Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #126: –Subjects That Begin with the Letter A.

An Alphabet challenge! This week Patti invites us to share images that feature a subject on the letter A. We can also include signs and graffiti with the letter A. For an added challenge, Patti suggests capturing an image that illustrates a concept with the letter A, such as alone, abstract, or afraid. 

I have chosen Art, Arch, Architecture and Abstract.

The Rila Monastery in Bulgaria had me enchanted for many hours – and every time I look at the photos from that day…I remember the surprise that hit me when we entered the courtyard. Silence, and unbelievable beauty in the elaborately handpainted arches.

When it comes to impressive new artwork, one of my greatest favorites are The Kelpies in Scotland. We visited in 2014 when they were just put in place. The Kelpies are 30-metre-high horse-head sculptures depicting kelpies (shape-shifting water spirits), located near Falkirk, standing next to a new extension to the Forth and Clyde Canal. The Kelpies were designed by sculptor Andy Scott as a monument to horse-powered heritage across Scotland.

Abstraction indicates ”a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art”. This departure from accurate representation can be slight, partial, or complete. Many abstract sceneries are absolutely natural…while others are manmade. A frosty car mirror in the header and an autumnal lake with reflected leaves above.
David Hockney – ”Me draw on iPad”, Louisiana, Denmark.

Thank you for all your inspirational entries for Tina’s challenge last week! A beautiful highlighting of the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi.

We are looking forward to seeing your new choices – please include a link to Patti’s original post and use the Lens-Artists tag so that everyone can find your post in the WP Reader. We hope you will join the fun!

Finally, stay tuned for Amy’s challenge next week – and until then, stay safe and well.

Lens-Artists Challenge #125 – You Pick It!

I really believe there are things nobody would see if I didn’t photograph them.
— Diane Arbus

This week Tina is our host, and she says: …”we hope you’ll share a subject that is near and dear to you, that you find interesting, or challenging, or perhaps that shows us something new or unique to you.” Please visit her page, marvel at her artistry and get inspired by the art of Wabi-Sabi!

I am not interested in shooting new things – I am interested to see things new. – Ernst Haas

Personaly, I have chosen nature’s beauty combined with different processing of the images. A creative pastime that has become even more interesting in days of seclusion this year. But, let’s start with my capital city – Stockholm. (I do visit cities too…) Said to be one of the most beautiful capitals in the world – much because it is a city on water.

All photographs are accurate. None of them is the truth.
— Richard Avedon

Earlier this year (pre-pandemic…), a grey day, just like today, I had some hours between trains in Stockholm. I walked past Stockholm City Hall, sailing in the air – a double exposure processed with an oil painting filter.


Frosty leaves on the forest floor – with a touch of oil painting.

In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story. – Walter Cronkite

My visit to Ifö art center some weeks ago also presented some splendid natural artworks. This beautiful window was covered in colourful Boston ivy (?) (oil painting filter) – but its real beauty wasn’t revealed until we went inside, looking out of the backlit window.

The memory has as many moods as the temper, and shifts its scenery like a diorama.
― George Eliot

This gallery shows the same window, processed with different filters. From left to right: colour pencil, water colour, oil pastel, pencil, abstract.

Only photograph what you love.
– Tim Walker

My final image is the window seen through my eyes, lens and oil painting filter. It represents my heart’s own memory of this moment in time. Our memory works like this – reality through filters like personality, feelings, mood and situation. In the header – double exposed roses processed with an oil pastel filter.

So, this week it’s all up to you – choose your subject and share whatever it is about it that you find interesting. We are looking forward to seeing your interpretations.

Thank you for treating us to your creativity on Amy’s Now and Then Challenge!

SPECIAL NOTE: For those who wish to have advance notice on our themes, next week Patti will treat us with an Alphabet Challenge – Subjects That Begin With The Letter A.

Until then – stay warm, safe and hopeful.

Thursday Thoughts – Scanisaurus – Europe’s largest stoneware fountain

Just outside the Ifö factory in Bromölla, live-sized ceramic dinosaurs sunbathe on a ceramic cliff surrounded by springwater. Or should be, but there was no water when we visited.

Plesiosaurs first appeared in the latest Triassic Period, 203 million years ago. They became especially common during the Jurassic Period, thriving until their disappearance about 66 million years ago. They had a worldwide oceanic distribution. Scanisaurus (Saurus from Skåne) bones were found on a small island, Ifö. (Ö means island in Swedish)

Scanisaurus is the masterpiece of Sweden’s renowned ceramic artist, Gunnar Nylund. It is a one of a kind artwork, made by hand and consisting of more than 3000 individual pieces.

In 2014 many of the original plaster forms that were used to make the fountain were rediscovered by Ifö Center’s artists. They are now under restoration at the Center and the goal is to produce new parts and restore Scanisaurus for the 50th anniversary in 2021.

The funny thing is, that the discovery of the plaster forms was what finally convinced ROA to come over from Australia to paint T-Rex in 2014.

This is my third post from Ifö Center. Here are links to the previous posts:

https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2020/10/22/thursday-thoughts-ifo-center/

https://lagottocattleya.wordpress.com/2020/10/29/thursday-thoughts-more-ifo-center/

Thursday Thoughts – More Ifö Center

If you enjoyed last Thursday’s trip, let’s have a walk indoors as well!

Artwork keeping an eye on you everywhere…

And us keeping an eye on Teresa (the engineer and coordinator of every activity at Ifö Center) – our guide …this place is so big you could easily get lost. The great insulators made at the factory here looked like gigantic piles of ceramic plates.

We arrived at the bar…built around some machine too big to remove (- according to Teresa -), what else to do than to use it for practical artistic purpose! We were greatly impressed by the light and the large areas – perfect studios for any group of artists.

A piece of cake? I don’t think so – not in any way.

In the middle of a potential crash – tread lightly, move softly, think twice – Corona restrictions? We made it through the cups and plates. 8 people.

My favourite project was the paper works by Sebastian Blomqvist – paper, paper, made only of paper. Impressive! But all kinds of artwork was made at Ifö, graffitti, painting, ceramics, weaving, 3D – nothing seems impossible.

I so loved the studios, the gigantic windows letting in that magical light. As an artist you can apply for a certain time and a place at Ifö – I wish I was – You can also support them in many ways, why not as a volunteer or friend?

Creativity is contagious, pass it on.

Albert Einstein

Lens-Artists Challenge #120 – What a Treat!

Tina has got a marvelous treat for us this week! African wildlife in glorious images through her lens. So, now we are looking forward to seeing Your treats – be it candy, grandchildren’s visits, a splendid hike or…

One of my own biggest treats is a visit to Kew Gardens – I don’t go that often…maybe once every fifth year – and this year should have been a Kew year for me. But then came Covid-19.

Maybe the fact that something is not easily available is one of the reasons for making it a special treat?

I will let the images speak for themselves. And, I really long for a new visit … In the opener, a late night view from the plane back from London.

A microphone? Yes…listen to Mother Nature and do everything you can to help her!

If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.
― Masaru Emoto,

This week we are including what we hope is a treat for all of you! At the suggestion of one of our followers we are announcing NEXT week’s theme. Our host, Patti, will share “FOCUS ON THE SUBJECT” on her blog Pilotfish. Please let us know what you think – is it helpful to know the theme in advance or do you prefer to be surprised?

Finally, sincere thanks to all of you who participated in my Hideaway challenge last week. I am glad most of us have a special place where we can focus on Life and our inner thoughts. Mindfulness. As always we enjoyed your creativity and the glimpses you gave us of your own lives.

Whatever you choose to treat us with, please remember to link to Tina’s post, and to use the Lens-Artists TAG. Until then, have a lovely week and please remember to stay safe.

Thursday Thoughts – Ifö Center

Since 2014 this artist run culture project has brought some of the world’s best street artists to paint and create the old ceramic factory area, Iföverken, in Bromölla. This center is located about a 45 minutes drive from where I live. So, I decided to ask some friends to join in for a guided tour.

Please come along you too! The tour will take some posts further on…so stay tuned.

In the opener you see the main outdoor painting, Abstrakt Komikz Palais by D. Brains (2017) from Ronneby, Sweden.

You can see the outdoor works for free if you stay outside the old factory’s fence. This is T-Rex, a painting by world famous Belgian artist ROA. ROA generally paints wild or urban animals and birds that are native to the area being painted. Dinosaur skeletons were found around Bromölla in Skåne, thus a T-Rex it had to be.
Boy with Stone Face by Argentinian Milu Correch (2016)

Living Room by Teresa Holmberg. There is sound and light in the ”sofas” and the glass in the pillars are made from discarded Tiffany lamps.

Mandala by Sigrid Wallskog (2018). Made from discarded ceramic pieces found at Ifö.
Thoughtprovoking and important. Dehorning by Italian Vera Bugatti (2019). Discussing the poaching of our rhinos – and is dehorning the answer to save them? Is it the same animal without a horn?
We are what we think – Buddha, Wild Drawing (WD 2019), Balinese artist based in Greece. And…a car
Hand sign by Carolina Falkholt

Finishing off the outside of this 42000 square meters’ art factory – with nature’s own art.

Hope you enjoyed the tour – it is to be continued!

Thursday Thoughts – Sketches

A visit to the Museum of Sketches for Public Art ( Skissernas museum – Arkiv för dekorativ konst), also known as the Archive of Decorative Art, is indeed a pleasant visit. In the Header a suite I loved: Raoul Dufy’s La Fée Électricité (Paris 1937). The Art museum at Lund University in Sweden, is dedicated to the collection and display of sketches and drawings for contemporary monumental and public art, such as frescoes, sculpture and reliefs.

The museum contains about 25,000 items, including sketches and contest entries by leading 20th-century Swedish artists such as Isaac Grünewald, other Nordic artists and foreign artists such as Henry Moore, Diego Rivera and Henri Matisse.
Greta Garbo, KG (Karl Göte) Bejemark 1922 – 2000. Dimensions 166 x 150 x 54 cm. The big arms and feet symbolizing the big step forward. The profile is correct though…
Below the skirt…more legs of course!
The Swedish Room
Below, Mexican artists. My favorite is the first sketch, Pablo O’Higgins, Tenochtitlan libre, 1961. Then the concert room. Shot through very dirty glass.

The museum was founded in 1934 by Ragnar Josephson (1891–1966), professor of the History and Theory of Art at Lund University. Josephson wanted to collect material illuminating the creative process of the artist – not only the finished artwork itself. The collection opened to the public in 1941 in a building close to the Lund University Library.

I studied for many years in Lund, saw the sign every day, but never visited. Finally, now I did – better late than never! And it was well worth the visit.