Six Word Saturday: washing the dust from my soul

Ceramic art of John Parker. Fifty year retrospective exhibition “Cause and Effect”. Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Art Gallery, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. — Pablo Picasso

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The Changing Seasons, October 2016

Perched on a rock above the Tasman Sea, one of the colony of gannets currently nesting at Muriwai, New Zealand. Close up shot of single gannet grooming itself.Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Perched on a rock above the Tasman Sea, one of the colony of gannets currently nesting at Muriwai, New Zealand. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Perhaps it’s the improving weather, but October has definitely been a more active month than I’ve had recently — dodgy knee notwithstanding.

A still morning at Greenhithe Wharf. Looking up Lucas Creek towards Albany.Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Early morning, Greenhithe Wharf. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Although there has been plenty of rain, it has seemed less relentless and the lowering cloud formations have often been photo-worthy.

Still water and lowering clouds at Otarawao Bay (Sullivans Bay), Mahurangi Regional Park, Auckland, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

A quiet afternoon at Otarawao Bay, Mahurangi Regional Park, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Under the gathering clouds. Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road, Central North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Under the gathering clouds. Mt Ruapehu from the Desert Road, Central North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

I’ve managed to escape the city a few times this month; for a couple of afternoons exploring local(ish) beaches, and a road-trip to Whanganui to visit my dad and do a glass-art workshop.

Mahuia Rapids, with Mt Ruapehu in the background. Tongariro National Park, North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Mahuia Rapids, with Mt Ruapehu in the background. Tongariro National Park, North Island, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

There are plenty of signs that spring is truly here; baby ducklings seen at Otarawao Bay, and nesting gannets at the Muriwai gannet colony.

Ducklings and adult duck. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Family outing, Otarawao Bay, Mahurangi Regional Park, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Close-up shot of nesting gannets, Muriwai gannet colony, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Nesting gannets, Muriwai gannet colony, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

I love glass as an art-form and have long wanted to try my hand at some sort of creative glass-based activity.

Whanganui-based artist David Traub runs one day workshops in glass slumping and fusing — both techniques within the capabilities of beginners.

Over the course of the day, we made two brooches/pendants, two slumped bowls and a glass tile.

Coloured glass pieces laid into a mould lined with kiln paper. This is the first stage in making a fused glass tile. There is no real way of knowing how it will look when the glass rods and shards melt in the kiln. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Before. Making a fused glass tile was a total pitch in the dark. We laid coloured glass pieces into a mould lined with kiln paper, having no real idea how it would look when the glass rods and shards melted in the kiln. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Fused glass tile. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

After. Quietly pleased with the result. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Decorated glass disk ready for the kiln. This will slump over the mould and become a very handy little bowl. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Decorated glass disk ready for the kiln. This will slump over the mould and become a very handy little bowl. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

The pendants aren’t quite finished — I have to glue on the bails, but the bowls have already been put to use. One of the advantages of the improving weather being that the Big T and I can enjoy a beer outdoors while bemoaning the size of the lawn we have to mow (ok, he generally does it), and planning our escape from wrong-sized living.

Slumped glass bowls holding nuts and olives. Perfect for pre-dinner snacks. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Perfect for holding pre-dinner snacks. Slumped glass bowls, decorated with glass powders. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

This post is my contribution to The Changing Seasons, a monthly challenge hosted by Cardinal Guzman. Please visit to see the Cardinal’s month, and find links to other participants.

There are two versions of the challenge:

Version 1 (The Changing Seasons V1):

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post 5-20 photos in a gallery.
Don’t use photos from your archive. Only new shots.

Version 2 (The Changing Seasons V2):

Tag your posts with #MonthlyPhotoChallenge and #TheChangingSeasons
Each month, post one photo (recipe, painting, drawing, whatever) that represents your interpretation of the month.
Don’t use archive stuff. Only new material!

DP Photo Challenge: Shine, take 2

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Double-exposure. Late afternoon sun shining through the trees. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Fused.

Photography is all about light; about capturing how and where, and the intensity with which it shines.

In the montages here, two shots of the same view are overlaid. The first shot was in focus, showing trees silhouetted against the sky. The second shot was out of focus, reducing the image to blob and bokeh.

The difference between the two montages is largely an effect of the intensity of the light electronically shone in the editing process.

Photo-montage of sunlight through trees and same shot out of focus to give bokeh effect. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Fused.

Double-exposure. Late afternoon sunlight through the trees. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Fused.

Shared as a contribution to the  Daily Post Photo Challenge. This week’s theme is shine.

 

“Time for you to go out to the places you will be from”

Growth and decay. Photo-montage; cherry blossom and leaf skeleton. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Fused.

Growth and decay. Photo-montage; cherry blossom and leaf skeleton. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed and Fused.

Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end. — Seneca

Until recently, I only knew that quote as a line from the song Closing Time by the American band Semisonic.

Not that the provenance really matters in terms of the basic wisdom of the words — as any gardener who has just dug home-made compost into their vegetable patch will tell you.

As the Big T and I are moving (albeit at glacial speed) towards changing and simplifying our lives, it becomes clearer that the end of one era facilitates the start of another. Especially as the boy-child has flown the nest.

I shot the two photos in this montage last week on a road-trip through the central North Island. As I spend more time out of Auckland, I realise that small-town — or at least provincial — New Zealand is almost certainly part of my new beginning.

I’ve played with the colour editing a little bit, and am not sure which version I prefer. What do you think?

Photo-montage; cherry blossom and leaf skeleton. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed, Stackables and Fused.

Growth and decay #2. Photo-montage; cherry blossom and leaf skeleton. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed, Stackables and Fused.

This post was written for Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge at Lens and Pens by Sally. The title is also a line from “Closing Time.”