seventeen :: circle

hello friends. after a bit of hiatus, i'm happy to welcome back the documentary project that shari and i collaborate on.

shari actually chose this word a long long time ago. but we are just now getting to it. i dunno about shari - but i sure felt out of practice. i also simultaneously felt very glad to be working on this again. it's a reason to look around - a reason to take photos [something that has been sorely lacking in my life since returning from japan]. so with out further ado -

SHARI's response

circle 1


circle 3

circle 4

circle 5

i chose the word circle a long while back. at the time, i was thinking of life and how i used to feel it was more linear. high school, college, career, etc. etc. lately, i've been thinking of life more as a circle like a life cycle. the photos i took are from a walk at the eno and at the nc botanic gardens. the cyclical, circular aspect of life is always so much more evident in nature i think. therefore, i was drawn to the natural circles found in my everyday landscape.

circles: repetition, walking in circles, continuing, never ending. around and around we go!

MY response


when shari first said circle i couldn't help but think of circles as a primary shape. how they can be transformed and combined with other primaries to create new shapes. i also thought of the six feet under episode when claire is in art school and is complaining that one of her teachers i making her practice drawing the perfect circle. ha! i've never had that assignment - nor would i give it - but it makes me laugh.

circle :: two

circular tools [thanks gwen! ] on a polka dot fabric [the double circle]. i then thought about how i do love circles in art. how they can represent closure - a sense of "zen" - repeated they start to become something else - they go beyond their one-ness.

circle :: three

as i looked around me circles really popped up everywhere. they are just so handy - jars, buttons, clocks, candles, camera lens, plates, tomatoes, plums. it's funny how you know something, but don't SEE something until you concentrate [why i like this project]

cirlce :: four

i then started thinking about the duality of the circle. so it can symbolize a closed space - a family [circle of trust] or something eternal [like a wedding ring]. if you leave an end just a tad open it starts to represent something else - a means to escape or a way in - a dragon eating its own tail. it can mean eternity in a good way, but also in a bad way [running in circles - going round and round in an argument]. this fascinates me.

in my life and art things often seem circular. i return again and again to colors, shapes, ideas, thoughts, patterns.... i never seem to be totally finished with them.

circle :: five

lovely sunflowers w/ their deep brown center. planted for my by my husband! :D

where do you see circles in your life???

don't forget that shari also is hosting a week of elements in photos on her blog today. looks like a lot of fun. i'm going to try and participate at least one day. fingers crossed.


bugheart said…
circle dance,
dress circle (very lisa),
circle graph,
circlet worn on the head...

i always think
of the circular
on our chamber doors
that tell
that the chamber temps
are on track.
i need
to send you some
you'd love them.
Andrea (Scout) said…
so glad to see the documentary project is back. i've never commented on one of the words before, but just couldn't resist...

you've both really hit on something when you mention the duality of a circle. i love the annie dillard quote: 'i would like to learn, or remember, how to live.' the idea that if life is indeed circular and not linear, we are meant to learn something, but keep forgetting...the circle becoming a snare, rather than the thing that teaches us to live, the thing that sets us free.

anyhow, i have a bad habit of mixing what i really should say is, thank you for the thought-provoking post, and all the beautiful photos.
comfies said…
a lovely post, i do adore circles. i'd probably have a new favorite circle for every day of the week if i stopped to think about it.
dandelion said…
hooray! the documentary project is back! I have missed it... Your pictures are great - it is funny how you start noticing shapes when you really think about them. I'm obsessed with drawing the perfect circle now...x
marsha said…
i'm glad the documentary project is back!

i like circles because there is no beginning or end; i have been thinking a lot about the changing of seasons lately, and that i have been through this circle/cycle so many times, but it is different each time.
julie said…
I have missed the doc project - so thought provoking - wonderful ideas. I love how you describe the possible duality of circles!! xxx
kat said…
hi..discovered your blog through maditi. you are very creative...this project sounds fascinating. Will be back! ~kat
simple me said…
in my mind circles are strongly related with life and cycles. it is a comfortable and natural shape.
love the images :)
shari said…
lisa, i love how you always look at the duality of a word. your images this week are fantastic. i especially love the polas. so glad we are collaborating on this doc project again. xox
lisa s said…
thanks so much for the warm welcome back to the doc project....

andrea, marsha and kat - thanks so much for coming by for the first time and leaving such kind thoughts....

shari... me too ... me too....
cruststation said…
Hooray for the project's return. I really love shari's set of photographs, so abstract and beautiful (fabulous representation in nature). I've found it interesting to look around and spotting that I'm surrounded by circles.
Lisa, I love your thoughts on 'zen', definitely an influence from Japan? :) I love the thought processes and how they're integrated in your art.
amisha said…
i am so so happy that this project is back!! always thought-provoking and beautiful. i love to see the links between your 2 perspectives. when i read your words i realized that in the natural circle there is rarely the "perfect circle" also... can't imagine ever trying to draw it. though i have trouble with the "perfect straight line" :)
also thinking about your thoughts on the duality of the circle. i think for me those 2 things are inseparable when i think about circles, the positive and negative... i associate going around and around with being trapped, but i also love the imagery of things like the wedding ring. i think what is most positive to me about the circle as a cycle, as revisiting as you talked about with your work, is returning to the same point in one sense but with a different perspective.
life in yonder said…
I have always liked simple shapes like squares, trianges and circles. Since I was in my teens round shapes have meant something special to me, altough I don't know why.

The funny thing is that since I read about you experience in Japan, where the children wanted to know what colour the circle should be and the radius (after you asked the to draw a circle) I have been thinking about circles... and now this project. I love the idea and the associations.
Shawn said…
Well done lisa,

I must say that you have done a appreciated work on this documentary project, which really show's the different aspect of circle's in the normal life, this is a very sensible documentary. I am sure that everyone will like this.


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