Thursday, December 19, 2013

Day 24 of 30-Day Photography Challenge (Animal)

Day 24 Animal

No-brainer for this one. I happen to live with an animal by the name of Suki Kabuki Tuki Tuki, or Suki to her closest friends and select associates.

Suki and I have been together since I saw her photograph on a Small Dog Rescue website in Blaine, WA about 8 years ago. The photo showed her in a plastic cone,  just recently out of surgery. She was a mess. But she was a mess for which I instantly fell.

Suki, or Anabelle or Daisy Mae or whatever she had been named by the rescue, had originally been the beloved pet of a woman who passed away and the woman's children were saddled with their mother's dog. An accident--legitimate--befell the dog, which was rushed begrudgingly to the vet's office. It turned out the people didn't want to, or couldn't, pay for the necessary surgery and they instructed the dog be put down. The vet called the rescue, the rescue paid for the surgery, which necessitated the removal of a shattered eye. I saw the dog on the website and the promptly re-named Suki has been with me since.

Miss Suki is the subject of today's challenge.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Day 23 Patterns

Yes, again I can't decide which to use. I loved the patterns carved in the soapstone and the patterns in the fan, even the ribs of the fan make a pattern, a repetition. I loved the pattern of the vintage molded glass. And to finish off the trio of photographs, I love the pattern of the dots in the day lily.

Patterns ... love 'em!

Day 22 Inspirational

Inspiration can be found anywhere. Whether we're ready to see it or not, inspiration abounds. But when we're ready and open, we recognize the gift of what was there all along.

I have found, for myself, that my inspiration can be found in nature. If I can walk among the trees, down a grassy path, along a shell strewn shore, so much the better. But, I live in a more urban area. Nature still exists in urban areas. Nature exists cheek and jowl with man-made things, often debris and junk, castoffs.

My inner whoever is delighted and enchanted when, as in this photograph, I come across a simple solitary pine cone resting against a rain-soaked weathered bit of corrugated cardboard. I'm inspired. I gravitate to the contrast of angles and lines to the curves. I love shadows cast, patterns identified.

Part and parcel with seeing such, is happenstance. This isn't a staged photograph. The lighting and the subject matter are found. I'm merely an observer, not a creator. I photograph what is already there.

This is my inspiration.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Another Double Up ... Days 21 and 20

Day 21 Faceless Self Portrait

I tried taking a photograph of my head from the back without any of my face showing. I tried a goodly number of shots and all of them turned out looking like Cousin It of the Addams Family.

Back to the drawing board.

Feet! This is an apt self-portrait because I LOVE to go barefoot whenever possible, any time of the year. I do bow down to the radical drop in winter temperatures and will then sometimes wear socks, but chances are barefoot is how you'll find me around the house.

This has been a good challenge, because it forced me to consider what other than a face could be considered a self-portrait. I thought of photographing my hands, but that would be hard to do if one is holding an iPhone camera. And I had already included my hand in a previous photograph.

The photos I took of the back of my head were interesting. I don't often look at the back of my head in my mirror. I usually comb or brush my hair and assume that the back is good to go. However, I am intimately acquainted with my toes, as in applying nail lacquer or accidentally stubbing my toe on a table leg.

I've enjoyed looking at things from a different perspective. Working with yesterday's challenge was a surprise. I wasn't sure what I would find at the bottom of my purse. I toss everything in there and oftentimes it's quite a while until it gets cleared out. Whew! Nothing incriminating. This time.

Day 20 In My Bag

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Day 19 Something You Want

I'm a woman of very few wants. I'm at a point in life where I no longer want things and have started divesting, lightening my load.

I want what I suspect a lot of people want.

I have had recent email comments from several folks I've met through my Etsy business, which seem to share a common desire to connect with life more meaningfully. Not the often exhausting drive to make money, or attain status, but a search for a slower, simpler existence, able to take time to savor the joy of the moment, to reflect, to daydream.

I think there's a way each of us can find a balance, where we earn what we need, but still have time to reflect on who and what we are all about. I think it goes beyond happiness. Total bliss is just another imbalance, no?

I look at what I've just written and realize once again how privileged I am. I live in a country and a time that gives me advantages not possible for others with fewer options. I don't take my life lightly. I have what I need today. I'm grateful.

I came up with something, but I don't know how to photograph it. Or maybe I'm simply not clever enough to stage such a photograph.

Okay ... Okay ... Getting back on point. Here is something I want. I want options.

I want to wander along some warm sand beach beach-combing as I go, listening to the ocean, smelling the water and watching it dance in the sunshine, without a departure schedule, marveling at the ocean's treasures left at my feet.

Well, shoot! I already have that option, don't I? I just need to come up with a way to make it happen!

Day 19
Something You Want

Friday, December 13, 2013

Day 18 My Shoes

Day 18
My Shoes
30 Day Photography Challenge

My shoes? Sure why not. I slide open my closet door to a tumble of rights and lefts. A good start. Then I saw a dusty bag at the back and yanked it out from under some other shoes. My tango dancing shoes! Oh my, I haven't used them at all since moving to Spokane. I had so much fun with that.

Just beyond the dancing shoes you'll see the clod-hoppers I now wear in Spokane oh-so-very-cold-in-the-winter. Not good for tango.

It was nice to see the sexy black heels, reminded me of what once was. And who knows? I might get back on the dance floor. I see there's something starting Monday nights. I just might check it out.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Day 17 Technology ... that little gizmo holds HOW MANY photographs?

Technology is as technology does. I'll be the first to acknowledge I don't understand a thing about computers and programming and how everything connects. I do understand I would be in a world of inconvenience if I didn't have it at my finger tips. Look at this little thumb drive! Just look at it! It's my back-up for thousands of photographic images. All on that little gizmo. Perhaps I should be backing everything up on the Cloud, but I'm not ready and willing for that just yet.

It's exciting to use this ever-developing technology, even though I feel I'm stumbling, fumbling along trying to keep up. Looking ahead to what's just on the horizon in technological advancement is amazing, the stuff of science fiction. I look forward to the next incredible breakthrough. It's change in the making.

And look at what impact technology has had, is having, on photography! Oh my!

Day 17
30 Day Photography Challenge

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Double Your Pleasure ... Day 16 AND Day 15

Whoops! I forgot to upload my 30 Day Photography Challenge subject for yesterday, so I'm combining it with today's upload.

Day 16 subject is "A Good Habit."  I certainly have a lot of not so good habits, but one that serves me well and which I am most in the habit of performing is writing in my daily journal. Although some days it's more like ranting and raving, or bemoaning, or regretting, or celebrating, or praising, or self-congratulating. That's what is so effective for me about maintaining a personal journal. I can vent or be silly or be too serious and I'm the only one who knows. I value this good habit as a means of anchoring myself.

I don't write anything of earth-shattering importance, no secrets to take to my grave, nothing really of any merit other than to myself.

I got to thinking back to a time when I wondered what happened to my Grandma Lyon's journals, which I had learned she wrote. But none of the family knew what happened to them. It made me think about how fewer people are actually writing things down, versus a digital means of journaling. A time will probably come where nothing will be written, there'll be no journals with family photos tucked in, or a winning ribbon from the local art show, or dried rose from an anniversary bouquet.

Day 15 photo subject matter was "Silhouette." I took a photograph of the silhouette of a poinsettia, but you can still see bracts of color, not in silhouette. Something better than nothing, eh?

Day 16   A Good Habit (Journal Writing)

Day 15   Silhouette (Poinsettia)

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Day 14 Eyes

My sister Mel and I chatted about eyes tonight. We came up with eyes of a potato, eye of the tiger, eye of a needle, cat's eye, the evil eye, the stink eye, not a dry eye in the place. I have a carved wood mask with a Third Eye, I have a Shark's Eye shell I collected from a beach on Honeymoon Island, Florida, I have a carved wood monkey with a fez and crazy eyes, and I have African made glass beads to ward off the evil eye. It's amazing how many references there are to eyes and so many choices for photographing.

Photograph my own eye? It's not to be found. Both of my old lady eyes are disappearing into my eye lid folds, it's quite amazing that I can still see out of these ol' slits!

No, today I'm fulfilling the challenge with tiger eye cabochons. I wish I had them set in a fabulous piece of jewelry so I could capitalize on the opportunity. Alas, no bodacious jewelry with these cabs ... yet.

Day 14
30 Day Photography Challenge

Uncut Tiger Eye Slab and Cabochons

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Day 13 Cannot Live Without

Hmmm ... what can I not live without? Coffee? No, if I were told by my physician I had to give up coffee for health reasons, I could.

I seriously can't think of anything I cannot live without. If something were to happen to me or those I love, I would find a way to overcome or cope or, if nothing else, simply accept. I would dig deep and find a way to live without that unidentified something. I would survive.

However, for the purpose of this Photography Challenge, for something to photograph, I would say that being able to see is very, very important to me. So, today's photograph is of my prescription tri-focal glasses.

I got my first glasses when I was 12 and it was incredible to me how much more of the world I could see. It was truly magic! I kid you not! I felt like I had super eyes and could see inordinately long distances.

For a long time I could read without my glasses, but time has taken its toll and my sight has worsened and I am totally dependent upon my glasses to read anything. I cannot hold things far enough away to read them without the aid of my glasses.

30 Day Photography Challenge
Day 13
Cannot Live Without

Friday, December 6, 2013

Day 12 Sunset ... and change

I don't get many sunset opportunities where I now live. With trees, buildings blocking my view I don't see much western sky, just straight up sky. Today, however, there wasn't any appreciable sunset. It seemed to go directly from freezing dismal afternoon to freezing dismal dusk.

I referenced my inventory of sunsets, looking for a sunset taken on this date, December 6, and the only one taken on this date was back in Birch Bay in 2010. Coincidentally, that was the month and year that I made my decision to eventually leave Birch Bay, a bittersweet decision. Not sure where I was headed next, just knew it was time.

Moving from Birch Bay to eventually Spokane meant major change. I've learned a lot about myself since then. One of the unfortunate trade-offs was no more stupendously glorious sunsets over the bay. The photo I've uploaded today was chosen only because of the same date as today.  I could publish a book with the incredible sunsets I was blessed to see in Birch Bay.

So, I hope you don't mind my travel back through time and substituting a photo I had taken then for today's challenge. A wonderfully unanticipated benefit has been to be reminded that change can be good. Attitude makes or breaks a situation, so why not embrace a positive attitude?

December 6, 2010 Birch Bay WA Sunset

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Day 11 Something Blue

And so the photography challenge continues. Some subjects have been more challenging than others. Today's left me with so many options it was hard to narrow it to just one. But I did, and I am, right now.

Day 11
Something Blue
30 Day Photography Challenge

(Why do I type this heading every time? Silly, no? It just seems more official, 
although there's nothing official about this challenge. It's just a personal pursuit. C'est la vie)

Thrift Shop Blue Jeans

Post Note: After I posted this I realized I had more to comment about it. 

As a woman of a certain generation in a western society, when one says "something blue" I immediately connect with the something borrowed, something blue of weddings. I'm not real big on weddings, although I've had two of them. But it was just so drummed into my skull that the simple words themselves evoke images of weddings and the importance of having something blue. I pooh-poohed that notion when I learned of today's challenge subject, but I would be less than honest if I didn't at least acknowledge it. This challenge is about images, and for the most part the images are from my day-to-day existence. Images, imagined and tangible are important. It's a form of shared communication. Okay. I'm done. Seriously.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Day 10 of the 30 Day Photography Challenge

Today's photography subject matter has to do with childhood memories. I have a lot of great memories. But I've photographed just one today.

My mother was very artsy-crafty and was always working on home projects with us kids, there were five of us in the Hinsvark family. Especially at Christmas we would sit around the dining table making ornaments and decorations out of whatever Mom could get her hands on for free. We lived on very frugal means, and that meant finding ways to be creative without too much expense. She would collect used Christmas cards, wrapping paper, outdated wallpaper sample books--anything and everything--and we'd have a blast with poster paints, papier mache, flour paste and lots of glitter.

I immediately thought about the fun we had cutting lengths of paper and gluing them together into links for paper chain garlands. We were boisterous, all actively grabbing for glitter or what not, singing Christmas songs. It is a good memory.

Once the decision of subject was made, I also decided to use an outdated calendar of ancient Japanese woodblock scenes for the strips. I spent four years of my childhood in Tokyo, Japan and I'm still very much attracted to Japanese art, textiles, decorative aesthetic. I cut strips from the calendar and linked them together. There are bits of Japanese landscapes, snow scenes, and/or calligraphy on each of the links.

As a result of talking with my sister, Mel about the subject of today's photo, we're going to continue making the links and use the paper garland in the living room. We've both been a bit "Bah! Humbug!" and perhaps this will ease us into a more festive frame of mind.

Day 10
Childhood Memory
30 Day Photography Challenge

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Day 9 ... oh yes it is!

Today is Day 9 of the 30-Day Photography Challenge, the subject of which is Someone You Love. My sister, Mel, was babysitting her granddaughter Susan and I couldn't resist photographing them together. Lighting is terrible, focus is abysmal, but the someone loving someone is unmistakable.

Day 9
Someone You Love
30 Day Photography Challenge

Painting Activity, Too

As for other artistic activity going on, I provided about a dozen acrylic paintings to Park Place Apartments, an independent living community in Spokane, WA, for display during December. I think there are two other River Ridge Association of Fine Art members who are also in this exhibit. I am a standby alternate, so unfortunately, I just rushed everything over and don't know too much about the venue or the other artists.

The administrative staff take it upon themselves to install exhibits in their venue, so I plan to go over in a week or so to see how it all looks. Exciting!

This is one of the paintings I prepared that morning to take over. It's an acrylic on 9" x 11" canvas board, titled "Golden Leaves Red Wind."

Day 8 Routine

Routine ... any routine, my routine? I had to think about this a bit. Because I'm, for all intents and purposes, retired. I don't routinely get up at a specific time each morning. Often when I get up is determined by when I put down my book and turn off the light and go to sleep. If it's a good tale, I might not get to sleep until almost time to get up to go to work, if I were working. So, you can see, I can't use that as a routine. I'm very inconsistent.

Oh! Okay! I have one. I have two.

I routinely remove the stickers/labels from fruit from supermarket fruit and stick it up on the back-splash by the sink. I also stick them to my daily journals, or even include them as part of collaged art correspondence I send. Routinely, the labels end up on the back-splash. Ta-Da! My first photograph.

Another routine I have is to take off my jewelry when I go to bed and toss it slap-dash onto a rattan tray on my nightstand. Eventually it piles up and at some point I transfer the baubles to a jewelry box on my bureau. Ta-Da! My second photograph depicting a routine.

Day 8
30 Day Photography Challenge

Monday, December 2, 2013

Day 7 Changes to Come

Now that I'm sitting down to write this blog entry I realize I misread today's challenge subject. I thought it was "Change." I should be more careful when taking on a photography assignment.

I didn't photograph something today that would imply changes to come. I was out this evening to pick-up some burgers and French fried onion rings, but my usual foodie haunt was closed. I forgot it was Sunday. I noticed I was low on petrol, so drove to a shopping center to fill 'er up, where the lights of a restaurant caught my eye. I've noticed it before, but hadn't gone in.

My sister Melba likes to go to the same places, places she's familiar with, places she and Steve had gone to before he passed away. I usually defer to her when picking up dinner for the two of us.

Bless you for bearing with me, here is the point. I decided to go in. It was a change from my usual routine. As is said, if you don't change, nothing changes. I took a chance. If Mel didn't care for the cuisine, it was only one meal and she could fix herself a PB&J sandwich.

The name of the joint is Tecate, which I learned is also the name of a town in Northern Mexico about 40 miles from San Diego, CA. The city's claim to fame is Tecate Beer. I'm still trying to find a place for good Mexican food here in Spokane. I think I found one! I ordered the chicken flautas and the steak tacos al cabon. Alas, I did not have a Tecate beer, having some Pyramid ale at home, which I did indeedy have with my Mexican dinner. I think Melba enjoyed this change, too.

I changed my choices. Because of this, I can infer other changes might result. See! I did meet the challenge after all!

I like photographing images with light bouncing all over the place, with neon brights. I wish there had been more people, but I was there a little early for the dinner crowd. I also like the letters, visual lines, contrasts of dark and light, and variety of shapes.

Day 7
Changes to Come
30 Day Photography Challenge