the perfect accents with an assortment of mixed media materials.”

Andrea Matus deMeng

My spacious workspace, a standard at Shake Rag Alley

The emphasis today was to make paper using the form of collagraphy, a printing process Andrea modified so that we could print without a press.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Today’s class was about building our central characters and developing our backgrounds for our substrates.

Saturday, June 24, 2023

Today’s class focused on getting our central image glued down on a painted backdrop.

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Class today is all about getting as far as you can, if not crossing the finish line. The day had a deadline: at 3:30 pm Andrea did a presentation and critique of each of our works.

Here are the photos from the critique.


Denice at work (above) and her triptych (brlow)

My triptych (unfinished at this point)

Monday, June 26, 2023

We all hit the Shake Rag Alley office at 8:30 am to turn in keys and say goodbye. Denice and I drove Andrea over to the O'Hare Airport in Chicago by 11:30 am. We got home at 1:00 pm, got the van unpacked and settled in to our next adventure.

When I finish my triptych I will create a blog that will walk through the process and show the final results.