Tag Archives: kirt tisdale

Simple Beauty – Featured Art Print

All of us on this journey we call life, experience pain, suffering and disappointment…it is an aspect of the human condition. We also experience, joy, love and peace….it is also part of the human condition. Anyone that follows my work and blog know that I try and stay focused on the positive aspects of life. It is a single go around, so why waste time dwelling on the negative. To me, this art print serves as a reminder for all of us to stop and smell the roses.  Thoughts?

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Pacific Ocean Summer Sunsets – Featured Art Prints

Pacific Sunset

Coastal Sunset

The featured pictures are of a summer sunset over the Pacific Ocean in San Diego County. They are scenes that were captured just minutes apart as the coloring of the clouds changed moment to moment. In these captures, I came back and digitally soften them up just slightly with a very subtle watercolor technique. They still retain the detail of a photograph, but with a barely perceptible softening.

The setting is Northern San Diego County on a hill about three miles from the coast. This was the view from our house and on this particular evening the color of the sky was so vivid and bright, I immediately grabbed my camera. On the second picture you see a dark spot in the sky that looks like it shouldn’t be there. I have the ability to clear that out, but I was curious as to what it was. I magnified that portion of the print and discovered it was a commercial airliner flying the coastal flight pattern between San Diego proper (to the south) and Los Angeles (to the north) or points further north. Because of this I decided to leave the “spot” in.  Thoughts?

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Black and White Photography – Mood and Depth

I have shared on a number of my posts, my love of black and white photography. I have always been drawn to it for a variety of reasons, two of which I wanted to talk about today; mood and depth.

Eliminating color from a picture can create an entirely new more interesting image. Key word there is “can”. It doesn’t compliment or help create a visual story on every image, but on certain images it tells a better story to the viewer than leaving it color. Two of the elements that are impacted by using monochrome coloring are mood and depth.

Eliminating the visual busyness of color helps create a mood to a capture. Yes, it is typically more of a somber mood, but this can add flavor to the overall look the photographer is going for.

Black and white can also enhance contrast between visual elements highlighting depth to a particular capture.

I have attached three black and white photographs from my gallery that highlight both of these elements.

In this example, the subject matter presented in black and white helps create a somber rather subdued tone to this capture. The photograph was taken an a cold, cloudy winter day. The barren tree branches reinforce this element of season, but also due to the stark contrast from the background help build depth to the visual experience. It recreates what I felt on the day I took the shot…it was a rather gloomy day and I loved the element of this carriage house being tucked back from the main property.

In this capture the light centered on the walkway creates a brighter and more upbeat mood. That aspect is reinforced as there isn’t any competition with color which allows the shaft of light to take center stage. The element of depth is supported in a more subtle way with this shot. Your eye is pulled to the center of the frame due to the shaft of light, but then meanders around the curve of the walkway back into the picture realizing there is more going on further into the picture under those hanging tree branches. The various shapes and contrasting darkness over lighter backgrounds create this depth.

The black and white aspect to this last capture creates a very neutral mood in that this could have been taken on a bright sunny day or a cloudy day. The biggest impact for this is depth. The dark tree branches frame an ocean coastline and reinforce the point of view as being high above the pounding surf. The foreground of craggy tree branches as the darkest element create the starting point to depth. Your eye is then pulled into the frame across the surf to the bluff across the way…distance and depth.  Thoughts?

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LA Hills – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

In Last Weeks Post (The Jacaranda Tree), I mentioned that we were in Los Angeles for Memorial Day weekend visiting our daughter and son-in-law, but more importantly our first grandchild (just hit the 6 month mark). I had also mentioned that I volunteered to do the daily stroller outing into the neighborhood each day while we were there (she loves to be outdoors enjoying the fresh air, sights, birds, etc.). I was always wandering up into the hills with her as the climbing was good exercise for grandpa and the views were spectacular for both of us. At that point last week I talked about the Jacaranda Trees, but also mentioned I would come back to the views of that daily outing. This week I have attached 10 shots I took during that daily venture.

LA Hills 1

This capture gives you an idea of the typical hillside neighborhoods that dot the Los Angeles hills. The streets are narrow, windy and go up and down quit dramatically. On one side of the street you have the height of the home facing the street and the other side, just the top portion of that home with it’s height going down the backside of the house.

LA Hills 2

The homes represent a variety of architecture and mix in size. Interesting architecture and look as the next shot shows the same house from around the bend and down the other side….

LA Hills 3

Every few steps the scene is totally different.

LA Hills 4

Because land is so precious, there isn’t any space wasted as you notice the garages actually start just feet from the road.

LA Hills 5

Love the variety of architectural elements and color in the homes.

LA Hills 6

Creativity is necessary as the hillsides are quite steep.

LA Hills 7

As I alluded to earlier, the views between the homes (the views they actually have over each other) that you can see from the street are spectacular. This view looks southeast over Glendale, California towards the San Gabriel Mountains.

L.A. Hills 8

This view is looking in the same general direction as the capture above (you can barely see this facility in the far right portion of that view).

LA Hills 9

This is a capture of downtown Glendale, California which is located northeast of downtown Los Angeles and south of Burbank.

LA Hills 10

Then to the south of this location behind another set of hills is downtown Los Angeles. The final approach pattern to LAX takes planes just south of downtown and with the air traffic coming into LAX, not surprising that I captured a plane in this shot.  Thoughts?

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The Jacaranda Tree – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

We were in Los Angeles for Memorial Day weekend (weekend before last) visiting our daughter and son-in-law, but more importantly our first grandchild (just hit the 6 month mark). We try and go as often as we can for obvious reasons. I volunteered to do the daily stroller outing into the neighborhood each day while we were there (she loves to be outdoors enjoying the fresh air, sights, birds, etc.). I always wandered up into the hills with her as the climbing was good exercise for grandpa and the views were spectacular for both of us (more on that next week in my post). One of the things I particularly enjoyed was the Jacaranda trees in full bloom.

If you’re not familiar with Jacaranda trees, they are native to subtropical regions of Mexico, Central America, South America, Cuba, Jamaica and the Bahamas. Having said that, this particular species of the Jacaranda family has been widely planted across the globe and regions well known for them now include South Africa, Australia and in the US, Florida, Phoenix, San Diego and Los Angeles. I love this time of year when they are in full bloom. I have seen pockets of neighborhoods across Southern California where they have been planted in abundance and this time of year you have a sea of purple.

I have attached five shots I took on one of our outings giving you an idea of the beauty of these trees in bloom.

Jacaranda One

You can see how they add a dramatic touch of color and of course you have the mess of dropped petals to contend with (well worth it to me…we had one at the end of our driveway in San Diego and the concrete was always covered in purple as the petals dropped).

Jacaranda Two

This shot shows two next to a driveway on our walk through the hillsides.

Jacaranda Three

The trees are scattered throughout these hillside neighborhoods and give you that pop of color.

Jacaranda Four

This gives you a close up look at the blooms…

Jacaranda Five

as does this final shot. Thoughts?

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Lounge In The Back Yard – Featured Art Print

 

The 1st of May has arrived. May has always been one of my favorite months and when I think of May, the attached picture is what I think of. I can just picture myself reading a book sipping an ice tea on a warm spring day in a yard like this….I came across this scene during the month of May a few years back on Martha’s Vineyard just off the coast in Massachusetts. Enjoy!!

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Writer Inspires Artist – Artist Inspires Writer or On The Radio – Meet Hank

I could call this week’s post – “The Art of Visualization: The Key Element to Writing, Art and Photography”, but the result of that ability is “On The Radio – Meet Hank”.  I’m doing a joint collaboration with one of my favorite authors, Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene. One of my most consistent comments to her after reading her writing is: “I love it…I am instantly pulled in because I can visualize everything you are writing about”. When she asked me to do this joint post, her request was simple: “Go through your art and photography portfolio and send me a picture that you would like to have me weave into one of my novels”. I narrowed it down to Cedar Rapids Barn because this capture of an old dilapidated barn created a visualization of a rural setting and the mystery surrounding the structure (side note: I was driving on the outskirts of Cedar Rapids, Iowa in the heavily wooded hills along the river when I spotted this structure nestled in the trees. Of course I had to stop…hike into the woods and take some shots with my camera). So with that, I would like to turn it over to the star of this visualization, Teagan: 

Hi Kirt! Hello everyone, I’m Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene, from the blog, Teagan’s Books. It’s my pleasure to be a guest here at The Wall Gallery. Thanks to Kirt for working with me on this joint post!

3-things-cover_3-2016As I get ready for the takeoff of my next 1920s novel, Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I, I’m doing some collaborative posts with other bloggers. We’re combining their unique talents with my stories. From his wonderful collection, Kirt chose this image, Cedar Rapids Barn. I let it spontaneously lead me to the story below.

This tale is set in the Roaring Twenties world of my flapper character, Paisley Idelle Peabody, aka Pip. (For more about Pip, see The Three Things Serial Story click here.)

Today meet Hank Hertz. This vignette is part of Hank’s backstory. He’s a young man Pip will meet when she is sent to live in Savannah, Georgia with her grandmother. However, this vignette takes place at some point not too long before Pip arrives there, so she is not in this story.

On the Radio — Meet Hank

No harm in trying one more time, Hank Hertz thought as he stacked all manner of electronic components on the counter.

“Hi, Mr. Hardscrabble,” Hank mumbled, trying to avoid eye contact with the hardware store’s proprietor.

“Hank, I already told you. Your ma told me not to sell you any of this gadgetry tomfoolery. You might as well put all that stuff back on the shelves, son.”

Hardscrabble put a hand to his balding head in a frustrated gesture. He found his spectacles there and smiled because he’d forgotten where he put them. However, he brightened when the door opened. One of “Savannah’s finest,” Detective Dabney Daniels strolled into Hardscrabble Hardware. His finely chiseled features remained neutral, but he raised an eyebrow at the tableau at the counter.

“Now get on with you, boy. Put everything back. I can’t take your money,” the store owner repeated before turning to a real customer. “That boy gets more like his granddaddy every day. Detective, what can I do for you?”

1928 Detroit police radio Blue

“No need to rest on formality, Homer. I can’t find my flashlight, so I’m here for another one,” the detective replied then looked sheepish. “Go ahead and laugh about things going missing at a police station. I can tell you’re holding it back.”

Hank watched the exchange between the tall detective and the portly shopkeeper as he reluctantly made trips from the sales counter back to the shelves. He could have carried more things at one time, but he delayed the inevitable, hoping Mr. Hardscrabble would change his mind. As he picked up a few more items to return to the shelf, the detective stopped him.

“What is all that stuff, son? If I didn’t know better, I’d think you were building a ham radio. Or at least intended to before Homer shut you down.”

For a moment Hank’s face lit up at the mention of his passion — all things electronic, especially radios. He looked dejectedly at his feet.

“Momma wants me to study law. She says electronics and inventions are a distraction. She even said they were toys!”

“So all the old fogies are conspiring against you, huh? Well, you’d better ankle all that stuff back where it came from, like Homer told you.”

***

1920 Radio News

After supper Hank got an armload of books and headed out the kitchen door. His mother looked at the heavy tomes and gave a satisfied nod. Hank knew she was watching from the window above the sink as he walked to the little red barn. Vines of Cherokee roses ran riot over the building. The Hertz family used the barn for storage, but Hank made it his personal spot to study or just hang out. He also had a workbench tucked in one corner where he discretely kept his radio equipment.

The horizon blazed red with sunset when Hank slipped out of the barn. He pedaled the motorized bicycle he had made until he was far enough away that his parents wouldn’t hear the noise of the motor. Dusk descended as he rode into town.

Hank didn’t pay any attention to the dark Ford parked on the corner, or to the fact that someone sat inside it. He rode down the alley and came up behind Hardscrabble Hardware. The back door was locked, but he found a window he could open. He took his flashlight and climbed into the store.

He knew exactly where to find everything he wanted. So it didn’t take Hank long to gather all the electronics he tried to buy that afternoon. He stood at the sales counter and added up all the prices. He figured the tax. Then he left the full amount of the purchase, plus two cents, because he didn’t have enough pennies to leave the exact change.

Putting everything into his bag, Hank turned toward the back of the shop. It felt like an electric charge shot from his neck down his arm when he heard a cough behind him. Hank jerked around to face the sound.

1920 Victoria motorcycle ad

The boy thought he’d lose everything he ate for supper when he saw the police detective standing there, arms folded.

“So you actually broke into the store and paid for the things Homer wouldn’t sell you? Son, I don’t know what to make of that.”

Hank stumbled back a step. He wanted to run, but the copper knew who he was and where he lived. Besides, Hank had a pretty good idea that those long legs could catch up with him before he got to his bicycle. His breath caught in his throat. Hank couldn’t have spoken even if he’d known what to say.

The detective closed the distance to the counter in a single step. He pointed his new flashlight to the paper where Hank had added up his purchase. Then he pursed his lips as he thought. He stared at Hank as if he could see every fib the boy had ever told. Hank gulped.

“Where’d you get the money for this stuff, son? Allowance? Money for odd jobs?”

Hank only nodded, still unable to talk. Finally he found his voice and croaked out a reply. “It’s my money sir. Fair and square. I wouldn’t steal anything.”

“I guess I’m going to have to have a talk with your parents,” the Dabney Daniels said, slowly shaking his head.

Poor Hank felt like he might sink through the floor, right then and there. His knees felt weak.

“But this,” the copper motioned at Hank’s bag full of stuff. “I don’t see as any law has really been broken. After all, I walked in through the front door, which was unlocked. I know Homer leaves through the back door and forgets to lock the front. But being as you’re here, I assume he left it open for you.”

Hank gazed at Daniels in wide eyed confusion.

“Besides, I hate doing paperwork. If you had actually broken into this store, I’d have to haul you to the station and spend the rest of the night writing up the report. I do have to talk to your parents though,” he added causing Hank to sink further.

The young man managed a groan.

“You know, I really need an intern down at the station. I think your mother will see that working for me would be a good learning experience for a future lawyer. In a way, that’s where law starts isn’t it? With the police? Meanwhile you can put your talent with radio gadgetry to use. How does that sound?”

The end

***

And so Savannah’s youngest policeman began his career. If you want to know more about the other characters in Murder at the Bijou, Three Ingredients-I, click here. Thanks for reading.

 

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