Friday, April 11, 2014

Throwing Paint

By Cathy

It is with great pleasure that I introduce to you our newest contributor here at Focusing on Life, Cathy Sly. Many of you know Cathy from 'Picture' classes as I do and from following her wonderful blog and Flickr photostream. If you've not met Cathy yet, please take a moment to click on the 'About Us' tab above to learn more about Cathy, her website and her Flickr site. One of Cathy's unique trademarks is the perfectly wonderful quotes she uses to introduce her blog posts. Although she's retired now, she was for years a public school teacher, so she's put her teaching knowledge and love of literature to good use. Please join me today in welcoming Cathy Sly.        
                                                                                                                                                  Dotti


It is such an honor to be writing this post; an honor to be part of this talented group of women and part of the Focusing On Life online community. I am still reeling from the opportunity to share my love of photography and words with all of you.

I have always been the family photographer. I lined everyone up at birthday parties and on vacations and snapped away. Then, my three boys grew into men, I went through some difficult life changes, some health issues, and my camera sat dormant for a long time, and so did I.

My husband of 38 years has traveled for work often during our marriage. We have spent a lot of time apart; me at home, holding the fort down, while he was off working in faraway places. And then, about ten years ago he took a contract in Eastern Washington and traveled the two hundred miles back and forth each weekend from Richland to our home just outside of Seattle. It was good, but not good enough. I was feeling the empty nest thing big time and was pretty much on auto mode. So, three years ago I quit my teaching job to join him.  We found a small little home to rent, keeping our home outside of Seattle, and now we bounce back and forth together.  It was a bit of an adjustment though.

There I was in a small town with lots of time on my hands and nothing much to do. I started a blog as a way to keep friends and family updated on what was going on with us, and it was fun. It wasn't long however, before I decided I needed pictures to go with that blog. So I dug my camera out and started taking a few photos. I discovered that I really did not know much about photography other than pointing and shooting and I wanted more.

One day I stumbled upon Shutter Sisters which led me to Big Picture Classes and Mortal Muses and beautiful blogs like this one, and I was on a roll.  I bought a new camera (a Nikon D7000), and moved it and myself into manual mode. I took a few classes and learned lightroom and found myself at 56 with a passion I never knew I had. And now, as I am staring 60 in the face, I am still going strong.


I think of myself as a natural light photographer, and you are just as likely to find me taking photos of my kitchen sink as you are flowers. I shoot my everyday life and it is often blurry, but it is always beautiful. My photos don’t have to be perfect but I do like them to tell a story. Two years ago, on a whim, I signed up for a self-portrait class called  Now You where I learned the importance of turning the lens around on myself and finding proof. I am still involved in this amazing community and find it builds such self-acceptance. I hope I might convince some of you to do the same over time.

Again, I am beyond excited to have the opportunity to share this passion I have with all of you. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would be in the space I am today. And now to find myself surrounded by such talent and same-minded women fills me with such goodness. I can’t wait to share some of that with you.

Now that I have told you a bit about myself, please tell me a bit about you. . .




14 comments:

Jeanne said...

Wanted to welcome you to this great group and say hello. So nice to meet you and will look forward to your posts

AFishGirl said...

You're here! Hooray! And hooray! What a beautiful introduction to your love of life and photography. You asked about me. I'm laughing. Like to fish, not afraid of biting insects, practicing all the time, at fishing and life in general. So happy you are in this place sharing of yourself, Cathy.

Carol said...

Welcome aboard , Cathy! It's so fun to have you here.your work is just lovely -I've been peeking for years. I'm am really looking forward to getting to know you better. And btw, that's a great self-portrait.

Dotti said...

Oh, it's so great to have you here! What a perfect post to start off your official introduction to the FOL team of collaborators. We're all so excited to have you join us, it's already been fun getting to know you and the fun will continue, I know. I love that quote! Danny Kaye was a great favorite of my father's and we used to watch him all the time. Great actor and comedian. As for me, I'm retired, spend my time taking and editing photos, blogging, reading, caring for my granddaughter when she's not in school and soaking as much out of life as I can.

kelly said...

yay! happy day! so wonderful to have your talent here on the blog. i loved getting to know more of your story...as for me, i work part-time in the oil and gas biz. i stumbled into photography in a similar way and now it's my way to capture the beauty and wonder in my ordinary life. and completely unexpected, i have made so many wonderful friends along the way. so happy that our paths crossed my friend and looking forward to seeing life through your lens. xo

Kim Stevens said...

I too am excited to have you here Cathy as I've enjoyed your photography and reading your blog. I have always loved taking pictures, but it wasn't until I moved here to the gulf coast that I really got into photography. You could say that my camera was better than any therapy because I had a really hard time with the move...it really DID help me see what was in front of me. When I'm not with my camera or chasing lizards or raising butterflies, you might find me with a jewelers saw, when time permits, taking a class at the community college. Welcome home! xo

terriporter said...

So wonderful to welcome you to this group which includes some of my favorite women! I know you're going to love it here as much as we will love having you. Being on west coast time (yeah, crazy Arizona doesn't do Daylight Savings Time!) I'm usually late to the party but this welcome is no less heartfelt. Like a lot of us, I was interested in photography early in life but felt once my children were grown there would be nothing left to take photos of. Then I discovered Tracey Clark's Picture classes and a whole new world opened up for me! All that has led to an obsession with photography and rarely a day goes by that I don't pickup my camera or my iPhone. And meeting so many wonderful people through this hobby has been the frosting on the cake! Welcome, dear Cathy. It's so great to have you as an FOL sister!

Deanna said...

Oh welcome, welcome. Your story sounds like so many of us, loving photography, putting it away for awhile and then the passion returns. So happy you are here with us to share your beautiful stories and wonderful photography.

CarolHart said...

A great big welcome to FOL Cathy! So very happy to see you here. Such a perfect fit. Looking forward to your future posts!

Diana said...

Great to see you here. Love your work.

heyjudephotography said...

Cathy, so glad to have you here with us. You know I've admired your work for a long time now. Looking forward to getting to know you better! Welcome!

Viv@within the Frame said...

Cathy so great that you are joining this group of wonderful women, I have enjoyed your blog for a time now and I'm looking forward to reading about your life...

Roxi -Coppercurls Designs said...

You are such a perfect addition to their team. Congrats!

patricia said...

It is nice to see an Eastern Washingtonian as a member of this wonderful team. I live on the Palouse. A very big welcome.
patricia

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