Weekly Photography Challenge: Heritage

My Dad was an inveterate collector, obsessed with the rich heritage of Regency England’s gunmakers. He was famous amongst the arcane circle of gun collectors for his encyclopedic knowledge of the guns, their makers and their wealthy, titled owners. As a boy he loved pirate stories, and tales of derring-do, which morphed and grew as the years went by. He always excused his expensive habit as “investment”, which has proved true. Most have them have been sold now, which is rather sad, but inevitable.

I didn’t inherit Dad’s  passion for “Old Guns”, but I definitely have the collector gene, if there is one…None of my collections are going to realise much fiscal value in years to come, but that’s not the point. I like tracking down and looking at this stuff!

Some things I collect become parts of mixed media art – such as the wind-chime I made from a bit of  a broken coffee plunger and a lot of detritus. Then there’s vintage orange plastic (sometimes I buy green, too, but mainly orange), coloured glass (seen alongside a Russian samovar, which was Dad’s, not sure why he bought it!), vintage textiles, which I actually use, eventually, and a shelf of books about Kurt Cobain/Nirvana. Oh, and fake plastic (and ceramic) cacti, because…why not?

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Weekly Photography Challenge: A Good Match

This morning, wondering which “Good Match” to choose for this weeks challenge, my Rothko-esque painting caught my eye, and I decided on pink’n’orange, which is my favourite colour (combination) by far. My 3 year old grand daughter Juniper thinks it’s amazing that Granny has TWO favourite colours, but I love how they amplify each other, no matter what shade or tone is used.pair-2

So I took the camera for a little stroll around the house, collecting images of pink’n’orange matches.

I could have gone on…but I thought that was probably enough….pair-5

…except for this classic good match of a cat sitting on a mat (which happens also to be pink’n’orange).

Vale

a-pencil-portraitHey Kurt,
today was your birthday.
You would have, should have, been 50 today. But you are forever 27, a magic age, neither boy nor man, suspended there forever.
No grey hairs or paunch for you: the girls will always think you’re cute – girls who weren’t born when you died declare their undying love for you. If only you could have known, would you have felt validated by that?
I kind of doubt it. I remember seeing a video of Courtney telling you she thought you were “really cute”, and the doubt in your face. You really believed you were ugly, didn’t you?
People believe strange things, like the conspiracy theorists who insist you were murdered. It might be comforting, I suppose, to think that a clever criminal did it, and not you, despite your reckless drug use and suicidal ideation that pointed to a deep and corrosive despair at your core.
Lets not dwell on the bitter end, not today. Let’s remember you as caring, generous and sweet, a bright and beautiful young man loved by your friends, and by the punk rock community that took you in and released you into the unsuspecting world, adored now by fans the whole world over; a world the breadth of which that boy from Aberdeen Wa could not imagine…
Peace Love Empathy
lets remember and cling to them.
The world needs them more now than ever.
Rest easy, sweet Kurt,
wherever you are.you-could-do-anything

Weekly Photography Challenge: Shadow

Without shadows, what would we know about light? This thought occurred to me when learning tonal drawing, in which the shadows give shape to everything. A Japanese paper lantern casts just enough light to bring form into the darkness. Morning and evening are the best time for shadows, I think. The sunlight comes at a slant, casting interesting patterns on the curtains at my windows.I chose to layer a black gridded fabric behind a white curtain, just for the way it would look with the sun behind it, along with a dream catcher and other beaded pieces. Late in the day, a peach tree embellishes the striped shadow of a Venetian blind.

Cats are notorious for their love of sunbeams, but in this case, Morgen sat beside it, in the shadows, so that she stands out against a blaze of light. You’d almost think she did it on purpose !

Friday Poem:Unfoldment

It’s been a week since my Dad died. He was 85, and in poor health, so it came as no surprise. There’s been a lot of organising of travel arrangements, and looking for photos and reminiscing. It’s sad, but hardly tragic, and life goes on unfolding – what matters is love. Have you ever noticed how linens seem to expand and grow when you pull them out, and shake out the folds?folds3-a

I want to unpack my love
Bring it out of storage
Unfold it and keep unfolding
Spread it out across the world
‘Til there is nothing left unloved
And love has covered
Everything
Sheets and sheets of love
Reams of it
Unfolding from the cupboard of my heart
Fine linen bandages
Bolts of it unwinding

The more love is unfolded,
The more there is.

I took some photos of folds especially for this post. I think it’s amazing how much there is to see in such a simple subject, and a little tweaking of contrast and saturation can change plain white into lavender-pinks. The three pics in the gallery are all of the same raggedy, naturally dyed silk scarf, yet they are all a little different – just like us humans: basically the same, but all a bit different (some more so than others).

Weekly Photography Challenge: Look Up

 

flying pig posterised (Large)

The Photography Challenge this week is to Look Up – something we don’t always do, focused as we often are on what is straight ahead. It’s cold and wet and windy here at the moment, so I did my looking up inside my house…This flying pig was a gift from one of my Day Care Kids about 15 years ago. The Flying Pig, as a symbol of infinite possibilities, is my Spirit Animal, but I almost forget he’s there much of the time. Evidently I need to look up more often!

As well as the Pig of Infinite Possibility, I have a lovely Moroccan lamp, made of pierced metal. It has little pieces of red glass inside, which glow when the lamp is lit. Another hanging ‘lamp’ is meant to hold a very small pot plant, I think. But I hung the red glass things (from Ikea years ago) around it and put in a tealight candle. It catches the sunbeams of a morning (clouds permitting). The other thing is a mobile I made using odd earrings and other stray bits and pieces hung on an armature of florist’s wire. I have made several of these, using things that are too big for personal jewellery.july-aug 2011 266 (Large)

Finally – and no where near my house, unfortunately, the iconic Space needle in Seattle – visible on “looking up” from all over that fair city. We visited in 2011, and ,like the Terminator, “we’ll be baaack”…one day.

Weekly Photography Challenge: Curve

This week it’s curves we need to portray to rise to the challenge. There are curves all around us, every day. Our own bodies are full of curves, and although most architecture employs straight lines, the objects we put inside our building are frequently curved. Curves are pleasing, suggesting softness and a more relaxed outlook on life.

In order to photograph some curves, I didn’t even need to leave the room – but I added a photo I took at my mother’s house a few weeks ago.

Bowls and balls of yarn just seem to go together – in my house, anyway. The painting was just playing around with Peerless watercolours – but then curvy tea vessels appeared out of the background. There’s a very curvy vase on my mantelpiece, alongside several other curvy objects –  the glass bird in particular. I will never acheive a minimalist mantel – partly because having the space occupied keeps the cat off – but also because I enjoy collecting and juxtaposing groups of things too much!