Monday, May 18, 2009

"B" is For Barnside Beauty




One day last week during one of my routine "errand tours." I noticed the sunlit facade of a weathered old barn. I was stricken with the stunning variations that caught my eye, from the color changes to patterns and textural variation, in the wood. This facade was indeed like a permutation on the theme of aged wood. I was mesmerized.

This post shows several views of the same building, composed differently. The building has been patched, doctored, improvised upon, and altered through the decades, giving it even more interest. The original slats of siding are punctuated by the addition of glass, wire, and plexiglass, making it a repository of makeshift repair methods. You will note that none of these attempts detracts from the battered, antique quality of the wood.

I think I would define beauty as an aesthetic experience in which one's attention and perception are arrested and jolted out of everyday context and functioning, by a sensory stimulus (in this case, a visual) that causes one not just to pause, but to feel something akin to awe. Embedded in this kind of experience is, perhaps, a recognition of what C. S. Lewis called the experience of the "numinous."

C.S. Lewis was born into a Christian family. He became an atheist before he turned agnostic. At the age of 33 he became a believer, through exactly this kind of experience (couched in a deep joy through his visual and other sensory apparatus) which he considered to be evidence of a Greater Being, or God. He is perhaps best know for his children's series "The Chronicles of Narnia," but his writings on Christian religious views are extensive beyond his fiction works. My feeling when reading a few of his books was not that he was focused so much on a particular (in this case, Christian) view of the universe, so much as on the prevalence of what seem like miracles: phenomena of awesome beauty that reveal a great procreative power at the center of the universe.

C. S. Lewis' books are not easy reading, but I would recommend them to anyone interested in exploring religious and philosophical viewpoints.

Please note that on those occasions when I blog about religion or politics, I'm not espousing any particular belief system, merely exploring ideas in the spirit of sharing and communication.


All text and images c Lynda Lehmann. If you would like to view more of my art or make a purchase, please visit Lynda Lehmann Painting and Photography or my gallery at Imagekind, where you can buy my prints plain or matted and framed.

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27 comments:

  1. i too find this beautiful and i really like your definition of beauty.

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  2. Great barnside and posting, Lynda :o)

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  3. There's a great black and white shot in there somewhere! C'mon, I know you can do it ;)

    Cheers,
    Mark
    www.highton-ridley.co.uk

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  4. Fantastic series of shots, Lynda and great text!

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  5. Lynda...I think I say it every time but TEXTURE TEXTURE TEXTURE You did it again and in a most beautiful way. I love the barn and it is so unique. I also love your commentary. I have read all of the Chronicles more than once. It seems they mean different things to me at different stages of my life.
    Thanks for a great post.

    Dan

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  6. This post reminds me of an old house up the road I want to take some pictures of. I've been waiting for the blue bonnets to come up in the front field, but I don't think many are blooming this year-lack of rain.

    Excellent post and images!

    Take care!

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  7. Lynda..
    I posted a comment earlier but I must now have saved it. I just wanted to tell you that you did it again...TEXTURE TEXTURE TEXTURE...and I love the photos. Very interesting barn siding!

    Dan

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  8. I arrived here via SlogBite. I jst wanted to say how beautiful your pictures are.

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  9. Beautiful photographs and thanks for the recommendation of CS Lewis. I love to read books on spirituality in all different universal preferences.

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  10. Self Taught Artist - Thanks for reading it. Do you have any particular definition of beauty you want to share?

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  11. HEATHER - Hi! How are you doing with your new camera?

    The only problem I have with mine seems to be noise, in some shots. Which can be a problem for selling on stock sites, which want evenly lit and non-noisy shots. :(

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  12. Highton-Ridley - I agree that some shots are best in classic B & W, but for nature shots I often prefer color. And I loved the rich, warm tonal variations in this wood. I think they would have been lost in
    B & W.

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  13. ANNE - Thanks for coming by. I know you are always looking for new forms and depths of awareness, too....

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  14. DAN - Yes, I'm a glutton for texture!!! To me, it's the universal underpinning of form, and a level of form all on its own.

    I was out all day the other day, so that's why it took me so long to moderate my comments.

    I loved it when our daughter read the Narnia tales, and I read some of them. But it was a long time ago. I love children's lit in general, and used to read a lot of it with her. I also wrote a bit of it, stories and a few books. They're in my cabinet, waiting for me to return to them!

    Hope you're having fun with your camera.

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  15. THE MUSE - Well I hope you get out there and take them soon, and share them with us. I love the character of old houses, barns, and other out-buildings!

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  16. SYLVIA - Thank you! I'll be over to visit soon.... :)

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  17. Sheila - Thanks for your visit! Now I must visit you! Be over soon...

    :)

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  18. what an extraordinary building Lynda!!!
    it looks like it belongs in a fairytale :))
    I love CS Lewis's work especially the witch in the wardrobe...
    numinous...a new word for me...but I do believe that many artists would say that's a great word for appreciating certain art works...
    in fact you could say that I had a numinous moment recently when viewing a master portrait at a recent exhibition...
    on the other hand I think Mother Nature is queen of the numinous and is responsible for my daily numinous moments...
    thanks for the insight into the meaning behind your work ..have a wonderful week Lynda

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  19. ps..
    I love the texture too!!!!

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  20. Hi! Talk about old world charm and breathtaking variance in texture. A bit like me really with my warts and all features! If only the new buildings of today had such charm!

    Take Care,
    Peter

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  21. Love these photos Lynda - I quite agree the textures, the rich warm colour, the shapes - everything is just so appealing - I can see why it caught your attention.

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  22. Wow, excellent barn images Lynda, love the colors and textures,good eye, I love C.S.Lewis too, Surprised By Joy, especially.

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  23. These are the best shots. When you walk on your daily errand and suddenly see a 'jewel'. It can be an old building, or some hidden alley, but these are the best.

    Great image and great read.

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  24. Gorgeous images, Lynda. And I'm always in awe about how much glorious beauty surrounds us, all the time. I also love how artists, like you, always look and see.

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  25. I love the old buildings the best - and this one has such character!

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  26. Holy Hanna, these are gorgeous, Lynda. I wanted to eat them. I'm not sure what it is. I know I love old buildings, weathered ones, but it's much more than that. I think it's the mix of color and texture. The shades and shades of browns and grays and then the texture of the cedar shakes.

    And I love earth-tones like this and weathered wood. I always have. In fact as I looked at these they gave me great comfort. These photo evoke peace and warmth for me. Gosh you are gifted.

    I also loved the river photos above. So pristine. Do you know if they are as clean as they look. They look stunning and untouched.

    Thank you my beautiful "elegant" friend for inspiring me with your creativity. Your work inspires me a LOT and what's interesting is that in many ways it's like my own in what we are drawn to, only yours is much better. So you inspire me to improve. Hugs to you beautiful kind Lynda. Robin

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