Sunday, December 30, 2007

Trains

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Project 365

I started this blog on December 27th last year, and 405 posts later, here I am.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the photoblog format. It's been a fabulous creative outlet, helping me to notice things that would have passed unnoticed - and DID pass unnoticed until I started this project. Textures, light effects, cropped sections, subject matter -- thoughts such as these have become second nature. Even if I don't take the shot, I SEE the shot, and that in itself is satisfying. I notice Life more. I've LOVED being part of a community of bloggers with the same project in mind, and learning from them, and appreciating the work they've put into the project knowing from personal experience how much work it is. I have appreciated a venue existing that I can point people to and say ... this is my life. I have liked having a place to record my thoughts, and chronicle my events, yet without the pressure to write a "real" blog post. The pressure to have a picture a day was sometimes burdensome, but not so much as I thought it might be. I have loved commenting, and my pics being commented upon -- it's so rewarding. I have appreciated the fact that my library of photos has given me fodder for my art projects, and has stimulated my thinking in other creative avenues.

The downsides: I lost my camera, and I really feel like that event took the wind out of my blogging sails. From that date on I borrowed Grayson's camera, used my cellphone, and finally bought a replacement camera that I never did bond with. (I gave it to Clark for part of his Christmas yesterday.) So now I'm back to borrowing Grayson's. Besides losing the camera, when I started to school in the fall and had to produce so much artwork, I found that my creative juices were diverted, and there was little left for the 365 project. For those reasons I feel like my best work happened earlier in the year, and I haven't been as satisfied with the last half of the year's photos. In December, I've almost abandoned the project, at least compared to the level of involvement I had the other 11 months. So maybe it is time for the project to end. Part of me is more than ready for that to happen, and part of me regrets calling anything of such personal importance and value to me "over". I regret that few of my "in real life" friends and family visited the site... some commented to me that they saw something on my blog, but by in large the blog didn't make the jump to "real life" I had hoped for.

In two weeks I'll be starting back to school. I'm taking photography, ironically. But it will be b/w film photography, not digital. And rather than producing drawings, I'll be producing old-fashioned prints in the darkroom. I imagine I'll have little time for digital, and with Grayson returning January 25th from boot camp, and then leaving to start his life, I will no longer have a digital camera. I will probably eventually buy another digital, just to have for recording life, but for the next few months, I'm sure I'll be consumed with film photography. So ... realistically, my project 365 days are waning, as is my creative energy for the project. However, I don't want to just stop, and fall off the planet (or at least the cyberplanet). I hope I can continue occasionally to contribute, just without the daily commitment. I hope you'll keep me on your Google Reader feed, as I will keep you all on mine. :-)

I could go back and look at all the posts and pick out my faves, and talk about the special memories, but I'm not too big on nostalgia. I'll just say this: Thank you for a fabulous experience together.

Let There be Peace on Earth, and let it begin with me


Welcome all wonders in one sight
Eternity shut in a span
Summer in Winter,Day in Night
Heaven in Earth, God in Man
Great Little One, Whose All embracing Birth
Lifts Earth to Heaven
Stoops Heaven to Earth

--Richard Crashaw


Thanks to my friend Dwight for this quotation.

I miss this guy



For the second year, Grayson is not with us at Christmas. In both instances though, he was away on an adventure, and I'm happy he's undertaking adventures. I think that's important. So I can't be too sad. But Grayson, know that you were missed. This photo was taken a few weeks before he reported to Parris Island.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Light and darkness

Always appropriate


Bless his heart, Bill struck out a few times in past years on clothes; and we agreed that for a woman, anything with a plug attached to it couldn't count as a "gift". (Though appliances and electronics are often wanted, needed, and appreciated, they don't exactly warm the lover's heart.) So he's found a niche that is always appropriate: jewelry. I've never seen a ring like this before, and he knows that my little artist's heart loves the unusual and handcrafted. The metal on this is anodized titanium. My apologies for the quality of photos....I'm using my cell phone (explanation to follow).

Christmas Eve


While I should be home doing traditional things with my family, I'm actually at the mall. This sight at Brookstone made me chuckle, and wish I could take advantage of it!
And I'm so excited! Suddenly all seven buttons are appearing on my posting window whereas I used to only have three, so maybe --now that 365 is coming to a close-- I'll be able to link to other posts!!! I'm not sure why this wasn't here all along, but hey. It's my personal Christmas miracle. :-)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Everybody say "Cheese!"

This is all I've had time or energy for....the "cheesy" shots!

Bill's brother and niece:


Mackenzie's basketball team won the tournament yesterday:


It's never happened in the past 30 or so years...all five of the siblings together in one place.

Life's a merry-go-round



It's been crazy with family stuff going on, and the merry-go-round set up downtown in a Christmas village is the perfect metaphor.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Better Shot


I'm submitting this piece 'Fragile' for publication in an online art journal operated by the school I attend, to be published in the spring. I took a new shot of it, which is far superior to the picture I posted back on November 11. I'm also submitting the cityscape I posted -- I've named it Emerald City, a play on my town's name of 'GREENville', and because I did the piece on a green pastel background. Also, there are a few parallels, living here, to Oz that I won't go into!

Eponymous



It's hard to know quite what to do for kids who have lost their father. But they seem to want to just be kids, and so they jumped on the chance to go to the fun park last night. Clark took one and rode the racecars, and Mackenzie took the younger boy and rode the free fall ride. They played arcade games and came home and jumped on the trampoline in the dark. They had fun, and forgot for awhile -- or maybe they've yet to respond to -- their grief. Today will be difficult. The funeral is at 3:00.

Unwelcome shopping spree



These two boys with Clark are his cousins on Bill's side. Their father died Sunday and we took them shopping for coats, shirts, pants, and shoes appropriate for kids to wear to a funeral. I haven't posted in awhile because we've been hosting relatives and trying to be there for Bill's sister. Clark is great with younger kids....he fills the shoes of "big brother" well, and with his help we successfully navigated the shopping trip.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Road trip



Tia is on a road trip and stopped with her kiddos chez moi. We took one 'normal' and one 'silly', so of course you know which one is more interesting!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Christmas doorway

Not exactly your typical wreath, but I liked my thanksgiving wreath so much I decided to make it work for Christmas too!


Close-up:


Today's task



Planting pansies. I'm very late getting around to this, thanks to school, but I have a beautiful day for planting.

Natural and artificial

What's wrong with this picture?



It's 80 degrees out and nary a snowman in sight....except for these under my bare feet.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lonely job

77 degrees



Everyone's trying to stay cool, peeling off clothes, opening the windows, going barefoot, or In the case of these cows, even going for a swim!

Kissin' cousins?

Yesterday we spent part of the afternoon at the hospital, visiting Uncle John (http://beth365.blogspot.com/2007/06/brother-john.html). He has a son, Johnny, who was trying to crack Bill's back for him, so although this LOOKS like it could be a little sketchy, it's all on the up and up! :-)



This is John's grandson (Gail's son...remember Gail? http://beth365.blogspot.com/2007/06/cobb-reunion.html), who doesn't at all look like he could be exactly twice the age of Mackenzie, sitting next to him! I think they share some family resemblance....if nothing else they're both tall. Mackenzie is 6'4" (at age 16) and Chuck is 6'7".


John's kids (and grandkids) have a special place in my heart. They're a close-knit family of really fun people.

PS Sorry, I still haven't been able to grasp how to embed a URL in the text!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

At the gala



It's not the greatest picture of me (I'm beginning to wonder if there ever IS a great picture of myself!) but I'm posting it anyway. I didn't take it, but just for the sake of remembering the evening (and since I've been negligent at taking shots lately) I'm posting it. We went to the annual gala at the kids' school. This is where two years ago we bid on and ended up buying a week in St. Petersburg, Russia. This year, however, there weren't any prizes at the auction that we wanted bad enough to bid on so we came home emptyhanded.

Oh, and now that I think about it, I remember back in 1997 having a picture taken I really liked of myself!

Master Scholar


Yesterday we went to Columbia for Clark's graduation from the Master Scholar's Program. We were amazed to learn that of those who are recognized as Master Scholars (by USC) and end up going there to college, all of them have been accepted into the Honors College. He's talking about going to the Naval Academy though, but it can't hurt his chances of getting in there either! And of course, it's a long time before he commits to college; he's only in 9th grade. Plans can change weekly at this point. But I'm really proud of him for being a curous thinker, a good student, and an all-around great kid.

HELLO, I'm Cocky!




Slow decorating



This year I've been slower than usual getting around to Christmas decorating. Hopefully this will be the weekend for that. Part of it, I think, is that I'm tired and busy, and the last thing I want is to take on another project right now! Part of it, too, is that I am weary of being the one this job falls to: everyone enjoys having a decorated house, but I'm the one driving the train of getting the tree, I'm the only one who shows any interest in decorating it, I'm the one who does shopping and wrapping and baking, etc. So I've gotten to a point where it wouldn't kill me if we didn't have all the trappings; that's not what Christmas is about anyway. I guess I wish the kids and Bill would have a little more Christmas spirit so I wouldn't feel the responsibility for generating it. The last reason I'm talking myself out of decorating is that we leave for the beach on Christmas afternoon and stay there till after the New Year, so we don't really get a lot of enjoyment of the ambiance anyway, unless we get it up right after Thanksgiving.

But....I do have my fireplaces dressed up.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tis the season to be ... garish

Me 'n Posh Spice


I got a new haircut (and a bit more blonde) today, and someone later pointed out to me that it's a similar cut to Posh Spice, of Spice Girls' fame. I was happy with this shot because often my halo doesn't come through in photos. As with most of my self-portraits, this was taken while driving, and drinking coffee, which explains the odd angle.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Semester's End

As the semester winds down, I'm getting back some of the work I've turned in. I thought I'd post a few of the pieces here.

Colored Pencil still life. This piece may not look it but it took FOREVER to complete. It was done with 8 colored pencils. In retrospect, I should have 'zoomed in' so I wouldn't have had so many different subjects to render.




"Emerald City"
You might remember this from a photo I posted here on my blog. The assignment here was to render a scene in linear perspective, from real life. We had to show something in one point perspective, something in two point perspective, something in three point perspective, cast shadows, and reflections. Since my town is "Greenville", and the large glass window is green, I drew on a green surface, and thus, the title.


This is a study of texture. The assignment was to FIND 10 textures (not to arrange a still life or whatever) and to recreate them in a charcoal or graphite drawing. This is Bill's junk drawer. If you look closely you'll see a candle, a key, a lock, a watch, a crumpled receipt, a lifesaver, some sock holders, a miniature Eiffel Tower from his 40th birthday trip, a backroller, a pair of glasses, a spool of thread, and a shell from Edisto.

Goodness, Truth & Beauty



I have the assignment this weekend of writing an artist's statement. Which feels a bit disingenuous because I feel like a poser. I'm an art student, not technically an artist, and making that transition -- mentally, if in no other way -- is challenging. Anyway, I've been thinking about what I'm trying to say with my art, what theme holds it together (if any), blah blah blah. I was driving home thinking about Goodness, Truth & Beauty, the threefold of expression of The Trinity, and how I hope that my work reflects a spiritual dimension that's characterized, at least in some limited way, in some measure, by Goodness, Truth or Beauty. Then I arrive home, walk through the door, and am stopped dead in my tracks by the afternoon sun pouring over these simple pumpkins ... and I just knew that I was on track with my artist's statement. Which photo do you like best?

Fall textures


I've been so consumed in my observations of fall colors, it's easy to forget the textures are nice too.

Atonement

I'm trying to atone a bit for my lame photo posting of late. So here are a few entries, hoping to garner your forgiveness. :-)

Zeus: Glamour Shot


After a morning of roughhousing with Fibi, his (platonic) girlfriend, Zeus shot me this look, which I overexposed for the glam effect.

Daylight Crescent