Friday, September 9, 2011

Back to School, Back in Power

On Monday, our power finally came back on - after eight days off! I was lucky to be able to tag along to my husband's classroom before school started on Tuesday, just to get a break from the lack of light and running water. I even fit in a little bit of scrapping with this cute "shirt" project. I used my Silhouette SD to cut the Polaroid camera and an EK Success punch for the flower bunch. Doesn't he look thrilled?

His colleague, the art teacher, stopped by and remarked on the arms and hands, which I just drew once and cut out. I know myself - on something tough like hands, I am always better off doing it quickly and only once. The teacher brought up these wonderful videos of Picasso painting on glass, which were taken in the 1950s. On some images, he works quickly and without editing; on others, he reworks whole sections over hours of time. Sometimes, reworking is just part of the process!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Calm After the Storm

I won't be writing much this week - we lost power early yesterday morning and the news is that it may take a week to get the lines free of trees and other troubles. Storm Irene wasn't pretty here in southeastern Connecticut, but these beautiful Rose of Sharon blooms made it through and have made our new yard work smell pretty sweet. See you in a week!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Creative Every Day: Red is for Drama

This month can be all about red at Creative Every Day, which is wonderfully coincidental after a recent unexpected encounter I had with the color.

Gillette Castle is a Connecticut historical landmark, the unique architectural concoction of William Gillette, a prominent local actor at the turn of the twentieth century who was famous for his role as Sherlock Holmes on the stage. At Gillette's retirement from acting, he personally designed this amazing mansion on a steep hill overlooking the Connecticut River.

Natural tones of richly finished wood and rough-hewn stone dominate the mission/medieval style of the interior. Gillette's favorite color - the red of the theater curtain - stands out with all the more drama on this backdrop. 

1 Tiffany fixtures punctuate overhead lighting 
2 Even the everyday lamps are tinged with red 
3 Gillette's own attempts at glass lighting are featured on the upper floors 

 4 Subtly patterned upholstery covers the trim, built-in sofas
5 Gillette called his home 7th Sister, after the chain of hills it resides upon
6 In the classic white bathrooms, all that's needed is a red monogram on the towels
7 Treasures from Gillette's previous home - a house boat

8 From the terrace, spectacular views of the Connecticut River Ferry
9 Gillette's gallery, with a few illustrations of his stage roles, each with a little hit of red

I walked away with a newfound appreciation for what red in moderation can do for an interior!
Hope you enjoyed these images.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Index Card a Day: Better Late than Never

Tammy at daisy yellow has been guiding a group of artists through a whole summer's worth of index card fun. I'm eager to see how the challenge is continued, as I'm just now discovering the concept! How fun to paint and layer and jot down what comes to mind on this gorgeous sunny day in New England.

Color Palette: Aquarium Depths

For my birthday last month we headed to Mystic Aquarium, a place I've been to several times, and a place where I continue to imagine more sea creatures than they actually have - where are those sea cows? A leftover impression from childhood, probably. I'm never disappointed, anyway, because something marine is usually being utterly cute there. 

On this trip I was just as willing to snap the hardscapes of the aquarium - the walls, the art, the landscaping - as I was the wildlife, and was rewarded with this shot: a porthole to the penguins. It was a hot day, and the penguins were taking a break, but these luminous colors are entertainment enough. Trendy teal bounces alongside utilitarian gray and a rather serious yellow-green. That bit of orange reflecting off the center of the glass? That's the birthday girl!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Shutter Sisters: My Superpower

Ray of Light Farm - East Haddam, Connecticut

No, my superpower is not that I can turn myself into a friendly farm goat at the first hint of trouble.

It's that photography has given me the power to surprise myself. Normally I go out of my way to avoid surprises - I wrap my own Christmas gifts, for example. But through photography, my subjects are able to relate to me in a way I might not have imagined even when I was standing right there in front of them. And like any good superpower, this element of surprise has mostly positive results: hope, imagination, and the desire to take a thousand photos in a single session.

Check out Alex's post at Shutter Sisters.

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