Sunday, September 29, 2013

LAVENDER SHADOWS

A few years ago an opportunity made itself known to me to participate in Blanco's "Lavender Festival." A fine art show was attached to the festival and I had been invited to show my work there. The Lavender Festival is usually scheduled for the first weekend in June and is a veritable smorgasbord of lavender-based creations– pastries, candies, sachets, paintings, even wine– any and all things created, with lavender as the common ingredient.

There were crowds of folks as I showed my art that weekend, and Blanco's town square was ebullient. The show was fairly successful for me, and the pieces I displayed were enjoyed and appreciated by many, even those not buying. During a fairly quiet moment in my booth, however, an older lady scrutinized my work but said nothing for quite some time. Finally, she broke the uncomfortable silence: "Hmmmmm...I really like your work, BUT..."

I walked up to her and tried to understand her intentions: "Yes, can I help you? I heard a 'BUT.' Is there a problem?" She responded: "Yes, there IS a problem. I love your work, Bill...BUT...where are your LAVENDER PHOTOGRAPHS?"

With some trepidation, I tried to respond: "Yeah, yeah, I know...this is a 'Lavender Festival' and I have no photographs of lavender. I'd like to have some, but I've never had the opportunity to take any."

"Well, I'll tell you what...I've got a small, private lavender farm just outside of downtown. Here are the security codes to both of the gates that will let you in. Come anytime you'd like and take some photographs. You needn't stop and ask first, or even call ahead. But take some lavender photographs...PLEASE!"

LAVENDER SHADOWS, © Bill Brockmeier, all rights reserved by the artist
About a week later, I and a photographer friend who had recently moved to the Blanco area took up Alice Coverly on her more than generous offer and sought out her farm. The security codes worked as advertised and we soon found ourselves alone and surrounded by her five or so acres of lavender bushes. The light breeze was heavy with the perfume, and the shadows were already lengthening with the sun dropping toward the horizon.

The place seemed an astounding fusion of French Provence and Texas Hill Country– the smell and color of France and the vistas of the Hill Country. Perhaps South Texas is not really that far from southeastern France after all.

The next June at the following "Lavender Festival" I was again showing my work to those seeking lavender in Blanco. This time I was heavily armed with my own lavender offerings. The image you see here– LAVENDER SHADOWS (a very limited edition of only 12 on large canvas)– was made as the sun nearly kissed the horizon. Some of the lush, blooming plants had already been immersed in shadow while others were still in the blaze of sunlight.

As I have shown the two photographs from this series, many have made it plain to me that they believe the photographs are paintings. I've tried to assure them that "No, these are not paintings, but photographs." Some have remained unconvinced, and swear that I must have at least applied some little dabs of paint to some of the blooms to make them stand out and appear 3D. Although I use no digital enhancement to the colors or otherwise, they still find it difficult to believe these are simply straight photographs.

Thanks to a friend of the arts, and a lover of lavender, I was able to make some memorable images of this wonderful plant. Thank you, Alice!
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This photograph is available in a Very Limited Edition of only twelve copies. The full, framed size is 19 by 62 inches.    Call now to reserve yours— 210-241-6132.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great picture Bill. It truly was a very good day, the day you shot this picture, to enjoy everything that surrounded us at Alice's farm.

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