Challenging Challenges.

A MISS-web

A Miss.  2016 Reverie, Melissa S Jeffrey

I am finding myself on a stupid work schedule this week that my body is simply NOT going to like, and the following weeks are going to prove VERY irritating to me, methinks.  On that note, I will tell you that I DID, in fact, participate in the week 2 photo challenge: A Traditional Landscape, however, I put a Le Art Box Reverie kind of spin on “traditional” and went a little… let’s just say less traditional.  You won’t find these in any calendars, let’s just say…

I did find this week’s challenge challenging, however.  Who is to say what “traditional” even means?  What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly and other such sayings and quotables, yes?  Yes.

CHAOS FOR THE FLY-webChaos for the Fly. 2016 Reverie, Melissa S Jeffrey

Either way, I got out and I made pictures, which is the whole point of me taking on this challenge, what with all the other things I have going on right now.  Yes, I have things going on.  Shut up.

I made a painting some time back entitled “The Light and the Dark of it”, which was basically a Derek Hess inspired skull painted in dark, broody colors, and (also Derek Hess inspired) flowers next to it, painted all bright and pastel-y.  I should probably just post it, but that would actually require some effort on my part and I am actually typing this in a feverish attempt to get it up on the interwebs before I go to work for the day.  Nothing beats mad-rush blogging, friends and fiends.  Please believe it.  ANYWAY… I shot a photo that kind of follows the same theme, but in a different tone… yes, it pertains to my brain, yes, it is a depiction of my anxiety/depression.  Goddamn, do I EVER stop talking about that???  The reason being, that is honestly the only suffering that I know.  I’m a generally happy person, I have a decent job, I have good friends, great family, and a loving, caring boyfriend.  I’m pretty damned lucky, if it weren’t for the brain.  So, yeah:

THE LIGHT AND THE DARK-webThe Light and the Dark.  2016 Reverie, Melissa S Jeffrey

So, what the hell is a “traditional landscape?”  My guess is it would be the stuff calendars are made of, the stuff on motivational posters about reaching for the stars and other whatnots.  Why traditional though?  I don’t want to do anything traditional, especially in the wake of the death of the most untraditional of untraditionals, David Bowie.  Of course, when I was actually firing the shutter, Mr. Bowie was still alive, so I had no idea that I was breaking any said rules, and I actually had every intention of going back out there this week with the ol’ big boy camera and taking some calendar-worthy traditional landscapes.  However, now I have changed my tune.  Anyone with a decent camera phone can go out and probably manage to capture a decent landscape… maybe… I mean, I’ve seen it happen.  The “challenge” is finding beauty in the untraditional, right?

That’s how I rationalized it, anyway.  I do that a lot, I’m sure you have noticed.  I take some artistic liberties.  So what?


Dropped. 2016 Reverie, Melissa S Jeffrey.

I got a little rained on.  It’s okay though, because had I waited an hour I would have been hoofing it around in the snow.  HELLO, CLEVELAND!  The only place where the weather is as unpredictable as my moods…


Like Wind. 2016 Reverie, Melissa S Jeffrey

Not entirely traditional.  Oh well.  Still better than not having shot any photos at all, right?  Let’s agree to disagree.  This is why my art teachers in high school hated me.  They would assign me a project and I would rationalize doing it my own way in the name of artistic expression.  Sorry, exploring with clay teacher.  I can’t remember your name.  You’re not reading this anyway.


Time Forgot.  2016 Reverie, Melissa S Jeffrey.

I’ve been using a lot of post processing lately.  My “visions” of what I want to print on the paper have been getting darker and more surreal as of late.  I blame Dora Maar. Anyway, my camera gear is incapable of producing such things in camera, so in Adobe it must be.  I don’t know why things are getting darker… I’ve been happier recently than, well, ever.  Kind of weird that my photos would go dark when my brain has finally found some light…


Long and Winding Road. 2016 Reverie, Melissa S Jeffrey

Traditional.  Traditional.  Foreground, middle ground, back ground.  Pristine skies, maybe a boat?  Eh.  Cracked cement, broken stop signs, a ratty old barn, horror movie lighting and tones, and chipping paint… all of that sounds more like something my brain would find “traditional” anyway.  Furthermore on that note:


Neglect.  2016 Reverie, Melissa S Jeffrey

This is the final submission for my “traditional” landscape.  No calendar is gonna want this, and I am 100% completely okay with that.  There is absolutely nothing traditional about it, and that is why I like it.  Blank and boring foreground, horror movie tones, wet plate digital filters, scraggly trees and dead grass, telephone pole blocking the subject, peeling billboard, the ENTIRE image SCREAMS neglect, just as I neglected to follow the instructions of the challenge.  Suck on that, conformity.  But seriously, I saw this billboard and I needed to make an image of it, what is more challenging than following through on taking the time to make something ugly into something pretty?  See how I rationalize?  I’m getting really good at it.


TWO SOULS IN LOVE-webTwo Souls in Love.  2016 Reverie, Melissa S Jeffrey

So, let me end it with the image of the day that captured my heart.  Boyfriend doesn’t like getting his photo taken, I can understand that.  I can take photos, but when one is taken of me, I usually look like a cracked out Muppet (Miss Piggy.  That’s not a fat joke, I have very pink skin and blonde hair… like if Miss Piggy and Animal had a love-child, that’s what photos of me look like).  I’m okay with that.  I am not photogenic.  I get it.  Buuuuuuuuuut, since Boyfriend doesn’t like his photo taken, how do I capture his essence?  His “soul,” if you will?  Why, through his instrument, by gosh.  I caught his “soul” through mine, his instrument, captured with my instrument… and then I added a little Melicious flavor to it with split-toning in honour of the late, great, otherworldly David Bowie and his duo-toned eyes.


And the whole MFing post comes full circle.

I need a proper tag line. (insert cleverness here)

Yours in insanity,

The one and only, Melicious Jellybean.


One thought on “Challenging Challenges.

  1. Pingback: Washed in RED. | Le Art Box

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