* Carmen Beecher * Cindy Michaud * Carol Schiff * Denette Schweikert * Donna Vines * Mary Warnick * Kathy Garvey *Fay Picardi * Jean Thomas

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

On a Safari!

Mondays with the Pieces are always fun but especially so when we do a group activity.  This week I copped an idea from the wonderful Ellen Lindner of Adventure Quilter who shared a great way to train our eyes.  On her newsletter she discusses a photo safari in which she "searches" for photos that meet specific criteria.  (Her link provides a wonderful list.)  With apologies to Ellen and a nod to our time constraints, I modified the list a bit to suit our intent.  One rule was that since we were to stay inside, we could not "set up" poses or move things around. 

Can you guess what this is?  We have painted in these rooms for years and trust me, we found stuff we never knew was there.  This photo was "something from an unusual angle".  Relax, it is not alive.  But what an eye opener this exercise was.  We downloaded our 5 things and then critiqued as a group.
Isn't this fabulous?  Such a tiny pile of hanging chains noticed by Denette and captured perfectly with her MACRO setting.  Ah yes, we discovered that most of us needed more familiarity with our cameras including learning how to turn off the flash, move to a macro setting, focus when zooming....
This first appeared as a textured grey blob that looked like manatee skin (zoom in until unrcognizable) and then we saw the photo as above (zoom out til just able to identify).  Can you identify?  The top of a plastic water bottle in the sunlight.  But for artists those exquisite drops of water and lovely blue/lavendar rim would be enough inspiration to take off on.
Here's another zoom in....and even if you cannot guess what it is (most painters can) you have to admit that it would be a great start for an abstract, no?  Yes, it is the reflections in the curved side of a shiney metal pot.  Can you see my friend Bill in it?
This piece actually fulfilled several requirements: high contrast, be interesting in black and white, unusual angle and......

We accomplished quite a bit this morning and it certainly opened our eyes to a lot of things.  Ellen says she uses this when she is stuck or has quilter's block and I now see why.  It is be an excellent way to "play" outside while searching for new inspiration. All of us agreed that this activity is definitely a "do over" and no doubt we will be adding many new things to the list we work from.  Thanks Ellen!

p.s. if the links to Ellen's work do not come through in your copy please go to www.adventurequilter.com.  You will enjoy her creative take on fabric art.


  1. I'm so glad y'all had fun with this activitiy. Isn't it fun and eye-opening?

    Y'all got some great photos and perspectives. Love the water bottle/manatee skin!

  2. Thanks for a fun day Cindy and to your inspiration Ellen. We really did see things for the "first time" with this excercise. It was so worth doing.