Today is the fourth anniversary of this blog and I would like to thank all who have visited the site and, particularly, those who have ‘stayed the course’ and passed comment. Your support is valuable and is truly appreciated.
I am marking the occasion by re-publishing below the very first post. Unsurprisingly, at the time it was scarcely noticed – just a handful of views and no ‘likes’. Here you have it.
‘May is the month when the poppy brings a vibrant splash of colour to the garden. Often, overnight, the furry green protective shell of the bud explodes, exposing the tissue-like petals of the new flower. Backlit by the afternoon sun, the petals produce a palette of shades ranging from yellow to deep red.
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man
Of moral evil and of good
Than all the sages can.
Click each image to enlarge
The New Forest (situated mostly in S W Hampshire) comprises approximately 150 square miles of heathland and ancient woodland. It has changed little since the Bronze Age. The fact that the soils are largely infertile and unsuitable for serious cultivation has contributed to the Forest’s unaltered appearance. The area was a favourite hunting ground for King William I (the ‘Conqueror’) and acquired the name of New Forest by royal charter in 1079.
There will be more to follow.
Each day we put out nuts for the birds. The feeder is suspended from a hook on an isolated metal rod. Even so, the squirrels climb up the rod and unhook the feeder so that it falls to the ground where it is even more accessible! But the feeder is round and however much they push it around the nuts remain at the lowest point and furthest away from the side and virtually impossible to get at. Meanwhile the blue tits look on – resenting the intrusion and waiting their turn.
I like this picture, a lot! In fact, it is one of my favourites. And yet it was created from a mistake. I was actually trying to photograph a cobweb, but my little compact was set on Auto and was unable to detect the web.
I tried every Photoshop trick I know (that doesn’t take long!) in an attempt to ‘find the web’, all to no avail. But then I realised I had something far more interesting. I zoomed in on part of the image and this abstract was the result.
So what attracted me? Why do I find this picture so satisfying?
The obvious magnet was the strong contrast between the blues and the golds and the patterns they created. There seemed to be a tension between the two – the calm of the blue and the energy of the gold. It was something akin to night time on a camp site at a pop festival!
I also felt a spatial awareness – a sense of environment. I could physically move around.
The association with music intrigued me. I wondered what music might be used to accompany the picture – in the manner of film music – and acknowledged that the viewer’s perception of the picture could be influenced by the choice of music. For example, Debussy’s Clair de lune would reinforce the mood of night time stillness; the sinister, threatening mood of an impending attack on an enemy could be suggested by an extract from Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring; a gradual change from the one mood to the other by using Ravel’s Bolero, and so on.
By definition an abstract image does not give specific answers. It invites the viewer to use whatever connections, experiences or strategies he/she finds helpful. I’ve suggested a few – pattern, contrast, colour, spatial awareness, sense of environment, sound, association with music, emotional response. Above all, abstracts don’t have to tell a story.
[Use the link to read the responses of Elena and Gigi to the original post: Abstract 128]