Tag Archives: #felfie

Selfie Meets Hurricane Ethel – Artist vs Farmer

Selfie - brown sweater

I was considering posting more snow photos (maybe we’ve all seen enough of those? And besides, our snowlettte hardly counts… ) or a dreadfully wobbly video of me chopping through the ice on the horse trough in the pitch darkness (you have no idea how hard it is to hold the phone steady and not drop it in the icy water, point the headlamp more or less in the correct direction so the axe head is illuminated, and then chop effectively… The sound effects are good, but the video – not so much). I still haven’t got around to writing up my notes from the Deconstructing Dinner talk last week (was going to do that but then reached for my purse, into which I had stuffed my scrawled scribblings, when I realized my purse is down in the truck cab…) And then I remembered that this week’s photo challenge is none other than the Selfie!!

Regulars here will know this one had my name all over it, given my recent obsession with selfies and the deeper meaning thereof… Here’s a link to the post that talked about self portraits, artists and their interpretation of selfies, and a few of mine… And here’ s a link to the [very] recent post about how my felfie (a selfie by a farmer) won some market bucks at the local community market… I kind of like that one because the chicken looks so stern and regal and I don’t typically think of chickens as looking either stern or regal…

Dad and I have continued to talk about this strange thing artists (and now every Tom, Dick, and Harriet with a phone) have with self portraits… One of the things Dad mentioned was how important it is to get the eyes right – and how challenging that can be. If you can capture that whatever-it-is that makes the eyes seem alive, you have half a chance of creating an image that makes an impression.

Alas, his comment about how hard it is to get the eyes right caught me in a goofy, ‘what else can I do with google’s image toys?’ frame of mind and I came up with this:

Face twitch-MOTIONThen I thought I should settle down and try to do something more serious and took this one:

Closed eye selfie

Every time I added another filter it added forty years or so, which was a tad depressing. I mean, I feel pretty tired at the end of some days, but some of these were rather alarming…

Selfie old

What I would look like if I were 87, lived in the desert, and had just heard my favourite goat had died while giving birth to triplets. Where on earth will I find the milk to raise the babies?

Meanwhile, Dad was in his studio obsessing about eyes. A while back he had done a self portrait in shades of grey:

Self portrait [E. Colin Williams]

Self portrait [E. Colin Williams]

Dad photographed one of his eyes from the painting:

ECW Self Portrait - Eye… printed it out at a scarily larger than life size… And then, he spiralled down into that eye and recalled a story from September 1960 when he and my mother were travelling together through Florida. They were holed up in a tiny rustic cabin which, apparently, was full of holes and very drafty when Hurricane Ethel struck the Florida panhandle. This could have been a scary story, but instead it was more one of those bizarre nightmare scenarios that one comes up with in… you know… nightmares.

Dad and a friend (a B-52 bomber mechanic) had completely taken apart the transmission of Mom and Dad’s 1956 Packard. Every last tiny bit had been spread out on a tarp on the floor of the cabin in accordance with the exploded drawing in the manual. Every piece had been cleaned and oiled and checked over, lined up and was ready for reassembly when Ethel rolled ashore bringing with her a gazillion bits of girt and sand and dirt and dust which blasted through the many cracks in the walls and around the door and windows, nicely coating the many delicate parts of said transmission. Dad said they hoped Ethel would carry off the car so they could write it off but no such luck. They spent the next who knows how long cleaning off every speck of crud before the transmission could be put back together again.

This made a huge impression on my parents as this was one of those stories we heard over the dinner table at various points as we were growing up… The image of that storm still, apparently, haunts Dad as this is where he went from the close-up of his eye:

Ethel Comes to Town

Which, when you compare it to the original eyeball

E. Colin Williams - eye detailmakes one realize just how aptly the eye of the storm is named…

Farmer’s Field Trip – Part One

If I ignore the parts of the day that involved hacking through thick ice on the various animal troughs with the back end of my trusty axe, today was a lot of fun. Too much fun, in fact, to try to include everything in one blog post.

russell books banner

After morning rounds (which, with all the water hauling, ice chopping, etc. took exactly twice as long as usual or a full four hours) we headed into town to one of my favourite stores, Russell Books. There, I found copies of two books I’ve been meaning to read for ages:  One-straw Revolution: Introduction to Natural Farming, by Masanobu Fukuoka and
and  Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement edited by Zoe Ida Bradbury, Severine von Tscharner Fleming, and Paula Manalo. This is a companion collection of essays to the documentary the greenhorns (which is on my ‘must watch’ list).

Books in hand, we headed over to The Hudson Public Market as Wednesdays is the day when they host a local farmer’s market and I was, of course, curious to see what was being offered up. I also had another reason for popping into the office – not long ago The Hudson ran a felfie contest and my entry won! This meant I had $20.00 market bucks to spend!

In case you missed it, here’s my Regal Hen and her Farmer entry…

DCC Love My Chicken!

Who says selfies/felfies can’t lead to fame and fortune? Or, a modest fortune, anyway – the people in the office didn’t recognize me, perhaps because I didn’t bring my chicken. Fame, it seems, remains elusive…

First stop was the Damn Fine Cake Company where Dad and I enjoyed some delicious coffee as we perused our new books (and maps – Dad is in the throes of planning a trip to the south of France… Without me, I might add, because I will be here hacking into hog water buckets with an axe. I’m ok with that. Really.) Damn Fine

The cakes were, indeed, mighty fine!

Fruity Cake

Oh… look at all the chocolate [this one’s for you, Melanie in IA).

Chocolate Overload!I had a more modest snack – a VERY tasty chocolate, banana, walnut muffin –

Coffee and a MuffinBetween the lovely coffee, the tasty snack, the good books, the funky decor, and attentive service, I have to say that was a most excellent use of half of my prize money!

Damn Fine Cake Company

Sugar Pot

Good Books!We browsed through various other market vendors – both the permanent businesses and the temporary vendors who are there only during the Wednesday afternoon farmers’ market.


IMG_8075[1] IMG_8086[1] IMG_8077[1]Though we chatted with Zach from Amuse, a restaurant associated with Unsworth Vineyards in Mill Bay (and I was sorely tempted by the duck liver pate), tasted some delicious sprouted peanuts from Salt Spring Island, and sampled an invigorating herbal tea from Infuse Herbals, it was the Baker on the Bike (Il Forno Di Claudio) who won my heart and took the rest of my Market Bucks.

Came home with some of this:


Sfilatino Origin: Piemonte and Lombardia regions

Ingredients: Organic white wheat flour, figs, walnuts, malt extract, sea salt, yeast.

Description: The sweetness of figs married with the savoriness of the dough and bitterness of walnuts makes for a unique flavor. This is a rich in flavor bread with a chewy crust and inner crumb. It is an excellent bread to eat with any blue cheese or any strong flavor cheese; or you can just make a bread and butter sandwich and enjoy it.

and some little cookies and a couple of varieties of these:


Focaccine Origin: Liguria region

Ingredients: Organic white wheat flour, extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, yeast.
Description: A small size focaccia bread with nice crumbly texture. Available with different toppings, commonly with rosemary, or onions. The onions version has a nice sweet and juicy taste. Great snack for quick bite, a kid party or as appetizer. They make also a good base for a sandwich.

Oh. So. Good!

Then it was home again, a quick trip out for a bit of hay and some pumpkin scavenging from Michell’s before feeding all the critters, chopping more holes in more ice, putting in all the poultry and then rushing back out to the most excellent Deconstructing Dinner talk by Jon Steinman. The evening, though, deserves its own post, so I’ll save that for another day. If I’m very organized and I don’t chop off a limb or something during the ice wars, I might get a chance to write up my notes tomorrow, but if not, then look for that on the weekend.

Visiting the local market reminded me yet again of how lucky we are to live in a community with such an interest in supporting local food and food producers. It also reminded me how much fun it is to get out and about and off the farm every now and then! Even if I can’t get to France this spring, there is no reason not to explore more of the fun food festinations [that’s not a word, but it should be) right here!


Daily prompt: Mirror, Mirror – Felfies, Selfies, and the long tradition of the self portrait

Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror  Look in the mirror. Does the person you see match the person you feel like on the inside? How much stock do you put in appearances? Photographers, artists, poets: show us MIRRORED.

Some of my favourite paintings done by my father are his self portraits (accomplished by spending many long hours looking into a mirror suspended just off the side near his easel). They are him, certainly, but they are not – they are studies in portraiture, the human face, and, when looked at as a series, a story of a life being lived. In an early self-portrait he is clean shaven with a neat mustache, in a more recent painting he sports a full beard (something which still catches me by surprise as Dad only started wearing a beard in his 70s…)

E. Colin Williams, ARCAThis piece was the last done before Dad grew his beard. What is striking to me about these drawings and paintings is they completely lack any ‘say cheese’ quality ubiquitous in snapshots taken during family gatherings, vacations, or when friends get together for an evening of fun. I suppose that’s partly the result of having to sit and stare at yourself long enough to actually do some sort of hand-crafted rendering. Grinning like an idiot for hours and hours would surely cramp cheek muscles and quickly transform a big smile into a pained grimace.

The selfie (a self-portrait typically taken with a hand-held device and often intended to be uploaded to a social media site) can be a grinning snapshot (there are plenty out there of people snapping self-portraits with an off kilter Eiffel Tower in the background) or have a ‘look at me and this cool thing I’m doing with this awesome other person!’ flavour, but there are also lots of selfies out there that explore who we are in our everyday lives. Felfies (self-portraits of farmers) are an example of self-portraits of farmers from around the world in their natural environments doing their thing.

This is my selfie nod to Depression Era photographer, Dorothea Lange.

In this New York Times piece, James Franco suggests the selfie is a way to introduce ourselves to the wide world and for celebrities to feed their hungry fans with an endless diet of glimpses into their private lives.

The selfie as an art form is emerging as a fascinating way to capture how we see ourselves, how others see us, and, perhaps, how we want others to see us.


Selfie in Green

Staring Contest

Staring Contest with a Selfie

This article looks at the selfie as an art form and coincides with the opening of the National #Selfie Portrait Gallery. [Why, I wonder, are so many of the sample images included with the article taken in public washrooms?]

I have been working on a series of selfies that challenge cultural ideas of beauty and aging [don’t get me started… I could probably sustain a year of blogging relating to those issues]

In the end, will the selfie be an art form at which we roll our eyes?

Eye Roll Selfie

Or will it prove to be an uncanny way to uncover something about the self that lurks behind the cheesy smile of snapshots and only emerges when you spend some quiet time alone pointing your phone at your face…

[The Daily Prompt: Mirror, Mirror]

National Hug a Chicken Day?

In honour of National Hug a Chicken Day...

In honour of National Hug a Chicken Day…

Well, why not? Have a peek at some of the many chicken-hugging photos over on the official Facebook page.