October 25, 2012

Nine Attic Studies

As most of you have heard, my practice space these days is set up in the beautifully maintained third-floor attic of an old Oberlin home. The room is long and thin with an east-west orientation, and two large windows at either end allow streams of sunlight to illuminate its interior. I love this room. The acoustics are average, but it's clean, well lit, and spacious enough to give me the sense that I can really let my sound travel. On days when my sound seems stuffy and tense, it helps to gaze out over the treetops and imagine my tone is vibrating the shingles on the house across the street. 

I've also found the attic to be a great place for drawing. One of this house's owners is a visual artist whose pastel creations adorn the walls in almost every room. The attic usually serves as her studio and I've often wondered if the creative vibe she lent the place is still resonating in her absence. The walls slant gently inward--following the line of the roof--and I enjoy the geometry this creates around the small winding stairwell leading back down to the house's second floor. 

Tonight's practice session extended from afternoon, through sunset, and on into the darkness. All the while, shadows and patterns of light danced over the interesting contours of the attic walls. During practice breaks I began snapping photos as the scene evolved...eventually even using various floor lamps and photographic lights to create some shadow play of my own. Finally, as is often my habit these days, I enhanced each shot in iphoto in order to highlight, and in some cases intensify, specific aspects of form, color, and mood. The following series of nine studies is the result. Each image is unique. I did not take one picture and then just change it 9 times. Rather, each variation was inspired by distinctive characteristics present in each individual photograph. Also, nothing has been overlaid or cut-and-pasted together. The shapes and patterns present are simply the result of light and shade playing over the folded surface of plain untextured walls.


A creative spurt like this makes me really wish my camera were a bit better quality. As it is, I'm not certain these images would be high-resolution enough to exhibit. Well...maybe if they were fairly small...

In any case, I enjoyed the exercise. Artistic playtime is never a waste.

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