Sand and Stones

Waves of Sand w

When winter drags on (and on), I have to get creative to find subjects to photograph.  It will be weeks before the snow melts and we are able to see the sand on the shorelines.  So I lose myself in indoor activities:  reading, knitting, writing, and making pictures.

Serenity w

This weekend, I played with sand and stones in a mini zen garden.  Partly, this was to create pictures; and partly, this was to remember what summer felt like.

Eventually, the snow will melt (if it ever stops falling), and I will be able to get out with my camera again.  Until then, I’ll pretend.

One Magical Morning

On Sunday morning, the trees looked like this:

freezing rain w

We had had freezing rain the day before, and the angle of the sun was lighting up the thousands of tiny frozen drops.  I hadn’t even noticed at first, having had my coffee and done some marking for school.  Then, when I was doing dishes, I looked out the window and it was simply magical.  I immediately dried my hands and grabbed my camera.

The trees were glistening in the light, but the first few shots I made didn’t truly capture how gorgeous they were.  After a few sharply focused shots, I decided to try something a little different.

The Glistening Trees wA Magical Morning wA Billion drops of sunlight w

These photos better captured the feeling of the moment.  It was truly magical.

Supermarket Bouquet

supermarket bouquet

When the months get colder and the snow has covered summer’s garden, I shop for inspiration.

Inexpensive supermarket flowers make for many photos.  I could not stop taking pictures of this pretty bouquet that I picked up the other day.

They didn’t look like much, stuck in a vase.  Some of the petals were curled and withered from the plastic wrap, and a few leaves torn.  They weren’t perfect, but when I rearranged them in the bright afternoon sunlight, they made for some beautiful compositions.

Here are a few of my favourites:

These are all available in my Etsy shop as digital dowloads:

https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/dawnblanchardphoto.

 

Cactus on a Beach

Cactus on a Beach w

I will go to the beach until I can no longer go to the beach.

Wind, rain, cold – they don’t stop me.  Only when the snow covers the ground for the winter and makes climbing down to my favourite beach treacherous do I stop for the season.

On this bright, crisp, sunny day I dressed in layers and headed out.  I had checked the tide times, packed my bucket and my camera, and carried a snack in case I got hungry.  This time, I even remembered to pack tissue – if anything can send me home early, it’s that or the lack of a bathroom.

I expected to be alone on this chilly day, but when I arrived, a couple was already there.  With a bucket.  A large bucket.

My heart sank.

No doubt they were searching for sea glass.

I took a breath and went down anyway, hoping they hadn’t cleaned it out.  It took seconds to realize they were serious sea glass hunters, however.  The tracks always tell:  footprints woven up and down the shoreline showed they had covered every inch.

Sighing, I decided to make the best of it.  I had my camera, after all, and it was a beautiful day for a walk.

I didn’t find much sea glass.

What I did find was a tiny plastic cactus, swept up the beach by the tide.  I couldn’t resist a few shots of it standing on the sand, the irony of a cactus seaside not lost on me.

The cactus stands on my kitchen windowsill, now.  A reminder that sometimes things don’t go as planned, but if I keep my eyes open, I might find a fun little unexpected detail.

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 23: Harmony

harmony w

Zen Life

On the beach, I search for sea glass, drift wood, and circular rocks.  I am drawn to curves and softened edges, items that have grown more beautiful from friction, from change.

Perhaps it is my Libra nature, but I am also drawn to balance.

These circular rocks represent harmony for me.  Their shape, their colour, and their texture are more enhanced by their arrangement and their togetherness.

The weathered wood and the surrounding space further create a zen feeling in the photograph.

Harmony is balance, calm, and a feeling of rightness.  It is an agreement and a pattern of likeness.

It is peace.

#createmindfulness2017

 

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 19: Change

dandelion w

The first “flowers” of spring:  dandelions.

They pop up along foundations, between crevices in sidewalks, bordering curbs.  They are the first splashes of colour, and then they, too, disappear.  Seemingly overnight, they change into fluffs of white, pompoms dotting the fields.  A breeze picks up the pollen and sends it on to new destinations.

Change is inevitable.

#createmindfulness2017

*Please bare with me while I catch up on many missed blog posts over the next little while.  🙂  Summer vacation is here, and with it, more time to write, photograph, and create.

 

Mindfulness Challenge Week 15: Awareness

awareness w

Art Everywhere

There is potential for art in so many places.

In the winter months (and in Northern New Brunswick, it still looks very winter-y outside my window!), I find this most challenging.  Gardens and beaches and backyards are my go-to for photography.  While there are plenty of beautiful possibilities in the snow, I much prefer the opportunities brought by warmer weather.

Indoor photography is a great place to practice awareness.  It is a challenge to notice the tiny details of daily life, to appreciate the the normally overlooked compositions in the home.

This silver paperclip stood out from the rest, catching a glint of light coming through the window.

Art is everywhere.

 

#createmindfulness2017

Mindfulness Challenge Week 13: Beauty

beauty

Beauty, Unexpected

Fresh flowers are beautiful, without question.

There is a certain allure that comes with age as well.  Forgotten flowers, with their papery petals and crinkled edges, are no less beautiful.  Faded hues turn sepia and thin  veins become more evident.  Their layers are compressed, holding on to the last drops of moisture, the last moments of life.

Time is a fragile beauty.

Mindfulness Challenge Week 12: Perspective

salt perspective

Salt

Photography is all about perspective (as is life).

Mundane objects can become surreal art through a macro lens.  Tiny details, normally overlooked, take on new possibilities when studied and appreciated.

The morning sun on the kitchen table changes colours, creates reflections, and lights up salt shakers.  Suddenly, salt is art.

Salt is also an accidental self-portrait…  Look closely.  🙂

#createmindfulness2017

Mindfulness Challenge Week 11: Balance

balance

Balancing Act

My daughter wanted to do a photo shoot with her American Girl Doll, Rosie.  In one of the shots, the doll is literally balanced on a bicycle.

Life and parenting are a lot about balance:  Time spent between work and family, between taking care of the house and taking care of the children, and between busy schedules and time for relaxation.

Making this photo was about balance, too:  Stealing a few creative shots while also setting up fashion shots for the doll.  I got to take pictures and spend time with my daughter; my daughter got to play dress-up and share this with me.

#createmindfulness2017