Monday, June 30, 2014

Living the Dream

Greetings Everyone!

   I hope you enjoyed the painting interlude.... now it is back to a very special Faerie house. But first some background...

   I live in an area blessed with abundant Fireflies. Every summer, around the Solstice, they emerge from the woods and meadows to put on their mesmerizing displays of magic and delight. Where I live, in a small wooded patch surrounded by hedges and meadows they are especially happy and the displays last for many weeks. Every summer we are treated to incredible light shows all for free. Here is a 30 second exposure image of one meadow:

 So naturally I've always wanted to make a Faerie House to celebrate this delightful wonder. Every year I would try something and every year it would disappoint.... until this year! So this is a story about how sometimes, as an artist, it takes many years to fulfill your vision... that and it pays to persevere!

     I had found some incredibly white twigs in a designer shop last winter and didn't know then how useful they would be. I made a very specially designed Firefly house using these twigs and the whitest birch bark I could find. The house had to rotate on its base so I could re-position it in the field if need be. Also the top had to come off and the interior had to have fine netting to hold the fireflies safely. The initial structure looked like this:
 I liked how this looked but it now needed a bit of whimsey and I needed to put it in a different location. My initial photo experiments showed me that a dark background worked better when it came to seeing the tiny lights of the fireflies. So the house was modified and some lovely delicate meadow flowers were added when I went out for the second round of images. I chose this location especially because the previous night the fireflies had been really active here plus the shrub in the background was in bloom and those flowers added depth and texture to the background.

  There are only about 20 minutes or so when all the elements are optimal... the sun has well set and twilight gives everything a lovely hue of periwinkle blue. The fireflies are just emerging so you have to catch them quickly and the camera takes time to process each image because I shoot at a slow shutter speed to catch more of the light trails from the insects... all this means I can only get a few good images per night. But finally, after shooting for several nights in a row, it all came together... and I have these images to share with you. The first two images below are facing the shrub as in the image above and the last two images show the house rotated around 180 degrees so now we are seeing the meadow in the background with all the fireflies dancing and glittering. 
         I can't decide which one I like best so here they all are.... enjoy and may they bring you as much pleasure to look at as I had in making them! 

I'm very busy this week making more houses so this post will have to last you a few days. I'll have more houses to share with you shortly and also a very special post on an incredible artist who has just come online with his gorgeous Fairy paintings and more... stay tuned!

  And an aside... I can't believe this is possible but this blog is just 1,500 page views away from 100,000 views... how is that even possible? It is thanks to loyal friends like YOU! Thank you!!

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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.