Archive for October, 2012

Magic Through The Lens

October 27, 2012

For the past few weeks I have been in search of a new lens through which to view and record my journey. I am an innocent where cameras are concerned, and have seen beauty in many of the photos taken with whatever camera I happened to possess. I have been undemanding even when it came to recording my art, though I admit to some frustration over lack of clarity in my images of drawings and sculptures. For this reason I was open to my friend, Kendall’s, suggestion that a better camera was in order. My art deserved it. Her encouragement prompted me to begin the search.

Due to having owned Olympus cameras in my past, An Olympus xz-1 roused my interest and I read about it and searched for it in several local stores. I am not a shopper and am not brave when it comes to internet purchases, which is why I ended up purchasing an Olympus TG-1 with the understanding that I could take it back within 30 days. Call it an experiment, or call me a little dense for taking home a tough camera: water proof etc. It is a better camera than I’ve been using, and once I got past my initial sense of intimidation, I had a glorious time taking my first photographs. Magic seemed  an undeniable element, I walked outside to find my cat, Sunny, lounging in a tree as if pre-arranged. From Sunny I went on to the beach, let the dogs run free while I happily photographed seagulls on piers, Music dog peeing, the children of a gentle father. I stayed for the sunset and went home replete, delighted with the renewed vitality found by viewing the world through a brand new lens.

The next day I took photos of art before sending some images on to Kendall for her valued opinion. My innocent joy was not prepared to hear words such as noise and pixilation. I knew nothing of these undesirable elements. She did praise my eye, and thought the art images were better than before, but thought the camera not good quite enough for my vision. I was let down a bit, but had to admit I had noticed limitations when it came to close up shots. Besides the camera was heavy; I couldn’t imagine lugging it around Paris.

There was another possibility that Kendall had mentioned: a Canon s-100, and true to the magical aspect of this journey, when I took back the TG-1, the Canon was there, simply asking for me to “give it a try”.  Something fearless had been awakened in me by the ease with which I had bought, experimented with, and returned the tough camera. Why not? This time there was no intimidation. I was shooting the little Canon almost before it was out of the box, and I thought I could see the difference. Kendall did, even with the art.

I did see a qualitative difference in the sculptures, but not so much with the drawings. The whiter I make the paper through editing, the less clarity I see in the lines. I am pretty sure that is my need to learn more about recording my art and editing my images rather than the camera’s inadequacies. I continue to experiment.  And I continue to carry the canera with me in hopes of magical moments. Such as this one…


Love, Create, Share

October 10, 2012

This last weekend I made an angel for an angel. Margaret Britton Vaughn, Poet Laureate of Tennessee, was on the coast for a reading and signing of her new book: SHADES OF WALTER INGLIS ANDERSON.  On Friday I received a call from the lady, herself, asking if I had an angel in my studio that she could buy. She already has my “Angel with Fox”, but it soon became clear to me that this one must carry a book and in some way celebrate who “Maggi” is, to me and to so many others. I would have to start from scratch and complete it before the reading at the Walter Anderson Museum on Sunday.

I was already tired from a weeks worth of active going and doing. It had been about as social a week as I am capable of. So I wasn’t too thrilled with the project, couldn’t imagine summoning the energy. But there is something about Maggi that brings forth a generous spirit in those who share her orbit – even for a short time. Perhaps it is her own generous spirit: who she is overflows and affects. She inspires our adoration, while nurturing our own realities. Maggi has a great big heart.

So when I sat down in my recliner, doubting that I could even get the plastic wrapper off the new spool of aluminum wire, it could only have been Maggi’s faith in Walter’s dancer daughter that wakened the dance of the wire beneath my faltering fingers. It didn’t take long for me to catch on, to rejoice in the formation of yet another angel. My willingness – and the thought of the one who just might delight in the gesture – kept the wire uncoiling from the spool and threading its way through my hands. I simply cannot forget the dance I was born to dance.

On Saturday afternoon the angel was hung against the black drape where I could see to refine certain areas. I tweaked and photographed, not yet ready to think about any additions. I couldn’t yet see a book in either hand, couldn’t imagine how the words would fly or even what words would come. That would have to happen on Sunday – when I was fresh. It was time to let go.

Trusting the last minute magic that is beyond one’s understanding is the only way to go as far as I am concerned. I cannot plan or manipulate the outcome. I may seem to manipulate the wire, but I never know ahead of time the result. It is all about sensing and following where the wire will take me. On Sunday, it was the same. Yes, I knew I would make something suggesting a book, because Maggi makes words that turn into books, but I didn’t know size or detail, or even whether it would fit in one of the angel’s hands. Only when I carried the vaguely book-shaped object downstairs and tried it this way and that, did I know where and how to attach it.  Even then I knew she was not complete. In a sense the angel would have to read or evoke the contents of the book (or the motto of the life). I went back upstairs, sat down in my chair and the stiff gold wire spelled out LOVE. I thought “Of course… Love has to be the beginning. Without love, where is the longing to create.” CREATE came next, as naturally as breathing. Delighting in one’s creation leads to sharing, therefore SHARE.  And Maggi’s angel was complete.

Later, Margaret Britton Vaughn, Poet Laureate of Tennessee and joyful angel in one, shared her self and her words. In the small exhibit room at the museum, she read, cavorted and drew her enthusiastic audience to her generous bosom. Maggi shared her world and our world was made new. Thank you, Maggi.


October 1, 2012

Something about this image speaks to me. Is the leaf a boat adrift on a sea of rocks? Or is the leaf boat grounded on a rocky terrain? Either way she carries within all she needs to make progress on her journey: water to keep her afloat, and a sky full of light to guide her. Her apparent stillness is surely an illusion.

I am all for trusting the stillness these days if I possibly can. Around me the world is spinning in obvious ways. How can I let myself be, surrender to where I am now, having faith that the journey is happening? When I seem to be frozen in time, while life appears to flow on without me, can I yield to the inner flow…the fluid light that I am carrying within?