Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I Heart Pictures

It appears that my literary muse is on hiatus.  I won’t say I’m choking on writer’s block.  There is a lack of passion in my life right now, and passion is what usually leads me to pick up my laptop and clatter away as if possessed.  Life is not terrible.  It’s just not remarkably anything at the moment.

It’s like being in the Doldrums.  I mean the actual Doldrums—the place upon which the popular expression is based.  The place where tall ships would languish for weeks until a change in weather patterns conjured up enough of a breeze to set them free and on their way again:

All in a hot and copper sky,
The bloody Sun, at noon,
Right up above the mast did stand,
No bigger than the Moon.

Day after day, day after day,
We stuck, no breath no motion;
As idle as a painted ship
Upon a painted ocean

(From Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner)
The weather is fine—the sun shines, no storms or danger on the immediate horizon; but it’s beyond tedious, and I’m not getting anywhere.  So, not the greatest place to pass too much time.  And not a place to inspire stories that would interest anyone else.
So I’ve been spinning my creative wheels a little, but have not been altogether without outlets for my right-brained talents.  I have been working at re-staging my plethora of chotchkes (which means stowing the winter decor and rolling out the spring and summer stuff.)  I’ve worked a little with some of my jewelry-making toys.  But mainly, ever since our trip to Klamath in January (which turned out to be an incredible photogasmic experience), I’ve been carrying on a love affair with all my digital photos—old and new. 
Digital photography.  What a miracle!  I have ten years worth of photos on my computers or saved to cd’s or thumb drives.  It’s so amazing to just pick up the Dell and start flipping through old pictures with a tap of the touchpad.  Both my laptops have the “slide show” gadget running on the desktop (a Windows 7 feature), and I use the “photo gallery” screen savers on all my computers.  It’s awesome to be so immediately surrounded by my personal pictorial history.  So much easier—and less allergenic—than unearthing big dusty boxes or crackly old photo albums.     
I’ve spent hours deeply immersed in playing around with my pictures.  It’s a bit more sedentary an activity than is really good for me, but it sure helps pass the dreary gray late winter days, when I can’t go outside and play in the yard.   
I started out just looking through old pictures, posting some on Facebook.  Then I decided to get involved with the task I mentioned in my previous post—restoring what pictures I can locate to their proper places in my archived “Coming to Terms…” posts.  And the combination of playing with pictures and dabbling in my seasonal redecorating led to picking out some of my best bird pictures and playing with them in my photo programs in an attempt to turn them into “art.”

I had a lot of fun with that.   “Artified” photos plus mats and frames from Goodwill adds up to some dirt cheap one-of-a-kind framed art for some naked walls that have been crying out for embellishment practically since we moved into the house twelve years ago. 
The bird pictures have turned out wonderfully. 
And of course, I had to try my hand at some of my landscape photos.   
Those last 2 are all Photoshop.  Yes...I have sidled up to that frustrating Adobe program once again.  I still can't get it to do what I want...but I get some pretty amazing results clicking on random icons...
I'm no Monet or Degas or even Ansel Adams.  But I'm having a good time, anyway.


  1. These are wonderful - I love both the birds AND the landscapes.

  2. Careful girlfriend...photoshop can become very addicting. I can wile away hours...or days before I know it.

    Two suggestions to get the digital image juices going...

    Pixel Dust Photo Art Friday


    I have learned SO much from creative live. They run workshops constantly and they are free to watch live. They're in Seattle on Pacific time so that's nice for you.