One Observing

A Curious Person's Photographic Notebook

Library Art


Situated on a library entrance wall, from floor to ceiling, this splendid art installation, Untitled (2005), by Cliff Eyland consists of over 1000 file-card-sized paintings depicting fanciful and realistic landscapes and portraits.

The individual 3″x5″ mixed media works reference the size of now defunct library catalogue cards, while the installation’s overall pixellated pattern suggests current digitally stored information.

Eyland, who views a library as an art institution, describes the arrangement of the file-card paintings across the wall as “scattered cataloguing, a kind of random cataloguing.” This intentional randomness creates a whimsical counterpoint to the systematic organization of a library.

Both awesome in scale and intimate in close-up inspection, this artwork is impressive, and for combining art and the library, I love it.




Photography: Developing Your Eye

Recently, I signed up for the course Photography: Developing Your Eye offered by the team. It provides tips and themes to inspire your picture taking. Here are my snapshot responses to Home, Street, Water, Bliss, Connect:


HOME is comfort and quiet, the place to peacefully enjoy a cup of herbal tea.


STREET: A residential street where linear lights juxtapose with trees.


WATER: Soapy suds while handwashing dishes – an activity I find relaxing.


BLISS is colour. Here a divine arrangement of watercolour paints.


CONNECT: This hydropower pole appears haphazardly connected, yet it orderly connects the neighbourhood with electricity.

Mauve Magic

Mauve Possibility

Call me foolish, delusional, if you must, but I am certain the colour mauve possesses supernatural charms. Whenever I put on my mauve shoes, my mood instantly lifts. My step becomes lighter, sprightly. I float above the ground, dancing through the day. Life brims with joy.

Mauve’s history may be revealing. Subtle yet eye-catching, the pale purple hue so captivated the artistic avant-garde in the 1890s that the decade is sometimes known as the Mauve Decade.

Accidentally discovered by 18-year-old Victorian chemist William Henry Perkin in 1856, mauve holds the distinction of being the first synthetic dye. In 2000 British writer Simon Garfield acknowledged the colour’s influence when he titled Perkin’s biography Mauve: How One Man Invented a Colour that Changed the World.

I am no scientist, or historian, or colour therapist, merely an owner of mauve shoes, but I can attest to the colour’s allure. Serendipitously spotted in a shop window while visiting a faraway fairytale city, its soft light beckoned me, its kindly spirit drew me in. Placing the sweet-hued shoes upon my feet for the first time, I was forever smitten. Mauve magicked me.

Wearing my mauve shoes, I walk in an enchanted version of daily life, one of possibility and imagination and hope.

Mauve is for you too. Try its magic in your life.


(Note: The information regarding mauve history sourced from Wikipedia)


Wild, Free, Spontaneous

Black & White Wildflowers

For myself I hold no preferences among flowers, so long as they are wild, free, spontaneous.” ~Edward Abbey

No doubt, Mr. Abbey would approve of these wildflowers growing free, but unlike him, I hold no preferences among flowers – the wild and the cultivated are equally capable of creating joy.



“Since life may summon us at every age
Be ready, heart, for parting, new endeavor,
Be ready bravely and without remorse
To find new light that old ties cannot give. ”
Hermann Hesse, Stages

Apples: Ancient and Modern

Imperfect Apples (1)

Apples have existed for thousands of years. Archaeological evidence of the fruit’s consumption in Europe dates back to the Stone Age. Valued in antiquity for their taste and medicinal qualities, apples were cultivated by the ancient Greeks and Romans.

Apples, Before and After

Although apples can claim a long history, apple crisp or crumble is a relatively modern dessert. According to Wikipedia, the first recipe in print does not occur until 1924 in Everybody’s Cook Book: A Comprehensive Manual of Home Cookery by American author Isabel Ely Lord. Also, on December 9, 1924,  apple crisp is mentioned in a newspaper article in the appropriately named Appleton Post Crescent.

Nature Lady

Pensive Lady

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” Henry David Thoreau