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.
Connecting the Years
In my daughter’s collection of doll clothes are a few items kept from my childhood.
This tiny embroidered dress is one of them; I can clearly remember dressing my own dolls in it when I was her age.
I’m happy I kept it. It somehow connects her childhood with mine, the years in between disappearing for a moment. It is also a connection of how many of the things I loved have become the things she loves.
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.
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. 🙂
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.
I’m a little behind on my photo challenge… Quite apt for this theme: Imperfection.
This little beach find is perfect for my imperfect theme. It is slightly cracked, softened by the sea, speckled by the sand, and faded by the sun. Yet it remains intact, traces of vitality evident in its lines and shape.
Once a vibrant protector of life, it is now vacant. But the story of life resides in its curves, the scent and sound of the sea still alive within it.
It is imperfect, but it is still beautiful.
The Things We Touch
Every day we put on clothes, we pick things up, we cook, we slide our fingers across our keyboards and our phones – mindlessly. And yet, in each of these is a touch, a texture, a temperature. The fabric we wear is stretchy, silky, or soft; the dishes are cool and hard. Food has endless textures: bumpy, crumbly, or even slimy.
How often do we notice?
What if we paid as much attention to the water running over our bodies in the shower as we did the pillow we lay our heads down on each night? What if we were as mindful of the softness of the scarf we wrap around our neck as we are the tag that scratches at our back?
Here is what I do notice:
- A new book, its pages crisp and clean
- The warmth from my children when we curl up on the couch
- The weight and softness of the throw I cover my legs with while I relax
- The heat of a fresh cup of coffee
- A pair of fuzzy reading socks
- A hot bath
- The almost-spring sun as it heats the inside of the car
- Ice-cold water during hot yoga (and the grip of my mat during asanas)
- The smooth keys of the keyboard while I type
- The curved edges and ridged buttons on my camera
This mindfulness challenge began to help create more awareness in my photography; it is helping to create more awareness in my life.
This is Simplicity
This photo was taken a number of years ago. Rather than making a new one, I chose to use this one as it represents simplicity to me on many levels.
I’ve always taken pictures, but this is one of the first photos I took with my DSLR. Even though the camera became more complicated, my style did not. Photography for me has always been focusing on a few simple details, cutting out anything that does not add to the subject matter.
A daisy is that most common flower, found growing wild, picked by children who pull the petals off, and gathered by women in wedding bouquets. They are grown without fertilizer or fanfare. Daisies represent purity, innocence, cleanliness – perfect for the theme of simplicity.
In art as well as photography, a palette of black and white is also simplicity itself.
This photo is a reminder to pare down the elements in a composition; a reminder that sometimes, simple is best.
In honour of Valentine’s Day, I decided to switch this week’s theme with one I had planned to do in a few weeks: Love.
Love is a Pink Door
We recently redecorated our master bedroom: new bedding, new lighting, and new paint. The walls are now a soft grey, the quilt a quiet cream. I chose a neutral palette for its serene appeal as well as to appeal to my husband, whose style is about as far from flowery as you can get.
The door to the balcony was dark brown, so it needed to be changed as well. I had the idea to paint it pink, but figured it would end up being white. When my husband asked me what colour I wanted to paint the door, I threw out the pink idea, expecting it to be shot down instantly. To my surprise, he said, “Try it.”
To my even greater surprise, he didn’t mind it.
(Although he did suggest the room needed a Metallica poster to put some of him back into it!)
I was so happy with this pink door, this little bit of pretty pastel.
Then, my dear husband surprised me again: He came home with a pink orchid to go with my pink door.
Love it generosity and comprises. Love is romance and little surprises.
Love is a pink door (and an orchid to match).
Happy Valentine’s Day!
I am a High School English Teacher
There are many things I could have chosen for this week’s theme, so many things that make me happy. But what stands out for me right now is that after many years of being in not-quite-right jobs, I am in the right job for me. This is the most content I’ve been in a job, ever.