I have always liked when an artist or several artists create many views or takes on the same subject, so while doing my other photos, I try to take pictures of this barn.
It is a white barn down the road from us. I like the minimalism of the setting, The way it catches light. and how the color changes when the roof is seen or not. It also has great access for photography! Here are some of my pics of it from January, February and March.
Below are a couple of others that I really like one very edited and one not so much.
I went out looking for the earliest signs of spring today. They are there; perhaps few and far between, but there!
The first of the crocuses are sticking out between the fallen oak leaves. The next couple of days should be warm, so maybe they will pop up soon. But until the yellows and purple they bring, we can enjoy the ever yellowing finches. This little guy was just glowing in the sun this morning. He and his buddies were flitting in the tress and chirping away!
But two of my favorite events of spring are also evident; moss and the Pasque flowers. The mosses are so green with the moistness they get from the melting snow and the sun they get before they get overpowered by everything else. This emerald green stretches along the fallen trees, the rocks and anywhere it can. I wish I could lie in a bed of it sometime, I am sure it would be soft and have the best musty earth smell ever... probably a bit on the damp side though.
The Pasque flowers don't look like much yet, but they are starting to make their furry presence known. Soon the delicate lavender blooms will emerge and spot the hillside before even the grasses grow around them... They are the "dessert first" flower, holding off working on leaves until the flowers are done blooming. They are an event I wait for every year, so I will be checking the hillside frequently in the coming days.
I hope spring is sprouting around you also. It has been a longer than usual wait for too many of us this year.
P.S. No post about a walk through our woods would be complete without a few pics of my tree buddies so here they are:
I was cutting up all my remnants as I cleaned out my studio, and made a bunch of blankets, pillows and gift bags from the "leftovers". I have now listed them all in my Etsy main store.
I was going to take them with us, and hopefully do one last show in our new home town, but decided I would rather just move lighter!
These blankets are just the coziest items, I am snuggled in one most every evening! They are washable and dry-able (cold and delicate), so they are easy care also.
I have priced the pillow covers in color lots at wholesale pricing - but you can take advantage of the pricing for several gifts, or for a sofa full pf beautiful pillows!
And finally, a few gift bags; perfect for wine, or other liquids, or for a gift bag of several small items of food, or toiletries, or whatevers!
It is my birthday today. I am not a big one for celebrating such days, but this year it does seem rather introspective.... who knows what the future will bring in our new home and new adventures. I will be one lucky woman if my life continues with the many friends, family and opportunities that I have had up until now!
I recently saw these two pictures in Facebook posts. (reproduced here with permission) They both touched me deeply, and made me think.
We were free at one time. We didn't care what matched or what is proper. We hadn't learned to be "ladylike" or even male or female for that matter. We were just human beings enjoying this thing called life... something a singer on NPR recently called the "majesty and squalor we call life". I loved that statement. I love the extremes of life - they are what make us alive.
I am starting to think we waste the vast majority of out "adult" life forgetting this primal need for emotion and fun; instead we go to corporate training on creativity or spend money on tickets for someone to coordinate fun for us and validate that we experienced it.
At some point we learn to keep our toys nice. We learn to be quiet in public. We learn to raise our hand. We learn to stand in line, read the directions, file taxes, follow the recipe, plan and review.
We learn to check our feelings for "appropriateness", think before we speak, we learn to express love for those who are deemed deserving and withhold it from others - even if that isn't exactly how we feel!
At sometime we forgot how wonderful it is to just scream - or at least talk really loud. Or scratch or dance or grovel or roll. We forget how to overly indulge our senses and how to, literally, stop and smell the roses.
We forget what fun is and exchange it for "fitness" and "recreation". We forget that that seeing - really seeing - the beauty of ..... whatever is in front of us, may outdo any artwork in the museum we are scheduled to attend and pay $20 to enter.
When did we lose the ability to believe we can put water where others put fire. When did we forget that a bucket can be a hat, and that Wellies feel wonderful - no matter the weather. (Perhaps we only remember that when UGGS are deemed fashionably correct by some Hollywood celeb!)
No, I am not naive and suggesting that we don't need some security, and money, and probably jobs and credit cards, but maybe once in a great while, maybe even when no one is looking, we should put a bucket on our head. Maybe we should remember that being 10 minutes late for something might be okay if we drank in 10 minutes of sunset or rain, or slowly finished our last sip of coffee while actually tasting it.
Maybe we should take a Power Ranger pose or lay flat on our back in the middle of the floor.
If you do, I won't tell. I don't even want to know. Do it for yourself. Do it because it just plain feels good. Then get up and go be responsible and polite - but, don't forget to smile when you remember how good it felt to take that minute!
A while ago the Huffington post had an article on the 18 things Highly Creative People do Differently. To see it go HERE. It is worth a read!
It got me to thinking about the Photo group I am in, and the many artists I know, and the different approaches we are all taking to the challenge of taking a photo each day.
In the article it says:
"Openness to experience is consistently the strongest predictor of creative achievement," says Kaufman. "This consists of lots of different facets, but they're all related to each other: Intellectual curiosity, thrill seeking, openness to your emotions, openness to fantasy. The thing that brings them all together is a drive for cognitive and behavioral exploration of the world, your inner world and your outer world."
I figure anyone who signs up for the picture a day must be also exhibiting the "openness to experience"! What is interesting to me is how all of these creative minds interpret the experience we call life! The faces above are an example of one of my favorite things; a variety of interpretations of a particular, singular subject by a variety of artists.
It is not the accurate representation of subject matter that makes for interesting art - or photography - it is the artists hand and heart being evident in the documentation that makes it art. It is like hearing a particular idea expressed in a myriad of languages and accents, each with a nuance and reaction particular to both the speaker and the listener. The same vocalization can mean "home" to one and "enemy" to another, to one is is romantic and soft, to another incomprehensible.
For now, I just want to talk about the artist, not the viewer who may have his or her own criteria for enjoyment or interest. There are as many reasons for creating art as there are artists, but I have noticed some loose categories before, and they are really evident to me as I watch a oeuvre of work unfold from the various photographers in our group.
Some, like me, are The Dilettante: rolling around in something new and different whenever they come across it. For me it is the new found media, and all the facets it offers in techniques, subjects and other possibilities that makes finding a particular voice probably premature. I am sure, sooner or later, one facet will shine more than others for me, but until then, I am happy to experiment.
The Geek: Much like the painters who know the formulas for each of their colors, and the thread count and archival-ness of their canvases, and are concerned with the differences between a matter or gloss varnish, these photographers both understand and love the technical aspects of photography. They have tried every filter and filtering program. The lighting set up and the post work are as exciting to them as the subject and shoot are. They embrace every aspect of the science as well as the art of photography.
The Serial Shooter: Like Degas drew and painted dancer after dancer, or haystack after haystack, each time exploring a different aspect of the subject or scene, these photographers embrace a subject with all their heart. Some do it for a month, some for a lifetime. It is so interesting to see both what they hone in on as a subject, and what within that subject they then focus on for the study.
The Designer: These are the people for whom the composition and elements of design take forefront. They often have the more minimalist take or the most unique viewpoint. The subject matter is secondary to the impact of the design.
The Journalist: For them the recording of an event is important. The event could be monumental or momentary, but noticing it and recording it is their joy. Whether it is the genre art of everyday living, or the fleeting moment of a rainbow or sunset, or a newsworthy event; it is captured by them.
BUT no one is really just any of these, and truly great artists are all of these.
The journalist who doesn't know how to compose or capture the lighting will not make a provoking photo. The designer with no intimate knowledge of his subject will often resort to trite. and so on it goes... but there is something that starts the creative juices to move, and that is usually remains high on the hierarchy of the finished art work's presence. I am just finding it fascinating - and always have - to see how the individual stacking of these priorities creates an amazing array of creative output.
It was fun to tramp around in the soggy (but only for an inch or so) ground, see so many out enjoying the "warmth" and finally see a few slices of evidence that even during the winter life continues under the snow. Enjoy a few more pictures of the area below:
So when we :
- Have a few less feet of ice on the pond
- See a foot of snow soak back into the ground
- Experience a little more consistency in the temperature
- Complete the removal of 6 months of trash from the street gutters
- Record the first robin sighting
- Feel safe about removing the ice scraper from the car
- Starting to wear boots for fashion not just function again
- Use ice more on food than onsidewalks
- And start complaining about how warm it is....
Then we will know spring is in Wisconsin.
It snowed last night for the 147,568th time this winter. I had started grumbling, when I thought "why not just go with it?" I had run across my husband's snowshoes a while back (when looking for something interesting to photograph) But now actually thought about putting them on my feet.
Yesterday I went on a long hike in the woods and fields by our house wearing my heavy winter boots. It wasn't so much a hike as a slog; One that could have easily turned into a leg-breaking incident. There was easily 18 inches of snow on the ground, hiding every downed branch, ankle-grabbing twig, and any uneven ground. Each step was a tentative footfall followed by either surprise or relief.
Nonetheless, I found many wonderful photo opportunities and they are now in my daily pic for today. But decided I probably shouldn't push my luck again - I have never been mistaken for sure-footed.
So I decided with an additional five to seven inches of new fluffy pristine snow, the hazards would be even more hidden, so why not try the snow shoes. Boy were they great! One doesn't exactly glide on the top of the snow with them, but they sure made for better footing than yesterday's boots! The poles were a big improvement also - the trees never seemed handy when I needed something to grab! So with my camera tucked safely in my jacket, I set out to explore the new snow.
Today I, and three of my buddies, went to the Milwaukee Art Museum. It is an amazing building and the building itself is the most amazing piece of art.
The structure was designed by Santiago Calatrava and I applaud the City of Milwaukee for its decision to make this commitment to the arts. If you want to see a pictures of the space go to my pictures of the day for 03/01/2014.
The exhibit we went to see was the Uncommon Folk: Traditions in American Folk Art. As you might remember from my blog post back on Jan. 17. 2014, I really love Folk Art.
This exhibit was more than I could have imagined. It was curated perfectly; intimate groupings arranged by theme, and truly a cross-section of the sublime to the hilarious. The soul of each of the works was laid bare with the honesty with which it was made, and there were no bounds to the media or methodology!
If you are really into history, click here for blog posts prior to 2014 !