Here are my thoughts and ramblings about my life as an artist. Whatever endeavor I take on, the creative process is a unique journey to discover wondrous hidden treasures bubbling my soul. Each painting, each photograph has its own challenges. The learning process and evolution is a continuous journey, but one that brings me much joy.
The explorations of creativity are fascinating and fulfilling. I hope you enjoy and find inspiration of your own.
The subject of food comes up often. We are barraged
daily from the media, medical profession, and those quick to give advice on
healthy eating habits. We are told when to eat, how often we should eat, what
we should or shouldn’t eat, and are made to feel guilty for eating those items
deemed unhealthy. Foods are broken down into components, chemicals, and
structure to help us determine what is safe to eat. Listening to and reading
all the hype that is out there nowadays, I can’t help but wonder what the real truth
is and what is just hype from corporations pushing their own products, or
people putting their beliefs and what works for them onto everyone else. Listening
to some of those opinions, it’s a wonder many of us are still alive today… if
all of what is said is truth.
I like food, but I am a fussy eater. I only want to
eat food I like. I want to enjoy those foods without feeling guilty. There are
certain foods I don’t mind eating all the time, while others I might get a
craving for, or some if the mood hits me. I don’t want to listen to someone
make comments on my eating habits. I am making my own choices. I listen to my
own body when it says, “Don’t eat any more of that for awhile,” or “Let’s have
something green and fresh today.”
AND, for the most part, I am healthy and I am HAPPY!
Sure, I may be overweight and my muscles and joints ache (part from the weight
and part from age). Maybe I would feel physically better if I ate more healthy
foods and exercised more, but I love what I do and I am happy with the person
that I am. And if that comes with liking foods that are on the “bad for you”
lists, then so be it.
One of my greatest joys these days is to go out to eat
with good friends. It’s wonderful that we can all order what we want without
anyone looking down their noses at our menu choices. If we want a “big girl
drink” or dessert, that’s OK and doesn’t mean that everyone has to do the
extra. Yes, some have to be conscious of eating particular foods, but that doesn’t
put pressure on anyone else to have to eat similarly. We make our own choices,
enjoy what we order, and have the most wonderful conversations.
This is the time of year that people pay attention to
giving thanks. I give thanks every day, so to have a special day for it is no
big deal. What Thanksgiving Day means to me is a great turkey dinner, family,
friends, and camaraderie. All of which could be had any time of the year, but
because of the “declared holiday,” there’s a specialness added in.
However, because of circumstances and life choices,
the thanksgivings of the past are just memories. Mom and Dad cooking the turkey,
Dad making lumpy gravy, and then there were the side dishes. I loved the mashed
potatoes and carrots, while Dad and my brother went for the onions and turnips…
all you could eat. And that’s the crux… all you could eat. This is one
particular day where there was always plenty.
My mother and I tried to carry the family tradition as
long as we could, but times changed and other family members chose to make
their own family traditions. In the end, it was just Ma and I, and when she was
gone, it was just me, and for the first couple of years, even though I received
many invites, I chose to be alone.
Last year, I took my brother’s offer to go out to
Thanksgiving dinner with him, his wife, and Carol’s sister and brother-in-law. I
was leery about being the fifth wheel, but they assured me they’d love my
company. One big difference here was that we had always had Thanksgiving dinner
around noon and they wanted to go in the evening (an added stress for me as I
don’t like to drive at night). However, I went and had a really nice time and
am going again this year.
While the camaraderie is good, Thanksgiving dinner in
a restaurant is not the same as a home cooked meal. Over half of the plate was
stuffing (and I don’t particularly care for stuffing) with a couple of thin
(any thinner and it would be considered luncheon meat) over the top, a small
scoop of mashed potato on the side, another of squash, and a spoonful of
cranberry sauce. I guess the customers are supposed to fill up on bread.
We can’t hold on to the past. It’s important to make
new traditions and be open to change. I am looking forward to spending time
with Don, Carol, Sue, and Bob. I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving
at a loss on how to sign my photographs. Some photographers sign the actual
picture while others sign on the mat. There's the fact that by signing the mat,
the signature will be lost if the customer re-mats/frames. But how often does a
The guy who
used to frame my drawings was adamant about NOT signing the mats! However, at a
recent show, what caught my attention was that those pictures with the
signatures on the mats stood out. The viewer immediately knew who the
photographer was and the title of the piece if the photographer chose to put
the title. If done tastefully, the signature does not take away from the
liked how the mat signing looked.
So, am I
going to start signing on the mat? I don't know, maybe. Done in pencil, it
could always be erased if the buyer didn't like it. I still have my information
on the back.
brings up another issue for the pictures matted, but not framed. I always put
contact/photographer info on sticky address labels and attach them to the back
along with a little bit about the photo itself. Customers enjoy reading what I
write and it’s usually short. The problem comes when the buyer frames the
photo. My info is then lost.
considering printing a double set of labels; one to attach and one to put
inside the envelope for when the buyer frames the picture.
“Look at this, Mommy! Look,
look!” I see myself as a little girl, remembering the me I once was, running
into the house with an armload of flowers fresh picked from the field – and
yet, sometimes it’s almost as if she was somebody else. Was that me or just a
story made up in my mind?
No, I was like that! I had to
have been like that. I feel it now; feel it when I go out taking photographs. I
have that childlike awe, that excitement of discovery and I can’t wait to get
home to show mommy… only, I have no mommy now. There’s no one to greet me or be
excited to see what I found or hear my stories. She is gone; three years this
coming Christmas. But, that passion is still within me, the flowers now the
various photographs. The desire to share them burns in my soul. I cry out,
“Look! Look what I saw today!” But there’s no one at home waiting to see. I plug the SD card into the
computer and eagerly wait for the upload. Some pictures are immediate deletes,
but most are keepers. I open the editing program and begin taking a closer
look. Most edits are just regular work; crop, adjust contrast and brightness
and save the photos in various categories. Oh, I so enjoy this even if there is
no one to see in the moment. However, every so often,
something magical happens. Something I did not notice when out in the field
shows up on the photo on the editing screen. Hey, where did that come from? I
didn’t notice that when I took the photo! It could be as simple as an unusual
tree or a little chickadee or a particular color. Why hadn’t I noticed that
before? The excitement returns. I love that surprise and the photographs often
turn into a treasure hunt to find what I missed seeing earlier. Perhaps it’s simply because
when I am taking the actual photograph, my view is on a larger scale and the
focus is not so much on detail at that moment. Whatever the excuse, those
surprises I find later add a wonderful joyful dimension to my photography work.
My blogging comes in spurts. I keep telling myself to
get better and do it more often, but other things needing to be done get in the
way. Sometimes the words are just not running. Also, I often need a comment or
something to spark the process that starts the mind babbling.
There was much on my mind earlier. While upstairs
doing my morning writing, showering, and getting ready for the day, a variety
of topics screamed to be shared. However, by the time I got downstairs and get
set up for working, all those earlier running thoughts have… run away. This
happens often – my morning long hand writing triggers much, but by the time I
am actually ready to do the technical part of the writing on the computer, my
thoughts are elsewhere. This is my lesson in getting it done while fresh in my
mind and my theory about the muse. When the muse is present, she demands now
and will not wait. If I don’t pay attention, she goes away. I have my morning routine, though. There are
certain chores that need to be done before I can sit at the computer. Even when
I make notes while doing the earlier writing, by the time I’ve taken that break
from the creative process, the muse has left. Today, there are a number of topics wanting to be
discussed. They push and shove in the back of my mind each demanding to be
first. Most have been building for awhile. It’s funny how they all want to be
let out at the same time. Which do I choose? Of course, I want to write them
all, but an audience will only read so much. Then, too, if there are no
responses, the exciting joy that bursts forth onto the page dissipates and I am
left wondering why I bothered. But I have to! I have to write these things. They do
demand to be let out, to be read. I can’t stop them nor do I want to. I always
go back to the analogy of the little girl running home with an armload of
flowers screaming with joy, “Mommy! Mommy, look what I found!” Writing is that
joy for me and my “mommy” is everyone who reads these blurbs and responds.