one of the joys of having a creative career is watching your kids occasionally and spontaneously weigh in with their aesthetic opinions, or their design ideas, or their thoughts on composition, which over the years become opinions that you actually rely on as a cross check on your own instincts. one of the downsides of this is that sometimes they look at one of your whimsical compositions, which you have come to think of as approachably simple and maybe a little bit primitively childlike, and tell you, without really stopping to think about it at all, “mom, that’s lame.” so, today, you get a lame eucalyptus leaf composition. deal with it.
white on white
two of my three boys (the short furry one stayed home) spent thanksgiving week in the florida keys casting for barracuda and bonefish and jacks. it reminded me that i haven’t tried a white on white photo in a while, and i have a bunch of florida shells in my basement collection, and i figured i’ve gotten better at white on white, after years of mixed to no success. this is doubtless a better photo than i would have taken five years ago, but what i forgot is that expectations rise along with improved skills, and so i did not see this as a significant improvement over my previous abilities, but rather as something i could still improve upon, based on my current abilities. sigh. i was hoping for better than good enough. but good enough is what i got.
florida gulf coast shell collection
this was just a fun experiment, given a little extra urgency by the fading light of a november afternoon. this arrangement is laid out flat, so none of these objects is bearing down on any of the others with any actual weight. but they have visual weight, and they give the illusion of depending on each other to balance out the structure, and keep it from falling to pieces. it’s a little bit of magic, like the depth of perspective in a painting that technically lies flat on a rectangle of canvas. what fun, to find a way to create such an illusion. don’t touch. it’s very fragile…
calder-inspired leaf sculpture
i am a girl of the north. the land of subtlety and understatement. and yet one of my favorite plants in the world is eucalyptus, which is an exotic invader in california, has an overpowering smell, and which forms itself into some of the most graphic and unmistakeable shapes, including its phillips head screwdriver seedpods. mama don’t ask me why. i just love him.
i am approaching my seventh year of doing STILL blog. my 82 year old mom, who lives three miles from me and whom i see regularly, has only shown passing interest in the project. she is a creative too, so she understand my creative ambitions, but she has never really shown any curiosity about STILL. then yesterday, i picked her up to take her to dinner, and she got in my car with a ziploc bag full of leaves. these leaves in this photo. they had blown across her yard from a neighbors’ tree and she thought they were particularly pretty. awww, mom. i’m so grateful that you are still here to surprise me at 82. happy thanksgiving indeed.
white polar leaves in autumn