Transparency in many forms


I have been coming to some personal conclusions about transparency.  I started by asking, 
what else defines transparency besides the ability
to see through something?

Can transparency add another dimension to a point of view
like the turning of perception
upside down?

Since my last post about watercolor, I've been thinking a lot about this subject
so I went to various dictionaries looking for definitions of the word "transparent"
and after diving into the collection of images over on Tumblr,
finally, some thoughts are coming together...

Note:  click on the highlighted word(s) under each photo to go to the Tumblr source and photo credit.

Defined as:   allowing radiation to pass through with little or no resistance...

...so fine in texture that it can be seen through...

...open in texture, gauzy...

...sheer enough for light to pass through...

...neither opaque,

With those descriptions in mind, I searched for examples of transparency
in various art forms from artists engaged in differing mediums, 
to see how they might visualize and create something transparent
in their own unique way.
Some may not have been thinking about transparency at all 
(most were probably not)
this is only my very subjective interpretation...

Photographers manipulate images with layers & textures these days, 
setting opacity levels from practically opaque to almost 
completely transparent,
combining subjects in such a way that new worlds are presented,
amazing worlds of the imagination...

For centuries, photographers have used the power of backlighting to create luminosity,

draw our attention to what is important to them,

and capture extraordinary moments that were about being in the right place, at the right time.

This piece is entitled "She Lied" by Jean Myers...
isn't this also transparency of emotion?

mixed media used to great effect...

and here in 'Essence' by Wen Redmond...

'The Night of Many Promises' painted by Joanne Williams...

Some may wonder at this one,
but in this painting/illustration of an owl by K. Mijadzava
there is so much depth in those feathers from the transparency of meticulous brush strokes,
layer upon layer...

Textile artists know the power of silk ~ so strong for something so sheer...

some strong crochet, like a spider's web.

This maker, Ryo Yamada, took their art installation outdoors...
'Vertical Landscape'
sways in the breeze, makes me think of ghosts dancing

while this makes me want to pick up needle and thread,
layer cloth, stitch something beautiful.
If I only had this skill.
I wonder if the woman who stitched this Edwardian tea apron would have
ever imagined that a hundred years later another woman
might look at her handwork with such admiration that she wished it were her own...

My transparent sincerity.

In a 'Paris Review' interview, poet Stanley Kunitz (then in his seventies) said this:

At my age, after you're done - or ruefully think you're done - with the nagging anxieties
and complications of your youth, what is there left for you to confront but the great
simplicities?  I never tire of birdsong and sky and weather.  I want to write poems that are
natural, luminous, deep, spare.  I dream of an art so transparent that you can look through
and see the world.


  1. I have to say this is touching me to core of my being. I love this post.
    Thank you for this.

  2. oh what a magnificent post. yes, i agree it touches me too deep inside.
    i always consider wind the most transparent thing i can think of.

  3. Thank you so very much for this post. I love the thought of 'transparency' and the photos you have shared here are so provocative. I shall go back and look at each one over and over again.

  4. What a magnificent post! The photos you have chosen are stunning. Love, love, love this. xo

  5. A very interesting post and wanderful pictures. It is good to stop and think about concepts that we give for granted but beyond which surface I never went in depth.
    Once I saw two dancers behind a white screen, the effect was magical, their dancing movements were somewhat enhanced by the transparency of the sheet. I see it now with a new perspective, thank you.

  6. Such a beautiful post - I have shared you in my blog loves for this week :-)

  7. This post was so engaging, I was moved very much by it.

    Thank you for taking the time to search out these beautiful photos and curate them into this lovely bit of writing.

  8. I have been thinking about utilising transparency in my work for a long time. Your post is very inspiring. Such a beautiful collection of photographs. Thank you.


  9. I know this post took a long time to construct so I thank you for taking the time to fully express your thoughts.

    It was a very provocative post and helped me ponder many things. Most signifantly...what if I were completely transparent? Oh...but I couldn't be, could I? And what would people see if I were? And what would I need to shed in order to get there?

    And maybe, to be finally transparent, is to have arrived at ourselves. Our true selves.

    Maybe then we would see God within and be God within.

    Maybe then we would have let go of all that we carry that hides us from ourselves.

    Maybe to be transparent is to have made it to where we are supposed to be.

    We're already there...but we can't see that...can we?


  10. Wow, Susan! What a fabulous comment. :-)

  11. You put together a wonderful post of images and writing on transparency.. both physical and abstract.. and the quote at the end.. even when a poet is just talking.. its so beautifully poetic.

  12. I'm glad I landed on your page today. So lovely photos. They for sure get positively on my mood. I will come back to soak them and the words in later more than once.
    Hope you are fine

  13. I just love this post and the beautiful images that you found...such an inspiration. Thank you for this.

  14. Aracne ~ thank you so much...it was very interesting to explore *one word* in depth, truly helped me to see. And, like the dancers, gave me a new perspective.

    K ~ :>]

    Judy ~ many thanks for those kind words, I appreciate them so much...you are welcome.

    Marta ~ oh yes, do! Silk has properties like no other textile, I think. So glad you stopped by.

    Moa ~ Thank you! When I first started my Tumblr blog, I had no idea how useful it would be...thought of it as a "scrapbook" to keep images in that I didn't want to forget about - didn't realize that the collection would end up helping me visualize what I had a hard time expressing in words...

  15. Wow-- I will book mark this post to look at again and again. Just found your blog thanks to your friend Jan. I've just begun wandering through older posts and following links. I see I can spend a lot of time here... Thanks for taking the time to put this together-- it's very inspiring.


  16. This post is a masterpiece! You do your subject proud. You awaken a new respect in me for exploration of concepts like this one.... in words, in pictures and in art. You rock!!!!!

    Thank you for doing the work, dear heart!

  17. Lorraine & PeacefulBird, your comments go right to my heart...thank you.

  18. You have some amazingly beautiful images here! I love your thoughts on transparency/art/creativity. It's also a subject that I've thought much about in the last several years with respect to life. How transparent are we willing to be and what fears compel us to keep our beautiful truth hidden.

  19. what eye candy! can't wait to have time to come back and view some more. beautiful post.

  20. Utterly GORGEOUS post. A work of art in itself!

  21. I love transparency, and these images are just amazing. thanks christi.