Tag Archives: Photography

Self Portrait


This quilt is not quite done.

I like it because it created itself while I was cleaning out fabrics I don’t want —

(WHAT?!! you ask?!! Fabrics you don’t want?!!).

There was some serendipity involved.  Some sense of ‘clearing out’.


I turned myself green with Photoshop Elements 3.0.  Then, used an iron-on transfer (this was before I started splurging on pre-treated fabrics for my inkjet).  I burned away some of the image with my iron — intentionally or not, I no longer remember.  It lay around the basement for years.


The photo of my dad is a scanned sepia-toned photo that was printed on organza.  It is probably dated around 1949?  Not sure, he is quite a young man in it.  I found it on the floor near the paper cutter while cleaning up.

The whole thing doesn’t QUITE look the way I want and maybe jars of Matt Liquid Gel Medium are lining up and calling my name, but it is getting there.

Why do I like it when a thing comes together quickly?

I also like the transparency of some of the layers…

Spring in New England


We had a brief snow squall over the weekend, and frigid temperatures yesterday and today.  Great light, though.  Really great light!


I am beginning to collect some urban textures for a next project.



Also, I am really looking at roof lines, because as I continue with house quilts, I want to vary the simple triangle roof I have been making for way too long.



It felt good to step out of the very, very crowded orthodontist’s office (door to the far left in drawing above) and pull out some packing paper I had garbage-picked a few weeks back and DRAW.  Which means to LOOK, and SEE.  Shadows, lines, the cold, cold wind — so much better than flipping through an old Redbook (they don’t even get PEOPLE at this orthodontist) in a stuffy room full of other annoyed people.

Tomorrow — the Small Town quilt update…

Does Decay Sell?


Think of your death now. It is at arm’s length. It may tap you any moment,
so really you have no time for crappy thoughts and moods.
None of us have time for that. The only thing that counts is action,
acting instead of talking.
Journey to Ixtlan, Carlos Castanedas

An aesthetic debate with philosophical undertones could be found in the etsy forums a couple weeks back.  A photographer intrigued by the delicate and subtle appearance of rotting vegetation asked — “Would you buy this photograph?”  Many indicated that though they liked the pictures, they wouldn’t want the images on their walls.

I took this picture not long after reading this thread and am impressed with how much the skin of the rotting pumpkin looks like fabric.  It was wet from the rain and indistinct in a gross way — it almost could have been ANY dead thing.

I know a couple of quilters intrigued with rust.  I like rust, too.  The way rust eats at the edges of things is cool and its powdery residue can be interesting, too.  One of those quilters (when I remember her name, I’ll post it) actually ‘rusted’ her fabric — not unlike those surface designers busy with wax, dyes, fabric paints — except she would wrap fabric around rusted objects and bury them — to stain the fabric.  Hop on over to Kimberly Baxter Packwood‘s blog for instructions on how to rust fabric.


Beautiful abstractions are everywhere, of course.  The tarp pictured above is in service keeping my younger son’s mini-half-pipe free of snow and moisture.  The average sidewalk offers lots of opportunities to find abstractions.


I guess a little mold belongs in this discussion as well.

To crop or not to crop?


I’m taking a digital photography class and it is not only instructive, it is also provocative.  Here are some questions raised by the last class:

  • Given the ease with which we can now crop photos in a graphics program (I use Photoshop Elements 3.0), is the old (film) requirement of composing a picture within the camera lens frame still relevant?
  • What about the idea that photos should be ‘found’ as opposed to ‘composed’?  Along these lines, a famous photographer has stated that  ‘70% of photography is moving the furniture’.
  • Why would moving stuff around PRIOR to taking a picture create a more legitimate photo than cropping a little AFTER taking a picture?

In deference to the idea that it might still somehow matter that a picture be composed at the moment of clicking, the three pictures in this post have been re-sized for the web, but not cropped or changed in any other way.


We had a snow day here in Newton.  A good evening for kielbasa and potatoes!  I had the white balance set to fluorescent for this picture.  It was nighttime. The colors look pretty true.


This picture excites me because I actually managed to get the perforations in the colander in focus… this I could not do three weeks ago (my instructor actually said during this past week’s critique, “Do you wear your glasses when you take pictures?”  A perfectly legitimate, information-seeking question).  Now, it’s on to learning the Manual Focus!!

One last note.  I am hoping to use picture-taking as an opportunity to pick apart notions of beauty.  Must the gorgeous flowers have such ascendancy over the dirty dishes just because of what my mind says about each?