Weekly Photography Challenge: Smile!

Smiling for the camera is such a cliche – but catching a genuine smile on film (or in pixels) is lovely. I like to take unposed photos of my grandkids (and my kids, back in the day), with them going about their business. The “look at the camera and say cheese” variety have their place, but I like more natural portraits – and if I capture a smile – bonus! We are going to visit Juniper and Banjo next week – we haven’t seen them in person for months, so whatever next week’s challenge theme is, I may have to work them into it!

Portraying a convincing smile in a painting is harder than catching a smile in a photo, which is why this acrylic has pride of place on my wall. Kurt smile

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Weekly Photography Challenge: Relic

This weeks challenge is to portray “relic”, and my only problem with it is – which relics shall I choose? Apart from any others I’ve photographed, my parent’s shed and back yard is littered with relics both large and small. Rather than send things to the tip/dump, my dad would just transfer them to “the shed”, which is open on one side anyway, plus part of the roof gave way and let in the rain…a relic

There are all sorts of rusty relics of old machinery, abandoned bikes, boxes of jam jars, mounds of rusting nails that used to be in cardboard boxes, now rotted away. Much as I enjoy taking pictures and souveniring  odds and ends, I can’t help thinking about the fact that someone is going to have to clear all this away some day.

old organ 2

Mum loved the tone of this harmonium, but it needed some repairs. Dad took it up to “the shed”. Next to “the shed”, actually. One good shower of rain, and that was the end of the poor old pump organ. It was a relic when Mum got it many years ago, and even more of a relic now…a relic painting

This photo of a painting from a photo is a relic of my childhood. Painted by me in early adulthood, it hangs in my parent’s house. Beside me (in the pigtails) are Jim and Jen, Mum’s youngest siblings – my uncle and aunt. They lived next door to us. In front are Jason and Alan, my little brothers. Behind Jim’s head is our pet galah, Charlie, who turned up in our backyard one day already named and talking. The bottom of his cage was populated by mice, living the high-life on spilled seed. When we were older, we discovered the dubious joy of using a hose to flush out the mice – an activity my mother strongly discouraged, though not for the sake of the mice. Flushed out of Charlie’s cage, they moved straight into our house…ooops. Charlie was an excellent mimic, and we had no phone, so calls for Dad went to his sister’s next door (on the other side from Grandma). She would call out “Douglas” from the back gate when he had a call, and so did Charlie…One afternoon Auntie Phyll banged on the back door, irate because Dad was ignoring her. She was not mollified at all to know that he’d thought she was the bird!

Weekly Photo Challenge : Home

I’m running late with this post, thanks to having to go to work followed by thunder storms that make using the computer inadvisable. Hopefully I can finish before today’s storms arrive!

The theme is ‘Home’, what that might mean to different people.My Old Home

I didn’t take this photo!

This is the home my young parents took me to when I was born, and we lived in it for more than four years, moving into the ‘proper’ house Dad built with his father just before my second brother was born.

It had a kitchen-come-living room and one bedroom, plus a laundry with a shower in one corner, and a small veranda  That tiny building you can see in the background holds the pan toilet. I can remember helping to tear newspaper into squares, to be hung on a nail close-handy to the broad wooden seat. When the ‘pan’ was sufficiently full, Dad took it into our bush block for burial.

Ah, the good old days!

We could have all three, she said.

I imagined this wonderful home in a tree, and I took a photo of the painting.

My favourite fantasy home is a cabin-in-the-woods, among pine trees and down by the coast, in view of the sea.

Such places exist, between Aberdeen and Ocean Shores in Washington State. I saw them from the bus, but I have no photos to prove it. Next time!Aberdeen Mansion

So here’s Aberdeen Mansion instead, built by a man who made his fortune by cutting down trees and sawing them up for houses and boxes.

Maybe someone has bought it by now. It wasn’t me.home/studio

Here’s a bit of home – my studio, or one shelf and the things on it. This is a place where I feel at home and enjoy myself!

cup of earrings

Making a few pairs of earrings feels like coming home.

Tix 1Live music also feels like coming homeTix 2

A good movie can feel like home, too. And any song of Leonard Cohen’s is a homecoming…book page

I made an altered book, and filled it with quotes and notes-to-self about creativity. It could just as well have said ‘home‘ as ‘workspace’.

Home is where the heART is!

And it has an inside toilet that flushes… just sayin’…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unique

featherUnique? That could be anything!

Somewhere there is a bird with a lot of feathers much like this one, yet each one is unique.

I wish I knew what kind of bird makes such extravagantly lovely feathers!dry leaf

Every leaf on a tree is unique, and this one more so than most. Some sort of insect has chewed away parts of the leaf, revealing the unique pattern of the veins,. Photographed in front of a curtain, back-lit by the summer sun shining through coloured glass, it becomes something new and strange.

yellow yarnbomb

Melbourne’s City square is currently embellished with colourful yarn, each piece of knitting or crochet as unique as a feather or a leaf.

Different people have made their various squares, before joining them together in an harmonious whole.

Yarn-bombing has spread rapidly and wildly throughout the world in only ten or so years, but no matter how often the theme is repeated, each one is unique.

ink painting: Kurt

Quite a few years ago, I did a one day class in Chinese brush painting. Anyone who has tried it will know how difficult it is to guide the brush stroke with the whole body instead of the wrist. We spent much of the day painting more or less recognizable fish.

One day not long after, I took out my moon-palace paper, ink stick and well, and my brush, and by some unique accident, and absolutely no forethought, I produced a recognizable drawing of Kurt Cobain. I think it reveals a little of his unique humanity, which is not really much different from anyone else’s.

We are all unique in the part we play in the harmonious whole.