Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Unintentional art . . .

Loading groceries into the car and suddenly I noticed how all the lines in the parking lot reflected onto the car, totally distorted and swirling around. It probably helps that the car is black, enhancing the abstract, artsy look.

iPhone photo.

Image copyright ©2019 Carol Leigh

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Unidentified animal lurking in the shingles ...

Is he an alpaca? A floppy-eared giraffe? A long-necked bunny?

Whatever he is, I was startled when he suddenly emerged from his camouflaged location in Port Townsend, Washington.

Fun to see, fun to photograph. So I took two shots -- one full-frame for the overall effect, and one close-up for the details.

Clever art. Surprising art. Made my day.

Images copyright ©2019 Carol Leigh

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Unintentional Art: Dumpsters

My talent (and my curse) is that I notice little things, details, the "small picture." And that I can see artistry where others see nothing.

Here's a good example. Dumpster art!

While in Florida a few years ago, I spotted a dumpster that had this most wonderful background color and texture. And someone or some thing had scraped/gouged it. The bluish color and the vibrant yellow were pretty terrific. But what made it "art" for me was the "half sun" there in the upper right.

Naturally, to the amusement of my friends, I had to stop and take a shot. Chris, my spouse, totally understood. (Which is why I love him.)

But before the Florida dumpster, there was this heavily textured one I saw in Newport, Oregon. To me, it looked like a collage, with a grungy background, a rectangle of bright red, and then the narrow brownish strip running vertically, holding everything together. A no-brainer. Click.

Interestingly, somewhere else along that long straight street in Newport, on a different day, I again noticed a dumpster. Taking a second look, the "art" looked remarkably similar. So I photographed that one, too. Comparing my photos later I saw that yes, it was the same damned dumpster, maybe a mile or two apart.

I am nothing if not consistent in my concept of what makes "art."

Images copyright ©2019 Carol Leigh.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Pigeon in the glass, alas . . .*

What is it about windows that attract us? Especially ones we can't peek through, on old buildings, and with broken glass?

They are a mystery, an unseen world, a view into something unknown. And if there's a pigeon on the windowsill, well, for a photographer that's BONUS!

Taken in Bellingham, Washington.

UPDATE: We were back in Bellingham a couple of days later and the windows are now all boarded up. Heavy sigh.

*With apologies to Gertrude Stein, for transmogrifying her famous poem, "Pigeons on the grass alas."

Photo copyright ©2019 Carol Leigh

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Car shows this summer

The first article I ever had published was a photo essay in a travel magazine about car shows. Well, not about the shows, but about car “parts.” And the photos were pictures of hood ornaments, door handles, headlamps, etc.

My photographic predilections haven’t changed much since then, back in the early 1980s. I still immediately gravitate to the bits and pieces, rarely, very rarely, the entire car.

Here are a few images from the car shows Chris and I went to on Whidbey Island this summer. There are just four photos, actually, but two different versions of each. Why? Why feature both the full-frame image and a cropped, square version?

Two reasons. Instagram and marketing.

Instagram initially wanted pictures that were square. So that’s what I put there. Then they began accepting full-frame images. But all of my pictures I post online are in frames and they’re low-resolution. That’s on purpose. Makes them less liable to be stolen.

But a framed, non-square picture on Instagram gets chopped up and my pictures look stupid that way. So, square they remain.

And for marketing purposes, by offering my buyers on Fine Art America both a full-frame AND a square version, they have a choice. Easy.

Naturally, a lot of the pictures I make don’t work as squares, but some do, and here are four examples. All these pictures look good both in square and full-frame versions. You may prefer one over the other, but both versions look good. To me, at least!

Images Copyright ©2019 Carol Leigh

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The white fawn story...with a happy ending

During the first week in May this year, a white fawn was born on or next to our property. We saw him all wobbly, trying to follow mom across our driveway. Here’s a link to that blog post:

The next time we saw him was July 18 and he had a very large wound on his right hindquarter. We figured maybe a coyote got to him. We worried.

Then on September 12, we saw that his wound was healing quite nicely. And finally, on October 7, it looked as though the wound had healed and he had no problem getting around.

I can tell by the pedicles appearing on his head that he is indeed a he. It’s going to be fun to watch him grow. Great story, no?

©2019 Carol Leigh

Monday, October 7, 2019

Motivation . . .

Although I've been creating art for a long time, there are times (more frequent than I'd like) when I feel completely uninspired, think that I've made nothing wonderful, I'm a failure, woe is me, etc.

I can snap myself out of it by viewing what I've made over the years, and Pinterest is a great place for me to do that.

There's nothing like seeing a LOT of my art spread out on one page. I see pictures I'd forgotten I'd made. I see pictures that I distinctly remember making and I wonder why I didn't keep on making a series of THAT.

Here's a link to my work on Pinterest:

I also see how scattered and varied my work is. Other artists have a "look," a "style" about their work that makes it immediately recognizable as theirs. So I worry that I don't have a style. But just briefly.

My attention span is apparently short. I get worn down and weird(er) if I'm making something that's similar to something I've previously made.

As a result, I've learned to embrace my scattered-ness and accept that this is who I am, and why force it?

My ever-growing Pinterest board is one way for me to show my work to a larger audience. It's also how I bump myself out of artistic self-pity and rejoice in what I've made over the years.

Do YOU have a Pinterest board that features your work and only your work? If so, let me know. I'd love to go over and take a look.

Copyright ©2019 Carol Leigh

Friday, September 27, 2019

How I began my day...

How I began my day . . .

Early this morning, before I got  out of bed, I picked up my iPhone and read the news headlines. Big mistake. Big.

But then something popped up. The opportunity to hear Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” on YouTube. So I did. All 17 minutes and 38 seconds of it.

In a world where narcissism, sarcasm, and destruction seem to be the norm, here was a soaring crescendo of vibrance, skill, complexity, and talent that lifted my spirits.

That’s how I chose to begin my day. With amazing music, with hope, with a certain amount of exuberance.

We choose what we allow into our lives, our minds. I chose Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

What did you choose today?

This photomontage, called "Flotsam," is copyrighted ©2015-2019 by Carol Leigh.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

"B" is for "Bellingham." "B" is for "Boats."

Last week we went up to Bellingham, Washington to see author Louise Penny at the Mt. Baker Theatre. (Great talk, highly recommended if you're a fan of her Inspector Gamache/Three Pines series of books.)

So the next morning we hit the fishing boats at Squalicum Harbor. All three of these are cellphone shots, with a panoramic photo at the top, and then my usual up-close, frame-filling boat "bits."

A fun evening at the theater and then a delightful photo walk among the boats the next morning. Feeling so lucky.

©2019 Carol Leigh

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Recent work: "V" is for Vivian . . .

This is a composite of the fishing vessel "Vivian," in Astoria, along with a number of other images also taken in Astoria -- one of my favorite photo locations.

I offer two versions -- a full-frame image and a square version -- so that buyers have a choice. Frankly, in this case, I prefer the top picture because the "3M" at the top isn't cropped, nor is the word "Astoria" at the bottom.

Either way, I'm fond of the complementary blue and orange colors, the overall grungy and weathered look, and the subtlety of ropes and masts in the background.

This has been a good year for selling boat "bits" for some reason, and this is a good addition to the mix.

Here's a link to the picture(s) at Fine Art America/Pixels:

Copyright ©2019 Carol Leigh.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Around the island: great blue heron nest

Last Thursday morning we were waiting for the ferry “Salish” to finish offloading cars/passengers at Keystone Landing in Coupeville. An extremely foggy morning. We were going to walk aboard, arrive in Port Townsend 40 minutes later, and just walk around town for a few hours.

I’d heard there was a great blue heron nest on one of the pilings next to the ferry, but that the chicks were going to fledge “any day now.” And yes, as I stood at the landing, there were the pilings, there were the four chicks. The ferry (the green bit in the upper right) was offloading at this point.

Let me blow up this photo somewhat so you can see the birds a bit closer.

Apparently, according to a knowledgable woman, the adults fly off when the ferry arrives, and return with food once the coast is clear — literally, when the coast is clear.

And there they are, all four chicks, hunkered together. One markedly larger than the others. (You know it’s a bad photo when you have to put an arrow pointing to the subject!)

Once aboard, I took the stairs up to the top deck, only to find I couldn’t get quite as close as I wished, but it was still pretty amazing to see.

One of the chicks was having a very bad hair day. I could relate.

The adult heron had the ferry schedule memorized. As soon as the boat began departing the landing, she swooped in, neck swollen with tasty fish, and prepared to feed the chicks. The ferry departs surprisingly quickly, and seconds later the birds were well beyond my lens.

Terrific start to a very good morning in the Pacific Northwest.

Images copyright ©Carol Leigh 2019

Friday, August 9, 2019

Morning light and shadows

Morning light creating tree shadows on the wall. Mysterious, quiet, and lovely.

Image copyright @2019 Carol Leigh

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Architectural disarray . . .

Wandering around San Diego one day, horrible light, high noon, absolutely no inspiration.

But there were some buildings across the way, kinda nondescript, but lots of repeating patterns. Aha! This just might work . . .

So I took some absolutely boring shots, figuring I'd play with them when I got back home.

And this is what happened. I love these photographs! I know they're abstract, and probably a lot of you won't like them, but that doesn't matter.

The colors are extraordinary, with all those warm brown hues. And the symmetry of asymmetrical objects/shapes is appealing to me. As is the mystery.

So, ta da! In my little world I've made some pictures that were fun to create, look cool to me, and make me excited to create more.

May we all have moments such as this.

Images copyright ©2019 Carol Leigh

Friday, July 19, 2019

Recent work: "Blue Enso on Plaster"

This is one I finished the beginning of May and uploaded to Fine Art America.

A light blue Enso circle seemingly floats above a horizon line of warm red, yellow, and orange colors. I like the comforting colors, the complementary blue/orange combination, and the overall texture.

Copyright ©2019 Carol Leigh

Monday, July 15, 2019

Around the yard: a white deer!

The big deal around here a couple days ago was the appearance of a white deer (and his buddy).

This isn't the same white deer we saw right after it was born May 6. Nope, I've been told this guy is a yearling, born in the spring of 2018.

Amazing to think that in the space of just a couple of months, we have had two white deer appear on our property.

So mystically wonderful, no?

All images copyright ©Carol Leigh 2019.

Friday, July 12, 2019

A walk around Anacortes: back streets

After visiting Dakota Creek Shipyard (previous post) we walked around town, just looking. This weathered old piano sat on a street corner, silent, colorful. Couldn't resist checking it out. We passed it again an hour later, and there was a kid sitting there playing it -- and not badly at all for a young guy. Fun to see.

Wherever we go now, I tend to gravitate toward these "no dumping" warnings painted at water drainage grates along street curbs. Sometimes the little plaque on them will indicate the name of the town as well, which I consider a bonus. Alas, no mention of Anacortes on this one.

And then of course I was drawn to the wonky number "0" on a door. I kinda think it would be even cooler if all three numbers weren't there, just leaving the gluey remains and the attendant screw holes. I was content, however, with their apparent decision to not fix the wonkiness.

Perfection is highly overrated . . .

All photos copyright ©Carol Leigh 2019.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

A walk around Anacortes: Dakota Creek Shipyard

We took a little walk around Anacortes last week, and checked out the Dakota Creek Shipyard, as we always do.

The beauty of this place is that you never know what you'll find there. This day we saw the huge tugboat Tan'erliq, which, according to Wikipedia, is "a ship escort, rescue and oil response oceangoing tugboat." She was built in 1999 by Dakota Creek Industries, and this day was in drydock, having a bit of work done.

From my location, down on the ground and shooting up through a chainlink fence, the boat looked enormous.

The guy in the guard shack, Lee, invited us in so I could take some unobstructed views, told us the history of the boat, stories about Homer, Alaska, and other vessels that have been in and out of the shipyard. Very kind, intelligent, and entertaining guy!

Photos taken with an iPhone.

All images copyright ©Carol Leigh 2019.

Monday, July 8, 2019

Around the yard . . . hosta leaves

The hostas are using all their energy right now for creating flowers, so the leaves are changing shape and form, drying out and curling up, giving their all to the showy flowers.

It's a fascinating process, and one I've not paid any attention to in the past. What a dope! These leaves are great.

The first picture was shot on a dry day. A few days later it had rained in the night, and the morning light and the raindrops combined to make what I think are extremely pretty images.

These three were taken with an iPhone, but I'm continuing with this "hosta project" also using a digital SLR.

Soon the novelty will probably fade, along with the leaves. But for now? This is fun stuff!

Images copyright ©Carol Leigh 2019.