9.16.2014

Nature is always inspiring

As the light changes from the bright hues of summer to the languid tones of autumn, 
a change of artistic scenery is due...


An old metal medicine cabinet displays vintage bottles and practice sketches...contorted oil paint tubes await their turn...a broken clock, reminiscent of a former time...capturing what once was...

The patterns and textures of nature are always intriguing...

a whorl of flower petals...







































the striations in a leaf...







































the delineations of a feather, the precision of a wasp nest...







































Can we ever really capture the essence of this natural beauty...







































these replications in print, paint or photography...only serve to remind us how wonderous nature is...
and that it is best to be experienced and explored...







































joining the group over at kim klassen's texture tuesday...
all of my photos were edited with either kk texture magic0916 or kk texture everyday...sometimes both...




9.12.2014

reflections of a man

Composing a portrait of a person...without an image of that person...but rather a composition of a still life that reflects who this person is...a still life family portrait...this week's exercise in my bestill52 class...

I immediately embraced the idea and my mind went racing...thinking first of my mother and the things I have that would represent who she was...her skill and talent as a seamstress, her ability to cook and to knit...her willingness to fix/repair/remodel whatever was needed around the house...but then I stopped...

and thought...what about my dad...












































In my office, on my bookshelves, I have a large stack of paperbound play scripts...they belonged to my father...who was a devotee of the theater and active in an amateur theater group while I was growing up...









The vintage wire rimmed glasses were a prop for a character he was playing...I no longer remember which play...but when my mom said she was getting rid of them, I quickly snatched them up...you'll notice that they show up often in my photographs...

It was great fun to see my dad perform on stage...so animated and alive...as I've grown older, I think perhaps that he was frustrated with his small town life, the trials and tribulations of raising 6 children, a nondescript middle management job, wanting something more...and that acting on the stage refreshed his soul.  He was an English major in college and instilled in me an appreciation of the spoken and written word...sometimes I helped him with his lines for the play...his notations in the margin remind me of his interpretations...and his decisive handwriting belied a stronger spirit...





























It is interesting how just a few items can indeed define a person...and these many years later make me pause...
and reflect...on who this man was...








































Linking up to kim klassen's Friday Finds...where my find is reflecting on the foibles of the human soul...

9.09.2014

happenstance

Lately I've been finding that the most offhand thought/gesture/action yields the best result...I get the sense sometimes that over-thinking the process just bogs everything down...and grinds inspiration to a halt...

In my year long creative class, be still 52, we've been focusing on real life photos...those vignettes composed in a moment's notice...

I had been trying to photograph a trio of my vintage calipers...no matter what I did, I couldn't find an angle or composition that worked for me...frustrated, I started putting them away when the tiny acorn I picked up on my walk with Calvin caught my eye...I literally threw it on the ottoman (where I was taking photos) and it landed in a caliper...I took a shot, cropped it and...


























Cleaning up the dining room table...a stray feather that I picked up from a parking lot over the weekend 
(I know...I pick up a lot of things off the ground), laid it on a stack of ticking to take back to the studio...that looked kinda interesting...grabbed a clock face off my desk to add a third element and took the shot...





























More cleanup...composting the sunflowers I bought at the farmers market two weeks ago...a quick snap with my phone camera before the last of the petals drop off...perfectly imperfect...

Finally...trimming my rose bush last week...snipped a few blooms not yet faded...thought it would be fun to compose a vignette with them...place in a vase...put on my white painted table...add a book...maybe a pair of reading glasses...take glasses away...get out stool to shoot from above...remove book...it goes on and on...nothing is right...once again, putting stuff away...still have one of the blooms in a silver vase...I spy my vintage clock faces in my office...toss them on the table...add the vase...that's it...








































I think sometimes we make more of something than we need to...must remember...simple is the best...
edited with kk texture lookup








































Linking up with kim klassen's Texture Tuesday...more simplicity at its best...

9.04.2014

Layer it on

As the seasons change, I like my surroundings to reflect the current mood...so with summer waving goodbye and autumn knocking at the door, its time to put away the seashells and white slipcovers...change it up a little bit...maybe some fall leaves...old books...anything rusty...








Need some help in setting a tone?  I have just the thing...
the latest issue of American Farmhouse Style has hit the newsstands...and in it you will find "5 Steps to Creating a Seasonal Vignette", a simple guide written/photographed by me.  










Using what you already have, I give a simple outline for changing your seasonal decor...for whatever suits your style. 
I firmly believe that your home should reflect who you are and provide a place of comfort and solace...how better than to be surrounded with the things you love.









































































And of course there are other wonderful articles - from dining alfresco during the fall season to a gorgeous yellow kitchen that I just love...

Come on in autumn...make yourself comfortable...I definitely want to enjoy you before winter makes its appearance...

9.02.2014

Daily Ritual

As September begins, life settles down...summer always seems so fancy free...doing as you please at a moment's notice depending on the weather or the mood of the moment...

With the return of autumn, there is going back to school...which seems to get everybody into a routine...establishing a pattern, a rhythm to the day...which makes it easier to keep track of a multitude of responsibilities, duties, appointments and commitments...






Though I don't have young kids to keep track of, there is still plenty of hubbub that needs to be orchestrated... and finding a time and space to be creative can often be relegated to the bottom of the list...












My friend Kate gave me this book for Christmas...and I've been reading snippets of it...discovering how other artists manage their creative process...












I do find its helpful to have a regular routine, especially for the start of the day...I like to ease into the day...and even better if I can have a little solitude...since my work schedule is such that I get up at 3am, I have the quiet of the early morning to drink a cup or two of coffee, check my email, get a brief roundup of news...breakfast, shower - and then out the door at 4:45am...





I'm a list maker - sometimes on paper, sometimes in my head - so I usually have a good idea of what I need to accomplish in any one day...and I always include at least one creative activity.  The best advice I ever read was that if you are going to be an artist, you needed to show up and create - every. single. day.

Sometimes its prepping for a collage...sometimes its setting up a photo shoot...other times it can be designing a new product line...or playing around with metal, wire and wood...it can be as elaborate as building a new display or as simple as posting a photo on Instagram...but its always something...and usually more than one thing...

So I urge you to pick up a copy of Daily Rituals...your local library probably has a copy...and think about starting a daily creative routine...whatever it might be...







































Joining the group over at kim klassen's Texture Tuesday...
kim's regular Texture Tuesday posts (and the Friday Finds posts) 
are two inspiring avenues to kickstart your creative mojo...
all of my photos in today's post were edited with kk texture reentry...



9.01.2014

Winding down...

As the calendar turns over to September, it is inevitable that summer is winding down...it has been a glorious summer, weather-wise, here in the Pacific NW...not too hot, not too cold...just right.

Here at our place, Its been a season of changes...and commitments...travelling the miles and then staying put...enjoying the sun, but knowing the rain will come.

On this Labor Day, I hope you take a moment to savor the last bits of summer...
put up your feet...and wind down a bit before fall makes its official arrival...

worth a look...

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