Category Archives: winter

Light and Warmth: Life cycle of a sunflower

Fire of the sun captured in a flower

A sweet fragrant bloom that captures the energy and warmth of the summer. I’ve been planting sunflowers since I was in my early teens, they used to tower over my yard looking like a forest with giant yellow heads bowing down.

In the first photograph, I felt like I captured the light, all the heat and warmth of the summer sun in a single bloom. I love the way they grow anywhere, they even disperse a chemical from their seeds that don’t stop other competitors from growing.

An early bloom that looks like possibilities. 

Rich yellow blooms in the early spring. The first warmth in the garden as the dark soil gives up its seeds and the sunflowers rise to the height of the fence.

Sunflowers are a welcome treat throughout the season, the giant heads that feed the birds in the fall and the sweet candy blooms that feed butterflies and bees in the spring.

Sunflower bush on the edge of a field somewhere in east Texas.

They are a buzz of activity, intricate cities of bees, moths, wasps and butterflies. As a child, they were my solace, a place where everything made sense. Nature has always been my peace, the garden my escape, Sunflowers like hope.

The last bit of summer sun reflected in a bloom.

It’s the intricacies of color, the complex smell of the nectar, the strong and persistent stems that reach into the sky; A giant yellow bloom stares down at the ground in the long heat of a summer day and the day is painted gold.

I have painted sunflowers much like the passion vine as they represent something wonderful, a nod to childhood and all things nature.

Even in the darkest times, sunflowers rise over the fence insisting, everything is okay and summer will go on.

They are dramatic subjects in paintings and I have painted several works where they steal the show. There is something almost otherworldly about their giant overwhelming forms and the seed heads are an abundant source of food for wildlife in the winter when the summer cycle ends.

Summer Ends

The colors grow warmer but the light becomes more flat as summer gives up its youth. There are more used up blooms than new ones but the ones that stay are more vibrant with thick sturdy stems.

In the distance cicadas serenade the last bit of afternoon light. The landscape is parched, the grass golden as the wind begins to change. 

The Artist’s Window-The last bit of summer at the window sill

The purpose is spent in the final hours of summer, throwing  seeds in preparation of spring and the yellow grasses give into the heat. It’s Autumn, one more flash of rich colors before the season is dark and silent.

Sleep, the needed ingredient, that deep breath that gives up all of one’s hope and reminds us of the purpose of work. From the heat of summer we have learned lessons, they mingle in the black soil and they will speak when we can no longer have a voice.

The final moments of a Sunflower

It’s tilted head gives in. The last bits of yellow discarded, devoured by birds and scavenged by squirrels and field mice-it is the end of a season. With little sadness, nor time to reflect, the seeds wait in the darkness of the soil. 

It is time to sleep, hope sleeps in darkness and purpose is on a winter horizon. Every season has a purpose and to everything a reason under the sun.

Naturally Graphic available now on Fine Art America

Images are available on Fine Art America. Working on adding to a large inventory of abstract nature images that will be available soon.

Milkweed plant abstract print available on Fine Art America

Red Photinia Abstract print available on Fine Art America

 

Autumn Pond abstract available on Fine Art America









Abstractions of Nature become Contemporary Art for Home and Office

Artbygordon abstractions of nature become art for home and office: Naturally Graphic

I love the patterns in nature. As an artist, finding a unique perspective that can show a viewer something they might not have seen before is a large part of my artistic intent.

I have always painted landscapes and seascapes but I could never perfect what is already real. I am competing with the greatest artist of them all: God. All I can hope for is to show the viewer an aspect of that image that moved me and perhaps move the viewer with the same or varied feeling.

As I have been photographing more regularly, I have found the need to see deeper than just the landscape. Especially when the light does not cooperate with the subject or doesn’t show up at all.

I learned to isolate parts of nature when my desire to photograph didn’t lend itself to the light of the day. On a gray winter day, when there is nothing but flat, bland light and no objects are discernible by any effective modeling,  I have discovered a new way of seeing the landscape.

I started seeing how images were painted by stray bits of light. Suddenly instead of a bland landscape, I was able to find just a piece of that landscape that could be a graphic object. I don’t even care if the final image is discernible, it is more the aspect of its abstract nature that intrigues me.

modern interior room with a beautiful furniture

I have started gathering autumn leaves, green leaves and patterns in water, in the past I would  have struggled to find something in abstract but now the image jumps out at me. It’s a muscle and to strengthen this way of seeing the landscape has changed my whole outlook on contemporary art.

I believe that bringing nature into the house can evoke a calm center as well as a conversation piece for visitors. I like how without representing a specific subject, the image evokes something without trying too hard to be abstract or artsy. I have found my way to the abstract and contemporary subject.

 

Interiors are from Adobe Stock-Photographic art Artbygordon









Christmas Miracles-(2011)- Part 1

I had an amazing Christmas-miracles abound. We tend to see things how we are used to seeing things and often miracles are overlooked because we were looking for or waiting for the wrong miracle and missed the great things around us happening. I believe the presence of something greater is around us all the time-it’s the feeling you get staring at a sunset, or the feeling of a winter storm on Christmas-a momentary feeling of peace that supersedes the everyday feeling of stress and crisis we go through.

I always tell a bride-usually it’s the bride as they are the ones that usually stress about a wedding- that everything will work out in its time and the things that don’t will be the things you remember or you can laugh about if you let yourself. I believe it’s the same scenario dealing with holidays, especially Christmas. For one day out of the year we expect to have peace, to be able to guess what our loved ones want for Christmas, to have the amount of money we need without going over budget and for the family and friends for one day to put down their differences and enjoy each other around the kitchen table. Every Christmas is the same-start off being conservative about money, start out being excited and by the time it is over you can’t wait to tear down the dried up tree and put off all the feelings of sadness or auld lang sine for the next year when we’ll try it one more time.

I have been schooled in miracles for the last two years because Christmas didn’t turn the way it was expected-it turned out better than I could have even imagined or tried to plan and it wasn’t any of the gifts or the perfect smile that a family member experienced from that extra special gift-it was the way the time went without the control of being able to sculpt this perfect day and that’s where the miracle comes in.

The word miracle can be overused, it is usually saved for some great deed, someone coming back from near death, the finding of funds when there were no possibilities, yes that is how we describe a miracle but just as the word love is often misused and mistaken for infatuation the very magic of the word is usually in the subtleties we would normally overlook. Which brings me to last years’ Christmas. My mom fell and broke her hip, how could we enjoy a Christmas season after something traumatic as that? I almost mentally wrote off the season-which is maybe the good thing-the problem with holidays are our expectations are often too high. So instead of shopping, we spent time at a hospital room and none of us could explain the fears we felt and the lack of control each of us felt about the fact that she was in for a surgery which science said she could not live through-first miracle maybe. The break was the best break it could be-if you could look at a broken hip like that but the doctors were positive about her prognosis.

I think one of the hardest things about a crisis during the holiday is the fact that children don’t need to be involved in the stress and worry, so that means just because a dads’ first instinct would be to lay down and watch some mundane show to ease the feeling of depression and worry-we need to go get a tree, decorate it, enjoy egg nog-without the nog and really feel the christmas feeling. This is where shear will comes in play-I don’t have the privilege to have  a bad season-my son is watching and learning how to deal with worry and crisis as well as expecting a Christmas he doesn’t want to have to remember as a bad memory. So I shop in between going to the hospital, wrap late in the evening and Christmas eve-don’t feel like I bought enough gifts for everyone-the usual dilemma and we all get through the process as well as we could possibly get through a holiday where someone you love is in the hospital.

Here’s the second miracle-it wasn’t a good or even mediocre day-it was special and beautiful in its own way. My mother learned things in the hospital she wouldn’t have, found strength in other people, allowed herself to give up control of her situation and shared her strength with other people-the gifts she got were more than we could have wrapped. The family joined together and felt that feeling of overcoming a crisis, there was hope for the New Year. My son and I got perspective about what Christmas really means and not what marketing would have you believe-we don’t deserve anything specific, we don’t need to overspend and put ourselves in debt to get ourselves and others everything we deserve-instead we got just what we needed-family-the closeness, the true bond, we watched other families coming together-we got perspective on our situations and appreciated things we would have overlooked if it weren’t for the wonderful misfortune of a broken hip. That is when you have witnessed a miracle when you call a misfortune wonderful-the presence you feel and joy is the unexplained phenomena that follows and just as a haunting can only be describe and understood by someone who has felt it, the same goes with the presence of God on that special, crazy, hectic day we call Christmas.

I will leave this year’s miracles for the next post so I won’t completely bore the reader as well as infuriate further whoever is looking for punctuation and grammar-this is what you call free thought, plain and simple. So I hope if this was even a bit interesting you’ll follow to part two when this year’s miracle is explained.