Instagram Photos As Art

As an amateur artist and photographer I try to train my eye to find interesting perspectives around me.

Recently I took up the Instagram torch. I try and capture those situations or things that I wanted to remember for future projects. There are times I want to preserve quiet moments too. I’m not one to catalog my life with images of my family on such a public platform.

This post is to highlight some of my personal favorite Instagram photos I took in the past twelve months. No filters were utilized and only natural light was used.


A photo of wooden stairs
I was attracted by this scene in my home for two reasons. First, the glowing sunlight from below was easily captured in the red stairwell. And secondly, the abstract composition was appealing to me. I love seeing the abstract in ordinary things. This stairwell I’d walked through hundreds of times. However, it took the right lighting for me to see how the stairs leads the eyes down by their own design.


A photo of boldly colored vegetables.

The vegetables photo was taken in low light to capture their vibrant colors. I often take these iPod photos with as little light as I can use to avoid any filters that may alter the scene. The deep colors from the purple onion, eggplants, zucchini, squash and avocado seemed to pop from the scene. The light source is from the kitchen window.

Kay’s Zori Sandals

A photo of Japanese zori sandals

My daughter’s Japanese straw zori sandals were untouched and laying on her bedroom floor. After spending several weeks in Japan last summer she had adopted the Japanese culture with love. Her sandals lay there as I admired their simplicity and the simple scene I felt the need to capture.

Glowing Trees

A photo of a sunset

I sat in the car waiting on a February evening and I watched the sun sinking lower on the horizon. The day before had left everything outside covered in a sheet of ice. As I watched the sun going down behind a stand of trees something magical happened. Each branch encased in ice began to glow. First yellow, deeper to orange and finally to red. I took a number of shots and the one I’ve shared was the best from the series.

Apple Pear Pie

A photo of apples, pears and pie

It all ends with pie. I must admit I like taking food pictures. Trying hard not to always be what I am currently eating, I have been known to take pictures of food in restaurants. There is something homey in an image of fruit, crust and rolling pin. I couldn’t resist.

I hope you’ve enjoyed these images. I am found on Instagram under the name eyespylife.


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Red Water Lily

The red water lily signifies the beginning of something old. Back in the 1990′s I dabbled with creating mono prints by carving on wood and linoleum blocks, vegetables such as potatoes and anything sturdy enough to withstand a carving tool. In 2011 I was cleaning out some old art supplies when I stumbled upon a few remaining lino cut blocks from the past. Memories of having fun listening to ink sing between glass and brayer came to mind and I started to think about taking up the knife again.

Starting Over

The first project was to be a traditional water lily mono print. I’ve always enjoyed the traditional Japanese wood block prints seen and thought I’d try my hand at it. This simple design was easily achieved and I was quite pleased with the outcome.

Cutting a linoleum block for a water lily

It was fun getting my fingers dirty with ink again and the creative juices I used to have for hands on art was were coming alive with each print I produced. With out a proper printing press I found using a sandstone drink coaster a good tool to do the rubbing.

water lily mono print

Red Water Lily

On this particular piece I took it one step further. I like experimenting and my watercolors just happened to be near by. I decided to transform one of the prints into color. The results were very pleasing to me. The lily became red and popped out of the paper. Not wanting a pastel effect I used very little water with the paints and the colors became as vivid as I wanted them too.The red water lily print
And now for something completely different, you can purchase this print on t-shirts from Lasgalen Arts on Zazzle. Though shown on a tie dyed shirt, there are a hundred or more different styles, sizes and colored t-shirts to choose from.

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The Diner

The diner is an uniquely American experience. The décor of the diner can be as clean or as grungy as it needs to be. In the 1950’s the chrome seating, linoleum floors and counter with stool seating gave us the impression of what the diner should look like.

According to The American Diner Museum

“A true “diner” is a prefabricated structure built at an assembly site and transported to a permanent location for installation to serve prepared food. Webster’s Dictionary defines a diner as “a restaurant in the shape of a railroad car.” The word “diner” is a derivative of “dining car” and diner designs reflected the styling that manufacturers borrowed from railroad dining cars. A diner is usually outfitted with a counter, stools and a food preparation or service area along the back wall. Decommissioned railroad passenger cars and trolleys were often converted into diners by those who could not afford to purchase a new diner.”

The diner started as far back as 1858 when a 17 year old Walter Scott in Providence, Rhode Island sold sandwiches and coffee from a basket to newspaper night workers and visitors of men’s club rooms. He did so well he started selling his eats and joe from a horse-drawn covered express wagon. This smart young man started something that would change the way Americans ate outside of their homes.A photograph of an American diner.

I’ll have the Blue Plate Special

The blue plate special is not limited to only diners and cafes, though their existence in the late 1920’s has become linked to the American diner. The “blue plate” was actually a plate manufactured during the depression. It was unique with it’s divided walls (much like a frozen foods container) for separate foods and blue color. The blue plate special is generally a discounted meal. Meatloaf, pot roast or turkey dinners included meat and a number of vegetables at reasonable prices.

A photo of the inside of a diner.
Just thinking about diner’s makes me hungry. There is one diner close by that has the absolutely best deserts. The patron is paraded past the desert case to find your seating. It never fails to put you into a food coma as soon as you see the pies, cakes and sweets. A cup of coffee and a piece of pie sounds good right about now.

If your kitchen feels like a diner why not embrace it and add a place for family messages with the diner theme!


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