Thursday, July 12, 2018

It's a Ford . . . an old one


A couple more images from the old cars we saw on our exploration to Port Angeles. Unless tended to daily, old cars just don't stand a chance against the environment here in the Pacific Northwest. And for a photographer like me, that's very good news . . .

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Artistic slumps




For me, the only way to work myself out of an artistic block is just to keep working, not worrying if what I'm making is awful, doesn't work, and/or is total garbage.

The key is to keep on creating, experimenting, asking myself "what if?" Easy for me to say. Harder to do without getting bummed out, thinking I'm a terrible artist.

Here's a series of four pictures I made this morning, going from the original to three other versions.

What's my point? We all go through this. We all get down on ourselves, seeing what everybody ELSE is producing, seemingly effortlessly, so what's wrong with ME?

And even though you see me posting decent pictures all the time, and you think it's easy for me, and OMG, look at the VARIETY of what I create, it's kind of a facade. I have a lot of images to draw from. And I DO create almost daily. But trust me when I say I'm in a huge slump right now.

My computer is full, my DROBO is full, my external drives are rapidly filling up, and I cannot add more drives because I've run out of USB ports. THE COMPUTER IS SLOWING DOWN AND I'M TIRED OF JUST SITTING HERE STARING AT A MONITOR!

See what I mean? You may be facing all these same challenges PLUS you may have a job to go to, kids/grandkids to take care of, or health issues. So you may be even more depressed than I.

My only suggestion is to just keep working. Do not quit. Eventually you'll emerge out the other side, creating interesting, wonderful, and unique art.

That slump is going to come around again though. But next time maybe you (and I) will be better equipped to deal with it.

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Around the island . . .




Off for a little drive this past Sunday to check out a couple of things.

First of all, because the lighting was good, I wanted to photograph an old red barn -- just bits and pieces and details -- and this rusty hinge caught my eye. Whenever I find the color red, weathered wood, some white trim, peeling paint, and then rusting metal, well, it's time to slam on the brakes and see what we can photograph.

I also had spotted a beautiful madrone tree a few weeks ago, so made sure we stopped for that as well. Again, the lighting was perfect, the results good, so this has become a new project -- to photograph madrone bark around the island. Luckily there are lots of madrone trees to choose from.

Then on to Lavender Wind farm, which looked great. My friend P. works there a couple days a week, so I'm SURE she's instrumental in making sure all is trimmed, weeded, and just perfect. Lavender Wind isn't a huge, sprawling place, but rather a somewhat intimate experience, with fields of lavender big enough to be impressive, but not so big as to be intimidating. The people there are friendly, the flowers are amazing, the gift shop fun to browse (we brought home a bouquet of dark, indigo-colored lavender stalks plus some catnip for Abby).

Here at home the rabbits are multiplying like, well, rabbits, and these two were hoovering up birdseed we had scattered below some trees (for the quail, the towhees, the juncos, chipmunks, chickarees, and squirrels). This picture was taken from above, through a dirty window, in low light. Not a good shot, but a decent depiction of who we have living on our property.

A terrific day. May we all have such quietly wonderful excursions.

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Good morning from Whidbey Island!

It's summer and the Columbian black-tailed deer's antlers are still in velvet. This guy stopped by yesterday afternoon, took a drink from the birdbath, and then went on with his annual (and continual) yard pruning. He moved clockwise around the perimeter; a few minutes later a doe continued the gardening chores, moving counter-clockwise.

Photo taken from the back deck, so hastily I didn't notice my slow shutter speed. So I turned the out-of-focus picture into a sort of sketch, hoping you wouldn't notice how bad it is. Focus aside, isn't the tilt of the head endearing? 
 
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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A fun day exploring





Yesterday we boarded the ferry, landed in Port Townsend, and then made our way around over to Port Angeles -- just to see what's there.

Well, the coolest things we found were a bunch of old, rusty cars, which kept me busy for a very long time.

But what has now also kept me busy is trying different effects in Photoshop to see how I can change -- radically or no -- the looks of some of these pictures.

The first photo is a shot of the "Salish" arriving at the Keystone ferry docks, which I changed rather radically.

And then here are two different versions of two different shots, the first one in each set being pretty much what the scene looked like, the second being an altered version.

I don't know what I like and what I don't, having spent now way too much time staring at the computer screen. So I'm going to walk away for awhile (more than a week, probably), and see how they look to me then.

These things have to marinate, don't you know?

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Latest work: "Wall Texture #15"



Yesterday Fine Art America sent me a notice that four other pictures in this series sold to a buyer in Australia. I used that as motivation to create three more -- one full-frame, and the other two are squarified versions of parts of the original.

I worked on this image last night for a few hours as well as early this morning, uploaded them to Fine Art America, and done!

More will be on the way to FAA in the coming months as I process the thousand+ images I have to choose from. Love this subject matter! It's always nice to see these pictures sell, because there are many people out there who just don't get the beauty of my textured walls. And maybe that's you! I understand completely. For me, however, they make my heart race!

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Recent work: "Lamppost Shadow" and "Building Boats"


Sometimes, when you get stuck, you just keep on making things. They might work, they might not, but at least you're continuing to MAKE things. Eventually there will be a small breakthrough, one thing will lead to another, and you're off and running again.

If you get stuck, keep working. Because if you just quit, you'll just stay stuck. And that's no fun at all.

The first one here ("Lamppost Shadow"), is based on a building I photographed in Tucumcari, New Mexico. The building was old and funky, but it was the shadow that (to me) looked great.  The number 19 and some of the texture comes from a physical collage I made some time ago.

The second picture ("Building Boats"), began with my photographing cranes and buildings at the Port of Anacortes, Washington. Here and there you'll see depth markers I photographed on ships docked nearby.

Do I like these two images? Yes. Will other people like them? Not sure. Does it matter? Nope! They represent me, moving forward, trying things, experimenting, perhaps turning a corner. We shall see.

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Week-end potpourri . . .




Sometimes we don't really know what we've accomplished until we take the time to look back. These are just a few images I've created this week, and it's gratifying to realize this is maybe just 20% of the total.

I often think I'm not working enough, not putting in enough effort, especially when I compare myself to what I perceive others doing.

Comparison. Big mistake, no?

Anyway, mucking around in my photo archives, I came across two pictures (a number "2" and some rust, both on an old train), shot in Eureka, California, and combined them for something new and different and unique. (If one can consider rust and old metal "new" and "different.")

In my Facebook "Photomotivation" group, we're working on images that relate to "summer." So when I found two "ice" signs on a pole this week, I automatically photographed them for our project. The beauty of giving yourself an assignment on a regular basis is that you become a better observer, a noticer, and your work and your portfolio improves and expands. Plus it's just fun.

In the studio, I made textured papers using acrylic paints and cardboard and stains, then combined my photos of them in Photoshop to make something completely different -- an interesting picture of texture in muted colors to upload to Fine Art America.

And finally, in the middle of a week full of birthdays, explorations, and meals with friends, a wander around the docks in Port Townsend brought me to this lovely wooden boat quietly moored in late afternoon light.

So it's been a week of friendships, meanderings, collage-making, and photography.

I should take time more often, really, to simply recap what I've done in a week. I may amaze myself. Try it yourself -- YOU may be amazingly surprised by how much wonderful stuff you create and experience and contribute. Let us all carry on!

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.


Monday, June 4, 2018

Small wonders



I hear the calls of a distressed robin. Has to be an owl nearby. Heavy-ish rain. I step outside, find the owl — a barred owl sitting on a bare branch high in a pine tree.

Run, run, run to get the camera and a longish (70-200mm) lens. Owl is too far off, and the rain continues. The robin is gone. It’s 2:19 p.m. when I take the first photo.

I’m now on the front porch, keeping dry, and photographing the owl. Not unlike a dog, he shakes his body and something floats down onto the grass. He leans forward and tracks it as it falls. A feather? A leaf? 

Chris is now watching from the kitchen window. I gently hoot the first three notes of a great horned owl. Usually when I do that, the owl looks at me like, “Really? I know it’s you. Nice try.” But this guy, immediate reaction! Except he doesn’t know where the sound came from. I’m down low and in front. The barred owl quickly swivels his head to his left and looks upward. (Chris, inside the house, sees the owl’s reaction, but doesn’t know yet that it’s because of me.)

The owl sits, head turned, for quite some time. Decides there’s no threat, and seemingly dozes.

At 2:44 p.m. the owl turns, poops, flies into the forest, and disappears.

I get an umbrella, walk out to the tree, and find one small feather in the grass.

The joy (for me) comes from recognizing the robin call, that there’s a threat nearby. And then, in all the trees out there, I can find the barred owl. And he stays for a long time. There’s more pleasure that I can imitate (usually quite poorly) a great horned owl call. (Great horned owls and barred owls don’t play well together). That the barred owl actually thought I was an owl and reacted. And then there was the gift of the feather.

These small wonderments enrich my life. May your life also be filled with such wonders.

(About the pictures . . . They are not good, but for me they are priceless. My lens was too short, the scene was dark, it was raining — often hard — my ISO was 1250 and the pictures are grainy. In color there were too many distractions in the trees, so I turned the images into sketches of sorts, focusing all attention on the owl. The feather was shot here at my desk and I used an iPhone to do it. I turned it into a sketchy monochromatic image as well to sort of “go” with the owl shots. A good photographer knows what NOT to show. In this case, I obviously don’t care!)

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

They got mail . . .




I asked two more people in my Photomotivation Facebook group if they'd like to receive something from me, a little piece of art. They (perhaps foolishly) said yes and so here's what I sent them.

Each received a painted or collaged note card, with a message from me about the picture as well as a personal greeting.

Why? It made me feel good. It encouraged me to make something specific, tangible, physical. And I knew they'd enjoy getting a piece of snail mail. Snail mail that wasn't an advertisement.

And if someone is reading this right now and would like a little personal note from me, send me an e-mail with your address and I'll put something in the mail to you.

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Monday, May 28, 2018

FOR SALE ...

FOR SALE: Liquid propane trailer, original owner, great condition (some scratches, a few dents), works great!

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Latest work: Wall Texture #14

Latest work incorporating found textures here on Whidbey Island. Woo hoo!

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Simple versus fussy


Simple and severe versus light and fluffy. Two different bicycle photos and two different styles.

While walking around Old Town Albuquerque, I liked the starkness of a bicycle against a plain adobe wall. Although there's not much in the picture, there's a lot of movement via diagonal lines.

The base of the picture is a diagonal line leading our eye right to left and back, echoed by the slight diagonal line of the bike.

Then there's the top of the adobe wall that angles downward.

The parallel lines on the roof bit lead our eye one way and then another via diagonal lines.

And then there's the sign/signpost, the one vertical, solid element that holds everything together.

A deceptively simple composition that has a lot going on.

But not as much going on as the busy, colorful, floral-decorated bike in front of an antique shop in Port Gamble, Washington.

Here, too, are lots of diagonal lines, but because of the busy subject matter, we don't notice much movement in this shot. Our eyes become fixated with all the flowers on the bike, and we tend to just quickly glance around the frame and then come right back to the bike.

It's National Bicycle Month. A perfect month to find, ride, and photograph bikes.

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

It's National Bike Month! Celebrate in style!

I love this postage stamp, so built my picture revolving around the elegant (yet absurd) gentleman "riding" his bicycle.

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Two from early spring . . .


A wander through Washington's Skagit Valley in March with no real destination in mind. My favorite kind of day.

This barn was just the best! I've since returned and have taken more photos so that I can do a series.

And then a pretty tree, beyond which some daffodil fields were in full bloom. The original version was rather boring, so I turned it into something akin to a Polaroid image.

A good day. A couple good photos. And the company was good as well.

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Latest work: "Four Circles" collage

India ink on brown paper forms the base of this collage, to which I added another sheet of rice paper that I stained with brown walnut ink and then scribbled on using more India ink. Down in the lower right corner are papers from antique Japanese books and an oval Japanese signature stamp. The four round circles were cut from an overall design on some special paper I purchased in Kyoto, Japan.

Sent to my friend Linda a few weeks ago.

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Latest work: "Panama Postal Collage"

Hand-painted gelatin print on Fabriano paper, crafted in Italy by the Fabriano mill. The postage stamp (issued in 1965) depicts a Panamanian azulejo, or blue-grey tanager (Thraupis episcopis). The vintage dark green postage stamp from Panama was issued sometime between 1904 and 1924. I found the “Par Avion” sticker in a junk store in Washington State’s Skagit Valley.

Sent to my friend June a few weeks ago.

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Friday, May 11, 2018

They got mail . . .


I asked three people in my Photomotivation Facebook group if they'd like to receive something from me, a little piece of art. They (perhaps foolishly) said yes and so here's what I sent them.

Each received a painted or collaged note card, with a message from me about the picture as well as a personal greeting.

Why? It made me feel good. It encouraged me to make something specific, tangible, physical. And I knew they'd enjoy getting a piece of snail mail. Snail mail that wasn't an advertisement.

Also, while in a waiting room a few months ago, I met a woman who lives on Orcas Island. She makes things. She suggested I get away from the computer, to make physical art. I listened.

We've corresponded. I've sent her papers and she's sent me some. She lives off the grid. Her envelopes and their contents smell like wood smoke.

Seemingly chance encounters that lead to something more that lead to something more.

Happy weekend, all!

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

From the passenger seat of a parked car

This restaurant had some very cool light fixtures hanging from the ceiling. Very cool.

Sitting outside in the car, I looked over at the restaurant's exterior wall and had a different view of the lights, through a large window. It helped that the exterior wall was a complementary deep orange color that framed the blue.

I like the triangular shadowing up top, and how its slight diagonal tilt echoes the dark diagonal line lower left.

How lazy can I get? I'm sitting in a car, looking out the window. Click. Works for me!

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

First from Santa Fe . . .

This window, on some sort of innocuous governmental building on a side street in Santa Fe, caught my eye. It looked sort of funky, out of place on an austere, beige building.

It looked old on new. So I reversed the concept.

Now it looks new(ish) on old. Yet it's still rustic enough that it looks okay.

There are hundreds of photos for me to sift through, and it's going to take a long time to become comfortable with all the various little bits and pieces I photographed before I can begin bringing them together in new and different ways.

It's overwhelming at the moment. But this, too, shall pass. May we all have such small problems!

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!

Photographed near the Balboa Pier, Newport Beach, California.

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Live and in person . . .




A visit to Santa Fe, partly to see how my pictures look displayed in the new pavilion of Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center.

They purchased five pictures, but we could only see four of them; the fifth is temporarily hidden behind a construction panel (but you can see it below).

My pictures are just a small part of all the art that appears throughout the new pavilion, and I'm flattered to be in such fine company -- all the artwork is bold, colorful, and striking.

It was fun seeing the pictures all together and to see them so big! Having Chris, Rich, and CJ there, too, made it even better.

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. Thank you for your understanding and kindness.