• Betty Girardeau

Winter Blues

The saying is that the best camera you have is the one that you have with you. I totally embrace this statement. I try to get out and walk my beautiful neighborhood every day, though in the cold and dreary winter months, it is easy for me to tell myself, "Not today, but maybe tomorrow." I just really have to drag myself out the door with a promise that it will only be for the time needed to close my exercise circles on my Apple watch and to remind myself that I really need to get out and move, exercise those muscles, especially the heart one, and burn off some calories in the bargain. Up until this winter I have typically done my walks after dinner, despite the fact that it is dark then. But in the last several months I have taken my walks in mid to late afternoon when the sun is still up and I can be entertained during my walks not just by the Pandora music to which I might be listening, but, more importantly, that there are photo ops, too. So it was that a week or so ago I was out doing just such a walk when I stopped to get a few pictures with my iPhone of some dried up hydrangea blossoms on a bush in a neighborhood park area. I have photographed them before, but this time, because of the time of day, I could get them back lighted by the lowering sun. Hydrangea blooms are both beautiful and complex. And when you photograph them when they are essentially dead and dried out you already have great texture shown in the petals. Back lit you get another added bonus. Yesterday, because I was kind of bored after finishing my daily French lesson and having to wait to go to our once-again restarted handbell rehearsals, I decided I wanted to look again at the hydrangea images I had taken with my iPhone last week and see what I could do with one in my iColorama app (yes, you know, one of my favorites). I have friends that are wonderful and talented artists and their calling has also been mine. But I have never excelled with paint and brush. One of the things that I love about this app is the ability to take a photo image and turn it into something akin to a painting. Even creating this way is time consuming, though not anything like what a REAL painter has to do. There are a lot of ideas to explore. For me, when I start creating in the app, I really have no idea where I may end up once I have decided on a photo with which to work. I expect that that can often be the case with my paint brush artist friends, too. What's great about digital art is that I can try various ideas out and can add or delete them by a flick of my finger. Such is the story that goes with today's image. I really had a fondness for the original image. But I thought there was so much more that I wanted to say about it. I will admit to this being a bit abstract in the end, and that may not appeal to a lot of you. But I see a story in this image: the dark colors for death and dying; hints of green and the orange backlit area for rebirth. Yet all of the image is pretty much wrapped in the drab colors of deep winter. Several blossoms in the center of the image, however, are well defined, and those seem to me to be a promise that there will be other blooms this year. I really don't consider myself to be a real artist in the true sense that we know, but, like any artist that wants to share their work, I wanted my audience to understand a bit about why I was happy with what I had created. You don't have to like it. But I do. Below is the original.

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