Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #209: Surreal

This week we have Tracy as Guest Host. Our challenge this week is : Surreal.

The surreal world of Helen Martins

Outer appearances can be deceiving. In life, Helen Elizabeth Martins was a shy, retiring figure, rarely seen outside on the streets of Nieu Bethesda. But this recluse was the custodian of a magical inner kingdom that she breathed into life.

Born in Nieu Bethesda on December 23, 1897, Helen was the youngest of six children, and her early years gave little indication of what the future would hold. She finished her schooling in Graaff-Reinet with a teaching diploma then married Johannes Pienaar, who was a teacher and dramatist.

At the entrance of her house

Their marriage was not a happy one, and after seeing parts of the country, Helen returned to Nieu Bethesda in 1928 so that she could care for her frail parents. Her mother passed away in 1941; her father in 1945. Helen’s relationship with her father was troubled and she had moved him into an outside room later named The Lion’s Den, its walls painted black.

 

It was only once she was on her own, that she sought to transform her home, as a reflection of her quest to bring wonder, magic and light into her existence. Her passion for and involvement in her work was to the detriment of her own health, which may have contributed to her increased reticence to being seen in public.

In her kitchen
Ceiling of the Kitchen in her house

At 78, crippled by arthritis and suffering increased loss of vision – the latter possibly damage caused through her working with ground glass – Helen took her own life by drinking a mixture containing caustic soda.

Her fear of being separated from her beloved Owl House was so great that she would rather end her life than be removed to live elsewhere. Miss Helen was rushed to hospital in Graaff-Reinet, where she died three days later, on August 8, 1976, though her legacy continues to bring joy and wonder to many who visit her home.

 
Strange creatures in a spare bedroom
In the Garden of the owl house

 

Sarah Wilkie, who hosts Travel with Me, is next with her challenge to share Three Favourite Images.

 The Lens-Artists team will be back in August.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #208 : Summer Vibes

This week we have Andre as Guest Host. Our challenge this week is : Summer vibes.

 

Here’s the schedule for the rest of the month:

July 23, Tracy, who posts at Reflections of an Untidy Mind, has chosen Surrealism.

July 30, Sarah Wilkie, who hosts Travel with Me, asks you to share Three Favourite Images.

We invite you to check out their blogs and hope you’ll join us throughout July. The Lens-Artists team will be back in August.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #207 : seeing double

Thanks to all of you who participated in last week’s challenge and shared your treasures. I really appreciated each of them!

This week we have Jez Braithwaite as Guest Host. Our challenge this week is : seeing double.

Tree’s reflection -Hastings, New Zealand

Reflections at the Marina

Reflections at the Duck pond

Sunset reflections

Hout Bay, Cape Town

Here’s the schedule for the rest of the month:

July 16, Andre of My Blog–Solaner is thinking about Summer Vibes.

July 23, Tracy, who posts at Reflections of an Untidy Mind, has chosen Surrealism.

July 30, Sarah Wilkie, who hosts Travel with Me, asks you to share Three Favourite Images.

We invite you to check out their blogs and hope you’ll join us throughout July. The Lens-Artists team will be back in August.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #206 : Treasures

I am  honored to have been invited to be a guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #206  by the Lens-Artist team.

This week’s topic is Treasures, with can be wealth or riches like precious metals, money, jewels, or anything that a  person greatly values.

This week, we invite you to share what you treasure.

I love the ocean and the beaches! When walking on the beach sand, there are so many hidden treasures too! Being there calms me down, gives prospective to my life and makes me happy! (And I can take a lot of photos too!)

Trust that the treasure we look for

is hidden in the ground on which we stand.

Henri Nouwens 


Beautiful patterns made by the waves on the sand – Paternoster beach
Photo taken by Elmarie van der Berg

A beach is not only a sweep of sand, but shells of sea creatures, the sea glass, the seaweed, the incongruous objects washed up by the ocean.

Henry Grunwald

Sand is a granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. Sand has various compositions but is defined by its grain size. Sand grains are smaller than gravel and coarser than silt. Sand can also refer to a textural class of soil or approximately 85 percent sand-sized particles by mass.

In non-tropical coastal settings it is silica (silicon dioxide, or SiO2), usually in the form of quartz

Calcium carbonate is the second most common type of sand, for example, aragonite, which has mostly been created, over the past 500 million years, by various forms of life, like coral and shellfish.

In South Africa, with the Atlantic Ocean as its western border, the Cape West Coast has many pristine, sandy white beaches with excellent conditions for a variety of activities; from water sports and fishing to hiking and relaxing in the sun. The best part is that you don’t have to go very far to find all of this.

On a recent visit to Paternoster Beach, not far from were we live, I took a big scoop of the sand to have a closer look to see what I could find…

An enlarged look of the beach sand from Paternoster
Look at all the beautiful stones – so mary different colours and shapes!

“Nothing soothes the soul like a walk on the beach.” -Unknown

More of the treasures that one can find – a variety of colourful shells

Colourful shells

“May the shells on the beach remind you that treasures arrive every day in the form of simple things.” ― Obasanjo Samuel

shells
Different shapes

“Collecting seashells will bring enormous joy, and placing them in our home will make us continue to be joyful.” Dpsayings.com

More shapes

Some Broken Blue mussel shells on the sand

Flowers
Flowers growing on the sand dune
Flowers growing on the dunes
Succulents growing on the sand dunes

We hope you join us this week and share your Treasures with us. Be sure to include the Lens-Artists tag in your post and a link to this post.

A special thanks to Tina for her fun and eye-opening challenge last week, The Eyes Have It.

As you may know, the Lens-Artists are continuing their summer tradition of inviting several talented guest hosts to present our July challenges.

Next week, Jez Braithwaite of Photos by Jez is hosting Seeing Double so be sure to visit his site on Saturday, July 9 at noon.

Here’s the schedule for the rest of the month:

July 16, Andre of My Blog–Solaner is thinking about Summer Vibes.

July 23, Tracy, who posts at Reflections of an Untidy Mind, has chosen Surrealism.

July 30, Sarah Wilkie, who hosts Travel with Me, asks you to share Three Favourite Images.

We invite you to check out their diverse and intriguing blogs and hope you’ll join us throughout July. The Lens-Artists team will be back in August.

I’m also linking this post to Terri’s Sunday stills post: Beautiful Beaches

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #203: Local Vistas

Lens – Artist

My husand and I moved to Langebaan a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa on the eastern shore of Langebaan Lagoon about 7 years ago. Langebaan is situated 120 km north of Cape Town, just off the R27, about 28 km from Vredenburg and 20 km from Saldanha Bay. Wikipedia

Langebaan beach

The white sand beaches surrounding the clear waters of the Langebaan Lagoon are very popular, and the mild climate and protected waters of the lagoon make it the perfect location for many water sports, including sailing, kayaking, kitesurfing, and fishing.

Reflections on the water – Club Mykonos Marina, Langebaan

The West Coast National park is a stone through away from Langebaan and has the most beauitful spots to visit and during the Wildflower season it is transformed with all the of flowers!

Wild Flowers in West Coast Reserve with lagune in the background

Sunset – Langebaan Beach

Different spots in Langebaan

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #202: Minimalism-maximalism

Sofia is our host for this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge

As for this week, Sofia invites you to think of which fits your narrative best, simplicity or “more is more”, minimalism or maximalism, or does it depend on your subject? She’s looking forward to see what we come up with.

Passage
Saldanha Bay
A tiny Southern Double- collared Sunbird
Black and white
Heron in the mist
Busy street in Port Louis – Mauritius
Flowers
Wild flowers

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #201: Three of a kind

Ann-Christine is our host for this week’s Lens-Artists Challenge

Ann- Christine said: Maybe you too have experienced that one single image sometimes doesn’t convey what you wanted to say with it? This week, she thought we all would have the possibility to show more than one side of the coin. With Three of a Kind, I want you to think about things related to your main photo – maybe a book, a flower, a room, a piece of art… Almost anything will fit in here – you could make your three images tell a story too! Simply put: Your post should have three separate images that are somehow related. (Another option is splitting one photo into three parts.)

There is a special word for this art of three – triptych. The shape may be seen in Christian Iconography and became a common conventional style for altar artworks in the Middle Ages, from the Gothic era forward, both in Europe and overseas.

 
Boats at the Waterfront, Paternoster
Boats at the Waterfront in Paternoster
A closer look at the Boat- Paternoster

Berries of the Umbrella tree