I've decided that 2017 needs to be a year of action for me. No "promises" on lists or in yet another journal for a new year - that I'll never look back at after January 3rd. No rituals of "letting go" or setting intentions with sage and candles. No, this time I just did things. Like fresh bedding on all the beds (had lots of guests over the holidays); clean windows (only to have doggy nose art reinstalled); clear out a small space in my garage and organize my platinum, palladium, cyanotype, and encaustic supplies so I can get all these images in my head down on cotton rag papers and cradled birchwood frames (or anything else that beckons to be adorned); read, snooze, take the dog for a walk, soak in a scented bath; hang out with friends; put fun things down on my 2017 calendar like more flights up to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest, photography workshops (ones I'm teaching and ones I'm taking), and the necessary school things...
I've committed myself to making at least one image a day, forcing me to keep a camera at hand ALL the time. And write. I have a handful of lovely friends, poets and writers, who have encouraged and inspired me to rekindle my love for words - and share them. Words with pictures. Pictures with words.
2016 ended on a weird, unsettling note at best. On a personal level, things couldn't be more stable with much to look forward to on the horizon. I'm ready to roll up my sleeves and dive into whatever is needed, whatever Life places across my path. It's a good place to be.
SO - my plan is to write often and post 'every' Sunday here. Daily is a bit too ambitious. And if I don't give myself a deadline and some structure, nothing will get done.
And what will I write about? Well....a couple of years ago I took a workshop on 'finding your visual voice'. What that workshop did for me was to shut me up and put away my camera for 9 months. I also tried my hand in becoming part of a certain group of fine artists only to feel 'not good enough' again. I've been aligning myself with the wrong tribe... In a nutshell, I was told that my work was "all over the map". I had no sense of a body of work. I felt dismissed. I finally let myself off the hook. Indeed, I am "all over the map". I love to travel. I like going places. I like people and things and nature and, well, lots of stuff. I take pictures of what feels good to me - the light, the moment. If you were to see my favorite images all splayed out, there would be a 'voice'. It says pay attention to those things we rush by and go unnoticed - the way the steam curls up from my coffee/tea cup; the way the light streams into my favorite room in my home in the late afternoon; the way my students huddle together on a project; the clouds that define the desert expanse; abstract patterns in rust; the raindrops nestled on desert lupine leaves; the vibrant green and orange lichen that cling to boulder faces; friends laughing at the table next to me in a cafe in a faraway town... Life. That's what I shoot. I feel it. I see it. I shoot it. The extra fun is how I will present as I'm totally hooked on "alternative" printing processes - beautiful handmade papers, wood, chemistry, pleasant surprises when the development process is done.
What will I write about? Something related to my skittering all over the map I suppose... >insert wink<
So yeah, 2017 is about action. And family and friendships. And gratitude.
And not taking to heart the limited and limiting opinions of others.
I'll leave you with my first image for 2017. It's a snapshot from my morning hike today, nothing spectacular by photographic standards. I am very fortunate to live within hiking distance of Joshua Tree National Park. I don't have to wait in the hour long line to get into the main part of the park. In 20ish minutes, I can hike to the boundary from my driveway - or, drive 5 minutes to Black Rock Canyon Campground area (with NO traffic!) and do one of 7 main hikes in that area. Today, I did the short loop, roughly 3 miles. It took me 3 hours because I lingered, a lot, at different points along the way to take in the views, listen to the cactus wrens and songbirds, breathe in wet earth, sage and cedars. My heaven on Earth...
|Breathing Space. JTNP / Looking west from High View Trail @ Black Rock Canyon Campground|