Studio Sale!

March 11, 2014

Our studio is having a sale!!!!  I’ll be debuting some new prints for only $25-$100 as they are fresh from processing and unframed.  8 x 10 and 11 x 14.  Here is a sneak peek from my new ocean series.  Hope to see you there!  JSGD, JHill Design, Jill Rosenwald, Lawrence McRae and The Third Piece will all be participating too!

Note: these are the in studio sale prices for these first run prints. Please feel free to contact me if you can’t make it and want to order some.

StudioSale

Ocean Series:

Sea Island, GA – 11 x 14 print $75

Sea Island, Georgia

Spanish Moss - 8 x 10 print: $25 Spanish Moss Bikes Sea Island

Horseshoe Crab – 8 x 10 print: $25

Horseshoe Crab

Cohasset – 8 x 10 print: $25

Cohasset, MA

Prints at the sale will be un-matted and unframed, but all of them are available for purchase at almost any size, matted, framed, and my favorite…acrylic mounted.  Below is a sample of the gorgeous glossy acrylic mount.

AcrylicMountSample AcrylicMountSample2

Weekend Update

May 14, 2012

I don’t think I could have planned/not planned a more perfect weekend than the one I just had.  It was my first mother’s day as a mom and while we had some events planned, we also just let things happen.

Saturday – During my early morning Starbucks and breakfast run I could feel the cool air was going to give way and it was going to be one of those gorgeous days.  I texted the hubby saying we should scrap our to-do list and chores and go to Duxbury Beach for the day.  Duxbury is an old colonial ship building town about 30 miles south of Boston, and their beach is a 6 mile long barrier peninsula with the bay on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other.  You can purchase an annual beach sticker allowing you to drive a 4×4 vehicle out on the dunes of the long remote beach.  It is so beautiful and unspoiled.

After a fun day at the beach, we drove back home, showered up and had a relaxing evening at home.  Baby went to bed beautifully and the hubby and I stayed up until midnight talking, sipping wine and catching up.  It is amazing how the week can fly by and I barely get a chance to catch up with my husband.  It was wonderful.

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Sunday – I was a little tired from my late night wine sipping and catching up with my hubby…not to mention the 4 am feeding squeezed in there, but it was my first Mother’s Day as a mother!  It is so strange when I say it out loud. “I’m a mom?!?!” I can still hardly believe it.  We had a lovely Mother’s Day brunch and then grandma and grandpa took the baby, while we went to the Red Sox game.  I even found a vendor that had gluten-free beer!  Bliss.

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We scooted out at the 7th inning stretch for an afternoon snack at Island Creek Oyster Bar.  (I love going to the ballpark on a nice day, but we also had a babysitter for the day, so I wanted to cram as much in as possible.)  Island Creek Oysters are a local oyster farming company (Duxbury in fact)  There is so much to love about this company.  Oyster are a great sustainable food source and Island Creek Oyster supports sustainable agriculture and fishing practices through their foundation. Oh, and their brand aesthetic is beyond perfect.  The font, the letter press, the logo, the decor…am so in love.

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We ended the day with baby bath time (my favorite), some yummy left overs and HBO.  Seriously, HBO has been making Sunday nights bearable since Sex and the City and the Sopranos…my current faves: Game of Thrones (I have a bit of the fantasy nerd in me.) and VEEP (some seriously funny political stuff.  Julia Louis-Dryfus is amazing)  I usually have to save Mad Men to DVR.  I can’t say up that late.  Which makes for a great Monday night!  Yay me!  I hope all the moms out there had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend.  Mine first one was perfect.

Lobstermen

September 7, 2011

This past weekend we headed up to the beautiful town of Cape Elizabeth, Maine for one last dose of summer fun.  My sister set up this wonderful sunset cruise with Lucky Catch Cruises.  We boarded the vessel with our wine and cheese fully expecting a little cruise around the bay, but the captain and his crew soon had us donning lobstermen aprons and gloves…this was clearly going to be a working cruise.  We hauled up lobster pots, measured and inspected our catch and re-baited the pots, all with cocktail in hand.  It could not have been more fun!

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Working hard…

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I cannot recommend this excursion and the people of Lucky Catch enough.  It was fun, silly, educational, basically the perfect activity for every age.  They operate well into the fall so if you have a Maine foliage trip planned, I highly recommend some time on the sea as well.  It was a bast.

To say that our days aboard the Coral Reef II were busy is a massive understatement.  (I feel like I am still recovering.)  From dawn until dusk (and many days longer than that) we were diving, caring for the fish we collected and pretty much devouring any morsel of food placed in our paths.  The work was hard and the days were long, but the trip seemed to fly by, and before I knew it we were back at port in Miami saying our goodbyes.  Here is a little day-by-day of the adventure.  Hopefully it gives you a small taste of what it was like to find, collect and bring back some beautiful fish for the aquarium.

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Day 1: Heading out to sea

New England Aquarium staff, boat crew and us volunteers, all spent the previous night aboard the Coral Reef II at port in Miami, allowing us to push off in the early hours Friday morning, April 1, 2011.  We traveled an hour down river to reach the Atlantic Ocean and headed out to make our Gulf Stream crossing.

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Miami was gorgeous, and so quiet this early in the morning.

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As we pulled into Bimini we were escorted by a pod of dolphins playing the bow wake.  It was all too perfect.  (I was too busy squealing and jumping up and down to get any photos…I guess some things are better left in your own little memory.)  We cleared customs in North Bimini, and readied the ship for all the fish, which would soon be ours.

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Ship shape and ready for some fish

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Gear, check

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Collecting bags, check

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Fish?…Not yet

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The prospect of having to go down there and actually catch some fish began to feel little daunting.  We had so many empty wells and such a long list of fish.  How was I ever going to collect all those little guys?  As a recreational diver, you adhere strictly to the law of “do not touch” and now I had nets in hand and a collecting bag at my hip…here fishy, fishy.

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Day 2: Dive, dive, dive!

With two dives under our belt and a few slippery dicks (yes that is an actual fish name) in the holding tanks, we literally dove into day 2 with a vengeance.  The team completed five dives that day, including a gorgeous afternoon and night dive at the wreck of the Sapona.

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“Chalk talks” before each dive, prepared us for the site and what fish we may encounter.  Presumable this name came about when chalkboards were used and the name stuck.  Plus, “whiteboard talk” doesn’t really have that same ring to it.

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Some of us were novice at fish collecting, but thanks to the experienced New England Aquarium staff and veteran volunteers, by day 2 we were rolling.

How to catch a tropical fish: (Warning: This next step-by-step, makes it seem deceptively easy.  Those little fish are smart, and they seem to know which one you are going after.)

1.     Surround the targeted fish and approach slowly

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2.     Enclose it between two nets

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3.     Carefully place the fish in your collecting bag.  That is one good looking glass eyed snapper!

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More fish coming aboard!

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We record the fish as they came aboard, to later submit into the computer with their scientific names.  This aided us in keeping an up to day list of what fish we had collected to then later submit to U.S. Fishing and Wildlife.

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Sunset on the Sapona as we ate some dinner and waited for the night dive

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Day 3: What is a seine?

After a late night diving we were up and at it again early the next day.  We started the morning with a beach seine.  This is a netting technique used target needlefish and barracuda.  With the net stretching over 100 feet, it took the whole crew to accomplish this task.

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Barbara directing the group

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Deana on the “float side”

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Steve and Don hard at work

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The labor-intensive task was well worth our efforts as we collected three barracuda and many needlefish.

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We folded up the net and headed back to the boat for some more diving.  No rest for us divers when there are fish to be had.

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Day 4: High seas

Day 4 began with some rough seas that proved to be somewhat of a challenge to work around.

Steve and Patty clinging to the barrel line during their safety stop, amid a strong current

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After our morning dives a storm rolled in, but thankfully our skilled captains found us a safe cove at Gun Cay.

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As the storm rolled out and the seas settled, we prepared for our night dive.

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Day 5 & 6: Round ‘em up

By day 5 our list of fish began to dwindle leaving some particular species in which to target.

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First up was the copper sweeper round up.  I do not have any photos of this, as it was quite an event involving the whole team. Acting as a human SCUBA screen Nichole, Don and myself blocked a cave exit in order to keep the copper sweepers contained, as Captain Lou and Barbara scooped in with their nets.  The rest of the team transferred the fish underwater to two huge bags, until we had collected 30 copper sweepers.  30 minutes later we were done.   Go team!

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Next up was the sponge round up.  Now these animals (yes a sponge is actually an animal, the part we think of as “sponge” is their skeleton) may not be particularly challenging to collect, but distinguishing which species is which was quite difficult.  Thank goodness we had invertebrate expert Kate Hudec on the scene. (Queue CSI Miami music)

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Day 6 began with some cushion stars.  A team of six of us, donned our snorkel gear, headed to a grassy sandbar, and rounded up some beautiful specimens.

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With small mouth grunt and tomtates still on our list we headed to another cavernous spot to gather some grunts.

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Another successful day complete, although perhaps breathing all that compressed air was starting to get to us.

All hail Caesar/Dave

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Day 7: Count ‘em up

With our crossing back to Miami scheduled for the evening, preparations for the fish began bright and early.  A complete list of our fish had to be e-mailed to U.S. Fish and Wildlife first thing in the morning, and fresh Bahamian ocean water had to be collected in multiple barrels for fish shipment.  We did have time for a little recreational diving and some reef surveying.  Splashing in the water without collecting bags, gear and nets for the first time in a week was an odd feeling.  “You mean we are just going down to LOOK at fish?”

Andrea working on a reef survey

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No longer needed, our nets were tucked away.

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We checked on the fish, made some last recordings.

D.O. meter, used to check the percent of oxygen in the water

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Then began the Gulf Stream crossing back to Miami that evening.

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Day 8: Move ‘em out

Day 8 started at 4 am, long before any thought of the sun rising, but we had a lot of work to complete and the fish had to be at the airport at 10:30 am.

Porcupine fish ready for shipment.  See you in Boston!

It was an exhilarating and exhausting 8 days, and the people aboard the trip made it all the more special.  So it was with tired bodies in need of a nice long shower that we all said our goodbyes.  The only thought preventing our parting ways from being so sad, was the promise of getting to see all the fish we worked so hard to collect, soon on exhibit in their new home at the New England Aquarium.

Thank you to all.  It was the trip of a lifetime.

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Our collecting trip has come to a close, and as I sit at my computer downloading my 500+ photos and avoiding my stinky bag of laundry, I am reveling in the post trip haze of exhaustion, exhilaration and nostalgia.  My husband and I were asked to volunteer for the 2011 Bahamas colleting trip, back in November 2010 and have been waiting in eager anticipation for this adventure, like a 6-year-old on Christmas Eve.  Let me tell you, the trip was everything and more.  It was the adventure of a lifetime or perhaps now an annual adventure, as we had such an amazing time.  To help give you blog readers a little peek into our 10-day adventure, I wanted to share with you a little photo journal of what life out to sea on a New England Aquarium trip is like.  First up, life on a boat

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Life on the Coral Reef II

The Coral Reef II research vessel was our home, work place and transportation for the week at sea.  While the quarters could feel a little tight, she served us well.

The Coal Reef II

She was yar alright.  Well, maybe not “yar” but she got the job done.

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The deck

Where we prepped for dives, housed the fish we collected, and relaxed as we motored from one site to the next.

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The bridge

Captain’s quarters, wheelhouse, and zodiac boats for shore trips

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The Salon

Where we ate, relaxed and studied our fish identifications.

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The engine room

Loud and hot, this room powered us through some high seas.

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Below deck- Our cabins

I slept like a baby in these little bunks, and believe it or not, they felt like a luxury after a long day of diving.

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Up next: day-by-day account of our adventure, and how we actually collected those little fish.  P.S. Fish are WAY smarter than I had ever thought.

Bahamas Bound

March 31, 2011

I leave today for an eight day trip to the Bahamas.  Not just any trip, but a research and collecting trip with the New England Aquarium!  To say that I am excited about this trip is the understatement of the year.  As a little girl I dreamed of becoming a Marine Biologist (that or an artist.)  So much so that my parents even sent me to SCUBA camp in the Florida Keys at the age of 15.  I have been diving ever since and love every minute I get to breath some compressed air.   Lucky for me, as an adult I get to play at being both a marine biologist and an artists!  (Well the artist thing is not so much playing, as really trying to making a living now.)  For the past 4 years or so I have been volunteering at aquariums.  First, at the Georgia Aquarium, where as a volunteer diver I swam with beluga whales, hammerheads and whale sharks.  Now at the New England Aquarium, where I hand feed majestic sea turtles, take care of the Giant Ocean Tank, and will soon be diving.

I firmly believe in the mission of aquariums, to provide research and eduction to the public about our oceans and the animals who inhabit them.  Conservation v. Preservation if you will.  After all, a child who visits an aquarium on a field trip, may fall in love with a penguin or stand in awe at the sight of a narley toothed shark.  That child may one day become a marine biologist, or the very least want to protect the amazing creatures in our oceans and the world in which they live.

So I am off to help the New England Aquarium collect fish for their Bahamian reef exhibit.  We litteraly have a shopping list of the fish we need to collect and bring back.  I also plan on taking a bajillian photos and videos in the hopes of creating a little film or photo journal explaining why aquariums have collecting trips and their importance.  So wish me luck.

Oh, and I cannot promise that I will able to update this blog while I am out to sea.  We will be living on a research vessel and the satellite internet connection is not guaranteed.  Check out previous trip photos and blogs here and here.

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Till then here are photos from some of my previous dive trips.  Now, with camera and net in hand…off I go!

 

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