Monday, December 28, 2009


Hinge (2008) 14 x 7 in. acrylic on board

Toggle (2008) 14 x 7 in. acrylic on board

An attachment can be simple or complicated, a feeling, or an object /device. Considering just the root word it can be an action. Often what we choose as content in art is based on attachments- things we are attracted or attached to, things that add to our life in some way. Attachments also serve as a vehicle for moving images of our work and ideas to interested parties. What a useful word!

One of the most prevalent attachments in our lives are locks. They provide a sense of safety by keeping undesirable "elements" out. Locks also work in the reverse and have a captivity role.

Through the centuries the development of locks has moved through many phases ranging from rope ties through wooden locks, metal locks, to the keyless locks of today. I was struck by the changes in how we protect our homes the other day when I brought my three year old grandchild home. I was getting ready to ring the bell when she lifted a flap on their new lock and poked her finger in to open it. It was like a science fiction action to me but to her it was how you opened a door. It was so removed from what I knew of locks in my childhood. We didn't even lock our doors at night. We had locks but the keys were lost!

In my wanderings I've found sheds and their modes of protection interesting. In small communities there doesn't seem to be too much thought to keeping others out. You won't find any hi- tech solutions here. In the community where my summer house is located usually a movable latch or a bent nail through a hook seems to do the trick.

This is really a timeline of security. I bet the lock is the most recent addition to this door but is seems almost useless. It makes me wonder when it was opened last. The paintings above were created from source material I found among the remains of my Grandfather's old fishing shed.

This collection of items brought me back to a time when things were simpler and personal attachments were probably more important than what would be found behind any locked door.


Four Seasons in a Life said...

I like the two photographs of the old wooden door with all the hardware attached to it. I can see these as fine art B/W's and just thinking about it, makes my mouth water.
Of course Margaret, your words to are not lost upon me, as I have often wished for a return to the past.

Thank you for sharing,

hwfarber said...

Hinge and Toggle are wonderful paintings.

I loved hanging out in my dad's shop looking at all the rusty relics. I, of course, have a collection in my workshop. Sometimes they show up in my drawings and paintings.

Kathy said...

Margaret - I truly enjoy and learn from the thoughtful construction of your posts. Your explanations are clear and meaningful, and the images perfectly illustrative. There's a certain quality that you bring to your blog that says "stop and smell the roses." Today is a perfect example: meditating on both the simplicity and complexity of attachments and locks. Thank you!

Margaret Ryall said...

Thanks for responding. I have so many photos of highly textured "decaying" objects. I find the aging process interesting with its many imperfections much more interesting than new things. Photography is not my specialty but I love to document what I see.

Glad to meet another relic lover. I try not to bring too many relics home with me. Every now and then I can't resist. I forgot to say in my blog that Toggle and Hinge are each attached to wallpaper pieces from my Remnants series. More attachments!

You are always so supportive of everyone's efforts. I'm blushing! I guess my clear explanations come from all those years of teaching young children. Thanks for your continued input. It's what makes blogging so worthwhile.

Mary Paquet said...

Margaret, I am so enjoying your blog. I love your mixed media and your garden series. These simple implements in strong acrylics on board are very effective. You have a great way of explaining your thought processes and giving your followers much to think about.

I grew up in Vermont where we never locked the doors. My sons grew up in California, but returned to the East Coast. Jeff has a home in a tiny town in the Northeast Kingdom area of Vermont. They never lock the house. Alas, I cannot make that claim about my home in San Jose, CA.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Hi Margaret,

As I do not have your email address, I am sending you this combination to consider if you have Photoshop and which to turn a colour photograph into a B/W.

By using the Channel Mixer and not the greyscale converter, which changes the RGB in even 33.33 for each channel, Channel Mixer allows one to set the RGB to get the most out of the image.

A good combination to start with is R65-G00-B35 or R35-G00-B65 with the Contrast to remain at 0.

I helps to look at each RGB channel before converting to know how the numbers are to go. Also know that the green channel is one that is also used, especially with nature images.

Warmest regards,

paula said...

these are wonderful paintings and photos...very inspirational!
happy new year too!

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