Sunday, January 29, 2017

Altered


It has been an unusual January here in Michigan. We have had a couple of cold blasts and enough measurable snow to break out the snowblower a time or two. But for the most part the days been a dull gray with temperatures hovering in the 30's and 40's Fahrenheit. There was even a day that it reached into the 50's.

Photo Credit: Glen Huizenga
I have a gym membership for the rainy days, the snowy days and the bitter cold days, but given a choice I prefer to be outside. The need for fresh air, natural light and wide open space is irrepressible. Most of the year I am happy to walk along the beaches near my house, but in the winter, when I am craving creative visual stimulation, I hop in my car and drive to our thriving downtown.

I begin my walk in near darkness, the sidewalks illuminated by street lamps, car headlights and the lights of store window displays. It is the window displays that draw me downtown, so much creativity and imagination goes into each store's presentation of who they are. Following the holidays, my mind seems to be empty of creativity. I walk, I look, I dream, I am inspired.

Photo Credit: Glen Huizenga
There are also office buildings at the east end of our downtown, many of the offices have windows looking out onto the main street. As I walk past and the lights begin to come on, I see the photographs that adorn the desks and walls of these spaces. The smiles of children and spouses often shine bright from the desk or the shelves behind the desk, my favorites are when the family pets have their own framed portraits, this office belongs to someone I would like to know.

The walls though are the most interesting, family photographs tell a part of their story, but what about the artwork on the walls. Did they get to chose their own pieces? Or did the interior designer chose what should adorn their walls? I like to think if you have to look at it all day, you get some say in it. Judging by the variety I have seen, it seems most people get to pick their own, to me that tells another part of their story.


Some have large, matted realistic photographs of the big red lighthouse near our local beach, a much photographed icon in our town. But the pieces that catch my eye are the painted canvases; open fields with rustic barns in the distance, painterly lake shores with iconic lighthouses. I always wanted to learn to paint, lacking the patience for that, I became a photographer instead.

I have many empty walls in my own house. I have talked for years of printing and hanging my own work, and I have done some over the years. What I mostly print is realistic photographs and then frame those 8 X 10's in 11 X 14 matted frames. They have never stirred me. The few canvases I have had printed of creatively altered photographs are the ones that move me, and the bigger the better.


You can guess and assume what your preferences are, but until you actually take action you don't really know. By seeing my small 8 X 10's printed I found out I prefer bigger prints. Realistic photographs don't thrill me, creating painterly images from my photographs in Photoshop and Topaz Labs programs, that makes me happy. Taking that knowledge and the inspiration from those downtown offices, I ordered a 24 X 36 canvas of a digitally altered portion of snow fence I shot in December. For the first time in almost fourteen years in our house, we finally have something on the wall above our bed. I kept waiting to find the right thing, little did I know I just had to create it myself.


17 comments:

  1. Beautiful photographs by both you and Glen! It's such a good idea to have some of our own favourite photography printed to hang on our walls! I like your idea of the bigger size. That fence over your bed is just lovely and goes with your bedroom colour scheme so well!

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  2. Stunning Sarah the photographs are beautiful pass on my praise to Glen !

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  3. Your photo above your bed is awesome! I'm sure you have so much more in your archives to use for other creations.
    Your story about looking in the office windows made me smile - you'd be hugely disappointed in my office! We do choose the art on our walls. I have a couple framed photos of my kids on a shelf, along with a few random knickknacks given to me here and there (not really my thing). My manager got rid of a photo display of golf images when he decided he wanted a huge whiteboard - and he gave me all the frames. I'm not into golf, and he expected I'd make my own collage - but I haven't gotten around to it, and the golf photos sit in a sort of display on a high shelf on my wall. Now the joke with my co-workers, when the come into my office, is "oh - you enjoy golf?" I'm sure I have all sorts of photos in my archives that I should print - I'll get around to it someday...

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  4. I absolutely LOVE the photograph of the fence, Sarah!
    Really, really wonderful.
    We had a January much like yours. Maybe somewhat of a teaser, since I know there is much winter left to be had.
    Happy day to you!

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  5. I enjoyed this post so much, Sarah. The conversational style was relaxed and comfortable, and I learned a lot about you that I didn't know, details about your town, activities and personal style, and your creativity. The image above your bed is perfect, and the photo of the room could be out of a home styling magazine. I love Glen's photos, too - he's developing a wonderful photographic eye of his own.

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  6. Loved this reflective post . . .
    Your writing drew me in . . .
    The above the bed canvas set the stage . . .
    An artist you are . . .
    Loved seeing the "you" . . .

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  7. I love your idea Sarah!! your photo is amazing and in my opinion, is perfect for the bedroom. the colours inspire me calm and peace. I have put your photo on my pinterest board (if it is ok for you)!!!Thank you for the inspiration.

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  8. Yeah! Perfect choice for over your bed. Now go pick 3 more for a small grouping and put it on another wall! I pulled several things off the wall over our bed this month in hopes of redoing. But I got distracted and moved onto another room. You've given me the nudge to get back in there.

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  9. Absolutely love the canvas over your bed! You made an excellent choice!

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  10. I always have mixed emotions while I'm waiting for the printer to complete my order. So far, everything has turned out well.

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  11. You picked the perfect image for over your bed. It looks great! Our winter has been warmer than usual with not much snow, I think I shoveled the driveway only once. Unfortunately the sky is still winter gray. We did have a little sun yesterday and I had to hunt for my sunglasses since I hadn't worn them in a while. Loved hearing about your walk through town. :) Have a great week!

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  12. ...and it's SO perfect Sarah! One of these days I'm going to find a print I HAVE TO HAVE of mine and blow it up! I feel like I'm there with you around town. xo

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  14. You made me smile reading about your 14 years wait. I can relate to that. I really enjoyed reading this post and I felt like you drew me into your walk. Love the pictures.

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  15. I am with you on the painterly photos. And I am finally starting to get some of my own things on the walls. It just takes so long to get it done.

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  16. Your painterly photos are very beautiful - you are very good in altering them. I like this kind of photos when they're done well (like you do). When I try it myself I often am not happy with the result. Still lots to learn.
    I'm with you of preferring fresh air and open spaces to the gym. I feel exactly the same way.

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  17. There is nothing wrong with "texturizing" a photograph that you have taken. Sometimes, I catch myself going back and looking at old "normal" photographs from the past and saying to myself..."Hmmmm this would look a whole lot better with this or that kind of texturing." Or maybe even "photoshoping" it to some degree...e.g. your corner textures on the red lighthouse piece. It's all in the artists eye and I think it gives the piece a whole different feel. Thank you for your inspiration...I'm going to go out and shoot this evening!

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Thank you so much for visiting today and taking the time to read my thoughts on life. :)