A Labor of Love

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Part of a summer-long photo project I’ve been working on with Happy Gatherings Photography, inspired by the paintings of John Singer Sargent. Most of the photos in this series were styled at Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate in Canton, Massachusetts,  a property of The Trustees of Reservations.  Truly a labor of love!

 A photo exhibit is planned for later this year at The Bradley Estate.

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Izzy picking collage

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A huge thank you to Julie Early and The Trustees of Reservations, to my colleague, Carol MacGregor of Happy Gatherings Photography
and to the following vendors for their contributions:

Petal Pushers Floral Studio
Bakery on the Common
Counting Sheep Antiques
Thoreauly Antiques

meandering

 

north end view-

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window mural-

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On a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon
in the North End
Boston, Massachusetts

inspiration

Every year at this time, I find myself in need of inspiration
I usually pour through art books but after being so cooped up this winter
I decided get out and head to the nearest art museum.

looking

It was a quiet Sunday afternoon and the museum had only a handful of visitors
So nice to be able to linger and take my time. For the first time, I began to notice not only the beautiful artwork but how each room was arranged.

As I wandered, I started looking from many different perspectives

come sit

A lonely chair beckoned to be sat on
while eyes watched every move from the wall

girls

As I moved around the Modern Art wing, I was struck by the juxtaposition of each work. From one perspective, I saw Kiki Smith’s ceramic statue, Girl with Blue Dress, with what could be a later version of herself in the Alex Katz portrait, Ada with Sunglasses.

As I viewed this young girl from behind, I saw innocence in the face of violence (The Hull, an oil painting by Hyman Bloom).  Striking, disturbing and evocative.

on innocent eyes

There were many other instances like this as I moved through each room in the museum.  It fascinated me and left me wondering how I never noticed this before.

 

Before I left, I came across a still life painting by a little known American artist, John Frederick Peto, appropriately titled Still Life with Books. This intrigued me, not only because I love old books but because of the unique way they were arranged on the edge of a table. Something so simple yet it stirred some feeling of nostalgia in me.

When I returned home, I gathered some of my favorite old books, placed them on my mother’s old antique table and had fun attempting to recreate this painting with my camera.

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old books, old friends

Peto was apparently a master of trompe l’oeil, arranging the subject matter in a shallow space using shadow to suggest depth. It took me many tries to get the right amount of light and shadow in my image. With this painting technique, objects were rarely cut off the edge of a painting but I obviously cut the books off in the right hand corner. All in all, it was a fun experiment and I enjoyed trying something new.

Turned out to be an inspiring day in many different ways.  Just what the doctor ordered.

Tell me, do you ever feel a strong need to create something?

What inspires your work?

Are there times you feel the need to break away from the norm?

I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

(Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts)

sea snow

 

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caught in a squall l

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bearskin

the holiday shoppers

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 after a long week of gray and gloom
Saturday morning, we awoke to bright sunshine and clear blue skies
so we hopped in the car and headed out to wander the trails at Halibut Point

as we got closer to Rockport, the sky turned dark and the snow started coming down
little did we know that Cape Ann would be the ONLY spot in Massachusetts to be in a snowstorm that day.

Despite the fact that we were unprepared
no boots, hats or warm gloves,
it was pretty magical.

We found refuge in a coffee shop on Bearskin Neck
where we dried off and warmed up over cappuccino,
the caffeine fix was just enough to get us back out the door to join the busy Christmas shoppers on the streets.

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“Life is so full of unpredictable beauty and strange surprises. Sometimes that beauty is too much for me to handle. Do you know that feeling? When something is just too beautiful? When someone says something or writes something or plays something that moves you to the point of tears, maybe even changes you.”
~ Mark Oliver Everett

weekend snapshots

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Collage

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we seem to have gone right from summer to fall weather over the weekend
although the sun was warm, the air was fresh and crisp
perfect for apple picking
and warm apple cider donuts