Carrying on a fine Tradition


On a recent arrival home from some time away, one of the first things I noticed was an arrangement of decorative seasonal gourds on the dining room table. Miss Z was following in my footsteps, discovering the joys of the local market and had brought home a colourful harvest for the family to share. Each one is unique and riotous in its markings, much like our tribe, and worthy of joining the painterly edits that I have been amassing over the last few years.

This particular edit brought to mind a post about the etiquette of food photography where the ongoing conversations in the comments had led to much reflection on how I wound up with so many shots of ordinary fruit and veg in my own archives.

Twenty odd years ago as my son and I were zooming up a street, I saw a kid outside of his garage selling large canvases of close-ups of the most magnificent mangoes and plums, odd veg and seafood in the most brilliant colours and rendered in an energetic impressionist style. It was just that flash of something extraordinary that made me pull up the car and go and have a look – I should have bought them right then and there, but could ill afford it and so I went to visit his other works in a few cafes and a gallery, later looked for his stuff online, googled them years after and always regretted not having deprived myself of something else to have been able to look upon that luscious fruit every day.

It marked me in much the same way that Wayne Thiebaud had an influence on how I see the ordinary. It is that driving need to tell the story of the very basic stuff of life, the things that go unnoticed, the colours and shapes we ignore in the busyness of it all – that is what keeps me taking food photos. Photography is all about the way we transform what we see so that we can give others a glimpse and get them thinking, remembering, wondering, engaging and even taking part in keeping the creative process dynamic.

So yes, I do take pictures of my food: I can revel in them at will, remember exactly what I was thinking or doing, ascribe circumstance or tradition, have them stand out as markers in that timeline of life. They are mine… and now they are yours.

Everything is Peachy

nem painterly 6

Across the Bored was diagnosed as myopic quite early in life – not because we were unable or unwilling to act prudently or exhibited that nasty trait of lacking tolerance and understanding but rather in the opthalmological sense  – we were a small, curious child with the distinct inability to see distant objects clearly. Anyone who wore glasses in school in the 1960s clearly remembers the agony of choosing one of four available frame shapes in either black or brown and the horror of knowing the coke bottle lenses placed therein would bring taunts, cruel rhymes or worse. Like most things, we suffered through it and to this day are still plagued by less than perfect vision.

Some recommend laser surgery which seems like a fate worse than death due to the underlying fear of having needles and sharp scalpels placed anywhere in the vicinity of our eyes. So we stick to a regular prescription for just being able to get about, reading glasses for computer work and contact lens for vanity’s sake. All those people you notice taking their glasses off in the grocery store to read the fine print on the label? We are now one of them…

An odd realization struck recently, that being nearsighted had coloured the way we view the world – that we tend to see the beauty of things up close, focusing on the small details and often breaking down the larger picture into components that stand alone on their own merit. Across the Bored has written previously of the multitude of photographers and artists to be found on EyeEm – a fast scroll through our own gallery proved that indeed there were quite a few close-ups of our favourite subjects, including the one below.


Photo notes: iPhone 5 native camera, snapseed, camera awesome, glazed, and distressed fx

It was selected to appear in NEM Painterly – Featured Art 6 curated by MaryJane Sarvis – NEM, the New ERA Museum, “takes shape mainly to spread the concept of pristine Art, affordable and available to everyone by potentially forging new artists to new techniques of digital mobile processing.” What a thrill to be included among this group of talented and groundbreaking photographers.

If you would like to see more in our gallery, click on the EyEm icon in the sidebar. The bounty of autumn’s harvest only begins…