Sunday, May 14, 2017

Constraints


"Constraints are the secret to creativity, to new ideas, to getting things done, and most of us want fewer of them, which is why we flounder. Creative freedom is found in choosing and embracing constraint and having the courage to see what happens."
                                                                              ~David duChemin 

I need constraints. I need one thing to focus on instead of twenty. I need time limitations and deadlines. I need to-do lists to get things done.

This has been my most productive year-to-date in my creative life; we won't talk about the household tasks. The reason why my creative output has been strong this year is because I am working under constraints, not always happily, but carrying on nonetheless.


In April I put the Lensbaby Velvet 56 lens on my camera, and I haven't taken it off yet. I am learning so much about composing, manually focusing, and the sweet spot of the lens. I am happy with this constraint, it is bringing my creativity to an exciting new level.


This week I have been participating in Susan Licht's #weekofdiptychs on Instagram. I missed it when she hosted it last fall, but I quickly jumped on board this spring. Diptychs are something I have always wanted to learn to create. What are diptychs you ask? Here is the definition:

a painting, especially an altarpiece, on two hinged wooden panels that may be closed like a book.an ancient writing tablet consisting of two hinged leaves with waxed inner sides.

In this case it is two photographs paired together.

I have tried to create them in Lightroom before and ended up being very frustrated. Discouraged, I gave up. But I am not a quitter, so this time I gave them a try in Photoshop. One of the on-line classes I took last year with Christina Greve had the perfect tutorial for making them. I love lifetime access classes. I looked up the tutorial, followed it step by step, and conquered the making of a diptych.


I also wanted to have a better understanding of what images made good diptychs so I found these videos by Julianne Kost. I have been basing my pairings on color. Since I tend to lean towards neutral colors, this has been good for me to look at a wider range of colors.

Diptychs are a great storytelling tool, I have more to learn before I am anywhere near proficient. But I am enjoying this new constraint and have a feeling I will continue working within it, even after Susan's #weekofdiptychs is over.




Sunday, May 7, 2017

Scene & Story - April 2017


Everybody's doing a brand new dance, now.
(Come on Baby, do the loco-motion)
I know you'll get to like it if you give it a chance, now.
(Come on Baby, do the loco-motion)

The song comes on the radio and I can't help singing along. Not out-loud of course, but mouthing it with all my might.

Today feels like a good day for antiquing. The rain has finally stopped, the sun is shining. I am on the hunt for things that make me happy. 

I am wandering the aisles of our local antique store. Fascinated by the items that find their way to vendors' booths. There are the objects I remember from my childhood; the avocado-green bun warmer my mom always kept our hamburger buns in, the black metal lunchpail with the silver ribbed thermos that my dad carried to work everyday. I wonder how these memories can be antiques, but then I remember that I am almost fifty, and these items were around before I was. 

I am on the hunt for a couple of specific treasures. First is a table for my daughter's dining room, we just finished painting the room, and now she is extra aware of how empty the space is with the much lighter color on the walls. She is anxious to get a table so she can stop eating her meals on top of the cabinet that covers the radiator. There was a time when I couldn't drag her into an antique store, who would want to buy something old and used. But now she understands the quality and craftsmanship that went into those old pieces. Her Pinterest boards are full of timeless antique objects. With age comes wisdom.

The second treasure I am hunting for is something I am always hunting for: green depression glass plates. I saw some once being used in a coffee shop and I fell in love with them.

There are a couple of table possibilities here, so I snap pictures with my phone and text them to my daughter. There is nothing else to do with that now, except wait. 

I am in the last aisle at the last booth and there in the open display case are two green, oval depression glass plates with matching cups. I lift them out and hold them in my hand, they are perfect. I look for a price, both on the plates and on the cups, no price. Then I see six more oval plates on the bottom shelf of the case, maybe they have a price, no such luck. One of the owners walks by, I stop her and ask about the price. She says, "Oh that gal is here today, I'll go get her for you." Hallelujah!

The booth owner comes to her space and I show her the plates and cups. She says, "I was just using those for display since there are eight plates but only two cups, I didn't think anybody would buy them." The cups are a bonus to me, I want the plates. She says, "I will gladly sell them to you, if you don't mind not having all the cups. How about $20 for the whole lot?" Sold!

Come on, Come on
Do the loco-motion with me

**In April I participated in Susannah Conway's April Love. I am also doing the #the100dayproject - This year I am doing 100 days of writing prompts. This photo and story were from the April Love prompt Patterns.