Art in Unexpected Places

I’ve recently had the opportunity to do photos at a construction site. I was there taking photos for an installation. While there, I took some more artistic photos. I have always been fascinated with the idea of unexpected art. I look for patterns and unusual shadows.

I spotted this shadow late in the day. The triangle created by the building’s shadow perfectly frames the person shadow.

This scaffolding with the paint buckets caught my attention immediately. With all the diamonds and rectangles, interrupted only by the paint buckets feels almost intentionally visual.

This angle of the scaffold drew me in with the perspective pulling the eye all the way through and the wood slats breaking all those little horizontal rectangles.

Inside, all the framing bars were just an endless pattern of light and shadow.

This simple yellow cord hanging from the top of the building is my current favorite. The yellow against the gray and the shadows really help it stand out.

Thanks for visiting! Visit my gallery to purchase prints or just to see more art!

Hotels And Motels of the World

The places we stay. The places we see. Where we rest for a night or a week. Those temporary sanctuaries from the streets and the people. Sometimes they are high end with all the bells and whistles. Sometimes they are utilitarian with just a bed and a table. As long as it’s clean.

Many of these images are of hotels and motels that I’ve seen on my travels and not places I’ve stayed.

Glyndon Hotel

Located in downtown Richmond, KY, the Glyndon opened in 1889. The original building burned and the current building was erected in 1891. Horse-drawn carriages would bring guests from the local L&N depot.

Glyndon Hotel in Richmond, KY

Jellico Motel

The Jellico sits right off of I-75 in Jellico, TN. The motel and restaurant are closed and are currently up for sale.

Jellico Motel in Jellico, TN.

Rockcastle Hotel

This abandoned hotel is in downtown Mt. Vernon, KY. Built in 1913, the hotel sits right beside the railroad.

Rockcastle Hotel in downtown Mt. Vernon, KY

The Oliver Hotel

A boutique hotel on Market Square in downtown Knoxville, TN. The Oliver occupies the former Peter Kern Bakery, built in 1876.

The Oliver Hotel in Knoxville, Tn

The New Yorker

Opened in 1929, the New Yorker is an art deco icon in New York City.

The New York in NYC

Hotel Edison

Another art deco masterpiece is the Hotel Edison. This jazz age hotel is located in NYC.

Hotel Edison in NYC

Century Old Town Prague – MGallery

A Neo-Baroque boutique hotel in Prague, Czech Republic. This beautiful hotel was built in 1894.

Century Old Town Prague – MGallery

Thanks for visiting my hotels of the world gallery! Find more of my travel art here!


When traveling, it’s easy to shoot landmarks and pretty places. But sometimes, when I’m passing an alley, I lift the camera. I think I like alleys for several reasons. One, they offer that great perspective, two walls on either side directing the eye to a point. Second, you never know what you’ll find there.

A man takes a break in an alley in Knoxville, TN. I was on a walking tour when I spotted him.
Two people take a break at the end of an alley in Kutna Hora in the Czech Republic.
Three people meet up in this alley in Krakow, Poland.
Admiring the graffiti in Graffiti Alley in downtown Knoxville, TN.

It’s easy to walk through a city and ignore the space between. But it’s worth it to look around a bit.

Thanks for visiting my quick photo blog about alleys!

Flower Power

I am trying to get back into the habit of blogging. I’ve not had much reason since I haven’t been able to travel. I decided to share some of my flower images.

Violet Petunias in the early morning light.
Wild Red Columbine
Lunaria annua, also known as the Money Plant
A full bed of colorful tulips.
Red Rose
Two beautiful sunflowers
A pink Peony
Magnolia liliiflora, also called Jane or Tulip Magnolia
Pink rose in full bloom

Thanks for visiting! Prints and other fun items can be ordered on my Pixels site. You can also click on the image and it will take you straight to the site!

Featured Artist: Rebecca Wang

I first saw Rebecca’s work on, I fell in love immediately with her fantasy artwork. When I started viewing her other work, I found it just as beautiful and intriguing. Her colorful pet portraits will draw you in. She has a great talent for capturing the personality and heart of the pet. Her detail work on the eyes are amazingly lifelike. I would like to share some of my favorite work by Rebecca. I hope you appreciate it as much as I do.

About Rebecca

Located in Austin, TX, Rebecca has been painting professionally since 2007. She is known for her psychedelic and fantasy style imagery of animals of all kinds, including peacocks, birds, tigers, wolves, lizards, and more! The majority of her work is in acrylics. However, she does sometimes use pastel and colored pencils. Rebecca mostly paints animals, but does sometimes branch out with fantasy work and abstract art. Since 2017, Rebecca has created over 56 custom pet portraits across the United States. She often uses several photos put together to create the perfect, expressive portrait of the pet.

Fantasy Paintings

I mentioned how I fell in love with Rebecca’s Fantasy work first. How could I not? This beautiful Fenghuang, also known as a Chinese Phoenix bird, is absolutely stunning! This Phoenix is not really related to the creature of Western myth, but represents the “Yin” to the “Yang” of the dragon. Speaking of…

This is the Azure Dragon, also called “Qing Long” in Chinese. It is one of the four symbols of the Chinese constellations.

The Golden Phoenix represents the Yin, female, while the Silver Dragon represents the Yang, male. They fly together around a sun mandala. When shown together, they represent marital happiness and harmony.


Some of Rebecca’s more abstract pieces are her Mandalas. They are colorful and eye catching. They tend to represent creatures and stories in Chinese Mythology.

This Mandala in particular caught my eye with its darker colors and intricate detail. It loosely represents a Chinese tale of a Koi fish who becomes a dragon. I could stare at this piece for hours!

Psychedelic Animal Art

Psychedelic Rainbows are how I would describe these images. Imbued with color and detail, these images are energetic and vibrant!

Another beautiful piece with intricate detail. The butterfly dances against the colorful rainbow of colors in the background.

Pet Portraits

Rebecca does custom pet portraits, too! After admiring her work for several years, I decided to honor my special cat, Hyler, by having his portrait painted.

I admit that I am partial to this painting. Rebecca captured Hyler’s “I am King” gaze. Every time I look at this painting, hanging in my kitchen, btw, I stop and stare into those eyes. They are so lifelike. My husband and I both cried when this painting arrived.

This portrait caught my eye with his little colorful bowtie. I love the way Rebecca creates black using so many colors. It gives the portrait life.

She doesn’t just paint cats and dogs, though! I found this portrait of Koda, a Central Bearded Dragon on her Pixels site. He looks like a majestic fellow, doesn’t he?

Once Rebecca has painted your pet’s portrait, you receive a beautiful stretched canvas, expertly packaged, btw! And the image is available in her store on home decor (pillows, shower curtains, etc) and gift products (puzzles, masks, mugs).

I hope you enjoy Rebecca’s art as much as I do! Rebecca’s work is available as high quality prints, on home decor items, and on gift products. You can find her at the following links:

Blog – Instagram – Etsy: Pixels – Twitter –

Looking back at 2020

Every year, I do a year end summary of my year. I think 2020 turned out differently than expected for everybody. When I look at my goals for 2020 that I made in December of 2019, I laugh a little.

Those goals were:

  • Grow the Podcast
  • Be more present
  • Make Better Art

The podcast is a travel podcast, so I have a great excuse for not following through there. The year started out okay with a trip to Bristol, VA/TN in early January. I am sure I was the only tourist in town that weekend. But it was still nice. Visit the podcast to hear about it or read about it here. I did not go anywhere again until September and that was a family trip to the lake. And in October, I was chomping at the bit and had to go somewhere, so I went to Charlotte, NC. You can listen to that here. I will admit that I was not ready to travel yet. Lesson learned.

As for the be more present, I am doing well at that. Especially with my family. I’ve had little choice in learning patience.

Since traveling was not on the table much, I took photos of items that I had around the house. See some of those here and here.

A lot of dreams died this year. Mine were just put to sleep and went into hibernation. Some sad things happened this year, we lost one our cats (a cat very special to me). But I feel we have been very lucky. We’ve both kept our jobs and most of our sanity.

So, my goals for 2021 are a little bit different. They are more personal.

  1. I would like to be more grateful
  2. Work on my empathy
  3. Be more patient with myself

I hope 2021 brings blessings to everyone.

Blue Tones

Since I can’t travel, I’ve been exercising my creative muscles at home. When I recently did a teapot shoot, I decided I really liked the blue toned finish. I always loved cyanotypes and these are an extension of that.

Blue rose image
Blue Rose

Rosy Love letters, single rose composite with love letters
Rosy Love Letters

Star shape with textured glass
Star Fall

Eyeglasses reflected in water puddle
Double Vision in Blue
The Palacio de Valle in Cienfuegos, Cuba
The Palacio de Valle

Each image has a different blue because it creates a different mood. As always, feedback is welcome. Be sure to visit my gallery to see more of my work!

Tea Time

As a travel photographer, the last several months have left me lost. For awhile, my creativity took a nose dive. But lately, it’s been waking up and I needed to make some art! Looking around my kitchen, I found this tea pot and cream pitcher. Perfect! I took it outside and put it on my stairs, that are in need of painting and started to make some art.

Simple Teapot and Creamer

Teapot and Creamer Before

I decided to give it an aged look, laying a texture over it, and adding a vignette. I opted for a blue tone to give it the look of a Cyanotype.

I thought maybe it needed a little something more. What is it that we like about good teapot? Some of it is memories, nostalgia. But for me, it’s the shape. That rounded shape with the spout reaching out and the handle balancing it. So, I added the words “The Shape of Tea.” I also noticed that my reflection is in the teapot and the creamer. I held up a cup, as though I had tea in my hand. It’s a little thing that you would only notice when looking closely. I love those types of details.

Adding Something

What’s a good teapot without a good tea cup? Turns out, I don’t really have a good tea cup. But I did find a coffee cup that goes with my “fancy” dishes. I admit that don’t like the way my fingers are holding the cup. Maybe I’ll reshoot.

Hand holding cup before

Hand holding cup after

After working this one, I thought it needed a poem. I have fond memories of having tea with my husband before bed. He loves ginger tea. I buy it in the packets. Don’t “at” me tea people, I’m into easy living. One time, he saw me making it. He was destroyed. He had thought that all this time, I was making him ginger tea from scratch! I had never led him to believe this, he just did for some reason. I think he stopped enjoying it as much after that. LOL!

Tea with You

Tea with You

I remember tea

I remember the scent

I remember the taste

The ginger

The mint

Chamomile in my mouth

I remember the feel

Safe and true

I remember tea with you

I am enjoying my new artistic endeavors. Stay tuned for more blue toned images and maybe even some tea related art. If you are interested in view more of my photos, you can click here

Bristol Tennessee Virginia

Wow! It’s been awhile since I posted here. Yikes! I’ve been concentrating on my podcast, Tourist in your Town. Be sure to check it out! A recent episode of the podcast was from Bristol, TN/VA. I thought I’d hop over here and share some of the photos that I took while there. It rained while I was there. But I got some great photos of the historic train station, the Paramount Theatre marquee, and lots of other cool places around town. Enjoy!

The Bristol Sign

Bristol is a town that is split between two states, Tennessee and Virginia. The split is right down the middle of the street that runs through downtown. The Bristol Sign sits across the road with one side in Tennessee and the other in Bristol. This sign was placed in this location in 1915 and originally said “Push!…That’s Bristol“. In 1921, the town held a contest to select a new slogan. “A good place to live” was the winner.

The Bristol TN / VA sign.

Bristol Train Station

The historic Bristol Train Station was built in 1902. Passenger service to the station ended in 1971. The station is currently an events venue.

Bristol Train Station at sunset.
Bristol Train Station on a rainy night,

The Paramount Bristol

The Paramount Theatre in Bristol was built in 1931. The first showing was “It Pays to Advertise” with Carole Lombard and Norman Foster. The theatre is now a concert venue.

The Paramount Bristol marquee at sunset
The Paramount Bristol after dark.
The divide between states

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my images! Prints are available of all images, just click on the image. You can also visit my gallery for more of my travel art.

Fine Art Photography by Sharon Popek