Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Trying to picture glass

I never thought of myself as a fan of red or gold, but this is now one of my favorite color combinations—for the glass, at least. I took this photo with the flash against a white background and then photoshopped the background to black, so it's something of a false effect—you'd barely be able to see any of it on against black.

I've been trying to find a way to get better photos of the glass pieces that show off the colors even in a small size, such as the thumbnails that are used on Etsy. The shots of the pieces outside against my trees are what they really look like outside, but depending how much light there is that day, different colors show up better and the piece can look quite variable. Like this one:

Plus, I would like to have a setup for shooting them inside the house, on the days when it's just too cold and foul outside. I can shoot if it's just drizzling, but when there's ice on the patio or the piece is whipping around in the wind, it's really more than I can cope with.

So I tried photographing some against a white background with lights on it to provide a little backlighting.

But although this shows the true colors of the glass, the problem is that the pieces never actually look like this, except in the photo.

When I added the flash, it makes it more as it actually appears, because you almost always see the light reflecting off the front as well as that coming through the glass. And the colors against the plain white background do show up better, even in small images. The hot spots from the flash reflections are a problem, and would never do for real commercial photos, but I can live with them. So I guess I just need to use multiple photos. I'll probably skip the photoshopping—that's just for fun.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Finally, some decent gardening days!

Not all my camellias made it through the winter (or the freezing temps two weeks ago) with their buds intact, so maybe this one is going all out to make up for that. This is an unnamed seedling I bought at Al's five years ago—it was the first camellia I planted here. It has semi-double red and white variegated flowers, and has been growing steadily every since I planted it—unfortunately too close to a main pathway. What was I thinking? I've been trying to figure out how to move it without seriously upsetting it, and I think I've finally found out how. I considered shaping it back, but it has a lovely loose form and as you can see, is certainly bloom-silly some years. So this year will be the year of the move. I was out yesterday afternoon weeding, and looked up and saw the late sun hitting the top of it, and all those beautiful flowers, and had to take a picture of this display. This is why I love camellias, and why I grow them. Mmmmm.

Yesterday morning while it was too cold to go outside I cooked up a new glass piece. I've done two of these diamonds, but this is the first one I'd call successful.

Medium turquoise blue, a bit of lime green, and some intense lemon yellow. Seems like a nice bright color combination, one that might show up well among the greens of the garden. I like how the shape turned out—almost straight on the edges.

So, a great day—glass, murdering weeds, and fifty red & white camellias!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ice Rainbow Garden Jewelry in two beautiful nearby gardens

If you live near Estacada or Wilsonville, you can now see my glass pieces hanging in two beautiful gardens. Matthew and Darin of Laurel Hedge are garden designers who sell antiques and art pieces as well as select plants at their shop and gardens just NE of Estacada on Currin Road. They are open every Saturday now through mid-October, or by appointment. Hughes Water Garden is on Stafford Road south of I-205 just NE of Wilsonville. They have a wide selection of water plants and hardy plants and garden and pond art of all kinds, and are open most days through September. Both places are truly inspiring places to visit if you're looking for ideas for plantings or designs. Links to both photo-filled websites are in the sidebar.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A little moonlight

I finished this painting a month ago, but I've been too distracted with the beginning of gardening season to get it outside to take a photo of it. It's my second attempt to use my wet-surface ink technique on a canvas panel, and I feel like this one is a lot more successful because I was able to retain almost all of the textures created in the wet surface inking process. I did almost ruin it trying to use acrylic paints to enhance the textures, but I was able to stop myself in time and remove them, then continue using the inks. The difference in results is attributable to the transparency of the inks.

 I would like it a bit better if the colors had been lighter, but this one just came out dark and I don't yet have a way to fix that. Maybe in the future.