There is something really special about very large, old trees. Even with nearly bare branches before spring has really taken hold, they appear majestic, something to be in awe of.
“Its just a tree!” No, not to me. To me they are precious, delightful and a tiny bit magical.
I am off on a road trip. I hope to post some images along the way of things that I find of interest. Its also a chance to test out my much anticipated and coveted brand new digital SLR camera. Its like meeting an old and beloved friend again…I haven’t had a real camera for a long, long time and it feels so good. It’s still familiar in my hand and eye, but better than my old one of many years ago.
It’s like I have come full circle back to where I started…as a girl with a camera, pen and journal with dreams of using them for her profession one day…how strange life is!
Look up. Look back. Move forward.
She was a trial of something new, an attempt to transfer an image onto industrial tape for reasons I can no longer quite remember. Something happened along the way and my image came out quite different to what I had imagined.
I considered throwing it out at the time, but every time I look at it, I just can’t bring myself too. For three reasons; firstly because we learn more when we make mistakes, because that means we tried something new and took a risk. Secondly, because although her image is transformed into something almost unrecognisable, it feels full of movement, colour and passion. And thirdly, simply because she is dancing. And who wouldn’t want a bit more dancing in their life?
Its all well and good to be surrounded by things you love and that inspire you, but when that starts to feel overwhelmingly like clutter, it can have the opposite effect, weighing you down instead of uplifting you and inspiring creativity. I had got to the point where I hated going in to my studio as it really was looking quite chaotic. There was stuff everywhere, paints, papers, books, glues, brushes, scraps, rags, piles and piles of “stuff” I had collected along the way for “just in case”.
So I pulled everything off my three inspiration boards. Every single item (and it was pretty crammed with bits of paper/notes/pages from books and magazines/business cards, postcards, photos, cards, found ephemera, etc…) and I only put back several images that really spoke to me. Everything else was either sorted into “keep” (for another project), or “rubbish pile”…fortunately most were kept, but are now in one of my treasured suitcases of collected papers.
I also had two frames that I loved stored away, as they both were missing glass and backing…so I out them on the wall and two small bits of art found there way into them. A nice effect I think – a bit quirky.
It looks much barer than before, but in a strange way it feels calmer and more inspiring by being less cluttered. Like a welcoming place to think, do, reflect, create and make art.
An after-dinner walk after the day’s drizzly rain and blustery wind had cleared. We headed off to the beach with kids who needed a run and some fresh air. I noticed the clouds…dark and still hanging around threatening rain. But they held off long enough for a paddle in the rock pools, a long walk, a fossick for rocks, shells, sea-glass and driftwood, and just before we left, some of the most amazing light I have ever seen.
As you know, I collect words. These are some of my recent additions to my collection in my journals. Some have been titles of recent blog entries or art pieces. Others are words I have heard, seen, used, thought or found and just feel compelled to record them, to collect them. I don’t know what it is that appeals about these words, but for some reason they resonate with me. The words come from many places, experiences, and sources, yet always mean something quite profound to me. Maybe they inspire you too?
I found these cotton reels recently. They are the old fashioned wooden ones. They came to me along with a very old singer sewing machine, a huge box of buttons and some old, old scissors, pins and measuring tapes. I especially like the colours of the threads and the wooden reels however and enjoyed photographing them.
The most poignant thing to me though, is the cotton reels where remnants of threads have been carefully and thoughtfully wound onto another reel…from an era when nothing went to waste, not even bits of left-over thread.
It is a timely reminder of the days when things were kept “just in case” or for rainy days. The era when nothing got wasted and everything was reused. A lesson just as relevant today as it was way back then.
Sometimes over-thinking things can ruin creativity and acting on impulse can be pleasingly surprising. If I had taken time to take this shot “properly”… if I had the camera ready with the correct settings for the available light, if I had spent time to ensure I had the optimal image in my lens, if I had considered shutter speeds and other technical matters, I may have got a technically better photo. Or I may have decided there wasn’t anything special enough, worth photographing and walked away.
It is after all just some farm trees on a fence line.
But in a chance moment as I was a passenger on a drive recently, I snapped this image out of the car while still moving…. The intense sky colour after storms and now at days end, combined with the tree’s almost in silhouette, caught my eye. The result…a camera set on a random setting and a person who doesn’t think technically but rather just acts creatively, make it appear almost magical.
A flower stalk lying on the ground. Noticed by a young girl, and picked up off the ground. Then danced with and waved in the air like a magic wand, by a child who clearly believed it could make her fly if she wished hard enough.
I put it in her bag of collected treasures, and as I do, I notice its fragile, fairy wings too. I make a wish and take a photo, hoping to capture a tiny bit of the magic my daughter saw.
Once it was something else, even if only for a moment.
I love the movement and colour in this image. It is bright, bold and full of action and texture. I like that it is unusual and vibrant. Movement.
In other news, I have finally got some images framed for my exhibition, I must say they look so different when framed properly. Its quite exciting…and a little daunting. I have also finally got a decent colour printer. So, progress on two things I really needed to get sorted. More movement.
From a creative perspective, my attention has been on watching my three sons plan, design, and construct a wooden play castle/fortification using found items..Moments.
I hope you have found some inspiration over recent days in an unlikely place too. Sometimes we find it when we stop looking, when we leave what we are working on, and shut the door. When we focus our energy on something completely different and outside of our normal routine/comfort zone, we can find new directions, new inspirations and new connections we may never have made otherwise…Musings.