Abstract 1: Barnet Newman’s “Achilles” – National Gallery of Art
Abstract 2: National Gallery of Art – East Wing, Exterior
Abstract 3: Volcanic Cliff
Simple lines of abstract art are intriguing. They can be found everywhere. Some are works created in art mediums (paintings, sculptures, etc.). Others are created by architectural forms. Still others are found in nature.
Abstract 1 is an oil painting created by Barnet Newman titled “Achilles”. I stood and looked at this piece for quite a long time. Rather than try to figure out “what it is meant to be”, I tried to focus on what feeling it brought out in me. The red made me feel a little anxious. I did not resonate with this piece.
Abstract 2 is a photograph of the exterior of the East Wing of the National Gallery of Art. I was walking along, looked up and saw these contrasting shapes of shadows and light. It just grabbed me.
Abstract 3 is a photograph of the sheer basalt cliffs cut by the Palouse River during the Ice Age Floods. Nature’s artwork stops me in my tracks. Sometimes I just do not want to leave. It instills me to think about how our would was formed and just enjoy the beauty of nature surrounding me.
Looking vs Seeing? My friend and I stopped to look at a nice view of Crater Lake. Almost simultaneously we saw an Indian chieftain calmly looking over the lake. My friend wrote this poem highlighting her experience.
Above, a lone sagebrush and sun appear.
The sagebrush peers over the edge watching me.
The sun’s bright fire lights my way.
I have always been fascinated by the unusual geological formations in the eastern Washington/Oregon landscape. A few weeks ago, several college friends and I went exploring around Christmas Valley, Oregon. Our first stop was “Crack in the Ground” (see excerpt from Wikipedia below}. Most of the group scurried along the bottom of the fissure. I, along with a special friend, stopped, gazed around in wonderment, and photographed whatever jumped out at me. By the time the group had walked to the end, walked back to the start, and then walked back to fine us, we had only covered about one half of the distance. My mind and eyes wondered at every turn. I am a wondering explorer, not a hiker.
Crack in the Ground is a volcanic fissure about 2 miles (3.2 km) long with depths measuring nearly 30 feet (9 m) below ground level in Central Oregon, United States. The eruptions from the Four Craters Lava Field were accompanied by a slight sinking of the older rock surface, forming a shallow, graben-like structure about 2 miles (3.2 km) wide and extending to the south into an old lake basin. Crack in the Ground marks the western edge of this small, volcano-tectonic depression. The crack is the result of a tension fracture along a hingeline produced by the draping of Green Mountain lava flows over the edge of upthrown side of the concealed fault zone. The fissure is located at the southwest corner of Four Craters Lava Field in the Deschutes National Forest.
Crack in the Ground is estimated to have been created around 1,000 years ago.
Road to Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park, WA
I wasn’t expecting to see Hoar Frost in mid-June. The conditions were just right as we were driving up to Hurricane Ridge, moist fog and cold temperature. As soon as I saw the light mist, the frost covered trees, and the contrasting rock outcroppings, I thought of B&W. Magic happens!
I enjoy photographing botanical subjects. When reviewing my work, many times I quickly pass over an image that at first does not catch my eye as a “select”. I was going through some images that I photographed a year ago in Hawaii. This image just grabbed me. Instead of a leaf, I saw bright lines radiating out, I saw shadows and voids. I saw a triangular shape inserting itself into a void. The green color did not add anything to the image, I thought black and white. The image emerged.
This rock formation in the Alabama Hills stopped me dead in my tracks. I saw this alien head jutting out, looking straight at me. I could see his head, arms, shoulders, butt, and legs. Was I on a movie set or was it just my imagination.
Waves peacefully swirl
Against protruding cliffs,
Inspire wonder inside me.
This is a long exposure perspective of Molokai’s high cliffs shown in my previous post. My workshop associates were all around me. I was totally engulfed in the moment and scene in front of me. I felt completely alone with Mother Molokai’s wonderful gift. I long to go back.
Warm, calm, relaxed
Eyes first close, then slowly open
A new perspective appears
I set up to photograph the sun setting over the horizon. I anxiously waited as the sun descended slowly. Every so often I would shoot a set of exposures for a HDR combination later. I started to relax and just enjoy the scene. Then the idea came to take a long exposure. This resultant image best depicts the peaceful feeling I had watching the sunset.
“The color of life —
Older under emerging,
as laughing lines play.”
One of the most insightful lessons I experienced during my retreat at Hui Ho’olani was an exercise of creativity. Groups of three were formed. We were told to create a “haiku-type” poem of what we were experiencing at the moment. A little twist was injected; member #1 would write down the first line, #2 would write down the second line, then #3 would finish with the third line. Each member would build on the other. It totally amazed me what beautiful and creative poems were composed in a short time of less than 15 minutes. It all goes to show that there is creative talent in each of us if we just let it flow freely out!
I tried a derivative of this process with a dear friend. I sent her the above photograph. She jotted down several short poems expressing her feelings. The above 3 lines are hers.