Category Archives: Art

INCANDESCENCE

She had a way about her
That lit up the room
When she entered it
She did not even have to try

Incandescent
That’s the word for it
She had an Incandescence
About her Being

Pure and simple
Effortless joy
A presence that filled
The heart with pleasure

Not an earthly pleasure
But a higher one
That of lighting the mind
Like a light bulb glowing

She was a being evolved
Like no other human
Therefore, when the time came
She simply shook off her physical form

And so she is Now
Truly Incandescent
And Nascent Everywhere
Now her real work begins

She is the First Light of Dawn
The Last Rays at Sunset
And All that’s in between
Incandescent

image (Google Image : Scarlett Johansson from the film “Lucy”, 2014)

By:
AlyZen Moonshadow

Note:
I was inspired to write this poem after watching the superb movie “Lucy” starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman. In the film, the main character, Lucy’s body gets infused with a synthetic drug called CH4, and her brain starts developing at an exponential rate, from a normal human’s 10% to ultimately, 100%. At that point Lucy has no further need for corporeal form, and transcends humanity into the very fabric of her environment…i.e she becomes Incandescent. She is Everywhere. If humans could ever utilise 100% of our brains, we would all be Gods.

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Australian Aboriginal Artist : Mitjili Napurrula

I’m a big fan of Mitjili Napurrula’s work. When I first saw them at an art gallery in Fremantle, Western Australia, I immediately thought they reminded me of a famous Western artist. At that time I couldn’t put my finger on it, but now I know it was Henri Matisse. And here’s why the main motif that Mitjili Napurrula is so well-known for reminded me so much of Matisse:

Matisse “Oak Leaves” motif:

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Mitjili Napurrula “Bush Medicine Leaves” motif:

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But, while Matisse only used his Oak Leaves motif sometimes, Mitjili Napurrula has taken the simple form of her Bush Medicine Leaves and developed it to the nth degree, coming up with seemingly endless variations of it, from the very simple to huge, complex structures.

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Here is a video showing Mitjili’s creative process. What an amazing artist! I love the beauty in the deceptive simplicity of her paintings. (Note: this is only one of many videos of Mitjili at work, courtesy of DesertArtCentre, who support and sponsor many Australian Aboriginal Artists. If you wish to watch more Aboriginal artists at work, click on the link to go to their YouTube channel).

 

 

MY ORACLE CARDS PROJECT: THE JOURNEY SO FAR

A short while ago I hatched a grand plan to create my own deck of Oracle Cards. I blogged about it here.

Now I’ve created about 20 such virtual cards, so I’ll share them with you. You can see how some work better than others, I’m constantly learning as I go along. Creating the imagery is only part of the whole process. I still haven’t gotten round to writing the explanation or meaning of the imagery. That will come. Also, I have to research the practical logistics of getting my cards into print.

So, here are some of my “Practice” Oracle Cards. They may or may not be the end product…I might add a black border all around each image, or more key words at the bottom.

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Australian Aboriginal Artist: Susie Bootja Bootja

A while back, I started talking about Australian Aboriginal Art and Artists. I pulled together several YouTube videos that I’d found that demonstrated how some of these artists created their works.

Now I’m going to concentrate on one artist at a time. Australia has a wealth of Aboriginal artists, a tradition that goes back millenia. The artists I’ll be showcasing on my blog, however, will be contemporary ones.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art:

“Contemporary Indigenous art of the western desert began when Indigenous men at Papunya began painting in 1971, assisted by teacher Geoffrey Bardon. Their work, which used acrylic paints to create designs representing body painting and ground sculptures, rapidly spread across Indigenous communities of central Australia, particularly following the commencement of a government-sanctioned art program in central Australia in 1983. By the 1980s and 1990s, such work was being exhibited internationally”.

Susie Bootja Bootja has her own Wikipedia entry. You can also find her biography and photos of her work here.

Here are my favourite paintings by Susie Bootja Bootja, that I’ve taken from Google Images and Pinterest.

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image Photo of Susie Bootja Bootja (1935-2003)

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Echinopsis

Echinopsis is the scientific name for a large genus of cacti. I have one small plant in a pot by my swimming pool, which I hardly ever paid attention to until a few months ago, when suddenly I noticed that it had sprouted some rather pretty little flowers. Sadly, the flowers didn’t last very long. But my curiosity was piqued enough for me to search on Google for more information about my little cactus and its relations.

Cactus flowers are really beautiful, is my conclusion. Here are some of my favourites, from Google Images.

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I also found someone online who is obsessed by Echinopsis, to the extent that he calls himself “Echinopsisfreak”.  His name is Greg Krehel and you can read all about his obsession with Echinopsis on his blog here. Be sure to click on his time-lapse videos there showing his Echinopsis plants blooming.  They are truly spectacular!

I feel a new addiction beginning…

Greg Krehel is also the man behind the site dedicated to Echinopsis, http://www.echinopsis.com. Below is an excerpt from that site:

What’s an Echinopsis? A type of cactus originally from South America that features amazing flowers … amazing in at least four ways:

– The flowers of most Echinopsis varieties are incredibly colorful … often featuring two or more hues working in harmony.

– The flowers are often giant … 5″-6″ in diameter … and frequently dwarf the cactus that grows them.

– They frequently appear in flushes of multiple flowers opening at the same time.

– Most types of cacti produce just one flush of flowers each year. But Echinopsis can produce flush after flush of flower for as long as the daytime temperatures remain above 70F/21C.

Echinopsis is pronounced Ech … in … op … sis. But where does the name come from? Once you understand the its Latin roots, you’ll discover the name makes great sense.

“Echin” comes from the Latin word “Ekihnos,” which meant both sea urchin and hedgehog.  (Yes, it does seem like Latin speakers way back when might have come up with distinct words for these two pretty different creatures, but apparently they did not).

The “opsis” at the end of Echinopsis is another Latin word, one which means “resembling” or “appearance.”

So Echinopsis means hedgehog resembling or sea urchin appearance. A very accurate description for this genus of cacti that are often ball shaped growing to about 6” in diameter and, yep, covered with hedgehog-like and sea urchin-esq thorns.

 

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Artist Inspiration : JACKY PARKER

Jacky Parker is another photographer after my own heart. Her beautiful flower photography serves as an inspiration to me. Jacky only took up flower photography in 2005 whilst studying for a diploma in horticulture. By 2008 she had already garnered so much recognition that she was awarded the “RHS Photographer of the year” title.

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Click here to visit Jacky’s website.  Those wishing to license Jacky’s images may do so on these sites:

GETTY Images : http://www.gettyimages.co.uk/Search/Search.aspx?assettype=image&artist=Jacky+Parker+Photography

ALAMY STOCK http://www.alamy.com/default.aspx

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A selection of Jacky’s work on canvas can be purchased on these sites:

GOOD EARTH CANVAS: http://www.goodearthcanvas.com/hakusha/

FOTOVIVA ART PRINTS http://www.fotoviva.co.uk/

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Photographic Prints and Canvas of Jacky’s photography are available from:

FINE ART AMERICA : http://fineartamerica.com/art/all/jacky+parker/all

SOCIETY 6 http://society6.com/JackyparkerFloralArt

 

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Artist Inspiration : MAGDA WASICZEK

Those who know me know that I have a passion for flower photography. Especially the dreamy, surreal type, where magic and reality blend seamlessly, leaving the viewer with just a sense of awe and enthrallment. The Polish photographer Magda Wasiczek delivers the goods, and then some. I can never tire of seeing her photographs, and luckily for me she’s very prolific! Magda doesn’t just do flowers, though, her subjects are tied to Mother Nature and include spiders, grasshoppers, ladybirds, caterpillars, butterflies, snails, shells, fungi, dewdrops, rain, snow, etc. She also photographs newborn babies and underwater sea creatures, as well as macro photography.

I wish I had 1/100th of Magda’s talent!

Here’s how Magda describes herself, excerpt taken from her own website:

INTERNATIONAL GARDEN PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR 2012
Photography raising awareness to the beauty of nature to me, I’ve learned to see things invisible, to enjoy a million small details, which previously did not pay attention. First of all, it became my way of life and the cure for all evils …I do not know who or why, what strength created the world that surrounds us. I know that it is an unusual and fascinating in every smallest detail that is a miracle. It is not my priority showing the world exactly the way it is. There are many other photographers who do it better than me. I want the audience to present my vision of the world, this idyllic paradise of fairy tales. I hope that looking at my pictures, for a while, wake up a child inside of them, because the world in the eyes of children is always more colorfull , fascinating, mysterious and full of surprises.

I came across this article where Magda explains how she got into photography, and what inspires her:

Wasiczek’s photographic story started with a 1998 business trip, from which her husband returned with a Nikon N70 film SLR. A gift celebrating the birth of the first of their three children, the N70 quickly became an expressive tool in Wasiczek’s hands. She captured her child’s first years with such sensitivity that soon other parents were hiring her to photograph their kids, and now she’s made a career of it.
As her camera skills improved, Wasiczek made the journey from children’s nurseries to meadows and gardens near her home, where a more unusual photographic vision evolved. “My photos aren’t literal representations of flowers,” she says, “but are the record of impressions that I experience, impressions of color, light, and shape. I look for visual effects to represent those impressions.”
These effects might be background highlights that will defocus into stars, rings, or moons, as well as colors that can be saturated or otherwise tweaked into something otherworldly.
Instead of individual blossoms or tidy bouquets, Wasiczek is drawn to chaotic meadows and gardens with unkempt wildflowers that live up to their name. These are places that evoke memories of dashing around her grandmother’s garden as a child. “I really miss the old picturesque flower gardens with typical Polish natives like mallows, nasturtiums, sunflowers, poppies, and helleniums,” she says. Now everything is mowed, pruned, aligned, and contained, she laments, within neatly trimmed borders.
“When I go into the meadow or garden, I look around. I often sit there to sharpen my eyes,” Wasiczek says. “Within the jungle of grass and plants, I try to find a theme that will inspire me. I soak up the smells of the meadow, its sounds, its light, and I wait. Maybe a butterfly will flap by, or I’ll notice a ladybug climbing a leaf, or drops of dew will sparkle in a shaft of sunlight.”
When this happens, she picks up her camera and plays. Wasiczek’s favorite time is from late afternoon until sunset, mainly for the light. “By nature I am an owl, not a lark, so for me the perfect time is when the low sun of late afternoon beautifully illuminates the plants and gives them warm, golden colors,” she says. She’s inspired by this light, especially after rain.
“The very low-contrast light created by a cloudy, gray sky is also good, but its effect is different,” she continues. “It’s best for making bright, pastel photos. I don’t like strong sun, and the only thing that will draw me out of the house at noon is a flock of butterflies passing through.” Wasiczek avoids flash, and prefers to reflect ambient light onto backlit or shadowed subjects with a compliment of small reflectors and mirrors.
As much as she likes the golden hour, Wasiczek will also wake before dawn to shoot. In these moments, insects are just stirring and not as likely to fly off, and dew drops put on amazing light shows. “On mornings bathed in dew, the flowers look like they’re studded with diamonds that shine in the first rays of the sun. The views of this spectacular phenomenon can be breathtaking, but they’re not for sleepers. In summer, you have to be up and out on the meadow by 4 a.m. Otherwise, you miss it,” she warns.

Magda’s website is very comprehensive and well laid-out, with her photos arranged according to category. I highly recommend that you pay a visit there to see why I’m so excited about her.

Here are just a few of my favourite photos by Magda Wasiczek, that I’ve taken from Google Images:

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http://www.magdawasiczek.pl

Flower photography. Absolutely fabulous!

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Artist Inspiration : ANNE TEN DONKELAAR

Anne Ten Donkelaar is a Netherlands-based artist who specialises in Flower Constructions. These are essentially flower collages, created from a variety of materials, from real flowers to  cut-out pictures of flowers, all painstakingly put together and pinned at different heights to give the impression of depth, then displayed behind glass in shadow frames. These floral arrangements don’t conform to our learned notion of proportion or reality, but their unreal or hyper-real quality, juxtaposed against a clean white background, makes them all the more intriguing.

Click here for Anne’s website. Here’s Anne’s own explanation of what her Flower Constructions are about:

“(2011-2012) Imagine a big bang, a firework of flower seeds thrown into space. What would happen? New fragile flowers arise, new flower planets start evolving, planets where no one has ever been. These detailed landscapes seem to be elevated so you can walk through them. Weeds become poetry, each unique twig gets attention, nature seems to float.

Flower constructions are 3d collages from pressed flowers and cut out flower pictures. Each element is meticulously placed on pins which creates the depth. Some of them are like a fantasy Herbaria, filled with dried flowers or branches, with irregular shapes and sophisticated twists and some refer to planets”.

 I’ve found some of Anne’s delicate floral work on Google Images, feast your eyes here:

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Anne’s artistic prowess does not stop at flowers.  She also has a penchant for preserving butterflies and insects, not just as collages behind glass, but also as wearable jewellery.  Have a look at these other beautiful offerings by Anne:

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RETROSPECTIVE : FLOWER PHOTOGRAPHY

I was going through my external hard-drive recently, looking for my Cemetery Angel images (yes, really) from 2011, when I realised that I hadn’t really put any of my old iPhoneography images on my blog yet. I cut my teeth on an iPhone 3 and then 4, before switching to a Samsung Galaxy S3 (now S4). The iPhone’s memory capacity being limited to what it is, I had to continuously do image “dumps” from my camera roll to an external hard-drive. These days, with a 64GB SD card in my Galaxy S4, I only occasionally move my images from my camera roll anywhere. Things are so much easier to find on my S4, thanks to the ability to create and add folders and sub-folders within the smartphone itself.

Anyway, in 2011-2012 I went through several phases where all I photographed were flowers, flowers and more flowers. I took hundreds of photos of my favourite flower, the Erythrina Lysistemon, A visit to a Koi and Water Lily farm yielded hundreds of images of Water Lilies. Orchids, Roses, Australian Wildflowers, Sunflowers, Aeoniums, Lilies, Tulips, Pansies, Lantana, Dandelions, Daisies, Agapanthus, Purple Geishas, Anemones, Poppies, Rhododendrons, Hibiscus, etc etc – if it caught my eye, it went into my camera roll. At the peak of my obsession with flower photography, I would even visit florists and ask for permission to photograph their flowers!

Here are some of my processed iPhone images, for what they are.

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A World in a Drop of Water

I’ll let you in on a little secret of mine : I have a Pinterest board dedicated to Water Drops. Seriously, I do. I find water photography fascinating, particularly Macro and Liquid Splash photos. With Macro water drop photography, you can often really see an entire World reflected in just that one drop of clear, sparkling water. I really admire photographers who are able to capture that drop at precisely the right moment, or find that perfect necklace of spider’s web dew, or present a perfect flower within a tiny raindrop.

The other day I was looking through my collection of Pins, and I’ve decided to share with you some of my favourite Water Drop Pins. I stand in awe of the many superlative Macro photographers out there, as reflected by the following images; some of the photos are not Macros, instead I’ve chosen them for their sense of otherworldly beauty, or for their beautiful Zen stillness. I love being a Pinterest curator!

Here are some of my favourite water drops (courtesy of Pinterest and all credits to the photographers, naturally):
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