Every year, I do a year end summary of my year. I think 2020 turned out differently than expected for everybody. When I look at my goals for 2020 that I made in December of 2019, I laugh a little.
Those goals were:
Grow the Podcast
Be more present
Make Better Art
The podcast is a travel podcast, so I have a great excuse for not following through there. The year started out okay with a trip to Bristol, VA/TN in early January. I am sure I was the only tourist in town that weekend. But it was still nice. Visit the podcast to hear about it or read about it here. I did not go anywhere again until September and that was a family trip to the lake. And in October, I was chomping at the bit and had to go somewhere, so I went to Charlotte, NC. You can listen to that here. I will admit that I was not ready to travel yet. Lesson learned.
As for the be more present, I am doing well at that. Especially with my family. I’ve had little choice in learning patience.
Since traveling was not on the table much, I took photos of items that I had around the house. See some of those here and here.
A lot of dreams died this year. Mine were just put to sleep and went into hibernation. Some sad things happened this year, we lost one our cats (a cat very special to me). But I feel we have been very lucky. We’ve both kept our jobs and most of our sanity.
So, my goals for 2021 are a little bit different. They are more personal.
Since I can’t travel, I’ve been exercising my creative muscles at home. When I recently did a teapot shoot, I decided I really liked the blue toned finish. I always loved cyanotypes and these are an extension of that.
Each image has a different blue because it creates a different mood. As always, feedback is welcome. Be sure to visit my gallery to see more of my work!
As a travel photographer, the last several months have left me lost. For awhile, my creativity took a nose dive. But lately, it’s been waking up and I needed to make some art! Looking around my kitchen, I found this tea pot and cream pitcher. Perfect! I took it outside and put it on my stairs, that are in need of painting and started to make some art.
Simple Teapot and Creamer
I decided to give it an aged look, laying a texture over it, and adding a vignette. I opted for a blue tone to give it the look of a Cyanotype.
I thought maybe it needed a little something more. What is it that we like about good teapot? Some of it is memories, nostalgia. But for me, it’s the shape. That rounded shape with the spout reaching out and the handle balancing it. So, I added the words “The Shape of Tea.” I also noticed that my reflection is in the teapot and the creamer. I held up a cup, as though I had tea in my hand. It’s a little thing that you would only notice when looking closely. I love those types of details.
What’s a good teapot without a good tea cup? Turns out, I don’t really have a good tea cup. But I did find a coffee cup that goes with my “fancy” dishes. I admit that don’t like the way my fingers are holding the cup. Maybe I’ll reshoot.
After working this one, I thought it needed a poem. I have fond memories of having tea with my husband before bed. He loves ginger tea. I buy it in the packets. Don’t “at” me tea people, I’m into easy living. One time, he saw me making it. He was destroyed. He had thought that all this time, I was making him ginger tea from scratch! I had never led him to believe this, he just did for some reason. I think he stopped enjoying it as much after that. LOL!
Tea with You
I remember tea
I remember the scent
I remember the taste
Chamomile in my mouth
I remember the feel
Safe and true
I remember tea with you
I am enjoying my new artistic endeavors. Stay tuned for more blue toned images and maybe even some tea related art. If you are interested in view more of my photos, you can click here
I run a weekly photography challenge group and this week’s challenge is wrist jewelry photography. Things have been a bit crazy for me, so I had to whip an image out fast. I like to use an example for people to see, so I had to have something. I found this old bracelet and did some experimenting with it.
Our Wisteria bush is blooming like crazy this year, so I thought I would use it as a background. I originally planned on just taking photos of the bracelet. But thought I’d do a quick pic with it on my arm.
In order to change the color of the stones, I used hue/saturation in Photoshop. The color desaturation is done using a black and white layer with masks.
Feel free to share your own wrist jewelry images in the comments or share your link!
I had 2 pieces in a juried exhibition at the Salmagundi Club. So, we took the train up to NYC. Read about the trip up here. Once in New York, we ate and drank and walked. The walking was probably a sad thing to watch really. I was having back spasms and the mister had a cold. We did not take the town by storm. But we did have a good time. The reception for the show was packed. It was exciting for me to see my work on the wall with so many other beautiful pieces.
Before the show, we went to Burger and Lobster for dinner. The service was excellent. I also had the best Dark and Stormy ever. We both got lobster rolls and were fat and happy when we left.
When we got to the Salmagundi Club, we noticed a long line for the coat check. There is a restaurant in the club, so we thought it might be for that. Nope. Turns out all of these people were there for the show! We made our way to the gallery, where we found this.
We made our way to where my pieces were and took a few quick pics before the crowd swept us around to see the rest of the show.
We made it back home, despite the fact that we almost missed our stop on the way home. But that’s another story.
I recently did a post on the importance of challenging yourself to stay inspired and boost creativity. I ended with images from a pocket watch challenge, which led me to a book challenge.
The book challenge became an Open Book Challenge.
These are images I worked on this week for my open book challenge. I feel like there is more to pursue here. So, I will be doing more of these. I like the idea of featuring images that pertain to the book’s subject matter. This is why I try to continue to challenge myself. It always leads to something new and inspiring.
I would love to see your own challenges and inspirations! Share your links in the comments!
At the end of 2017, I wrote a blog about my first and last images of the year. I thought I would do the same this year. It’s a great way to see where I’ve been and if I have gotten better or worse or about the same.
The first image I uploaded in 2018. I love fantasy books and art. I have been attempting to create some of my own. Silver keys hang from an overgrown vine, just waiting to be plucked. It has the feel of a dream.
The last image uploaded in 2018. This started out as an image created for a stripes image challenge. But it turned out to be more about the hands. I see a series of hands coming soon.
Be sure to share your own 2018 retrospectives in the comments! Feedback is also welcome.
All images are available as prints. If you click on the image, it will take you directly to my shop.
A favorite subject for many photographers is doorways. I am no exception. Is because they offer a sense of the unknown? What’s on the other side? What will you find if you enter? What might come out? Small town doors, big city doors, wood doors, glass doors, they all fascinate me. Enjoy this gallery of doorways.
I don’t know why people are so fascinated by signs. But most people I know seem drawn to them. Especially if they are old or vintage. When I travel, I find myself drawn to them. Whether it’s a shop sign, a large sign, a small sign, or a road sign. I will take a photo of it. Some signs tell a story, a history of its location. Even if its just a one word sign, the color and shape can say a great deal about the shop or restaurant or even the area in general.
Maybe people are drawn to a certain sign because it’s got a place in their memory. Maybe they drove by that sign on the way to school every day. Or maybe it represents a happy memory of weekend trips to town.
The still hanging sign on the very closed Tallassee Store in Tennessee.
I love this Puckett’s sign. A guitar at the top and a fork at the bottom. Food and music, the best combination.
Drugstore sign in Williamsburg, KY.
The sign for the Noshville Delicatessen in Midtown Nashville, TN.
There has been a funeral home at this location in Loudon since 1916. It is currently owned and run by the McGill family
Glyndon Hotel Sign is a cool old sign on a hotel with a rich history in Richmond, KY
The JFG Building in Old City section of Knoxville, TN. I’ve aged and toned it to give it a true vintage feel.
An old cafe sign I found in an alley in Nicholasville, KY.
Bijou Sign vintage style Grungy has a Topaz filter, texture, and some toning work
A simple sign in downtown Murfreesboro, TN. But eye catching with the dark blue against the light metal. A very vintage feel.
The sign is still visible from the C.W. Harvey Grocery store in downtown Lenoir City. The ghosts of yesteryear.
City Glass & Mirror is located in downtown Clinton, TN. Faded and chipped but still readable the sign drew my eye.
Hoskins restaurant sign
Keeton’s Jewelers sign. I have a thing for clocks on signs. This is a favorite of mine.
Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House
Oliver Hotel Sign
Jellico Motel and Restaurant sign. Memories of Americana and road travel in its hay day.