Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Birds, bees and blossoms

The warm weather we have been having combined with the rain from storms has added to the riot of colour and activity seen on my early morning walks. All the flowers etc are on the verge- footpaths - I never have to venture more than a metre or so from the Treehaven Way bitumen.

© 2014 Barry Smith - Detail of a weed - love the glow below the stamen
The bees in the small flowers that pop up each year in the roadside drain.

©2014 Barry Smith - getting right in there to get the good stuff
And the Magpies that seem to control the northern end of Treehaven Way.

©2014 - This is my turf
Colour that greets me on my journey; and insect action on the blossoms - so the bees aren't the only ones out for the goodies the blossoms offer.

And the bees in the neighbourhood hives - so active even a 6am in the morning - note the bee laden with pollen.
©2014 Barry Smith - As they say  - busy bees
I rejoice in each of my walks.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Night light on our travels

I'm a bit of a fan of Pointillism; and fortunately one of the outcomes of shooting photos in low light and with telephoto with the iPhone is that you get a quasi pointillism effect - or at least that is what I tell myself.

Following are a bunch of night photos taken on our recent trip. I love the way the light is captured and some physical features almost washed out or blurred. Quite unusual light in some shots - all taken with the iPhone.

©2014 Barry Smith - Spires in Ipere, Belgium
©2014 Barry Smith - Spires - Ipere, Belgium
©2014 Barry Smith - Ridge of Clothe Hall Ipere, Belgium
©2014 Barry Smith -  Rotated reflection of light on water - Bruges, Belgium
©2014 Barry Smith - Bridge - Bruges, Belgium
©2014 Barry Smith - Bruges, Belgium
©2014 Barry Smith - Funky lighting - bridge - in Bruges, Belgium
©2014 Barry Smith - Streetlight, hotel light and moonlight - Paris
©2014 Barry Smith - Spires - Prague
We don't always get many night shots when we travel as we tend to be indoors to get out of the dark and cold.

Friday, December 12, 2014

More Friday foibles

©2014 Barry Smith - Detail of Steampunk influenced Gears in Flight
Fiona and I are off to an early Christmas dinner with some fellow artists; and of course it is one of those bring a handmade Christmas gift affairs - for a lucky dip gift exchange. So down into the garage-studio to whip up a couple of small assemblages - one influenced by my Light Catchers and another influenced by Steampunk.

The small light catcher influenced piece is about 8-9cm high, 8-9cm long and 5cm wide. It is made from discarded heavy brass plate (.5cm thick), weights from an old clock, brass pipe and fitting and crystal from an old scent bottle. The piece has a quiet classic balanced look about it.

©2014 Barry Smith - Light Beacon
©2014 Barry Smith - Light Beacon
©2014 Barry Smith - Light Beacon
The Steampunk influenced piece is made from discarded brass plate, clock and pocket watch parts, leg off a silver-plated tray and section of discarded and slightly mangled copper pipe. It has a lot of motion about it - looks like the gears are about to take off - the big gear can be rotated. This piece is about 15-18cm long, 10-12cm high and 6cm wide.

©2014 Barry Smith - Gears in Flight
©2014 Barry Smith - Gears in Flight
I think the Steampunk piece is more playful and will make a suitable quirky Christmas present.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Pickings from our travels

When it comes to travel souvenirs Fiona and I end up in some unusual spots and bring home odd bits.

In Paris we stumbled upon a Saturday market that had some really great stuff but too heavy to carry home - so I settled for a handheld kerosene lamp with a reflective back panel and magnifying light outlet - like a torch of days gone by - all it need is clean, polish, a wick and kerosene - we bargained a good price for this beauty. It stands about 18cm high.

In a junk shop in Prague I managed to buy some brass and ceramic light bulb holders - these will work well on Steampunk lamps; and blacksmith hand made wall fixings (and handmade 15 cm nail from Bruges)

We discovered  a couple of small local hardware stores in Prague where we were able to buy interesting, portable and well priced bits for our art work including: box corners; stainless steel points; stainless steel latches; and tiny solid brass hinges (to be shared with Fiona)

Some shell cases and belt pieces from the battle fields around Ipere Belgium. These will find their way into peace focussed art works.

And a pair of blacksmith handmade arrow heads from Prague Christmas market - these will make good dry points for our printmaking.

And not one fridge magnet - have to say there are some good memories there.

Friday, December 5, 2014

The Library Grows

I have been able to complete another three metal books for my small precious library of peace. These three books range in height from 13cm down to 9 cm.

©2014 Barry Smith - Three precious peace books
©2014 Barry Smith - Three precious peace books
The larger one has a John Lennon quote stamped on its middle page.
Peace is something you wish for
Peace is something you make
Peace is something you are 
Peace is something you do
Peace is something you give away

©2014 Barry Smith - Peace book - John Lennon quote
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace book - John Lennon quote
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace book - John Lennon's quote
The middle sized book has a Jimi Hendrix quote stamped into it.
When the power of love overcomes the love of power then the world will have peace.

©2014 Barry Smith - Peace book - Jimi Hendrix's quote
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace book - Jimi Hendrix's quote
And the smallest book has Thich Nhat Hanh's quote.
Peace is every step.

©2014 Barry Smith - Peace book - Thich Nhat Hanh's quote
©2014 Barry Smith - Peace book - Thich Nhat Hanh's quote
There are now 14 books in the precious library of peace.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Of ice and art

A few photos of some sculptural works in the square outside our accommodation; and the crystals of snow and ice that greeted us on our walks. 

Looks like it is going to be crisp and cold for the few days we are in Prague. And looks like the wine will be cool climate wines?