Sunday, June 26, 2016

Follow the Light

Follow the Light  #8535

Nothing like coming home an hour early from work and noticing that the urban wildflowers in the alley were in full bloom and the orange Day Lilies were beautiful in the afternoon sun. Even though I am aware of so many people traveling and vacationing now, I'm happy to be home enjoying my local environment and my neighborhood flowers in bloom.

I hear over and over again that some people find the Day Lily to be an undesirable weed while others plant them and wish for their return in gardens each summer.  I'm of the mind that they are a worthy flower that I look forward to each summer.

Knowing that the purple silk background was still installed and ready for a photo I went downstairs to my inventory of vases and chose a tall, clear glass vase that would work well with the long tall stalks of the Day Lilies and other flowers growing nearby.  

Yes, of course, I made several variations with fruit, vegetables, wine and cheese but sometimes there is nothing better than following the  light patterns at sunset on my front porch home studio.  So here it is.  Simply beautiful afternoon light, at sunset, on our urban wildflowers growing within steps of our home.

WHAT WE NEED IS HERE
           by Wendell Berry  

Geese appear high over us,
pass, and the sky closes. 
Abandon,
as in love or sleep, holds
them to their way, clear
in the ancient faith: 
what we need is here. 
And we pray, not
for new earth or heaven, 
but to be quiet in heart, 
and in eye,
clear. 
What we need is here.

Monday, June 20, 2016

I Almost Made It

Almost, Still Life #8508, June 2016
I almost made it through the whole day Sunday without having the urge to create a still life photo on the front porch studio of our home.

Got up early in the morning and after a quick cup of coffee we hopped on our bicycles for a beautiful bicycle ride that took us to the Minnehaha Parkway, to Minnehaha Falls, to the River Road, then up to the Greenway Bike Path and finally home on the 20th Avenue bikeway.

After a nice breakfast Karl started his "labor of love" i.e. getting the BBQ smoker prepped for the four hour beef rib cooking process. That would be his treat for himself, to work his magic at the grill
Neighbor Sarah S. stopped by and said she'd love to go to the Stone Arch Bridge Art Festival in Mpls. if she had someone to go with her.  I volunteered to tag along so spent a couple of hours with her sight seeing all the amazing art on display.  She bought a few gifts for family members and was very happy with her purchases.

Later, while Karl and I ate his delicious beef rib dinner I watched the light change on the porch.  I made no moves toward changing the nice relaxing pace of our dinner and enjoyed every bite.  I even started my usual routine of cleaning the table and washing the dishes until, about 60% through my task I was struck by an idea for a portrait that I thought I could create fairly quickly since I still had the newly purchased and installed background fabric, a lovely purple silk cloth that worked beautifully the day before.

I assembled
  • my favorite purple paisley shawl
  • the flower arrangement from the previous day
  • a short stack of poetry books that I had on the coffee table
  • two glasses with port in the bottle left over from last night's dinner
  • fresh blueberries in a fruit bowl
In a matter of approximately twenty minutes I made several variations all based on the angle of the sun. This one was the sweetest with the light brightly illuminating he blueberries, beverages and books.

I felt it was a good accomplishment achieved in a short amount of time so I put everything away for the weekend and finished off washing the dinner dishes.

I almost made it through the day without that evening still life creation, but I'm glad I didn't.




Still Life, Father's Day


Still Life #8425 for Karl, Father's Day 6-19-16
So many ideas, so many variations with the portrait elements but, so little time.

On the occasion of Father's Day I felt that I needed something new. That prompt sent me off on a quest to find new elements that would work to create a still life revealing some of Karl's personality, interests and talents.  Lucky for me a newly found shop on Chicago Avenue in Mpls. brought the purple satin fabric and the white  "Love" bird to me.

After my usual exercise of ironing the fabric, Karl helped me choose some of the elements used for the first several variations of the still life focused on

  • his passion for the culinary arts BBQ sauces and spices gifted by his daughter, Carla,  
  • his package containing Season 3 of The Game of Thrones, 
  • whiskey in shot glasses and 
  • fresh vegetables pulled literally off the kitchen counter.  

I loved watching the afternoon sun shine on the satin fabric. I couldn't help but think that the rich purple color reminded me of our MN Viking purple and gold team colors which was also appropriate because that is part of Karl's story as well.

I called it a day, literally when it was time for our Father's Day eve dinner and felt good about what we had created.