calm things

November still life

glass and light

calm things
the Japanese term for still life
and also the title of both a book and a blog by Shawna Lemay
a wonderful poet, essayist and photographer from Canada
(who happens to be married to the fantastic painter, Robert Lemay)

I have been so inspired by both her writing and her photography
she has a unique and wonderful way of seeing things

“I’m astonished at how many worlds there are within the world,
at how the past lives in the present and how it sings,
silent, still, in a loaf of bread, in an apple on the sill,
in a handful of tomatoes passed over the fence.”

I find myself looking at things a bit differently now
from the way the light falls on a piece of glass
to the bending of frozen flower from my garden

“It seems to me that part of what a still life does is make what is regarded commonly un-sacred, sacred.
The un-holy, holy. We experience life in all its details.”

and so, I’ve been playing around a bit with my own photography
I’ve even started pouring through some art books from the library

and if you have a minute (I’m sure you’ll want to stay longer!)
I encourage you to pay Shawna a visit HERE

Be inspired, experience the calm!

32 Comments on “calm things

  1. I find that I “find myself looking at things a bit differently” whenever I have the camera in hand. It’s a wonderful thing. Like having a fresh pair of eyes… šŸ™‚

  2. these images are truly calming. You know what is so cool, I had rubbed shoulders with Shawna a while back when I found her on my friend Angela’s flickr site. She sent me a photograph to include in the birthday slideshow I put together for Angela! What a humble and talented gal. She didn’t mention to me that she was a poet, she simply submitted a picture for that slide show and told me how nice it was for me to be doing that. I didn’t know her, she wasn’t a contact of mine until the birthday video this past April. Wow. I feel silly not knowing. I mean it. I think my residence is really under a rock. Thank you for bringing her to light, for introducing her in a new way. Love your friend Tracie

  3. Love that first image, beautifully calm and composed… The first two lines from the verse, about how the past lives in the present resonate with me. Thanks for posting, I’m off to investigate Shawna’s blog šŸ™‚

  4. Everything you do is so beautiful, thoughtful and inspiring. I will have a look at Shawna’s blog over the weekend, thank you.

  5. I don’t think I’ll be able to stand it if your images get any better! (just kidding..) Your eye is already superb and your still lifes are composed with such artfulness and precision. And that glass and light image is just brilliant (pun intended). I will definitely visit cam things by Shawna…I love calm things in general so am sure her work will resonate.

    • You are way too kind Sherry, thank you. I hope you do get a chance to visit Shawna, I have a feeling you will really love her site!

  6. I enjoyed the quotations by Shawna Lemay and I especially love that glass bottle shot. I visited Shawna’s blog thanks to your link. She has a very contemplative way of looking at things which I like. Photography is certainly an art form which can develop contemplative qualities as we seek out the simple beauty of the ordinary things. Finally, nothing is ordinary,
    Have a lovely weekend, Susan.

    • So very true…nothing is ordinary. So happy that you enjoyed her site! Hope you have a lovely weekend too Sandra!

  7. Great post, Sue! Both photos are exquisitely calm, but for some reason I really love the second one…I guess it is the tiny diamonds of light in the glass…just beautiful…

  8. These are wonderful, a real feeling of a painting! šŸ™‚ And thank you for the reference to Shawna Lemay, her writing sounds really amazing, I shall be checking her out a little later! šŸ˜€

  9. Your photos always make me see things in a different way. Thank you for pointing me toward another site like that. I’ll make sure to check it out.

  10. Shawna definitely has a unique way of seeing the world.
    These are really beautiful, Susan.
    I especially love the first one here.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  11. how on earth did I not leave a comment to this post!! Especially one about Shawna. If you’ve visited my blog you know that I frequently mention or link to Shawna’s calm things. I am particularly smitten with your top image — excellently done!

  12. i love both shots for different reasons – still life as I haven’t really tried this yet and the bottle because of the dof which you have used superbly over your next few posts – I love catching up

  13. This is a truly beautiful, moving, heartfelt philosophy: ā€œIā€™m astonished at how many worlds there are within the world,
    at how the past lives in the present and how it sings,
    silent, still, in a loaf of bread, in an apple on the sill,
    in a handful of tomatoes passed over the fence.ā€

    What a wonderful post. Thank you.

  14. Hmmm, how did I miss so much here? I’m not able to visit blogs more than once a week at the most lately. Yours is a peaceful corner of the blogosphere (ugly word!). This is an interesting pairing f images – I like both, and I like them together. I agree – the still life instills its subject with sacredness. And now I have to follow your trail, because the quotes are very good, and their effect on you says a lot.

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