The preparations for the Christmas season are done! We had oodles to do as we hosted the family at our house Christmas Day. Now it is time to return to the mundane world and enjoy mundane things, like thinking about what to do rather than having to focus on this project or that. Getting out the drawing supplies is one thing to begin those thoughts.
The winter rains come – we are expecting some all week – and then they leave. Plants, such as this fennel, grow tall, their yellow blooms reaching upward. Mustard, too, and native and (probably) non-native grasses fill the spaces between. And then the rains stop. All becomes brittle and brown, fuel for the summer fires which fly across California, driven by winds, through steep canyons and open lands. A cycle of life in the natural world.
I expect a lot of you are bored with my leaves and trees and plants! But I never tire of them and just wish I lived someplace with more open spaces and trees. Maybe even some snow. The older I get, the more I appreciate what I grew up in – wild, green areas without people.
Every now and again in post I find or create a preset that I really like. This is my newest. What pleases me is the texture it is capable of bringing out – the details – without feeling overblown. Nature is filled with textures, which can be great in photography, but there are times, as when using a photo for reference in a painting, that all that detail needs to simplified to the nth degree!
Yep, another tree. To me, trees are friends I love to visit. They vary like friends, depending on season, on light, on weather, mood. Oak trees are particular favorites of mine.
Sometimes things lend themselves very well to black and white conversion. Sometimes they don’t. I had to work to even get the lamp’s post to show. At one point the light looked like teeth floating in the middle of nowhere. I can’t say I am thrilled with the results of the B&W conversion, but I was amused by those teeth for quite awhile.