Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Recognizing a Friend in an Unexpected Place!

Do you read Cup of Jo? I do, regularly. New York blogger Joanne writes about lifestyle -- dress, design, food, music, books, occasionally travel -- from the perspective of a young mom of two. Thanks to her, I've made Nutella crepes to delight my husband (I scarfed them down too, I'll admit!).

Also thanks to her, I regularly sport a red plaid wool scarf from Madewell. Although her target demographic is probably much younger than my own, this Nana benefits from reading a blogger whose concerns mirror those of my child-rearing, work-juggling daughters and whose sensibilities seem not so different from my own.

But as much as I find a connection with this younger blogger at a rather different stage of life than my own, I can't express how surprised -- disoriented, even -- I was the other day to see this photograph topping Cup of Jo's post for the day. I mean, here's this blogger from New York city posting a photograph taken by someone who lives on  the same tiny West Coast island as I do, an island with fewer than 400 people living on it -- can you say "coincidence"?!

I don't suppose I would have known the photo was taken by my friend and neighbour, Mark Kaarremaa except that not so long ago, Mark had posted an image of a painting-in-progress, by artist Line Osmundsen, based on this stunningly evocative photograph.

I excitedly commented on Cup of Jo (one of the few comments I've ever left there) that the photographer was a friend of mine and then quickly checked in with Mark to see if he could help me find that painting again. He did, and it's finished now, as gorgeous as you might hope for, a brilliantly coloured rendition of the layers of story concentrated by the camera into black and white. I must say that I'm mesmerized by the reduced palette of black, white, and grey, fascinated by the intricate details of the faces. I could spend hours imagining the lines of desire to and from. . . .his yearning, her, what, hint of insouciance? The wrinkles at his mid-brow, the slight quirk of her lips (or is that just a necessary tension on the pipe?). . . .

But I also love what Osmundsen has done in abstracting the images and adding colour: the overlay of pattern, gridwork, texture. . . .




I thought of asking you which you prefer, black-and-white or colour, but it strikes me that the question is a crude one, that it implies an either-or, that it suggests we have to choose between apples and oranges, kumquats and persimmons. And we don't, do we? Instead, I'd say we ought to celebrate those talented people amongst us who show us the world from different perspectives -- or perhaps just more attentively or with better trained eyes.

So thanks to you, Mark, and to Line whom I don't know,thanks for the beauty. And thank you, Joanne, for your blog, which I love, and for the chance you gave me to see my neighbour's undeniable talent (honed over a long career, a lifetime) from a different perspective!  

19 comments:

  1. What a serendipitous coincidence!

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  2. So much to have that moment. And I love Cup of Jo too. Her kind voice, most of all, or is it her adorable boys:).?

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    1. It's a stellar combo, the kindness, the cuteness. . .

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  3. I love both versions but they do evoke different reactions. I haven't read CoJ in ages, will have to get back over there.

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    1. That's how I feel as well, really, Sue. They both draw me in, in different ways. I could easily live with either on my livingroom wall!

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  4. What a small world we live in and it is so much easier to connect through the Internet . I read Cup of Jo as well and enjoy her blog immensely....
    I love that image that your neighbour has captured....very west coast and rather edgy and grainy.

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    1. He's an amazing photographer -- his gallery on Flickr is wonderful to browse though, such a range of subjects.

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  5. A Cup of Jo is the second blog I turn to every day when I switch on the intertubes. Never boring and yes, she is kind, that's the tone. Re these pictures, it's the black and white for me every time. Is it her pipe, do you imagine, or has she borrowed the Skipper's for a joke?

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    1. I'll ask Mark about the pipe, Annie. I seem to remember him saying at one point that it is hers, but I'll see if I can pin that down again.

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  6. I love this photograph. It promises to tell such a tale - how long ago was it taken and do you know what happened to the pair?

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    1. 40 years ago! They were a couple for a short while, and then not, apparently . . .

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  7. Fascinating- both the image and the story. So much beauty on your island.

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    1. Yes, we have a surprisingly high ratio of artists, writers, musicians. . .

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  8. Both are lovely, and what a happy coincidence! I read Joanna's blog too--I think it's how I discovered the Brooklyn boutique Catbird , , ,

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    1. I think I wouldn't want to live within striking distance of the wonderful finds she makes. Too much temptation. But that Catbird. . . .

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  9. These are the wonderful coincidences in life!

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  10. I know Line, love her art, have some of her piesces and will never stop buying her pieces... Itwas fun to read this post on the blog!!,

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we? I apologize, though, for the temporary necessity of the Word Verification -- spam comments have been tiresomely numerous lately, and I'm hoping to break that pattern.

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