Monthly Archives: February 2014
The patterns and textures in the panel below are derived from pebbles on a beach. See Introducing Pebbles, patterns and textures
Click to enlarge
A walk along a pebble beach can provide an abundance of source material for the creation of abstract pictures. The three photos above were not particularly searched for. I merely stopped walking and photographed the small area in front of my feet. But look carefully at each photo – click on the image to enlarge. It immediately becomes clear that no two pebbles are exactly alike; there are considerable variations in size, shape, colour, pattern and texture and by zooming in closely it is interesting to explore the uniqueness of each pebble. This is the source material I referred to from which abstract images can be created.
For me the producing of abstract patterns and pictures is a particular passion and I have many images derived from the process described above. I intend to post examples from time to time and hope that the above explanation will serve as a generic introduction.
February has the reputation for being a particularly wet month – hence the expression ‘February fill dyke’, implying that the dykes will be filled either by heavy rain or melting snow. But this winter we have received unprecedented levels of rainfall, producing extensive flooding across much of the country and bringing disruption and misery to many thousands.
Initially the ‘human’ reaction was to identify someone to blame – the local council/the Environment Agency/ the Government/ the Meteorological Office etc – but such knee jerk behaviour is unhelpful. We have limited experience of such severe weather conditions in this country and it is self-evident we have been caught ill-prepared. Nothing can change what has happened but it would be unforgivable if we failed to analyse our shortcomings and undertake appropriate action to avoid a recurrence.
Unfortunately, it has never been my good fortune to be in Venice at Carnival time. The pictures in this post and the previous one were taken several weeks later. But so deeply ingrained are the masks in the ‘Venetian scene’ they remain available in shops throughout the year. The photos were taken through the glass of shop windows – hence, my apologies for the poor quality of the images.
One further point needs to be stressed; the masks are obviously only one part of the costumed appearance. To appreciate their full impact, and their contribution to the Carnival context, please visit one of the many internet sites devoted to the subject.
Click an image to enlarge
Today is the first day of the Venice Carnival. The Carnival is an annual event and takes place during the two weeks prior to the beginning of Lent. The final activities take place on Shrove Tuesday – Mardi Gras. The festivities are characterised by colour, music, dancing, exotic and period costumes, masked balls, galas, circus entertainments, banquets etc. Venetian authorities estimate that the occasion attracts 3 million visitors every year.
The physical ambience of Venice, with its many canals and unexpected alley ways, supplies magic and mystery to create a fantasy setting.
An essential feature of Carnival is the wearing of masks. Although some derive from comedia del arte traditions, others can be imaginatively original, eccentric, weird or, even, macabre.