Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Nature Lessons

by Leigh

One of these days I will talk about something other than flowers.  Oh who am I kidding...that's never going to happen!  I've come to the conclusion that the reason I like to photograph nature more than I do people is because I don't have to control, pose, bribe, prod nature.  When I'm outside I am an observer....walking along and listening to what nature is telling me....paying attention to what nature wants to show me.  I don't have to dress up  for it.  I don't have to talk out loud to it.  I can be myself with nature.

Maybe that's why I have such a strong connection to everything in the plant world.  The relationship we have appeals to my inner introvert.  I don't have to make small talk or fidget with my outfit.  There's no concern over what I'm wearing or if my hair looks ok.  Nature does not judge me and I do not judge it.  There is a mutual appreciation.

Nature is a teacher, a healer, a friend.  It's like Thoreau said, 

"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

"Living a deliberate life."  I love that.  And maybe that's what it's all about....living a mindfully rich life rather than a monetarily rich one.  In a true transcendentalist way, Thoreau believed strongly in the power of nature and living simply.  I believe that is a lesson that applies just as much now as it did for Thoreau in 1854.

"Look!  Look!  Look deep into nature and you will understand everything."

~Walt Whitman

Monday, May 22, 2017

Creativity Grows

by Carol

 Nothing blossoms like creativity! I (we) have all talked about this subject before, but this week has brought these thoughts back to the forefront of my mind. What is so amazing about creativity is that like a ivy vine, it can grow in so many directions at once! Once your eyes are opened to seeing the world through creative eyes, your mind gets rolling, your vision clears and there is endless possibility in every direction. And its contagious.

As Terri told you last Monday, we are all participating in Tracey Clark's Picture class again. I'd like to use the phrase "deja Vu," but it doesn't apply. It doesn't apply because this many years later, we all have new eyes, different vision. It seems like that's what Tracey herself is experiencing, and why she wanted to revisit the platform. What is so striking to me is the thought that from this one woman's creative burst several years ago, so much has grown.

In my own personal journey, Tracey's original class took a fledgling photographer with a new camera and one workshop under her belt and made her into a daily photographer finding her place in the world of art. Lessons were learned, many skills were gained, projects were tried, as she began to define herself as an artist. That same photographer can now say that she defines herself as part of the Contemplative Photography movement, emphasizing serendipitous beauty, meditation on nature, appreciation of the beauty given to us in the quiet moments.

Let's pause with that phrase "define herself" - because that same fledgling photographer had also just driven her youngest child to college and she was beginning to explore the next phase of her life. That homebody took a chance on the internet connections made in Tracey's class and eventually hopped on a plane to meet other classmates, signed up for more local classes that eventually led to trips all over the globe. That inexperienced photographer, and private writer,  took a chance and joined a blog startup and actually let other people see what she was creating.  She took up journalling, and took sketching classes; started playing with paints and pastes. A shelf full of art books appeared in her bookcase, and colored pencils and ink pens set up camp on her end tables. Of course, that beginner was me. This class is titled "New Beginnings." How appropriate,  as I  have found that art provides daily beginnings as well as life-stage beginnings.


So consider please - all of this happened because years ago a woman named Tracey, whom I  have never met had an idea and the courage to put it out there. And that's just my story. Multiply that by all the participants in all the creative classes taught on-line and all over the world.

Creativity grows!!!

       'When you reread a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than there was before."
                                                    Cliff Radioman

Friday, May 19, 2017

Focus on You!

Looking through the gallery this Chinese lantern photo immediately caught my eye!  In this case, the leading lines are the subject.  Beautiful photo from Larraine Zungolo.  Be sure to check out her flickr stream.  

© Focusing On Life