Visual Reflections: Nature Photography as Palette in the Age of Uncertainty: No. 10 (Wisteria Photomontage)

04 September 2017


Taken in Camera+ and edited in Polamatic, Snapseed and Pixlr.

Wisteria Photomontage; 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Wisteria Photomontage; 2017 Sally W. Donatello All Rights Reserved

Click onto image to enlarge. Let me know your response to this photomontage. Prints are available upon request.


The charm of autumn’s approach is temporarily overshadowed by the demise of summer, that time when warmth still cuddles and envelops the mind and body. Mostly, this year’s summery days will be remembered for almost weekly grey and rainy days. Much has expanded and much contracted under those conditions.

In the Mid-Atlantic usually humidity is the culprit. It saps one’s energy and can enervate the spirit. Still, those signature summer days bring techni-color vistas and the emergence of a variety of wildlife. There is a multitude of splendor to discover and witness.

Even at the final days of summer surprises linger around every turn in gardens and forests. This week the shock waves included wisteria with boughs that usually only bloom in the spring. But there they were and descending with regal aplomb. It staggered my senses.

Wisteria is a plant that is needy. If not trimmed every week, its vines will become a vital force on my landscape, climbing human-made and nature-made structures. I am continually cultivating and maintaining it. No matter where I have moved, I have managed to train a wisteria into shapes that is less classic and more wild-like. It’s my aesthetic: free form and yet minimalistic.

The image in the Lens section is a perfect example of the unrelenting saga that finds the wisteria reinventing itself the entire summer season. It longs to please in an untamed manner, and still can be so virulent that it is staggering. I tweak its gentler side, giving it a modern touch of enthusiasm. The spray of light seen on its florets is symbolic of nature’s ray of hope.

Its vines wrap around my heart with a force and vigor. Their fragrance is yet another feature of paramount power and pull, the power and pull that sustains memory.


As this year dawned, the world loss one of the most influential mind’s of the twentieth and early twenty-first century. John Berger was trained as a visual artist, and he often described as a British art critic, cultural commentator, intellectual, and writer. He became well-known in 1972 when his book, The Art of Seeing, was made into a BBC series.

Click here to read the obituary from The New York Times: “John Berger, Provocatove Art Critic, Dies ar 90 (by Randy Kennedy, 02 January 2017).” Or another one from The New Yorker, “When John Berger Looked at Death (by Jacob, 09 January 2017).”

From The New Yorker piece: “In the print companion to the series, Berger stresses that visual art is a way of reckoning with entropy and loss. ‘Images were first made to conjure up the appearances of something that was absent,’ he writes. When we are separated from the people and things that we love—whether by oceans or by years—works of art testify to both their enduring gravity and their distance from us. Those works also generate new kinds of proximity. All paintings, Berger writes in Brief as Photos, ‘are prophecies of themselves being looked at’—they anticipate the viewers who will stand before them, long after they were made. That anticipation collapses distinct moments into one another, defying the absences that time creates.”

Berger’s work can create a new world for those interested in the visual. Years ago I discovered his books and other works, and they forever made a place on my shelves and in my thoughts.


This entry was posted in Digital Art, Mobile Photography, Nature Photography, Photography, Photomontage, Writing and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

38 Responses to Visual Reflections: Nature Photography as Palette in the Age of Uncertainty: No. 10 (Wisteria Photomontage)

  1. Madhu says:

    Superb shot and editing. My favourite colours. And I love that excerpt from Berger’s article.

  2. smilecalm says:

    skillfully cultivated
    & pixelated wisteria 🙂

  3. That wisteria image is just superb!!

  4. Tina Schell says:

    Love floral art against darker backgrounds especially Sally. Nicely done.

  5. restlessjo says:

    It looks well in a dark setting, Sally. It’s one of my favourites too. 🙂

  6. pattimoed says:

    Wonderful image and post, Sally. I love that deep purple shade. Gorgeous. And a wonderful tribute to John Berger. Have a satisfying week!

  7. Gallivanta says:

    Such a beautiful photomontage of a beautiful flower. How amazing that it is flowering again. I enjoyed learning about Berger; this quote resonates powerfully with my recent thoughts ” When we are separated from the people and things that we love—whether by oceans or by years—works of art testify to both their enduring gravity and their distance from us.”

  8. Amy says:

    Beautiful capture of the wisteria! They do need to be trimmed. 🙂

  9. That is quite an intense coloured wisteria. And, yes, they like to go wild, but they are one of the most beautiful garden plants in my opinion. I didn’t know that John Berger had passed away, but he was indeed a very influential mind of the twenties century.

  10. I love wisteria and this composition really adds a dramatic flair to what can be a sadly overlooked bloom (at least around here).I remember being introduced to John Berger in college-his works helped me a great deal in appreciating the visual world around me.

  11. Su Leslie says:

    Lovely image Sally, and I smiled at Sue’s Caravaggio reference. I first discovered John Berger first when I was an undergraduate — and through him Caravaggio. Later, I used the “Ways of Seeing” TV series in my own tutorials in the sociology department. I was re-reading ‘Understanding a Photograph’ when I heard of his death. It’s on my desk still, and your post is the spur for me to pick it up again. Thank you.

  12. Sally, your wisteria is a dark and mysterious beauty!

  13. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Lovely shades of purple in this image, Sally. Wisteria always reminds me of maxwell Parrish and the hanging vines and plants in his paintings.

    Happy Labor Day,

    • Allan, oh, nice connection, I actually saw one of Parrish’s murals installed in a home of a well-known local family. It was classic Parrish and easily recognizable. Happy days ahead to you.

      • Allan G. Smorra says:

        Thanks, Sally. In SF there is a MP painting called the Pied Piper behind the bar (of the same name) in the Palace Hotel. It measures 6 ft x 16 ft and we had a chance to see it a few years ago after it returned from restoration.

      • Allan, strangely, the one that I saw in a residence was behind a bar. Hope that you survived the heat.

  14. Tish Farrell says:

    Love the sense of fluidity in the photo, Sally. Also thank you for mentioning John Berger. A great loss indeed. There are several interviews and episodes of The Art Of Seeing on YouTube.

  15. A darkly intense and beautiful shot for Labor Day and a new week. I hope it’s a wonderful one for you, Sally.


  16. Sue says:

    John Berger had a brilliant mind, and you’ve reminded me to reread some of his work…And I love your Caravaggio wisteria

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