Open Your Eyes Gallery

The Palouse Region of Washington

Allan as many of you know, is always on a mission and must have a project…last month he decided that we needed to drive up to Spokane WA to pick up panels for his next project…and so off we went. Usually we take the “rig” but as we had to pull a trailer for the panels we went by car. Road-tripping by car was rather different and I must admit that I missed my “camper” kitchen but we had a fun and interesting trip and that’s what matters in the end.

As we had not visited the Palouse area before,  we spent a couple of days there, exploring and photographing. Early spring is not the ideal time to photograph the area but never the less we came back with a fair few photographs to edit! You can see some of them here in our Washington gallery.


The Palouse region of Washington has been described as the most serene and pastoral area of  Washington State. It is a region in south eastern Washington characterized by gentle rolling hills covered with wheat fields. The hills were formed over tens of thousands of years from wind blown dust and silt, called “loess”, from dry regions to the south west. Seen from the summit of 3,612 foot high Steptoe Butte, they look like giant sand dunes because they were formed in much the same way. In the spring they are lush shades of green when the wheat and barley are young, and in the summer they are dry shades of brown when the crops are ready for harvest. It is a major agricultural area, primarily producing wheat and legumes.


We started with Steptoe Butte which rises 3,618 feet into the sky and offers a spectacular 360 degree view of the Palouse. You can drive or hike the 3.1 miles to the top of the butte. What a view!


Of course, there are many old barns to photograph as well as equipment, rivers, flora, and non-cultivated scenes, as well as the people and towns. We enjoyed walking around the small agricultural towns: Colfax, Oakesdale, Endicott and Saint John…sometimes feeling as though we had stepped back in time..or maybe walked onto a film set. We met friendly folks who on seeing the cameras sent us in various directions to photograph either their own barns or a spot of interest which we would have otherwise missed.



Perhaps your place loves having you there.

“How can we ever know the difference we make to the soul of the earth? Where the infinite stillness of the earth meets the passion of the human eye, invisible depths strain towards the mirror of the name.

In the word, the earth breaks silence. It has waited a long time for the word. Concealed beneath familiarity and silence, the earth holds back and it never occurs to us to wonder how the earth sees us. Is it not possible that a place could have huge affection for those who dwell there?

Perhaps your place loves having you there. It misses you when you are away and in its secret way rejoices when you return. Could it be possible that a landscape might have a deep friendship with you? That it could sense your presence and feel the care you extend towards it? Perhaps your favorite place feels proud of you.”
~ John O’Donahue, Beauty: Rediscovering the True Source of Compassion, Serenity and Hope.


Almost all memorable sunsets tend to be those with at least a few clouds. Clouds catch the last red-orange rays of the setting sun. Vivid colors are a sign that the lower atmosphere is very clean and unpolluted. The Gunnison area always enjoys amazing sunsets. Hopefully you had a chance to catch and enjoy some sunsets with your own eyes. It’s important to look up from our daily life and take note of those colors every so often for sunsets are so magnificent and delightful that skipping them is a crime.

There is a language beyond human language, an elemental language, one that arises from the land itself.”
~ Linda Hogan, Chickasaw Writer


Home to Western State Colorado University, Gunnison has grown into a recreation mecca. It still retains and honors its historic tradition as a ranching town.

With long and relatively mild summers, Gunnison is a perfect basecamp for mountain bikers, fishermen, boaters, hunters, and adventurers of many stripes.

Gunnison is our “place” and we really believe that this piece of earth  feels our presence and our love for it’s beauty and it’s secrets.

It seems as though no matter what mood you’re in when you return to this place, it’s replaced with happiness.

The comfort and excitement of being home and surrounded by a landscape in which you could never feel lost opens up the mind to accept only pure, happy thoughts.

Building Community Through Dance in the Gunnison Valley

 Last month we had the privilege of photographing the “Move The Butte” Dance show held at the Crested Butte Center for the Arts. This is our third year of photographing it and it is always amazing to watch these artists as they  connect to themselves, to each other, and to the world around them through their dance. It makes us realize that Art does pull the community together because Art makes you feel differently. That’s what artists do all the time, shifting and changing the way you see life around you, the way you respond within your community.


To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful.. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking  ~Agnes De Mille



And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music. ~Friedrich Nietzsche


A bison – the symbol of life.

Every February, for the last three years, we have made a trip to Antelope Island State Park in Utah . We usually spend a couple of day there spending the early mornings and evenings photographing on the Island and spending the day in Salt Lake City.

So last month we headed out there again and we were joined by our nephew Nigel Ivy who traveled from Belfast, Northern Ireland to photograph the Bison with us.


Antelope Island, with an area of 42 square miles, is the largest of 10 islands located within the Great Salt Lake, Utah, United States. The island lies in the southeastern portion of the lake, near Salt Lake City and Davis County, and becomes a peninsula when the lake is at extremely low levels. It is home to a great variety of flora and fauna. It really is a wonderful place to view wildlife which include mule deer, coyotes, pronghorn antelope and some bobcats. But most famous are the Island’s American Bison which were introduced to the Island in 1893. The heard now numbers around 600 animals. The Antelope Island bison herd is significant because it is one of the largest and oldest publicly owned bison herds in the nation. It is one of the two bison herds managed by the State of Utah, the other being the Henry Mountains bison herd.



The bison may steal the show on Antelope Island, however the island’s name comes from the native pronghorn which still roam freely. Pronghorn antelope are the fastest land animals in the Western Hemisphere. We were lucky this time to see a good number of them in the early morning light.

In photography, the term “golden hour” refers to that ‘magical’ time period before sunset when sunlight traveling through a larger portion of the atmosphere creates stunning landscapes in every direction. We experienced the most long lasting incredibly rich sunsets from the Island.


At Sundown the Great Salt Lake becomes surreal with color, light and reflections. Even the dried out portions of the lake, with their veneers of salt, perform a dance of light and shadow, a photographer’s dream.


We usually never spend much time in cities but we have enjoyed Salt lake City. Of course we always stop by “Pictureline” because it’s fun to check out new cameras and enjoyed a meal or two at the “Squatters Pub”. Nigel, being a coffee connoisseur took us to “Public Coffee Roasters” and as we had never been to the “Temple Square” we decided to do a little exploring. We enjoyed a morning perusing the grounds and admiring the stunning workmanship of the building and the serene beauty of its immediate surroundings. We loved the beautiful contrast of the old and new architecture.


                                          “You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”– Ansel Adams
Make sure to browse through the Into the Wild and Desert Landscape galleries for more photographs from our trip! And then feel free to also check out Nigel’s photographs!


                                                                                                            “You fill up the frame with feelings, energy, discovery, and risk, and leave room enough for someone else to get in there.”
-Joel Meyerowitz


Trip to the desert.

Last month, we road tripped to Vegas to check out what was new at the West Coast Art & Frame Expo. We have often driven by the San Rafael Swell and been awed by it. This trip we decided to explore it a little. So on the way to Vegas, we spent an afternoon and a night there and we were not disappointed! The San Rafael Swell is a large geologic feature located in south-central Utah about 30 miles west of Green River, Utah.

We spent a night in the beautiful Valley of Fire and one night at the Red Rock Canyon. We had visited the Valley of Fire before but this was our first time at the Red Rock canyon..it’s always so nice to spend a little time in the Mojave Desert. “Everyone should just drive out to the Mojave Desert and just experience it!”

From Red Rock Canyon we headed to Zion National Park. We have visited Zion a few times in the past but it’s such a “wow” experience each time one visits… Here is one of our favorite photos out of the hundreds that we took during our short stay there.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts”~ Rachel Carson


Our next stop was Bryce Canyon National Park. They had had a bit of snow a few days before we arrived. As always, spectacular and you can definitely loose yourself in the orange hoodoos and stunning vistas.
“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert


We took a little detour to check out Kodachrome Basin State Park which we had not visited before. Definitely well worth it. We were the only ones there that morning.
“Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” ~ Anonymous

It is difficult to rival Capitol Reef National Park‘s sense of expansiveness; of broad, sweeping vistas; of a tortured, twisted, seemingly endless landscape; of limitless sky and desert rock. Of course we found some kind old trees to photograph. So often trees are overlooked but we enjoy their company.
“A tree against the sky possesses the same interest, the same character, the same expression as the figure of a human.” ~Georges Rouault


We drove through interesting, almost lunar landscape. The colors and the lines at this spot along the Scenic Byway 24.
Traveling – it leaves you speechless!

Another area we had not explored before was the “Little Wild Horse Canyon” near Goblin Valley which provided peace and solitude. We are definitely going back there.
“Life is a magical journey, so travel endlessly to unfold its profound and heart touching beauty.” ~Debasish Mridha

The last stretch of our road trip took us along the Glen Canyon and over the Colorado River and onto the Valley of the Gods. It is a hidden gem with scenery similar to that of nearby Monument Valley. Valley of the Gods offers isolated buttes, towering pinnacles and wide open spaces that seem to go on forever.
“Travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” ~ Miriam Beard


More photographs from this trip can be viewed here.

This road trip would not have been possible without one awesome rig!
“We’re all traveling through time together, everyday of our lives. All we can do is relish this remarkable ride.”


“Our lungs” Gunnison, Colorado

You can now order directly from our new website! Go to Galleries- choose a gallery to view, choose and click on the image that you like. You should see a little shopping cart down at the bottom…click on that to view sizes and prices. Your order comes directly to us right here at the gallery in Gunnison, CO where all printing is done in-house so that we can ensure the quality right to the end.

“Perhaps we are connected by consciousness as we are by the air that we all breathe. The air we inhale through the holes in our faces which tumbles into our lungs, and our blood, which travels through our hearts, which forms the words we speak, the air we exhale, which is connected to all air, an unspoken entity, like all the water in all the rivers in the world, leading to the sea, touching one another.”~ Russell Brand:”Revolution”

“Cottonwood in the Snow” Highway 50, Colorado

The early mornings are so peaceful and if you listen carefully you can hear the voice of the cottonwood trees. Our cottonwoods are such a familiar part of our landscape, that we often hardly notice them as we pass by them every day. 



Blessings for 2018

“Blessing for 2018: may the New Year bring you the force of the mountains, the purity of the fountains, the light of the sun, the perfume of the flowers, the serenity of the lakes, and like a river may we find our way to the sea of Love.”- Paulo Coelho
Happy New Year to all of you!

“Frozen” Gunnison Ranching, Colorado

Gunnison’s winters can be harsh. So far this year we have been having a mild winter with little snow. It still feels pretty cold at first light. These cows were hoping for an early delivery of warm hay!

Christmas 2017

We took a couple of days off and went to hide in the mountains up Ohio Pass just out of Gunnison. It seemed like December was going to end with no snow to speak of. Then mother nature heard the community’s pleas and the snow gods seemed happy with everyone’s snow dances. 8 inches came down on Christmas Eve. It’s true that “The very fact of snow is such an amazement.”