Category Archives: Art

Getting Feeling Into an Image

Relief Carving – Glenn Anthon Hall, Yakima Valley College

I first saw this relief carving standing straight back about 50 feet away.  I thought the full mural was interesting, but it looked flat and lacked energy.  What caught my interest was the woman’s eyes.  I walked closer and to the side to get a better perspective.  As I looked into her eyes, the image came alive.  I could feel her sadness.

When my friend saw this perspective, she had a much deeper insightful feeling.  These were her thoughts:  “The edge of the photo features her hand pushing against the wood, like a wall. Her pushing against it is more poignant because she does seem to be pushing against a wall that closes her in. On her face is the look of resignation yet acceptance that she will spend her life picking from the fields, so her children will not have to. It is a story I have heard from the children in families like that so many times.  Sometimes when I think about something that makes me sad, I remember that not feeling sad would mean not feeling at all, and not feeling at all would mean not feeling joy either. When we look at something that pulls at our heartstrings, we are alive and thinking and affected. This is good.”

Contemplating Back in Time

WWI Soldier Grotesque – Smith Hall, Univ. of Washington

This WWI soldier grotesque has intrigued me since I first attended the University of Washington in 1968. It is located on Smith Hall in the University of Washington Quadrangle.  The figure commemorates WWI complete with the gas mask.

Over the years, I have photographed this grotesque multiple times.  For some reason, my images have not turned out:  out of focus, too light, too dark, or branches/leaves cluttering the image.  During my last visit, I was determined to get an acceptable image.  I was lucky that it was an overcast day.  The soft light on the soldier was relatively even without deep shadows. I walked around to get a perspective that gave me the most eerie mood.

 

Columbia River Petroglyphs

Petroglyph, Gynko Petrified Forest

This image was taken from below the Gynko Petrified Forest Visitor’s Center near Vantage Washington.  Seeing these brought back many happy memories of my youth.

As a young Boy Scout, I can remember hiking along the Columbia River north of Vantage, Washington.  Huge basalt cliffs rose above the free flowing river.  We could climb up along the rocks and see these funny drawings made by ancient Indians.  We did not think much of it back then.  When the Wanapum Dam was built, the backwaters flooded the area where many of these artifacts were located.  Luckily, someone had the foresight to carefully remove these petroglyphs before the water covered them up.  Today several of the saved petroglyphs are displayed below the Gynko Petrified Forest Visitors Center.

Note:  Notice the initials and heart above the man and woman.  Why would anyone deface such a piece of our history????