Pages

Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Fiinds - To Pretty To Be Inside

Lately I've found myself outside enjoying the warm sunshine. Sixty degree temperatures are not what we usually get in January, so when that happens I try to take advantage of it. My sister and I spent two days outside, doing a little walking, talking, laughing, and taking pictures. The first day we hiked a 3 1/2 mile trail around the base of Pinnacle Mountain. I've been to this state park many times and walked trails, but this was the first time I had someone with me to walk the base trail. Although it's a well marked trail you have to walk carefully over rocks and roots. Sometimes the trail was nothing but rocks and we had to look for the light green trail marking on the trees.


Walking in winter is different than other seasons when the leaves are on the trees and wildflowers are blooming. In winter you see the bare-bone shapes of the trees. You see the squirrel nests and the bird nests that are usually hidden in the leaves.


We ate a late lunch along the banks of the Arkansas River. While we were talking, my sister glanced up and saw a barge coming down the river. This pretty tug is call the Beverely Anne. (yes that's how the name was spelled on the side)


As we were taking pictures of the barge the ducks noticed us. I really think they thought we were going to feed them. Sorry guys! Nothing good for you to eat!


The next day we still wanted to be outside so we chose to tour Mount Holly Cemetery in Little Rock, the capitol of Arkansas. This cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Numerous notable Arkansans have been laid to rest here.
11 state Governors
14 state Supreme Court Justices
five Confederate Generals
22 Little Rock mayors
notable women, newspaper editors,
military heroes, physicians, and attorneys 


Many people don't understand the appeal of a cemetery. I'm drawn to cemeteries with or without my camera. I'm drawn to the beauty, art, history, and peace that you can fine when you walk through their gates.


A four square-block area was donated to the City of Little Rock in 1842 for this cemetery. Very close to downtown Little Rock, this area is an oasis from the hustle and bustle of city life. The park is filled with many beautiful old trees and bushes. I want to go back in the spring, as there are hundreds of flowers planted and later in the summer the wrought iron fence that surrounds the grounds will be draped with roses. 


Six hours wasn't enough time to see the whole cemetery. We only walked through half of it.  I'm hoping for a pretty day soon that we can go back, finish our tour, and see what we can discover. I'll be posting more pictures from the cemetery in the next couple of posts.

fridayfindsbutton

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Be Still - Weeks 32 & 33

Still life photography requires numerous decisions.
What props will I use?
How much, how little?
Composition?
Backdrops?


Backdrops were the focus of this Be Still exercise. 
I decided to use a top down shot with different surfaces.
I gathered a few items that I thought complimented each other
and then added a piece of crochet and a piece of sheer fabric.
 First, I arranged them on two pieces of dark floor tile.


Then switched to a piece of floral scrapbook paper.



On the third one I went with a light square of floor tile.


In the last one I used a piece of burlap.
I think I'm leaning toward the first one.
I like the way it brings out the warmth of the seedpods.


Last week's assignment was to use citrus, white space, and staggering heights.
I thought on this long and hard.
I know I've said it before, but I'm not a pretty, soft type of photographer.
I like warmth.
I'm also sentimental.
I finally came up with props I was excited about,
my son's lunchbox and thermos, probably from kindergarten.
The perk of this shoot,
I got to eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwich
and the mandarin orange.
I had more fun and relaxed with this exercise.
Why?  Because it is me!

beyondlayers

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Sundries - Edition 40


"Winter reminds us that everyone
and everything needs some quiet time."
~ Katrina Mayer

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Beauty of Glass

"I can't understand it when people say
they don't like a particular color. . .
How on earth can you not like a color."
~ Dale Chihuly


Chihuly Glass
exquisite
delicate
breathtaking

If you have ever seen any of Chihuly's glass you know how exquisite each piece is and how breathtaking it is when those pieces are placed together. Chihuly's glass was displayed at the Clinton Presidential Library as part of the libraries 10th anniversary celebration.  I went with my sister and niece, not so much to see the library. It is, well, sort of boring unless you're into politics. We went to see the glass. 



Chihuly's series of Seaforms are created by nesting bowls and various shaped pieces.



He describes his Seaform series as resembling the ebb and flow of water and underwater life.



I was fascinated by the perfection in the curves, lines, and repeated patterns.



Chihuly's Mille Fiori exhibit looked like an enchanted garden filled with every shape and color imaginable. I can't tell you how many times we walked around this exhibit and each time saw something new!


Mille Fiori means a "thousand flowers."  


The sculptures that made up this garden resembles organic shapes such as ferns, bushes, reeds,
and the bodies of animals like swans or herons. 


The black base the Mille Fiori pieces sit on create the most amazing reflections. I think I took more pictures of the reflections that I did of the glass!  If you were only looking down at a piece, you would miss the beauty of the underneath side.


Pictures do not even begin to show the beauty of Chihuly's glass and there aren't words to describe it.
I think Chihuly says it best, they are magical!

"The magic is in the light."
Dale Chihuly

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Sunday Sundries - Edition 39




"Winter is an etching..."
~ Stanley Horowitz

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Be Still 52 - Weeks 30 and 31

It's time to post what I've been up to lately in the Be Still class I'm taking. 


Week 30 - part 1
best still life images of 2014

This was a very easy exercise. Since still life photography isn't my focus, I didn't have a ton of pictures to look through. I settled on these six as my best still life photos from 2014. As many of you know, I love nature and have been including little bits of nature in the photos for this class. Nature's warmth, textures, and beauty just sets my heart aflutter!



Week 30 - part 2
2015 fresh start photo

I think of fresh and I think of nature, so off to the woods I went to gather some fresh beauty. I found a couple of nandina bushes growing wild near the creek. It's always such a surprise to find their pretty colored leaves and bright red berries among the browns of winter. 




Week 31
hanging bottles, posie, and string

How many times in these Be Still posts have I said I was struggling?  Too many!  So I'm changing that to I was challenged by this exercise!  The bottles weren't the problem I have plenty of those. Posies? A fading camellia bloom and some blue berries will do for that. Hanging? There was the challenge. Finding a place to hang the bottle. Oh, and the light, that was a challenge too. It has been deary and overcast lately. I wanted to do something soft and dreamy, but my props and limited editing give you warm and natural. 




This is as close to dreamy as I got. Sending out a word of thanks to Donna Hopkins for the pretty teapot. I was the very lucky winner in her give-a-way. It also came with a lovely cup and saucer. 


I'm caught up once again and a new exercise arrives today.  I have to think so hard to create a still life that I'm afraid I'm not doing so well on the "being still" part of this class!

beyondlayers

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

It's Coming Down!


The dump trucks are ready waiting in a line. The large pieces of equipment are idling. Workmen sit in their trucks trying to stay warm on this cold January morning. The power company is shutting off the electricity. 



A piece of Little Rock's history is about to be demolished; a piece of my history. The round, dome topped United Artist Cinema 150 at Asher at University is being torn down. Demolition began today.

Growing up we didn't go to movies. I don't know if it was because we were preacher's kids or if it was because of money, but we never went. I was finally allowed to go when I was sixteen. It was a very big night for me; a date to the movies with my sweetheart, who is better know to you as Mr. H. In 1970 we went to see the academy award winning movie "Love Story" staring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal. To make it extra special my first movie was at the the elegant UA Cinema 150. 

I remember standing in line to buy tickets. The line wove through the lobby, out the door, and circled around the building.

 Photograph credit Arkansas Democrat 1970

After purchasing our tickets, we entered the theater doors into a world of rich red velvet. The reclining seats were red velvet and red velvet draped the walls. The screen, oh my, it was enormous with a 120 degree curve. With the rounding walls, the curving screen, and the astonishing sound which came from speakers hidden behind the velvet drapes, I felt as though I was right in the middle of the movie. For my first movie experience it was amazing! Did I cry at the end of the movie? Yes, all the girls cried at the end of this romantic drama that ended in tragedy! If you looked closely you probably could have spotted a tear in some of the guy's eyes, too! Of course, if you cried, your boyfriend might put his arm around you or he might hold your hand!

Before the movies we ate dinner at Casa Bonita located in the shopping center behind the theatre. The Mexican restaurant feathered themed rooms and waterfalls. I remember the small flags on the tables that you raised if you needed a refill of food or drink. The food was wonderful, but my favorite part was the sopaipillas. They were out-of-this-world delicious when filled with honey that dripped down you fingers as you ate them.


Sopaipilla.jpg
Photo credit Wikipedia

Sadly Casa Bonita closed in 1993. It reopened in 1995 as Casa Viva but then it closed in 2005.


I remember taking our daughter to see the movie The Fox and The Hound at the Cinema 150. I still love to watch that movie! I don't remember all the details, but there was a special showing where the tickets for children were either free or discounted. I do remember we waited a long time in line.

Now, for a little history about the Cinema 150. The structure built in 1968 was unique in that it was round, a dome roof, and the screen was curved.




Only the "big" movies played at the 150. It was the premiere theater for new releases in the 70's and 80's. The first movie shown was The Odd Couple, featuring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The premiere of True Grit was a major Arkansas event at the Cinema with an appearance by Glen Campbell, which you can check out here. The ladies were given lapel buttons that said "Give me a man with True Grit" and the men's buttons said "I have True Grit." Other big movies included Top Gun, The Empire Strikes Back, Jungle BookThe Muppet Movie, and Patton.


When it closed in 2003, it was the last operating Dimension 150 theater in the country. Other businesses tried to make a go of it in this building including a restaurant, a concert venue and a playhouse, but nothing survived very long. The cinema sits in front of one of the state's first shopping centers, The Village,  built in 1960.



This part of town has steadily declined over the years, giving it a less than stellar reputation. The cinema became a place where the homeless slept under the eaves and drug deals went down on the parking lot. The walls became covered with graffiti.


A new company has purchased the shopping center where the cinema is located and decided to leveling it so that new businesses could be seen from the street. I would be very surprised if anything new and exciting moved into this area! 

Sometimes buildings can be saved and restored, but sometimes they just have to go. This is one of those times. There will be a bare spot at the corner of Asher and University. The theater will be missed by many including me!

Screen_Shot_2015-01-09_at_7.16.37_AM.png
Photo credit Arkansas times


Photo credit Cinema Treasures. http://cinematreasures.org/

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sunday Sundries - Edition 38


"In order to see birds
it is necessary to become a part of the silence."
~ Robert Lynd

Friday, January 9, 2015

Water

I found some time this week.
I walked through my favorite woods,
To the creek...to think, reflect.


water flowing over rocks and sand


now frozen solid by the cold


sunlight dances on the icy surface


 while bubbles freeze creating shapes below


the sun peeks out bringing warmth


allowing the water to flow again


This Friday I'm linking with Adrienne at My Memory Art.
I've been wanting to try this for a while and decided this would be the week.

My Memory Art six word fridays

Also linking with...

fridayfindsbutton