Just hanging around

By mrswoolybill
We had half an hour's decent daylight last Sunday. So I took a break from the festive housework...
Thanks for looking,

Some people have expressed interest in the pictures in the background.
The Japanese picture in V1 is one of three that I bought in a bric-a-brac shop in Durham in 1971. They cost 28, my annual grant as a postgrad was 480; I must have been mad, but I have always loved them.
I have found out a certain amount of information about them. They are early 19th Century wood block prints on rice paper, mass-produced and sold cheaply the colouring is very simple, just black ink, blue, a soft grey-green and terracotta. They quite probably came to the UK as packing in tea chests.
One depicts elegant couples walking among chrysanthemums, by a river that is the least interesting of the three.
One shows the interior of a brothel, with traditional paper screens dividing the rooms, and a girl in a state of semi-undress running out of a bedroom. From looking into this one I learnt that you can recognise a Japanese prostitute by the way she ties her sash...
This one is the most interesting though. A lord is seated at a meal, attended by his geishas. A number of tiny, transparent, faceless beings are climbing all over the figures, plucking at their garments, trying to attract attention. You can see two of them in this detail.
A Japanese friend of our daughter explained that they are the souls of aborted babies.
V2: Some years before Bill retired, his school staged Sondheim's Sweeney Todd and Bill played viola in the orchestra. A local artist, Hilary Feeney, whose children attended the school, made some sketches at rehearsals. She later worked these into large-scale paintings for sale, but she left a montage of little sketches at the school and Bill appears in three of them. When he retired he asked if he could keep it as a leaving present.

Tags: Black and white Specialist and abstract

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Hermanus 5 4 South Africa
27 Dec 2012 8:20AM
These colourful decorations looks great even in mono ! Well taken Moira !!

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barbarahirst 9 27 12 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2012 8:22AM
I am intrigued how you took this ....
recognise the Japanese figure in the background
cats_123 Plus
14 4.8k 28 Northern Ireland
27 Dec 2012 8:24AM
like the `woolybill sketch' !! GrinGrin
nonur Plus
9 17 13 Turkey
27 Dec 2012 8:29AM
Beautiful, cleverly done B&W shots, Moira, reflections and pictures behind are bonus.
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2012 8:34AM

Quote:recognise the Japanese figure in the background

Quote:like the `woolybill sketch' !!

Quote:...pictures behind are bonus

Both pictures have interesting histories, I shall post some information later on when I have time to type at length!
Thanks folks, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas.
CarolG 11 199 20 Greece
27 Dec 2012 8:42AM
Great reflections in the baubles, Moira, and the sketch looks like Rolf Harris Grin Carol
Richsr 11 91 223 England
27 Dec 2012 8:45AM
Going with V1 of this set, well worked Moria,
Regards Richard
barbarahirst 9 27 12 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2012 9:08AM
i was too early for V2 ....SmileSmileSmileSmileSmile
and thanks for the explanation
NDODS 7 5.1k 125 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2012 9:25AM
A very interesting foreword Moira, supported by a rather interesting observational study. The mono works very well as it seems to calm down what would otherwise be and explosion of colour.

Regards Nathan Grin
nonur Plus
9 17 13 Turkey
27 Dec 2012 9:30AM
Thank you for the added info, Moira. I didn't know Bill played viola. Besides, it's nice to know the story behind the sketch. An American friend of mine who is the art director of Shaw Chicago Company collects Japanese paintings, bids for them at ebay, etc. He believes that their value will greatly increase in near future.Wink I enjoyed reading about both pictures.
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2012 9:35AM
Thanks again folks. I was lucky in that I was at Durham University at the time, it has the Gulbenkian Museum of Oriental art and culture, and they were very helpful.

Quote:I didn't know Bill played viola.

Bill plays anything and everything apart from brass instruments. Musical instruments take up even more space in the house than camera gear...
lonely_oryx 10 61 55 England
27 Dec 2012 9:47AM
I particularly like v2
Jasper87 Plus
8 2.0k 150 England
27 Dec 2012 10:34AM
Thanks for the info, Moira. v2 does like Rolf!! v1 is an excellent composition. The square format with frames within frames and the contrast between Japanese and Christian culture, baubles, reflections and a beautifully shaped ribbon. Classic pure photography and so well done.

mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2012 10:45AM
Thanks again everyone. I like V1 but am not satisfied with it, I want a bit more space at the bottom and on the right. But we have had no decent light since Sunday, the weather has been unremittingly grim, and this isn't a job for flash.
I took V1 while balanced on a sofa, by the way, and for V2 I used a little two-step ladder that we have acquired for photographic purposes.
Silverzone 10 2 England
27 Dec 2012 10:56AM
Always interesting to view and read. Sylvia
27 Dec 2012 11:46AM

Quote:I didn't know Bill played viola.
Bill plays anything and everything apart from brass instruments. Musical instruments take up even more space in the house than camera gear...

Multi tasking, then!!TongueTongueTongueTongueTongue
helenlinda Plus
10 360 22 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2012 12:07PM
Fascinating information about your three pictures Smile
Good capture of you on the steps WinkWink
Joline Plus
11 30 53 United States
27 Dec 2012 12:19PM
These are so beautiful and such dear mementos from a life lived well.
rontear Plus
15 8 8 England
27 Dec 2012 12:30PM
Hope you had a restful Christmas Moira Smile
27 Dec 2012 12:34PM
Lots of interesting elements in this well composed image, Moira.

pascalg Plus
10 37 France
27 Dec 2012 12:46PM
& why not mono?
Daisymaye Plus
9 23 16 Canada
27 Dec 2012 1:22PM
How interesting, the write up and the pictures. Like them both very much........Sandy
AnneWorner 10 620 43 United States
27 Dec 2012 1:23PM
The one of you perched on the ladder in v2 is particularly good, especially as Bill is playing accompanying music Smile I like the framing in v2, and that the exposure is brighter than that of v1.

Both nice still life images, and the exposure on the metal of the balls is excellent.

Interesting commentary to read also. I have some Chinese art on my walls and I'm especially fond of sumi-e.

franken Plus
15 4.6k 4 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2012 1:23PM
Unusual to see images like this in mono Moira and it works so well.


ps, the sun came out briefly about ten minutes ago and now we are back in the gloom Sad
photophantom 10 108 3 Philippines
27 Dec 2012 2:28PM
Thousand Words images
mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2012 4:26PM

Quote:I like the framing in v2, and that the exposure is brighter than that of v1.

V2 is nearer to the window!
Cheers everyone,
Nikonuser1 Plus
5 152 16 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2012 7:33PM
2 great still life mono's.Smile

UrbaneMagick 6 172 1 United Kingdom
27 Dec 2012 8:40PM
Hi Moira, interesting picture..and absolutely fascinating background story on the "inner" pictures & their story.

Thankyou for the votes on my Solstice Druid series.

AnnChown Plus
8 207 1 United Kingdom
28 Dec 2012 8:01AM
Two great compositions Moira with Bill instantly recognisable (in v2 of course! Smile). I have a similar Japanese print which I was given as a present in the mid 1980s and I've always loved it too.
pdcche 7 4 United Kingdom
28 Dec 2012 10:32PM
Two nice images Moira, V2 looks more like Rolf Harris, great sketch though, Peter..
bliba Plus
12 2 Austria
28 Dec 2012 11:36PM
very good


annettep38 Plus
6 218 40 Costa Rica
28 Dec 2012 11:54PM
v2 for me, the picture is so well frame. I can hear the festive music Smile
ChiliMan 11 135 17 Singapore
29 Dec 2012 8:52AM
FAScinating info, Moira. And how cool is it that Bill has been immortalised thus?! Marvellous.

As are these two. I like the ribbony '3' on the left in V1 Smile And of course your reflection. You've been baubled!

mrswoolybill Plus
11 1.2k 1929 United Kingdom
29 Dec 2012 9:09AM

Quote:You've been baubled!

ChiliMan 11 135 17 Singapore
29 Dec 2012 9:19AM
Lol Wink
Tibetan 5 3 England
29 Dec 2012 12:20PM
Very interesting, hope he plays the violin better than my late father lol. as soon as he picked it up we all went walkies lol. I have a few of those wood block prints Moira, from the shona school 1920 but in colour. I think V2. for me even with Bill in it lol. Happy new year, my you be comfortable, regards Leon.GrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrinGrin
29 Dec 2012 1:40PM
Seasons greetings to You and Bill. I do love a photo with a story.
Great write up Smile
29 Dec 2012 3:06PM
Again you've made great images out of limited subject matter Moira!
Kind regards
29 Dec 2012 3:31PM
Excellent image. I really like V1
TrevBatWCC Plus
9 12 12 England
29 Dec 2012 4:13PM
Very fine reflective images, Moira - has to be V1 as my fave Wink
And yes, last Sunday (the day I went to Llandudno) was the best of the weather...it went downhill after that! Sad
Hop-A-Long 11 52 1 England
30 Dec 2012 1:13AM
Two great shots with lovely selective focusing.

User_Removed 13 386 2 United Kingdom
30 Dec 2012 10:22AM
Happy New Year Moira. Smile
Thanks for all your support throughout. Smile

30 Dec 2012 10:29AM
Beautifully exposed black and white shot with festive charm.
Thank you for your comment, Happy New Year.
Rende 11 38 4 Netherlands
30 Dec 2012 11:21AM
Two beautiful and interesting mono compositions Moira. Thanks for the explanation; makes them come even more alive.
jaktis 14 84 Sweden
30 Dec 2012 2:46PM
A great self portrait, happy new year

RockArea 11 18 3 United Kingdom
30 Dec 2012 9:45PM
A couple of wonderful images, Moira. Not sure why but I think I like v2 best.

Glostopcat 12 255 2 England
1 Jan 2013 6:04PM
Two interesting images from inside your home Moira, thanks for this mini through the keyhole tour

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