The latest challenge is to show “Jubilant”, which looks like a good excuse to share more photos of my grand daughters…
Juniper, as I may have mentioned before, is extremely fond of Thomas the Tank Engine and his many friends. since Christmas, she has amassed quite a collection, but there is always room for more…
A new engine is always an occasion for jubilation (here she is after I bought Edward for her), as are the endless reviews of her collection.
Matilda, however, at around 5 months of age, has no particular interests (apart from warm milk and a dry bottom), but is hugely amused by odd noises made by her grown-ups, and for some reason no one can fathom, the blank white rectangle that is the camera side of my Tablet. I picked it up to take a photo of her, a little concerned that she’d be upset by me shoving this thing in front of her face, but she giggled, laughed and cackled so hard I thought she’d burst…
Babies are very mysterious creatures, but they do know how to be jubilant about not much at all!
It’s my middle son’s 35th birthday today, so it’s about 33 years since I wrote this – we were living in a suburb of Melbourne, next to a road reserve where wattle trees, dog roses and fennel grew wild. We walked along there twice a day in all weathers, escorting his big brother to his primary school.
Tristan trots along in the sunlit frosty morning,
All grey and brown like a small bird,
Clothing with fennel feathers the naked rose bushes,
His nose all rosy, oblivious of the cold.
He’s a bit younger in that pic than when I wrote the poem – all my photos from back then were slides, which are wonderful, but not easy to share when I only have a few minutes to spare, sadly. Now he’s a grown up with a child of his own, and a in a year or two, they’ll be able to go for glacially slow walks, studying nature and having fun.
This pic is from his 21st party – I converted that Something For Kate t-shirt into a cushion cover some time in those 14 years.
It’s my last Home Alone day for a while, and I want to make the most of it, so I haven’t swept the floors, but I have been working on the trompe l’oeil “window”. The hardest part has been trying to put convincing leaves onto the branches of the little tree in which the hummingbird perches. I’ve pulled out a few gardening books as reference for the flowers – the idea that “here’s a clump of daisies” and “these are poppies” makes the task of painting them a lot simpler than “flower”.
I spent an hour or so on the flagged pathway one day…
There are more flowers now, too.
One of my reference photos had a birdbath, so I added one behind my fabulous glass orb. I’m fairly sure a real one would start a fire, but an imaginary one is quite safe! I’ve been looking at lots of images of hummingbirds on Instagram, but the little Rufous in my painting is from a photo I took in Portland (Oregon) Zoo. I’m not entirely satisfied with my mopsy heads of Monarda (also at the Portland Zoo – they were the attraction for the bird), but I’ll leave them for now. I will either come back to them all fresh and enthused, or find that they are actually fine (I think the fairies fix paintings sometimes – it’s the only explanation for it!)
In the last image, if you look beyond the wolf cub, back near the line of trees, there’s a Sasquatch! Sadly, I didn’t get a photo of one – maybe next time!
I somehow missed last weeks challenge – home alone and happily busy catching up on all sorts of things, the week just sped by me…Oh well! This week, the challenge is Face, so I’m sharing two sets of pics of my favourite faces – my grand daughters, Juniper aka Juni and her cousin Matilda aka Tilly.
In these first three, Juni was waiting, fairly patiently, for her ‘chino – a tiny cup of warm frothed soy milk. In the other, she is getting to know her fabulously extravagant vegan cupcake – the work of Canberra business Veganarchy. If you are ever in Australia’s capital on a Sunday, make your way (early!) to the Bus Depot Markets, and seek them out. You’ll be glad you did!
Tilly joined us on Christmas Eve, so she’s not up to cupcakes and ‘chinos yet (although Grandpa can hardly wait to buy her her very first ‘chino, he’ll have to wait!). She has, however discovered the use of her thumb, which seems to be very satisfying and tasty, judging by the noises she makes. She sampled baby rice cereal today, but was unimpressed. When she gets big enough for cupcakes, I’m pretty sure she’ll like them more!
I started on this project with my son Alex quite a while ago, and haven’t found the time to do any more work on it in months. I’ve scored a few days Home Alone with no commitments, so I’m trying to catch up with and finish as much as possible while I have the chance. Today I made some progress on our trope l’oeil window.
Alex composed the composite image (taped up on the left) from my photos and stock pictures “off the internet”, and I’m adding a few refinements as we go. The idea was that, for a moment as we open the door, we can pretend to be in the Pacific North West – that’s Mt Hood, but some of the trees were “uprooted” from Discovery Park in Seattle. That’s where we saw that eagle, but the wolf cub was in the Portland zoo, as was the hummingbird that I haven’t painted yet…
Some of the acrylic paints I’m using are almost as old as Alex (he just turned 25…), so I think I’m going to have to go paint shopping before I get this finished, and before I start on the painting of Juniper and Matilda as mermaids.
I saw a photo of a forget-me-not flower somewhere recently, and this old poem sprang into my mind, every word of it, so I thought I’d share it. It’s dated Dec 2 1971, so I wrote it nearly 45 years ago. The intent was rather romantic – I was 15 – and it was probably coloured by the novels I was reading back then. You might know the sort, they are all much the same, although the modern versions are -ahem- spicier. The heroine has mousy hair and a boyish figure. The guy has a chiseled jaw, piercing blue eyes and is older and in a position of power. She thinks she loathes him but is jealous of a glamorous lady in his life. They fight a bit, then something bad happens to her, and he has to admit he’s adored for from the moment he first saw her. End of story. (Sometimes they got married for some reason of convenience before he realises he adores her…) Mum claimed to read them for the scenery. I read them because they were there. Anyway, by some miracle, I think my teenage love poem transcends all that, and is actually pretty good.
‘Forget me not
For I have loved you;
Through all your dreaming hours:
To you I speak
Through these small flowers –
Blue and mauve and pink –
These three nostalgic words
Straight to your heart –
Despite the fact that forget-me-nots come up around my garden wherever they please (which is how they got the name), I couldn’t find any photos of them. Maybe I didn’t look hard/long enough, or maybe they are too common-or-garden to photograph. I do have the drawing that accompanies the poem in my old book, and I found this moody shadowy image and played with it until it took on some blue and mauve and pink colouring. I think it fits, and I like it a lot. Hope you do also!
The first photo is a vignette (ie collection of stuff) on my mantelpiece, which I think has a nostalgic romantic mood to match the poem too.It’s been rearranged since then…
The photography challenge this week – admiration– I had to check the meaning of , before I could make any choices. I was thinking of admirable people who I have no chance of photographing, but checking the dictionary, I realised I didn’t need to produce a picture of Mohondas Gandhi – just lovely things I approve of. Oh, I’ve got photos of those…
regard with respect or warm approval.
look at (something impressive or attractive) with pleasure.
So – here is a gallery of things I regarded with respect and warm approval – and photographed -when I was on The Trip of a Lifetime in Seattle in 2011. First – Seattle, of course, then a Stellar Jay, the pink’n’orange siding of the Experience Music Project building,
a seahorse at the Aquarium, a famous musician (my watercolour painting, from a photo of a torn poster. I know!), a detail of glassware at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. Lastly, a person whom I admire – photographer Charles Peterson – who was working and just hanging out. I snapped him as he was sharing his camera with a little kid in their group. I thought that was an admirable thing to do with a proper camera !
I’m not sure if admiration is the right word for my feeling whenever I glimpsed the ghostly presence of Mt Rainier. We just don’t have mountains like that in Australia.