Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Downtown Greens

Just when I think I have discovered all the treasures of my community, I find one more. 

One more person or place, endeavor or activity that brings home the sustaining ways of life – giving, caring, creating, nurturing, working, and often resting.  


And treasures such as these ought not to be hidden.


Located at the southern entrance to historic downtown Fredericksburg, Virginia, Downtown Greens is a beautiful and vibrant public garden. 

Downtown Greens is about music and art, science and math, natural history and our own history, sustainable living and healthy living, creativity and working together, learning together and laughing together. It is about community!

On this early spring day the garden was quiet. Serene. Peaceful.



Having the garden all to my self was a gift. Taking pictures is a form of meditation for me. I don’t often invite friends to accompany me when I make pictures. I need to be fully present in the moment, to sink into the scene, and to take my time. As an observer, I am sure the process is incredibly boring, but as an artist, there is no greater joy than to become lost in the process. 


I stand back and view the scene. Try all the angles. Pose a flower bud. Climb. Lie down on my belly, squirm and swivel for new perspectives. I don’t just take one picture; I take as many as I like. No hurrying allowed. The composition unfolds.  My favorite part is the resourcefulness that such picture taking requires. I don’t carry around props. The challenge of seeing how I can use the naturally occurring elements of the environment to create an artful picture is deeply satisfying.

 
In fact, it’s my favorite way to spend an afternoon.

If you're in town, stop by Downtown Greens for their Annual Fork It Over Festival on Saturday May 17, 2014.

I’m linking up today with Kim Klassen for Texture Tuesday where the theme is Quiet. I used Kim’s textures Canvas Magic and Plaster Squared to subtly enhance today’s pictures. Thank you, Kim!

36 comments:

  1. Lovely pieceful pictures! - Thank you for your nice visit at my blog!

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    1. Donna, I have so enjoyed visiting both of your blogs. You use textures with such confidence and the results are truly works of art.

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  2. Lovely, lovely flowers. I agree about having the time and space to just be at your will. Although shooting with my husband goes pretty well, we both do our own thing and take our time.

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    1. Sarah, You and I have another thing in common - patient and kind husbands. My husband does often go on picture taking excursions with me and he never rushes me. On several occasions he has made sure that I don't fall off of bench, step off a curb, or back into a bush while I have my eyes glued to the camera.

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  3. Your photo with the quote is absolutely beautiful. I like taking photo trips by myself too, no hurry or worry about the others being ready to leave. I am glad you lingered in the garden, your images are wonderful.

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    1. Michelle. Next time I take flower images, I'll try some really close-up like you did. Might try my macro lens. Thanks for the inspiration and the encouragement.

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  4. Such loveliness here, loved that little patio setting looks like it is just waiting for Spring to happen.

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    1. Hi Barbara, I'm so glad I popped over to your site. Those apple pictures made my day! I will definitely look to join Kim's Start 2 Finish class on the next go round. Looks like you've learned so much. I'll stop by to visit again soon.

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  5. These are such gorgeous photos! I see your green and I'm envied...We have snow today and it is still very cold!

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  6. If we weren't friends, I wouldn't know half of what was in my own town...and I've been here 18 years! Never knew this gorgeous spot existed. Love the photo with the statue head and, of course, the lichen-edged birdhouse. What is it with us and birdhouses this week? As a writer, I understand the need for solitary work but never realized the extent photographers need it, too. Who would want someone jabbering "Look at this!" and "Why don't you take a picture of that?" Our talk this morning about process helps me understand that photography and writing aren't so far apart after all.

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    1. My conversations with you always advance my thoughts and my skills. You challenge me and encourage me and you get me - how wonderful. When spring finally settles in we'll pack a lunch and head to this garden for a picnic and inspiration.

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  7. Amazing location and your captures are perfect. You should submit these to a gardening magazine!

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    1. Nancy, I love stopping by your blog because your banner always makes me smile. I don't live on a farm, but I do love the rural life. Your chicken pictures are the best. I've just taken some pictures of the hens on the farm where we purchase our eggs - and it was so much fun. I never realized - chickens seldom hold still! Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll look forward to your next post.

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  8. Beautiful place! I do love how you used the Lenten Roses in your scenes, too! (Thanks for visiting my blog!)

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    1. Evelyn, You just gave me a great idea! I forgot to mention the name of the flower - as you pointed out Lenten Rose. I think the botanical name is Helliobore. I might try to make a botanical print version of that photo - would be a great photo note card that perhaps this garden could sell at their community fundraisers. Ideas everywhere!

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  9. Beautiful place and beautiful images, I love how you placed the flowers on the fence ! Thanks so much for visiting my blog :)

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    1. Hi Caz, I would love to have that cup of tea and biscuit pictured on your blog while sitting in this garden. Wouldn't that just be a perfect afternoon?

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  10. Oh, I LOVE your shots. I'm so happy to have found you via Kim's!

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    1. Elizabeth, I feel likewise about you! I admire how you weave your faith into your blog and your open and thoughtful sharing of your images and your heart. Lovely to meet you.

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    1. I am so encouraged by visiting your blog as I see the variety of learning experiences you engage in. What a great way to get out of the comfort zone and keep your photography moving forward. I'll look up the book you referenced, Creative Photography.

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  12. so many beautiful photos you captured. my favorite is the one you added the quote to.

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    1. Cathy, That's my favorite, too. I'd love to try some of the mixed media collage techniques that you use - a project for another day!

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  13. Beautiful place to enjoy. Love the photo with the single blossom.

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    1. Hi Earl, Thanks for stopping by. When I find myself stuck in Photoshop, wondering how to accomplish some vision I have for a photo edit or creation, I often think of you. Wonder if Earl makes house calls!

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  14. I could look at these amazing photos all day!

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    1. Pat, I enjoyed getting to know you by way of the Quilt Queen video on your website. I am fascinated by how you express yourself through your quilting. I am a quilter, too, though most of my projects are more functional than artistic. But, like you, I enjoy the solitude of creating.

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  15. Gosh, that's a beautiful place, love the head by the tree!!

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    1. Jill, You and I both love what speaks to us - and the garden statuary of the head - gave the garden such life - I love it! The little thimble with the word coffee that appears with your comments. I have a thing for thimbles!

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  16. What a beautiful place. I don't know which image i like best!

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    1. Sheila, As I visited you blog, I was fascinated to see that in addition to your photography, you also design and create jewelry. Your beaded pieces are beautiful - so intricate. Thanks so much for stopping by and spending a little time in the garden with me.

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  17. Beautifully done, Donna! A true artist you are! Thank you for sharing this beautiful place.

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    1. June, Seems like you stay busy creating art as well. The roses in your most recent post remind me of scenes from a kaleidoscope.

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  18. Beautiful pics. I recommend a return trip during garden hours to capture the youthful volunteers toiling over some interesting projects!

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  19. I would love to return to the garden to take pictures of volunteers in action. I am deeply appreciative of the hard work that goes into tending a garden. Thank you to the garden volunteers! Look for me, I'll be the crazy lady with the camera who loves to take pictures of dirty hands, trowels, sprouts, and compost.

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