F is also for Friday: Landscapes of Memory

Unseasonably warm, it was more of a grey day than most but the weather warns that this will be the last of it for awhile.  Light rain still falls and with each drop we wonder why it feels more like March than it should in the short weeks leading up to the winter holiday  – where is the first snow, the one that makes us run to the window and just stop, in silence, to look out.  City or country, it is always magical.

In another lifetime and at about this same time of year, it was a tradition to look for a Christmas tree in the bush before the snow became too deep, mark it and then return with a sharp axe once the house was ready to receive it.  On one such mission accomplished, the walk back was a quiet one when the scene above unfolded before us.  There was no choice but to just stop – and watch as the light along the horizon slowly changed and the clouds rolled through blue, mauve and apricot.  The moment marked a lifelong predilection for big sky landscapes, a quality of light and softness that makes one sigh or draw breath and hold it in as if to capture a part of this beauty for ourselves.

On New Year’s Eve decades later, a hushed midnight stroll down the main street of a small town found us awestruck once again.  There in the window of a gallery was our very private memory, every detail captured as if the artist had been there with us.  Morning couldn’t come soon enough.

This is what art is all about – having it grab your heart and wring from it something so deep that there are no words.

Here are a few 21st century landscape painters whose work speaks for itself:

Douglas Edwards
Renato Mucillo
Frank Corso
Ed Roxburgh

Two Cents Tuesday Challenge: Manipulation

As is: iphone photo taken through car window at 130 km per hour

This week’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge topic – Manipulation – was inspired by Ohm Sweet Ohm, a recent photo challenge and a series of articles and discussions circulating about the validity of iphone photos as “real” art (see the bottom links for more).  Actual or virtual, raw or enhanced, point and shoot, SLR or DSLR, good or not – beauty, art and an appreciation of the world around us are where we find it. Judgement shouldn’t rest on the effort taken, and the tools that we use, to bring images to a state where we are satisfied with them.  As a friend once said about the unwanted gift of a print from a relative – “I don’t care whether it’s a Picasso – I don’t like it!”

Judicious cropping, the use of levels, curves and contrast, topped with the graphic pen filter from photoshop result in the American gothic novella illustration

The noun “manipulation” has a bad rep; most of the dictionary definitions have negative connotations but perhaps, in this century of change and alteration, the editors should append their entries to include a few words on a positive note.  The very act of creation is making something out of nothing (although the opposite could be argued as well), it is manipulation of the best kind. We assign meaning by presenting images in a certain way – whether our audience gets it or not is irrelevant, what is important is that they take away their own impression.

Sofa size: tweaking vibrance, hue and saturation, cropping and the application of artistic and brush strokes filters in photoshop

Nature is the mistress of manipulation, from animals using tools to the strangling vines that plague our gardens in their climb towards the sun.  Babies are manipulative in a sweet, endearing way; small children learn it early as part of their skill set; teenagers start to refine it by practicing on each other in a microcosmic mimicking dance;  but, adults take the art of manipulation to a whole new realm, infusing the word through action with as many variations as there are synonyms and definitions.

So  “What does manipulation mean to you?”

We would love to see your vision.

For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, here are some guidelines for the challenge:


  1.  I will post some commentary on a random topic that pops into my head (such as the above) and then ask you to respond on the same.
  2. Feel free to attach photos or artwork you have that fit the current week’s challenge.
  3. The Challenge will be open for 6 days after it is posted upon which I will post another challenge.
  4. ENJOY, have FUN and TELL your friends and fellow bloggers.

 SO – Create your Two Cents Tuesday Challenge post

  1. Then add a link to your blog in my comment box.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Two Cents Tuesday Challenge” and add the same as a tag.
  3. Remember to Follow My Blog to get your weekly (hopefully) reminders.

Interesting articles:
Binoculars and iPhone Give Pro Cameras Stiff Competition at Olympics
Stop Arguing About Instagram and Go Make a Picture
How the iPhone changed my photography
Pix Before Pixels