Finding some beauty…photo gallery

I thought that today of all days, I needed to get out into the outdoors and do some mindful photography and find some beauty in the world.  Not easy in a drizzly grey Gosport in November.  (Although annoyingly the sun has come out since I got home!).  But I had a great walk and am very pleased with the pictures I took.  The leaves still look amazing.

I decided to focus on colour – to brighten my day – but some monochrome crept in there too, perhaps giving away my underlying mood.

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Action Stations – in colour and monochrome!

I am very proud to share my pictures of the Action Stations building taken earlier this month.   As I have already blogged, I learnt a great deal doing this assignment – and I am very pleased with the results.

I used my mindful practice of wandering around the building seeing what caught my eye.  Back home I review the shots always asking “is this about the colour or the shape?” the latter are turned into monochrome, the former are tweaked to enhance the important features – but I seldom do much post-processing.

See my blog on the history of this wonderful building here >>

So here is a sample of the shots – I actually have 60 of them – too many for this blog!

Colour gallery

Monochrome Gallery

Please get in touch if you would like to discuss a similar photo assignment.

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It’s funny how every photowalk has a flavour, when I got back from my walk yesterday, all my pictures featured pinks / purples and reds!   Here is a little selection.   Loved the sticker on the old metal pole and the buds just opening on a very old wall at the end of a quaint lane in the heart of Southsea.   The fabulous old worn steps were in Castle Road.

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MA Fine Art – liminal project underway

After weeks of stress – the exhibition and the steep learning curve of a totally new subject area for me, combined with illness it is fabulous to report that things have settled down somewhat!

The exhibition is done, I feel fit and healthy and I also feel I have broken the back of my two uni projects this term.

Gosport Ferry Liminal Space

As part of my research on liminality, I want to use Gosport Ferry in some way.  It has always been important to me and when I realised it was a liminal space (much like a bridge) I was delighted and determined to include it in my art work.   The ferry is a threshold to the other side, no mans land in the harbour.  Plus for many commuters it is also temporally liminal – they use it entirely to get to the other side, they daydream their way over.    I don’t know what I will do art-wise with this but I decided this week to start taking one picture everytime I cross.   These will usually be on my Samsung phone since I don’t carry my Canon with me every day.   I will assemble these in a Flickr album and see what happens!

Liminal Space - Gosport Ferry

Gosport Ferry – Liminality – click for album

Uni

I really enjoyed the talks this week by each of the tutors about their particular passions and past projects. It was inspirational to see the wide variety of areas where art and creativity is applied – I found each one very interesting.

I had not really heard of ‘zines’ before – and it surprised me to see that by Jackie’s definition my book of photography and poetry is an artzine!     And I love the instructions on how to make a foldyzine.

The mediate project was fascinating – and seemed to be so valuable, such a shame that none were made.

1001 Haphazard colours got me thinking about how we all perceive colours differently, we can never know how someone else sees your favorite red.   And colours are so emotional, and these videos record why people love certain colours – we all have such personal reasons for liking (or disliking I guess) a colour.     Colour is very important to me, I tend to chose them instinctively when I am painting, I will just know that an area of a painting has to be a certain hue.   Also recently I did this picture which I blogged about, it’s actually a rough for a bigger version, but I was thinking about what colour love felt to me – I concluded that being loved felt orangey yellow, and loving felt purple… and I did this:

What colour is your love?

What colour is your love?   We are complimentary….

There’s more about this on my post about synaethesia and what colour is that feeling?

Featured picture

This weeks picture is an alleyway that runs from behind our house to the sea – definitely liminal and covered with yellow leaves.

Synaesthesia and art – what colour or shape is that feeling?

I have mentioned before that I am synaesthetic.    I don’t see numbers or words as colours or see music as colours (although that sounds amazing) – mainly I have a very specific way that I see numbers in time.   I had no idea about synaesthesia until I was in my mid-40’s when I was driving and heard a BBC Radio4 programme about it, I nearly crashed the car!  That was me!   I thought everyone saw numbers like me.

Number form synaesthesia

I have number-form synaesthesia, which involves a complicated moving, coloured, ribbon of numbers going forwards and backwards from differing perspectives depending on the context (time, calendars, days of the week or just normal numbers).  It makes juggling numbers quite complicated sometimes but also I can grasp some concepts easily because I see it in visual form.

This can be quite a handicap when I cannot envisage one number as higher than another – ‘greater’ yes, ‘higher’ no.

synaesthesia

I didn’t think much about it until I started doing my art and I realised how being synaesthetic affects my art and how I see the world, and I have started to take it more seriously again.   I read  Wednesday is Indigo Blue (Crytowic / Eagleman) and it piqued my interest, especially as I realised that other aspects of how I see the world are synaesthetic too (perhaps more about that in the future!).

Painting feelings

As I have been practicing more mindfulness since I have been off work, it has caused me to ask more often ‘What am I feeling right now?’ this led very naturally for me to ask ‘What shape is that feeling?’ and more recently, ‘What colour is that feeling?’

I started to paint my feelings.  This is different to my photography, which tries to convey feelings via an image – this is attempting to paint the actual feeling.    I found this very theraputic and also was surprised to find that others got a strong sense of feelings when they saw the image (although not necessarily the same one as me).     I was recently worried about a family member who was ill, and the sketch below (I haven’t had time to translate this into a large watercolour yet) is my feeling of ‘Worry’ and ‘Scared’.    I am not sure about the colours yet, perhaps that is why I haven’t painted it.

worry

Worry, scared…

This week I was idly sketching and I got a strong sense that my husband’s love felt yellow.  It hadn’t occurred to me that feelings had colours before and I was interested in this, especially as ‘traditionally’ love is red in our society.   I thought about why yellow and it was the universally uplifting and postivivity of yellow that made it feel right.   I wondered what colour my love for him was, and I immediately knew it was purple.   Strong, deep and rich.

It amused me to realise that these two colours where complementary!    So I did the watercolour above – it’s called ‘We are complementary’.

Of course I have no idea if everyone thinks like this, after all it is common in our language to speak about being green with envy or purple with rage.  I am sure most people could empathise with anger being spiky or love being soft and rounded.   I don’t know if this is synaesthesia or common to us all.

Artists

There are many artists who are known to be synaesthetic, and it’s not surprising.    It is also perhaps not surprising that some of my favorite artists are Van Gogh, Hockney and Kandinsky!  Perhaps we see the world in a similar way.

According to a 2010 study, there is a higher prevalence of synaesthesia in art students, so it obviously does influence our actions.

More info

I suspect that every synaesthete is unique, that we all have our senses interconnected in subtly different ways, which is wonderful for the world of art and the different ways we see and experience the world.

More info on synaesthesia in art here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Synesthesia_in_art

How synaesthesia inspires artists from the BBC

You can find out more about synaesthesia here: http://www.synesthesiatest.org/

Do you have shapes for feelings?   Know that some feelings are a certain colour?  I’d love to hear your experiences.