Monday, January 28, 2013

Both Sides of the Sullivan Bridge

I couldn't resist turning around and going back over the bridge this morning to shoot both views on either side. The big moon and the rising bright sun seemed to be in a harmonious and at the same time contrasting coincidence. I did feel precarious there on the bridge with traffic whizzing by, so I didn't take the time to consider framing, composition and settings on the camera. It seemed I was just after what was there and that was enough! Here are the photos... I only took two.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sullivan Harbor Afternoon

I went to Sullivan Harbor as the sun was setting this afternoon to shoot some pictures of the little island that I have photographed so many times and I found I was somewhat distracted from it as the main subject as I had intended. The color on the ice, the contrasts that were happening as the light got lower and lower, and the patterns on the ice became much more attractive visually, so that's more of what I ended up shooting for imagery. I'm posting three that I worked on a bit to bring out some detail in shadows and clarity in the reflected light.

Windy, Sunny & Cold

Matt and I went out into the front field this morning because he was looking for something to do and I thought the sunny day was so beautiful. The snow has melted down to small patches in the field and all the vegetation seems so dry and dormant, but the water in the bay is so alive with color and texture that it seems inspiring.

We talked about the similarities between some of the colors that are over the ice and such being similar to the tropics. The azure greens and the blues are gorgeous, and when I got the images back to the computer I decided not to touch them as I liked them the way they were. Matt has been home for the weekend and we've spent a lot of time together. In a great mood, his intellect, appreciation of that which is around him, and unusual perspective on a variety of topics make it an interesting time.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Burnout in Sullivan

It is so sad to see anyone lose whatever they have accumulated as it is so hard to get ahead without substantial resources. Fire has been a devastating cause of heartache and loss of lives this winter, and there seems to be no end, as the colder it is the more heat is required to survive.

The photo I am posting is of a house burned out near the High School in Sullivan, and I was struck by the very real sense of loss and abandonment from several points of view. The fire, of course, and the resulting loss from that, but also the objects that were left at the scene, the things frozen into the ground and the missing windows all lent more detail to the paint inflicted by fire.

The photo uses the setting sun as a backdrop on the trees behind the building, and that contrast to the blue tint of the building increases the sense of severity in the shot. I took a number of these and as I thought about the above I was trying to balance values in the composition. The photo tells the story.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sandy's Last Photo

Our cat passed away today. He was 14 years old and a dear companion. Easy going, friendly and dependable he would often wait for us at the door to get home in the afternoons. His presence is missed already as we prepare to retire for the evening and there is no cat bed next to ours, no soft purring of contentment as he joins us in the bedroom. It seems like last week was too much death and I didn't really feel like facing the blog here and maintaining and "upbeat", but as soon as we get used to one thing another comes along. Sad. We will miss him.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Bay Is Next

The deep freeze we are in really begins to solidify the salt water of the bay. The wind has kept the water moving and so the ice has had a problem setting in, but if it stays cold much longer it is inevitable to freeze over. Again here the contrast of the visual and the practical arouses my interest and the images are ones I have shot so many times and yet are always different!
The textures of the water and the wind blown edge of the ice are really nice here in this and I like the glow of the sun over those differing reflective surfaces.

The "Ice-cakes" are so unique to the salt water tides, I've always loved their shapes into forms and how they reflect light as well.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Frozen Mud Creek

On the way into school and the "creek" was very frozen. Cold this morning and yet more cold coming, so the contrast between the (apparent) warmth of the sun with its bright orange and such and the cold blue ice is the "hook" here.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Going Mobile

This post is from my phone while having supper at Denny's in Ellsworth. We planned to go see "Lincoln", but I read the paper wrong or something and it was only playing at one o'clock, so we will go see it tomorrow it looks like. I've heard some very good things about the film and I'm hoping that it lives up to the hype.
So the photo I'm posting is a close up of Jen's iced tea, wet, cool and refreshing.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Foggy Headed Morning Blues

I think I need to write a song around the foggy-headed morning concept. I really felt as though I was quite foggy this morning on the way in to school. I think the cycles of life sort of caught up with me and brain cells were firing rather slowly. Working around that was even harder given the state of the atmosphere this morning. I stopped to take this shot on the Mud Creek Road. Somewhat blue, isn't it?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

I'm not sure whether this is a positive or a negative thought/feeling, but after the "dealing with death" yesterday I read online through Caring Bridge that one of my student's Mom passed away today. While I wonder why this happens to such a young person (and I know it happens to those even younger) and the tears keep coming to my eyes as I think about it, I sense the "spirit" and the emotion makes me aware that there is more than we can know, that there is more than we can ever actually see for ourselves. We can still be saddened, but at the same time must move forward with where we have been placed and where we will be placed as events unfold in our lives. Ashes to ashes, this photo I took the other night thinking that something was about to happen that it would somehow represent. Not much of a photo, but ashes aren't much of a subject.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Gorilla Brushes

A celebration of life (funeral) this weekend brings me again to the somber side of reality and forces me toward making some sort of sense from all the activity around me and those I love. Every time I raise my "gorilla" brushes and move toward a visual realization of something vague yet real in my mind ( it the imagination or perhaps the subconscious?) I am brought toward Matt's reality and find myself looking for meaning in the ugly and harsh aspects of daily life.

Oh, I see and believe in the beautiful, but there are always two sides that make us all whole in so many ways, and I feel like there is a need to balance the both continuously. I have had an hour or so to work in the studio this morning and that is precious time for me, but my responsibility to my students and my school is rising in my mind and I have a long list of things to do, so that is where I am now heading! Here's a shot of one of my Gorilla brushes with a recent sketch begun in the background.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Northern Sky, Southern Sky

A very interesting sky on the way home tonight, with a strange or unusual, depending on your point of view and state of mind at the time, formation of pattern. The classic "mackerel" sky that we occasionally see with it's long stripes of cloud was broken into shorter segments and gave a much less ordered arrangement and seemed more random and scattered. The sky, with clouds in it, seems always to be a fascination of one sort or another. Here are two views, the first of the north and the second of the south.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Four Favorites

... from Jackson's birthday...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Surprise Snow on Sunday

I got the snowshoes on for the first time this season on Sunday and then walked around the field and down to the beach to get this shot of the house. I went along the shore up to the head of the bay and really enjoyed the time out on snowshoes in the new soft snow. I need to do that much more often. Here's the shot of the house that I liked the best. What a great weekend! I'm feeling a bit "under the weather" and may not make it to school on Monday, I'll wait for the morning.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Happy Birthday Jackson

What a day we all had! I lost track of the numbers of people that were here for Jackson's first birthday, but we had a party with a "Sock Monkey" theme and it went pretty well. The kids (Jackson and his cousin-sister Dacara) opened presents a big part of the day and had all kinds of things to play with and entertain the adults. Jackson seems so grown up walking all over the place and oozing personality!

He did have a quiet moment or two this evening, with a momentary quest into the mysteries of the iPhone (his parents are very glad that he gets bored with it quickly) in the dim light of evening.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Preparing in the Studio

Pretty much doing some screen printing the night before Jackson's birthday on a bunch of t-shirts I bought last summer for this occasion. Prepped the screen, cut the stencil, and did a dozen or so prints for the grandson.

Thursday, January 3, 2013


Of course there is so much going on in every day that I no longer expect to remember everything that I do, much less document it for whatever reason, so if this has been posted before... oh, well!

I've got more "wet darkroom" classes this year than I ever have, and I find it fascinating that students are so interested in the "old school" version of photography. Don't get me wrong, I love digital photography and the ease with which one can capture an image, but shooting film definitely slows me (and I hope my students) down to where each shot has much more significance around lighting, composition and how the subject is interpreted.

The piece I'm posting here is one I did with my students while they were working, which is for me one of the aspects of teaching ART that I like best; it allows the teacher to be a "doer" or "maker", and throws out that old premise "If you can't do, teach". If you are an ART teacher, you should be "doing" and learning right along with your students!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

First Work of 2013 & More

I finished this piece this morning, or at least I thought I did until I had a closer (and settled) look when I took the photo. It seems there might be a few little details I want to finish up on it. This piece comes from a whole group that's been developing for years, and although I'm not all that happy (yet) with it, I like that I had the concept of what I wanted to do right from the start. The hard thing about that for an artist is that one must grapple with the product matching the vision. I don't mean that they necessarily have to "match", but as soon as their is a sense of disappointment, and separation between the concept and the resulting piece (which maybe cannot stand on it's own merit) is too great, the piece might as well go in the trash. I no longer have any problem with moving things to the trash bin. I did when I was younger, but now I seem to be learning from content and I no longer have issues around technique.

Also I have a "mobile photo" that was shot with the "Hipster" app and double exposed. I have a single exposure that I shot first and it is great quality, but it lacks the feeling and visual "draw" that the double exposure possesses.

And I got this shot of Jen wrapping gifts for our "Second Christmas" next weekend, which is a celebration of Jackson Johnson's first birthday. I've been busy today making some things for that as well. All in all, we had a pretty productive "Christmas/New Years" break!