This past month, our "From the Masters" group studied William Eggleston. To be honest, I did not know who he was. When I looked up his name I was immediately struck by his use of color. It was used in such a painterly, rich, intuitive way, so that every day boring scenes, ones you and I walk by every single day, came to life. I was particularly inspired because I took the wonderful color theory class by my friend Roxanne Bryant this past spring and I could actually see how Eggleston used a warm and cool palette, and how the colors worked so perfectly together. The thing is, Eggleston makes it look easy. In actuality, when I tried to go around and find everyday, very boring, and truly ugly surroundings and make them look like a painting, it was quite hard. Normally I am shooting landscapes and my children. For these I took my camera into our town and even tried a few different ugly settings such as my garage (gasp). It was challenging. My favorite part of this month was working on my color and seeing how different colors worked together and then attempting to look at my surroundings with a painterly eye. I love rich colors so I bumped up my saturation and even changed the colors in some of these images to work well together.
Now please follow the circle around and check out my lovely friend Antonieta's post this month!
the day the leaves fell like a song
and I could barely catch you
in the blur of burnt orange crimson red
I told you every now and then
there is a day that
and you laughed running
your small self passing through the crunching leaves
as they came down to the notes
hardly believing this song would
change so soon
hushed by white silence
Now please follow the circle around to my friend Heather. So much beauty in her post this month ♥
I was so thankful to be asked to participate as a guest photographer in this month's "From the Masters" circle. Each month this group of ladies studies a master of photography and gains inspiration to shoot and see in a way that is new to them. This month we studied Harry Callahan. I found his life so interesting and there were certain elements of his style that fascinated me; his use of light and dark, the way he saw lines and form, how he was known for both his color and black and white work which is unusual for that time period, and his experimentation with double exposure. Reading about his life, I especially loved reading that he looked at his photography as a "life's work" and that making art is almost a spiritual experience. This resonated with me. Sometimes I am in such a hurry to think that a project should be finished at some point, or have an ending and yet, to look at it as a life's work can give us peace of mind. The thought that we are always learning, creating, looking deeper, seeing in new ways. It is never ending and will last our lifetime. It made me realize that this is only the beginning of my project. What will next year bring? in 10 years? At the end of my life? I love that. He wrote:
“My project could only be to photograph as I felt and desired; to regulate a pleasant form of living: to get up in the morning—free, to feel the trees, the grass, the water, sky or buildings, people—everything that affect us. ”
He was very inspired by Walt Whitman who wrote "Leaves of Grass", which was his life work. I love what Walt Whitman says here. It really is how I hope someone will feel when they look at one of my images, like they are looking in the mirror by my side, seeing how I see and feel. I think it is what every artist hopes.
"What I tell I tell for precisely what it is. What I experience or portray shall go from my composition. ”
Now please follow the circle around to my good friend Antonieta Esis here. I love how she experimented with double exposure this week. So wonderful.
I went down to the creek behind our house one evening with my 10 year old son. In my mind I had pictures I was hoping to make imagined. I had been back there a week before and the light was so incredible. I imagined portraits in the drippy light with his sweet face. When we found ourselves there finally, I didn't have the heart to ask him to stand still for me, look at the camera. He was so busy building a little dam in the stream that I ended up focusing on the water and his hands. These are free lensed double exposures.
Now please follow the circle around to my talented friend Holly
Lately I have been inspired by one artist in particular, my daughter. I remember last summer she learned how to draw a flower; the first one drawn in the near dark with chalk outside. From then on that summer she drew endless pictures for me of flowers, people, rainbows. The pile overflowed and as she kept drawing, she got better and better at it. I hung up whatever I could, and she always glowed when she saw them on the wall. We would talk about them again and again. There were stories, long elaborate imaginative ones that she would make up about the pictures. This summer I see her in her room with clay, paint, watercolors, scissors. Mess, everywhere. She is deep into creating and brings me her art again. This time, her art is different. She still draws people and rainbows and flowers but now she mixes paint and clay on the paper. The stories she tells have become more imaginative, her art more adventurous. She is really fearless how she mixes mediums. I have told her that she is an artist countless times. Proudly she beams. Once she lamented she could not color in the lines like her friend. I told her I liked abstract art much better. And so with my own art, I let myself experiment like her. I free lensed these and thought, what would happen if I tried to do triple exposures? What would it look like to freelens the moon, the front headlight of my car? What can I find that is beautiful in the yard I have photographed a million times. One time she drew me a picture and told me it was a picture of the wind. What does the wind look like? I love that art is about making the unimaginable, finding the forgotten hidden beauty, and really there is no right and wrong. Today I asked her how do you become an artist? She answered "momma, you just have to practice a lot.", as she stamped and colored her gazillionth picture of the summer.
Now please continue the circle around to my crazy talented friend Heather. I love her sweet sentiment this month and beautiful images to go with it.