November 30, 2007

Roots

This image was captured in Fukuoka, Japan. As I walked around the castle ruins in the city one evening I saw the most amazing ancient-looking trees growing among, and sometimes through, the stone ruins.

I found the intricate roots of this particular tree intriguing. Like fingers, the roots seemed to reach out to both grasp and tell their unique story in the history of this place.

November 27, 2007

Train Platform - Austria

Original photograph by Gary Feather
This image was captured in 2005 as my family traveled from Vienna, Austria to Buchs, Switzerland. As we sat in our train car during a brief stop at the station in Innsbruck, my husband captured this view of another train waiting at the platform in the station.

Something about the original photo captured my attention. I loved the contrast between the train cars. I was attracted to the simple distinct colors. I noticed the borrowed view, of another train behind the one featured, that could be seen through the open door. I was also struck by the significance of the doors on the train cars, one open, one closed, and the differences that can make to our perceptions. My treatment of the image seeks to enhance these striking qualities.

November 25, 2007

Train from Nagasaki

Original photograph by Gary Feather
On the way from Nagasaki to Fukuoka we happened to board the most splendid train car I have ever had the pleasure to be a passenger on. It had parquet wood floors and black leather seats. It was clean, comfortable, spacious and uncrowded.

As we waited for the train to leave the station several other passengers boarded and there was time to take a few photos of our environment. I liked this image in particular. It seemed to capture the dreamlike quality of this unique travel experience.

November 22, 2007

Tiptoe

Original photograph by Jeff Englund
This view of the forest is a more intimate look from the interior. I like the way the light is feeding into the sheltered space beneath the trees. It seems like the trees are standing on tiptoe as they eagerly await this dawning. It reminds me of baby birds in a nest when their mother has brought back something to feed them. I tried to capture that happy eagerness in my treatment of the photograph.

November 20, 2007

Cathedral Frog

Original photograph by Gary Feather
This handsome frog was sitting in a small pond in the Bishop's Garden of the Washington National Cathedral. He blends into his watery surroundings so well that it was a challenge to draw him out and give him contrast while leaving him in context.

November 18, 2007

Rock Garden*

This image was captured at Komyozenji, a Zen temple located in Dazaifu,on the island of Kyushu in Japan. This exquisite rock garden is one of several that can be seen on the grounds of this temple. It can be viewed from many angles throughout the temple and adjacent tea house.

This peaceful Zen garden features swirling gravel, islands of soft moss, and mottled boulders beneath a canopy of leaves and arching branches. The rocks in this garden have been carefully placed and tended. They have become not only a part of the landscape but a part of the story that the garden tells.

November 17, 2007

Dragon Fountain

This dragon was found on the grounds of Kiyomizudera, a Buddhist temple located in the Higashiyama district in Kyoto. Such fountains are used for purification. Visitors use the ladles to dip water from the fountain and pour it across both hands.

The definition in the scales and form of this fierce looking dragon are bold and impressive and nicely contrast the pooling water below.

November 15, 2007

Colorful Canopy*

Original photograph by Jeff Englund
Looking up through these branches is like looking up through an enormous dandelion or like looking at fireworks bursting in the summer sky. I love the lacy pattern and the variety of colors in the leaves. I also respond to the deep texture in the bark, and this unusual perspective on the intricate detail in the world around us. It gives me a sense of being sheltered within the wonder and complexity of God's creation.

November 13, 2007

Cherry Blossom Arch*

In Japan, in the springtime, the parks are dotted with blue tarps spread beneath ephemeral blossoms hanging in thick clusters from the cherry trees. Sitting on the tarps beneath the trees, eager squirrels running along the branches, or a brisk wind, will shower you with soft pale pink petals, a harbinger of spring and a reminder of the evanescent quality of life.

The deep arch of this beautiful cherry tree near the old castle walls in Fukuoka, Japan, offers a perfect setting for cherry blossom viewing. It is secluded from the din of city life suggested by the tall buildings that are faintly present just beyond the arch of the cherry blossoms, on the right edge of the picture. This setting offers a brief respite from the daily cares of a modern lifestyle.

November 12, 2007

Layers of Light 1

Original photograph by Jeff Englund.

From high on the Cape Horn Loop Trail hikers can glimpse a beautiful view of the river as it traverses the western end of the Columbia River Gorge. This picture captures the stunning morning light falling on the water and the gentle mist playfully curling away as it retreats back into the surrounding hills.

Layers of Light 2

Original photograph by Jeff Englund.

This image was also captured on the Cape Horn Loop Trail. It features the gentle glow of the retreating morning fog. The layers of motion in response to the sun's warming light add a special beauty to this morning landscape.

November 11, 2007

Nagasaki Street Scene*

Original photograph by Gary Feather
The tram will take a traveler almost anywhere he wants to go in Nagasaki. It carried us back and forth through the sunlit streets as we experienced the featured attractions of the city. I chose to highlight the color of the street scene and the character of the tram in this image of Nagasaki.

November 10, 2007

Converging Lines

Faith. Technology. The interconnection made possible by power, communication and transportation grids. They have come together in exciting and challenging ways in the current age. They have produced much anxiety and yet have the potential to bring us peace and comfort.

I saw these lines in the sky behind the steeple of Zion Lutheran Church. As I worked with the photo I saw God's hand in the symmetry of the lines, the power of the sunlight and the colors of the sky. The cross of Jesus rises above it all and balances the equation, bringing the composition into perspective.

My treatment of the image attempted to bring out the simplicity of vision that allows us to see God's hand at work in the world around us whether our view is of natural scenery or frames the product of technology and man's footprint in our environment. God is present in all of these.

November 8, 2007

Castle Blossoms

This was taken at Himeji Castle in April, 2007. The cherry blossoms were perfectly gorgeous, fat and full and barely falling in the wind. This view captured the essence of the day, the most beautiful sites of Japan framed by ephemeral cherry blossoms.

November 7, 2007

Bamboo Fountain*

This is a small fountain found in a garden at Sofukuji Temple in the city of Nagasaki. It is nestled behind a building along a small pathway. I liked the way it was framed by the lush surroundings.

November 5, 2007

Crane Shadow

While in the city of Fukuoka, Japan I captured a shot of this crane. It was perfectly reflected in the still water and echoed by the shoreline of the lake. The stark lines of the photo appealed to me and I tried to highlight them with this simple treatment.

November 4, 2007

Arched Ascent


At Nanzen-ji, nestled at the foot of the eastern hills of Kyoto, there is an aquaduct. It arches across the temple grounds near the large and impressive Sanmon gate like a dragon. It must be approached and crossed to visit some of the gardens secluded like treasures at the subtemples within.

But it is a gentle dragon. Many people climb among its arches, playing, shooting photos or resting in its shade. Beneath one arch is a small waterfall and a stairway that leads up to the garden of Nanzenin. That is the scene captured in this picture.

November 2, 2007

About the Art

My art begins with digital photography. Real photos of real things. Real light falling across a real face, real objects, or a real landscape.

Often what someone hopes to capture with a camera remains elusive. Often it is obscured by poor conditions or submerged in extraneous detail. Sometimes the composition goes awry. Sometimes the light is wrong. Sometimes the impression that the photographer wants to capture does not translate to the raw image. Still, often, the photo does contain the essential information that can convey the intended impression.

When I see that potential in an image I go into the photo and try to release it. I work with the raw material in the digital image and transform it using digital darkroom software and techniques. Typically, I enhance the image in a number of ways including color adjustments, structural editing, and filtering or contouring.

I call this process pixography.

In an effort to convey the thought and emotion invested in the original image I look for the pieces that are missing as well as the details that obstruct my view. Depending on the original photo and my evaluation I may crop the image, enhance the color, and bring out shadows or highlights. I might also use filters to decrease the complexity of the details, and clarify the message. By simplifying the visual cues the subject of the image is often brought into focus, and amplified, to create a unique impression for the viewer.

I think the process of pixography is something like writing a poem. I draw impressions from what I know about the original photo. I select attributes from the narrative it expresses. I enhance them, finding synonyms to give more singularity and precision to the description. I rearrange their sequence in search of rhyme and a cadence that is pleasing and creatively expressive. I construct a metaphor that informs the context and suggests a perspective. In the end I settle on that combination of attributes, rhythm and structure that best conveys what I saw captured by the original image.

I hope you see it too!

November 1, 2007

About the Artist

Self Portrait in Tokyo
I was born and raised in Western Kentucky. I got married and followed my husband to Texas where I earned a degree in Business Administration. As the years passed I worked as a CPA, had three children and applied my talents and skills in a variety of domestic pursuits and volunteer activities.

I moved to the Pacific Northwest 11 years ago. Since moving to Washington my artistic pursuits have included quilting, scrapbooking and paper arts, as well as pixography. I also enjoy writing, cooking, gardening, genealogy, traveling,and watching movies.

As Charlotte says, in the movie, "Lost in Translation," "I tried taking pictures, but they were so mediocre. I guess every girl goes through a photography phase."

While I have taken pictures all of my life, often they did seem mediocre. It wasn’t until photography branched into the digital art form of pixography that it captured my imagination. Fortunately, it is never too late to apply our experiences and unique perspective through a new medium of expression. 

I believe there is an artist in every one of us. It is a special joy to find a medium which captures my imagination and allows me to express my own unique artistic vision.