ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Monday, October 31, 2016

Contemplative Photography, The Juxtaposition of Seasons

Normally snow is not something we welcome with excitement, but a snowfall during our photography class last week afforded us a wonderful opportunity to make pictures of the juxtaposition of two seasons (autumn and winter). I forgot how cold and damp it was when I became immersed in the looking and seeing. It had mostly melted by the time we were on the road to drive home on Friday night.

Contemplative Photography: An Asian Aesthetic

My friend and I arrived back home from our photography class on Friday night. I'm catching up on posts about the class. In case you might have the impression that I am switching from quilt artistry to photo artistry, I assure you I am not. But one feeds the other. This class, for me, was about a new and way of seeing that is less conditioned by thinking, and more influenced by "perceptions" while in the moment. In this assignment we were to seek imagery with an Asian aesthetic, demonstrating purity, simplicity and space. Hopefully they will offer you a little peace within your Monday. More to come.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Contemplative Photography, Part 2

Snow arrived in Haliburton yesterday, but it made for some great photographs that I will share in a future blog post. Today it is beautiful and sunny and looks like this photo:

Today I'm sharing the assignment from our second day. That was to photograph our "perceptions" of flowers, weeds, leaves and trees. 

I've been shooting lots of smoke bush behind our hotel. Inspiration for a quilt I've been thinking about for a year. I have photos from a trip to Vancouver Island in Summer 2015. In autumn the colour has deepened. This morning I captured them in snow (to be shared in a future post).

Dried pods abound at this time of year.

There are also dying hostas behind our hotel. I adore decomposing leaves.

Tree bark

Next post will be photos that have an Asian feel, demonstrating simplicity, purity and space.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Contemplative Photography Part 1

This week a friend and I are hanging out in Haliburton, Ontario, attending a class on Contemplative Photograpy at the Haliburton School of Art + Design. We viewed some amazing sights on our way here. We stopped to photograph old abandoned barns

and of course more autumn leaves. The leaves are really still very stunning even though we are heading toward the very end of October.
The weather is certainly turning colder. Sometimes the days are sunny and sometimes cloudy, and always we feel a cold wind now. Our first day was mostly sunny, and I took these photos around the campus

Our instructor is John McQuade, co-author of the book "Looking and Seeing". You can see and read more about it here on |Amazon.ca. While my friend Anna is an avid photographer, I was drawn to the course more for the meditative practice and an introduction to a different way of seeing the world. The premise behind the class (based on Buddhist teachings) is that we as humans are conditioned. We have the capacity to see (in a visual sense) but mostly we don't really see what we are seeing. Our seeing is conditioned by pragmatics. Our preferences and biases get in the way of seeing. So to get past these preferences, our first assignment was to see colour, without seeing the "thing" that is coloured. We went into the village to look for colour and photograph it. These are some of my results The amazing thing we all experienced was that we became focused on colour and forgot about objects and things. We became totally in the moment, and completely focused and mindful.

We just finished the third day of the course today and I have to say I haven't been so focused and immersed and engaged in a long while. In my next post I will share some photos of our assignment to photograph our perceptions of flowers, weeds, leaves and trees. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Little More Autumn Inspiration

Is it my imagination, or is this a particularly beautiful autumn? And are the leaves lasting longer than usual? It seems so to me. A friend of mine who is an avid photographer came to visit on the weekend, and we went out to the country in the rain to shoot photos. The colours were magnificent. Have a look.

My friend and I are now enjoying a course on Contemplative Photography at the Haliburton School of Art + Design. I will be writing about that soon.