Sunday, November 29, 2009
November 29, 2009
Late November is always a period of contemplation for me. I am not a big fan of extravagant holiday events and if I didn't have a daughter and a mother I would probably disappear to a remote retreat site in December. Or at least take the phone off the hook. My current longing for down time is made more acute by the many weeks spent on the road this fall. I love teaching and I love the people I meet through my classes. I spent eight months on a book project this year. I am blessed. But I guess I need time to appreciate my blessings.
This week photo blogging has felt stilted. I think it is an indication that my project has come to its natural conclusion. I believe all good things DO come to an end, and if we could only acknowledge that fact without being threatened by it, many of us would live better lives. Friendships, marriages, critique groups and organizations all run their course, leaving participants better than they were before, if they will only allow it. A graceful exit is an admirable skill.
I have other projects in mind. I am devoting a considerable amount of energy to my new position as a vice president of the Surface Design Association. There is a great deal to be done to rework our services to our membership. This is something I care about passionately, and I intend to make myself useful.
I have two opportunities to show new work in 2010. The digital fabrics that were stacking up in my studio are in a process of transformation and I am totally jazzed at this point. I can hardly wait to get out to the studio in the morning. December WILL be the retreat month I crave.
I am very grateful for the comments and participation each of you contributed to make this year of blogging a success for me. I am especially grateful to Jackie Manley, who amazingly stepped up to the plate - offering comments on my photos almost every day for the whole year. I did not know her prior to this project. Now we've met for dinner and shared ideas about art! Life is a surprising gift.
When I decide to pursue a new on-line project I'll post the information to connect to it here. Keep your follower status, and you'll be alerted when a new project has begun. Here's to the projects you are pursuing yourselves. Stay in touch.
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
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
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 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