Shadows on my feet.
Shadows on my pond.
Shadows on my coffee.
Shadows on my Jesus.
Shadows are everywhere I look.
My friend John gave a lecture tonight to our Big Picture club on the Impressionist art movement. It was well attended and every seat was filled. ~”The group was named because of a 1872 painting by Claude Monet named Impression, Sunrise. It is a painting first shown at what would become known as the “Exhibition of the Impressionists” in Paris in April, 1874.”~
Our group discussed many of the paintings that John displayed on the screen, but the one that we discussed the most was Renoir’s 1876 Le Moulin de la Galette.
To our modern eyes, this picture seems like a color photograph of an open-air dance party set in a public street. We can see lots of activity and even the people sitting have the feeling of active engagement with the action. It is an ordinary scene of a group of average people enjoying a holiday afternoon. There is an interesting play of dappled light that seems to be actively dancing with the people. These were all elements of what the Impressionists were intending to display in their paintings.
Each of the individuals is engaged in whatever social obligation is important to them and their individual emotional needs are easily seen. The people are important to a viewer of this painting but the artist, although very sensitive to the people, is primarily interested in the painting revealing the light, its transformations of reality, which is subtly illustrated in the form of the overhead lights which wouldn’t be needed for lighting in the daytime. One proof that it is a sunny day is seen along the top edge where a series of green roof trimmings are casting sharp shadows as they would at midday at midsummer.
I am thankful to John for reawakening my long forgotten love of the Impressionists.
On the short walk of about fifty steps from where I park my car to where I enter the Crows Feet Commons coffee shop, I have the opportunity to take some quick photos. Thus, each weekday on that short journey to visit my old dudes I take a few more or less routine pictures. The intent of taking the same photos every time is that over the course of a year there will be plenty of seasonal variation. These scenes look very different when there are three feet of snow than they do when there are picnickers laying about, or people or almost any description sitting on the benches viewing Mirror Pond.
I got a new Huawei smartphone with a 40-megapixel camera and lots of fantastic adjustments and other features which I haven’t explored yet. The Pro setting has options for manually controlling the usual camera functions. That is very helpful because the regular automatic settings sometimes make things more difficult instead of easier. Below are a couple of shots I took the last couple of days. There is no photoshopping in these pictures.
These are huge photo files but I compressed them before posting. Can they be expanded?
[After posting I looked at these pictures and they have been horribly compressed. The originals are infinitely crisper.]
My quest to search out and identify my false beliefs has some serious downsides to my daily life and comfort. The one bothering me the most at the moment is my propensity to seek out and try to understand why troubled situations exist when the people involved in them, myself included, could just walk away. My false belief is that I can help these situations in any way.
One obviously painful thing is the media intrusion into our lives. The news is always ugly based on the newsman’s premise, “If it bleeds it leads.” The terrible events are always placed in front of us as if we are supposed to come to the rescue and solve the problem. If we don’t, as is usually the case, give money or time, or tears, we are made to feel like uncaring monsters.
I often watch the Weather Channel late at night because it frequently portrays real people confronted with extreme problems. How do they cope? Usually the answer is they have not done something they should have done. Typical for the TV show is not moving out of the way of a hurricane where people had a couple of days’ warning. Or getting caught in a flash flood where often stepping a few steps away from the flow channel would have saved them grief. Or, even dumber, driving a car across a flooding stream and being swept away. Another late night TV treat is watching Tosh.0, which features video clips of people voluntarily doing life-threatening antics.
There are lessons to be learned by watching these crazy things, like—Don’t do this! You are likely to get hurt! Unfortunately, it appears to me that people watch these things and then follow the maxim, “Monkey see, monkey do.”
For this year’s Halloween festivities, I wore my Darwin Award emblem to prove to myself and to others … something?
That Darwin Award photo was made back in 2008, but I still haven’t discovered how to live.
I took made this picture of a ghost cup with a real shadow. Vampires supposedly do not cast shadows but how about ghost cups? I printed up this picture at a one-to-one size for the table we have our coffee at from ten till eleven am.
It is a reminiscence of the Pipe that isn’t a pipe. This is a cup that isn’t a cup, but it casts a shadow. The knot is not a whole hole either. There is something happening though, and it caused a bit of humor to float about above the printed picture lying on and covering up the original scene.
Things are not always what they seem even when they are not seen.
I parked my car, as usual, next to Drake Park, here in Bend, Oregon, and took a short photo-detour from my car to the Crow’s Feet Commons coffee shop.
Then back twenty steps through that cut-glass door to wonderful conversations with my artist friends.
Life is tough here in Bend but I am getting comfortable with it.
Since three full-grown Ponderosa trees have departed from our backyard it became possible to raise a garden. We named the trees Curly, Larry, and Moe. Curly was rotting and declared very sick by an arborist. Larry blew over last year in a windstorm that brought down six trees within striking distance of our house. Moe would have been touching the side of our house but the former owner had cut out a section so it wouldn’t touch the roof. However, it was growing one side of its roots under our house and when the wind blew the whole house would squeak when Moe swayed.
So, after Moe was removed, I got a tiller and tilled the backyard; that was an entertaining challenge when I hit Ponderosa roots. Then I put down five cubic yards of quality dirt purchased from the gardening store in trenches and then planted them with all sorts of foodstuff. The big surprise came from the assortment of squash. We planted them all and as it turned out one of each of the four varieties would have been plenty for the two of us. However, we planted thirty-three and that was more than enough for us and all of our friends. I have been giving away about five to ten nice squash every day.
In an effort to make our house fire-resistant as possible I have removed about eight stamped-down thirty-gallon trash containers over the last two months. Then to get the pine needles off the roof I climbed up and swept them clean away; they were especially a problem in the V shapes between the various portions of the roof. That looked good, so I stood on the top of one of the chimneys and took this picture.
This shows about a quarter of the garden. To the right are some of the squash. In the middle are some potatoes, and just touching my shirt sleeve are some of the tomatoes. When Larry fell he went from where the light green decorative plant is just this side of the pallet leaning on the fence all the way over to just barely touching the house across the distant fence. That tree couldn’t have been felled by an arborist any more safely with their usual preparations.
That’s my story, so it’s time to get down off the chimney.
I walk through this hall several times per week and see the sun streaming through the skylights forming lines and shadows on the various things. They form patterns.
My life isn’t meaningless! But sometimes I see lines and shadows, and I struggle to see some pattern to their being and what their meaning might be.
Lines and shadows have a relationship to one another that can be intriguing. They are ubiquitous, and all the following photos were created within a few steps of one another. Let’s begin inside of the Crow’s Feet coffee shop here in Bend, Oregon, where my buddies and I hang out in the morning. The reflections off cars often make patterns on our walls because of the hundred-year-old cut glass windows. There are usually artworks on the walls, but today one of the frames was filled with just plain white paper. There were patterns within the frame so I excused myself from my coffee saying I would be back in ten seconds. Richard started counting and it turned out to be more like twenty seconds. Here’s the picture I made.
There was no preparation … I just walked over and took the photo. But when I showed it to Richard he liked it enough to immediately go over and make one too. There is an old saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
He got over there quickly because the lighting hadn’t changed, but as it was a reflection off a parked car the point of light wouldn’t change very quickly. We are treated to a new light show every morning. Just outside the door about ten steps from where that photo was taken, there was this.
Only someone who is interested in lines, patterns and colors could find anything interesting about this picture. Ten more steps and there is this.
A few more steps and what a fantastic view! This!
Or when viewed from a slightly different angle, we see quite a different but obviously fantastic picture.
Now that you are brimming with excitement you can have a cup of coffee and create great art too.
Be careful and drink only good coffee to get incredible results like these.