Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Christmas snow



first snow
   the neglected yard
   now perfect

      -- Elizabeth St. Jacques

 ©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, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Wishing us all peace, love, health, and happiness this year and every year.

©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, December 24, 2017

Latest work: "Nautical Paint Job"

Well, it's not exactly my latest work...

I have a file called "works in progress." And this one was begun toward the end of January this year. It's been sitting there all this time, patiently waiting for me to either finish it or trash it.

I decided to finish it, and I uploaded it to Fine Art America yesterday. That brings my total offerings on FAA up to 1,697 pictures. I joined them in February of 2012.

I enjoy the sales success I'm having with them, but I also appreciate having a challenge, a daily reason to keep on creating, an incentive. Would I have done all this without having a sales outlet? Yes. But maybe I wouldn't be so driven. Maybe. I will never know. And that's okay.

©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, December 21, 2017

It's Annual Crossword Puzzle Day!


Today is officially CROSSWORD PUZZLE day! This date in 1913 the very first crossword puzzle was published in the New York World newspaper. So whether you do them with a pencil and a very large eraser, or a big fat Magic Marker, take a moment today and fill in a few blanks.

And here’s a photo of mine that appeared on the cover of a New York Times crossword puzzle compendium some years ago. Ta da!

©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, December 20, 2017

Latest work: "With a Touch of Red"

My photographs of old papers, scratched and inked papers, Japanese book pages, and a scrap of red come together nicely in this photomontage.

©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, December 18, 2017

Eight years of December (part 2)




Continuing on from my previous post, these pictures are from Decembers of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016.

The mastodon postcard is one of my favorites and was fun to put together in 2013. All the "bits" came from my own collections of postage stamps, stickers, and more. Well, except for the mastodons, which I got from public-domain clip art and then colored and softened to blend in with the rest.

A close-up picture of my grandmother's silver bracelet forms the focal point of a photomontage I made in 2014.

In 2015 I brought a delicate leaf stem into the house to take a close-up that features negative white space as much as it does the yellow leaves.

And finally, in 2016 I created a bunch of boat collages using scraps of paper left over from larger collages. I photographed them using my iPhone and then applied an app to make them look rather fanciful. I was pleased at the time, created maybe 50. I couldn't figure out what to do with them, however, so they're just sitting patiently in the computer, waiting for me to make a decision.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas, peace and kindness in the coming year.

©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.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Eight years of December (part 1)




Blogs are sort of like scrapbooks, you know? Keep at them long enough and you have a visual record of your life.

"Remember when we went to Florida and encountered no-see-ums for the first time?" Or, "I miss Dungeness crab season on the Oregon coast and all that activity, don't you?"

So I looked at the pictures I've posted in my blogs each December, going back to 2009. I selected one photo for each year.

And in '09 there was a big freeze on the Oregon coast, where water oozing out of the bluffs next to the ocean turned into frozen waterfalls. It was magical! And COLD.

Sanibel Island in Florida was NOT cold in December of 2010. This couple was hunting for shells and I liked their silver hair, their matching jeans, new sneakers, and especially her vivid red sweater. I purposely used a slow shutter speed to blur them into unrecognizability yet capture their togetherness as they both bent forward a bit looking for beach treasures.

In 2011 I was making weird things, using photos of (in this case) ice and clock parts. The preoccupation with time remains with me, although I seem to have no concept of it in real life.

And finally, crabbing season about to begin in 2012. All the boats along the docks in Newport, packed with crab pots and colorful buoys... So much going on, so much color, so much activity, and so much at stake for these folks, where a successful haul means a good Christmas and a strong financial start for the coming year.

Four more photos coming up in the next post. Fair warning!

©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, December 14, 2017

Morning walk



Yesterday's walk ended up in our yard, where there, on the wood pile, I noticed turkey tail mushrooms (Trametes) growing on a log.

According to Google, these fungi are edible and can be made into a tea. Well, I'm neither that fond of mushrooms nor of tea to risk dying just because "Dr. Google" says it's okay. The turkey tails will remain unmolested there on the woodpile for years to come.

(Photographed with an iPhone.)

©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, December 12, 2017

Morning walk


We live in a rural environment, not a regular "neighborhood" with sidewalks and such. We can't see our neighbors (neither from the street nor from our house), so going for a walk is rather an adventure.

(This first picture shows you moss (Usnea longissima) and lichens growing on tree branches right next to our road, which angles away in the upper right part of the frame.)

This morning I heard tree frogs, a chickaree (Douglas squirrel), a pileated woodpecker, and chickens.

I thought the chickaree was chattering at me, so I chattered back and moved closer. Usually they're higher up, on a tree branch, but this one (hidden from view) was down low and didn't move off as they usually do. Suspicious behavior.

A sudden flapping of wings and crackling of brush silenced the chickaree as a large bird zoomed away, leaving behind a pile of grey feathers. I didn't see the bird, but it was either a hawk (we have sharp-shinned and Cooper's hawks) or an owl (we have great horned and barred owls). I apparently disturbed its breakfast.

The chickaree hadn't been worried about me at all. It was keeping its eye on the predator and warning everybody to WATCH OUT! A warning I obviously missed.

I moved on, ending up photographing some big-leaf maple and alder leaves, adorned by a little crown of oakmoss lichen (Evernia prunastri). A good walk, indeed.

©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.

Hawaii in black and white

There's a lovely grove of trees in Kilauea, on the island of Kauai, that are a delight and a challenge to photograph. While gazing at the scene, I decided to concentrate on these two trees in the immediate foreground. They lend themselves beautifully to a black and white treatment: bold forms and good contrast.

Someone commented in another forum that the trees look like a couple dancing the tango. And now that's exactly what I see every time I look at this!

Tropical scenes are usually all about luscious color (and hooray for that), but often there are little black and white nuggets quietly waiting to be discovered.

©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, December 6, 2017

A week on Kauai




Just returned from a delightful week on the island of Kauai with good friends of like minds and interests.

We photographed like crazy, laughed like loons, explored, lounged, ate, read, and people-watched.

Here you see a house in Hanalei -- "Surfboard House" -- which caught our eye (naturally) and was fun to photograph.

Lush foliage both at the resort and in the town of Hanapepe practically gleamed in the overcast light we had most of the time.

And finally a view of Kalapaki Bay, photographed with an iPhone and intentional camera movement and slow shutter speeds.

I am so grateful to have been able to do this, and to return home with a few decent shots.

©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, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

So grateful to have you all in my life. Have a very happy day!

©2017 Carol Leigh

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Around the house . . .

There's a small pottery bowl sitting on a cabinet where I put little treasures, including a rock I wrapped in Japanese paper and added a metal button. Thank you, June, for the bowl. I love it still.

©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, November 19, 2017

Latest work: "Lone Tree Sunrise"

A solitary tree alongside Bellingham Bay, Washington, up close to the Canadian border. Photographed with an iPhone and then processed in Photoshop. Across the bay is the Lummi Reservation and Lummi Island.

©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.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Blue great blue herons


 Great blue heron rookeries, where they build their nests and raise their chicks, are loud, noisy, crowded places. Five-foot-tall birds with five- and 6-foot wingspans all vying for space.

Which may account for why we often see them alone, gazing outward, (or inward), standing quietly in the shallows, or atop a piling, motionless.

Solitary, quiet, and momentarily free from all responsibility.

©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, November 14, 2017

Latest work: "Kodachrome"

Acrylic on paper gelatin print. The more I worked on this, the more I got a “camera” vibe, hence the name, “Kodachrome.” And in the words of Paul Simon, “… makes you think all the world’s a sunny day.”

Available at Fine Art America/Pixels.com

 ©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, November 10, 2017

Latest work: "Mists Begin to Lift"

My method for breaking through a momentary artist's block is to just keep working. Keep looking, keep trying different things, and to riffle through my pictures, deleting the "what the heck was I thinking?" images along the way.

Thus I free up space in the computer AND look at a variety of images with fresh eyes. Between the riffling and the purging, things are bound to happen, as was the case here.

The town of Bluffton, South Carolina is a pretty and funky town. There are lots of interesting shops, humorous signs, and colorful things to photograph, but at the end of a street, just beyond the church, you can look out over the water, through trees dripping moss, and simply enjoy the quiet. When I shot this, a drizzle had just ended, the sun was coming out, and a mist was rising up from the ground, from the water, and made the trees sort of glow. That's what I emphasize in this moody, soft picture.

©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, November 8, 2017

Compare and contrast . . .


Both of these fishing boats were photographed along the docks in Newport, Oregon. I'm liking how the black and white treatment really emphasizes lines and shapes.

I also like how different these two boats are -- the "Last Straw" obviously extreeeeeeeemly beamy, making the "Judy" boat look very thin and upright.

©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, November 6, 2017

Latest work: "Crows by the Numbers"

I run a private Facebook page called "Photomotivation," and every month I give my members an assignment. (Members consist mostly of previous students and various riff-raff, so if you're interested in playing along, let me know and I'll give you the secret word that will open the appropriate door.)

This month's assignment is "Extreme Colors," and it's fun to see what everybody is coming up with. I also play along, so not only is it fun for them, but it's fun and inspirational for me as well.

This is an example of what I mean. It's a photomontage of pictures I've taken in Anacortes, Washington. I love the exaggerated colors, the combination of elements I used, the overall industrial look, and how the black crows and the chainlink fence sort of "ground" everything above them.

What I also like is how this now becomes something I've uploaded to Fine Art America, something more for me to offer for sale. An example for my students, a fun project for me, and perhaps a sale down the line at FAA. Win-win-win!

Wishing you a colorful day today.

©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, October 30, 2017

Latest work: "Port Townsend Pilings"

One of the cool things about living here is that in seven minutes we can be at the Keystone Landing, then walk aboard the ferry, travel across the Passage (perhaps spotting some orcas in the distance), and walk off in Port Townsend.

We stopped to watch a couple men beach their kayaks as a third set off in a lovely wooden rowboat. But it was a line-up of pilings, calm blue water, a sailboat in the distance, and a couple gulls that appealed to me most.

I did photograph the boaters, but ended up tossing those pictures. It was this scene that made me feel calm and relaxed and quiet.

©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, October 25, 2017

Latest work: "Opposites Attract"

This is a photomontage where the primary ingredients are security envelopes -- envelopes that have designs printed on the inside so you can't see through them.

I like the combination of the round circles (notebook paper reinforcements) and straight lines -- opposite shapes within the same image.

©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, October 23, 2017

A little fall color



On one side of our yard we have a large stack of logs that look particularly good after a rain. Colorful pine needles tend to collect on them, too. Add to all that the fact that they are about chest-high and I'm a happy photographer! No major bending or stooping.

Here are three that I took recently; the first one was taken this morning. And for that photo I offer this explanation:

Photographed early this morning under overcast skies, so the bluish nature of the light accentuated the purple color. I also underexposed a bit to keep the color rather rich. And I'd like to thank Mother Nature as well as Golden brand's "Dioxazine Purple" acrylic paint for their assistance.

Yes, I painted the first leaf. But look at the third picture -- I didn't paint that one, and yet . . . PURPLE!

©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.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Recent work . . .


Lovely rust colors on the side of a ship in drydock, being (sob!) repainted.

I also like the squarified version, which calls more attention to the "good stuff" in the picture.

©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, October 15, 2017

Signs of fall on Whidbey


Surrounded mainly by pines and alders, we don't have much color here. But I do like how the pine needles can look like confetti, and how the alders can turn a pretty green and yellow.

There's also a mystery tree in our yard that looks wonderful this autumn, especially against a background of darker pines.

We have a number of friends and parents of friends in Santa Rosa who have had to evacuate their homes. One house has burned down, others are currently in a state of limbo. My heart goes out to all of them. And the firefighters -- oh, my. No words for the work they're doing.

Wishing us all a bit of respite, peace, and calm. It's been crazy long enough.

©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, October 12, 2017

Latest work: "Number 20 Cracked"

This is an image I uploaded to Fine Art America this morning -- a composite of peeling paint, a dumpster, and the number 20 from another dumpster.

The color version didn't have the impact I was looking for, so I converted it to black and white, made a number of adjustments, and then let just a hint of some grungy blue color come through here and there on the numbers.

Is it great? Nah. But I do like it. Always a sucker for grungy stuff, numbers, letters, rusty metal, and peeling paint. So, really, what's NOT to like?

©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, October 9, 2017

From color to black and white (parts 6 and 7 of 7)




There's a challenge going around in my corner of Facebook at the moment where someone challenges someone else to create one black and white image a day and to post it on Facebook. The "rules" are "no people and no explanation." Well, here's the explanation.

I took this picture of an agave stalk in 2006 and turned it into this weird color. Today, I'm not sure why! But I wondered how it would look if I converted this blue horror into black and white.

I like the black and white version much better, but going back to the blue version, I noticed how the background was out of focus, but there was a shadow back there that echoed the same angle as the (and I don't know the scientific word for it) thing sticking out on the right.

The lights and darks in the background are interesting, add depth and interest and mystery, yet aren't overly obtrusive.

And then there was the great blue heron landing on a piling in South Carolina. The picture could have been sharper, but I loved the outstretched wing, the beak, the lower legs. They all angle sharply from right to left.

Intuitively I allowed more room in the left two thirds of the photo, room for the concept of horizontal movement to establish itself.

But what about the subtle lack of sharpness? I gave the image a soft, painterly look (lemons/lemonade) and also toned it a warm pinkish color. But would that translate to black and white?

I think it does. It's light, soft, and it keeps me looking. Is it better? I really don't know.

This black and white challenge was indeed challenging. The benefit of participating in it was it encouraged me to look at my (and everyone else's) pictures with new eyes and to experiment. Always a good thing.

©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.