Sunday, November 29, 2020

Positive Feedback . . .

Fine Art America posts random reviews from their buyers and I take a look at them regularly -- to see what products are consistently good, what buyers might be complaining about, and to see if any of my pictures that people bought made them happy.

This is one that made me VERY happy! Apparently my picture, taken from a ship in Alaska's Inside Passage, was one of four that she purchased recently from FAA. I'm pleased that my photo, done in black and white, was a part of the mix.

She took a picture of the four photos in place on her wall, which was also wonderful to see. When someone buys my art on FAA, I rarely know who it was nor how they liked the image. Loved seeing that this person liked it enough to put it on her wall.


Friday, November 27, 2020

Experimenting: Color or Black and White? Full-frame or Square Format?

Original photo, full-frame.

Last month we took the ferry to Port Townsend. It felt weird not getting out of the car and not being on deck during the ride, but it still felt good just to be out, you know?

I took a couple of photos of buildings at the boat yard. Why? I found the way they intersected stark and interesting. 

[Currently I'm having trouble with Blogger putting photographs where I want them to be. The other three photos are at the bottom of this post. Grrrrr.]

Back home, I began a bit of post-processing and wondered how they'd look in black and white. If what I liked about the scene was its starkness and simplicity, maybe the color is too much. And the shapes are so strong, perhaps black and white would emphasize those shapes.

And then, I turned each one into a square. Why? To simplify the composition and to emphasize the shapes and how they overlap even more.

Although I love color, I found it distracting. And square versus full-frame? The wide horizontal look emphasizes movement as your eye follows one building over to another. The square format is rather static because your eye hits the picture and then just stays there, but to me it makes the subject matter seem more important.

My final decision? The simplified square B&W version, followed closely by the B&W full-frame format.

But most of all, it felt good getting outside, going somewhere different, and using my digital SLR camera rather than resorting to the iPhone. Ahhhhh . . .

All images copyright ©2020 Carol Leigh

Square version of original photo.

Full-frame, black and white.

Square, black and white.


Thursday, November 26, 2020

Recent Work: "Time Out"

When I go back and see the art I've made, there are some pieces in particular that I'm especially fond of, and this is one.

I made it in March of this year, as the pandemic was gaining traction. We didn't know what to expect, we were isolating ourselves, and time stood still, became meaningless.

So this mixed-media picture began with a big circle, a circle which is a photograph of a watch face. With no hands. There are some watch face bezels, hand-painted papers, and metal tags in the mix as well.

The colors are both bold and strong, bright and subtle. The vertical elements within the frame contrast wonderfully with the big circle. 

I made a square version as well as a full-frame vertical, and it looks good both ways. Because I sell my work online at Fine Art America/Pixels, this gives my buyers flexibility -- flexibility in format and in price. Sometimes a square works better in a certain location than does a vertical picture. 

Click here to see this picture in high resolution at Fine Art America. And, as always, thank you for looking at my work.

Images copyright ©2020 Carol Leigh


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Around the yard . . .

It's been a particularly good year for seeing pileated woodpeckers (actually, perhaps in part because we installed a suet feeder on the back deck -- duh!) and they are still around! (I took this photo the first week of August.)

The birds are pretty big, with a wingspan of slightly less than 3 feet. But they're relatively small when compared with a raven (4.9 feet) or a bald eagle (7.5 feet).

The juveniles (like the one on the left) wait impatiently to be fed and, while waiting, pound their beaks (bills?) on the wooden railing, chipping off chunks (giant splinters) on the back side. 

Nature. Gotta love it.

Image ©Carol Leigh, 2020

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Beauty in simplicity . . .

 It's a good time of year to wander around outside and find lovely things on the ground, little jewels of beauty that most people will never notice.

So when I saw this leaf, I thought of it as a gift, a little story about the changing seasons, our changing lives, and the passing of time.

 Copyright ©2020 Carol Leigh

Wednesday, October 14, 2020


A month or so ago I made a little book, a "zine." It was fun to do and I envision making more. I have another in progress but, with my ever-shortening attention span, I've begun doing other things. But let me show you this book, my first. I kind of like how it turned out, even though I really was clueless about what I was doing at the time.

The zine was done on one side of a piece of paper, folded, cut once, then folded again.

One piece of paper, folded, with a little piece of abstract art in each section. Then you cut into one side, refold, and that's it! There are lots of instructions for doing this online, so I won't go into that here.

So then I figured I needed a pouch, a pocket, to keep my zine "safe." So here you go. A little glue, a button, and done! A fun project for these weird times.

All images Copyright ©2020 by Carol Leigh.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

What I'm Working On ...



This is a three-panel, two-sided, stand-up collage. It’s folded like an accordion book, but “book” is way overstated for what this is!

I lived in Japan for one year as a pre-teen. I visited Japan for 10 days in 2014 (when I was much, much older). That’s my entire physical connection with the country. But about 15 years ago, Japan kept popping up in my head, and then began appearing regularly in my art. Here’s the latest piece I’ve made that incorporates my memories, my collections, and the flea market that is my brain.

The first two photos show you the front and back (or are they the back and the front?) of the collage, and then two pictures showing you the details on two of the six panels.

What are all the items in the collage? Well, antique Japanese papers, hand-stained and hand-painted papers, pages from vintage Japanese books, Japanese ledger pages, my own photographs, vintage Japanese postage stamps from my collection, my own “faux calligraphy” scribbled onto papers using sumi ink, signature “chops” from a collection of Japanese hanko, and more.

There’s so much going on in this collage that it’s not exactly the “less is more” minimalistic, wabi sabi look one would expect of Japanese art, is it? But it’s quite representative of me and all my fleeting visual experiences and the constant “oh, look at this!” moments I’ve had in the country.

And it was Nietsche who said, “No artist tolerates reality.” Who am I to argue with him?!
©Copyright 2020 Carol Leigh

Saturday, September 5, 2020


Because we're "isolating in residence," I spend a lot of time just wandering around the house with the iPhone, looking for things to shoot. Sunlight coming through the skylight over the stairwell looked pretty good, so I created a few simple compositions, liking the overall monochromatic look with just a bit of blue here and there. Lots of angles, too, to play with.

Copyright ©2020 Carol Leigh


Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Around the yard . . . A cavorting deer!

These are terrible photos in that they're out of focus, not sharp. I was shooting through a dirty window at an animal that was at a distance. BUT THE EXPERIENCE WAS SO COOL!

I am walking past the living room window when I see the white buck. I pick up the camera that's sitting nearby, pre-set to f/5, ISO 800, underexposed by 2/3 stop. I take a few shots . . . am getting ready to change my settings when all of a sudden this guy has a major testosterone surge and begins zooming around, jumping into the air, suddenly stopping, posing, then kicking up his heels. (There's a doe in the middle of some bushes just out of frame to the left, which I believe is what instigated this adolescent behavior.)

As quickly as his cavorting begins, it's over.

And while he goes off to have a cigarette, I take a look at my shots and my heart sinks at their softness.

A white deer to me is exciting. And then to have a white deer do all THIS is bananas. So of course I had to share it with you even though it is far from my best work. I apologize. But the deer was cavorting! Hoo ha! ©2020 Carol Leigh

Friday, July 17, 2020

Around the yard -- downy woodpecker

A little downy woodpecker waiting his turn at the suet feeder. What you DON’T see is him slowly sliding down the slick metal shepherd’s hook. Woodpecker toes just aren’t made for clinging to slippery metal things!

©2020 Carol Leigh