Thursday, October 27, 2016
Inspired By Reading Book Club: Vampires in the Lemon Grove
A friend of ours, Andrew Thornton, started up a virtual book club a few years back called Inspired By Reading. Like most book clubs, each month a new book is read, but instead of just talking about the book the members of the group are challenged to create something inspired by the book. Most of the members are artists--especially jewelry designers--so this is a very visual take on the classic book club. I've taken part sporadically, but my wife pretty much gets every month's challenge done.
This month's book was a short story collection by Karen Russell named after the title story Vampires in the Lemon Grove. I didn't read the whole collection--I'm in the middle of two short story collections already--but did read the title story since I like vampires. The story was strange, somewhat haunting and wistful. I liked it and didn't like it at the same time. I like the imagery of two vampires finding each other and falling in love for centuries, but just didn't really "get" the whole thing.
Regardless, here's my artistic inspiration from the story: I struggled with this a bit, but eventually got it looking OK. I took a macro shot of a handy lemon--destined to be used in a cocktail--for the background. Then I discovered a shot of a fruit bat that I took on our summer trip to visit Andrew and William in Ligonier, Pennsylvania from the wonderful Pittsburgh Aviary (where the Lorakeets pooped on my). I manipulated the picture to fit over the lemon. The tough part was getting the edges to look right and it still isn't perfect, but I learned some new Photoshop techniques in the process.