The first to arrive was from Julie, all the way from the land down under! Yes, Julie lives in Australia, somewhere I've always wanted to travel. Julie describes herself in this way: Ruby is the fun, brave, travelling adventurer. Whereas, Julie is the boring workaholic. By calling my blog 'Being RUBY' I hoped to encourage my adventurous side and creative pursuits, discover new paths and interests and perhaps resurrect some old ones. I love sharing my re-found passion for art, travel and photography with fellow bloggers. — Julie [aka Ruby]
What Julie Ruby, can do with one of her photos always gives me a feeling of awe. Her altered images continue to inspire me in my own pursuit of photography as art.
In May I was one of the very lucky winners in a giveaway on her blog. The photo was one she took on a trip to Venice, Italy in 1996. After she added that special "Ruby-touch" the dreamlike quality of the gondolas on the canal just drew me in. Are there any of us who have not dreamed of being a passenger under the careful direction of a Venetian gondolier?
I love this photo, but even more, I love the inspiration Julie's art provides me. When deciding how I wanted to frame this piece, I knew I wanted to hang it in my studio. I played around with different frames and mats. I chose a white frame, but the mats were not really achieving the effect I wanted. Instead I mounted the photo on this piece of paper, I think the lines give a sense of movement, like movement through the canals of the Venetian Lagoon. Did you know that the lagoon is composed of 117 islands held together by a series of canals? This is what I was trying to express when framing this altered image.
I then decided to add some of these metal plaques. The one in the upper left reads dream. In the lower left corner I added more because Julie [aka Ruby] continues to inspire me to imagine the possibilities and then to create that vision in my own art.
Thank you Julie, I hope you like what I did with your fabulous photo.
Next to arrive via the postal service was a special housewarming gift from Jane. Jane lives very near to where I lived in Florida. She describes herself "With a traveling husband and an empty nest, I spend a lot of time painting and writing." She goes on to say that, "One of these days, I will live right beside the sea...preferably on the Atlantic Ocean near St. Augustine. Then I will be able to walk on the beach whenever I want...without getting into a car to get there!"
Yes, Jane is a beach gal, just like me. The paintings that I've seen and admired all have a beachy theme to them, so what's not to love? She collects and decorates with seashells and she wants to eventually move over here to the Atlantic, she is a gal after my own heart and a sweet, sweet friend.
Jane contacted me soon after my move and said she wanted to send me a little something. This is what arrived at The Hut:
I was overjoyed to learn that Jane had painted me "Shellbelle's Tiki Hut." Can you believe that? In the attached note, Jane wrote, "Hope this little "tiki hut" will remind you of the Bay Area."
It does! In an email exchange I told her that I loved that she painted it red. Why? Because in my Florida home I had painted one of the walls in my living room RED. I loved that wall and so this delightful painting reminds me, not only of the Tampa Bay Area, but also of my home there.
It also reminds me of all the dear friends I've made through blogging. How we are there to share life's joys with each other, how we lift each others spirits when we're down and how genuine friendships can bloom across the internet through blogging. For this I am most grateful and humbled.
In my new home I have a table directly across from my front door. This is the focal point of my new digs and on it I have created a little vignette of things I love and things that remind me of the beach. I placed Jane's painting there and it is perfect! I love the pop of color that it adds and the sweet memories it brings.
Thank you Julie and Jane
for adding such special touches to my new home!
I love you both.