Friday, 2 September 2011

Painter of Moonlight...

.... Atkinson Grimshaw (1836-1893). If you are anywhere near Harrogate, North Yorkshire, you have until Sunday to catch this exhibition of his paintings at the Mercer Gallery. John Atkinson Grimshaw was a Victorian era painter from Leeds, best known for his moonlight & night-time scenes. I only heard of him from a friend this week, but after a quick scout about online and seeing that there would also be photography by moonlight from Liza Dracup, how could I resist!

Whitby Harbour

People often have the fixed idea of silver moonlight and never observe the varying hues cast through mist, rain and cloud... and some challenged Grimshaw's depictions of moonlight... but his detail & portrayal of light in his paintings are amazing, much more so in 'real life' than on computer.

Moonlight After Rain

Some of the paintings in this exhibition have a definite photo-realism to them, and he has been known to paint over photographs, and also to have projected images onto larger canvasses to ensure correct composition. Little is actually known about Atkinson Grimshaw... did he practice photography himself, or have someone else do that bit for him? I haven't dug very deep to find out if the answers are available.

Colour photography was in it's infancy during this period. According to a wiki-article here 
"Prior to the late 1890s, color photography was strictly the domain of a very few intrepid experimenters willing to build their own equipment, do their own color-sensitizing of photographic emulsions, make and test their own color filters and otherwise devote a large amount of time and effort to their pursuits."
Regardless of how big a part photographs played in his work, he was extremely skilful & they are stunning.... you could easily feel like stepping into the scene. Looking around, I found a blog "that's how the light gets in" that covers some interesting points in this post- mystery in the moonlight
Moonlight Over Wharfedale
~love this!

Running alongside the Atkinson Grimshaw exhibition, is "Chasing the Gloaming"  (one of Grimshaws paintings is 'In The Gloaming')... a body of work by photographer Liza Dracup, inspired by Grimshaw's paintings.

 River Wharfe, detail
~love this!!

Long exposures allow the camera to pick up images we can't actually see ourselves, giving them a mysterious quality... an ideal compliment to the paintings. 
“I take one extended exposure, which is in fact also many views in one – a linear, layered effect of fragments in time. I kept thinking of the differences and similarities between a photograph and a painting..." 

 Whitby, moon light

  ‘Moonlight is one of my working lights. As my eyes adjust I find more and more. I find colours that exist through photography, I am able to see the clouds moving, something we don’t pick up so easily unless we are looking purposefully… the exciting thing is not to know what the colour will look like until the print is made. In both painting and photography the end result is composed of a range of dyes, so in that way, photographs can be described as painterly.’
Comments from Liza and more about this project are in this article -here

Green Circle, Tree & Moon
photographs (c) Liza Dracup

Mmm... the mysterious moonlight! Well worth the visit.

Mercer Gallery exhibition details are here
John Atkinson Grimshaw- The Complete Works- here
Liza Dracup- here

and a video about Grimshaw, the exhibition & Liza talking about her photography...

Wednesday, 27 July 2011


I have Annie to thank for these words.... enjoy!!

10th july 2011, 23:46

Does a wolf recall the date of it's birth? Is there memory, or perhaps a scent it once new from being within a mother, that it hunts infinitely? The Moon recalls. The in tune with the waxing and waning of it's own come and go, keeps track of all it surveys, having shone so often on birth and death.There is a record, etched with a fossilized stylus in craters and stones, and the record is grand.

The memory of the Moon is long, and kind, forgiving, and complicit in the earth's forgetting the pain of birth, so that yearly, it yearns again for Spring. And so the Moon holds our unbalanced history...a rose colored collection of our beauty, the moments we got it right, the days we gave in equal measure to our gain, and our effort...the intent of our effort especially cradled with a tender glow.

 11th july, 00:02
The rest, the sometimes painful, scared, humbled rest, is cast like fast balls within strike zone of the sun and returned via "SMACK" on the sweet spot. The cover flies back to incineration while the core sails across the sky. And there, caught readily in the glove of the Moon, is our essence...the scent we once knew from being within a mother. Safe. Warm. Nurtured. Loved.

  14th july,22:08
It is no wonder a wolf howls at the Moon! The Moon is kind, and it's memory is very long.

Annie writes at Wine & Words,
so do go and visit...especially this post ...i'm not the only one!

Monday, 25 July 2011


 6th july 2011, 22:08

sometimes, no matter how i try
i cannot get the moon in sharp focus.
or at least it seems that way...
until i realise there are so many layers of cloud
so delicate that they are almost unseen
creating a slightly different picture
from what i think should be there

6th july 2011, 22:09

sometimes i have to realise
that this is the best that i can do, for now.
that there are other things going on
that i can barely perceive.
that it isn't always possible to be at my sharpest
and sometimes being a little out of focus
is actually the only way to be
for a while....

 8th july 2011, 21:59

because as surely as the moon 
waxes and wanes to her own natural rhythm
i snap back into focus

 8th july 2011, 22:02

and then it matters not
what winds are blowing around me
i can hold my own
and appreciate the patterns
that are weaving in my world

 8th july 2011, 22:04

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Birth of Colours

Here's a tale spun by the Ed Pillola that I couldn't resist sharing here. Ed's colour stories are growing, so do pop over to see him & explore... read his poetry, buy his books (he deserves a plug!)... his writing hits my heart every time!

I've hit the archives to try & find photos that do justice... but i can think of so many ways to do this & got a bit be-fuddled so other versions may follow in other places!

The color blue was created the very first night on earth. The full moon disappeared over the horizon before explaining to Mother Nature that he would reappear soon enough. All Mother Nature had to do was shift to the other side of her garden to see the moon in the sky, but she believed then as she believes now that the best way to find a lost stray friend is to stay put. And so she stayed put, watching the sky.

When the moon reappeared the next night, slightly less full, Mother Nature was so excited. She figured the moon lost a sliver of itself escaping death in order to find her again, and she blushed for the first time. The color pink was born.

All night, the moon and Mother Nature were together. Mother Nature was so happy to wake in the morning with the moon still in her arms and the sun shining on her face. The color yellow was born.

The moon might have noticed he was causing serious emotions in Mother Nature. But he did not notice, or pretended not to. He went on swinging across the sky, singing love lullabies, shining bright as can be.

In fact, the moon was so caught up in his own preening that he forgot to tell Mother Nature that for one night that very first month he would disappear altogether. And so Mother Nature waited and waited, and she even shifted to the other side of her garden, but the moon wasn’t in the sky there either.

Just as she was becoming so upset that the moon had left without saying goodbye, a sliver of moon appeared over the horizon. In that moment, her anger melted (mostly) into passion, and the color red was created.

Believe it or not, Mother Nature had had enough of the drama between herself and the moon. Sure, the colors were beautiful, but they needed to come more easily. Mother Nature stretched out her arms and wrapped them around her garden.

Inside herself, Mother Nature discovered her very own color when she loves herself and is at peace with herself. Green was born.

The moon now saw that Mother Nature could be happy all by herself, and this stirred a jealously inside that the moon didn’t quite like. The moon wanted to be happy for Mother Nature’s joy. And since every true thought is rewarded, the moon was indeed happy for Mother Nature in that moment.

The color white was born.

The moon understood that he had a special relationship with Mother Nature, and this excited him. But it also frightened him.

The void of black was created.

Mother Nature stayed put and kept herself occupied while the moon groped through the blackness. And when the moon emerged from his darkness and shone his new light on Mother Nature’s shifting season, perfect with every shade of green in that very moment of transition, all the rest of the colors were born.

Thank you to Ed for letting me use your words x
Click here to visit Ed Pilolla's blog

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Little Photo Blocks

i have been playing...

 ... mounting photographs onto wooden box-frames,
coating them with satin varnish,
and deciding which arrangement shows them off best...
and then, much debate with myself about price 
and how best to describe them

there has been much.... experimentation...
(i think that is the politest way to describe it)
working out the process that works best for me...
to achieve the look
and quality of finish that pleases my eye

they are gradually finding their way
I'd love it if you have the time to take a peek
and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Feeling the Eclipse

 13th june, 20:08

i didn't see the full moon this month...
the lunar eclipse that was in progress as she arose
was hidden from view by stormy clouds

i soak up the rain
and breathe it in

 13th june, 21:43

but i could feel her...
swathed in earth's shadow
as sun and earth and moon aligned
perfect alignment

13th june, 22:17

elsewhere she glowed whilst
 escaping the sun's direct stare

a pause

time for reflection

going within
to the shadowy places



a subtle shift 

moving forward

Sunday, 19 June 2011


6th june, 21:50

there has been a gradualness
in the way that things 
have been happening of late for me

 8th june, 21:53

i have been gradually adding items
and though the appeal of the moon
has led to many 'hearts' & inclusion in treasuries
actually selling is a very gradual thing

 9th june, 22:16

but more importantly
 i have been gradually understanding
fresh streams of energy 
 filtering into my being

9th june, 22:23

they are as old as the moon herself...
that i have sensed
... sometimes quite hazily
sometimes more clearly than others


Friday, 10 June 2011

Shrine To The Moon

I love to see moon-inspired art.... when lady luna takes on the role of muse, she shines her light of inspiration deep into our hearts. Barry has been working with some moon-muse-magic, creating this gorgeous 'Shrine to the Moon' ...

~ Barry Smith (c) ~

 His idea was to add a metal leaf & offering bowl to this personal shrine... his thoughts reminded me of this...
            "a falling leaf touches the moon's reflection.... and my own" ~horiuchi

... and i can envision sitting i silent prayer with this shrine, connecting with moon energy... especially at new moon when she is not visible in our skies... i think of the "meet me at the waters edge" practice that ....began with the gulf oil spill of offering healing energy to the waters of earth at new moon.... perhaps filling the offering bowl with a little water... no doubt everyone can visualize their own way of connecting....

If you clicked that link you will have seen that there was some discussion about the type of bowl to compete the piece. Barry created three palm-sized bowls to choose from, and it looks like this is going to be the finished shrine... you can read all about it here...

 ~ Barry Smith (c) ~

I just adore this....

You might also like to look at Barry's earlier assembly filled with lunar inspiration.... 'Moon Gate'.
Yes, the moon as muse is a very powerful force indeed!

Saturday, 4 June 2011


17 april, 21:18

...if i were a silversmith

 14 may, 22:08

 i'd choose a piece of moonstone

18th may, 23:34

and fashion a cradle of branches....

Sunday, 24 April 2011

See Through The Trees...

15th april, 22:13

she can shine light into the dark places
of hearts and emotions
illuminate things often hidden, denied
or buried in the shadows
of shame, hurt or despair
...if you let her

16th april, 21:14

she can highlight those things
that can get in the way...
handy excuses such as
aspects of self, actions of others, circumstances
...if you let her

17th april, 21:00

...and if you let her
she will reveal beauty in those 'imperfections'
and show how those obstacles 
add to the amazing landscape of your Self
 and find the strength and purity
of your own inner light

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Silent Moon

Slowly, silently, now the moon
Walks the night in her silver shoon
Walter De La Mare

6th april, 20:54

Whenever i hear the moon described as 'silent' i always ask the question, "but is she?" Many times i have written the same description & felt the same query come to mind. 'Silent Moon' sounds beautiful in a mysterious way... elusive somehow, as if i'm missing the point... that something is just beyond my grasp... and as i have looked & wondered she has continued to smile at me indulgently. 

There is no doubt that the moon communicates... we feel her pull on our bodies & the tides. Many times i stand bathing in her light, feeling her energy and begin to move to a rhythm that i feel rather than hear... to a music that infuses my body & soul... and as i dance i feel the pulse of the earth beating an accompaniment, two heavenly bodies in harmony... of course she's not silent, it's just that we need to learn to hear, to focus our 'inner' ear. 

8th april, 21:22

One night as i gazed & wondered, i distinctly heard the reply "No, she bloody isn't!" I laughed, thinking of what some people would say. I know i'm not alone in thinking this way... Aristotle said that the Pythagoreans " saw that the ... ratios of musical scales were expressible in numbers [and that] .. all things seemed to be modeled on numbers, and numbers seemed to be the first things in the whole of nature, they supposed the elements of number to be the elements of all things, and the whole heaven to be a musical scale and a number." I wonder how much further back in time this thought goes?

It seemed clear to the Pythagoreans that the distances between the planets would have the same ratios as produced harmonious sounds in a plucked string. To them, the solar system consisted of ten spheres revolving in circles about a central fire, each sphere giving off a sound the way a projectile makes a sound as it swished through the air; the closer spheres gave lower tones while the farther moved faster and gave higher pitched sounds. All combined into a beautiful harmony, the music of the spheres.

11th april, 21:31

Plato (in Republic) says of the cosmos;

". . . Upon each of its circles stood a siren who was carried round with its movements, uttering the concords of a single scale" 
and describes the circles of heaven subdivided according to musical ratios. (in Timaeus)

Kepler, 20 centuries later, wrote in his Harmonic Munde (1619) that he wishes 
"to erect the magnificent edifice of the harmonic system of the musical scale . . . as God, the Creator Himself, has expressed it in harmonizing the heavenly motions." 
and later said, 
"I grant you that no sounds are given forth, but I affirm . . . that the movements of the planets are modulated according to harmonic proportions."

Now nasa has shown that there is noise in space... we may not hear it as conventional sound but there are recordings of electromagnetic waves & such, converted into sound. I've searched... plenty of earth & other planets, but i've not found any of our moon... here are some sounds of the stars  

The sound of jupiter's moon Io

Friday, 1 April 2011

Super Moon

They are all 'super' in my opinion, but this one is closer to earth than usual, so appears larger.

 march 19th, 18:53

The 20th/21st March is also the Spring Equinox
(23:21 GMT on 20th to be exact)
Full moon & equinox aligned... special...


A time of balance, when day & night are equal in length...


a time to think about balance in our own lives
to sit quietly & reflect
looking back at what has gone
& pondering what is to come...


yes, a special time as we move towards the end of the lunar year
the new moon will be in aries, the beginning of the zodiac, on april 3rd


There is a short period when the moon is 'void of course' over 1st/2nd april
 not influenced by other planets
This post at 'moontides' gives a great explanation...

So, my plan is to just take it easy over dark moon
& reflect some more...

Happy moon-dreams x

She Breathes...

... silent whispers to the trees,

18th march, 18:19

...of growth & fullness,


...of purpose & strength,


...from times past & yet to come,


...from the endless circle of continuity...