Monday, July 18, 2011

The Artist's Way -- Chapter 1 Check In Week 2

For the first week I was a little skeptical of how helpful working through The Artist's Way would be for me.  Although I've been a journaler most of my life, doing the Morning Pages was painful.  Something shifted, though after that first post.  I haven't missed a day of the Morning Pages since then.  I've worked through some of the exercises and I had some surprising discoveries.  I didn't think I had a specific example of an enemy of my creative self-worth (other than general lack of praise in grade school art classes while other students were lavished with it), but one day a memory surfaced and it wasn't about my art, but about my writing.  My writing is probably the area where I've had the most praise and the strongest "champions," so that my "horror story" involved someone raining on my writing parade was a huge surprise.

I think in general this week I've had an enormous upswell of creative ideas and a shift towards further optimism about all of my creative endeavors.  I'm not sure if it's because I'm more directly focused or if the affirmations are working their magic or what.  It's pretty exciting.

As for my artist date... in real life, sometimes you plan an exciting, fun first date and you don't find out till you get to the restaurant that you really should have made reservations or that the restaurant is currently closed for renovations.  Or you've planned a romantic picnic in the park and when you get there it turns out that a huge family reunion is going on or just after you spread out the picnic blanket it starts to pour.  Or, or, or.... The best laid plans.  Well, my artist date plan was to take a walk with my camera through the meadows and take some photographs.  I wanted to do it in the morning or the evening when the light was just right.  Our weather has not been cooperating.  Finally I decided to just grab my camera and go even if the light wasn't going to be good.  I mean, if you have an elaborate date planned and something goes wrong with your planning you don't shake hands and say we'll try it again sometime?  No, you come up with a plan B.  Right?






I love my meadow walks.  Even when it's hot and sticky and the bugs won't leave me alone, it's just so beautiful and peaceful to walk through my paths in the meadows.  Most days I take a walk in the morning and a walk in the evening with Holden.  He studies the smells of wildlife and I observe the flowers and birds and insects.  I've loved photography since I took it in high school.  My photography teacher was one of the "champions" I wrote about in the Chapter 1 assignments.  My high school had the most amazing darkroom.  I loved learning how to develop my film and doing enlargements of my photos.  My teacher told me that I had a good eye and he chose a few of my photos for "permanent" display in the school.  He also submitted one of my photographs to the literary magazine (without my knowing about it).  What a surprise to see my photo on the cover.  And what a surprise to be paid for it!  I had photos in contests and shows and it was really very fun.  When I got to college I was focused on studying science, not art or writing.  And when I realized that my college had a puny photo lab that was very primitive in comparison to my high school lab, I decided not to take any photography classes.  I didn't end up majoring in science and the only art class I took was a ceramics class.  I wonder what would have happened if I had been able to take photography in college in a good art department with a state of the art facility?











Although I got to be very good at developing film and making enlargements, I never really learned much about the technical aspects of taking photographs.  Eventually I stopped taking photos.  That was back in the days before digital photography was so common.  Film photography was so different.  You take a roll of 24 photos and maybe you get one good photograph.  Maybe you don't.  It could be frustrating.  And it could end up costing a lot of money.  I used to dream about having my own darkroom.  Little did I know that I'd be taking photos that I could see in an instant, uploading them onto my computer in a brightly lit room.  That I could take hundreds of photos in one walk and easily discard all the duds.









I hadn't really thought much about my photography until recently.  I enjoy taking pictures and I try to do it every day, but I haven't tried to learn much about the technical aspects.  I've been wanting to, but I've felt a bit intimidated.  My husband minored in photography in art school.  He was always the one with the nice camera and he was always the one taking photographs.  Without even being aware of it I was being an enemy of my creative self worth.  My husband certainly never said or did anything to discourage me from pursuing photography myself, and since I started taking photos again he has been nothing but encouraging.  Why couldn't I have been more encouraging myself? 






So, I will be having another date with this photographer artist self of mine.  I definitely will.




14 comments:

  1. Hi there, from New Zealand, i read your blog and its very much like me....artist, girl in the country, but I'm also chasing after my 2yr old boy, and trying to run a little gallery. Yesterday, I started a blog...its going to be open and honest, fun and scary all at the same time. Take a look, I will follow you on your journey. I thought maybe we can inspire each other from the opposite sides of the world!!
    Melissa-Jane Skehan (Struggling artist and photographer).

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  2. Those are beautiful photos with the white wildflowers...so sweet and pretty. I wonder too what would have happened if I took any art classes in school. Even since graduating, I make excuses not to take classes or make a real effort to learn more of the technical aspects of painting, photography, anything. This morning I actually took out a few books from the library on some oil painting basics so it's a start! I can see how it would be intimidating about your husband - instead of being inspired by really great artists I tend to freak out and get anxious haha! Gotta work on that! As always, I appreciate your honesty and openness :)

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  3. Anna, I think your work is beautiful. Hopefully, you will continue to enjoy your photography. I know I enjoyed your work very much.

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  4. I really enjoyed this post tremendously! So much is happening within you and I'm so excited for you! I love that the Morning Pages clicked into place for you and that the flower of inspiration has been opening up dramatically. I've been so happily surprised to find myself racing to grab my journal or any handy paper and a pen to jot down some inspiration or another since beginning this thing. It's so damn cool how fast things are shifting. I LOVE your photographs. Good for you, not bailing on your date with yourself! If we can't count on ourself, who CAN we count on? I wish you continued good energy with this process and I can't wait to hear more and see more lovely photos.

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  5. Weird...I was just rereading my comment (I tend to hit post and then find mistakes), and I shocked the heck out of myself with "the flower of inspiration" because I did not remember thinking that phrase. Then I realized I meant to write the "flow" of inspiration! Haha! Well, at least it makes sense.

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  6. Lovely photos - you have a very good eye! Looks like it was a wonderful artist date. May you have many more :)

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  7. Yay Anne!..such a super gorgeous post...pure beauty and poetry in every photo..thanks for sharing your magic!
    Victoria

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  8. LOVE coming here! I can step out of my crazy corporate world and just pretend! The chicks are growing up so nicely, love the rubarb post - canning is so cool (my mom used to do it all the time), LOVE your Clematis watercolor and beuatiful flower photos! YOU are a very talented girl! Thx for sharing!

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  9. Love, love , love your photos! You certainly do have an eye.
    What a great way to take an artist date - a walk with yourself and the camera! I do that but don't think of them as artist dates.
    Isn't it wonderful when things fall in place, and when you grow. All the best in your journey thru this book.

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  10. Gorgeous photos, I really love the one with the house in the distance.

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  11. Fabulous photographs! Great composition and depth of field. Plus a beauuuuuuutiful place. :)
    Good to know you are flowing with your pages now.
    Thank you for putting a project´s side bar button! Could the rest of us use it as a communication tool too please? It´s really pretty.
    You can contact me at my blog (there´s an email in my profile) or at my FB page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Paula-Buenos-Aires/226519094046024) I also have a list of tasks to copy and paste if you need one.

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  12. That's exciting but now I feel bad for being such a sciver - suppose I'm going to have to do those morning pages and stop picking and choosing ... Look forward to more photos.

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  13. THese are such wonderful photos and congratulations are your break through with the morning pages!

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  14. Thank you all so much for you kind and encouraging words! It's so appreciated! The universe has been giving me a HUGE *yes*. More on that soon.

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