Monday, March 30, 2015

Another Black & White Photo Challenge Day.


















I am a fan of color but there are times when a black and white photograph can just direct your eye to the focal point. 

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you are doing something creative today. :)Bea

Sunday, March 29, 2015

From the woods to the beach.

This is one of those times I wish I had a telephoto lens for my camera. I would have gotten a clear and beautiful shot of this Red Tail Hawk sitting by its new nest.
I've always known that a pair nested in our woods. I could never find the nest. Yesterday, while driving home up the road that runs by the North end of the woods I spotted one of the hawks up in a tree by the very edge of the woods. A nest that hadn't been there a week ago now filled a v-shaped limb.

I don't know how many eggs they lay.  I know that over the past 15 years out here I've only ever seen one baby each year, make it to flying stage.  


I had a visitor out in the studio yesterday afternoon. Riley came out to work on some coloring of pictures when she spotted my scrap bin on the work table.
She asked me what I was working on and I told her I was in the beginning stages of pulling a color palette for an abstract piece. Of course, she wanted to work on her own piece. I've been teaching her how to use the little color wheel I have for just color selection for her paint projects.
I think she did an excellent job of making this rather interesting abstract fabric square. She hasn't tacked or sewn anything down yet.  We took this pictures so we could turn it into a black and white and take a look at value and contrast. 
As far as I am concerned it is never to young to hear the terms and meanings and get her to see how they apply. Then we will talk about any changes she wants to make to the piece. I think I'll have her use a glue stick to attach the pieces before we learn how to use the sewing machine.
I've been looking in my computer for old pictures of the Studio Artists. I've come across a number of folders in my computer picture section that are from four years ago and in unlabeled or sorted folders.
Like a golfer that can remember a course, hole, ball placement and number of strokes I remember exactly where I was standing, the weather, light and when I took a picture. I remember this early morning walk along the beach clearly.
It was a morning that shore birds ignored me and concentrated on the ocean waves coming in. I have no idea what kind of birds or gulls these are. I love their markings. I love the contrast of the dark ones in there with the light ones. I love that the composition has a diagonal slant and makes a triangle.
Well, I tried the faux wax method on my collage, Hundertwasser's Heaven. I followed the recipe, mixed the soft gel matte to the inference colors and the pinhead amount of Nichol gold and spread it on thickly.  While applying it I have to say it did give the appearance of wax, especially when you smoothed it and spread it around. Apparently, over night though it leveled itself out and the next morning there isn't a clue that anything had been applied. Well, I take that back since I had used gloss medium the matte had taken all the shine off the piece. It's framed now in a modern looking black frame. I didn't use real wax because my substrate wasn't going to be strong enough to hold it. I guess I am going to have to research this more if I plan to try it again on a piece.

Have a creative day. Let your soul dance! :)Bea

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Love finding those old special shots.

Found this in an old photo folder. Still like it.  I remember when I shot it in St. John's of all places.

Hope you all have a creative day. Do something, anything, remember right now, this minute you have the rest is up in the air.  :)Bea

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A little Rothko, Pollock or Composition with your coffee?





I felt bad about the two sad Black & White photos I posted on Monday.  My mind was occupied on the white stuff all over the lawn.
The other night while looking for a photograph in Picasa I discovered a folder that simply had a date and a ton of pictures in it.  Imagine my surprise to see some really good black and white compositions in there.  Taken back in 2011 they probably have never been posted.
I do like a misty or foggy morning for taking pictures. A little harder to stop the car and hope that I don't get rear ended or squished like a bug when I am out of the car taking a picture.
I hope these are showing up in the blog and you don't like I seem to have to do now, click that tiny little square up in the corner of where the picture should be.

I have no idea why my computer has suddenly developed this.  Honestly, if you have watched enough Twilight Zone series, in your lifetime, you could think that your laptop has suddenly developed a mean streak or a really bad sense of humor.

"Bea doesn't realize it now but soon she will be in a great debate with her computer.  One that will change her life forever...........do do do dooooooooooo."

Ok, dating myself but those of you that know what the hell I'm talking about hummed the theme song, didn't you?

Tomorrow is Technique Workshop Day at the Studio. As we have been since January we will be exploring, once again, in depth, Compositional formats and designs. Mary made us an easy to look at chart of the list from Joan Blackburn's book. Sixteen different formats are listed in her book.
While researching further I found the following shaped compositions mentioned in an Abstract Art book, Z, S, C, X, O, L and V. I have a feeling that some overlap and that there are probably more different names for the same compositions out there.

Linda and I did go through an Abstract Art book and look at the different pieces of artwork and try to put the right format to them.  It isn't as easy as you think. Some are obvious but others had to be worked out. I'm still not sure we got them right.

I have a comfort zone when it comes to composition. When I take photographs I tend to use a low horizon line, place focal points in the lower third on the right or left. You can see that in the tree and barn photos above. The third photo is a little unusual. I seldom plant things dead center.


Although, these three from the Journey Series seem to have trees smack dab in the center.


Hmmmm, apparently I do put them smack dab in the middle. And, I seem to prefer leafless trees and stark contrast. Interesting. Well, there are enough low horizon ones to feel like I might have nailed that one.
The other topic we will be covering will be Abstract Shape Language.
I knew about geometric, symbolic and organic but I hadn't really thought through free shapes or shapelessness. When I researched shapelessness I was referred to the work of Material Painters, Action painters and Color Field Painters.
Three terms I had no idea what they referred to.

Well, if you have sat in front of what appeared to be a large black painting by Reinhardt then you were looking at a Material painter. Look long enough and the black has subtle variations. It can upset people.  When his black paintings were first exhibited at MoMA in 1963, their reductive imagery and stark palette shocked visitors and it was said that at least one Museum membership was cancelled in protest. My, my, people.

Action painting was widespread from the 40s t0 early 60s. Maybe you have seen a Jackson Pollock painting?

Now, Color Field painting, like Rothko, Still or Jenkins is something that I love. Classes I have taken with Julie and Chris steer me in that direction with the blending and working of color into the canvas. Less emphasis on brushstrokes and more on the layers of color.

Well, tomorrow will be interesting. Hope you have a creative day!  :)Bea

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Happy Birthday, Shari!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHARI!
I HOPE YOU HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY.
                     :)B

Monday, March 23, 2015

Snow, snow GO AWAY!

I know I tell people that when it snows at the end of March or April that I'm not bothered because it's going to melt quickly. I know I give off that air of spring is here confidence but it's a sham. 
I knew it was snowing last night and I thought it would stop but this morning.........
it is still coming down.  Oh, we will probably end up with a little over an inch of fluffy stuff. And, it is going to warm up to 60 on Wednesday so logically, in a grown up manner I should simply ignore this.
But the gardener in me, the one who spent the other day, trimming flowering trees, cutting back dead plants in garden beds and cleaning off the decks WANTS THIS STUFF GONE!
I admit that without any rain we hadn't started to green up much. But, I certainly didn't want to look out the window and see white, white, white again.
And, yes I know I am whining and Boston is still looking at old dirty snow from their terrible winter but this blog is about me, me, me and my pain.
Of course, you do know me and know that I am kidding.  

Here are two entries for Black & White Challenge Monday. Sad and bleak. There is no joy in Dog In The Hole this morning.
On another topic.........
 What do you think it is? 
There has to be a way of getting in there.
Come on Joey, think of something. 
It shouldn't have happened.  There is screen around the top of the vent pipe for the fireplace but someone a little bird, not a bright bird, found his way down into the fireplace.
Now, before everybody gets upset at me there is no way, by myself, I am going to try to open that heavy fireplace door, throw something over a bird and get him out safely.
I also wasn't going to risk the chance that I would miss my mark and he would escape into the house. 
Nope not going to happen.
Riley has told me about their problem solving program at school called, S.T.E.P.
See the problem.
Think of a solution.
Explore your consequences.
Pick the best solution.
Well, I saw the worst case consequence of me trying, by myself to capture a bird and it wasn't pretty.
I remember a bat loose in the old house, that wasn't pretty either. Oh, and then the ground hog that was in the country house.......yeah, my record isn't so hot.
So, for a day, the troops were entertained with staring at the glass front of the fireplace. 

Now, to take your mind off of that last section here's a beautiful picture of a sundog I got the other morning. I couldn't see the one on the opposite side because of the extensive cloud cover but I just caught this at the right moment.
And, finally here's my favorite one of the week. The sun was just hitting the old corn field and tree with perfect light, strange light. That's the field across from my house. I probably have a dozen pictures of that tree and field taken at different times of the day. This one by far, I think, is the prettiest.

So, have a great day!  Do something creative. :)Bea

Monday, March 16, 2015

Black & White Challenge Monday the 16th

Another Monday, another post to the, self imposed, Black & White Photo Challenge.  I love this old shed sitting out in the middle of a corn field. I've taken photos of it before, actually put it into an acrylic painting called, Moving On. I try to capture it in different weather, light and angles before a storm knocks it down or the farmer does. 
Another one of my favorite abandoned buildings. 
Sometimes I just like the contrasts and the details.
Here's one that will do double duty as part of my Journey Series too.

Sometimes it is easy to get a shot of the road ahead without another vehicle in the picture. Most of the time I'm out and about when few people are. I'm usually going in a different direction from where the main stream of traffic is going, which probably says a lot more about me than I realized.
My Journey Series seems to have a large number of roads that turn into the unknown, head straight up to the top of the hill or in some cases aim for a tunnel like structure. I'm trying to think of the photos and other than one taken on the highway to Chicago there just aren't any other cars in the shot. And, I can remember quite clearly my frustration in that highway shot of feeling herded along at an amazingly slow pace with all those other cars.
Generally, I don't like crowds. I have on occasion put myself in the middle of say a food court at lunch time to hear the voices and feel the energy coming off the students around me. But, I'm sitting, where I want to sit.  I'm not being shuffled along with the masses. Most be some cellular memory going on there and not a particularly happy one.

I was unable to connect up with my blog on the 14th.  I hope you all celebrated Pi day in a creative fashion.
We took Riley out for pizza pie! In case you missed the day and its import, March 14 offered a once in a century moment.  Well, perhaps two moments.
On 3.14.15. at 9:26:53 am and pm the time reflected the first 10 digits of the mathematical constant pi.

I know there is a t-shirt in that.

It was also Albert Einstein's birthday. Not as big a whoop as Pi day. I mean his b-day comes around every year.

And, not to leave Sunday the 14th out of great events.
Grandpa took off the training wheels on Riley's bike, for good at her request. After a few false starts and problem solving that taking off from a flat surface like the basketball court was easier than the grass the girl just flew. This bike is to small for her but Mary is going to take off the training wheels on the bike she has at her apartment. Now, she can watch Riley zoooooooom up and down the sidewalk in front of their place.
The weather was finally spring like around here. We got some outdoor chores done.  I got in the garden and cleaned up some garden beds. The grass is starting to green up.  A good rain should help.


I don't know what kind of day we have in store for us today.  This sunrise was rather dark and never did get any color to speak of. But, Wisconsinites are happy because the BASKETBALL TEAM beat Michigan last night in over time and this morning they are FIRST TIME EVER - FIRST SEED! Big deal here in dairyland.

Be creative today.  Have a great day.  :)Bea