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Posts Tagged ‘art’

snowy apparition

In the early morning light, seemingly white glowing forms consult with one another on the front lawn.  Are they extra-terrestrial beings, come to gather information about life here around Flandrum Hill?  Or are they displaced apparitions, caught between dimensions due to an anomaly in the space-time continuum?

snow remnants

Upon closer inspection, their true nature is revealed.  Who would have thought the remains of snow could have appeared so other-worldly?

remains of snow

While most of the snow from last week’s snowstorm has melted, the remnants of a large snow tower built on the front lawn have survived.   Warm temperatures weren’t enough to melt such a large heap of snow, especially one placed in the  shadow of the house for most of the day.  Up close, the snow reveals debris acquired both from the lawn when large snowballs were rolled to create it, and from a windstorm days later.

debris in snow

Haunting silhouettes formed in the negative spaces make these ruins more interesting in their decaying form than they ever were as a tower of snow.

negative silhouette in snow

Once the sun rises on Sunday, the ruins will be covered with a fresh layer of snow along with the rest of the lawn.  They’ll no longer stand out in the landscape.  One of snow’s most magical qualities is that it is so ephemeral.  Except of course when you’re shoveling it!

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2013

 

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Even Van Gogh’s Starry Night pales in comparison to the fresh beauty and scent of flowers brought indoors from the garden.

Whether they’re lilies, peonies or another seasonal favorite, fresh blooms have the ability to bring any room in the house to life.

Although I don’t usually bring cut flowers indoors, these peonies fell onto the ground after a recent rain .  As peonies require ants to complete the pollination process, I was careful to inspect the blooms prior to bringing them indoors.

Little did I know that something else had hitchhiked in with the blooms, likely on a leaf.  It was only a matter of a few minutes before it had made its way onto the table leg.  Can you see it?

Nature is always full of surprises.

Whether you’re enjoying nature indoors or outdoors on this beautiful sunny day, Happy Canada Day to you!  By the way, this slug will be spending the rest of the day outdoors 🙂

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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Follow me on a dragon hunt along this bracken bordered path into the bog. Don’t be afraid, but be careful where you put down your feet. The bog is never as it seems.

Moss that appears ankle deep will sometimes make you sink up to your hips in green. Grassy and muddy open areas can be as deceiving and  treacherous as quicksand.

Ancient northern peoples often hid their treasures and their dead in bogs. The bog swallowed them whole, preserving them indefinitely for centuries with its magical mud. Perhaps that’s why the dragons are here…

Known through the ages as protectors of treasure, dragons are part of the lore of many cultures. Sometimes good, sometimes evil, in Medieval England they were symbols of greed.  Back then, conquering a dragon was a metaphor for conquering one’s desires for the material world.

Nobody knows what treasures are protected here by these dragon’s mouth orchids.  One can only imagine. Dare you look down into the mouth of a dragon and ask?

Looking into the mouth of the dragon

Although they have mouths, these dragons aren’t likely to tell us what treasures are buried here. They’ve kept their secrets well hidden for centuries already.  Why tell now?

Mwaahaha…

More information about the dragon’s mouth orchid can be found at John Crabtree’s  Mushrooms and  Wildflowers of Nova Scotia.

Text and images copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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Fascinated by the play of light filtering through the trees onto the tangled undergrowth, it’s no wonder why Vincent van Gogh made so many paintings of such scenes.

Trees and Undergrowth by van Gogh

The effect of light changes from one minute to the next as clouds pass overhead and the breeze affects the movement of the leaves.  The time of day also plays a role in how warm the light will appear on foliage and bark.

Nature is always changing, never stagnant, but some environments tend to reveal that quality more than others, and it’s no surprise that it’s in those places that we most feel alive.

Undergrowth by van Gogh

In springtime, new undergrowth looks especially fresh as a myriad of tiny plants blend together to create a living mosaic.  Ferns unfurled add a lushness to the forest floor.  Carpets of green wood sorrel replace last autumn’s dried leaves.

The emergent undergrowth provides a contrast to the vertical lines of the lichen covered trees.  As saplings, these trees too were once a part of the undergrowth.  Now their ongoing competition for light forces them to soar above one another, revealing their green lushness only in the canopy.

Trees with undergrowth of young balsam firs

Although he often exaggerated the intensity of Nature’s palette, van Gogh understood the importance of  being outdoors to witness the effect of light on a landscape.  Pictures and photographs can only begin to tell the story.  Whether or not you’re a painter, the woods are waiting for a visit from you to show off their new spring growth.

Lady’s slipper orchids growing in Nova Scotia woods

 It is not the language of painters but the language of nature which one should listen to…. The feeling for the things themselves, for reality, is more important than the feeling for pictures.
~ Vincent van Gogh

Wood sorrel carpeting the forest floor

Paintings by Vincent van Gogh shown above:
Trees and Undergrowth (1887)
Section of Undergrowth with Two Figures (June 1890 Auvers)

Text and photographs copyright Amy-Lynn Bell 2012

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Abstract art: a product of the untalented sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.
~  Al Capp

When is a puddle found along the Salt Marsh Trail in late winter not a puddle?

Cracked puddle

When it’s abstract art…

Abstraction No. 1

Of course abstract art always looks more at home in a gallery if it’s properly framed and given some non-descript title like Abstraction No. 34. The higher the number, the more the viewer is likely to believe that the starving ‘artist’ burned the candle at both ends to produce numerous versions before finally being satisfied with this particular rendition.

Alternatively, an entirely misleading title could lead the viewer down the garden path (or trail) into thinking that the puddle is something other than a puddle. Perhaps, a cup of cold coffee…

Tim Horton's Coffee in Winter

Tim Horton's Coffee in Winter

Whether or not you’re into abstract art, Nature’s Gallery is still featuring the best show in town.  You might want to go outdoors and check it out for yourself.

Thank you to Scott at Views Infinitum for offering up yet another photo challenge ~ Assignment 18:  Abstract Photography.  Everyone is welcome to participate.  Deadline for submissions is March 21st 2012.

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A sunflowers blooms in a bed of dried eelgrass in the salt marsh.

September’s flowers reveal varying hues of yellow in the marsh, along the roadside and in the garden.  Some, like the Sunflowers, are bright and bold, while others like the Sea Radish are pale and barely there.

Traditionally it is women who are considered best at discerning subtle differences between colors.  Often attributed to women’s historic role as fruit and nut gatherers, it’s no surprise that the ability to select safe and ripe foods is so closely tied to the skill of correctly choosing and remembering colors. 

Yet, it was two males, the colorist Josef Albers and the painter Vincent Van Gogh, who made the greatest strides in harnessing the wonders of yellow in art.

I was for years in the yellow period, you know.
~ Josef Albers

Above, a sampling of yellows  found in just six species of wildflowers reveals a marvelous variety.  September’s warm light gives them a cheerful disposition despite the approaching cold. 

The names of some flowers are inspired by their colors as in the Butter and Eggs shown above.

Like human beings, colors are influenced by others in their immediate surrounding.  They possess the magical ability to transform one another into even more wondrous versions of themselves.  How striking the Black-eyed Susan appears above against a backdrop of white spruce! 

There is no blue without yellow and without orange.
~ Vincent Van Gogh

Despite advances in digital imaging, colors seen by the naked eye in natural light still cannot be replicated truly by technology.  When I was an art student, one of my painting professors told me she could tell that I had used a photograph of a sunset as the subject for a painting because she could see that I had made use of a more limited palette.  Had I made the painting looking at a real sunset, I would likely have chosen a greater variety of yellows and oranges than those  made available at the time by Kodak.

There is no substitute for seeing late summer’s yellow blooms in person.  The time to drink up your fill of them is now, while the warm September light is still able to show them at their best.

I really just want to be warm yellow light that pours over everyone I love.
~ Conor Oberst

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