Weekly Photography Challenge: Textures

When I saw that this week’s challenge is textures, my first thoughts were of roughness and bumpiness although lack of bumps is also a texture.

One of the attractions of taking pics of my daughter’s three cats on the bed is the contrasting textures of their fur and the bedding.

I made an Elizabethan style smocked and embroidered baby gown for my middle son 36 years ago. Last week I had my 7 week old grandson, Banjo, model it for me – the stitches on the fabric have lovely texture – so do his squooshy cheeks!

The white Japonica is beautiful, but last summer it was overrun by Cleavers/Goosegrass, which is now silvery grey and a nice contrast with the blossom. It’s also covered in seeds, unfortunately…

 

Grampians Textures is also the name of the annual textile workshop-fest that takes place in Halls Gap in March. I don’t get to do a course every year, but I did do four days of mixed media with Kieth Lo Bue this year – lots of textures in these pieces I made.

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Weekly Photography Challenge: Atop

I’m in Halls Gap this week, doing a workshop with Keith Lo Bue as part of Grampians Texture 2017. 9 – 4 Monday to Thursday is spent in the classroom learning what to make of Precious Little, the rest I aim to spend enjoying some solitude and the beauty of the place.

The Gap is, unsurprisingly, in a valley. The challenge this week is Atop, so I am showing you what is “atop” the surrounding hills (mountains, officially…) – rocks, trees, and this afternoon, a few wisps of cloud to remind us that autumn really is coming, even though the daytime temperatures are still reaching 30C.

The last thing I made today is a neckpiece with lichen atop an empty (and now artfully mangled) mints tin. The assignment was to use only three things (one from a nature walk, one from an exchange of “stuff” and one we’d brought along). No glue, no extra elements…but whatever techniques we liked. We had no idea we’d be trying to wear the stuff we picked up, from the walk or the exchange table, so there were some extraordinary and quite lovely creations by the end of the class today. Tomorrow…something completely different!flirty

Weekly Photography Challenge: Fun!

Fun! Isn’t that the favourite photography subject of nearly everyone with a camera?! This week’s challenge theme is both very broad, and very personal, because one person’s idea of fun can be another’s idea of hell-on-earth…

We had a family day out in the Grampians on the weekend, which was extra fun because we had Matilda with us – and at nearly-eight months, she finds everything fascinating and strange, from the water rushing over the rocks, to Grandpa’s ginger ice cream.

The walk to Venus Baths, near Halls Gap, is pretty easy, even with a pram (apart from steps nearer the Baths). It’s popular in summer, a big rocky water slide for the young and adventurous. On a nippy winter afternoon, the water is only for looking at and listening to. Alex really wanted to let Tilly touch the water, but couldn’t find a safe enough spot, so she’ll have to wait until she’s much bigger. The same goes for ginger ice cream – vanilla might have been more fun for her!

Weekly Photography Challenge: Landscape

Landscape seems like a really simple subject – almost anyone would know immediately what “landscape” means. However, almost any photographer has probably got a lot to choose from, maybe thousands of images of many kinds of landscape, so choosing what to share is a problem once again!march 2011 041 (Large)

Just south of where I live, there is a view of the ancient Grampians (Gariwerd) Range in Western Victoria. On the evening on which I took this photo, the mountains were almost obscured by smoke from farmers burning stubble (a practice that has surely had it’s day).march 2012 100 (Large)

The tourist village of Hall’s Gap huddles between the ranges with their rock-piled peaks. The landscape in there is wild yet intimate, no less spectacular for the constriction of space.DSCF5112 (Large)

We like to visit this spot for it’s view of the Grampians (which are invisible from our house). The mound of earth is man-made and a challenge to scramble to the top, but well worth the effort.IMG_1278 (Large)

North of the Gramps, the landscape becomes very flat, with vast paddocks sown to crops such as this canola field. A blooming field of acid-yellow flowers is irresistible to a person with a camera, which is why we stopped on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere for me to take pictures!sept 2011 1246 (Large)

And now for something completely different, as they used to say on Monty Python – a riverine landscape with a lot of built elements, taken from a bridge over the Hoquaim River in Washington State several years ago.sept 2011 680 (Large)

On the same trip, we went to Johnson’s Ridge to see Mt St Helens, which even after she blew her top off is much, much higher than our Grampians, and the whole landscape up there is on a vast scale. I hope we get back there again before we a too old and creaky to explore some of the trails we didn’t have time for last trip!