Saturday, July 30, 2016

83. Summer Photos

I haven't had time to do much traveling this summer, so I thought I'd post some photos from prior travels for now.  These were taken at Valley of Fire State Park near Las Vegas, Nevada, in January, 2010.

 
 

One thing I like about kicking around in the desert in January is that the snakes are all hibernating, the insects are gone, and the temperature is really comfortable.  Can't wait to get back there in the winter again!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

82. Wings Over the Band

WINGS OVER THE BAND - FRHS Band in the Murrysville Halloween Parade in 2015
My photograph, Wings Over the Band, came in Second Place for People and Pets in the 2015 Murrysville Photo Contest held by the Murrysville Parks & Recreation Commission.  I had hoped that my other photograph,Winter Sojourn, would have won, but the contest rules state that each contestant can win only one prize and I must assume they had enough photos of that bridge from previous years. At the risk of jinxing myself, I have at least won something each year that I have entered this contest in 2011, 2014 and 2015, and for that I am very grateful.

I am also pleased I got a good photo of the Franklin Regional High School Band during the Murrysville Halloween Parade last year.  They are a top notch band that performed a few weeks later at the Tournament of Roses Parade in California.  I thought the butterfly banners were especially eye-catching too!

I will probably continue to compete in this contest, but I am wondering if it isn't time for a Murrysville Art Contest to allow paintings of the sights of Murrysville and its parks.  Even a plein air contest (paintings that are made outdoors at the scene) would be something different and exciting!  I know other areas in and around Pittsburgh have plein air art festivals, and we do have many wonderful art museums in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties. We have plenty of fine and talented artists here. Do we in Murrysville have the sights and the scenery for such a contest?  Is there any interest in such an event?  If you have an opinion, I'd like to hear it.

Friday, February 12, 2016

81. Close to Home Exhibition a Success

The February 6th opening reception to my Close to Home photography exhibition at the Elaine Biondi Gallery Space in Monroeville, Pennsylvania was a pleasure and by all measures a success.  I thought the exhibit made a wonderful presentation and the opening was well attended by many friends, family and the merely curious. There was plenty of food, refreshments and even a cake celebrating the exhibition and my 60th birthday!  I even received several birthday cards, which I did not expect, and for which I am extremely grateful.  My thanks to everyone who attended for their time and consideration and also many thanks to all the complements and encouraging words given me in appreciation of my photographs.

For those who are unable to view my exhibition in person in Monroeville, I have created an on-line virtual exhibition. Click on this link (http://www.bobbickers.net/closetohome.html) and it will take you to my website and the virtual art show. 

I want to especially thank Sally Wightkin, the curator at the Gallery Space, and all the volunteers who did such a wonderful job in hanging this show and whose efforts support all the artists in our community who are given this wonderful opportunity to showcase their artwork in such a beautiful setting.  I can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

80. Close to Home

Announcing an exhibition of fine photographs of the Western Pennsylvania area by Murrysville, Pennsylvania artist and photographer, Bob Bickers, during the month of February, 2016 at the Elaine Biondi Gallery Space in Monroeville, Pennsylvania. 

The show, entitled "Close to Home" will take place February 2nd - 29th, 2016 at the Monroeville Public Library, 4000 Gateway Campus Blvd., Monroeville, PA 15146, by the Gateway School.  A portion of the proceeds from sale of artwork benefits the volunteer group, Friends of the Monroeville Public Library.

Gallery hours during the exhibition are: 9:00am-9:00pm Monday-Thursday; 9:00am-5:00pm Friday & Saturday; and 12:00pm-3:00pm Sunday. Directions to the Monroeville Public Library: Take Parkway Exit 84A or Turnpike Exit 57 or Route 22 to Monroeville, go south on Route 48 (Mosside Boulevard). Turn right at the 4th light onto Gateway Campus Boulevard. Then turn left at stop sign to library.

Bob Bickers is an artist living and working from his hoe and studio in Murrysville, Pennsylvania.  Although he has created art in oils and acrylics for many years, his interest in photography extends even further into his past when he was once a camera salesman and a professional wedding photographer. Bob has captured images all across North America, but this exhibition concentrates on photographs taken largely in Western Pennsylvania, hence the show's title, "Close to Home".

More about Bob Bickers can be found at his website, http://www.bobbickers.net and his blog, http://fineartbybobbickers.blogsspot.com.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

79. 2015 Murrysville Photo Contest

I again submitted three of my photographs to the Murrysville Photo Contest, but this year I decided to submit one photo each in three different categories instead of just sending in three landscapes.  The first image was one of my favorite landscapes taken in January, 2015 that showed my wife, Diane, approaching a snow-covered bridge in Duff Park, Murrysville, PA.  
Winter Sojourn (2015)
Bridge Over Still Waters (2014)


You might remember that this is the same bridge (taken in Autumn) that won Honorable Mention last year in this contest.



The second photo submitted this year fell under the category of Plant Life and it shows three flower pods that were in a neighbor's yard in August, 2015.
Three Pods (2015)

Finally, I chose to enter a photograph in the People category taken during Murrysville's Halloween Parade on October 31, 2015 while the Franklin Regional Band marched by waiving butterfly wing banners overhead.
Wings Over the Band (2015)



I will know in a few months whether any of these were good enough to place among the 2015 winners.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

78. Pennsylvania Sky and Pennsylvania Snow

Pennsylvania Sky; oil on board; 11 x 14
Pennsylvania Snow; oil on board; 11 x 14

Two of my more recent works that will be on display at the East Suburban Artists League (ESAL) Show at Penn State New Kensington during December, 2015. More on the show can be found at: http://www.esalart.org/shows--exhibitions.html

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

77. Photo Included in Article in the Murrysville Trail News

Murrysville Farmer  |  Bob Bickers  |  2014
I was asked to write a short article about one of my photographs that was entered in the 2014 Murrysville Photo Contest for the October 2015 issue of the Murrysville Trail News.  This is the article that was just published:

Murrysville Farmer
I love autumns in Murrysville. The backdrop of colorful leaves always changes the landscape in exciting and unexpected ways. Each day that I can, I set off on exploratory expeditions through our parks and neighborhoods seeking to capture with my camera new sights and compositions I have never seen before. I am not disappointed and at dark I return home, my camera filled with treasures.

I usually use my best camera and lens, but I have learned to keep a small, handy camera in my shirt pocket for those sudden and unexpected photo opportunities. For this photo, I drove up to a stop sign with my window down and saw the tractor crossing the road. Almost by reflex, I pulled out my camera, took the picture, and then the farmer was gone. I smiled. It’s harvest season, after all, and I had just brought in my own fine crop.    - Bob Bickers

My thanks to the Murrysville Trail Alliance for publishing my photograph and allowing me to express myself in their fine publication.  Hope we can do it again sometime!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

76. Full-Time Artist

Evening Hours Available - digital photograph
Tomorrow, July 1, 2015, is the day that I transition into a full-time artist.  Most who know me are aware that I have been an attorney with a second occupation as an artist and photographer. Of course, my law practice took precedence and opportunities to practice my avocation were severely limited, particularly in the last few years.  All of that changes now as Diane (my wife and law partner at Bickers & Bickers) and I have closed our law office and expect to complete our caseload by the end of the year.  This will leave me free to focus all my attention on my art.   More on our transition can be found at my Law Blog (http://bickerslaw.blogspot.com).

All of this will take some adjusting, and Diane is eager to assist me in this, so with nervous excitement we are stepping forward into a new chapter in our life.  You should see some results in a steady stream of new art, especially so as I have a major one-man show coming up for the month of February, 2016.  You can follow my progress here or at my website at http://bobbickers.net

Thursday, April 30, 2015

75. Two Paintings and Two Photographs Accepted into the West Penn Trail Juried Art Show

Fire on the Conemaugh - digital photograph
The West Penn Trail is owned and operated by the Conemaugh Valley Conservancy.  Their juried exhibition is set for June 2 - 12, 2015 at the Latrobe Art Center, located at the corner of Main and Ligonier Street in downtown Latrobe, Pennsylvania.  A reception will be held there on June 12, 2015 6-9pm.

UPDATE:  The West Penn Trail Art Show has been extended at the Latrobe Art Center to July 11, 2015

All the artwork on exhibition are donated works by the artists and will be for sale to raise funds for the maintenance of the West Penn Trail.  The show prospectus describes their mission as follows:

The West Penn Trail traces through time and nature's beauty. Named for the West Penn Railroad that once ran along the Conemaugh River valley, this 15-mile trail also follows the original the right-of-way of the Main Line Canal.  Traces of the old canal, railroad tunnels and beautiful cut-stone bridges all can be seen. This trail offers an outstanding natural experience, which attracts photographers and artists seeking to capture its scenic beauty.

Most of the maintenance of the West Penn Trail is provided by a small cadre of trail users who volunteer their time.

The West Peen Trail Art Show offers artists and photographers the opportunity to be part of the volunteer effort. The donation of their artwork will help fund much needed trail maintenance, and raise awareness of the trail's unique beauty.

I consider it an honor that I was accepted into this show.  I have traveled much of what is now the West Penn Trail for over 20 years and the bridges and natural scenery there have been a source of inspiration for me then, now, and will continue to be into the future.  I don't mind one bit giving back a little by donating these pieces of art. I hope they sell well and the show is a success.

Conemaugh Bridge No.4 on the West Penn Trail - oil/canvas
West Penn Trail Footbridge - digital photograph
Autumn Fire - oil/canvas



Sunday, March 15, 2015

74. Landscape for 2014 Murrysville Photo Contest Wins Honorable Mention

Bridge Over Still Waters
Winter Sojourn
My photograph, Bridge Over Still Waters (above), won Honorable Mention for Landscapes in the 2014 Murrysville Photo Contest.  This is the eastern foot bridge that crosses Turtle Creek in Duff Park in my home town of Murrysville, Pennsylvania.  It is a popular subject and I took another image of it a few months later (at right) which I may enter into the 2015 Murrysville Photo Contest.  The awards ceremony is April 15th.

Duff Park winter - 2011
The last time I entered a photo in this contest was in 2011 when I won Third Place for my winter scene of Turtle Creek (pictured left).  I will probably enter something each year now and hope my luck will hold out.