Drawn by a giant

Drawn by a giant

The constantly changing perspective of Alice in Wonderland delights me. First she is tiny and the world is huge. All of a sudden she grows immense and everything around her has shrunk.

Her image has stuck with me as I take pictures, and it sometimes creates dizzying shifts of perspective. As I viewed this desert cliff side, I thought of her possible Southwestern counterpart.

Imagine, if you will, a gigantic artist, coloring this desert scene. He settles carefully into a cross-legged position in the arroyo, trying to fit in amongst the cottonwoods and alder trees.

Out of an immense pencil box he picks up a piece of charcoal and carefully smudges the vermilion cliffs with desert varnish. Then he selects a white pen and limns the outlines of the Octotillo, as it waits for the summer rains…

Imagination must be visited constantly,

or else it begins to become restless and

emits strange bellows at embarrassing moments. Ignoring it only makes it grow larger and noisier.
~Patricia McKillip~

What if time is fluid?

ancient ollas

Even with parts missing where the light shines through, the inherent beauty and grace of these ancient ollas, or water jars, is unforgettable. They are a reminder of our past as a human species. Our yesterday.

But they could be part of our future as well. A new physics theory asserts that time may be fluid, allowing the past, present, and future to exist simultaneously.

If that is true, somewhere, a thousand years from now, an archaeologist is fitting together broken teacups and barbecue platters, wondering what our civilization must have been like! Our tomorrow.

A people without history is like
wind through buffalo grass.

~Teton Sioux proverb~

An eye for rust

Artful decay

As an aficionado of texture, when I came upon this old shack, I was in seventh heaven. Consider that great rusty barrel, the rain-stained wood, the stovepipe hanging at an angle, that old window missing one pane, the tattered, rusting side-panels. It was perfect!

And then I discovered why is was perfect. It’s not real. This sheep herder’s cabin, nestled among a grove of eucalyptus trees, is a carefully constructed movie set. All that rust is man-made, as was the angle of the stovepipe and the metal patches about to fall to the ground. All were built with an eye toward illusion.

I decided I liked it anyway. How could I not admire an artist with an eye for rust!

And now we welcome the new year.
Full of things that have never been.
~Rainer Maria Rilke~

 

The direction of light

holes to let the light in

We are used to looking straight ahead as we gaze into the distance. But sometimes it is useful to look up.

Here, a shaded walkway is transformed into a beautiful design of latticework that creates a dual pattern: looking up, looking down.

Light that speaks! An artist’s chiaroscuro dream.

Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt,
and poetry is painting that is felt
rather than seen.

~Leonardo da Vinci~

 

Luminous reflections

Liquid shadows

Who says shadows need to be hum-drum. Or even dark, for that matter. I discovered these reflections in an old building, where glass tiles threw a shifting pattern of light reflections on a dark brick wall. Their shimmering pattern of light delighted me!

When we get locked into looking at an object in one way, for example, grass is green or the sun is yellow, we really don’t see what is in front of us, all the time.

If at a child’s birth, a mother could ask a fairy godmother
to endow it with the most useful gift,
that gift would be curiosity.

~Eleanor Roosevelt~

Tic-tac-toe, free-spirit style

painted schoolbus

This is one determined, retired school bus, pulling that old pickup along behind. It’s almost as though the decorations of new paint on the bus counterbalance the lack of paint on the truck.

I can see in my mind’s eye the fun it must have been to inscribe all of those circles. Now I wish I had taken the time to visit the other side to see if there were corresponding Xs over there!

Life is a great big canvas.
Throw all the paint on it you can.

~Danny Kaye~

The reality of art

Reality imitating art

The Phoenix Art Museum has a wonderful wing devoted to installation art, modern art, post-modern art. Imagine my surprise when I viewed this picture, looked for the artist’s name, and discovered it wasn’t “art” at all, but rather a shadowed window into the museum loggia. Great fun!

 There’s a saying among prospectors. Go out looking for one thing, and that’s all you’ll find.
~Robert Flaherty, explorer~

A complement of opposites

rock on rickety bench

Would the smooth pot shine as brightly without the dark roughness of the bench? Would the bench sit so solidly without the weight of the pot?

Each needs the other to complete the whole, Yin and Yang. Perfectly complementing each other, perfectly balanced in their asymmetry.

Challenges are what make life interesting
and overcoming them
is what
makes life meaningful.

~Joshua Marine~

 

Snow in Zion National Park

Zion black and white

Ansel Adams used to hoist his huge large-format camera onto the roof of his “woody” station wagon to get the exact shot that he wanted. He was working with plates, rather than film, which made getting just the right shot so important. He planned ahead.

I’m no Ansel Adams. Call me an impulse photographer. Yet, I was pleased when I discovered all seven of Adams’s “zones” in this snapshot, white to black.

I almost always use color in Zion National Park, yet black and white can equally dramatic. How can you lose when you are photographing red rocks and snow!

I work from my gut. I just work and out it comes.
I don’t know what it is until it’s finished
and often I title a piece after it’s done.
Call it chance, call it fate.
There’s more than one thing going on.

~Dale Chihuly~

Split color wheel with analogous hues

blue green lavender gold

I was delighted to discover this tableau!

Can you see the color wheel? Green, blue, lavender, and then a whirl of the wheel over to the yellow-gold side. Just perfect.

My former art teachers would love it. I did, too.

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~