words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

North Carolina

your world beginning | piano and waterfalls – day 8

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For better viewing, in High Definition, please select the 720 HD setting in the tool icon.

The video “Piano and Waterfalls” continues the series “Your World Beginning”. It is an exploration of organic nostalgia i.e. a reflection of the beautiful times and places gone by. “Piano and Waterfalls” was filmed while hiking the Graveyard Fields trail to the Lower and Upper Falls located in the Balsam Mountain range in Western North Carolina. This film is of the Lower Falls which one arrives first after a short hike through the barren fields (a fire burned a large segment of the mountain range in the early 1900’s). Then the trail continues on with a more difficult hike to the Upper Falls. I shot various short segments along the way, which I will feature in a number of parts.

This video is also the first film I have produced using new software. My computer upgraded (without my consent I must say) to Windows 8.1 leaving me with an incapable AVID Studio. I loved working with AVID. And after nearly two years of using the software, I was really beginning to fine tune my use of it. I tried without success to find and install patches that would enable me to continue to use it with Windows 8.1, but with no positive results. So I just purchased the Sony Movie Studio Suite. And it is a learning curve all over again. My goal is to continue to produce quality videos that mirror the progression of my previous work. With this first attempt, I am discovering that there are some questions to the quality of the final video production as an uploaded internet movie. Formatting is a key. Especially when I am using my own video footage. This is a technical challenge, which I hope to conquer in order to create the most visually pleasing and technically diverse films possible.

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Bridges

burning the bridges…

leaving the memories behind you

or following the yellow brick road

across that new bridge

the bridge of hope and beauty

and colors in transition….

Bridge

I would like to thank Sheila for inviting me to be the featured artist for the poets at dversepoets. I thought I may write a short poem as well, reflecting my thoughts for the challenge.

Peace


Winter Fog On the Blue Ridge Parkway

On a cool, brisk Sunday afternoon the fog rose along the ridges of the Blue Ridge Mountains….

In 2012 I hope to explore in-depth various elements of video, video art, and video abstraction. There is a lot to process in the machinations of creativity, productivity and presentation. And it will certainly take a moment or two to master linking all the various social media outlets to accommodate the various video formats.

Some of the elements I will be working with are natural atmospheric landscapes, seascapes, and cityscapes. “Winter Fog On the Blue Ridge Parkway” was filmed while ascending from Asheville, NC to the higher elevations along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The mountains here are quite beautiful, even when shrouded in mist. Hope you enjoy the piece.

http://youtu.be/41mpSmc6-d8


Finding My Way Back Home

Finding My Way Back Home….

the road I know

has left me behind

so I go

through the rain

that pours like shadows

driving to find my way back home

Gotta find my way back home


Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains 04

Mountain biking at Tsali Recreational Area in North Carolina

A photo challenge that includes mountains would not be a challenge without a difficult mountain bike to the summit. In this photograph I have just reached the top of the Right Loop at Tsali Recreational Area in North Carolina. The elevation at this point is around 5000 feet.

The popular Tsali Recreation Area has long been a top destination for mountain biking in Western North Carolina, and even the entire eastern US. Containing nearly 40 miles of trails in a system with four excellent loops, it has been rated as one of the top 10 places to ride in the USA. The area is located on a hilly peninsula reaching into beautiful Fontana Lake, at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains. The four long main trails at Tsali wind along the lake shore and onto the wooded, steep interior ridges. There are several connector trails, gravel roads and extension trails that give a few more options for rides besides the main loops. Three designated overlooks along the trails provide sweeping views of Fontana Lake with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the other side. The trails are fast, hardpacked singletrack, and they’re extremely well designed and well used.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains 03

The rocky edges of Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

Another classic view of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains 02

Waterrock Knob, North Carolina

Waterrock Knob is a mountain peak in the U.S. state of North Carolina.It is the highest peak in the Plott Balsams and is the 16th highest mountain in the Eastern United States. It is the 15th highest of the 40 mountains in North Carolina over 6000 feet.

The mountain is split by both Haywood and Jackson counties in the western mountains of the state. It is located in the Plott Balsams mountain chain between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Great Balsam Mountains. The mountain’s summit is located within the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park Service unit.

The mountain is a popular destination with tourists and amateur hikers as it is easily accessible from the Parkway. A visitors center is located near its summit and a hiking trail leads to its top. The hiking trail and visitors center are manned and maintained by the National Park Service, part of the United States Department of the Interior.

This photograph was taken during a hike to the summit of the mountain. I love the view here. The Blue Ridge Parkway is a wonderful drive in which to cruise by car or bike.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains

Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

Grandfather Mountain is a mountain, a non-profit attraction, and a North Carolina state park near Linville, North Carolina. At 5,946 feet (1,818 m), it is the highest peak on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, one of the major chains of the Appalachian Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway passes by the south side of the mountain. It is located at the meeting point of Avery, Caldwell (highest point), and Watauga (highest point) Counties.

Until 2008, Grandfather Mountain was privately owned and operated as a nature preserve and tourist attraction. It was and still is best known for its mile-high swinging bridge, the highest in America, built in 1952 by Hugh Morton. The bridge links two of the mountain’s rocky peaks, and is known as the “swinging” bridge due to its tendency to sway in high winds. Morton inherited the mountain from his grandfather and developed the tourist attractions. He died on June 1, 2006 at the age of 85. After Morton’s death, he donated all of his photographs, including many of Grandfather Mountain, Mildred the Bear, and many other aspects of life on the Mountain to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This Photograph was taken during an earlier visit to the mountains of North Carrolina.


Art for Summer Vacations

Art for Vacations / to journey without moving

Art for Summer Vacations

It is that time of the year when we vacation or if we have
the opportunity we “Get Out and See”.  Summer
is here, and the temperature is rising. We search for that place to cool our
days and excite our senses. If we are lucky we travel to far off places and
discover ourselves anew while basking in the view of a beautiful sunrise or
sunset. We spend our afternoons lazily browsing small vintage shops, historical
sites, museums, gardens of beauty and restaurants of epicurean delights. I have
not travelled much abroad, but I am grateful to have visited both The
Netherlands and France during my 1990 group art exhibition in Deventer Holland.
These locales are wonderful places indeed, and I will never forget the
hospitality and kindness that I received throughout my journey. It is the
people that make a journey abroad so special.

Here in the states, I often carve out a weekend adventure
here or there. I enjoy outdoor activities that test my physical being, and challenge
my sense of adventure. I also like to seek out places that provide emotional
recovery through meditative contemplation and recollection.  This is vital for restoration.

I feel a great vacation should always provide moments of excitement and serenity….

What do you think? Where are some of your favorite places to
vacation? What do you seek out most when planning a vacation? Is it to find
adventure or is it to just relax? Do you prefer travels abroad or weekends
close to home? Please share your thoughts.

The art work that I have included in this post, are expressions
of the theme I call “Art for Summer Vacations”. The first piece “Vacation / a
journey without moving” is a collage of photographs I took as I travelled to the
city of Amsterdam, the town of Deventer (both in The Netherlands), the shores
of Cape Cod and Nantucket, and the mountains of North Carolina. The second
image entitled “Summer and its Warm Embrace” is a journey through mountains,
lakes and trails in  NC, SC and TN during
personal hikes and an artist residency provided by the South Carolina State
Parks.

Summer and its Warm Embrace

Weekly Photo Challenge: Water

Grandfather Mountain @ 6,200 feet

This a photograph taken during a hike across the Mile High Bridge at Grandfather Mountain. The elevation above sea level is just over 6,200 feet. What a great place to hike and explore. Just getting to GrandFather Mountain is a beautiful journey as you travel along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.  I found it exciting during my hike, from the base of the mountain to the bridge, and then crossing the gorge below. It was amazing to find puddles of water on the mountain top.