Saturday, January 31, 2009

Looking for Soapbox

Today: Create a soapbox on which to stand and spout off occasionally. Consider having a weekly soapbox sound off day. Is there a gripe each week? Am not sure about that--don't want to be creating problems. Will be back later with image of a soapbox podium. :-) Question: Would two soapboxes be a podium with a lectern? Just playing with words and definitions. Time to get coffee and create.

Friday, January 30, 2009


What is perfection? Can you define it?

My definition will be different from yours. Perfection is whatever you want it to be. Perfection then is a subjective term, loaded with unlimited, personal expectations. And... just think, we put these expectations on ourselves and on others. Wow!

Perfection? Guess what? There is no such thing. You can relax...go with the flow and, learn and grow imperfectly.

"Perfection does not exist. To understand this is the triumph of human intelligence; to expect to possess it is the most dangerous kind of madness." --Alfred de Musset

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sunsets Take My Breath Away

Looked out the front window and what did I see?

Photographs by Elisabeth Bacon 2009--All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Time Flies

Here is a lavender-colored, flowering plant in an old crock--taken this past week. May use as an accent in stone house, or meetinghouse, photograph and create an altered art piece. Or...may do a sketch using tinted graphite pencils.

* * * * * * * *

A week has gone by since I last posted. Where does the time go?

During this week, we had company and prior to their arrival did a ton of cleaning. The house looks nice.

Went to an estate sale and also to my favorite resale shop. Found some neat props (all for under $50.) The best find is a wooden saffron container from the 1800's. Coming in second is a blue and white porcelain Chinese ivy starter. There was a millifiore paperweight (at the estate sale) that appears to be "end of the day." "End of the day" is when the artist uses scrap glass to make some not so perfect items. Since I already have an antique millifiore paperweight, a collection may be in the making.

Painting seems to be on the back burner for now. Instead, I will make my photographic paintings using light instead of paint and a camera instead of brushes. An occasional drawing will be fun to do too.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

At First Light

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2009
All Rights Reserved

Monday, January 19, 2009

Here Is What's Happening

Company's Coming and We Are Cleaning
Renaissance Dress Purchased for "Betty"
Thinking About and Planning Drawing

We are getting ready for company. Benefits of having visitors include: a neat, clean house. Another benefit is going through "stuff." Around here odd items are the norm. How many people have two mannequins sitting in their bedroom? Oh, by the way, yesterday I won the bid on a Renaissance dress for "Betty" and am looking forward to making her several headdresses to compliment her new outfit. Then, she can pose for a portrait.

May do drawing of a stone house window.

How weird...before I could finish writing this, it suddenly got published. What is that about? What a surprise! Yikes! Hope that doesn't continue happening.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Let the Painting Begin

My father wants two things from me:

1. to write a book about my life and
2. to resume painting

Since this journal is how I motivate myself, I hereby proclaim:

Let the painting begin again!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Quick Snapshots of Old Artwork

LANCASTER COUNTY, PA -- by Elisabeth Bacon -- All Rights Reserved

PENNSYLVANIA STONEHOUSE -- by Elisabeth Bacon -- All Rights Reserved

Top image is a photograph adapted to card format. The next image is a pencil sketch (also in a card series).

Today I feel the need to express my gratitude and appreciation in memory of an artist who died yesterday in Chadd's Ford, Pennsylvania.

My next door neighbor in Illinois introduced me to the work of Andrew Wyeth after he painted "Christina's World." The starkness and depth of his watercolors and egg temperas jolted me into the deep dimensions of watercolor, painting and drawing. His dry brush technique was astounding. I purchased every book on Wyeth I could get my hands on and studied his paintings endlessly. I wanted to draw and paint like that. His paintings began to change my life.

Years later I moved to Pennsylvania where my ancestors had lived, worked, loved and died; where life can be harsh and the stark terrain is speckled with farms, old stone buildings and meeting houses. Winter was white, with sepia and umber tones. Spring created landscape quilts in many colors. Who would not be moved to capture such sights? There I painted and honed photography skills. In Pennsylvania, I was at home--in the land of ancestors, family and friends.

While living in Chester County, Pennsylvania, I visited the Brandywine Museum often and had breakfast at Hank's Place. Andrew Wyeth would occasionally show up.

Now I look back and am most grateful. Pennsylvania will always be considered home and Andrew Wyeth's works will forever inspire.

Thank you Andrew Wyeth.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Still Life

Here is my entry in the Blogger's Community Photo Challenge. If you have a journal/blog and would like to enter, as well as view all the entries click here.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Drawing with Graphitint Pencils

Finally found time to do a quick sketch in journal this afternoon. It felt good to have pencil in hand. Returning to this medium is joyful and refreshing. I look forward to more drawing and experimenting with these tinted graphite pencils. Water can be added to create a watercolor effect. After completing a detailed drawing, I am not sure about adding water to create washes. That is scary. A drawing could be ruined with one swish.

Small Jug with Vegetables
By Elisabeth Bacon 2009
Graphite Rendering on Lined Paper

Monday, January 12, 2009

Inspiration Comes to Our Front Door

Sunset shots with no editing. Interesting how camera settings alter mood and perception.

Everyday Creative

Each day is an opportunity to do something creative at home, or in photography, writing or drawing and painting. When, for whatever reason, I miss meeting my Muse; I get cranky. This journal keeps me on track--focused. What better reason could we have for keeping a journal? Our journals keep us in touch with our goals, dreams and projects.

Yesterday we went to Michael's to find light tan vellum. Guess what? No luck. White vellum will have to suffice. Solution: color match the existing light tan vellum, using Photoshop. Found some tinted graphite pencils. Am excited looking forward using them.

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2009--All Rights Reserved

While out shopping, we found a fabulous Italian mask and "Betty," the mannequin, may come out of retirement to wear it. She poses well. Doesn't move. Time for her to help out. "Bob" and "Betty" (mannequins) sit around the house all day doing nothing. Uh-oh, unless they do something, they could be headed for Donation Land.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Change of Pace

After working on the Potatoes and Renaissance lighting, a change of pace is welcomed. Yesterday I started playing with pen and ink--doodling, even. Below if the result so far. I love tapestries so...

Later today it is off to Michael's for sheets of aged Vellum. In a journal of originals, the Tapestry Drawing can be pasted on vellum and perhaps colored adding gilt highlights.

Then, it is back to shooting the Renaissance series.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Infinity and Bokeh

"1867 Sutton & Dawson Dict. Photogr. 122.... In every lens there is a certain distance of a near object from it, between which and infinity all objects are in equally good focus." ~Quote from Oxford English Dictionary

Taking sharp images was a challenge for me with my first single lens reflex camera. No matter what I did, I couldn't not achieve a crispness. With a medium format Hasselblad, that changed. The settings worked. The lesson to be learned in this is: good glass (high quality lenses) are crucial in achieving high quality images. The same is true when using digital cameras--buy and use good glass.

* * * * * * * *

Bokeh produces different aesthetic qualities in out-of-focus backgrounds, which are often used to reduce distractions and emphasize the primary subject...and has been in use at least since 1996 Boke is the Japanese word for "fuzzy". - Wikipedia

Friday, January 9, 2009

Planning Another Potato Shoot

Grrrrrrrrr...still have not achieved the look I am after for the potatoes. Renaissance lighting is tricky and by being away from the camera over the holiday, I got out of the groove. I am determined to get back on track. I will shoot the potatoes and jug again, as well as some other antiques and food in a Renaissance setup.

Remember: Continue shooting until you get exactly the look you want. Never settle.

Added these potatoes after comment was left this morning by Eaglesbrother...I think he'll like them. I like them.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Back to Basics

Playing with Renaissance lighting, veggies and props:

Note: Reshoot, Reflect and Refine.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Working Outside the Box--Yesterday's Shoot

Am playing with several concepts:

THE POWER OF THOUGHT (Concept in Process)
Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2009
All Rights Reserved

ARTIFACT (Altered Image in Process)
Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2009
All Rights Reserved

Monday, January 5, 2009

Update on Age of Statue

After researching men's fashions in both the 1600s and 1700s on Wikipedia (, the results are: the statue's apparel appears to be closer to circa 1700. So, to be on the safe side, I would say circa 1650-1750. Wikipedia lists the paintings below as "in the public domain.*" Because the statue has a bobbed haircut, I believe it to be a representation of a young boy. For educational/research purposes, I am showing these examples of men's fashions (1650-1700):


*Please be advised, any art not "in the public doman" is copyrighted and should not be posted, or used without written permission from the author/artist.

Snapshots of Fog

Yesterday the fog rolled in again. At first light, out I ran half-dressed to catch moments.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Today's Find

Yesterday I visited my favorite antique mall hunting for props. While there, I ran across this old carving sitting on the top shelf of a glass case surrounded by religious artifacts. Today I went back to retrieve him.

He is a very old piece most likely from the 1600s (or earlier) and appears to be either a nobleman or tradesman. If anyone has any ideas about this piece, please let me know. Let the research begin...

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2009--All Rights Reserved

Study of a Cabbage

Photograph by Elisabeth Bacon 2008-9
All Rights Reserved

More cabbage shots in the works.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Entering Creative Dimensions

What makes one photographer stand out? How does one create photographs easily recognizable as theirs alone...something uniquely different from what others are doing?

There are steps in this creative process. I am striving to define these steps and in defining them move into other dimensions of creativity. Words cannot adequately explain what happens. Creativity is experiential. The process is experiential. Transitions happen and lessons are learned through doing.

Steps in the Process
1. Know your equipment
2. Know your craft
3. Learn to see
4. Step outside yourself becoming one with your subject
5. Enter deeper creative, spiritual dimensions

Steps four and five are crucial. One can transcend what is seen and bring other dimensions into the work.

Through capturing these dimensions, an individuals creative work becomes unique and one's "style" is born. My challenge is finding the words to define this experiential process.

What I want to learn now is what comes next? I am certain there is breakthroughs and additional dimensions. This year my resolve is to explore these possibilities.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Major Resolution--Don't Bite

Like fish eyeing a hook, we may be faced with barbed comments. Don't bite. When someone tries to make you jealous, angry, or feel bad about yourself; don't bite. When faced with negativity, complaints and put downs; don't bite. Some folks have to put down others to falsely feel good about themselves. Don't bite. Their insecurities, bad habits and insatiable needs are theirs; not yours...Don't bite.

Emotional parasites need energy--any energy. When dealing with negatives, walk away. Say, "Pffffffffffffftttttt!," or "Stop it," then dive into something positive. You can do something else. What would you rather be doing? Do it. If necessary, leave (go for a walk; skip; do; clean out a drawer/a closet; do the dishes; play music; read a book; write a book, story, poem; paint; draw; pet the cat; watch a movie; dance; sing; meditate; sew; do needlepoint, knit, or cross stitch; take a bath).

Remember: What one focuses on expands. someone once told me, "Don't feed the weeds." There is power in silence. Affirm the positive. Associate with positive people. Every day is a new day filled with possibilities for growth. In life and art, we learn through observation and practice.

For this year: Work on Positivity, Praise and Activity
Happy New Year!