Take away the color and you are left with line and value.
Color can be hard to find for months during the long Edmonton winter.
However, with a bit of light and a long exposure photograph …
Today was another one of those days when I just go for a walk in downtown Edmonton and see what I can see – what I can see in terms of interesting patterns.
Here are a few of my recent black and white photos showing Edmonton’s river valley in early January.
A New Year’s Eve afternoon walk in Edmonton’s river valley revealed interesting patterns made by snow and ice, trees and the sun.
I have often used camera motion during a long exposure to create an abstract photo. I recently took some of these photos one evening in downtown Edmonton and discovered after the fact that I have used a good variety of camera motions for different effects.
A couple of previous posts (in my YEGmonton blog) looked at the on-going construction of The Armature – the revitalization of 96th Street to anchor the Quarters district in east downtown Edmonton. In the last week the construction fences have come down allowing one to stroll the paving stones of the street and to get a closer look at the two intriguing sculptures by Brandon Vickerd.
Here’s what they looked like in the blue dusk of late afternoon in November.
Three recent (2015 October) photos – abstracts, in that what makes them interesting is the simplification of, the focus on, certain geometric forms.
A year ago I was packing up the studio that I’d called “my space” for 16 months. It was hard. I came to the reluctant decision that I had to move out of lovely studio space.
It was May of 2014 when I noticed a sign on the outside of a historic (over a century old) building in downtown Edmonton, a comfortable half hour walk from my home.
Studios were located on the 3rd and 4th floors, in a variety of sizes. I was able to get a very generous space of over 400 square feet. That amount of space was very beneficial to me. Of course it meant that I didn’t have to clean up after every creative session, packing away wet materials and works in progress. It meant that I could set up separate work spaces for my two main painting medias: oil and acrylic.
The space gave me room to get, and keep, organized. A set of shelves, behind my work table and next to an easel were dedicated to my acrylic paints and media.
A similar set-up of shelves, table and easel on the other side of the room was dedicated to oils:
The space allowed me to work larger than I had been. Canvases of 3 by 4 feet (90 by 120 cm) became my standard and I assembled some even larger stretchers (but never did get around to putting canvas on them).
Even with the two work spaces, I still had lots of floor space to use when I needed to paint on the floor, to build stretchers or for varnishing.
In the end it was time to retreat to a much smaller home studio, disassembling shelves and stretchers and hauling out many carloads of supplies and many mostly-completed paintings
And in the end that highly creative space reverts to just a space.
A year later I can see ever so clearer how important that space was. Although I do have some space at home that I am re-converting into a working studio, progress has been very slow. I didn’t paint at all for half a year. Finally I cleared out a little space and created 3 works. Now I am back into re-organizing mode that will hopefully give me room for a couple of easels and two distinct little work areas (one for acrylics and one for oils, with a third, a small table for pastel work).
The other important function of that studio space was storage. I had lots of space for materials – for stretcher bars and canvas rolls, for primed canvases and boards, for paintings in various states of progress, completed works awaiting varnish and framing and exhibition-ready pieces. Now I have all these things stored around my house in different rooms, paintings stacked up, eight deep, against walls and bookshelves. My ultimate goal is to make my studio space just a working space – the storage issue is a whole other problem that I will have to address. I suppose someday it will all come together …
Autumn is overwhelming – so many leaves, so much color!
I am often drawn to the broad sweeps of vivid color in the fall landscape but I also like to enjoy the natural artistry in the details. My camera encourages me to slow down and look at the beauty on a smaller scale – the beauty of each single leaf.