Cloudy, 32 Degrees, No Wind.
Despite the cold and clouds today, with no wind, it’s fairly pleasant outside. Not to say nice, mind you. It’s still gray and cold, but without wind I feel more relaxed and less assaulted by this unseasonable weather we’re having.
When Jamie and I arrive at the woods, I shoot the road as always, and then focus on shooting tree tops against the gray sky. I liked some of the images I got yesterday, so I decide to explore this further. I am shooting tighter shots than I have before, focusing on the delicate tracery of branches and the shapes of the branches against the sky.
I shoot a few images in the pine grove down by the marsh as well, though I can’t say they look promising to me. I’m not really sure why I like these branch images so much. I just do, and I have to trust my instincts. An artist is sometimes faced with making things that they love, even if other people don’t understand it. I’ve had this idea in mind for a long time and I’m determined to try to make it work. In the end, it may or may not work, but I want to try.
I watched a documentary the other day about Andy Warhol and his famous Brillo boxes. You have to believe that it was something he wanted or needed to do. Few people really understood. They were shown in a gallery, but none of them sold. Now, you might pay millions for one. I’m not Andy Warhol in any sense, but you get my point, or at least I hope you do.
Down at the marsh, I stop for a moment to listen for the spring peepers. They are silent, but birds were calling all around. It’s funny how if you don’t stop your internal dialogue and your continual motion, you just can’t hear these things. It’s a beautiful thing that shouldn’t be missed.
Last night I met with my artist friends for our monthly critique. I showed them about a dozen prints of this month’s work. The road pictures were very popular. A number of people liked the big Oak tree shot I printed. Reviews were not good for the blurred shots. Several people said it gave them vertigo. Only one person said they liked the cloud shot I printed. I know there’s nothing terribly exceptional about the shot, but I liked it and wanted to print it. I’m glad one person liked it—and I respect her opinion considerably.
These critiques are a good place for me to get feedback on things. I do take their comments under advisement, so to speak. In the end, it has to be my judgment as to what I go forward with, but it does help to get input. I would expect the same for all of the group. It’s up to their judgment in the end, whether they accept our opinions of their work or not. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
It’s interesting how putting your work up on an easel for a group of people can give you a different perspective from seeing it laid out on a table in your studio. It has a way of clarifying what is working and what is not. The road pictures do look pretty spectacular as prints. All of the richness and detail in the road and the branches comes through.
I know I could do an exhibit of just these shots throughout the year. Already, I have a nice variety of perspectives. When I have leaves, summer mornings, and fall to add to the mix, it should be a wonderful grouping. I’ll shoot more snow images with the longer lens as well.
I’ve said earlier that I would never go to the trouble or expense of mounting and framing a lot of work for an exhibit, but I might mount prints and hang them unframed if I got a chance to show in the right setting.
Now that I’ve cleaned up my studio at least part way, I can see doing mounting again. Making physical space makes intellectual and emotional space for new things as well. That’s a good feeling.
Speaking of intellectual and emotional space, I’ve been maintaining my guitar playing while I am doing this photography. I’m not playing the number of hours I used to, or working as hard on specific things, but it feels like I’m integrating the new things I have learned recently and beginning to enjoy them.
I’m playing far less often, and I only play when I want to, so I’m enjoying most every time I play. I’m really getting all of the cool chords and progressions I learned earlier, and I’m now adding the soloing and scales that go with them. I think it’s going to be a good thing. I have learned a lot and really progressed as a guitarist. That’s not something that happens easily.