Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘art

John Photos

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Written by johnwhays

January 24, 2019 at 7:00 am

Different Project

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It rained with such ferocity yesterday that water found a way past shingles, and dripped over the toilet in our bathroom. I thought maybe Cyndie had unbelievably made a mess, until I got dripped on and discovered it was coming from overhead.

I drained 2-inches from the rain gauge in the afternoon and Cyndie reported 2-inches more collected by dusk. It hailed, and it thundered, and Delilah barked at the booming all day long.

Basically confined to staying under a roof all day, I puttered around in the shop. I finally got around to using power tools to cut and grind old shovels to give them a clean edge again. I cut off the broken metal tines of a rake that has been lying around for a couple of years because I couldn’t part with the perfectly good handle.

Then I spotted the wood sculpting project I started a couple of winters ago and decided to spend a little time with it again.

The idea for this came from a high school art class assignment I did over four decades ago. I figured, if I’m still thinking about that piece I did that long ago, the idea deserved revisiting.

The concept is to create the piece by removing the background wood around the shape. Relief carving.

“To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impression that the sculpted material has been raised above the background plane.”

I made the shape of a fish in high school. I remember that I wasn’t able to make the tail fins look real, so I morphed them into a small ‘cartoony’ version of a fish tail.

I think it worked, in the end. Gave the finished piece a kind of primitive-folksy look. What I remember most about the project was the surprise of how the grain looked after I sanded everything smooth.

The lines from the flat rise up with an accented grace over the shape that is carved.

I’m going with the tear drop shape this time. That way I won’t have to figure out how to make that tail.

Now I just need another day of monsoon rain to confine me to the shop for long enough to bring this project to fruition.

Don’t hold your breath. As much as I love working on projects like this, this gem could easily rest on the window sill for another couple of years, if history is a reliable reference.

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Written by johnwhays

August 25, 2018 at 9:12 am

Shadow Gradient

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An image I found interesting.

Just because.

Feel free to interpret as a statement on right vs. wrong, or the oppression of the masses, or our cosmic inconsequence in the universe, or a celebration of the marriage of nature and industry, or the wonders of color and time.

But really, it’s just a picture of shadows I thought looked interesting.

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Written by johnwhays

July 14, 2018 at 8:00 am

Value

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If I’d had a chance
to think of that
maybe I would
who can say?
a picture on the wall
painted as art
worth more than the house
to the right beholding eye
a simple line
and a dot
some colors
not all that good together
from what I could see
but somewhere along the line
the painter became a name
and value simply followed
like rain drops rolling together
into larger and larger pools
into streams flowing down
dollar signs piling up
suddenly a picture
becomes like diamonds
a fancy kind of watch
melted bars of gold
they are things that don’t really matter
unless people decide they do

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Written by johnwhays

April 26, 2017 at 6:00 am

Photographic Decay

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Something about the puzzle-like visual of decaying wood and metal really grabbed my attention last weekend when we were snowshoeing in the woods and came upon the trash dumps. So, naturally, I took a picture of it. I’ve noticed since, the photo has captured that same allure for me. I can’t stop looking at it.

I think that says a lot about the success of a photograph. If you find yourself wanting to look at it again and again, you must have done something right.

DSCN4492eI can’t really grasp what it is that draws me to it. Maybe that is a part of the attraction, …the mystery of it.

Admittedly, the curious cutouts are attention grabbers, but I think the shadow plays a big part for me, maybe just as much. Throw in the clean-looking snow, the spindly branch above, and the bark-like appearance of the disintegrating wood, and you get a combination of features that keep my eyes coming back for more.

There is a juxtaposition that I like in the discarded item having been left for decay, now transformed to a new use as the primary feature of a photographic image.

Everything old is new again.

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Written by johnwhays

March 4, 2016 at 7:00 am

Precious Gifts

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We endured one heck of a nasty day of weather yesterday. It produced another inch-and-a-half in the rain gauge, which may not be entirely accurate, because much of the rain was moving horizontally due to significant wind. There were way too many scarily powerful gusts. It was a good excuse to have a fire in the fireplace, watch a rented documentary movie up in our loft, and putter around with indoor tasks. We finally hung some pictures that have accumulated over time.

IMG_3685eThe inspiration to hang pictures came from having brought home a precious gift-upon-gift after visiting our friends’ house yesterday. Mike Wilkus had already gifted us with a watercolor portrait of a horse in motion which he painted, and that we absolutely love. When I explained that I had some old barn wood that I hoped to use for a frame, but no experience or tools to cut a mat and build a frame, he accepted the challenge without hesitation.

We gave him back the picture, handed over the barn wood, and he created a superb, professional quality framed work of custom art. The result is the epitome of priceless to us. It is all that I hoped for, and so much more.

IMG_3676eWe moved a couple of things around to make room for this picture on our wall, and once on a roll, were able to get another precious portrait hung that Cyndie recently put in a frame. Marco Morales gave us a pencil drawing portrait of Delilah that he did during his visit this winter.

We made a spot for it right beneath another priceless creation that our friend Nancy Olmsted made and presented to us. She created a picture using sewn fabric that depicts an image of our house and incorporates the labyrinth and cardinals, symbols from a weekend visit here with Cyndie and a group of friends.

Our house continues to evolve to become more and more our home. Being blessed with so many precious, personally created gifts of art is deeply enriching for us. These are all gifts that really do keep on giving, over and over, every time we see them.

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Written by johnwhays

April 28, 2014 at 6:00 am