Friday, July 2, 2010

Sleepless night, but art rules!

Every now and then I have one of those nights where sleep is a fantasy, and all the reading and making tea and chatting with kitties and that don't quite do it for resting purposes. Usually it's followed by a wonderful night's sleep, so this is not in the nature of a complaint.

Anyway, day before yesterday, I was pretty much watching the western sky through the drapes most of the night and when dawn began to break, I had the most wonderful reward for not being able to sleep -- the images I instantly shot, having searched for my camera in the dark, not wanting to wake the house, but this was too good to miss.

I wanted to share the visual experience with you. This is a mixture of the dawn's early light (sorry, we're near the Fourth, it just slipped out) and the street lights and the low level ambient light in the bedroom, coming through and bouncing off the drapes. The only adjustment I made to the pix was to brighten them a little bit so that your monitor would show them up better,and a small crop on one, the last one in this post. Couldn't resist putting in a bit of tilt here and there, too! Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, this is what I got.

This light effect lasted only a few minutes before the dawn got cracking and the birds started up and day really began. Magic time between night and day, always.

I've always been big on visual experiences, from being a tiny kid. I remember being given a little set of watercolors, one of those kid things, about six colors in a little tin box, and spending hours mixing them in glasses of water, just mixing colors in water and looking through them. And ignoring the sibs' loud complaints that I was WASTING that stuff, heh. Little did they know they were seeing my early art life.

And I had nutty little games like where I cut out a cardboard box to make a kind of house with doors and windows, and set it on a tray on my lap, and rolled marbles endlessly around, back and forward, tilting the tray, just to see how they moved and rolled and collided, as if they were crowds of hurrying people. I imagine there was some eyerolling about this game, too!

You can't explain art games to people who don't instinctively get what you're doing, but they are wonderful to a little kid. It's like the game where you study the clouds to see what they're doing and what they look like.

Yesterday we had a Georgia O'Keeffe sky, like a flock of little sheep all over a blue sky. One of her later and larger paintings is about exactly that, so it influenced how I see that kind of sky forever. Just as Gerard Manley Hopkins' poem about dappled things influenced permanently the way I see the cloud formation known as a mackerel sky.

Even the name of it is a poem, as you'd know right away if you'd see a live mackerel hooked into a fishing boat, as I did as a kid at Staithes, old fishing village on the northeast coast of England. Years before I got over it, actually, not being interested in killing anything, but the beauty of that dappled, rainbow colored leaping fish stays still, about 65 years later.

I think that kind of experience goes right to the limbic brain, just as scents do, to take up residence forever.

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