I’m drawn to strange colours, textures, and patterns, landscapes that seem surreal and odd natural wonders. I find the broken and rusted more intriguing than the fixed and stable; the falling apart with awkward and unexpected surprises, more appealing than the consistent and clean. This is my taste in art.
The Husband calls my taste “weird” but he knows me well and at each of the following places, he has remarked ”this is SO you.” These are places that catch my breath, make me feel lost in thought, inspire the imagination and I guess, just make me feel comfortable? These are also places that make me want to pull out a paintbrush or collect bits and pieces of whatever I can grasp in my hands, for future inspiration and also because, as all art teachers are, I’m a crazy packrat.
As you can imagine, The Husband is not pleased about the collecting bits and pieces part. He does not want to be part of my ’treasure finding’ plan. He was certainly not happy when I convinced him recently to help me collect paint chips in every single colour, from every single row, on every single rack from Canadian Tire. It was for an art project.
On Hawaii’s Big Island, you can walk forever across old lava fields and not get tired of hearing the crunching sound of old lava under your feet:
Volcanoes National Park, Big Island, Hawaii
The Dead Sea didn’t interest me because of its floating or “healing” capabilities, I was more drawn to the water’s edge by the salt particles that lay in clumps, like pieces of crystal attached to the rocks. You can guess who went home with heavier bags:
The Dead Sea, Jordan
Watching the powerful waters of a geyser push upwards in a burst of power is a fascinating sight. First, the water starts to boil and steam, then a bubble is formed. Finally the steam and water forces skyward:
Location of a famous geyser (getting ready to burst), Iceland
Iceland is a photographer’s dream. Full of muted dull colours and extreme contrasts in nature. It was raining. We jumped out of the car for a picture. I said, “please, I must capture this colour, I’m in love with it.” He said, “If you get the camera wet, I’ll kill you.” Never mind the fact that it’s my camera…
Somewhere else in Iceland.
Well, while we’re on the subject of Iceland, I guess we can’t miss this:
The Blue Lagoon, Iceland
Rocks, sands, dirt, never-ending space - I love it. Here, the red sands up close are just such a gorgeous rich rust colour. I made sure to bring some sand home. I don’t know what to do with it yet, but one day I’ll know:
Wadi Rum, Jordan
There’s something storybook-like and fairytale-esque about trees. Trees are friendly, almost smiling creatures. Who doesn’t like trees?
Giant Sequoia trees, California
One of my favourite things about surreal landscapes is the quietness of them. There’s something so beautiful in solitude. Rain tends to drive people away, indoors. I love rain, it means no crowd. Plus the foggy clouds give everything a soft mystical kind of look. It was lightly drizzling this day:
Marble terraces and hot springs, Pamukkale Turkey
It’s hard to believe people lived here. In this ancient place pockmarked with empty cave homes carved right out of the rock. I’d call it Flintstones-like but that makes it seem childish and it’s not cartoony, though the possibilities for hide and seek are endless:
The middle of nowhere it seems, is the best place to come across unexpected beauty:
Blyde River Canyon, Bourke’s Potholes, South Africa
“…and in her starry shade, Of dim and solitary loveliness, I learn’d the language of another world” – Lord Byron.