My 4th Annual Alphabet – Part I

As I have done for the last three years, I again end the past year and welcome the new year with a Photographic Alphabet Post.  The very first one (2008-9) rhymed and had a Wisconsin theme. In 2009-10 I didn’t get my Alphabet post done until the second week in January, but I made up for the short post with a photograph that looks quite Arctic-ish! Last year I posted a single photo and wrote a short paragraph for each alphabet letter in four parts.

This year I’m featuring more photographs and fewer words, though something about the end and the beginning — it encourages my tendency towards verbosity. (See?) I’ll watch my word count…promise!



Seeded Earth Photography Booth at Agora Art Show 2011

Agora Art Show 2011 © 2011 Bo Mackison

Art Fairs were a significant part of my life during 2011. Sherpa and I took Seeded Earth Photography to fourteen shows beginning  in February and ending the weekend before Thanksgiving. We did shows in six states – Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa and Arizona.

Great Dogs at the 57th Street Art Fair Hyde Park Chicago

57th Street Art Fair © 2011 Bo Mackison

This was my second full year exhibiting my photography on the art show circuit. In 2010 I did local and area shows in Wisconsin, and learned the art business. By the end of 2011, after a total of 24 completed shows, I felt less like a novice and more like an artist. That was a grand feeling.

Seeded Earth Studio Booth at Winter Art Festival

Winter Art Festival © 2011 Bo Mackison

In a few weeks, I will be heading to Arizona. My upcoming shows in the Tucson area will be the first ones I’m doing solo. No Sherpa to grab a drink for me or tend the booth while I walk to stretch out muscle kinks. No Sherpa to help me set up the tent or the booth interior, or hang the art. I’m excited and nervous, both.




Boojum © 2011 Bo Mackison

I love photographing botanicals. A boojum is a botanical. Therefore I love shooting boojums. But I would love shooting boojums even more if I could attach my camera to a crane, because the part I want to photograph with my macro lens is not in a convenient place.



Cactus Portal

Cactus Portal © 2011 Bo Mackison

Ah, now cacti are also botanicals, and they grow in a more convenient size than the boojum. Or at least many of them do. There are many a saguaro or an organ pipe cactus that are far beyond my reach. But I still have plenty of macro opportunities with the smaller cacti crowd.

Cactus Catch

Cactus Catch © 2011 Bo Mackison

I love to take photographs of the mighty cacti, and the smaller varieties, too. But I’ve decided that the entire cactus family has been introduced into my life to teach me a big lesson.

Saguaro Spines

Saguaro Spines © 2011 Bo Mackison

They teach by consequences. Almost every time I photograph cacti, I am so focused on getting a photo that I inch closer and closer to the plant. And each time the cactus teaches me a lesson about their boundaries by poking me with a sharp thorn, or by attaching a cluster of spines to my clothing or shoelaces. If I didn’t have a camera up to my eye, perhaps I would learn the cactus lesson much quicker.



Pottery Chickens

Pottery Roosters © 2011 Bo Mackison

It is quite common for people to imagine that an artist’s life is filled with creating and traveling and meeting new and interesting people. True, true, and true. I can’t think of a thing I would rather do than take my camera out on a photo exploration and I love to bring home the filled memory cards and watch the photographs ‘develop’ on my computer. And now I am adding what I consider to be the frosting on the photographs – post processing so that the vision I saw when I took the photo can be captured in my studio.

But I work long hours, many more hours a week than if I had a 9 to 5 job, and so I’ve learned to add delight into my day whenever I find it. These roosters, rows and rows of roosters on an outside stand, made me laugh so hard I could hardly hold the camera still. I was waiting for one of them to begin crowing at me.

It’s those bits of time that add the ‘extra-extra’ to the unpredictable life of an artist on the road.

And a doodle doodle doo to you, too!


Today’s post has been brought to you by the letters A,B,C, and D.

Part II is brought to you by the letters E, F, G, H, I and J.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Awesome. I love your annual calendars.

  2. Bo…I can’t believe it’s time for another alphabet! Time flies.

    Your photography booth is so professional looking; very impressive. Do you print your own canvases or use another resource?

  3. Thoroughly enjoyable, Bo!

  4. I love your alphabetical end of the year posts, Bo. And those roosters. 🙂

  5. Was supposed to be coming to the Tubac Festival of the Arts. Not sure I’ll be able to, but I’m still considering it. If I go, I’ll look for you. Would love to see you and your work in person.

    • Bo Mackison says:

      Would love to connect if you come to Tubac! I’ll be at Tucson’s 4th Avenue in late March, too. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  6. Boojums, cacti, roosters and a Doodle-Doodle-DO! You have worked hard to become an “artist,” Bo – your exhibits are fabulous! Those roosters are way cool, babe. You know what? After reading the entire alphabet of yours from Z to A ….. I’m wishing there were MORE than 26 letters. I’m sad it’s already over! XO

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