Monday, December 28, 2009

The need for light

For the past 3 weeks it has been impossible to get any outdoor creative work done. It has been too cold for ice work and the rivers froze up too quickly. We had lovely sun some of those days but I need the temperature to be above 17 degrees or so in order to work with the ice and it was far colder than that for most of the time. Then it suddenly warmed up and we had rain the past two days! Impossible!

Ice work requires a narrow range of weather options and so far, we've not had them. Even when the temperatures were right, we had days of grey. Shooting ice with grey skies just does not do the work justice... as you can see here. I had to adjust this image quite a bit just to get some contrast between the very weak shadowy area and the somewhat brighter ice, but in the end, I've learned not to even try and do the work unless I have some confidence that there will be light to shoot with. It can take 4-6 hours of intense concentration to make a sculpture in very uncomfortable conditions. If I can't get good photos then it's not the best use of my day.

It doesn't take much sun to start to bring the ice to life. But even bright sun without the blue in the sky still makes for a duller sculpture. With Ice, what makes it special is when there is a lot of colour in the sky or surrounding location to reflect in the ice and lots of brilliant sun to refract and get the glistening rainbow drops and fractures... and if the sun can be golden, well then, things get really magical.

All of these shots are of the same sculpture on different days. I have a few more shots with even different feelings to them, and maybe I'll post those soon too. I'd rather be posting images of new works, but so far the weather has made that difficult.

However, I've not been sitting idly by. I've begun working on THREE new books! I'm working on a book that will be just spirals. I have enough now in my portfolio to put out a modest book on these images from all seasons. The others will be: a book on just Faerie Houses and then a book like my first "GreenSpirit" book which will cover an entire year's worth of work. It is always so hard to pare it down to just a few images, but I had promised my fans to put out one a year and I've gotten a little delayed in meeting that promise. So with all the strange weather, still the work continues- just in a different way!

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Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.