Friday, September 30, 2011

Reflections for the Weekend

Linking with James for this week's Weekend Reflections.

Sneaking in a quick post with 3 reflections.

Red Flowers {361/365}
Red Flowers
This is an oldie from a month plus ago I've not had a chance to share.  I'm afraid those geraniums don't look so vibrant anymore.

At the Beach {sh55}
At the Beach
I wanted to chase this couple down the beach, but I was more subtle than that.  I kept walking faster to catch up to them.  Her pink shirt was so vibrant in the water covered could I pass that up?

Water Fountain
Water Fountain
This is the water fountain outside the local water district building.  The little bucket fills quickly and when too weighty spills over into the trough and does it over and over again.  I had a great time playing in the late day light.  If you like water shots, you might check the montage I posted a few days back.

Have a wonderful and reflective weekend.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Creatively Behind

Linking with the ever so sweet Lisa for this week's Creative Exchange.  Thanks Lisa.

I am enormously backed up on everything.  If I've not been by to your blog to say "hey" or admire what you're doing, or not linking with my usual frequency, I'll do the Arnold/Terminator and say "I'll Be Back" in my imitation gruffy voice.  How is it that I miss my blogging friends out there?  It's true, I do.  I'd never had guessed that would happen when I started all this 1 1/2 years ago.  Amazing.  I wonder if any non-bloggers are thinking I need an intervention.

The crappy news is I've been working a lot.  Sometimes 6 or 7 days a week and there appears to be no end in sight on that.  Maybe, fingers crossed, about 3 weekends from now I might get a little break....or not.  The good news is, I've been working on a BIG creative project.  I entered a piece in a design contest and my image was selected (super psyche-does anyone say that anymore?)  It's had me sucking up my creative time at the whim of a committee-no regrets, but between work and that I'm practically on an unintended blogcation.  Phew.

The other good news is I'm 3 weeks into an Art Appreciation course which I'm very much enjoying.  As my Uncle Howard would say, I'm getting "ed-you-ma-cated".  But between work and that and the creative project that I can't mention yet, but will when I can, I'm a bit tapped out.

Last night I was homeward bound when I was looking for a daily prompt to fill "wet".  I spied this fountain outside the local water district. I had great fun and took a butt load of pictures in a span of 15 minutes.  I like the results and was inspired to create a collage.  Hope you like it.....and see you/blog you soon.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Scavenger

Yay Sunday.  Time to link with Ashley for Scavenger Hunt Sunday.  You should do it too.

This week's list included: Low Key, Color Wheel, Circle, Scarf, and Phone

I've been running on empty lately.  Too much to do, not enough time.  My photo ops have been suffering.  I am missing the self-discipline of the 365 which I've been off for a month now.  I'm still thinking about some sort of substitute for that to keep me going.  I did get out several times in the last week and am delighted to have enough for "the hunt".

End of Season
End of Season
Low Key:  I knew what high key was but had to look up low key.  I'm not sure I quite got it with this image, but it's a start.  I think I like this type of photography....I need to try some more.

Sun and Shadows
Sun and Shadows
Color Wheel:  Over at Kat's Exploring with a Camera the latest topic brings an awareness of the color wheel....enormously helpful for me.  I'm at Color Wheel 101 level.  This sunflower is an example of analogous colors....those that are side by side on the wheel.  I got me my yellow and yellow-green, not to mention some pretty awesome shadows.

Circle:  What can I say?  I like this shot and it fits the category.

Scarf and Bag
Scarf and Matching Bag
Scarf:  I did selective color on this scarf and handbag because this is Dannah's shop and you'd never pick it out if I didn't.  It is an amazing place to shop for all things lovely that you really don't need, but want to have anyway.  The shop is artfully stuffed with takes me forever to go through but I have great luck purchasing gifts there. if you feel like a little on-line treat.

Yellow Pages
Yellow Pages
Phone:  Can you remember when this is how you found things?  Now there's an "app" for that.  I bet I used this only a couple times in the last year.  If I could only get my parents to start googling-then I'd know that times had totally changed.

I hope you're having a great weekend.  Today I'm all about studying, watching football, a little cutting back of the flowers, and laundy.  Have a great day and many thanks for dropping by to see my photos.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weekend Reflections

Linking with James out Cal-i-forn-I-A for this week's weekend reflections.  Thank you James!

I am REALLY behind on processing images.  REALLY behind.  The kind of behind I don't know if I'm ever going to catch up on.  I have plenty of great images waiting nicely for me to get around to cleaning up.  Today I waltzed through my Boston folder from 3 weeks ago.  I've hardly touched it, so I thought it was time to at least dig out some of the reflection shots.

In Boston there are plenty of tall buildings. So different from my rural seaside area, I can't help but spend a bunch of time looking up.

On High
On High
Based on the building you can see in reflection across the way you can tell that this window washer was up quite high.  I should have counted the stories.  Window washing....not a job for me, that's for sure.

Awning x Two
Awning x Two
Rows and rows of these awnings line "North 26", a hotel in the north end.  In this alley way I was able to catch them in reflection too.

Durgin Park
Durgin Park
Famous Durgin Park.  So the story goes.....age 4 my parents took me there for supper....supper, not dinner.  We sat at a long banquet table like a church supper-next to whomever from wherever, like twice removed (plus) extended family.  At the time they had no "kids" menu so my mother ordered a roast beef dinner to share with me.  Apparently I ate almost all the meat leaving her the green beans and 1/2 a potato.  I guess I take after my Dad.

Hot Dog Vendor
Hot Dog Vendor
Over around Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall, I caught passing people in the "no sneeze" window of the hot dog cart.

Flower Vendor
Flower Vendor
I know this isn't a great reflection shot, but I love this catch in Downtown Crossing of a woman surrounded by the flowers she was hoping to sell.

Thanks for taking a look at some of my Boston reflections.  Maybe this weekend I can catch up on a few more folders of images.  Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Exploring Color with a Camera

Linking with my friend Kat over at Kat Eye View.  If you don't know Kat, you should.  Punch on through. confession time.  I didn't know the color wheel existed until I was choosing paint colors for the rooms in my house about 5 years ago.  How does that happen?  Maybe "art on a cart" through-out elementary school and poor art instruction in middle school (I was absolutely a killer shot with throwing clay balls though-once landing one in my teacher's mouth!...ooh that may be TMI) is to blame.  Art on a cart-oh the level of dedication and commitment to the arts.  Music teacher also traveled room to room-she didn't even have a cart.  How many times can you sing "Pecos Bill" without totally hating music class?

What am I talking about?  Oh yes, the color wheel.  I did see it hanging once in one of the art classrooms down the hall when I was a teacher, and thought it was pretty....rainbows in a

So, I was delighted for Kat's explanation about monochromatic, analxyqzwmfous(?), and some other kind of color combinations (obviously I need to go back and take a peek at the terms, though I understand the concepts).  Bare with me...up at 4 a.m. this morning-didn't sleep so good.  What's up with THAT?

So....yesterday I did a little hunting around for monochromatic colors, hunting? exploring.  I explored a couple blocks in a neighboring mill town for monochromatic colors (when one color dominates an image) because I could remember that one.  Here are some things I found.

Twenty One
Twenty One

This was the first thing that caught my eye.  Fessing up, this 21 catches my eye most every time I drive by.  This image may have too much green and white to call it monochromatic, but maybe I'll learn that it fits another category of color wheel-ism another week.

Rusted Door
Rusted Door
Biddeford isn't the "nicest" of communities....I got a nasty shout from a passing car while I was taking this one.  That rarely happens to me, someone poking fun at me for taking a photo.  When it does happen I try to think...."yah, scoff all you want.  Somebody would pay money for this image"....and try not to include "you dumb ass" at the end of my thought.  Whoops.

Past the Old Mill
Passing the Old Mill
Around the corner from the rusty door was the side of the mill.  Much more interesting with a bicycle passing by.  But I think almost every shot is better with a bicycle.  I got a shout on this shot too...."Do you want to buy the place or are you just taking pictures?"  I answered that one; I thought it was a bit more good natured.

Outside Hollys
Outside Holly's
This is my real capture of the day.  I think I hit it with this one.  I could see the bike from quite a distance and HAD to have it.  I also used the process of elimination that Kat talked about as the last Exploring topic to make this a better shot.


Pink Gas
Pink Gas

Pretty huh?  Serves them well.  "You know that pink gas station on the corner?"  No one ever says no to that.

Have a great day.  I'll look up those other color wheel terms and see if I can get them to stick in my mind.  Thanks Kat.  I'm smarter already.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Texture Tuesday

Linking with Kim Klassen over at the cafe for this week's Texture Tuesday. 

Last week I caught one of those last of summer afternoons in the next town over.  Biddeford is mainly a blue collar former mill town forever searching for renewal and new identity.  There is, however a road leading toward the coast and a quaint section called Biddeford Pool a few miles from town.  I don't head there in summer season when it likely is most beautiful, but have been inspired on visits in fall and spring when the little village is quiet and still.  It's a picture postcard throw back to earlier times.

Despite the "members only" signs and the warnings to keep of the wharf-there was no one you know, what's one little loan photographer gonna hurt on a quiet Tuesday pre-evening?  Nothing at all, that's what.

While the harbor was pretty....I thought I'd share the more utilitarian side of things.

Bait Shed
Bait Shed

Lobster traps and bait barrels stacked near the bait shed.

On this image I used 2 layers of "Drop Cloth" and one layer of the new texture called "Thursday".  Why?  I don't know....I guess the drop cloth has kind of a grungy feel which reminded me of what these working wharves are really like.  Other than that, I'm just experimenting.
Thanks Kim.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Scavenger Time

Linking with Ashley for this week's Scavenger Hunt Sunday.....the ritual continues.  Cup o'coffee and Sunday morning post.  I like it.  Thanks Ashley. 

This week's topics were:  Street Photography, From a Distance, Sunday, Liquid, and Behind

Love the topics this week.  Not too tough, but a little challenge to keep things interesting.  Oh let's fess up, I like the topics every week....

End of Day
End of Day
Street Photography:  I KNOW this isn't what's meant by street photography, but putting up my rural version anyway.  I guess I should call it "road photography".
This was one of those pull over and grab the shot now images.  I stopped at the end of a driveway and the owner came out with his barking dogs.  Gladly he didn't mind when I told him I was grabbing a photo of the setting sun.

From a Distance:  Had to attend a funeral for a friend's husband yesterday.  Grabbed this shot at the end of the day out on my dog walk with miss Tula.  A beautiful day and sky making a lovely send off for Joe, don't you think?

Sunday Steeple
Sunday Steeple
Sunday:  Local Unitarian Church in town.   Even though I don't regularly attend church, when I think of Sunday, church comes to mind ( and so does Scavenger Hunt Sunday).

Rain Covered Jeep
Rain Covered Jeep
Liquid:  My friend from England's rental car.  She was disappointed by the NJ plates she had while in the state of Maine....but I like the yellow contrast the plate provides on the black vehicle.

Still Runs {359/365}
Still Runs
Behind:  I'm so happy for this topic, because I am enormously behind on just about everything.....laundry, bill paying, groceries, taking photos, and mostly processing photos.  This one is from mid-August, please and thank you.
Another photo I had to take.  It was not optional.  An old fisherman's truck parked at the wharf.  Note the the worn Red Sox bumper sticker on the right and the bait barrel in the truck bed.  Won't mention the smell of the bait.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

What Is Art?

This fall I'm taking an Art Appreciation course at the local community college.  My first response paper is due next week and the topic is not "what did you do this summer?".....the topic is "what is art to me?"  I don't know that my blog post will be in lieu of minimum 2 typed pages double-spaced, but then again, it might be.  I mean, why not?  

Want to give me a hint of what grade I might earn?  That would be fantastic and help me to know if I should go conventional on plain old white paper with no images or push the envelope a touch with this instead.  What do you think?

What IS art?

Liberty Leading the People
Eugene Delacroix-1830

I like this painting.  I don't know why, but I do.  Maybe I like it due to its historical significance and because I like history, especially about wars.  Maybe I like it because "Les Mis" is my favorite musical and this reminds me of the powerful scene where they perform "Do you Hear the People Sing?".  Maybe I like it because it is a well composed image, even though I have no idea what deems an image well composed, but I see a triangle shape.  Once I read that Joe Rosenthal's famous photograph of the flag raising on Iwo Jima during WWII not only captured an emotional moment, but had a triangular shape making it pleasing to the eye and well composed.  Maybe I like it for no reason at all.

If you had asked me what is art a few years ago this is the type of image I would have said was art.  A painting.  I also would have told you that I don't really like many paintings, nor do I have the desire or ability to make/paint/create any.  Had you taken me to an art museum I would have been well-behaved for a bit, but after a half-hour or so, become antsy and only pretended to see what was hanging on the walls.  My legs would ache and I would wonder if the restaurant we were going to for lunch would have BLTs.  No focus.  Appreciation; yes.  Understanding; no.  Passion for; no.  Brushstrokes; who cares?  Emotion; flat.  Jus' sayin'.  That's about where I was.  I've improved-a little.

When your personal form of expression becomes unavailable....when you've run your passion, creativity, your "it" factor, your unexplainable through your ears and not your eyes-forever-you just don't understand what eyes are for.  You don't see what a visual artist sees.  Your joy and heartache travels through the aural, not the visual....until the aural breaks.  Then the passion, creativity,  the "it", the unexplainable lies dormant and unfed until it presses you so hard it has to find another way out.  It is then your eyes beg to see, your insides beg to create, and a new path begins to emerge.  That may be what art is right there.  Or not.

As a child I had a board game called "Masterpiece".  It was an art auction game and had cards of famous art pieces that my friends and I re-named to our liking.  Works such as Hopper's Nighthawks became "Lonely Man at the Diner", Homer's The Herring Net  "Howie and Ronny" and most sadly, La Toilette by Mary Cassatt became "Dirty Feet".  It was funny that it was named toilet-you know, funny when you're 10.  Playing the game introduced me to 20 famous paintings however, some of the sparse few that I recognize.

La Toilette
Mary Cassatt-1891
a.k.a. "Dirty Feet"

I still don't like paintings all that much, but I am starting to see something and it's not about the brushstrokes or color palette; it's about the heart and emotion of the artist.  Sometimes I think...."I remember feeling like that."  Sometimes I've not a clue and wonder what the creative soul was feeling or imagining and find it beyond what my brain can fathom.  For now. 

I'd like to say that I cannot relate to the emotion in this image..... 

Cracked Spine
Frida Kahlo-1944

.......but I can.

Birthday Girl {9/365}
Birthday Girl
Susan Downing-2010

Maybe rather than "what is art?" the question should be what is NOT art?  I bet I could make a case for nearly anything being art if necessary.  It is not necessary, but I'm starting to think of so many things as art. 

My friend takes old cigar boxes, refinishes them and lines them with smooth fabric creating jewelry or trinket storage.  Another friend works wonders with beads, ornaments, shapes and words.  I personally am drawn to colorful graffiti and street art.  My West African djembe drum is decoratively carved at its base and hollowed smoothly from a tree.  Not only does it have a rich resonant sound, it is beautiful to look at.  My mother feels it would make a lovely end table.  I roll my eyes. 

I see images in magazines, in films, on TV, in advertisements, and on-line that I consider art and am amazed at what I see my fellow bloggers create with yarns and fabrics, in multi-layered images, as textured mixed-media pieces, jewelery, watercolors, and yes-photographs both straight out of the camera (SOOC) and enhanced or transformed with photo editing software.  I see these amazing works of art and wonder how do they know how to do that?  I wonder if they look at my images and wonder how I know how to do that.  At times I wonder how I know how to do that too.

Although I never thought much about visual art until recently, I can say I remember being intrigued by photography as a child.  National Geographic magazine seems to be the hallmark of accessible great photography.  I also used to prefer music recorded in a studio to that in live concert.  I think it is the perfection of it all, the chance to erase the mistakes of a "time art" that normally one cannot go back and "fix".  I think photography draws me in with its clean lines and realistic nature similar to that perfectly recorded music.  And with a digital camera the feedback is immediate and the delete button is extremely handy, perfect for a novice photographer.
Silver Buckle {346/365}
Silver Buckle-2011

Lately however, something is changing in my images.  Not all the time, but from time to time.....a sense that the clean lines are beginning to blur and there is welcome imperfection.  My images, like the path of my life, are not meant to be perfect.  I cannot go back and erase or fix what's been done, I need not color within the lines, and what I see and do may have many dimensions-some only revealed as I look or consider them over a length of time.

Abstract Reflection
Abstract Reflection-2011

Patio Tables {331/365}
Patio Tables-2011

Last winter I read a novel about a poor Russian family.  A teen age daughter was asked to paint a portrait of a wealthy woman.  She rode her bicycle 6 hours to the woman's house, nervous and unsure.  She kept repeating to herself...."art is light on form, art is light on form, art is light on form." The mantra seemed to be a message.  I wrote it down.


Maybe that is what art is, light on form but somehow I think it's so much more.  I think art starts when something within collides with something you see, feel, or imagine which needs to be released into the universe.  For me that happens most often when I am moved by natural light.  I'm guessing that over time it will happen with other influences too such as shapes, color, movement, and subjects of interest. 

Late Summer {355/365}
Late Summer-2011

The Scream
Edvard Munch-1893

This is my favorite painting.  It speaks to me.  I have felt like the person in this image.  It wasn't pleasing.  Intense vertigo and roaring tinnitus bring on this feeling.  It is the only image I know that pictures how I feel when I'm ill and I wish I could rip off my ears to make it all stop .  This painting offers a very personal connection for me.  That too is art.  Whether it's what Mr Munch intended to convey with his art or if his inspiration was something entirely matters not. Because I can connect to his image in a personal way, that too says this is art to me.

What is art?  I don't know.  It may be an image you like, the process of creating, the way light flows over form, a yearning from within, a famous work in a gallery or coffee table book, or the emotion felt when you see or create an image or artistic piece.  I guess art is whatever you want it to be whenever you want it to be that.  Why didn't I just write that in the first paragraph?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weekend Reflections

Linking with James for this week's weekend reflections.  One of my faves!!

Not that I'm boasting or taunting or anything like that....but, the "no dogs" sign at the beach is finally down and put away for the season.  Yee-haw.   While I totally understand that beach-goers in bare feet are not happy sharing space with dogs, I find it frustrating not to be able to enjoy the beach during the BEST months for beach going.

In the midst of January my Tula and I plod along in biting bundled, she with ears blown back.  Oft we're the only ones there-I feel like the "beach keeper" at times.  Then summer hits and tourists and sun worshipers fill the sands and Tula and I are not welcome.  Honestly, I'm willing to share the sands in January, really I am, but the gesture is not reciprocal.  I guess the best and yet worst part of that is the cold months are many more than the warm.

Thursday morning was a great day.  So glad I woke up early.


Morning View
Morning View

Happy Dog
Happy Dog

Let's just say that I wasn't the only one delighted that the "no dogs" sign is down.  First beach run of the fall season.

Walking In Rhythm
Walking In Rhythm

Have a great weekend.  Tula and I will be at the beach.  Thanks James!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Texture Tuesday-to do

Linking at the Kim Klassen Cafe for this week's Texture Tuesday.  Thank you Kim.


This week was an and/or topic.  The theme was "do" in a verb.  Then came the option of staying with the do and adding at least one texture, or scrapping the whole "do" thang, and using the Autumn Burst texture.

I went with and.  This sounds like Bill Clinton saying it depends what the definition of is is.  I'm off topic again, but I do have many endearing qualities.

Textin' and Smokin'

While in Boston, I spied this waitress. It was 11:00 and she was getting in the necessities before the lunch rush. I loved that she was so engrossed that I could wait for the smoke exhale...she hadn't a clue that I was snapping her image.

While these two "dos" are not something I "do" I suppose you could call them verbs.  Somehow verbs suggest to me action....maybe her thumbs were quickly flying over all those letters.

Happy Tuesday.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Am I Trendy or What?

The last part of my "journey of recognition" with Kat.  I've really enjoyed the ride and now have more insight into who I am as a photographer and artist.  While I don't have complete answers, I think I've put down solid groundwork for growing, stretching, looking back, looking forward, analyzing, and riding that wave of ever-changing artistry and voice.  I still have another portion of this journey to look forward to in October.  If you think you'd like to dig in and open the window to what is inside your photography, click on through to Kat's website.  I think you'll be glad you did.

In this lesson we were to consider trends in photography and how our own photos might be influenced by what we see in magazines, on websites, while blogging, etc.  This challenge was difficult for me.  Once I received a nice comment that said something like "I like that you don't follow the latest trends and instead shoot images that please you".  Hmmmmm.  I thought "Really?  There are trends?  Who knew?"

In general I've realized I don't know what I like.  Most of my furnishings, while fine in their function, are hand me downs and yard sale finds.  I'd be lost choosing something new for my home.  I wear blue jeans nearly every day....and have shirts in the same style of various colors-I don't think about clothes.  I should have Garanimals.  I have noticed I'm starting to figure out what I don't like.  I guess that's a start.

The only trend that came to mind was the trend of textures.  I do know that I'm not a huge fan of textures, though that dreamy desaturated vintage look seems to hold a lot of appeal to many.  I do use textures from time to time.  They rarely seem to come from the heart, but more to cover up a somewhat flawed image. 

I'm trying to link regularly with Kim Klassen for Texture Tuesdays to see if I can come 'round to liking them more.  I feel like I'm not really sure how to use them-which one to choose.  It's kind of like women with football.  I love football, but I understand the game.  Most women don't and don't enjoy it.  I wonder if they knew the game if they'd like it better.  Is this at all an analogy that anyone is following or did your eyes glaze over when I mentioned the "f" sport?

Here is a textured image I did this summer that I do like....

One Word {287/365} {sh 32}
One Word
......but I don't know why I like it.

I like this one too.
Silenced {356/365} {sh 78}

The reason I put the texture on the piano image?...fessing up.  The keys were really dusty and to "rescue" the photo from my embarrassment, I put a texture over it.  Cleaning through textures-give it a try.  The only thing I see in common between the two images; the textures have words in them. 

And I do love me some words in images.


So, maybe a trend I should explore is typography, or combining words and images or maybe that's not a trend but rather an interest running 'round in my ever busy mind.
As for visiting other sites for inspiration.  I guess I don't do that.  I visit lots of blogs and see photography I respect, but I don't go looking at sites.  Perhaps that can go on the ever increasing in length "to do" list.

Now there was one trend that seemed to come up during this Journey series....
Scooters!  Yah Baby!

Mother and Child
Mother and Child

Making me a little cartoon-ish version of the infamous red scooter.

Red Selfie
Red Selfie

Reflections are something I like to play with too....why not me on the side of a scooter?  Will have to suffice to be a reflection.  I'm not sure Maine is the best place for scooter ownership-until they come with snow tires and heaters. :)

Thanks for reading my Swiss cheese version of trends...lots of holes.