what are you trying to say?

 

 

 

So many of my pictures of late have been about the surface of things.  Yes it is fall and leaves are resting on the water, apples have dropped to the ground..but I realized today they are not really about that.   these pictures are about shallowness and my desire to dig deeper.  Social media is filled with pretty photos of nature, yummy food, exotic travel destinations and alluring selfies.  I want to make pictures that have something more to say, and that’s hard.

 

I have watched this Cig Harvey lecture over and over again.  Some thoughts I’ve come away with –

 

  • landscapes- can be a mirror of what’s going on inside of you
  •  use symbols and metaphors
  • dig deeper
  • cameras are just expensive pencils
  • speak through your photography
  • photography/art asks the questions
  • what do you have to say?
  • Art doesn’t have to be good or bad, it just has to be felt
  • make pictures ABOUT something rather than OF something

 

Taking the time to step back and really look at my work has been a revealing exercise.  Although I will still stop and take a picture of a pretty flower or that red leaf shining in the grass, my thought process is changing.

 

I think maybe I have found a starting point, that tip of the iceberg.

 

“You are only this moment, the length of a photograph”

~ Cig Harvey

 

 

 

 

 

 

when nature..

 

 

imitates art

 

 

kodak colorplus 200, canon ae1

finding inspiration..

during these last few weeks of winter

 

a change of scenery

 

Trying something new..

film photography

 

and finding some beautiful light around my house

as the days grow longer

(I know, I need to dust my dining room table)

 

March has come in like a lion
as I write this, the snow is coming down hard
the 2nd major storm to hit us this month
after living in New England for so many years
I’ve become more accepting..and patient
spring will come in her own good time

 

Last night, while on my search for inspiration, I came across a couple things I’d like to share with you:

 

This won the Oscar for Best Short Film.  Heartbreaking in many ways but inspiring to see how creativity can be life saving.

 

a thought provoking article

“Tired of Perfection”

In search of this perfection we’re losing the poetic. The grit. The nuance. I see less and less story. Less humanity. I’m all in on beauty, but that’s not even what I’m seeing. It’s all just so damn saccharine. My god, all the shiny, happy – perfect – people. It must be exhausting trying to be all that all the time.

read the entire article HERE.

*****

“Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how’, while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why’. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.”

~ Man Ray

 

 

 

SaveSave

 

SaveSave

Save

SaveSave

SaveSave

cross-pollination

 

 of a different kind..

My son’s VLOG got me thinking about how we often develop a skill set in one area but end up using it in new and unexpected ways.  In life, in work and in our creative endeavors, our experiences are somehow all inter-connected.

My talented friend, Linda Murtha, immediately came to mind as her work is a beautiful marriage of art and photography.  She very kindly agreed to share her experience, her thoughts and her amazing art with us here:

Lynda’s Journey

I was about 9 years old when my mother came home one afternoon and found me painting a winter scene with white house paint on a red floor tile left over from our basement renovation. I can still see my vision for that painting and I can’t imagine what she was thinking when she took a cloth soaked in Varsol and wiped the tile clean.  Afterward, she apologized, saying she didn’t understand what I was doing, but it was a long time before I showed anyone anything I’d created again.

When I was 7 I’d painted a watercolour of tulips in a garden as an Easter gift for my grandmother. I remember not wanting anyone else to see it. Even as a child my sense was that my art was safe with my grandmother but no one else understood my need to create.  More than 50 years later, a lifetime since I’d even thought about it, I found that little painting among my mother’s belongings.  It wasn’t anything special but my grandmother had kept it her entire life and so had my mother.

In high school I excelled in art and not much more and I begged my parents to allow me to enroll in an art program. They left me in the academic program, and I simply painted on my own through my teens and into my 20’s but I often asked myself, that age old question…What if?

When I married and had three kids in 5 years I put the paints away but sewed and felt that too fed my creative urges. I didn’t turn back to painting for many years. When I did, my own critical voice had grown very loud. I studied for several years with a talented landscape artist who increasingly showed frustration with the faultfinding I heaped on my own work. In a moment of exasperation, she said to me, “If you want a painting to look exactly like a photograph, why not get a camera?”  The seed would take a while to germinate, but she had definitely planted it.

For a while I worked on trompe l’oeil (fool the eye) paintings and found great satisfaction in that. I’d proven to myself I could, in fact, make a painting look ‘real’.  And then, shortly after this stage of growth, I was gifted with my first camera.

Two images I took on my first roll of film hung on the wall of my husband’s office for years. I felt accomplished, acknowledged, and creatively happy just taking pictures for my own pleasure, much the same way I had once enjoyed painting simply for the experience.

In time though, that same creative bug that had bitten me so many years earlier, started to nibble again. More and more I wanted my photographs to look less and less like photos and more and more like paintings.  It was another season of cross-pollination and I was now flying backward.

I experimented with textures and layers, with off-lens photography, Lensbaby and with intentional camera movement, all in an effort to make images look like paintings.  And I found great satisfaction in that garden of creativity.

And then most recently, after dabbling just a bit in encaustics over photographs, I found myself longing to paint again, and have been trying some techniques with acrylics and alcohol.

I’ve learned a lot about myself.  I still hear that old voice muttering something about none of them being ‘note-worthy’ but now I can laugh and just go back to it and enjoy the process.  Who knows what I may learn here that I can take somewhere else.  Who knows as we cross-pollinate our experiences, and our attitudes; our criticisms and our praise, what the end results will be?

I’m proud of my work.  I’m proud of the journey too.  As each chapter unfolds I feel a hunger for the next and the next.

I started this adventure relatively early when I tired of crayons and colouring books and staying in the lines, but I’m thrilled to think the story may never end. There’s always something to learn from those who are also cross-pollinating their love of art with other skills they bring to the garden.

PhotoArt

2012-06-17 Fathers Day-3 lm

4420406996_b45509a6ff_z

4388327835_b78022c448_z-2

8207593539_166224d504_z

6829794426_ab1d8c4cb7_z

7032964821_8265ff184f_z

33176561700_29df3eca64_z-2

7168962457_2b835fe9d1_z

9696810464_321db8b928_z

8226876101_1ee74b58fc_z

32571162765_7e0a5e01c6_z

Paintings

12x12 canvas-FINALIMG_480451797 small

IMG_1932

Painting flowers sm

Trompe L’oeil

2017-04-07 painting-1402

Thank you for bringing so much beauty to the garden, Lynda!

More of Lynda’s work can be found HERE.

As for Eric’s vlog…I posted it on Facebook where it made for some fascinating conversation.  It seems our education and knowledge, skills and life experience never go to waste no matter what plans the universe has for us.  It all counts.

 I’ll end this with a thoughtful take on cross-pollination from Kim Mendenhall Stevens

I’ve been thinking a lot about it throughout my day…the comment that struck me the most was the last comment to the question in regards to what she thought about pollination…and she says the bees, they are dying. And while the bees aren’t dying from their job of pollinating, they are dying because of the actions of mankind, and well, the inaction as well. I know he was talking more about cross-pollination when it came to our experiences and things we’ve learned and translating that to subsequent jobs and experiences, but I began to think about it more on a humanity level. If and how we decide to cross-pollinate with each other on a personal and general level, means a great deal for our own survival….because in many ways we are the bees.

33853474476_207533be7b_z

floating into February

DSC_3488

2017 started out with some changes, some new additions and some happy surprises

Our exhibit at The Bradley Estate turned out wonderfully
Met many talented, inspiring people
Loved the sharing of ideas
(a portion of the exhibit will remain on display until Valentine’s Day)

I was contacted by a magazine editor
my photos and a short article will be published
in their May issue
Will share more details soon.

DSC_0667

And last but certainly not least
we adopted this sweet boy

meet Mozart
(yes, he is a genius)

 32372115851_ecc002280e_o-2.jpg

All was good
until it wasn’t
and the world began to crumble
you already know the story
it’s everywhere
so much so, I’ve had to distance myself from social media in order to retain some sense of sanity.  I’ve never been comfortable sharing personal issues, religion or politics online, it has mainly been a platform to share photography and friendship.

I don’t live in a bubble. I read, I watch the news shows, I have lengthy discussions with my close friends and family members in the “real world”

And when I’m done with all of that, I go out with my camera. I climb on my raft..

“Art has always been the raft onto which we climb to save our sanity. I don’t see a different purpose for it now.”

― Dorothea Tanning

I float, if only for a few moments.