Beth Markel

Photos, fabric, software, notions, thread…

Posted on February 6, 2013 by Beth Markel

When I began looking for daily inspiration in what I see, or what catches my eye, I had to work at it.  I think a lot of us can easily go through the day just thinking about what we need to accomplish, what work we must get done, homework with the kids, what do I have to fix for dinner, etc.  It’s pretty easy to get caught up in what we need to do, or as I learned after having children…the tyranny of the urgent.  What is harder to do, I believe, is exploring – daily – the beauty of the world around us.  It’s easy to think, “When I go to the zoo/botanical gardens/beach, I’ll take my camera and see interesting, unusual, and beautiful things.”  It’s much more difficult, at least for me, to think of seeing beautiful things at the grocery store, dry cleaner, mall, or while I’m sitting at a traffic light.  It has taken a month of daily practice, but now I am beginning to see things differently.

Snow isn’t really white, until the sun shines upon it.  In the mornings, it is a sort of light gray shade where the shadows of the trees land.

Snow is blue in the afternoon and evenings when the sun is coming more from the west.  As the sun sets, the darker the blue becomes.

When it’s a full moon, snow glistens, but is a dark gray shade, moving all the way to black in the shadows.

When I was a kid in the 1960’s & 1970’s, a grocery store was just a grocery store.  There were “blue laws” where no stores were even open on Sundays…hard to believe in this day and age of 24/7.  If you wanted a prescription or meds, you had to go to a Pharmacy.  If you wanted flowers, you had to go to a Florist.  If you wanted pictures made, you had to go to a camera store.  Writing this, it all sounds absurdly old-fashioned, but it really wasn’t that long ago!

So in that vein, here’s my favorite ‘eye-catcher’ for this week…found at our local Kroger’s when picking up snacks for the Superbowl.  Some people (including me, sheepishly) have the fixed notion that red & green speaks so loudly that it can only represent Christmas – but now I beg to differ.  Bright red Tulips with their Spring Green leaves caught my eye and made me begin to think red/green wasn’t just for Christmas anymore.  How many other notions have I fixed in my head that need to be broken?


Grocery Store Tulips 1

Grocery Store Tulips 1

Grocery Store Tulips 2

Grocery Store Tulips 2


Hopefully, by expanding my color palette, or shaking off fixed residue from “It should only be done THIS way…”  I will use this inspiration in photos, my sketchbook, fabric, notions and thread.

Be creative every day,





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