Ominous Fruit Photos (The beauty of a challenge)

by Starla J. King on October 11, 2013

It all started when I took a photo intending to capture the exquisite beauty of the maroon streaks in the flesh of a plum.

My “mistake” was putting a sharp knife next to it to set up an artsy kitchen photo shot. Instead of a Beauty in Your Kitchen photo, it immediately became an Ominous Fruit Photo.

I posted the shot on Facebook anyway, joking at the ominous feel to it, and the next thing I knew, my niece had challenged me to posting a daily OFP (Ominous Fruit Photo). Daily art? I’M IN!

Each morning I eagerly composed my OFP for the day. I honored the requests for “more gore” and relished the appreciation for increasing ominousnous (no, it’s not a word, but should be).

But I was uneasy. I was creating and sharing art that took inherently peaceful items (fruit) and turned them into victims of everyday “violence,” when my usual filter for my artwork is the question of “does it spread hope, joy, or goodwill?” Oh, and did I mention I’m a pacifist? Yeah. Exactly.

My typical photo subject would look more like this:


I stuck to the challenge for the week, though, because it stretched me. I learned how to take my usual focus on soothing light and shift it towards ominosity (no, not a word either. but it should be). I learned that a skewed angle increases the creepy factor. I learned that shadows = suspense, and the glare of a flash at just the right place feels like a knife-prick.

But most of all, I learned that my deepest, most natural work as an artist is about peace … beauty … positive transformation … and the view that appears when we see life through the lens of compassion. 

Turns out this playful Ominous Fruit Photo challenge was actually a lesson in beauty anyway. Thank you, dear Nieceling.

Challenge someone to a daily challenge for next week and see what shows up. We’d love to hear about it in a comment here on our Facebook page!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Ros Nelson October 11, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Starla tells the truth; her work IS about peace and love. Perhaps she is a reincarnated hippie who just did not get her work done in the sixties!
If I were writing her testimonial, I would say, “The city of Philadelphia should be honoring Starla King for observing its streets and people each day with love and infusing them with peaceful, life-giving energy.
AND, Starla’s book is COMING SOON. “Wide Awake. Every Day.” I am privileged to be her publisher. You’re all going to want this “daily guidebook” to more creative, fulfilling days!


Starla J. King October 11, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Ros, I think you’re right about my past life! ha!

Thank you for such a gorgeous, generous testimonial. You know I’m snagging that for rampant re-use.

And yes, for those of you interested in my book, you can sign up here to get an email when it’s published (like, we’re down to just WEEKS yet):


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