Title: "Goodacre Lake, Beacon Hill Park"
(click image to view larger)
Parks play an important part in my childhood memories. My mother's family was fairly extended, with 4 sisters all married, living within blocks of each other in the city back east where I grew up. Each summer this extended family would go once or twice for a big picnic in one of the local parks. The sisters made mountains of salads and deviled eggs, there was pop and chips and hamburgers and hot dogs for the park BBQ. It was an enormous effort for everyone to organize this, but we'd have a wonderful, memorable meal while fighting off the bugs, the wind playing with the paper table cloths that covered the picnic tables. There was usually a lusciously ripe watermelon for dessert. I would play endless games with my cousins, and as dusk came everything would be packed up and we would all return home pleasantly tired.
I've lived here on the west coast for the past 27 years, and this is the first time I've really been in this park which is right downtown in the city. I was sitting on a bench, thinking of those wonderful family picnics, and remarking to myself how this park was similar in many ways to one of the parks where those picnics happened. I suddenly remembered that there were peacocks at that park long ago, and how we kids would wait in anticipation to see the peacock spread its tail feathers. Turns out, as I discovered on a walk to the washroom today, there are peacocks in this park as well. So in many ways the circle of present day and fond memories was completed.
There is nothing, and everything, remarkable about this image. On the one hand, it's a fairly standard family-type snap shot taken to commemorate the beauty of the park on a lovely day. But at the same time there are many remarkable things about this view: the interplay of blue against white in the sky, the change in the shading of the blue as you look down between the trees; the varying shades of green in the foliage, and the reflection of those trees in the dark, still waters. I was influenced to make such a "straight" image from my recent reading of Frank Gohlke's "Thoughts on Landscape". Looking at this image now inspires me to do a series of straight images that incorporate these little jewels of tone/texture/repetition.