I’ve been in Stratford-upon-Avon this past weekend, meeting up with my dear friend Rachel. On Sunday the weather cleared enough for us to enjoy a visit to Shakespeare’s New Place, Museum and Gardens. I had been very excited about seeing these gardens as they are a work of art. Inspired by the works of Shakespeare, the gardens were created by a collective of artists, landscapers, theatre-makers and volunteers. The words of Shakespeare are inscribed within this landscape on pendants, sculptures, benches and on the paving stones.
Meandering through the gardens was truly inspiring! It’s also fully accessible for wheelchair users, which I hope can inspire other UK visitor attractions! This stunning centrepiece is a circle of twenty-six hornbeams (one for every play written at New Place) that encircles the sculpture His Mind’s Eye by Jill Berelwitz. The bent bronze tree could surely have braved The Tempest and expresses Shakespeare’s creativity, the sheer force of his genius. From this angle it seemed to me to be like looking at a giant eye. Perhaps the eye of the storm?
Shakespeare was at his most creative during the nineteen years that New Place was the family home. That creativity lives on in the gardens now. Even more inspirational is that work only began here two years ago, for the four-hundredth anniversary of Shakespeare’s passing. Beyond the yew walk, the Great Gardens are surrounded by the most extraordinary sculptures by Greg Wyatt, each one depicting a Shakespeare play. I think I will find something new in each of them every time I visit. It was tempting to re-ennact a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream as Rachel and I enjoyed the Wild Bank at the end of the garden. We both performed the play at sixth form college, I was typecast as the short but feisty Hermia and Rachel was a woodland fairy. Many happy memories were relived during our visit and I know we’ll be back!
I love the freedom of creating abstract photography with lights and glass. It takes me back to my years of painting with oils and developing my photography in a darkroom. Starting out with a simple subject and taking a creative journey, testing, experimenting, without any agenda, just unconscious thought and the joy of the imaginative process.It often makes me feel like a small child on Christmas morning, clutching a full stocking in my trembling hands and trying to guess what’s inside from the feel and sound of its contents!
During such a busy time of year I’ve also been having fun with the freedom to artistically explore my photography with the apps on my phone! I can sit comfortably at my favourite coffee shop with a mocha and a cake and enjoy the simple pleasures of creating something that I hope might surprise and delight. I hope to spread some twinkling, festive cheer with a little gallery of stars based on our tree-topper. I used a combination of Google+ Photos, Aviary, Adobe PS Touch and the brilliantly bonkers Superphoto (all for Android). Have a wonderful silly-season everyone, enjoy the simple pleasures and have fun in all you do 🙂
I’ve taken some inspiration this week from the Weekly Photo Challenge: Twinkle. I also wanted to make more of a feature of the original subject. I’ve created so many adjustment layers and new background layers for further adjustment that it’s a bit too hard to explain my process step by step! Much of what I do when I’m creating an abstract is unconscious experimentation. To me it feels a lot like the process of painting with oils, creating layers of tone and colour that can be moved around and remoulded to continuously reshape a picture as it grows in your mind’s eye. This one felt like it was growing into a fun starburst! So I do apologise for not going through all my steps this week and just focusing on the resulting image. Hope you all find as much fun in it as I have! Thank you to Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me for hosting this fascinating challenge.
I love using abstract digital art to lead a viewer deep inside an image! The first edit of my December image became very vortex-like and reminded a few of us of Doctor Who. I thought I’d stick to a SciFi theme this week that is somewhat inspired by a surreal and brilliant scene within the film Interstellar. How would we see the passage of space and matter when moving at near-lightspeed? How would beings who perceive space in a different dimension to us, whether two or five dimensional, view our world? The mind boggles but it certainly makes for some fun artistic interpretations!
There are eight layers in my image this week which has once again been created using Photoshop. Initially I softened my subject with a Gaussian Blur, then applied a Faded Extrude filter to keep a boost of colour. I then applied a Motion Blur and created three copied layers which were flipped horizontally and vertically and merged with Screen Blending. As ever, many thanks to the lovely Robyn Gosby at Captivate Me for this inspiring challenge 🙂
I’m still keeping the original secret, but here are the two edits so far for this month:
What does angular mean to me? Only my favourite building in the whole of London! The Shard. I’m drawn to this building in ways I can’t fully explain. I was never really a fan of modern architecture. Some have intrigued me, others disgusted me, many have amused me but The Shard fascinates me. I’ve really enjoyed processing my photographs, the building lends itself perfectly to artistic interpretations!
Its angular design, sleek lines and sharp edges, seem more like a sculpture to me than a building. It has an intrinsic beauty from every aspect that just cries out to be photographed! I can’t resist it. I’ve been up to the viewing platforms several times now and I hope to get back up there soon to capture some night views of the city. The Views from The Shard really are the icing on the cake!
I delayed posting for the challenge this week, as I had another trip to hospital in London yesterday giving me the opportunity to see some fresh angles of The Shard. All my earlier images are from the south of The Thames so I ventured over to the north bank of the river by The Tower of London to get a different vantage point. Everyone seemed to be drawn to the riverside to gaze upon this masterpiece of architecture and construction!