SunDay Swoons

This post is inspired by Effy Wild’s Sunday Swoon tradition.  Her blog today begins, “I love this feature because it gives me an opportunity to showcase all the lovely things you’ve been creating throughout the week! … [I]f you did something that really made you proud this week, please blog about it and add your link!”  Her own two swoony posts–a Demeter she did for the Moonshine Mother class that I am floundering in, and a lovely gratitude art spread that I aspire to emulate–are worth a visit! http://effywild.com/2013/10/06/sunday-swoon-october-6-2013/

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Simple collage inspired by the journal prompt for Moonshine Mother, “When I hold the word “Mother” in my awareness, I feel…”

Effy’s “swoon” and those of her tribe are usually paintings or art journal spreads (what she teaches), but since I’m still a rank beginner in those realms I’m posting photography and small stones (mindfulness moments in prose or poetry), simple collaging, land art, and even daily artistic play such as a particularly pleasing arrangement of laundry on my clothesline.  To start off this feature on my blog, I’m going back two weeks for my favorites in all realms of personal “artistic” creativity.

I’ll challenge myself to do more art so I have a “swoon” to post weekly.  Wish me luck–and get out your own art supplies and post links to your own swoons in my comments section!

 

Laundry "Spread" echoing muted greens of drying mesquite leaves

Laundry “Spread” echoing muted greens of drying mesquite leaves

A recent favorite “laundry spread” in muted greens that echo the fading greens of drying mesquite leaves.

I love hanging the laundry by color and form, temporary “art” that comes inside smelling of fresh air and sunshine.

How about you?

 

A fun photo capture in my Shadow Play series

Mr Black’s shadow self appears to be …a javelina!

 

A fun photo capture in my Shadow Play series.

The neighbor’s cat, my part-time witch’s familiar, seems to have a shadow side as a rather short-legged javelina!  Look at that piggy snout!

I love serendipity like this, and the camera helps to capture it with moving targets like Mr Black.

 

 

 

Magical juxtaposition that inspired a Small Stone

Magical juxtaposition that inspired a Small Stone

Another playful photo capture that inspired an Elfje I posted on the Small Stones Facebook group:

Summer

lingers here

house stays hot/

moths tattered from close

escapes

I enjoy capturing the weird stuff that appears on my computer screen in snapshot photo collages.  Isn’t the serendipity amazing in this one, how the rainbow light shines through the bird’s beak shaped missing spot on the moth’s wing?

 

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Here’s a Small Stone posted 28 September that is more aligned with that group’s focus on mindfulness:

Venus
above Mesquite,
cradled by Acacia

The goal is to become more mindful of passing moments by capturing them in short prose or poetry.  Interested?  Join the Facebook group Small Stones: Writing Our Way Home.

 

Effy Wild suggested using Quinacridone Magenta as the red for color mixing.  Wowza!

Effy Wild suggested using Quinacridone Magenta as the red for color mixing. Wowza!

In closing here’s my first ever color mixing wheel, done in the Bootcamp for Effy Wild’s Moonshine Mother course.

Yes, Golden acrylics are swoony!  And using Quinacridone Magenta in place of red, as Effy suggested, makes a swoony wheel.

Thank you, Effy, for teaching me color mixing, and the importance of investing in quality art supplies.

Which I hope will result in more personally created artistic Sunday Swoons as I make my way through Effy’s Book of Days Bootcamp.  It’s free (!) so check it out (and enroll in Book of Days 2014) at http://effywild.com/ if you’re interested in art journalling as a spiritual practice.  You can also join her Facebook tribe at The Glitterhood.

Now to post this Swoon and get out in the Healing Grove arts and crafts studio to see what creativity will flow….  I hope we all have a great week playing art!

Giving Close Attention–with my Camera!

Wolfberry, which leafed out with the first monsoon rains, is beginning to flower.

Wolfberry, which leafed out with the first monsoon rains, is beginning to flower.

 

“The moment one gives close attention to any thing, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.”

~ Henry Miller

 

Yes!  Isn’t it amazing what wonders surround us, unseen and unappreciated until we stop and pay close attention!

 

 

Now that I am taking photographs, I find I am focusing longer on each thing that catches my “scientific” interest or “artistic” attention, viewing it from different angles, zooming in on it, seeing it at different times of day or under different lighting….

From time to time I am frustrated that what I see is not accurately portrayed–or, astonished by what the camera reveals that my “naked” eye couldn’t perceive .

 

Wild grasses sparkling with a rea

Wild grasses sparkling with a rea

 

FRUSTRATION:

CAPTURING GLITTER!

I tried to photograph the dew drops on the wild grasses sparkling in the early sunlight, …

 

 

 

 

 

Guttation droplets that form at the ends of leaf veins under high humidity--rare in the desert garden!

Guttation droplets that form at the ends of leaf veins under high humidity–rare in the desert garden!

and “guttation” droplets on the edge of the large squash leaves, …

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1698and the tiny dewdrops on the pinnate leaflets of the Moringa tree after the last rain.

I’m still using the automatic feature of my newish digital camera, and I just could not get it to capture the sparkling magic that my eye was seeing.

 

As for the glitter on some of my collages?  Dull black specks, argh!

 

FRUSTRATION:  ACCURATE COLOR!

Desert Verbena blooms most of the year in my irrigated "enhanced desert" garden

Desert Verbena blooms most of the year in my irrigated “enhanced desert” garden

Long ago, when I used an SLR camera with Kodak or Fuji film, the resulting photos very accurately showed the colors that I saw through the viewfinder.  With my newish digital camera still set to automatic mode, I am frequently disappointed by the fading of some colors, especially pink, sometimes red, purples…. Verbena’s pale but saturated purply pink fades to grayish drabness, as does desert lavender’s intense-(yes!)-lavender hue. It takes many attempts, under different lighting conditions, before the camera finally records these flowers true colors.  What can I do to help the camera with its color challenge on the first or second shot?

 

 

Another awesome sunset!  Camera did not capture the greenish sky peeking through near the horizon.

Another awesome sunset!  Camera did not capture the greenish sky peeking through near the horizon, and enhanced the blue of the overhead sky.

I’m a connoisseur of sunsets.  I really want my photographs to show accurate colors of sky and cloud for the awesome sunsets we have here, with their amazingly strange color combinations toward dusk (the sky near the horizon pea soup green here, aqua there, colors that clash with the clear blue sky peeking through above lurid orange pink red gold (etc!) clouds…)

 

 

A stunning sunset enhanced into luridness by my automatic camera

A stunning sunset enhanced into luridness by my automatic camera. The clouds above the sunset colors weren’t this stormy!

 

While sometimes the camera takes a rather drab skyscape and turns it into intense beauty, I’d prefer to do that manipulation(or not!) in a photo editing program, and have what I see be what the camera records.

And since most desert skyscapes (especially during out summer monsoon season) are amazingly colorful, I really don’t need the camera intensifying their colors!

 

 

 

 

ASTONISHMENTS:

Alcea's heart, such a magical place in the center of a hollyhock!

Alcea’s heart, such a magical place in the center of a hollyhock!

On the other hand, when I let the camera magnify the heart of a flower, magic occurs!  Try as I might, my eye cannot really see what a magnifying lens or closeup photography reveals.  Looking at something, perhaps a flower, I sometimes get an intuitive urge to move the camera in close, or use the zoom button—and magic happens more times than not.

 

Kaleidoscopic heart of a young Lantana blossom

Kaleidoscopic heart of a young Lantana blossom, whose open florets are powerful butterfly mangets

 

Who would have guessed that the unopened buds in the center of a Lantana blossom would look like something seen in a kaleidoscope?

 

 

 

 

 

Heart of the Viola backlit by the mornng sun

Heart of the Viola backlit by the mornng sun

 

Or that sunlight shines through the heart of a small Viola?

 

 

I intend to post my favorite photos of this magnified magic on my newish Pinterest board “Sacred Space–Hearts of Flowers.”  More are already in the photo gallery at http://facebook.com/naturewisdomjourney/

 

MY CRY FOR HELP!

If you have suggestions of a good (and free or low cost) program for organizing my almost 2,000 photos and creating digital art from them, please leave a comment here!  I’m rather overwhelmed by the jumble of photos that result from my camera uploading by date, and how long it takes to find a specific photo to insert into a post.

And if you can suggest a very simple online photography class or how-to book, please do so.  If you know how to capture the sparkle of dewdrops, or the true colors of the sunset clouds, the purple-pink verbena, the intense lavender Salvia, the sparkle of glitter on a collage, please post your tips!

I’m having fun with my camera, and yet my Virgo/ artist self wants to capture the glitter, the true colors, my chosen depth of field.  I hope my desire will motivate me to get off the oh-so-easy auto-pilot built into these modern digital cameras, and graduate to semi-automatic at least… my Canon becoming a Gattling gun!