This happens all the time in TV detective shows. Frustrated with the case, the detective throws some photos on the desk and then – amazingly! – says “Wait a minute. We’ve missed something.” Some little detail in the photo, previously overlooked, solves the mystery.
My e-mailed photo was almost like that. My sister had sent me a photo of a new painting in her home. I opened it, took a look, realized that the glare in the photo kept me from seeing much of the painting, then closed the photo. Wait a minute. I missed something. I opened the photo back up and found something else in the photo that was much more interesting. The window.
The window in the room she had photographed has wonderful character. Wood trim and frame create interesting depth and shadows. The light through the panes turned the glass panes into abstract compositions. It’s just the kind of window image I was looking for to incorporate into a planned art quilt.
I have already asked her to shoot a few more images of the window and have enlarged and cropped them – ready for transfer onto fabric.
I am strongly drawn to window images. Incorporating a window into a picture plane automatically creates depth: theirs is something on the other side. And looking through a window invites participation of the viewer in the image. Windows often reflect; we see back an unexpected image. When I collage into a window pane a scene or pattern different from what was in the original photo, a new kind of reality is created.
My e-mail brought me both an unexpected image and an unexpected inspiration.
The photo above is a detail from a work in progress, “Look through the Windows,” part of my current series: Home is What You Remember. I have combined photo transfer windows with painted window shapes.