Thursday, March 27, 2008

manet, monet and jack...jump back into the impressionists garden

I could not help myself a play on words referencing pop culture. Of the painters the impressionists have always struck a cord deep within. It was the use of line and color to not present a literal interpretation of a subject, rather left the interpretation to your own background and biases. In this case local auto parts store "Pep Boys" has their founders "Manny, Moe and Jack", I have the impressionists Manet, Monet and Jack Beck.

Georgia O'Keefe did some incredible paintings exploiting the erotic, sensual sometimes outright sexual nature of the shapes and forms in nature. In particular she did many close-ups of flowers in particular that exploited the references to the female anatomy. (More on her in the Wiki).

The Iris in detail the way the petals flow and the brilliant beard and the anther take on some very erotic overtones with a little stretch of the imagination.

This image, the Iris Beard started as a photo wherein the raw file was opened, nominal color correction was done then converted to jpeg in CS2. The jpeg image was then opened in Paintshop Pro, disassembled, run through a couple of filters so the colors would maintain their saturation when printed on wet watercolor paper. Yes, wet watercolor paper, not running wet, but damp and dabbed off. This method of printing allows the fine details to blur into the paper and render a much softer final image. One that gives you an impression of sexuality and eroticism in nature.

A detail of the center to give you an idea of the image prior to hitting the wet paper and causing it to blur.

Anyway, you get the idea of what this is all about. The final print once it is matted will be on display at the Paint n Play 2 Gallery in Old Towne Monrovia.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I have Iris!

Just in time for Easter one of the Iris stalks opened up. These are a favorite of mine that naturalize nicely in a So Cal garden. Very fuss free and only need to be divide every 3-4 years to keep them really producing well. The blossoms on this old variety are huge and the buds even have a metallic sheen to them before they unfold their deep blue petals allowing the fuzzy yellow stamen to be seen peeking out at the center.

More pics of the flowers in my garden will be found on my Flickr Floral Set. Most everything in there is from my garden. You get to see the pics, I get to smell them and relish the sweet scents.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The English Roses are starting to bloom

Today is about 6th day of gorgeous spring weather here in So Ca. Today it made it to 90 so things in the garden are really budding up big time getting ready for the first big flush of color which will happen any day now. The first of the English Roses are now in bloom.

Wenlock is an English Rose introduced in 1984, very easy to grow and I found out, very easy to propagate. This one is a new plant that started when a cane on the original had something fall on it holding it in contact with the ground. I didn't notice and when I was giving a clean up in fall I spotted that it had taken root. I severed the main cane the following spring then transplanted this rose to a new spot. Very heavy old rose scent makes it a big plus in the garden. Given the space to spread this one will eventually be 5-6 fee wide and a good 6-7 feet tall!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Don't be rununculus...its SPRING baby!

Spring is literally only days away here in So Cal. The winter flowering stuff (which the rest of you in the rust belt don't see until May in your area if you are lucky) are just about done blooming. What is coming up now is our Spring flowers. Being So Cal it is going to be big, flashy and extremely colorful after all the rain and cold we had in Jan/Feb. The hills around LA, the deserts and the mountains are bright green and things are starting to bloom.

My gardens are the same. The first of the Giant Tecolote Ranunculus are blooming right now. They are the most tempermental bulbs I have ever dealt with. For reasons I don't understand I had killed so many of these easy to grow and naturalize flowers it is not funny. About 3 years ago I bought the bulbs for this batch on clearance at Costco and they finally took. Go figure, same spot as the others were that died. I like the way they look, just getting them to go is a killer. With luck....

The rest of my gardens are full of buds just waiting to explode into color. I can't wait.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You never know where my meanders will take me

Yup the badge gives you a great big hint. Through my pictures first on Flickr then following links to me on Arcadia PD Sergeant Tom Le Veque spotted me and offered me a ride along and tour of the APD headquarters. What? I could not pass that offer up and grabbed it. Satisfied a lot of curiousity. Never rode in a police car, never spent time with an officer doing his job. You get the idea a whole lot of new experiences. The complete article I did was titled "frazgo goes for a ride, Car 64 where are you...".

What I can tell you is that an officers job is a lot of travel between calls. During those calls I got to hang out and just take pictures. I did some in HDR and others were just straight night shooting. What you see here is the end result of the purposefully shot for HDR.

I shot these with a wide angle lens, somewhere around 20mm on the EOS20d. I bracketed and shot them +/- 2 stops and used Photomatix for the HDR file generation. The images were then post processed in Virtual Photographer.

The straight up night scene had to have quite a bit of color correction done to get it closer to reality. Damn mercury vapor lights are so orange it really skews things to far out of line. I balanced to keep it on the warm side and did dial in some contrast to get better dark in the shadows. I went for the lonely look without the total despair of letting the tones go very blue and cold.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring has arrived in the Mojave!

The lead photo is simply a teaser from this weekends visit to the Mojave Desert around Palm Springs and Palm Desert. I shot a ton of landscapes with the intent of giving them post processing through Photomatix for HDR file generation.

This year wound up being a "normal" winter in terms of local rainfall so the wild flowers are going to be very abundant. Already the desert floor around Palm Springs is bursting in color. Enjoy the few random shots I got done of the wild flowers.

I hope to make it up to the Poppy Preserve near Lancaster in the high desert this week as the poppies are supposed to be as lush as they were in Spring of 05. Getting up to the Calico Ghost Town for more of the high desert wild flowers around there is on the agenda as well. It will all depend getting the spare time to pull it all off.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Its Been a Veddy Busy Couple of Weeks As this lead image may tell you I've been busy in the garden. The Myer Lemons have started ripening and they do it en mass. I have over 100 lemons that need to be used up and shared in my 'hood. A batch of lemon bars is done, from the Barefoot Contessa recipes. Another couple of dozen will go into the manufacture of some limoncello with my old college friend Rutz when she comes over next week. Other than that it has been cleaning and feeding time in the garden waiting for the first flush of new growth and the spring blooms.

The other great news is that the Monrovia Association of Fine Artists has named me the "Featured Artist" for this years show in October. Pretty cool, but that means someone else is going to have to do most of the blogging for that event as yours truly can't really put a whole lot of self serving blogs, now can he?

Enjoy Sea Lavender, a purple Daisy and Winter Jasamine that is currently blooming in my gardens.