Monday, April 23, 2012

Portraits in Cheese

As an amature artist, I have struggled with painting or drawing the human face. Of course, I could attend art classes and learn how to do it right, but sometimes when the muse strikes, you just have to make do. 

I felt a pressing need to portray myself, as well as create a portrait of my handsome youngest son. All we had on hand at the time (this was at a party) were red napkins and that so called cheese that comes in a sort of spray can. Spray cheese, actually called Easy Cheese makes for a wonderful art medium.

            Here are the results of using this unique  method combined with the use of original art materials. It may seem like a waste of  food, but I don't think of spray cheese as actual food. In fact, there are probably few ingredients that qualify as what a  normal person would think of as food.

           The portrait of my son was so well   received that he used it for his Facebook avatar!   

And there am I, in cheese looking a lot like a self portrait I drew when I was about 12. Only then I used a pencil. 

Taking Pictures - It's All In the Light

Ever since I got my new digital camera, an inexpensive Canon Power Shot A490, I've been taking pictures like a madwoman. Or a photographer. Every once in awhile, when I wonder how those professionals get such gorgeous shots, I remember that they not only have a skill honed by years of education and experience, and a high quality camera. And they take a gazillion pictures of one thing. 

Not that I'm not taking way too many photographs, but digital cameras are great for that - take tons of photos, sooner or later, you're bound to get one right!

There are, however, some occasions when you just know the photograph will look wonderful, when you know that you will get it right. Of course we all know that taking pictures midday washes out color and flattens the look of a photograph. And that it's best to have the sun behind your shoulder - in which case you have to watch so you don't wind up with a beautiful photograph marred by a silhouette of yourself. 

But there is that special light that comes before a storm, in late afternoon. The sky is partly cloudy, a heavy blanket of gray hoovers overhead, but the sun slants in from the edges. Run and get your camera! Now you may think, well of course the picture above is pretty - a pastoral sight, trees, blah blah blah. But in that slanted light, even the dullest landscape comes alive and the most ordinary becomes extraordinary.