Filaments II (color) 1a

My co-artist for this series is (I believe) a Venusta Orchard Spider.  There is a fairly long story to tell about her and her spectacular weaving and what she means to me.  I will try to tell it in spurts over the course of the coming weeks, as I share images of her work (and hopefully of her).

I’ll begin by saying that it is this very spider (or perhaps her mother or grandmother–although I have read somewhere that these spiders can live for several years), and her very web (and the webs of her family), located in this Japanese Clematis (which I pronounce KLEM-uh-tis, as I learned from master gardner Miss Mary) was (is) actually my first true inspiration as a photographer.  The kind of inspiration that completely sweeps you up, that draws you back over and over and over again in a kind of ecstatic creative mania.

In a way, Venusta was my first teacher of photography.  I will also say that my relationship with this spider, so meaningful to me, goes back to the sculptor Louise Bourgeois, whose sculpture titled “Maman” had such a powerful impact on me the day I stood beneath it (just over four 1/2  years ago, a few weeks before the birth of my daughter) that I have never forgotten the experience.  I will talk a little bit about that in a future installment.


21 responses

  1. Do you see the young woman wearing a sheer garment with her hair up who looks Victorian? Down on the whole leaf on the lower left as you look at the photo. She is the first thing I saw. These must be seeds with tails. Also, I see other people along the lower right bottom and two others at the upper right. This is absolutely fascinating. The bright green and white against the dark depths is perfect. I like this very much.

    September 29, 2012 at 4:04 am

    • I do see her! The Clematis leaves, flower, and fluff provide so much texture and depth to the images of the webs. I see all kinds of images within images when I visit the vine. It’s different everyday I go because things have shifted, and new things have fallen into the webs. I am glad you find it as fascinating as I do. 🙂

      October 1, 2012 at 1:03 am

  2. M m m ? Sound very complicated story.
    Venusta, Miss Mary, Luise Bourgeois, Maman, —–
    Who did what, and taught you what ? ? ?
    Is that what entwined cob-web is ?
    Wait and see what turned out to be 🙂

    September 29, 2012 at 4:26 am

    • 🙂 Lots of details and layers to work into the story. The problem is that what is meaningful to me and what has touched my life in a certain way may not reach anyone else in the same way. But I can at least share the images.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:06 am

  3. myfullresearch

    Deep black, deep green. Some whites. Peeping yellow. A wanderful composition.
    Or, painting using a digital camera !

    September 29, 2012 at 8:05 am

    • So glad you like it, mfr. These do seem to be the colors that pique your interest. There will be more color eventually in the series. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

      October 1, 2012 at 1:07 am

  4. Magical….fascinating….while I’m not a big fan of spiders I DO and always HAVE loved their webs….worlds of wonderful lacy strands which often seem to have no rhyme or reason but obviously do to the occupants. This is really super – love the seeds – look like graceful ballerinas.


    September 29, 2012 at 10:09 am

    • The seeds of the Clematis take on such different shapes over the course of just a few days, it seems. The entire vine is like that, in constant change. I think that’s why I kept visiting it so frequently last year (sometimes twice a day) because I was worried I would miss something fantastic. There was always something marvelous happening–some seemingly quiet change, that was actually very big, visually, if one was paying attention. Combine this vine with these webs, and the fascination is indescribable. 🙂

      October 1, 2012 at 1:10 am

  5. Amazing!

    September 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm

  6. I like those feathery clematis seeds. I wonder if spiders do house cleaning to remove all the bits of plants that get stuck in their webs.

    September 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    • After watching last year, and again this year, it doesn’t seem like they do much house cleaning. The feathers and seeds remain where they fall, adding wonderful dimension to their webs.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:12 am

  7. Amazing colors and details. The people (seeds?)woven into the web are spectacular especially the lovely lady on the lower left leaf.

    September 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    • Thank you! That’s so interesting that you spotted that woman, too! 🙂 And the other people, as well. It’s fascinating what pops out for people who are looking at the image. Thank you for your comment.

      October 1, 2012 at 1:13 am

  8. So much there…so many layers.

    September 29, 2012 at 4:16 pm

  9. I love how this manages to be so action-packed visually, while being a static image of a (I’m presuming), static moment. Great tension.

    September 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm

  10. We have a “Maman” outside our gallery here in Ottawa. She is nothing short of fantastic. Louise Bourgeois’ work is wonderful!

    October 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm

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