Licht Years

where are you going, where have you been?

Category Archives: life

cross-pollination

15

 

 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

black coffee, blue skies

12

DSC_8866

When you shift your focus
from what is absent
to what is present,
from what is missing
to what has been given,
from what you are not
to who you are…
abundance is yours,
effortlessly.

~Jeff Foster

An experiment in seeing.

at this table

20

 

DSC_6342

DSC_3344

31726266362_b70ba78358_okitch-table-winter

30850092740_4ce973d0fb_ogames.jpg

DSC_6267

DSC_8564

Perhaps the World Ends Here
~ Joy Harjo

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

a lot of history on this table
every scratch and water stain has its own story

DSC_6307

floating into February

43

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.

change

16

DSC_3108

But start slowly, because direction is more important than speed.
Sit in another chair, on the other side of the table.
Later on, change tables.
When you go out, try to walk on the other side of the street. Then change your route, walk calmly down other streets, observing closely the places you pass by.
Take other buses. Change your wardrobe for a while; give away your old shoes and try to walk barefoot for a few days – even if only at home.
Take off a whole afternoon to stroll about freely, listening to the birds or the noise of the cars.
Open and shut the drawers and doors with your left hand.
Sleep on the other side of the bed. Then try sleeping in other beds.
Watch other TV programs, read other books, live other romances – even of only in your imagination.
Sleep until later. Go to bed earlier.
Learn a new word a day.
Eat a little less, eat a little more, eat differently; choose new seasonings, new colors,
things you have never dared to experiment.
Lunch in other places, go to other restaurants, order another kind of drink
and buy bread at another bakery.
Lunch earlier, have dinner later, or vice-versa.
Try something new every day: a new side, a new method, a new flavor,
a new way, a new pleasure, a new position.
Pick another market, another make of soap, another toothpaste.
Take a bath at different times of the day.
Use pens with different colors.
Go and visit other places.
Love more and more and in different ways. Even when you think that the other will be frightened, suggest what you have always dreamed about doing when you make love.
Change your bag, your wallet, your suitcases, buy new glasses, write other poems.
Open an account in another bank, go to other cinemas, other hairdressers,
other theaters, visit new museums.
Change. And think seriously of finding another job, another activity,
work that is more like what you expect from life, more dignified, more human.
If you cannot find reasons to be free, invent them: be creative.
And grab the chance to take a long, enjoyable trip – preferably without any destination.
Try new things. Change again. Make another change. Experiment something else.
You will certainly know better things and worse things than those you already know, but that does not matter. What matters most is change, movement, dynamism, energy.
Only what is dead does not change – and you are alive.

~ Clarice Lispector

Changes are happening here, some doors are opening
I’m taking my seat on the other side of the table.