Sunday, August 28, 2011

ARTISTIC INSPIRATION...

CAFE LUNA ~ Summerland, CA
"Anyone can make the simple complicated.
Creativity is making the complicated simple."
~ Charles Mingus, American jass musician

I've been concentrating on identifying my "creative eye" in  KAT SLOMA'S class, and in a recent assignment we were asked to identify creative elements that "called" to us... I stopped by SAN LUIS OBISPO MUSEUM OF ART (after-work) for a quick browse! I mean 8-10 minutes was all the time I had, before the doors closed.

I made a quick bee-line to the watercolor exhibit by DOUGLAS SIMMS STENHOUSE. Although I don't have experience painting with watercolors, I'm drawn to this artistic medium because it requires a painter to layer colors, creating depth in the image & sort of an ethereal appearance. While I haven't applied texturing to any of my photos, I know many photographers who can create a similar feeling by applying layers to their photos using photo-editing programs.


Walking through SLOMA, I developed this list of observations about my "creative eye"... I'm drawn to art pieces that are:


Nevada City Foundry
realistic = APPEALING. I spent a couple of minutes trying to figure out how many layers of color Stenhouse applied to create a feeling of depth in the objects found in his paintings. 

This photo sembles some of the objects in Stenhouse's art and could easily be replicated in watercolors, because of the play of light & dark.

Abstract art ~ ACE's bedroom
abstract or unrealistic = UNAPPEALING. If a piece is colorful, I might stop and try to figure out what the artist was thinking or feeling when they created their art, but bold stokes that are splashed & splatted all over the canvas, just make me think "messy"... not art!  On the other hand, this abstract = APPEALING because the design lines and bold colors are meticulously colored & shaded... 

ceramic by ACE

colors of nature = APPEALING

well-defined design or tactile appearance = APPEALING

This ceramic has a brillant shade of red-orange, with leaf-green outlines of the countries, floating on the aquamarine blue ocean.

Don't you want to put your hand up to feel the difference between shiny and flat? & trace your fingers over the outline of the water drips coming off the earth?

I've determined my "creative eye" looks for those "found-in-nature" colors; is drawn to "minute details" which can be captured in many art mediums; and the objects need a sense of "realism"... 

WOW! what a great exercise!!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

THE THIEF...

DON'T SEE ANYONE!???
UMMM... THINK I GOT IT!

OOPSIE! IT'S MOVING!!!
SECOND TRY! I'LL ADD A BIT OF SPIT TO MY HANDS!
GOT IT! ACE BUYS THE "YUMM-IEST FOOD"!
MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!
SeE Ya LaTeR...

:: squirrel attack at ACE'S ::
(disclaimer:  blurry pics - taken through a sliding glass door)

Friday, August 26, 2011

S-S-S-S-S-S....

"fiery color" in Nevada City ~ 7.31.11
:: horoscope for today ::

"Seek out more information, especially as someone
 is more than willing to talk --- finally.
Impulsiveness marks your actions. 
Make it OK to live out your FIERY side."

WOW!
I wouldn't say I was "impulsive" 
but "assertive" perhaps...

This work week has been exhausting!
I think my bed is calling me!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

YUMMY!!!

POTLUCK at WORK TODAY...
::  LESSON LEARNED ::
ask everyone to provide a LIST of the ingredients
in their potluck dish!

I took JPE's secretary
to the Emergency Room
in the middle of our luncheon!
She has a severe allergy to shrimp & didn't see the tiny crustaceans in the pasta salad she was eating!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MISSOURI 
Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad
(a favorite recipe from my Mom's family)

:: MIX ::
1 head of broccoli
1 head of cauliflower
1/3 c diced green onions

:: PREPARE ::
1/4 c tomatoes (seeded & chopped)
2-3 hard boiled eggs (chopped)
:: COOK ::
7-8 pieces of bacon (crumble)

:: WHIP ::
1 c mayo (used light!)
1/4 c sugar
2 TBSP white vinegar

:: PACKAGE ::
bacon & chopped egg in separate containers
pour dressing in a jar
keep ingredients chilled

:: SALAD INGREDIENTS ::
mix & serve


YUMMY!!
Leftovers for dinner!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

NIGHTY! NIGHT!!

Mendocino coastline = "predictable" night photography shot

Kat Sloma's current "Exploring with Your Camera" theme, NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY has been posted HERE!


Don't tell me you haven't been to KAT'S BLOG?
Gosh!!
:: exceptional photography ::
:: free photo tips ::
...you've gotta visit KAT'S EYE VIEW OF THE WORLD.

Henry Miller Library ~ Big Sur (10.1.10)
I don't have many night pictures in my Photo Library! Being a perfectionist, I'm certain I've deleted them for any number of reasons.


As luck would have it, this photo wasn't cut... the contrast of light & dark (white lights against the inky blue-black sky) & the shapes (ivy slithering up the firmly-planted wooden post, reaching to the round, rusty, dented wagon wheel) prevented me from pushing the "delete" button.


We didn't learn the origin of the wagon wheel, 
but after reading about Henry Miller's outrageous crowd
of followers, I'll bet he WON the wheel ~~~ in a BET

Browse THIS PICTURE FILE to see what the wheel looks like in daylight. The addition of the scruffy foliage, certainly "jazzed up" the wagon wheel post for this nighttime shot.
Henry Miller Library ~ Big Sur ~ 10.1.1


Another photo taken that same evening... 
Pretty SPOOKY, huh?!?!
Sorry, I can't share the camera settings used... 
I'm pretty impressed that I remembered to grab
my camera in the midst of the music, dancing and wine.


I'm going back to re-read Kat's tips, and give NIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY another chance.  Your assignment, should you chose to learn more about photography, is to visit KAT'S BLOG!  THEN, leave me a message about one new thing you learned! (can you tell school started? I'm acting like a teacher!)


sorry about the gaps between the lines - couldn't remove them - guess I need to learn more about HTML?

Monday, August 22, 2011

WHEN YOU GROW UP?

Fat Tire Bike Tour in the RAIN (London 7.23.10)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

AHHH!! SIGH!! URRGHH!

NEVADA CITY ~ BLUE BIRD FARM ~ 7.31.11
DON'T YA THINK?

Friday, August 19, 2011

"TGI-TW"...

Outside Inn ~ Nevada City {7.31.11}
THANK GOODNESS IT'S.... THE WEEKEND!!!

What plans have you made for the weekend?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

STOP BUGGIN' ME!

Nevada City makes 'em BIG!
?? QUESTION ??

Which INSECT bugs you the most?

:: INSECT TRIVIA ::

INSECTS make up 80% of the world's species.

There are 900,000 different kinds of living INSECTS.

There are 300 pounds of INSECTS for every pound of humans.

(found on the Smithsonian Institute website)


:: MY INSECT STORY ::
One morning, armed with a cup of coffee, 
I stepped outside the patio door & 
prepared to slip my bare feet into my clogs...
I heard a slight "crunch" ~~~ EWWW!!!
a POTATO BUG!!!
visit http://potatobugs.com/ for more of these buggers!
MY LEAST FAVORITE INSECT = POTATO BUGS

tell me your INSECT story!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

BREAKING THE RULES...

birthday boy who DOESN'T like parties!

I've just started the second part of FIND YOUR EYE with Kat Sloma... AND, just returned to work full-time... AND, spent a long weekend out of town (hence, the lack of postings!)

This post is my FYE homework response to "BREAKING RULES" when using your camera. I must say, this assignment has me thinking a lot about how & why I take pictures... but here are some thoughts:


"water noodles" ~ capture the ordinary




Wanting to explore another "creative" venture (other than scrap booking, collaging, journaling - other creative interests), I began using a camera as another way to "corral & capture" the ordinary details of my life.


DETAILS... I love them! so much that I typically discard photos that appear blurry or out of focus! This is a rule I'm working on breaking! At the beginning of this course, I hadn't thought about the "story" behind a picture ~ instead of discarding the picture, I'm learning to look at the "power of motion" (even if the picture is blurry!).
"birthday water slide" ~ powerful!!!
THIRDS... In many photo blogs & photography books, the photographer talks about the "composition of the subject" being captured in THIRDS. If you really don't understand what I'm talking about, you can read about this rule HERE. It's a great composition technique, but I do break this rule if I think the photo lends itself to being front & center. Generally, I break the rule when I haven't paid attention to the background (& I'm trying to block that out) or I want to remember the detail of what I'm photographing.
 "front & center" ~ Mom's porch sign
SAFE SUBJECTS... Some of you may have noticed (or read in this course postings), that I have a habit of photographing subjects that I deem safe... like flowers or objects... notice I didn't say people, activities, or anything that isn't stationery! 
"pirate cake" ~ this ship is NOT moving!
But, I'm working on this! a lot of my recent photos involved splashing water! moving bodies! & activity! It's hard for me to save (& share photos) that aren't neat & tidy (meaning detailed). I know there's a great action photo waiting to be captured! SO... this rule is meant to be "squished" with the touch of my fingertip! 
"we're in this together" ~ blurry? but tells a story!

"remembering the height"


Imposing these rules is short-changing my creative possibilities! so, I'm ready to make the LEAP! Hopefully, I won't embarrass myself? and that brings me to my final thought!

WHO... am I capturing photos for? like everyone else, it's nice to get those "WOW! love how you captured the detail of that flower" but, my photos are a visual journal ~ so I'll be able to remember the emotions, smells, sounds, tastes of a particular day, time and place.

TELL ME ~ why do you take photos? & what rules have you imposed on your "creative" pursuit of snapping a "memorable" photo?

Sunday, August 14, 2011

TWISTED!!!

AVILA BARN "VINES"
"Spend the afternoon. 
You can't take it with you."
~Annie Dillard, author (Pilgrim at Tinker Creek)

Friday, August 12, 2011

GOT-YA!!!

4th of July antics (2011)
"The best thing an adult can spend on their children
is TIME, not MONEY!!"


OFF to So California ~ ~ ~ visiting family, catching a movie (The Help), attending a bday party for this little guy (he's turning 5)!
Back Sunday...

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

BUSY AS A BEE...

Nevada City - OUTSIDE INN
"If you are too busy to develop your talents, 
you are too busy."
~ Julia Cameron, artist & author

DID A LOT OF THIS TODAY!
(laundry, I mean! ~ a blog post is about as "creative" 
as I have energy for today!!)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

SIGH. BIG SIGH.. BIGGER SIGH...

Nevada City ~ July 30, 2011
Rob & Daniela's Wedding
Wanna float?
say YES!

it was 87 degrees ~ in the
SHADE!

Wanna swing?
say YES!

we took a "post-wedding" swing at 11pm & looked at STARS!


cute CITY!
adorable, renovated MOTOR INN!


ask for "THE CABIN"


we W-A-N-N-A go back!

what's your recommendation 
for a REPEAT visit?

"The Cabin" would be a cozy place
...with a little snow on the ground!



Monday, August 8, 2011

ARE YOU BEING FRAMED?

"INSIDE LOOKING OUT" ~ OXFORD, ENGLAND (July 2010)

"Frame Within a Frame" 
is Kat Sloma's current theme 
for her "EXPLORING WITH A CAMERA" series. 

In this participatory exercise, Kat posts a topic, theme or idea & asks you to use a camera to "explore your world" & share the photos on your blog or Flickr account! To get a better understanding of this compositional technique, you can read about it HERE!
LEED'S CASTLE ~ ENGLAND (July 2010)
My intention in taking this picture was to remember the shape of windows... but after reading her explanation, I found details in my photos I hadn't noticed... like the bird sitting on the outside edge of the window & the "knobby-looking" metal panels of the wall!

ST MARTIN'S-in-the-FIELDS, London, England ~ July 2010
JPE & I visited this church numerous times during our three-week stay in London last summer. The church pews were a refuge against a summer rainstorm; we listened to a CONCERT by the BELMONT ORCHESTRA; and more than once, SAT TO REST OUR FEET from the constant walking on our daily adventures. 

Like a famous painting, we'll never forget the "magnetism" of this window... NOR the scrumptious scones & tea they sell in their basement cafe!!

PARIS, FRANCE ~ July 2005
Don't you want to take a peek in this courtyard? walk up the staircase? smell the fragrance of the flowers blooming in the window boxes? look at the architecture & detail of the ironwork up close? AND, LOOK, did you notice the lion's head in the triangle of the staircase? think it's a water fountain? 

I discovered numerous examples of a "Frame Within A Frame" technique in my photo library. Take a peek at the second & third picture in my RECENT POST!

Have you used this technique? what mood or detail were you hoping to capture? what story would your "Frame Within A Frame" picture tell? 

If you find you've used this technique, why not share the picture with others ~ stop by KAT'S and leave a link to your photo!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

MY EYE ~ FOUND!!!

Gimmelwald, Switzerland ~ July 2005
For the past several weeks, I've been participating in Kat Sloma's FIND YOUR EYE online photography course (see pink button on right hand). 


Kat's twice weekly lessons have encouraged us to participate in group discussions and share photo responses on our blogs or the FYE Group Flickr account. 
Cinque Terre ~ July 2005






After reviewing over 2000 photos, I THINK I was able to identify what "draws my eye" as I get ready to snap a picture.


Orsay Museum ~ July 2005
While I still have a lot to learn about photo editing (which was not the focus for this course), I was able to see the evolution of my photo composition...   and more importantly, I learned it wasn't about the CAMERA I was using!






As I mentioned in ANOTHER POST, the Kodak camera used in 2005, has been passed along, yet, the COMPOSITION of the three photos is surprisingly similar. 


Oxford, London ~ July 2010
Kew Garden ~ July 2010
The pictures from 2010 were taken with a Canon Rebel (a camera with multiple dials).  I still consider myself at the "fiddling" stage as I try to understand the 'creative mode' settings. Ummm, does another word also come to mind?
How about "Peeping Tom"??

Conclusion: I like "looking into other people's worlds"?!!! 


One fact stills remains ~ my creative eye focuses on... SHAPE + LINE + COLOR

here's more color + TEXTURE
December 2010
color + shape + DETAIL
KEW GARDEN ~ July 2010
color + DETAIL
JPE'S Jamming Day ~ 9.12.10
This is kind of embarrassing, but I'm also known for my "eye for detail" so it shouldn't come as a surprise that many of my photos focus on the "finer elements" of the object I'm capturing. 
View from the front porch ~ March 2011
If you haven't visited Kat's BLOG & you enjoy photography - you're missing out on a lot of photo tips & inspiration!!!

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