Monday, September 20, 2010

Turning over a new leaf



In honor of this season of beautiful transition, I thought I’d include some images of autumn leaves in this post. Autumn is my favorite time of year, and here in New England offers not only the perfect weather – not too hot, not too cold – but some of the most spectacular views Nature can create. Already there are small pockets of fiery red appearing in some of the trees. Though the weather has been so unpredictable, extreme and erratic lately, I think it’s finally safe to put the air conditioner and summer clothes back into storage and start mentally preparing for a long cold winter! But first, there are several glorious weeks of crisp air and stunning colors to enjoy. 

Home is what you have to leave 
to know where you belong

Because I come from a family of professors and have spent most of my working life in scholarly libraries, for me, autumn is not just about the end of summer heat and outdoor activities, but also contains in it the excitement of new possibilities that come with the new school semester. As I continue to pick college towns to live in, the academic schedule still informs my sense of late September as a time of renewal and beginnings as a fresh group of bright young students starts to appear on the deserted heat-dazed streets of summer, just as the bold colors of fall foliage start to emerge!

 I've always looked up to happiness

As part of my preparation for the SoWa outdoor art markets Brian and I began participating in yesterday, I reviewed my files of images and selected what I thought were my most striking (and marketable!) photographs, for reproductions in medium sized and large mounts and as smaller hopefully more approachable and affordable note cards. It became clear that I am mainly a two season photographer – in winter I take mostly black and whites, and in autumn I break from my preferred medium and shoot color.   I’ve tried spring and summer, and they just don’t hold as much interest for me, in terms of colors or lighting or subject, or bring the same results. I think the only successful shots I’ve taken in early spring were after a freak late winter snowstorm – and as for summer, it was a rainy chilly gray day that tasted of early fall!

In the Conservatory, 
the bonsai are concise. 
It's their fidelity I like, 
a poem should be so true 
a hundred year old oak that casts 
the shadow of a child

All images in this post, and most of the ones I brought to market, were taken in New York City, my artistic wellspring and muse; the words are drawn from poems written about or in my hometown. The shots featured here were all from one October visit to quite possibly my favorite place on Earth, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It is a sanctuary in a city that can wear you down and out, and kept me sane while I still lived in Manhattan; any trip back home now includes a pilgrimage to this sacred spot.  It boasts all kinds of local and exotic plants, from the tiniest herbs to the largest trees, hundreds of flowers on a schedule arranged so that something is always in bloom year round, and presents itself in a variety of seasonal forms, plus meandering streams and pathways, and a small resident fish and bird population.

love the world within

In the autumn months, trees attract dozens of local and foreign photographers. I actually had to wait my turn for some of the more popular trees pictured here, finding my own unique angle and connection to the subject under the pressure of company and a time constraint! I have visited and photographed the BBG in every season, including during springtime when the blossoming cherry trees create a pink snowstorm of petals overhead and underfoot, but the images I love are from autumn. It’s my hope and belief that my passion and love for, and what I consider a longstanding intimate friendship with this place shows through in the images I’ve taken and will make them appealing to buyers as I display them every Sunday from now through November.


Autumn also means harvest, and storing things up for the hard season to come.  My own personal growing season has involved creating market inventory and enjoying all these new friendships on Blogger with likeminded creative souls.  Now I feel it’s time to reap the rewards of my labors. After much planning and hard work, yesterday Brian and I drove in to Boston. With me were close to 200 pieces all hand assembled and inscribed.  It proved to be a slow day for all vendors, and our sales were minimal. But many passing people were drawn into our tent and stopped to look and talk, and many who kept walking paused and had looks of pleasure on their faces as they surveyed our work. We were even interviewed on video for a local college newspaper!  Brian’s impressions and photos will appear in his regular Thursday posting, but from my side of the tent, I considered this a good strong beginning! It was a long day from loading up at 6am to unloading back at the studio at 6pm, and we will be doing it again next weekend for a two day event that includes one of the Boston area’s biggest Open Studios, during which some of the best local artists and galleries open their doors to the public. This happening, which generally attracts thousands of folks who are specifically looking for art and artists, not just out on a warm autumn day walking their dogs, should prove to be quite an experience for us!

On a float at water's edge
 I crouch a while content.
Within me and without, 
I'm mostly of this element, 
and love to listen to a lake's 
liquid soliloquy.

Once selling season is over I hope to focus exclusively on the more creative side of things, experiment and push myself a little, and as the first snow falls, hunker down indoors and with no distractions give myself the time and room for some of the ambitious projects I’ve been envisioning, in great part thanks to my exposure to and interactions with some of you followers out there! So, with all this inspiration, and a little less urgency to manufacture marketable goods, who knows what will burst forth next spring?

 this brief dark life suddenly awakening

22 comments:

  1. Lovely post, Gabriella. The bonsai image and the words beneath it, especially the last three lines,

    a poem should be so true
    a hundred year old oak that casts
    the shadow of a child

    are sheer magic.

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  2. Coming from you, William, this is high praise indeed! I wrote those words about one particular bonsai some 14 years ago when it had just celebrated its centenary. It still occupies its same spot in the Conservatory at BBG and I've now seen it in every season, including autumn when its miniature leaves are absolutely on fire with color. It awes and humbles me to think of the parade of events and humanity this tree has witnessed, forced to remain in its dwarfed condition in a tiny pot, and yet such a strong commanding presence! A lesson for us all to work within what we perceive to be our limits and still be magnificent in our own small way! Have a great week.

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  3. G, another lovely post! These images are beautiful and I'm especially drawn to the composition with the fish. I love autumn too, a season that didn't mean anything to me in Florida, but which is so beautiful here in South Dakota! I've not been to the Botanical Gardens, but sounds wonderful and hope to make it there on day. Sounds like you had a fine beginning to your market endeavors, and although there is a lot of physical work to it all, I hope it opens new doors for both of you. Oh, by the way, I come from a family of professors and academics, as well...imagine that!

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  4. What can a humble woman say, after Mr. William
    Michaelian's comments,
    Very poetic post, Gabriella!

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  5. Patti - glad you liked! Thanks for your words. The markets will indeed be hard work, but it felt right sitting there with my creations on display and seeing people's reactions, way better than being in a cubicle as a passive participant in someone else's inscrutable agenda! Oh, and yeh,I had you pegged as a fellow former faculty brat...

    dear Monika! - thanks so much for stopping by. Yes, the seal of approval from William is the ultimate reward! Have a great week.

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  6. Beautiful photoos,full of light.
    The cards you made are lovely,I like the handwritten texts on them.
    Poetic post indeed,enjoy the autumn colours,they are the best.

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  7. The first image of the leaf floating is absolutely lovely! I often try to capture those moments and usually am not quite as successful as you were in this photo. Autumn is also my favorite season (though truly, every season seems to become my favorite through the lens of my camera) and I am busy posting as many of the activities associated with Fall as I possibly can.
    I am so grateful that our blogs have connected us.

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  8. renilde - thanks for visiting! I tried to make the cards unique in some way, since I am making multiple copies of each image but did not want them to seem common or mass-produced! So my solution was to write my verses on each card by hand and sign them all on the back. That gives them more of a personal touch, with each one just a little bit different! I'm glad you like them.

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  9. Barbara - thank you for commenting! The floating leaf was suspended by the thinnest filament, possibly from a spider? and it would have made a wonderful video, because it kept circling around on itself in the slightest breeze! It was a special moment - alone underneath a beautiful weeping birch (or beech?) tree that creates a round protected cleared space under its branches that arch up high and then reach all the way to the ground. A place to rest, dream, offer prayers and make silent promises! I too am glad we met through blogger! Enjoy your week.

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  10. wow! You autumn is beautifull really thank you for this post, the write is so true... and such a good shots

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  11. Emotional.... sweet works.
    Autumm is my favorite season :)
    The first pic is so pure...

    Love it!
    Kisses.

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  12. Cara Laura - it pleases me so much to know you enjoy my words and images! Many thanks!

    Crissant - It is always nice to see you here, my dear - I'm happy to know you feel the emotion and purity in my works! I do a lot of thinking, sometimes too much! But deep down I am a very simple person, and all heart, so I am glad that comes through! Warm hugs to you.

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  13. Oh how i love this post with its wonderful photographs and words. It's a joy reading your posts Gabriella, very inspiring. And your photographs are just gorgeous! Vibrant with bright colours and i love the light in your photo's. Love the world within is tender and mysterious. It reminds me of a work of Etscher.

    Your cards look great! I'll check out your etsy soon.

    Sweet greetz and a hug!

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  14. Beautiful Luna! No post is complete without your comments! You are a great inspiration to me, so I am happy to return the favor. And how did you know? Escher is a favorite of mine! Now, go to bed, my dear, it's late where you are, I think. But first, a big hug goodnight! And I can't wait to see what happens now that your muse has returned to you!

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  15. Great images. My favourite season too.

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  16. Thanks, Mo! It seems to be unanimous - in the category of favorite season among artists on blogspot and their followers: autumn wins!

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  17. beautiful images, Gabriella! so glad i followed you here. i too, am going to enjoy browsing through your previous posts :)

    to continued creativity

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  18. Thanks for stopping by, Douglas! Fortunately there won't be too many older posts for you to get through as I've only been here since August...it is great the way this community of artbloggers keeps expanding by word of mouth...

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  19. Beautiful series of autumn ! Enjoyed both your writing and photography!

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  20. Good to see you here, WCW - your work is excellent, so I especially appreciate your kind words about mine! All the best to you.

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  21. Fantastic photographs and words here. As always.

    Just coming into spring on this side of the world, lots of wind and showers of rain. I like Autumn, it is such a gentle season.

    xt

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  22. Thank you T, good to see you here! I wish this season were a little more in reality like the gentle autumn you mention and we all have in our hearts and minds! This past weekend I did outdoor markets on Saturday and Sunday - the first day it was high 80s and humid (one of my photo mounts almost melted in the sun), the next day it was low 60s with a cold wind and spitting rain (a nearby tent kept rocking as if it were ready to take flight!) Hoping for something a bit more mellow and regular in October...

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