The city is full of shadows, and I love them.
I love the shadows cast by buildings, by wrought iron balconies, and fences in parks and light posts on the streets and railings everywhere.
But most of all, I adore the shadows cast by city trees, wily survivors that grow surrounded by concrete.
Tree shadows are the best at this time of year. The shadows cast by trees in partial and full leaf, during the spring, summer and autumn– those are okay too. They’re gracious, they shade and cool you, they have a function.
But for me, visually, the shadows of tree leaves are a little soft on their own. They require additional backdrops, like this one from a construction site.
To my eye, shadows cast by bare trees, against the sky, or against a building are the best because they have no function. They are what they are, and nothing more. A dark shell of an unconscious tree, charcoal against the sky.
I even love the shadows cast by trees outside of the city. And especially against snow, when the tree shadow is as dark as bark wet with sumi ink.
I’m working on a necklace right now that involves the fragment of a black mussel shell I found on the beach in Rehoboth last month. On my way to the studio yesterday, I took another photo of a tree shadow — it’s on Instagram, if you’re curious.
On my way home from the studio, I was thinking about why I reached for that particular shell in my stash. When I looked through the photos of the day, I realized it was because the shell reminded me of a shadow. I’ll post a photo of the necklace soon.