Archive for the Personal History Category

Shaun 1952 – 2018

Posted in Family, Friendship, Inspiring People, Personal History on July 19, 2018 by WanderArtist

Born in Plattsburgh, NY on February 13, 1952 Shaun was the seventh child of ItaMary O’Grady Heffernan (an Irish citizen to the day she died) and Thomas True Heffernan (his middle name came from his mother whose was a member of the True family of Saranac and True Brook). He was preceded in death by his parents and four sisters: Marie Johnson, Patricia Nortell, ItaMary Yuncker and Joan Patterson. Shaun is survived by his wife Amanda Palmer; sister Gail Wilson; brother Thomas Heffernan and wife Charlotte; and numerous nieces and nephews. Shaun had a difficult home life and was fortunate to be “adopted” by some local families – most notably the Engelhart, Hartnett, and Russo families. Thank You All.

As a child he was the light in the room for his mother and often recalled his joy in impersonating Elvis for her. This may have influenced his recent purchase of a beautiful pair of blue suede shoes.

Shaun worked many wild jobs over the years including crab fishing in Alaska, oil field ‘swamper’ in Wyoming, bartender, roadie for various friends bands (you know who you are!), and waiter in San Francisco. Throughout those years his passion for photography was a driving force. In 1985 he quit alcohol and drugs, choosing instead a positive life in pursuit of his art. In 1990 he met his soulmate, Amanda Palmer, at San Francisco State University – almost eloping just five days after their first date. In 1994, they moved to his beloved North Country, where they married in 1996. Shaun worked in photography, exhibit design, and ran a thriving card company, Follow Your Bliss cards. For nine years, Shaun and Amanda operated their own gallery and espresso bar, The Oasis in downtown Plattsburgh.

Shaun was an award winning photographer with hundreds of thousands of images spanning five decades in his photographic library. One of his great loves was environmental portraiture. Shaun often said that a portrait was the record of the interaction between photographer and subject – and his images of people reflected the love, compassion and positivity he brought to ALL of his human interactions.

Shaun was a gifted photographer – a master of light. He wove it through his imagery as though with a painted brush. Yet his photography evoked a deeper experience; his photographs were a celebration. He thrust into every image the desire to express joy – to recognize and share the gifts of our planet, the bounty of our surroundings.

Sometimes his images were whimsical to elicit a smile or a chuckle; his portraits provided a glimpse into the inner being. His landscapes captured the vibrancy of a day awakening to a symphony of colors and with the same precision he captured the stillness of a night sky and the mystery of a distant moon.

Shaun was a keen observer. His photographs not only translated the majesty of the landscape but also hidden treasures so often overlooked – the intricate detail of crystals left behind by an evening frost or the delicate petals of a wildflower lifting its face to the warming sun. Shaun was a tremendous lover of music and musicians and had a keen ear for nuance. One of his more remarkable gifts was his uncanny ability to marry music with his images to produce breathtaking and awe-inspiring slide shows whose synergy far exceeded the sum of its parts.

Recognized by National Geographic as a prize winning photographer Shaun’s most recent project was to document birds of our National Parks. Just as his technical skills enabled his capture of fleeting moments, his watchful patience was rewarded with close-up glimpses of those beautiful creatures. But it was his innate desire to express joy that allowed a more intimate portrayal of these rare moments. Birds flutter as flamingo dancers, ponds shimmer with mirrored stately poses and when we look into a hawk’s eye we see our own reflection.

Shaun invites us to stand with him and see what he sees: Wonderment. His magic was not just his technical ability to capture the light: the light within him infused each photograph with inner beauty and revealed a deeper understanding of our world of riches.

Shaun was an inspiration to his fellow photographers and visual artists: his generosity of heart enabled revelatory moments of bliss for a wide world of friends and acquaintances. His legacy will be cherished; we have lost a special voice.

For the last four years Shaun was following his bliss by wandering the United States and taking photographs in many of his most favorite places… along with cultivating new treasured spots. He was overjoyed to have captured photographs of numerous scenes and birds that he had envisioned for years. His plan to “cultivate serendipity” resulted in some lasting and very loving friendships with people met along the way. He knew he was a lucky man, he felt it in his heart and expressed it to those around him frequently.

Shaun loved biking and hiking. A friend named his bike “the green ghost” many years ago and it stuck. Biking was a daily activity for him right up until his last morning when he took a favorite route and rode to a spot he dubbed “the dream spot”. The route stopped at an overpass to the Northway where he and his wife would ride and dream of upcoming travels. He shot a video on his way home and sent it to his wife. (Look for the video below)

Shaun had a devilishly delightful sense of humor, bawdy at times, but always delivered with style, charm, and a twinkle in his eye. Shaun’s positivity, strength, and desire to always be a better human will be sorely missed by his wife and others. He would want to be remembered most for always reaching out to those around him and offering his hugs, love and joy. Hug each other. Into the mystic he goes, leaving the world a much better place for his having passed through it.

Through the end of July some of his work can be seen at the Peru Free Library in Peru, NY. Cremation has been left to Walker Funeral Home and there will be a celebration of his life held in the North Country in 2019.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AiR Woodblock Prints Featured in Two Exhibits ~ Cheyenne, WY & Cape Cod, MA

Posted in Art, Artist Residency, gallery exhibits, Group Shows, Juried Exhibit, National Parks, Personal History, Relief Printing, Woodblock Printing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 22, 2017 by WanderArtist

As an Artist-in-Residence at several National Parks I have created woodblock prints inspired by my time in each park. Four of these images are currently on exhibit – three woodblock prints are included in The AIR Exhibit at the Cultural Center of Cape Cod in Massachusetts, and a fourth is part of a semi-permanent exhibit which will be shown for five to seven years at the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne, Wyoming. Please give them a visit if you are in either neighborhood ~ or check the links below!

Wyoming State Museum

“For the Benefit of the People: National Park Service in Wyoming”

I’m honored to represent Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area through my woodblock print of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep at Lockhart Ranch – currently on exhibit at the Wyoming State Museum in Cheyenne, WY. This image was inspired by my residency at the park in 2015. The exhibit “For the Benefit of the People: National Park Service in Wyoming” will be up for a minimum of five years and commemorates the National Park Service in Wyoming.

The Wyoming State Museum is located at 2301 Central Avenue in Cheyenne. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Admission is free. (307) 777-7022

Cultural Center of Cape Cod ~ Artist-in-Residence Exhibit

The Artist-in-Residence Exhibit is a group show of imagery inspired by residencies in parks throughout the U.S. The show is up for less than a month so take a peek if you are in the area – The Cultural Center of Cape Cod ~ 307 Old Main Street, South Yarmouth, MA 02664

The opening event is Saturday, June 3, 2017 – from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. This exhibit runs from May 24 – June 18.

Three of my Artist-in-Residence images will be included ~ Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area, Homestead National Monument of America and Padre Island National Seashore.

Amanda’s work included in the Artists in Residence exhibit:

List of Artists in Residence featured in this show:

Linda Apriletti, Myranda Bair, Bill Brody, Jessica Bryant, Carol Chamberland, Kelsey Dzintars, Jenn Falcon, Meg Freyermuth, Kristin Gjerdset, Pam Haunschild, Nancy Haver, Kathy Hodge, Ailyn Hoey, Steve Hurley, Susan J. Klein, Kristin Link, MK MacNaughton, Amy Nettleton, Amanda Palmer, Mary Reusch, Lorna Ritz, David Rosenthal, Lewis Williams, Melinda Whipplesmith Plank, Susan Zalkind

Parks featured in the show:

Acadia National Park: Maine, Badlands National Park: South Dakota, Big Cypress National Preserve: Florida, Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area: Montana/Wyoming, Black Rock Desert\High Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: Nevada, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument: Colorado, Cape Cod National Seashore: Massachusetts, Chiricahua National Monument: Arizona, Chugach National Forest: Alaska, Denali National Park: Alaska, Everglades National Park: Florida, Glacier National Park: Montana, Grand Canyon National Monument: Arizona, Great Basin National Park: Nevada, Great Smoky Mountains National Park: North Carolina/Tennessee, Homestead National Monument of America: Nebraska, Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore: Indiana, Isle Royale National Park: Michigan, Joshua Tree National Park: California, Katmai National Park and Preserve: Alaska, Lassen Volcano National Park: California, Noatak National Preserve: Alaska, North Cascades National Park: Washington, Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument: New Mexico, Padre Island National Seashore: Texas, Petrified Forest National Park: Arizona, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area: Nevada, Rocky Mountain National Park: Colorado, San Gabriel Mountains National Monument: California, Tongass National Forest: Alaska, Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument: Montana

Please note: if you are coming from a distance to view the art, please call first to make sure that a private event is not limiting access to the galleries… 508-394-7100

Hours are Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm; Saturday 11am-5pm; Sunday noon-5pm; and many evenings, by chance.

National Parks Show Poster.pdf

http://www.cultural-center.org/product/reception-for-new-exhibits-2/

In Progress Work by Amanda

Posted in Art, Design, Drawing, Personal History, Red Fox, Soul Food, wild creatures, Woodblock Printing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2016 by WanderArtist

Drawings submitted for consideration in the Yellowstone: Color It Wild book published by Yellowstone National Park and the Yellowstone Association. The bison and animal tracks images were used in the book.

Select drawings & sketches from the past few months…

Beautiful Bighorn Canyon NRA

Posted in Art, Artist Residency, Drawing, flora and fauna, historic sites, Inspiring People, Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, National Parks, Personal History, Soul Food, Wanderings, wild creatures, Woodblock Printing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 23, 2016 by WanderArtist

One awesome benefit of being awarded artist residencies in national parks is discovering and falling in love with new places! This recently happened to us at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area in Montana/Wyoming. We stayed at historic Ewing-Snell Ranch about twenty miles north of the Park Visitor Center in Lovell, WY. There are numerous visually and historically interesting structures at Bighorn, with Ewing-Snell being the one continually inhabited until most recently. Many of the ranch buildings have been lovingly restored over the last 30 years. Until this past autumn Ewing-Snell was the only one still used as a residence by the park service and it was provided to us as part of the artist residency. Sadly, the ranch burned to the ground on December 9, 2015. We feel very fortunate to have stayed at this wonderfully restored historic building, and we are extremely sad that it is gone.

With my parents, who were visiting from Lincoln, Nebraska, we had the amazing experience of watching the supermoon eclipse from the porch of Ewing-Snell Ranch. Since no street lights were visible in any direction we enjoyed a clear and open view of the moon as it put on an amazing show, rising heavenward over the vast expanse of park land. It is truly a memory we will cherish for the rest of our lives. In light of the burning to the ground of the ranch merely weeks later, we had only an inkling of how truly lucky we were to be there at that moment in time.

Ewing-Snell porch

Ewing-Snell porch

Over the course of our two week stay at Bighorn I worked on a woodblock print representing one perspective of the park. It was not an easy place to narrow down to merely one image simple enough for a woodblock print… So many interesting cabins, canyons, horses, bighorn sheep, mountains and vast panoramic vistas! We visited all of the historic ranches, and saw many of the wild horses that live in the canyon and the Pryor Mountains that flank the western edge of the park… we wandered up into the Bighorn Mountains on the eastern edge of the park where we witnessed the ranchers herding their livestock down the mountain from summer grazing on Forest Service lands. We also had the humbling experience of spending several hours transfixed by the amazingly tangible energy at an ancient power spot called Medicine Wheel. Bighorn Canyon and its surrounding area is a very magical and humbling place. Stay tuned for a future posting about this amazing place.

Lockhart Ranch and its owner, Caroline Lockhart, held my attention early in our visit. Lockhart was probably the talk of the town (small as it was) when she bought land and began ranching in the Dryhead region (now part of Bighorn Canyon NRA). One of the quotes from this city slicker and author/newspaper owner about living there was “My job is writing books and the last thing I had in mind when I came to the Dryhead was filing on land or engaging in the cattle business, and certainly not locating in a country where a fresh track in the main-travelled road is an event.” Though likely scandalous to some she never married, and she surely enjoyed being the person in charge – of her ranch and of her own destiny.

Lockhart apparently never planned to own a ranch but bought L/♥ (her brand) in 1926 when the owner defaulted on a loan she had made to him. The ranch was then just 160 acres but she expanded it to over 6,000 by 1952 when she finally decided to make Cody, Wyoming her permanent home. She raised cattle, kept a lover at times, wrote books and made an excellent living on the ranch. Truly an inspiration for the liberated woman!

As part of my Find Your Park Through Art weekend at Bighorn Canyon a handful of artists joined together to offer workshops and to hike, paint, photograph and draw together in some of the interesting sites in the park. I met some lifelong friends while working together to create a fun and informative weekend for participants. Painter Stephanie Rose led a workshop at Ewing-Snell on plein air painting, and Photographer Marilyn Feather led a sunrise trip to photograph the canyon with other participants. Both were full of energy, freely dispensing tips and sharing knowledge of their subjects, and were truly a pleasure to work with. Marilyn even shared Ewing-Snell with us for about four nights, dodging the local black bear and enjoying the comforts of a wonderfully remote home base.

I led a group into Hillsboro Ranch to draw, photograph and paint on the final morning of the Find Your Park Through Art weekend. Although my Bighorn woodblock print depicts a building at Lockhart Ranch, Hillsboro wound up being a favorite place, mainly for the variety of interesting structures, but also because of the stories of mountain lions seen in the canyon. When our group arrived at the ranch we soon discovered a domestic cat that had somehow made its way to this remote spot and was very happy for our attention. When we left Hillsboro that day one of the group members, realizing that the kitty could easily end up as a cougar snack, decided to adopt her and a few of us happily took turns carrying her out to the trailhead. We were all relieved to get her away from the wild creatures! Blackpaw now leads a happy life with as much food and love as any cat could hope for!

After our day at Hillsboro we returned to Ewing-Snell where I did a demonstration of woodblock printing for an inquisitive group. As I said, we fell in love with Bighorn Canyon and the surrounding mountains, and we hope to return and explore for a longer time in the future. I only regret that we will not be able to stay at Ewing-Snell Ranch again. This blog post is dedicated to the park staff who spent many hours lovingly restoring all of the buildings at Bighorn. We all appreciate your efforts and expertise, and we too were very sad to learn of the demise of this special historic gem.

Impressions of Bighorn Canyon NRA

Posted in Artist Residency, Drawing, historic sites, National Parks, Personal History, Soul Food, Wanderings, Woodblock Printing with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 2, 2015 by WanderArtist

A few visuals from our time at Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area!

Layout Creek Avian Escort

Posted in Artist Residency, flora and fauna, Living Simply, National Parks, Personal History, Soul Food, Wanderings with tags , , , , , , , on October 3, 2015 by WanderArtist

A 46 second video of a recent hike… listen for the bird and see if you can tell what it is! He was mostly grey, with light circles around the eyes, some striping on the wings and tail, a lighter underside… about 6 inches tall.

Enjoy!


Find Your Park Through Art !!

Posted in Art, Artist Residency, Drawing, flora and fauna, historic sites, Ideas, National Parks, Personal History, Wanderings, Woodblock Printing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 9, 2015 by WanderArtist

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