Saturday, December 13, 2008

December 13, 2008

Last night Earth witnessed a full moon that appeared 14% larger and 30% brighter than the usual full moon. This is because the moon was actually closer to the Earth than it usually is. It's  all about the path and rotation and referred to as the perigee moon, which means "closer."

We were eager to see this full moon; which will not be seen again for fifteen years or so. We drove to the top floor of a parking garage in San Antonio, hoping to get the best possible view, and were amply rewarded. 

When a focal point is located in the center of a composition or picture world, the message the artist is sending the viewer is "look here, this is important." The centering device isn't used as much in Western art as it is in Eastern art, where the mandala is a classic example of presenting an image meant to keep the eye moving around and around, captured within the circle. That's the whole point - to center physically and spiritually. My photo struck me as meditative, so I decided to emphasize that feeling. I cropped the image to center the moon in the picture, where it is also visually dominant, because it is so bright against the dark sky.

I left a building in the picture when I cropped it. I could have cropped out everything  and left the moon in all of its glory, but the reference to humans felt important to the picture. No building or artwork, however grand, can match the grandeur of Nature. Retaining the evidence of humans in the picture contrasts the natural and man-made worlds, and is a reminder of the importance of keeping the two spheres in humble balance.  


2 comments:

Carol Kamin said...

Beautiful Jane. I heard about the moon on the news but forgot to go out here because of the rain we were having.
Carol Kamin

maggi said...

You are so lucky to have seen it. It was completely overcast here so was not visible.

November 20, 2008

November 20, 2008

November 20, 2008

How does color set a mood? The soft gray and white of the carpet, the cat Marshall, and the sunlit window contribute to to the sense of calm repose. What does blue mean to you or me? We all have symbolic associations for colors; some based on personal experience and some instilled culturally. 

The cobalt blue of the vase provides a point and counterpoint to the composition, in addition to providing elements that balance.
Keeping the cat in the lower third of the composition weights the image and is another visual door into the picture world.

November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008

November 19, 2008

This picture tells several stories. It references the human desire to order the world around us - the lettering on the wall establishes the alley as a No Parking zone, and the broken glass-  jutting out at the top - is another message of fear and frailty. Whoever lives behind this wall wants to be left alone.

But there is beauty in the contrast of the rough brick surface and the smooth translucency of the broken glass bottles. A contrast of textures makes for an interesting composition. And the abstract nature of the printed letters against the structure of the bricks would be worth emulating in another sort of composition.

There is as much beauty in decay as there is in a bouquet of fresh flowers. And aren't decay and fresh growth just two different spots on the same continuum?



November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008

The Hydrangeas offer a lesson in the effective use of color. The pale blue and lavender are roughly the same value, so they balance each other beautifully. I am challenged to mimic that combination of analogous colors on silk Habotai!

This photograph would be considered beautiful even without the red-orange and yellow flowers at the bottom. But the addition of the complements to the blue and purple creates a focal point and generates some nice contrast because of the complementary pairing. And imagine how different this composition would be, were the red-orange and yellow at the top instead of at the bottom. The current placement adds important visual weight.

November 17, 2008

November 17, 2008

November 16, 2008

November 16, 2008
Being and Non-being

Substance and Light

November 16, 2008

We join spokes together in a wheel,
but it is the center hole
that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,
but it is the emptiness inside 
that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,
but it is the space inside
that holds whatever we want.

We work with being,
but non-being is what we use.

Tao te Ching; Verse 11
Stephen Mitchell translation