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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Be Still 52 - Week 46

Letters and words
surround us, but finding just the 
right ones to add to photography can be a
little challenging.

It took me a few days to even know where to start. Of course, my childish heart soon solved that. My mind went to some vintage wooden blocks I have. "B" seemed a good one as I have several bears and books around my home. The book in the background is "First Lessons In Nature Study" written by Edith M. Patch in 1940.




While looking for the first book, I ran across this one. It reminded me of our family vacation last year. So, I visited the "sea."  The book, "We Visit The Seashore" has the most wonderful pop-up illustrations that are reproductions of antique pictures by Ernest Nister. Nister's book was published in the late 1800's.




I guess I had summer and the sea on my mind.  I cross stitched this small pillow several years ago. The boat, beach ball, castle, and lighthouse on the pillow represent the letters S-A-I-L. 



More and more as I go through this class I'm surprised at the many props that are right within my reach. I just have to stop and look around! One more thing, the boards that I used as the base in these photos were old pieces of a picket fence that someone dumped in the woods nearby. I will never understand why people choose the woods as a dumping ground, but this time someones trash was a treasure for me.

beyondlayers

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Sundries - Edition 52


A sensitive plant in a garden grew,
And the young winds fed it with silver dew,
And it opened it's fan-like leaves to the light,
and closed them beneath the kisses of night.
~ Percy Bysshe Shelley, "The Sensitive Plant," 1820

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Be Still 52 - Week 45

The morning was overcast and with the gentle breeze blowing, it was slightly chilly. Just my kind of weather and a perfect time to take a nature walk around the yard. I took a little blue bucket with me and a pair of clippers. I was looking for bits and pieces of nature to create still life photos for this week's Be Still exercise. As most of you know, this exercise fit me very well. There's no place I'd rather be than outside. The weather, the temperature, the pollen doesn't bother me. I only sneezed half a dozen times!!

For the first image I knew I wanted to use this little egg that we found lying in the dirt. I think it's a wren egg, but I'm not sure. The little nest is so sweet. Momma bird found a piece of very fine black netting to decorate her nest. I wish you could see it better, but it's tucked inside.




Next, I tried some azalea and narcissus blooms against a rotting piece of bark.




I used narcissus, dandelion flowers, and fern fronds to decorate an old limb covered with lichen. I couldn't make up my mind which picture I liked best, so I just made a collage. 





Can you tell I'm having a wee bit of fun here? I couldn't stop at one or two or three arrangements. I went for four!

Lastly, I gathered a bucket full of green. It's amazing all the shades of green, the textures, and the shapes that can be found. I didn't even use half of what I gathered.




This was fun!
Challenging, but not stressful.
I enjoyed the outdoors,
the pollen fresh air
and the exercise.

beyondlayers

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Sundries - Edition 51

Flowering Spruge (Euphorbia Corollata)
"Black Bird"


What delights us in the spring is
more a sensation than an appearance,
more a hope than any visible reality.
There is something in the softness of the air,
in the lengthening of the days,
in the very sounds and odors of the sweet time,
that caresses us and consoles us
after the rigorous weeks of winter.
~Philip Gilbert Hamerton



Saturday, April 18, 2015

Liberate Your Art - 2015


Every year for the last five years I've participated in Kat Sloma's Liberate Your Art postcard swap. Talented artists from around the world share their art.  Each participant creates at piece of art in any medium such as painting, photography, mixed media, needlework, or jewelery. Any type of art is elegable as long as you can take a photograph of it and create a postcard. The postcard above is the one I sent to be swapped. We're encouraged to add inspiring words on the back. I added a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." You mail Kat five postcards, she swaps them, and we receive postcards back from other artists.So far I've heard from three recipients of my cards: Jane in Michigan, Ma in France, and Sherry in Canada. I was delighted to hear where my postcards landed!

4/19 - I've just seen where another of my postcards landed. Chandra Lynn in Alabama received it. Only one more to see if I can find!

Here are the postcards I received from around the world...

Postcard #1

My first postcard arrived from Dover, New Hampshire. This beautiful piece of art entitled Mondrian 2.0 was created by Will Conway. This is his tribute to Dutch painter Piet Mondrian (1872-1944). The back included an inspiring quote "All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography" by Federico Fellini.


Postcard #2

This lovely photograph was taken by K. Spatola of a keyhole at Kronborg Castle (aka Hamlet's Castle) in Helsingor, Denmark. She included a quote from Hamlet, Act 4, Scene IV, "We know what we are, but not what we may be." ~ Ophelia 



Postcard #3

A lovely black and white photograph arrived from Jeanette. On the back she wrote, "A lonely bench sitting in the rain overlooking the Williamette River in my Oregon town. 


Postcard #4


This postcard is a mixed media piece by Jane Ross from Reston, VA. She named it "Summer Memories." Her enouraging words were an Australian Aboriganl Proverb "Those who lose dreaming are lost." She also added "Let your imagination soar!"


Postcard #5

This beautiful collage piece was created by Andrea Weber-Lages from Hanover, Germany

Thanks to each of these wonderful artists!  I treasure each card!



The last postcard we all received was from Kat. Her beautiful art is entitles "Imminent Downfall" and on the back she writes "When you Liberate Your Art the world is a better place." Thank you Kat for hosting this amazing swap of art!


This year's swap included:

1290 pieces of art
214 artists participating
from 12 countries

Each year this swap continues to grow. I can't imagine the work that goes into hosting this swap. I appreciate all the hard work Kat does!


We are participating in a blog hop where we can see many of the postcards and hopefully see where our own cards landed. Kat has put together a video of postcards that were swapped. If you'd like to see some gorgeous art, click on the Liberate Your Art button below. If you don't want to go blog hopping, at least watch the video, it's amazing.


Liberate Your Art 2015


I'm looking forward to Liberate Your Art 2016! If this sounds wonderful to you, join us next year. Kat has a newsletter that keeps you informed of everything that's happening at her studio. Just go to her website and sign up to recieve it in you inbox!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Be Still 52 - Week 44

Find an object and create five different still life images with it.  That was the exercise for this week's Be Still 52 class.  I had a list of objects that included a feather, spool of thread, ink well, books, lilacs, and a heart necklace, but I was stumped when it came to creating the five different set-ups. One set-up a week is hard for me. I finally settled on a skeleton key and went very simple. 


The Key To My Heart


 Vintage Keys


The Key To Learning


Key Collector


Music Is The Key


So, there you have it;
one key, five ways!

beyondlayers


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Sunday Sundries - Edition 50


"The camera, when held with wonderment,
opens us to the magic of discovery."
~ Patricia Turner, A Photographic Sage

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Be Still 52 - Week 43

In celebration of spring this week's exercise was pastels. I enjoy the softness of pastels, but I like brighter colors, so I had a hard time coming up with props and ideas. 


While thinking of pastels, I remembered that I have several of my grandmother's handkerchiefs which are soft pastel colors. It's sad we don't carry beautiful handkerchiefs in our pocketbooks anymore. We are missing out on such a pretty accessory. One St. Patrick's Day when I was six, my mother tucked a green handkerchief in the waistband of my skirt so I wouldn't get pinched for not wearing green. Anyway, my grandmother had such lovely feminine handkerchiefs and I'm so thankful I have a few.


One thing I have noticed about my still life photos is that like in nature, I want to get in close and see all the details; the textures of the bunnies and the edge of the hankie. I take pictures that give "room to breath," but I almost always choose the close up. I guess that's just part of my style.

I hope you're having a lovely spring!

beyondlayers

Friday, April 3, 2015

Gifts For Me

On a day when things weighed heavy on my heart and shoulders,
I knew just where to go to find peace . . .
the woods.


I can wander along and completely tune out life's cares by listening to my footsteps on soft pine needles, hearing the birds chirping, the wind whispering through the trees, and the squirrels scampering through the woods.


I was listening, but not really focusing on what was around me, when out of the corner of my eye I spotted an unusual tree. What caught my attention was the color of the inside wood that was revealed by peeling bark. It was a sycamore tree. My mom has three sycamore trees in her yard, but when the bark peals on those trees the inner woods is shades of white and ecru. This tree looked like it was wearing camouflage on the inside!


Off the trail I went to get a closer look. I walked around and around the tree, touching the rough bark, and taking a few pictures. That's when I spotted the heart.  I am a firm believer that God brings pleasure to us through his creation. When I see hearts in nature I start to smile and my heart warms. I know it's a gift from God to me. Yes, to me! You see, no on else wanders in these woods but me. 



For the rest of my walk I focused on bark; so many colors, so many patterns, so much texture.


     

It seemed that on this day I needed an extra dose of love. I found more that one heart in the woods.  The second one was a small one hidden in the bumpy bark. Do you see it in the upper left third of the photo below?



It really doesn't take much to make me happy. A walk in the woods will do it every time. There I find peace, quiet, stillness, and sometimes I find a message from God; a little surprise that I stumble upon for my pleasure.