black and white
Some images of the word LOVE captured in condensation, ethereal and fleeting.
It was early on a cold and frosty morning and the sun shone brightly through the letter-gaps I'd created, which were then reflected back to me on the wall. I couldn't have planned for it. It just happened.
Just like love.
Black and white love
Captured in condensation love
Love in the window
Love in his eyes
Love in her eyes
Love in disguise
Love in reverse
Love in the background
Love in real life
Love in the past
Love in the future
Love in your heart
Love all around
What appeals to me most is the stark cut-out shapes of bunting dangling from the window frame; cascading, caught in the bare branches of foraged dead wood from the garden.
These branches in turn point themselves like fingers into the frame, making the image seem more sinister than it really is - just an overcast winter's day.
The sky is washed out, busy processing clouds. This is not a black and white image, but in fact there is little colour so it looks that way.
It makes me think of Matisse - not for its lack of colour, but because each element looks to be cut out in paper - 'drawn with scissors' - then layered together to create this illusion of a crooked window with a tangled dark garden beyond. But there is light in the sky, slipping through gaps in the cloud. Light is always hope.
I like how the branches in the foreground intersect the trees in the background; the dimensions proving playful.
There is a simplicity too. Muted, focused priorities become clear. And that's what I need this week.
Thoughts come into my head, crowding in, more, more, more, and I need to make them line up like birds on a wire, the birds that sit on my washing line, observing the pecking order and waiting their turn. It happens in nature as a matter of life and death.
Know your place. Prioritise. Wait. Be patient.
So much can be learnt from the creatures around us. And windows are always synonymous with perspective.
Look through your window. Take a moment. Stop and pause. What can you see? Can you see the wood for the trees?
Find something beautiful and seek out the light.
I love the vibrancy of colour and the impact it has in everyday life, and in the world. It is a pleasure and a warning, a way to differentiate from others, as well as a way to blend in. But I'm also very much drawn to the brilliance of monochrome. Black and white.
It's the filmic quality, the vintage connotations of a 'bygone' era, and the sense that black and white (and all the shades of grey in between) is so ultimately enduring; unfazed by the passing fashion and fad of the colour du jour.
So today I'm celebrating the beauty of black and white and sharing some monochromatic images of random finds that I love.
This is an image I shot on my phone, in Berlin, a few years ago. I applied a fish-eye filter to it and love the distortion of the VW Beetle and the framing of the trees beyond the road. It was a beautiful sunny day in February, and I had just turned 30 years old.
This vintage cash register was for sale in an old church in the north of Scotland. It is a known antique place and there were some amazing pre-loved items to be had. Furniture and record players and clothes and fire surrounds and books. I couldn't resist taking this shot of the cash register.
I would have loved to buy it but really it deserves to be on display somewhere wonderful.
I made this necklace and it is currently for sale in my Folksy shop. It is black lace on silver lame with little pearls and a vintage button. It would be so chic as a Christmas accessory, or gift.
I saw this etched into the pavement in Glasgow's West End, years ago (though it's probably still there). I had to take a photo of it as my Mum's name is Yvonne. I filed it in my 'randoms' image folder and rediscovered it today.
I love this kind of unofficial street art/graffiti. Although it's not meant to be there, it injects personality into the 'concrete jungle' of the streets and shouts out to anyone called Yvonne. How nice.
I can't remember now if I took this image with my phone or my camera, but it is a street in Prague. I went there on my first wedding anniversary. I love the term 'Belle Epoque' or 'beautiful time' as I studied that period in Paris for my final year dissertation at university (I was analysing the first 'advertisements' in print; posters etc, many of which were created by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec).
I was obsessed with the artists and writers and designers of that time and the idea of everything being so beautiful, joyous and carefree; the collective creativity of people coming together to create the art and books we know and love and rejoice now. Those artists may never have made money from their art at the time, but I can imagine the fervent atmosphere of living life everyday and immersing in the creative melting pot. That to me is worth so much more (than money).
Perhaps it is a personal naivety to think that it really was so 'beautiful' and carefree, but who can argue with a term like 'belle epoque'?
This image is of a vintage record player that my husband restored for me. This particular one is also wired up to play my iPod. I love the nostalgia of vinyl because it reminds me of growing up and has connotations of 'the swinging sixties' which I always imagine in black and white. Black taxis and Big Ben in the background and models wearing Biba with bright white faces and fabulously patterned dresses.
There is so much more I could say about black and white. About the associations of black and how it is a subtractive colour, dark, evil, noir, gothic and final, while white is an additive colour, pure, light fresh and angelic. Yin and yang.
Monochrome is the epitome of classic chic.
Long live black and white and monochrome and the Belle Epoque!