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Art Mystery Revealed

By SusanD Dimitrakopoulos

In the May issue of Pencil Stubs Online, we presented a special artwork as a mystery. We asked readers to hazard a guess as to the subject matter of the work, and/or the medium employed, and even whether the artist was male or female. We did get a few responses, varied in aspect, which simply bears out how the artist herself feels about the work. Let's hear it directly from her:

It was quite an honour when Mary asked if she might publish my photo "Imagination" in PencilStubs. As my daughters would attest to, I have always loved taking pictures! Recently, this passion expanded into making a line of photo greeting cards called Spud Snaps! using some of my favourite shots. The response has been wonderful and Spud Snaps! has now taken another leap of faith with a website ...

"Imagination" was taken about 15 years ago. There was a shortage of heat in my apartment, but not a shortage of drafts! The bedroom was particularly cold, and I awoke one morning to find a very thick layering of ice covering the window. Amidst the ice however, was this beautiful orange glow ... it was the sunrise! I couldn't pass up the chance to get a shot of this, it was so incredible, almost ethereal. The result was this very abstract scene.

To me, it appears very mystical; I almost expect to see fairies dancing around the fire in that open grove in the forest! Friends wanted to know what the photo was about, and I in turn asked what it looked like to them. Of course, each one had a theory, so it seemed appropriate to name the photo, "Imagination." I'd be curious to know what it looks like to you!

Well, Susan, or as I am used to addressing you, Spuds, as you have noted above, people do see many different things in your photo. Here are some of the comments posted in the May Issue concerning your picture which we repeat below:

    ... Gesso on canvas, oil paints worked in wet with brush and trowel would result in that "glowing," alive look and provide the feathery, layered look that provides depth. I see several figures and faces in this work and could make an argument that it depicts the ascension of souls escaping the final Hell-fires on earth. Then, again, it could be hair follicles as viewed under a microscope.....hmmmmmmmmmm.
    ... My first reaction was that it was a Picasso during his blue period. It also reminds me of a program on TV that I watched on UFOs. They showed a forest in England with UFO lights showing through the trees. I agree with JJ that if it is a picture it was taken at ground level.
    ... Well it lookd like a reflectin' in the water of a forest with the sun shining through the trees. I turned the pic upside down and to me it looked like the sun at the top and the trees growing up just an opinion. .
    ... I have seen something like this that was done by an elephant. A very artistic elephant. I watched her do it, at an animal farm in Reston, Virginia.
    ... It has an organic "feel" to it, and the different quality of the square section in the upper right area of the image suggests a collage. Perhaps because I've been obsessed with things medical this year, I think it may owe at least part of its detail to some kind of medical imaging technology. To me, it communicates struggle toward some aspiration.
    ... This has the feel of an oil painting of some type of fire to me. Interestingly though, when I first saw it I clearly saw what looked to be an image of Christ on the cross in the top section of the picture. It also seems to have a very feminine feel to it.
    ... Photo of forest fire, taken by someone who lived near the fire, or a photographer covering the story. Or, a little grass fire, and the person, I think female taking the shot at ground level up close.
    ... I think it's a mite's eye view (with backlighting provided by a tiny flea-held flashlight) of my shag rug after the ceiling fell last month.
    ... It looks like a beautiful, imaginative, and abstract painting of plants reaching upwards to the sky. I see a ghostly figure standing in the sunlight. A wonderful and celestial feel to the whole piece. I love it!
    ... This gives me the impression of pencil craft. I think it may be a spark for the imagination, or a plain old watch out for the exploding gum tree.

The editor, herself, knowing the title 'Imagination,' viewed it for what it triggered in her own thoughts, thus seeing one of the black streaks in the upper right quadrant of the photo, as that of a sillouette of a woman dressed in the quaker style black dress, long black hair streaming behind her, rushing towards the tiny, wispy figure of an about 3-year old girl facing her. The child seems to be carrying a stick (or something that trails to the ankle-high grass) in her left hand, as she reaches outward with her right, and her long golden hair is caught up in a ponytail but ripples down nearly to her waist; her plain short sleeved dress, ends at her knees and she is stepping slightly forward with her left leg, as though walking away from the fire that is burning behind her. Many faces can be "seen" in the fire.

Yes, "Imagination" is definitely the right title for this beautiful and unusual photo. It is not too late to let the artist know what her picture makes you see in it. Simply add your own comment on the section beneath the photo.

More of Susan's photography may be viewed at

Spud Snaps!



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