Cloudy, 34 Degrees, East Winds 5 – 10 mph.
The low gray overcast made today a less than inspiring day to be outdoors. It was not a terrible day, but not a day to lift the spirits. And my spirits needed a little lifting today. After more than two months of daily creative efforts, I am feeling a little spent today. I set off, camera in hand, nonetheless.
Because of the threat of rain, Jamie and I went to our local woods. I took the Sony NEX-7 and the long zoom and extension tubes and set out to photograph tree and bush buds. I want to keep an eye on how they are developing.
As it turns out, things are developing only at a glacial pace. The stalks on which the buds are grow are getting longer, some buds are opening a tiny bit, but many remain only tiny bumps on the end of slender stalks.
The trees in my yard are developing faster than most things in the woods. The Magnolia out front is sprouting leaves at the base of the huge flower buds. The Maple in back is developing slowly, but perceptibly, and the decorative street trees have developed just perceptibly. Really not a lot of change in the week or so since I photographed these things.
I also photographed some things that are poking their heads out of the ground right now. We have bulbs coming up in our bed out front. I’m not sure what they are. There are also Tiger Lilies popping their heads up along the side of the garage. I even found a couple of little Crocuses coming out in the back garden. I don’t think they were planted there. I think they’ve just arrived as seeds.
I mentioned above that my spirits could use a little lifting today. This morning was the first morning that I awoke feeling like I couldn’t sustain this daily effort. It is a lot, after all. Trying to make art or at least beautiful pictures on a daily basis is no small challenge. I’m not just trying to take a single picture each day either. I’m shooting dozens, sometimes more than a hundred pictures a day, writing about my experiences, editing and posting pictures.
I think the problem lies in the wish to make “Art” every day. Over the last few days I made some pictures that I felt were in that category. That’s encouraging, of course, but then it can lead to reaching; trying every day to make that magic thing. And that can lead to discouragement.
I am much happier when I am simply observing the world around me. Of course I want to make beautiful images from my observations. That’s not so terribly hard. It’s the wish to do more that gives me trouble sometimes.
I sent off a few of my recent favorites to the gallery owner yesterday and that may have something to do with how I’m feeling. They still have not made a decision about whether they want to continue representing me. People have been on vacation, etc., etc.
I’m in no hurry. I want time to develop what I’m doing, but I think the limbo is bothering me, eroding my confidence. Awaiting judgment is less than fun, even if I seldom think about it. I’m no longer accustomed to being in this situation. I’m not even sure I want the pressure of having to produce for a gallery. But then I know I will make beautiful things that I would like to have people see and ideally buy.
Anyway, it’s no fun being where I am at right now. I am better off just doing what I do each day and not worrying about what comes of it commercially. I wish it were easy to let go of that.
The funny thing is that I know the work I’m doing now is at least as strong as most of what I’ve done in the past. I don’t have the benefit of spectacular locations, but I’m just over doing that. I like the smaller scale, the smaller expectations of working locally. It just feels more real to me than traveling to a scenic destination and trying to get spectacular photographs.
But I’ve said all this before, haven’t I. If only the human mind were satisfied with considering something once and then moving on. My mind doesn’t work that way, and I doubt many people’s minds do.