My theme for this week is women and winged creatures (e.g. birds and butterflies). No particular reason except that after more than one image I liked contained these elements I decided to continue in the same vein. Enjoy!
From Rebecca Tun
I recently launched a challenge called ‘Psychological Landscapes’, so in continuation of that theme I’ve chosen 12 artworks which depict an imaginary scene and use symbolic elements of the scenery as metaphors for an internal state or and introspective narrative. (I’ve had two feature sessions in a row now where I’ve just featured images and no writing, so next time it’s my turn I’ll make a point of focusing on written pieces!)
Cold Comfort by Graeme Hindmarsh
This surreal and minimalist piece explores “isolation and alienation in the modern world” (Graeme Hindmarsh). Despite its simplicity it contains many messages and it’s the sort of piece that you could look at for a while. Interesting and original work!
My way by Jacky
This image along with its title conveys such a dramatic sense of directionality, with its use of leading lines to the vanishing point on the horizon both in the skyscape and the landscape. It’s striking in its energy, boldness and richness.
No Name by Manolya F.
This piece conveys a powerful message and seems open to various interpretations. One commentator eloquently said “We either walk into despair or into hope. From the darkend sky there appears great light and energy that seems to recharge the water. Perhaps going into it will somehow recharge us in the process. You choose.” (RoyAllenHunt)
without my wings by strawberries
strawberries says that this image was inspired by Britney Spears’ song ‘Everytime’. I think it’s a beautiful song and this is a fantastic, darkly stylish interpretation of it!
And when the Clock stops.. by Matteo Pontonutti
“…how will they remember me?” Like a lot of Matteo Pontonutti‘s work this has a cold feeling of enormity about it, with its use of huge barren landscapes – this time exploring the stark and overwhelming fact of mortality.
Echoes…. by Carol Knudsen
This image was inspired by the Pink Floyd song ‘Echoes’ which starts with the lyrics “Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air / And deep beneath the rolling waves / In labyrinths of coral caves / The echo of a distant tide / Comes willowing across the sand”. I love the cool melancholy in this picture. An inspired and inspiring piece.
the perplexity of L O S T by Fiery-Fire
Inspired by Salvador Dali, this surreal piece combines natural, emotive symbolism with fantastical symbolism, combining the realistic with the impossible to create a rather perplexing and intriguing image!
Cirrus by Randy Monteith
‘Cirrus clouds are cloud characterized by thin, wisplike strands, often bunched into tufts’ (says Wikipedia). I don’t know how to interpret this picture myself, but I just love its fresh, airy, bright and breezy feel.
Drowning in a Sea of Tears by Sandra Bauser Digital Art
I’ve had my eye on this piece for a while, waiting for an opportunity to feature it. It’s beautifully emotive and the crisp quality of the processing is sublime…
–from Rebecca Tun
It’s great that there’s so much excellent work in the Touched By Fire group that I was able to go through just a portion of the gallery looking for art that could specifically be interpreted as meaning “touched by fire”, AND I was spoilt for choice!
by Rebecca Tun
This weekend has been all about snow, at least here in the UK. Every surface is coated in a generous, perfecting layer of soft but brilliant whiteness, and the air is light and sharp and unforgiving. For a photographer it presents lots of new challenges, not least of which is trying to persuade people to model for you outside! Anyway the features for this week are all about white, calm and cold. I’ve put images and pieces of writing together in pairs that I think reflect each other.
so silent night
all is calm
all is right
why is it
that i feel
in the midst
of the season
of the year
maybe the dying
of old unnecessary
makes us stay in
makes us face
what little we have
so silent night
all is calm
all is right
makes us generate
Icicles by Sybille Sterk
No words just shards
Dripping from my lips
Making a pretty sound
But no sense
That springs to mind
Onto the page
Forming strange shapes
Like frost flowers
Painted by a mad elf
Words that sometimes
Onto the page
Clearing the mind
Now they are frozen
Just cold and hard
Unwieldy and resisting
From my frozen mind
Holding no relief
Giving no sustenance
Making a pretty sound
But no sense.
© Sybille Sterk
Child with skin made of stars by Kristin Reynolds
We are not lost—one
within the other,
our lines are their own,
from side by side stars, riding
a sky made of earth
with ancestor’s feet.
We are love,
within love’s womb
shining from the inside out.
© Kristin Reynolds 12 1 2010
in the morning
you were still there
my hands in stillness
you whispered a secret…
you slept with
“This challenge is for artwork and photographs which pretty much only involve one colour, but we are not looking for black & white or grayscale photos or drawings here.
It might be a monochrome photograph in the sense of being e.g. sepia, ambrotype, cyanotype, either originally or through a post-processing filter.
Or it could be any sort of digital image which has been given a hue, colour cast or some kind of filter so that all the colour in the images consists of different shades of one colour.
Or it might simply be that the subject matter of the photo, painting or drawing involves almost or completely one colour.
Or it colour be any digital image which has been so reduced in saturation, brilliance or contrast that each shade barely differs from grey.
I am taking the word ‘colour’ to mean not black or white. Black and white can be thought of as the darkest and lightest shade of any given colour.
Monochrome means almost the same thing as duotone!”
This beautiful image of Oliva Beach, Valencia, Spain is a great example of how the use of one colour can give a calm and dreamlike overall quality to an image. The subtle variation in the blues of the distant mountains receding into the mist is perfectly complemented by the sharper light and dark contrast which captures the crispness of the waves so effectively. And the simple, silhouetted figure in the middle distance gives the image a story.
This is a lovely example of how choosing one narrow part of the colour spectrum and working with that can produce a stylish and evocative image. The masterful use of bluish greys for the soft but fine shading in this picture is part of what gives the image its mysterious feel, as the figure seems to be literally emerging from the foliage. I think this is a beautifully romantic and charming picture.
Congratulations to both our winners, who are now featured members for a while!
A few weeks ago I launched a challenge called Happiness in Blue, where I asked people to submit images that portrayed or evoked positive feelings while predominantly using the colour blue. In continuation of that theme I decided to base this week’s features around the same theme. Here are six pairs of pieces, a piece of writing with an image to go with it, or the other way round if you prefer, which complement each other in their portrayal of something happy.
This image by Mugsy is really exhilarating and just pulsates with joy. I’ve put this one first because it’s definitely the most straightforwardly pure depiction of happiness out of all my choices. To me, the dolphin launching itself over the crests of the waves with such fun, freedom and strength is the very picture of those rare moments in life of clear elation and confidence described in the poem ‘yes!’ by LoveWitness. The poem talks about being on the highest peak; the moment with no questions; the absence of fear; freedom; promise; delight, and screaming YES with all of your being. We can’t go round in a perpetual state of great hope and surity, but we can always draw strength from the times when we have been in that state.
yes! by LoveWitness
remember the pure feeling of joy
recall the sound of your laughter
in your happiest moment
remember the touch
the one that touched your soul with kindness
remember the look
the one that felt like the early morning sun
breaking the darkness of the night
remember the cheer
that made you feel as though
you were on the highest peak
remember the calm
the love that quietened your soul
the moment with no questions
because of the assurance of peace
the absense of fear
remember that purity
the promise of the morning star
that made all the no’s
when you screamed
with all of your being
it is all there
(c) siki dlanga
13 Oct 2010
I love this poem by Blake Steele and this beautiful drawing by LisaMM, which I think could be a nice depiction of the spirit of the woman in the poem as she is described in the first half. I found it hard to choose a favourite Blake Steele poem for this week because so many of his works please me in the way that they really elevate sensual experience and other primal feelings into the higher and most enlightened forms of happiness. This image, ‘Bliss’ I think achieves the same thing – it’s saying ‘I’m passionate about sex’ and defying anyone to call that shallow or crude. And to round it off, LisaMM writes that the image was ‘inspired by the sensual delight of Klimt’s work’.
You are beautiful
because you are sexual
in a fuller way:
with childlike open innocence,
deep feelings of wonder,
and the steaming forth of spontaneous joy!
Your energies swirl
like wild hair about your face,
whirling out of your beautiful body
which you have trained,
mastered, made free,
so that you may both laugh and play
like any free child,
then turn suddenly to silence and discipline
if you choose to stay up night after night
— sleepless, weary, raw —
that you might paint masterpieces
upon bathroom walls.
This image by TamLocke might seem an odd choice for the theme of ‘happiness in blue’especially given the title ‘wishing for you…’; it’s an image of ending, and dimnishing in strength, and the moment before complete loss. But I can see a happy message in this too, which I think is expessed well in hollyann’s brilliant poem ‘Time’. Sometimes it’s appropriate to hold on, and then there comes a time when you have to let go, and we can’t stop this change from happening in ourselves. One day you just wake up and the last remaining thing that was weighing you down in the old life just floats away without ceremony and you calmly note that you’re standing at the beginning of a new and unpredictable phase of your self, ‘leaving old scars and new potentials’. For instance realising that you’re not going to go into that career after all, or deciding that you finally don’t mind any more that he/she left you. I was reminded of this poignant poem by Emily Dickinson: “We outgrow love, like other things / And put it in the Drawer— / Till it an Antique fashion shows— / Like Costumes Grandsires wore.”
there is a time
for moving on
for staying still
a time for dreaming
a time to act on the dream
there is a time
there is a time
and a time
for taking part
this moment now
and different from the rest
will never come again
leaving new potentials
and old scars
the sun will pattern
in it’s journey
leaving the stars
to decorate the night
and i here
their distant light
and leaves me standing
looking up for answers
praying for the
not to hold on
Another poem by hollyann here, accompanied by this beautiful image ‘Ray of Hope’ by valzart. Both say something about our relationship with nature, in the sense that we can use the phenomena and rhythms of nature to guide our feelings in the right direction, and to an extent this happens involuntarily anyway. As well as dawn and sunrise, there are various other images in nature which can signify new hope, such as Spring, and birth.
wake up day
is glowing with new promise
the pale lavender edge
to a magnificent dark blue
we breathe in
the morning sky
is bidding us rise
and make your day
for the beauty
of this world is
are grains of sand
filling it up
at the shore
we still exist
an earthly dawn
fuelled by last night’s
and find your feet
Continuing the theme of sensuality, I chose this photo ‘Extase aquatique’ by Auquier, which has an interesting mix of smooth, warm, voluptuous textures with sharper, cooler visual representations of pleasure such as the glistening jewels of dancing light. This poem ‘Pathways to Pleasure’ by Anthea Slade, dense with diverse luxury, paints a series of different pictures, each with its own colours and flavour. Auquier’s photograph shares some things with this stanza in particular: “Soft glow generates generous heat, / sizzling with lucid hunger. / A spontaneous quiver that pulsates / the skin making the flesh ache.”
Sinuous skin with supple curves
that burst in graceful dismay.
Lithe sensuality that skips
through delectable daisies.
Speechless dirge that teases
with tantalizing seduction.
A knowing eye that magnetises
to the point of soul surrender.
Languid lovers lament that
sings of unrequited fantasies.
The tick tock of transparent dreams
that etches ways to forbidden pathways.
Beckoning red wilderness
ceremoniously carves tracks
into streams of tantalising vision.
A whisper kiss that creates an essence ache.
Heart embers can be startled
into dance with a poke of pleasure
from a punishing stick of desire,
that captivates delicate wings.
Transparent liquidity stimulates
the tumultuous tumble of articulate minds.
Creating blossoming flowers of inspiration,
unlocking Pandora’s mystery.
Soft glow generates generous heat,
sizzling with lucid hunger.
A spontaneous quiver that pulsates
the skin making the flesh ache.
A torpedo of sultry desire that provokes
the balmy body to shiver,
arousing a longing pink rosebud,
to open with spectacular delight.
Damp dreams of spontaneous sexuality
stutters and slips into a tattoo
of breathtaking beauty on the soul,
etched forever in a secret cave.
Fertile imaginations trip and
skip over all that is banal,
pedestrian, dull to luminous heights.
Smouldering seduction radiates from your lips.
The ability to see the process of emotion
from the blood veins in
the mind trip to the heart connection,
thoughts transported by their utter expression.
Gentle whispers that tickle with dulcet tones
into the tunnel of the ear to the
the doorway of a receptive mind,
that smiles with scintillating life.
So many pathways creative,
aching images divine,
juxtapositions poetic flow
to the blood beauty of your heart.
Anthea Slade 2010
‘Dreams and fantasy : the Evening star’ by Amalia Iuliana Chitulescu is ‘second-order’ happy I suppose – it depicts a mental state in reltion to an imagined happy thing, some dream or wish or fantasy, but I think the use of the cold blue tones and the drooping cloth makes us ask ourselves how much happiness we get out of fantasizing (which could be a lot, but the question has at least been raised). I like the title because the Evening Star is the very same as the Morning Star; one star was mistaken for two as given two names. But this doesn’t make ‘the Morning Star is the Evening Star’ a tautology – which goes to show that just because terms have the same reference it doesn’t mean they have the same meaning. And talking about fictions also goes to show that you can have meaning without reference. ‘SHALL WE?’ by Paul (Quixote) Alleyne paints a picture of an imagined situation, but his invitation to partake in it is put as if it is real, largely because the clause is introduced by ‘when’. It has meaning, but no reference.
Shall we dance
Under the stars in the sky
When the moon is at it fullest
And the perfume of flowers
Permeates the cool air
And I am in love with you again
Paul Alleyne 01/24/08