Life in Colour: Green (with a little extra)

During my weekly walkabout at the Botanical Garden, with camera around my neck, I was looking for green for Jude’s “Life in Colour” challenge. Not that there isn’t any green in a subtropical garden where staff and volunteers are continually working to keep “green” from taking over. Yes there is lots of green, but I was looking for greens with unusual textures and color variations and plant combinations. I was trying to not become overwhelmed by so many greens – all with wonderful textures and variations, all planted in beautiful combinations.

Maybe you’re wondering what my problem is – especially if you live up north where your world hadn’t turned very green yet. My problem is that the photos I liked the best, were really excited about, were the ones where other hues popped in. Other colors kind of photo bombed their way in. Snuck in through the back door.

See what I mean? That little red pepper just slipped in there and looks maybe a little smug or even giggling a bit on the inside. It is hard being subtle when you’re a red-hot pepper.

Oops, here’s another one…

As I was trying to photograph the beautiful form of these green palm fronds, I couldn’t very well climb up and cut down the fruit from the palm behind it. Instead, the red almost takes center stage in what was suppose to be a photograph of “green.” It would be a crime to crop it out of the photograph, don’t you think.

I never put my camera in my photography cart when I am ready to leave because the area along to exit boardwalk always had a surprise or two requiring me to get my camera out again. When I turned the corner and headed towards the exit from a direction I usually don’t take, I noticed beautiful, big green leaves and no other color trying to weasel their way in. I examined them, thinking about a good composition – and then I saw it.

This little critter was perched on a big green leaf and seemed quite happy to be there. He didn’t even move when I came within a couple of feet to take its picture. When I downloaded the photos into my computer, I got a closer look and realized that it is a work of art and very colorful.

What wonderful color in the tail, and look at how complex the wings are and especially where to wings join the body. I think Jude will forgive me for introducing this color into her “green” challenge. Right, Jude?

Details of White

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For this week’s Photo Challenge, on The Daily Post, Jen asked us to think about the “details” that become evident when we get up close to a subject. I took this photo of a Camellia at the Hidden Lake Gardens in southern Michigan. I was fascinated by the image as soon as I framed it through my viewfinder. I was excited by the sensuousness of the curves and intrigued by the multiple shades of white.

The detail of the color illustrates why we can’t go into a paint store and say I want a gallon of white – without giving a whole lot more detail.

F is for Favorite Fabrics

I am making Granddaughter Emily a 13th birthday quilt and need more fabric. Picking fabrics is a creative activity that excites my soul – allowing me to be an artists. I am guessing that artists feel the same type of excitement as they are mixing colors on a pallet – working to find that perfect shade. It creates a grittiness deep in my being.

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I need to find a quilting store at my southern dot on the map. This is where I find the fabric designed by people who understand color and texture and quilting. I love pulling a bolt from the shelf and looking at the dots of color along the selvage indicating the colors used in printing. These rainbows of color intrigue me and help me as I mix my fabric colors.

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And the search begins. I start filling the cart with fabrics, stepping back to make sure they fit, that none stands out as too gray or bright or dull. I arrange them so one color family flows into another, moving bolts, exchanging with a different one, drawing from the techniques of working with color developed by Jenny Beyer. I look for different patterns to create varied and lush textures.

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I find fabrics that are so beautiful they bring tears to my eyes, they take my breath away. Sometimes I buy a length just because I can’t leave it behind, because I’m sure I will use it sometime in the future. I have many of these; the ones I take out of the bin at a later time to hold and caress, to hug close to my chest. I have the urge not to use them because they are so beautiful and I don’t want them to be gone – but how much better to use them to make something that is a more complex form of beautiful. When I use them, it is with faith that there will be new beauties to behold and bring home.

I look for a bright one, usually a yellow or orange because I know they will add a touch of sunshine warmth.

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I move around the store – to a different section looking for whimsy. These fabrics make me giggle inside when I find them in the finished quilt.

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I have a hard time stopping, because there is always one more that is perfect. My brake is adding up, in my head, how much they will cost. My pockets aren’t deep enough to take home all the joy.

I feel a glow as they are being measured and cut and stacked. I rearrange the stack as new ones are added. Before I leave for home, I arrange them on the seat next to me so I can take brief glimpses as I drive, and congratulate myself on another successful hunt.