Orange, Rain, & Fire…Inspiration

Orange Color
Waiting Flowers

This has been a week of rainy days with cool, sullen color here in the mountains of Virginia, instead of the warm, sunny spring days that I mourn for! I turn on all of the lights, grind the beans to brew a pot of hot coffee, and build an end of the season fire in the fireplace.

Fire Orange
Fire Orange

My eyes look around and search for something that will inspire and motivate me to action.

I stopped by Crow’s Nest Farm this past Sunday– a warm, sunny afternoon–to buy flowers for the yard. The flowers that were bought are now waiting to be planted in the earth.  The marigolds were selected mainly because the deer, which regularly visit my yard to eat all the greenery, for some reason do not seem to like these. Also, they were chosen because of their warm, vibrant color—the yellows, the oranges, and some orangey brick red.

Waiting Flowers
Waiting Flowers

The bright oranges and yellows provide visual stimulation that perks me up, motivates me to get some work done, and to create in the studio.

Then, there is always a need for some contrast with cooler colors, such as purple

Purple Verbena
Purple Verbena
Purple Verbena
Purple Verbena

Oh, and perhaps the reds have their merits too!

Strawberry Red
Strawberry Red
Strawberry Red
Strawberry Red

Yummy!  🙂

Color is not only an inspiration for an artist but also plays an important role in our everyday lives. There has been a lot of research on the psychology of color and its effect on people. But for now, let’s just end by saying, when it is rainy and cold outside, the color of orange is like a fire—it can provide warmth, visually, to inspire us until the sun shines once again.

♦ I’d love to hear about your color inspirations! [click on small gray words below,  “Leave a Comment”]

Tuesday…In The Studio

As new pieces of art are finished, an artist needs to document each work by photographing it.

Butterflies
Purple Wings. Fused appliqué, free-motion quilting on cotton, 9 x 10". © 2008 Joni Beach. Private collection.

When teaching university design courses, I always scheduled a photo shoot of the student’s original designs at the end of each semester. In the past, slides were required for a professional portfolio and any time an artist submitted an application for a juried exhibit. The slide film was expensive and there was a waiting time (of several days sometimes) while a shop developed your roll of film. Finally, most venues now have changed to digital submissions and the ease of shooting, editing, and developing good images of artwork has greatly improved.

Lighting Stands

I have been attempting to meet some new goals as an artist/designer in the studio. A current goal is to improve my photography skills and equipment. While I have a newer digital camera, a Sony DSC-H20, my ability to get the lighting needed for clear color and sharp images was lacking.

Yesterday my husband was kind enough to build some new light stands for me, which you can see here beside the camera tripod, using the instructions from Holly Knott of Finger Lakes Art (http://www.hollyknott.com). Holly’s suggestions for these light stands, light bulbs, and how to use them has given me better lighting conditions in my studio.

The next challenge?…To continue to improve my photography and to update my Portfolio and website with improved photos…

♦ Does anyone have more suggestions on what has helped you improve your photographs? I would love any further ideas to try!                                                        (Feel free to add your suggestions below by clicking on the small gray words, “Leave a Comment”.)

Quote…Imagination Or “The Wisdom of a Child”?

Imagination

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all  we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”                                                                                                          Albert Einstein                 

(Quoted in interview by G.S. Viereck , October 26,1929. Reprinted in “Glimpses of the Great”(1930).)

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