Details, Details

Posh version of the typical Charleston style house
Posh version of the typical Charleston style house with the side multi-layer porches
Gardens at the Nathaniel Russell House, Charleston
Gardens at the Nathaniel Russell House, Charleston
Houses of S. Battery, Charleston
Houses of S. Battery, Charleston

Hard to believe it, but we’re in our last week in the Charleston area. Our friends Tom and Lexi have joined us for a bit . . .

David, Tom and Lexi at The Battery, Charleston
David, Tom and Lexi at The Battery on a breezy day in Charleston

. . . so of course, as David and I were planning what to do, I wanted everything to be perfect. I studied the tide tables and noticed that a super low tide would happen late Friday afternoon, right after they got here, so we decided we’d all go out to the beach and find amazing shells in the tide pools, and then we’d . . . and then we’d . . . . Except my directions were not 100% clear, so they found themselves on a bit of a detour before they made it here and arrived a bit later than expected. AND it was raining. AND they’d been in the car ALL day. So no super-low-tide beach walk (at least not until the next day).

Okay, I know. Some details are completely out of our control, but you’ve got to admit, sometimes attention to detail pays off . . . .

Charleston, SC
Charleston, SC
King Street, Charleston
King Street, Charleston

. . . even in this quirky seafood restaurant we found on the way back from checking out Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island. Those are actual aquariums in the portholes. How great is that?

RB's Seafood Restaurant
RB’s Seafood Restaurant
RB's Sommelier?
RB’s Sommelier?

Except here’s the thing. Sometimes you can make yourself crazy–or at least really stressed out–trying to get all the details perfect. I showed you an earlier stage of my watercolor portrait attempt last post, and when we took Tom and Lexi to the Coleman Fine Art gallery, I got talking to Smith Coleman (Mary Whyte’s husband) about how her paintings and her books had inspired me to attempt to paint a portrait. Since on the back of my camera the photo of it was only about 1″ x 5/8″ I decided it was safe to show it to him. He was kind, certainly, but commented that the color value was too much the same and I needed more contrasting lights and darks. I worked a bit more on it, and in some ways it’s better, I think. But it’s really hard to stop messing with it, and with watercolor you really do have to stop before you turn the whole thing to mud. Okay. Backing away now.

Watercolor of Doug - Take Three
Watercolor of Doug – Take Two

I’ve decided to celebrate the fact that I painted it at all, considering how afraid I was even a month ago to paint anything. Now I can think about starting something new.

Guess I’d better leave perfection to God and beautiful nature. I love the detail of the colors and patterns on these shells . . .

Everything made by human hands looks terrible under magnification–crude, rough, and asymmetrical. But in nature every bit of life is lovely. And the more magnification we use, the more details are brought out, perfectly formed, like endless sets of boxes within boxes. Roman Vishniac (1897-1990) — Photographer

Maybe a bit of a sweeping generalization, but certainly true when comparing much of human endeavor versus, say, flowers or shells or even snowflakes.

Here’s wishing you eyes to see and time to enjoy the beauty in the details!



3 thoughts on “Details, Details”

  1. How I love your posts,Sunny! January is a looooong month in Colorado with too much of the day spent indoors. Your captivating seaside photos and talk of the tides,sand,shells, salty air and ocean breezes provided a temporary,virtual escape…. enough to give me the boost I needed to pack yet another moving box in the basement.
    Impressive painting of Doug!

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