Commitment: the state of being emotionally impelled to do something. My commitment is to making art, loving life and doing well.

Daily Artworks... my continuing challenge for 2015: Observe and record. Record and observe. And stretch - s-t-r-e-t-c-h - myself.
What will I discover?

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 30

Shadows Define Texture  

Texture in a Piece of Wood 
-  is defined by the pattern of highlights and shadows        

Our fingers can touch a texture, feeling it as a collection of raised and lowered areas on a surface. Our eyes can see a pattern of light and dark, and our brains have learned to associate it with the texture that our fingers can feel.    

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 29

Multiple Reflections in a Window  

Multiple Layers of Glass in a Window 
-  give multiple reflections        

Reflections are what we see when light rays hit off a shiny surface and bounce back to our eyes. In an insulated window, multiple layers of glass provide many surfaces for bright light to reflect the scene behind the viewer, and provide ghostly triple and quadruple images.    

Monday, April 28, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 28

Shadows on Spring Grass  

Shadows Across the Lawn 
-  where the grass is starting to show green       

Just a few hours ago, this area of lawn was covered with snow - now as the snow is melting away, the grass is coming to life after the winter, old blades greening up with fresh chlorophyll to feed itself and start new growth.   

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 27

Springtime Reflections from Outdoors  

It's Cozy Inside 
-  but there is work to do outdoors on a sunny day       

Bright sunlight shows up the places where raking needs to be done and things stored for the winter need to be put back into place. Springtime sunshine wakes up plants and people alike.   

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 26

Shadow Stripes on Spring Leaves  

Shadows Enhance the Textures of Dried Spring Leaves 
-  which covered the ground during the winter       

When these trees block the light from striking the ground, their shadows give information about the size and shape of the trees, the intensity of the sunshine, and the texture of the ground where the shadows are falling.   

Friday, April 25, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 25

Curved Reflections  

Reflections in an Automobile Window
-  show the curvature of the glass       

Even without being polished to a high gloss, car windows reflect their surroundings in a distorted mirror image. Because the window is also transparent, you can see some objects through the glass as well, depending on how your eye adjusts to light and dark and to the focusing distance.    

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 24

A Shadow Box For Alder Cones  

A Twig of Alder Nestled 
-  into its own custom display case       

Heat from the daytime sunshine collected by the dark brown twig was enough to melt the surrounding snow and fit the cone into its own cozy chamber. Freezing temperatures at night added the protective cover of ice.   

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 23

Reflections on a Wooden Deck  

A Series of Reflections in Tiny Pools of Rainwater
-  on the wooden planks of a backyard deck       

The focusing distance of the reflection is much farther away from the camera than the focusing distance of the wooden deck at my feet. This sets up a strange in-focus and out-of-focus conflict for a viewer's eyes, which is only resolved when the viewer's brain says: "We are looking at the trees." 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 22

Shadows Within a Cloud Bank  

Shadows on the Underside of Clouds
-  demonstrate atmospheric perspective       

Without the play of light on the top of clouds and the cast shadows on the underside of the clouds, the moisture that is suspended in the atmosphere would be a uniform gray tone. We can only make out clouds because we can see their shadows from underneath.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 21

Reflections in a Light Breeze  

Rippled Reflections of Riverbank Trees 
-  in a light spring breeze       

It is the wind that causes the water surface to have tiny ripples in the surface. It is the reflection of the trees on the riverbank that shows the ripples. And if I wasn't standing where I was, at just the right angle to the water, I wouldn't have caught this scene at all. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 20

Silhouettes in Black and White  

Silhouettes and Shadows of a Flock of Redpolls
-  are emphasized in a grayscale image       

The birds that stayed for the winter are joined by more coming for the breeding season. The trees have been busy with birds flying in waves through the trees, calling for territory and mates, and stripping the ground of any remaining seeds. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 19

Shadows Over Mixed Ground  

Shadows Tell Your Eyes About The Ground They Cover
-  and give information about surface and texture       

These are shadows cast by a cluster of trees. They lie across a melting snowbank as well as the dried leaves covering the ground the snow has melted away from. The surfaces have different forms and different textures, and the cast shadows reveal this.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 18

Shadows on Melting Snow  

The Shape of a Melting Snowbank
-  is defined by the shadows cast across it         

Spring's daily temperature fluctuations melt the surface of a snowbank into ripples and bumps, and freezes the skin of snow into a detritus-filled crust. Cast shadows from a stand of birches show these textures.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 17

Silhouettes in a Spruce 

Silhouettes and Shadows
-  in a small spruce tree         

At what point do shadows turn into silhouettes? The filagree of a screen of spruce boughs catches the light in places and creates a prickly shadow pattern in others. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 16

Spring Melt

Reflections in a Vernal Pool
-  life waking up in shallow pools of melting water         

In pools and puddles where spring melt water collects, under a mat of floating seeds and dried grasses, you will likely find signs of plants and animals coming to life again after the winter. Insects, salamanders, frogs and toads may refresh themselves here and as the pool dries up, they will move on to seek a more permanent home. 

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 15

Shadows from an Alderbush

Alder Bushes in Sunshine
-  create a tangle of shadows on the snow.         

Alders are tough grow-anywhere plants that curve and wiggle their way into whatever patches of sunshine they can grow into. On a white snow background, the branches and cones of a wintertime alder bush make a complex shadow design.    

Monday, April 14, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 14

Shadows on the Opposite Shoreline

Shadows Along the Riverbank
-  define the shore of the island.         

The river runs through sand and the islands dotted through it do not have much elevation above the water. The shadows from the trees define the height of the land against the level of the river ice.  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 13

School Window Reflections

Reflections on School Windows
-  on a sunny Spring afternoon.         

This was not the school I went to, but I think of the many pairs of eyes that have looked out longingly from these windows onto a sunny day in spring, their owners battling Spring Fever, or else succumbing to it

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 12

Shadows on Birchbark

Shadows and a Sunny Glow
- from the birchbark on a mature treetrunk.         

The winter takes its toll on the outer layers of birchbark. The wind shreds it, and the frost splits it, and the coming and going of daytime sunshine expands and contracts it. And the shadows from bright sunshine enhance the textures of the birchbark and the volume of the tree trunk. 

Friday, April 11, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 11

Shadows on a Melting Snowbank II

Reflections and Shadows 
- on the ridges of a melting snowbank, from another angle.         

The snow is melting in the daytime and crystalizing into ice in the night time cold. In the daytime the snowbanks melt into ridges, and the cast shadows from the trees pick out the ups and downs of the surface. Meanwhile, the ice crystals sparkle as the sunlight reflects off them.   

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 10

Shadows on a Melting Snowbank   

Reflections and Shadows 
- on the ridges of a melting snowbank.         

The snow is melting in the daytime and crystalizing into ice in the night time cold. In the daytime the snowbanks melt into ridges, and the cast shadows from the trees pick out the ups and downs of the surface. Meanwhile, the ice crystals sparkle as the sunlight reflects off them.   

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 9

A Table Top Experiment   

Reflections and Shadows 
- a laser beam leaving a trail on a pair of mirrors.         

I am working on a project involving laser beams and mirrors. Laser light is different from daylight or artificial light, as I am discovering in my photography. As you may know, laser light comes in various colors - I am working with red light. You'll be seeing more of it.   

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 8

Morning Shadows in the Snow  

Stripes on the Snow
- early in the morning on a sunny day.         

One of the things I enjoy about snow is how it makes a great backdrop for shadows. In the low-angle sunlight of early morning, tree trunks make stripes of purple-blue across the bank of fresh snow.   

Monday, April 7, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 7

A Pale Sun    

On a Dull Overcast Day
- a pale sun shines like a star in the slush.         

Overcast days may not look promising for photographing either shadows or reflections, but if you keep your eyes open, you never know what you may see!   

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 6

The Face in the Snowbank    

Shovel marks along the edge of a snowbank 
- set up two snowy profiles, one in sunlight and one in shadow, sporting eye, nose, mouth and chin.         

Some days you can search and search and not find what you are looking for, and then you get out of the car in the driveway - and there it is!  

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 5

Utility Pole Reflection    

Unsteady Reflection 
- on the rippled surface of a puddle disturbed by traffic        

Puddles on the side of the road rarely achieve a state of mirror-calm. Even on a quiet street, traffic rumbling past will set up vibrations in the puddle or else throw a splash of water to disturb the surface. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 4

"Don't Look Back...    

...Something Might Be Gaining On You"  
- that nagging feeling of something looming up behind       

It's fascinating how the cast shadows of objects create distorted flattened versions of the original. With a little patience,  you can wind up with some very interesting shadows from common household objects. Meanwhile, the Jester is still laughing... 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 3

Birches in the Slush    

Shadows and Reflections  
- of blue sky and birches      

Reflections make our eyes focus on different planes at the same time. This sets up a puzzle: do you look at the melting ice crystals, or do you look at the reflections of the birch trees?     

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 2

Broken Window and Snowbank    

Shadows and Reflections  
- are tricks of the light     

Reflections show us objects in places where we know they are not. Reflections are images produced by light bouncing back to us from a surface which does not absorb that light. Here, the outer pane of plexiglass is broken, but the inner plateglass is still intact - notice the difference between the reflections on the left and the reflections on the right, inside the circle.    

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Seeing What's Not There - Day 1

Shadows of Birches on Snow    

Shadows and Reflections  
- aren't really there, but we do see them.    

How can we see what isn't there? By paying attention to what is there. Shadows exist where the light is blocked off by an object. Shadow is the absence of light. Shadows are there, and they are not there. 


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