Saturday, January 24, 2015

On Christmas Eve, it twinkled; on New Year's Eve, it glowed...

    ...from a photographer's notebook

Earlier this month, I had occasion to visit the Eastport section of Annapolis.

Eastport sits across Spa Creek from the Annapolis City Dock. It was once a town unto itself, before becoming a part of the Maryland state capital in 1951. It still maintains an identity of its own, quite apart from the big town across the creek.

With the exception of the upscale restaurants facing the sailboat marina and downtown Annapolis, the vibe is different in Eastport. Modest clapboard or shingled dwellings lining the narrow streets give Eastport the image of a working class Chesapeake Bay region oystering or fishing town.

Mosaics flanking the doors were created by local art students
In fact, the reason for my visit to Easport on that sunny, but decidedly chilly, Friday afternoon was to deliver my photograph “A RainyNight in Glasgow, No.1” to the Annapolis Maritime Museum, the venue for the Maryland Federation of Art’s “Stormy Weather” show, in which the photograph was selected for inclusion.

And that gets me back to the oystering reference above, as the Maritime Museum is housed in the old McNasby Oyster Company building, which fronts on the Annapolis Roads waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Its large windows and boardwalk look directly out on the bay, as well as neighboring marinas, also affording views toward the Bay Bridge.

About the picture up top…

After dropping off my Glasgow photograph for the exhibit, I thought I’d take advantage of the remaining late afternoon winter sunlight to explore some of Eastport with the cameras.

This shingled house caught my eye – well actually it and the magnificent tree out front! As I moved closer, though, my eye was drawn to the very large Christmas tree, looking perhaps even too large to have fit in the living room of such a diminutive dwelling, lying on its side in the house’s front yard.

It is January 9, so discarded “former” Christmas trees are a fairly common sight, usually sitting by the curb awaiting pick-up the next morning. But there is a sort of “Velveteen Rabbit” poignancy about this particular evergreen “Spirit of Christmas (just) Past,” lying forlornly on its side – still adorned by ornamental balls and decorations.

One hoped the happy looking ornaments would live to adorn and enchant during a future Holiday Season, that they were not also due for the metallic jaws of the tree grinder.

Indeed, as I looked at that image later that evening, the idea for a new card design emerged. Perhaps a new category, like a “post-Holiday Season” card…

"On Christmas Eve, it twinkled; on New Year's Eve, it glowed"  Inside: “Let’s not throw away the Christmas Spirit with the tree.” ©2015 Steve Ember

The working title is “On Christmas Eve, it twinkled; on New Year’s Eve, it glowed.” And, on the inside: “Let’s not throw away the Christmas Spirit with the tree.” You think?

Anyhow, before I pitch it to the card companies, I’ll do a small run here in the Card-Cave. If you happen to share that sentiment and would like to order some custom printed samples, please be in touch via my web site.

"Stormy Weather" exhibit runs through March 1 at the Maritime Museum
Oh, almost forgot…the reception for “Stormy Weather” (which may prove truly à propos, if the meteorologists are correct!) is this Sunday (January 25), 4 to 6 PM. Please accept this “conditional” invitation to stop by. The Annapolis Maritime Museum is located at 723 Second Street in Eastport, Annapolis.

Here are the websites for both MFA and the Museum. You may wish to check for postponement, just in case the storm shows signs of arriving earlier than expected as of this writing. Say, it may be fun, looking at my “Rainy Night in Glasgow” (exhibited as a 20 x 14 archival pigment print) and all the other art relating to stormy weather, selected by co-jurors Barry Shauck (Boston University College of Fine Art) and TV Meteorologist Emily Gracey…and drink some grog while looking out at storm clouds over the Bay.

Think I’ll bring along a camera.

©2015 Steve Ember

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