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She looked up gold mining, wagons, and plants and animals of the region, sketching things that caught her eye along the way.
“You have to get original about what you do. You try to use imagination to make it your own. You don’t want to just copy something from someone else,” she said.
Schneider included her torn-paper works in the exhibit, but she also used drippy inks to convey a prickly cactus in another piece.
The themes help to “get you out of your own mentality,” she said.
Blaine resident Gary Johnson, a board member for the group and the “club photographer,” said he enjoys that part of it, too. He contributed four snapshots to the show, each from a road trip in November to New Mexico.
The color photos are all landscapes, a departure from the more close-up work he usually does.
An old adobe church in the remote town of Golden, N.M., is the subject of several of his shots.
Johnson and his wife decided to check out the church on the spur of the moment after it caught their eye in the distance.
Like so many sights in that part of the country, it was “new and different. You had to walk through a cemetery to get to the entrance. It sounds morbid, but it wasn’t,” he said.
Besides getting a shot of the church itself, Johnson captured what appears to be an old parish house, which is in ruins. Both structures blend into the sandy cliffs.
For another picture, Johnson happened to notice a couple of steel cutouts of a buffalo and an American Indian riding a horse that were perched on a hillside at an Iowa rest stop. Silhouetted against a vast blue sky just before sundown, the sculptures look “real,” like an optical illusion, he said.
A strong cold wind blowing made it tough to get just the right photo.
“More than once I thought of quitting and putting my camera away, but now I’m glad I stuck it out,” he said.
Anna Pratt is a Minneapolis freelance writer. She can be reached at email@example.com.