Margaret Whittaker Photos Exhibited November, 2009

           Chandler artist Margaret Whittaker describes our Sonoran desert surroundings as "a place of creative artistry beyond my imagination -- so chock full of indescribable shapes, colors, creatures and the intriguing mystery of how it all works together. Through photography, I immerse myself in the wonder, awe and mystery of creation. It provides me the opportunity to capture a moment in the short expanse of my time in this world so that I can return to appreciate the joy I felt in that one moment and to just revel in it with pure enthusiasm and euphoric joy. My favorite photographs affect my mood, perspective, and attitude." Her art work is featured during November at Boyce Thompson Arboretum's visitor center gallery, opening with a meet-the-artist gallery reception November 1, Sunday, from 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

               "After spending 35 years as an administrative assistant, I awoke one morning to a new life. Every morning for more than a year, I had awakened with the same greeting in my mind saying: "It's time to get up and get ready for work." "No!" I would reply with the attitude of a spoiled two-year-old. "I don't want to go to work -- I just want to spend this day as a photographer. One momentous morning before the conversation ever had a chance to start, I said, "Okay! I get the hint! I'll go in and quit my job today." I have never felt such a warm feeling of relief and joy.

           "I've spent many happy hours taking classes at Boyce Thompson Arboretum, photographing the flora and fauna -- and chasing butterflies and hummingbirds with my camera. I take delight in their teasing as these airborne beauties stay still long enough for me to get set up, but then, at the moment I'm ready to shoot, off they fly. I love capturing the texture, the essence of subjects: the softness of the tiger's fur; the coarse roughness of the screen upon which the preying mantis poses -- the delicate weightlessness of a butterfly atop a flower as its presence doesn't even bend the petals upon which it perches. I feel refreshed and cool when gazing upon a mountain lake: the sunrise reflection shows me a place with crystal clear air, cool, invigorating and peacefully silent.

           "Being out in nature is the most relaxing and fulfilling of all photographic activities. It's my time of peace and tranquility. I feel a part of something so much greater than myself. It is raw energy of which I am an infinitesimally tiny part. My one-on-one time - just the subject and me. In our day-to-day world, we are in a constant struggle to be in control. Nature is a force over which we have no control. Being nothing more than a part of that, capturing a minute moment in cosmic time through the camera is gift to me. The joy of seeing and experiencing again that moment in all its glory whenever I want to - that is complete satisfaction.

       "I enjoy the challenge of capturing the thoughts and feelings of creatures through the expressions in their eyes. Jenny, my Russian Blue cat, was quite exasperated after spending half an hour posing for me. Her expression says it all: "Enough Already!" and this photo really titled itself when i saw it. The preying mantis posed for about ten minutes: it watched me, tilting its head this way and that; eyes on me every second as it followed my actions while I moved around to capture it from different angles. It was quite an experience to be watched so closely by a creature to which mankind has historically deemed has no personality. It's actions and expressions showed me it was quite amused with me.
         Whittaker lives in Chandler and is a member of the Mesa Arts League.  "Muted Beauty," her photograph of a Boyce Arboretum rose, was acknowledged as an Editor's Choice by BetterPhoto.com, and in 2007 her striking photograph of a tiger a the Out of Africa Wildlife Park located in Camp Verde was awarded Second place at the International Society of Photographers convention in Las Vegas. All works in her exhibit are available for purchase; to contact the artist about purchases email miwhittakerphotos@cox.net or call 480.206.6741

     Boyce Thompson Arboretum is at highway 60 milepost #223 near the historic copper mining town of Superior, a drive of about 45 minutes due East of Mesa. During November visitors are admitted from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., and the Arboretum closes at 5:00 p.m. ( summer month hours are daily from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.) New exhibits begin each month and may be seen daily during business hours; the Arboretum is an Arizona State Park and daily admission must be paid to enter the Visitor Center where our gallery is found. Admission is $7.50 for adults and $3 for ages 5-12. Annual memberships at the Arboretum begin at $45, and include a year's access, guest passes for your friends and family, along with many other benefits. A membership may be purchased in the gift shop on the day of your visit. To review other recent gallery shows from...

Artists of the Superstitions October, 2009
Marilyn Bartong September, 2009
Gila Community College August, 2009
Deborah A. Lee June, 2009
Margie Porter May, 2009
Timm Chapman January, 2009

Paul Kinslow December, 2008
Maggie Leef November 2008
Sharon Sieben October 2008
Nicole Royse September 2008
Gila Community College Art July-August 2008
Judy Bottler Photography May 2008
Bob Estrin Photography April 2008
Mary Isham Watercolors March 2008
Susan Strom and Cathy Franklin Lightning Photography February, 2008
Arizona State Parks Plein Air Paintings January, 2008
Carolyn Gray & Connie Thomas December, 2007
Jean Sullivan November, 2007 Sue Cullumber October, 2007
Adriane Grimaldi September, 2007
Pima College print-making students July-August, 2007
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2007
Fred Charlton May, 2007
Paul Mudersbach March-April, 2007
Linda Kaiser February, 2007
Edith Kreueger-Nye December, 2006 - January, 2007
Cindy Carrillo October-November, 2006
Bob Rice September, 2006
Bud Heiss July-August, 2006
Mesa Arts League June-July, 2006
Sandy Tracey April-May, 2006
CJ Rider March, 2006
Jessica Green February, 2006
Steve Davidson January, 2006
Don & Carole Schupp December, 2005
Carolyn Gray November, 2005
Martha Burgess October, 2005
Boeing Photographers September, 2005
Lightning Lady Susan Strom July/August, 2005
Mesa Arts League June/July, 2005
Jeanette Bronson May, 2005
Tom Stanley April, 2005
Kathy McClure February-March, 2005
Pam Smyth January, 2005
Tina Faust December, 2004