Tag Archives: space

A Working Vacation

Christine keeps busy with the camera, Florence loves the water, and I can't stop collecting

Christine keeps busy with the camera, Florence loves the water, and I can't stop collecting

shell garden 5

oyster shell garden

shell garden 3stone garden

Yesterday we returned to our home after our annual trip to the east coast.  We relaxed for a week at the beach in NC before heading to the woods in SC.  We look forward to these trips as an opportunity to catch up with our family, but they are also one of the most inspirational and productive times of the year for us.  Christine has been pursuing documentary photography projects at both locations for the last six years, and the project in SC is one where we collaborate.  More on that later.

I have included four images of some of my inspirations from the trip.  This year I was really taken by the worm-eaten remnants of shells, which have many of the characteristics of Chinese scholar’s rocks in miniature.  I settled for photographs in most cases, as I am trying to be increasingly selective about what I drag back to my studio.  I was also able to dig up some nice additions to my rock collection from the fill dirt around my parent’s property.  I am considering the purchase of a few tons next year just so that I can sort through it for treasures.  There are always potholes on the lane that need filling, after all.

space and surface works

textured wall with skim coat and mesh tape

textured wall with skim coat and mesh tape

before and after, main wall

before and after, main wall

wall and window

wall and window

Last week I repaired and repainted the walls in our first floor sitting room.  The main wall is lit with a raking southern light and this caused the sandy, grooved texture to leap out insistently.  I ended up building a scraping tool to knock off the peaks, then skim coated and sanded the walls towards a relative smoothness.  We chose a color of green that had a bit of life to it.  It quiets down in the natural light, but maintains some intensity in artificial or reflected light.  The photos above show both scenarios.

I suspect that most people think of walls as surfaces, but I like to treat them as spaces.   Walls, like paintings, are best understood by their edges.  The center is a more mysterious space with a disorienting habit of falling away– especially when color gets involved.   I love that center, where a wall can act like a window.