Tag Archives: art

New Year and new focus

The door closed on 2016 and the sun rose on a new year a couple of days ago. We are conditioned to think that as one year ends and another begins we should reflect back on the happenings of the prior year and plan for changes in the new one with an emphasis on improvements and perhaps doing more.

I’m not immune to such thoughts. In the new year I will have a new focus as well – a focus on slowing down to allow myself more time to be creative. Slowing down to make time to think about what I want to create, and how, and in what medium. A new photograph? Something written? Some music played on my recently resurrected violin? Who knows? But, without slowing down and thinking about it, how can anyone truly be creative?

Although we are now in the midst of winter, the solstice has passed and the days are already becoming longer and brighter, although at a glacial pace so far, and it’s noticeable. For those of us that crave light, this is an unimaginable blessing. Although the coldest two months are still ahead of us, sunshine and more light in the morning and late afternoon makes it bearable. Even our dogs have to bundle up at this time of year!

So, with plans to write more, photograph more, make more music, the new year has begun with a focus on creativity. What do you have in mind?

Happy New Year!


Posted in BLOG, creativity, photography, writing Also tagged , , , |

Eyes, and mind, wide open

Waterford Waterworks, NB

Waterford Waterworks, NB

I read an article in the newspaper this morning that reminded me that it is important to keep your eyes, and your mind, wide open – and for more than the nanosecond most of us give to daily experiences. Nancy Bauer writes a regular column in the Saturday edition of the NB Telegraph Journal and today’s article, titled “The Art of Beholding” truly resonated with me. It began by describing an art appreciation course that encourages students to focus on a single painting for an entire semester in order truly appreciate its depth and message. According to one student, the class “teaches that the highest form of encounter with anything beautiful can only come as the result of slow, diligent, respectful engagement with that thing or being on its – or his, or her – own terms.” The Art of Beholding class, according to instructor Joel Upton, “is not a class about art, but rather a way of understanding…and developing a deep relationship with a painting.”

The same can be said about any form of creative expression – the written word, a painting, a sculpture, a photograph or a piece of pottery or other hand crafted item, or a personal relationship. One needs to spend time with the object of one’s attention, keeping one’s eyes, and mind, wide open to the wonderful possibilities hidden in the depths of the experience.

So, how do you do that?

For me it often happens when I head out on a photographic expedition into the countryside. Places like the Waterford Waterworks (above) mesmerize me if I allow myself to take the time to just sit on the rock by the waterfall and watch and listen to what is happening around me with no sense of urgency; no rush to completion. Then imagination kicks in and the story begins to emerge – both visually and verbally. I keep a notebook and pens in my camera bag for just such moments to capture those ideas that are so fleeting and quickly forgotten. But sometimes I just sit and let it be, my eyes, ears and mind open as the thoughts and sensations flow through and around me – with no attempt to capture them but rather to simply ‘be’ and experience the moment. That to me IS the art of beholding.

Posted in appreciation, BLOG, New Brunswick, photography Also tagged |

Making Memories

A photograph is a memory tangibly captured for posterity. It may be a scene that moves you or a shot of someone you love. Whatever it is, your memories deserve to be preserved and depicted in unique ways – made special and elevated above the ordinary.

How can you do that? Not every scene is inherently beautiful. Sometimes the light is dull. Sometimes there are ugly power lines in the background. And occasionally the subject itself is a bit boring to look at – but still special to you.

A good photograph tells a story. It might be the story of a relationship. It might be the story of some action that is happening. But it definitely tells a story.

Best friends

Best friends

And exciting photos have a main subject that the viewer can identify. As a photographer, you want to create an image that draws the viewer in and gives them a reason to spend time with you.

Winter Fun!

Winter Fun!

Whether you use a simple point and shoot camera, your cell phone or a fancy DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera with all the bells and whistles, remember – it’s not the gear that makes the photo, it’s you. Granted, a high end camera will create huge files with terrific detail that can be printed on ginormous posters and small cameras and phones can’t produce the quality to do that.

But, to capture the story of your life and the memories that are important – get snapping and keep these thoughts in mind:

  1. Have a clear subject, and
  2. Tell your story well.

Now, pick up your camera and have fun!

Posted in All About Images, BLOG, creativity, photography Also tagged , |

Budding shrub

Flou flower banner

Posted in Best Photos, GALLERY, Photography techniques, spring Also tagged |

‘Tis the season – for remembering

I lost a good friend and talented craftsperson earlier this year. There wasn’t a lot that Fran (Simmonds) turned her hand to that she couldn’t do. Among her many artistic endeavours she turned eggshells into works of art. This egg, with its wee horse with saddle and bridle on it, hangs on my Christmas tree each year – a gentle reminder of someone who touched my life in so many ways.

Some people’s trees are beautifully decorated with carefully chosen matching ornaments and accessories. In their own way, they are works of art too. But my tree is an eclectic collection of assorted, and definitely NOT coordinated, ornaments and trinkets, each one bringing its own story to my Christmases each year – reminders of people, places and events in my life that have shaped, prodded and pushed my choices toward the person I am still becoming.

What kind of memory tree do you have? Let me know. And have a Merry Christmas this and every year!

Posted in appreciation, BLOG, caring, Christmas, Christmas decor, friend, Friends and Family Also tagged , , , |