Ode to the “The Vucciria”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis painting is called “The Vucciria” and is by Renato Guttuso, is large (300 cm x 300 cm) painted in 1974 while he was living in Lombardy. I have read that he ordered food to be shipped by air to him from Palermo, including a side of beef in order to paint food from life!

His work is a visual representation of the feelings I had while exploring the local markets a maze of food,  smells, sights, sounds and people, and an inspiration for my images.

 

The term Vucciria derives from the French word boucherie, or butcher shop, but in Sicily the meaning encompasses noise, confusion, chaos, reflecting the atmosphere that dwells along the streets of the market. Sicilians say “It was a vucciria” the way we in English say “It was bedlam” or “It was a madhouse”.

Lucky for Bill and I there are several street markets in Palermo, as old as the Vucciria, which are a frenzied mass of people buying fruits, vegetables and fish and meat, men on motorbikes piled high squeezing through the crowds delivering more merchandise to the stalls, and men shouting out to sell their wares. We returned to the markets many times to shop for local food and enjoy the vucciria!

 

Aspen Trees and Orange Sculpture in the Calgary Olympic Plaza

Aspen and orange sculpture_Calgary Olympic Plaza; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

Aspen and orange sculpture_Calgary Olympic Plaza; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

I received an email this week ,in it a reminder that Calgary is a beautiful city, I believe that to be true. But there are day when i have trouble finding that beauty, and I realize we can only really appreciate the beauty of our surroundings if we are prepared to see it.

Along the north east corner of Olympic plaza you will find a small planting of aspen trees, long prairie grasses and a group of bright orange steel poles. I know there will be some who will wonder how large steel poles that are painted orange and planted in the ground could possible be considered art.  I think the installation is beautiful, it reminds me of those bright rays of sun shining through the trees at sunrise.

I hope you find some beauty in your day today.

Spring Flowers; After-Before Friday

Cherry Bloosoms in Spain

Cherry Bloosoms in Spain 

The Cherry trees were starting to bloom while we were in Spain, I couldn’t resist taking several images of the tiny buds and flowers. Now that I am back in Canada, home of the ice and snow it is nice to have these images to look at. I know that sometime in May I will have another opportunity to photography the lovely spring flowers!

It is friday and time for an after-before blog post. This is where I describe a little of my editing process. Some image on the blog have very little work done, others have way to much work, it all depends on the photo and what I want the final image to look like.

Here is the image that I started with……

spring blooms before

spring blooms before 

I edited the photo in Photoshop; the first step was to crop and remove the distracting branches in the bottom of the frame. Next I applied a Florabella Action called Soft Color Pop. Florabella has some great actions, templates and textures, I don’t use them a lot, but always fun to play a little. The action I used had a reduce red layer, and I masked the flowers to keep the nice pink color. I liked what the action did for the flowers, but it really washed out the nice blue sky.

Rather than mask the action to bring back the sky I thought I would add a textured layer, something that would add the blue with a painted quality.  I have a folder of textures I have collected over the years, from the internet artists like Kim Klassen, as well as painted papers, cement and stone walls, fabric, scrapbooking paper, I have photographed myself. The textured I decided to use was a soft blue painted paper. The edges of the blue paper is a little darker and has a little more texture than the center of the frame, this worked perfectly for the flowers. I sent the blend mode to darken, and the opacity at 80%.

There you have it, my custom-made spring flowers. I would love to hear from you if you have questions or comments regarding my process or photography. You can find more of my work on Instagram, or we can connect on Behance  If you would like to see more after-before images head on over to Stacy Fischer’s Virtual Venturing blog

The Statue of David; Florence Italy

Seeing David; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Seeing David; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014 

Looking back through the many photos taken over the last year, and found this image of the Statue of David.

Standing inthe Piazza della Signoria, a replica of the statue of David, one of the most recognized works of Renaissane art. The Piazza is filled with visitors, all snapping away with their cameras,  getting photos of the buildings, the different scuptures around the square and of course themselves and their friends.

As a tourist and visitor I want to document our time in a city, and the sights that we visit, but I also want to find a creative way to photograph the scene that is photographed hundrends of times a day!  The statue of David created by Michelangelo in the early 1500’s and became a symbol of strength and beauty. The shadow shows the pose and translates those qualities without having to see all the statue.  I used the square format to remove any distractions from the frame.

Many people I know purchase postcards, because they will “never get a picture that pretty” themselves. My great aunt use to purchase slides that were sold at all the tourist shop, many many years ago as a memory of where she had been and what she had seen. I remember looking at those slides when I was a little girl, maybe she planted that seed to travel and take photos!

When you travel, do you take photos that tells a story about where we you were?

Creative Seat in Malaga Spain

Public Art; sitting around the streets of Malaga; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015

Public Art; sitting around the streets of Malaga; copyright jmeyersforeman 2015 

Just a quick photo of the public art “sitting” around on the streets of Malaga Spain. I haven’t been able to find out who the artist is, but I thought it was a wonderful. The two characters look like they are working so hard to hold up the seat and there is no one sitting on it! It would be wonderful if I could find a little girl in a ballerina outfit to “dance” on the bench. Oh what a wonderful image that would be.  Maybe another day!?

Stradel Museum, Frankfurt Germany

No we haven’t headed back to Germany! it has been a very busy few days strolling the streets of Paris, seeing the sights and enjoying Christmas, no time for processing images or writing blog posts, so I thought I would show you the images taken during our visit to the Stradel Museum.

We almost always pick up the audio guide for the museum, learn as we look! The Currator has done a wonderful job moving us through time and place. through history and the museum.  Placing the statues with the painting, interweaving the two mediums and telling stories that provide just enought historical and artistic details to entertain as well as educate.

Paintings needing a good home

Painting needing a good home; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Painting needing a good home; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014 

We love to walk through the flea markets, so many interesting things for sale, and sometimes it is simply the way they are arranged that makes them interesting. This one stall was full of old paintings, hanging overlapping, sitting on tables and chairs, overlapping, I loved it. Most flea market vendors don’t mind when I take a few photos, but it is always important to ask permission first, as some are very protective of their wares.

This is my submission to Leanne Cole’s Monochrome Madness, Leannne has a great blog and once a week photographers contribute a monochromatic image to forum page, I would recommend you check out her page for the great images, it is where I have found lots of wonderful (weekly)  inspiration.

Floating Leaves

Floating Leaves; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014

Floating Leaves; copyright jmeyersforeman 2014 

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.”

-John Burroughs