Posts Tagged ‘light’

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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July 2nd 2010.  One dawn.  One fantillion colors.  How could just one sunrise possibly exude such a varied palette of yellows, oranges, pinks, purples and blues?  Just another of nature’s wonders that will likely remain a mystery for the ages.

I’ll tell you how the sun rose a ribbon at a time.
~ Emily Dickenson

All photos were taken at sunrise near and in Rainbow Haven provincial park in Cow Bay, Nova Scotia.  The beach will be filled with people today, each one enjoying the sand and the surf, none of them ever realizing what a spectacle took place here this morning.

There is more day to dawn.
~ Henry David Thoreau

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Spring sunlight bounces off the fog and onto the sea as the spruce trees watch in awe.  Light shows like this don’t happen every day.  In the woods, light is filtering through the mist and trees, putting on a spectacle of a different kind.

Beams of light are descending onto the forest floor further down the path.  Light shining through mist or trees in a forest can often appear otherworldly or heaven-sent.  This is especially so if the rays of light are separated from one another.  It’s no wonder that walking towards such a light is often used as a metaphor for attaining a peaceful presence in the next life.  

Spring:  An experience in immortality.

~ Henry David Thoreau

In the marsh, spring light is putting its mark on every surface. Nothing is so fine it can escape its touch.

Even colors are affected. Greens appear fresher and more full of life.   Pinks seem more tender and delicate.   Even the sky seems a kinder blue.  Nature is lighter and human nature can’t help but respond with a feeling of hope that at least for today, all things are possible. 

It’s amazing how spring light can so transform the world.

The world’s favorite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.

~ Edwin Way Teale

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When you look at the sky, do you see the clouds or the blue and the light shining through?  Of course, on some days, the blue is more difficult to see.  You might have to look at the whole sky and not just your usual section of it.  Perhaps there’s just a corner of blue or light off in the distance.  But it’s there.

Other days, you might only be able to see beyond the clouds at certain times of the day.  Early morning is usually a time when the sunlight makes itself seen, even on overcast days.  Sometimes you have to work extra hard to see the light by going outside in the dark cold, but the effort is worthwhile.

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
Don’t go back to sleep.
~ Rumi

Being a light-seeker has its rewards.  One who chooses to seek out and see the light can’t help but become ‘light-hearted’ over time.  At its essence, is being light-hearted not unlike feeling and thinking like a child?  If so, it’s no wonder that laughter and a sense of humour come easy to those who choose to look beyond the shadows.

Einstein said that the biggest decision any of us face in life is whether or not we believe the universe is friendly.  I believe it is.  Do you?

Life is shaded, through and through
Mostly by man’s point of view.
~ Anonymous

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Despite cold winds and freezing temperatures, a walk along the salt marsh in the early morning is still a worthwhile undertaking.  The play of light on ice and water is fascinating to observe.

Even the frost on the bridge sparkles in the sunlight. No surface seems immune to the effects of the intense cold.

Marsh grass is covered in ice where water has splashed up repeatedly along the trail at high tide.   Layers of ice form a  coating that’s several times larger than the blade of grass hidden within.

However, repeated doses of light make even the thickest frozen masses prone to melting once temperatures warm.  These large chunks might take a little longer, but eventually, they’ll melt too.  Warmer temperatures are forecast for the days ahead.  Even if the skies are clouded and overcast, the rays will somehow find a way to make light of all this ice.

Constant kindness can accomplish much. As the sun makes ice melt, kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust, and hostility to evaporate.

~ Albert Schweitzer

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heron silhouette

Twilight reveals the silhouettes of things that are often hidden in complete darkness or light.  Suddenly, that which is commonplace and overlooked becomes apparent. The light at this time of day offers both mystery and revelation.

heron negative

One way to understand something better is to look at its opposite.  Exploring negative space and color negatives in art can reveal how we look at subjects in their relation to the space around them.  So often we allow ourselves to be distracted by familiar colors and arrangements. By looking at negatives, lines and shapes become apparent that are sometimes hidden in plain view.  Likewise in human nature, who your enemies are may indeed reveal more about you than the company you keep.

marsh grass

It’s fascinating how familiar elements in nature still have much so much to teach us about beauty, design and ourselves.  All we have to do is open our eyes.

In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.
~Aaron Rose

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