Friday, March 21, 2014

Casting a Line

I love it that my friends think of me when they see something. They share things on my Facebook page or pick up something to give me or send me a note to say 'I saw xxx and thought of you.'
 That xxx is always one of two things - donkeys or clotheslines.

Yesterday, when I posted a photo of my clothesline on the first day of spring, there were a couple
 comments that it was perfect for my 'clothesline' books. Indeed, that is exactly why I took it.

At the moment, I have four books dedicated to images of clotheslines. Two of them are tiny books
 to use as a card or with a card. They are entitled 'Life Lines' because they incorporate
 another passion of mine - collected quotes. There are two larger books -
one also has quotes  and the other was commissioned to have just the images.

I love clotheslines. I love the tales that they tell. I love the act of hanging clothes out. I love arranging
 them by colour or texture or size. I love the smell of fresh sheets off the line.
I love what clotheslines represent - a simple, unhurried time with nature orchestrating the dance.

With my photography, it is just not any random clothesline that draws my attention,
makes me throw the brakes on and grab my camera. There has to either be a story there
or an artful array of happy colour or creativity.

Last year I was driving with friends in Newfoundland when I spotted this line of gloves that
 tickled my fancy.When I got out with my camera, one of the passengers commented: 'She's not 
REALLY going up  to that house, is she?'  Another commented, 'Oh yes she is. And she might even
re-arrange things if it doesn't suit her.' Of course, I wouldn't. Not because it's rude or trespassing,
 but because  you can't mess with the story, you just capture it.

Awhile back, I was driving along one beautiful summer morning and noticed a huge line at a farm house, 
way back from the road. Then I spotted another at the next farm and the next and the next. It 
became a game of 'Finding Waldo'. It went on for miles and miles. There was only one 
single place that didn't have a clothes out. MONDAY! It came back to me. 'Washday Monday'
 - a tradition of my childhood. I had completely forgotten about that; about the time that laundry
 was ONLY done on that day. It was a wringer washer, a major undertaking, not the ease
 and convenience we have with automatic washers that has made laundry into a constant 
and never ending task that is any day and too often, every day
because of the sheer amount of clothing we have now.

I am SO looking forward to clothesline season again;
 for the joy of the activity and the potential for book fodder.

Click on the link to see the entire book for the first two.
That doesn't work for the two little ones - they have the photos displayed.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  'Life Lines' 
Volume 1
40 pages
          'LINES'                  40 Pages
  Just Photos 

                                                            Tiny Book:  3.5"x2.75" 
'Life Lines 1'

$5. each

                 'Life Lines 2'
$5 each

THE INSIDE SCOOP:  Tiny Book 1 ...

Tiny Book 2:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Doodley Challenged

For as long as I can remember - which takes me well back over half a century. Good lord, I'm old. I have 'doodled' the same exact thing. Over and over and over. It has never gotten fancier, more detailed or more artistic - it has never evolved.

Most people would doodle something that is on their mind. Some might doodle a fantasy world. Some might start with something totally simple like a circle and build out and up and around and turn it into a wonderful piece of art. The beginning of Zentangles no doubt.

Nope. Not me. If I have pen and paper at hand, I will absent-mindedly do my doodle in any space that exists on the page. It's a tiny little house with a door and three windows, smoke rising from a center chimney, a path leading up the doorway, a deciduous tree on one side and an evergreen on the other. If I have time to get into a second, third or fourth doodle, they will be all exactly the same - no variance whatsoever. I have never even added a second story to the house or put on an addition.

If someone was doing a psychological assessment of my doodles and my lack of evolution with them, I wonder if they brand me sadly uncreative or just content.

I was thinking about my singular lifelong doodle and noticed two things. One is that it is like the cabin on my arks. So I don't only draw them, I build them. And the other is that I do in fact have a great draw (no pun intended) to small buildings, to tiny houses.

In being aware of my narrow scope of doodleness, I am working towards thinking of something else to doodle. Well, I was thinking about thinking about it. Maybe. Or maybe not. It's not really that important to me to stretch my doodle, I was just observing it.

The thing I noticed last night though, is that it does go beyond doodling. So maybe my creativity does need to be stretched somewhat. I have decided I want to paint - which is something I have never had a talent nor a penchant for. I decided that it's time.  I painted three pictures when I was out in Newfoundland last fall. Every single one has a small building as a focus.  I painted a floor cloth. What is it? All our little buildings out East.

Currently I'm taking a water colour class. What did I paint last night when we were supposed to be doing trees?  I even specifically tried not to when I noticed that a cabin had snuck into my forest. The next one I was determined to leave uninhabited. Didn't happen. Couldn't happen. Apparently the challenge for me is beyond doodling.