For some this seems very hoaky I’m sure. But yesterday I spent six and a half hours at the Bonnet House’s lovely enclosed courtyard working on my second painting. I chose, as my subject, a photograph I took a few years back of one of my garden Japanese Anemones. I can easily say I was exhausted when I got home; my brain was worn out.
I literally spent the day thinking, studying this tiny flower. Every petal, every shadow, every curve and curl was studied and mentally dissected for detail. The leaves in the background were studied just as intently for color and light/shadow. My teacher showed me how to make the other buds and blooms fade out of focus. Hours were spent on each petals. The flower showed pollen spilling onto the pedals; it would soon be time for it to enter it’s next stage of life as a seedhead.
As I spent this time I appreciated the beauty, the gracefulness of this creation. It is one of the last of season’s blooms in Chicago along with the Asters. The Japanese Anemone is an agressive plant requiring me to tame it’s appearance in my garden to places of my design. Over the years I removed many “volunteers” that tried entering other areas of the garden. But the quiet beauty, the graceful elegance of the flowers always overcame any bad aspects of the plants.
I no longer have a private garden; we downsized to a lovely condominium. Fortunately Chicago’s Lincoln Park includes Japanese Anemone in it’s mix of perennials.
While I sit here in Florida gazing at this Japanese Anemone I still a drawn to it’s subtle, simple, design. Evidence of one more miracle. The painting has elements of being done by a beginner. For me the joy was the process of creation, trying to capture it’s natural beauty and specialness.
A blessed Passover and Easter to all.
This was an act of patience and luck! It is unmanipulated. A new favorite of mine.
Here are a few different views of downtown Chicago, this time from South Pond in Lincoln Park. The naturalized prairie grasses are prominent in the scene. After a leisurely walk through the park we lunched at the delicious Café Brauer; this time dining was a bit of a challenge. This time of year, worker bees are instinctively anxious to gather as much energy (sugar/nectar) and protein (pollen) as possible to store for the coming winter months. So, as my eyes admired the sweet view from our table, they were eyeing my lunch. And typical of me, I watched with love and allowed them to feast in between my bites and sips.
Warning: If you aren’t fond of bees then don’t look at last two images!
For more on bee behavior during the autumn:
Something different for today; I don’t usually steer my attention away from “nature”. But I find this image rich with story possibilities. From the couple in the foreground to the couple in the background (yes, there are two there), to the graffiti. What story comes to mind? I’d love to hear from you. These un-posed, random moments are incredible when so wonderfully self-composed.
The Winged Loosestrife’s (Lythrum alatum) vibrant color stood out on the cliff’s wall across from our descending path to Wild Cat Canyon in Starved Rock State Park. Only later when I was home and reviewing these images did I realize the plant was a resting spot for this winged insect. Such is the joy of photography. My eyes often miss seeing all the subjects in my compositions. Sometimes what I capture is distracting to my desired focus (unwanted elements in the background). This added subject was a wonderful surprise.
My initial thought was that this insect was a dragonfly or damselfly. But those insects have two pairs of wings. I am guessing that this is some variety of Crane Fly (Tipula) instead. The other joy of nature photography is that I am always learning!
I zoomed in to get the original picture (bottom image) and found a new and more interesting composition when I zoomed in still closer (first image).