an everyday photo, every day | photography • art • poetry

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September Salads

September Salads
September Salads

September Salads

A little extra leaf lettuce for when the weather turns hot, then cool, in a barrel so the critters can’t get it. I just planted the seeds on Sunday, they actually sprouted by Wednesday, this was taken today, Thursday. I had the seed packet tucked into the edge of the barrel, but apparently the cardinal didn’t like the way that looked and kept pulling it out and tossing it in the barrel. No matter, I can remember what’s planted there. Yum, can’t wait!

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

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Dairy Queen in the Dark

Dairy Queen in the Dark
Dairy Queen in the Dark

Dairy Queen in the Dark

I love that good old-fashioned look of the Dairy Queen, primary colors, nice clear shapes, that late-50’s slight upward angle of the roof and outward angle of the windows.

The night I took this photo it had rained and was hot and humid, and the Dairy Queen beckoned from the dark in the middle of nowhere along a deserted road. The night was dreamy enough and the road dark enough that it almost seemed the DQ was an illusion, and either I’d pull in and it would turn into something else or disappear altogether, or it was a trap, a portal to another dimension and I’d enter some dramatic scenario as in some of the stories I enjoy.

But I just enjoyed a medium vanilla with chocolate dip, really enjoyed it. It’s been a while. Maybe that’s why the DQ magically emerged.

I love photos of rainy nights and have a whole gallery of photos called “At Night in the Rain”.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


The First Raspberries!

First Raspberries
First Raspberries

First Raspberries

Yum! First raspberries! I have mixed feelings about the fact that a bird got that first ripe berry! I decided to leave it there until I went inside from morning watering and transplanting, when I went to get it, it was gone, not on the ground anywhere, but birds had been over there. Well, they are the ones who planted it.

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All images used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission. Please ask if you are interested in using one in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of this image or a product including this image, check my Etsy shop or Fine Art America profile to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.


On Planting Peas

Pease Vine
Pease Vine

Pease Vine

It’s my annual paean to gardening and the cycles of life.

Every year in the month of March I awaken one morning with the knowledge it’s time to plant the peas, another step in the flow of the seasons. Though I have plants growing indoors, this is truly the beginning of the gardening season for me. Whether it’s the sun, moon, weather, schedule or simple urge to get out there and get my hands dirty I don’t know, but I enjoy the simple manual labor without assistance from any electronic device, ears open to the birds, face feeling the breeze, hands and feet feeling the earth. Many a photo, poem, essay and painting has been inspired by the simple acts of growing things.

Today might be the day though I have much cleanup out there and the soil is either too frozen or too soggy, yet very son I feel, it will be, and then I will be far too busy, and nowhere near my computer, to post this essay, so I want to share it now, and share my excitement for the coming season of growing. I first read this essay for the first New Year Poetry and Prose Reading of the erstwhile Carnegie Writer’s Group which I’d led from 2003 to 2006. In the meantime, my “Early Sweetness” peas are at the ready for when the day comes.

On Planting Peas

It is early March and I am planting peas. The wan spring sun is finding its heat and lays like a warm hand upon my back as I work. Signs of approaching spring fill my senses in the mild air on my skin, the scent of damp soil and the shrieks of children as they run in frenzied circles of freedom, much like the birds swooping and circling above whistling their mix of songs.

We have passed the first intoxicating days of air that does not bite, endless sun warm enough to melt the last snowfall into a composition of dripping and trickling, soften the soil and make one’s blood run with the abandon of a stream overflowing with spring thaw. The dawns have come noticeably earlier and the muted indigo dusks have lost the sharp quickness of winter and softened to a moist lingering evening.

Perhaps it is the phase of the sun or the moon, the proximity to the vernal equinox or some eternal voice that speaks to those who will listen about the time and season of things, or my own impatience to join in with the cycle that has been going on without me for a few months. Whether it is any of these reasons or all of them or none of them, I awaken one day in March every year with the knowledge that this is the day to plant the peas. It is as clear a yearly anniversary for me as any holiday, and can…

Click here to visit my professional and creative writing page to read the rest of On Planting Peas


Green and Shadows

Onions and asparagus fern
Onions and asparagus fern

Green and Shadows

Some things make their own still lives.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Raspberries in the Bloom

Raspberry in the Bloom
Raspberry in the Bloom

Raspberry in the Bloom

This is a raspberry long before you find it on the stem. Just opened this morning some of its features may look like another common flower, the rose, the family to which the raspberry belongs. It has a ring of five tiny petals but that puffy center and the unopened bud next along with the leaves, though larger bearing the same compound structure with tiny sawtooth edges, and those thorns.

A raspberry is a compound fruit like a blackberry, raspberry, mulberry and many other berries which are clusters of “drupes”, which sounds like an insult but simply refers to a seed with a fleshy outer covering. Looking at that center part, that ring of stamens around the outside has to get in touch with the fluff of pistils in the center in order for each drupe to be pollinated so you find that perfect hemisphere of juicy blobs that, all clustered together, make up a raspberry. The plant itself can take care of some of this, but not all, and if you’ve ever seen a raspberry with a few blobs missing, this is why.

raspberries

Ready to Eat

What’s all this talk about bees lately? Apparently the Little Green Bee is a specialist pollinating raspberries. Didn’t see any about this morning, but I do know they visit here pretty regularly. Possibly that’s why, though I don’t have too many raspberry plants, the berries are very successful.

little green bee on blue vervain

Little Green Bee

Personally, I can already taste the raspberries some morning soon, still cool from overnight.

More black raspberries in a vintage cup.

Berries in a Cup

 

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms.

All images in this post are copyright © Bernadette E. Kazmarski and may not be used without prior written permission.


Past and Prologue

photo of dried parsley plant with seeds
photo of dried parsley plant with seeds

Past and Prologue

The dried, spent parsley plant from last season bearing the seeds for this season’s harvest and the shadow of such.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Original Artwork: Winter Still Life

pastel painting of ceramic bowl of apples on crocheted cloth
pastel painting of ceramic bowl of apples on crocheted cloth

“Winter Still Life”, pastel, 10″ x 7″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

That deeply angled winter sunlight reaches farther into the windows than summer sunlight, into the corner with the fruit bowl. I’ve been looking at the late afternoon sun hitting this vintage ceramic bowl where I keep my apples and enjoying the shapes of the apples, the reflections on the bowl with its uneven design in indigo with gold leaf brushed into the pattern here and there, the crocheted cloth and the mix of direct and reflected light on the apples, the bowl, the wall, the painting above.

The light changes too fast so I can’t sketch it on site, but of curse I’ve also photographed it, and worked from a series of photographs over a period of minutes as if I was working in the moment. I’ve found that when I work from only one photograph I feel a little stiff with the subject and a series of images feels more natural.

Granny Smiths are just about my favorite apple and are the most likely to be in the bowl and the reflection of their color on the walls around gives the scene an overall green cast. In the original painting, the crocheted cloth is a little more yellow than you see here.

I painted this yesterday along with a few other simple sketches of winter landscapes.

This painting and others are for sale, please ask if you are interested.

Also see other pastel paintings and original art.


Sketch: Clementines

pastel painting of clementines on shelf
pastel painting of clementines on shelf

“Clementines”, pastel, 10″ x 5″ © Bernadette E. Kazmarski

A pastel sketch of my current crop of Clementines on the shelf in my kitchen.

This sketch is drawn entirely in Sennelier soft pastels on Fabriano Pastello Tiziano paper in the warm gray threaded tone. I wanted to use the laid texture of the paper to help convey the lightly pitted texture of the Clementines, and then also to soften the edges of everything to help capture the softened angled light from the window. The light comes mainly from the left, but several fruits are also catching a softer mid-tone highlight from a window in the next room to the right.

I had sorted them out of their bin since only a few were left and went to get a little basket for the. As I came back I saw the composition—the top of the cherry bookcase, my crocheted dresser scarf, the green-toned wall and of course the little stars themselves. The light comes in at a very slanted angle at any time of the year, especially winter, and for most of the day it’s reflected light from the sky with a cool tone and softened shadows. It doesn’t last very long, and I knew it was near the end of its journey on a short winter afternoon so I snapped a few photos and started a quick color sketch, but it was days before I got back to it. Glad I did, or those Clementines would have certainly lost their sweet and bright character in the meantime!

It’s the nice thing about art that you can leave out things you don’t like to be there. This shelf sometimes becomes a catch-all for things, and though they were actually in the scene I just left them out. There are also things hanging on the wall, and it’s a stucco wall that’s white which I rag-painted with vanity yellow and pale mint green. In this corner the shadows are dull and I debated having a cool gray-green wall to really bring out the orange of the Clementines, one of the reasons I began with this tone of paper, which you can see at the very top. I decided instead I wanted to keep with the rich tones in the rest of the sketch and worked the shadows in green—it’s not at all a realistic choice of tone or color or even quality of shadow, but I like it, and it works. I also decided to leave a loose edge at the top, I’d visualized it this way from the very beginning. I may have liked a loose edge all around but I ran off the paper on the sides.

I had mentioned with the last sketch of fruit that I was eyeing those Clementines…

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If you’d be interested in purchasing this sketch, please contact me. Likely I’ll frame it and add it to my Etsy shop.


Pomegranate Landscape

photo of inside of a pomegranate
photo of inside of a pomegranate

Pomegranate Landscape

If the days feel too dark and the nights too long, have a pomegranate.

Pomegranates are just so lovely. I peel them to see the little rubies inside, and pull out those sweet, juicy berries one by one. The sun came in the kitchen window and I knew I had to do my best to capture the essence of pomegranate.

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For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.