Monday, August 29, 2016

Early morning walk








Sunday morning we went up to Langley to have breakfast at Braeburn Restaurant. They open early (7 a.m.!) and we could beat the Sunday crowds.

Afterward, we slowly walked the town. The air was cool, skies overcast, no wind, no people. Ahhhh!

(These are all iPhone photos, and it was fun feeling unencumbered by weighty DSLRs.)

Fall has hit the Pacific Northwest. Started about two weeks ago, and now leaves are everywhere. I loved how these yellow ones looked as they collected in the cracks between cobblestones, and in the grid of a metal sewer plate.

Planters filled with flowers were everywhere, everything well taken care of.

Bright colors really stood out in the diffused morning light, and I loved how a chair became a strong graphic form against a sunshine-yellow wall. The sprinkling of leaves on the ground echoed the wall's bright color.

There's one building in town that has the coolest weathered reinforcement anchor plates on it and someday I'd like to do a more considered, more professional series of photos of them.

Spires on an iron gate caught my eye, looking like macho metal figures in skirts.

There is a group of volunteers in Langley who take care of all the trimming, pruning, watering, etc. of the town's hanging baskets, planters, and flower beds. I was drawn to a woman bending over with her secateurs in hand, doing what gardeners do. She was lovely, with great hair, casual, functional but elegant clothing (lovely pleating and stitching on her white shirt), thin silver bracelets, a purple watchband. I was smitten. And she kindly consented to being photographed as she worked.

And then one of my last photos was of a planter full of coneflowers, signifying the impending end of summer.

For me, this was just a perfect early morning out. Exploring, noticing, wandering, meandering, shooting, quietly talking. With Chris.

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Recent works . . .


A bit of graffiti found in downtown Portland years ago, combined with a nearby blue wall. And then a photo of a collage I made on an envelope a couple of weeks ago.

Would you believe leaves are beginning to fall here on Whidbey? They began in earnest about 10 days ago. Looking forward to fall.

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Latest work: "Abstract Calligraphy Collage"



I made some pseudo calligraphy using india ink on paper, cut it up, rearranged the bits, and created these images. I also like how they look as a diptych and am going to make one more -- a triptych.

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I got mail!







It's so cool when someone takes the time to send me something they think I can use in my art, and over the years wonderful things have been added to my stash. Here's what I received last week.

Japanese stamps from Patty Hammond. Jim and Patty attended my Oregon Coast Photo Workshop a number of years ago and Jim has taken my macro class. Jim's art can be found on Fine Art America, where he's getting started uploading images.

The rest of the items pictured here are just a part of what Janet and Ira Gelfman sent. They're simplifying their life, getting rid of extraneous stuff, and they generously and kindly sent me a LOT of things they think I can use.

All these dice came in a plain cotton pouch and vary in size, color, and shape. Chris and I are doing some assemblage art and a die or two or three might just come in handy.

Janet's grandmother sent her a bunch of envelope liners from the 1920s or 1930s, which I'll definitely be using in various collages.

And postcards! Postcards from an apparently well-traveled aunt.

She also tucked in a pouch of sea glass, some of which have been rounded and drilled to form primitive-looking buttons. Woof!

A cool-looking bottle, some old jacks, and lots more were in the box.

I'm overwhelmed by Patty, Janet, and Ira's generosity and thoughtfulness. Now the pressure's on to do something wonderful with all this. Yikes!

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Warning: photo of bird who "has ceased to be"

In our yard we have what we call "The Orchard," a small plot of ground that has a few apple trees in it and a couple of rose bushes. It's fenced all 'round to keep out the black-tailed Columbia deer that hang out on the property.

It's hard to mow in there and as a result, it had gotten rather weedy. I entered to do some gardening and noticed a dead towhee on the ground at my feet.

You might think "ick" and want to turn away, but I found him fascinating. The bird had been "no more" for some time, and all that remained was a skeleton, feathery wings, and tail.

Insects had done their work and moved on, leaving this guy quite bald, empty-eyed, and all his ribs intact. Since the "orchard" is fenced, no animals could get in there to do damage to the bird's body.

There was no sign of foul play, no pile of torn off feathers that you might expect to see if a hawk had gotten him. I think he simply died of old age, fell to earth in the orchard, and, before he could begin pushing up daisies, I found him and brought him into the studio.

This is him, "lying in state." After I took this shot, I ran a little monofilament line through a couple of his ribs and hung him up over the light table, where I'm hoping to photograph him seemingly "flying."



Creepy? Yeah, I can see how you might think so. But he's rather mummified, has no smell, isn't leaking any bodily fluids, nor are insects interested in him.

When I've finished my photography, then what? Well, I'll bury him under a tree. Or a rhododendron bush. Or maybe under some Shasta daisies.

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.
 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Latest work: "Japanese Paperbound Books Photomontage"

There’s nothing like the soft, worn feel of an ancient Japanese paper-bound book. I was lucky enough to go to Kyoto and amazingly a number of these old books followed me home. Torn, wrinkled, folded, soft, tattered pages are a delight to hold, lovely to see. I hope I’ve captured their textural quality here in this photomontage, which I uploaded to Fine Art America this morning.

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.
 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ta da!






It all began with a big bare wall. This (including Abby the cat) is what you see when you walk in our front door. The wall is really huge -- two stories high, stairs going down.

What to put on it?

So I made 150 large "shipping tags," creating a painting or a collage on both sides of each tag -- 300 images in all.

I wanted the tags to zoom across the wall as well as cascade down. But what order do I put them in? Which side is "up?" It's a good thing we have a king-sized bed, which is where we figured out how we wanted them all to appear on the wall.

We then strung together the tags and bundled each string so we'd know which order they should go on the bamboo pole.

Chris is much better at spatial concepts than I, so he is the one who figured out how to string the tags together and then how to suspend them from the pole. As you can see (in the fourth photo), Abby was a big help offering advice.

The last two photos show you the final result. The hanging is six feet wide by 9 feet high. I think it looks terrific. It's big, it's bold, it has a presence when you walk in the door, it's colorful, and it moves in the slightest breeze, so sometimes I see the fronts, sometimes the backs of the tags.

And it's unique. I've not seen anything like it. I love it. And to love your art? Isn't that just the best?

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.
 


Friday, August 12, 2016

Phase 1 is complete . . .



The first phase of my large wall hanging consisted of me making 150 "shipping tags." Each one (and there are TWO sides to each one) features either a collage or a painterly image, all hand done. That means (for those of you who are math-challenged) THREE HUNDRED mini-collages/paintings.

We begin assembling the piece today. Here are a few photos of the tags piled up on the work table.

Gotta say, this has been fun to create. I'll show more photos as we go along, including the GRAND FINALE en situ!

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.
 

Summer flowers


We're in the heart of summer here on Whidbey Island, and everything seems to be in full bloom right now.

However.

Leaves are beginning to slowly drift down from a few trees in the yard. Gentle reminders floating in the air, reminding us not to get too complacent. Autumn is nigh.

Technical stuff: Cellphone shots of flowers at Bayview Nursery in Langley, where colorful grasses made a lovely background. And the yellow ones were blooming in a flowerbed on a street in downtown Langley. Shallow depth of field and a painterly touch give the images an overall soft look, yet with a bit of sharpness so my eyes don't go crazy looking for something to focus on. 

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.
 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Xeriscapally yours . . .





It's summer. Not taking things too seriously. And having a bit of fun with new (and old) photos of succulents, exaggerating their colors, creating painterly looks. Some of these were taken using a cellphone, others with a DSLR. Having fun simply experimenting.

And you? What are YOU working on right now?

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Latest work: "Book of Fish"

I found the most discolored, water-stained, moldy book in an antique store for $1, brought it home and pulled it apart. The cover was the best part, and I really liked the colors. To that I added a vintage picture of a trout, mixed everything together, tweaked it a bit in the computer, and came up with this image. Weird, but cool!

©Carol Leigh
All text, photographs, and other media are ©Copyright Carol Leigh (or others when indicated) and are not in the public domain and may not be used on websites, blogs, or in other media without advance permission from Carol Leigh.