“The grace to be a beginner is always the best prayer for an artist. The beginner’s humility and openness lead to exploration. Exploration leads to accomplishment. All of it begins at the beginning, with the first small and scary step . . . .
Wherever you are is always the right place. There is never a need to fix anything, to hitch up the bootstraps of the soul and start at some higher place. Start right where you are.”
~ Julia Cameron
We walked through the tiny town of Toppenish in Eastern Washington this past weekend, looking at all the murals, which fill almost every wall in town. There are 75 of them; a new one painted each year in just one day, the first Saturday in June. These wonderful murals are scattered throughout this old town, many on business which are now closed or boarded up, all them old and in need of some updating. I found myself drawn to many of these store fronts and their windows. And when I uploaded the photos to my lightroom catalogue I discovered myself sprinkled throughout them; my reflection, here and there. And it made me wonder if I was subconciously looking for myself somehow.
“Did you ever wonder if the person in the puddle is real, and you're just a reflection of him?”
~ Bill Watterson
Or, in this case, her, that woman in the window. You can just barely see the top of my head in that yellow door. Is she real? I wonder this at times.
These sweet little Native American bootees for toddlers caught my eye in a storefront window. But what I noticed when I uploaded the photo, was not what I saw though my lens, but rather him behind me. I could really overanalyze this if I let myself.
I thought about this shot, did it on purpose and knew just what I was going to do with it and why, but some things are best kept private. But in the other shots my reflection was not even considered when I hit the shutter button.
“There’s just something unsettling about studying your reflection. It’s not a matter of being dissatisfied with your face or of being embarrassed by your vanity. Maybe it’s that when you gaze into your own eyes, you don’t see what you wish to see—or glimpse something that you wish weren’t there.”
~ Dean Koontz, Deeply Odd
These murals are really pretty amazing. But I remember thinking as I took all these photos; what will I do with them? It is not like I would print them. Maybe one for my project life book. But I uploaded 121 photos that day, so something must have spoken to me. As I went through them however, I started to see a pattern. And I was happy with the results, but also frustrated by my lack of vision. For you see there are two parts to being a good photographer.... craft and vision. (Yes, thank you so much David duChemin, I do believe this.)
And it makes me think a real artist would have planned this all out. A real artist would have had a plan, a vision. A real artist would have stood back and thought about what it was they saw and how they wanted to capture it. I left that to luck.
So I am consoling myself today and my telling myself. . . at least I saw it, in the end. I saw something in all those photos that mattered and something that seemed to fit the moment. Small steps in the right direction. Right?
“It is better to take many small steps in the right direction than to make a great leap forward only to stumble backward.”
i hope your week is going well,
thanks so much for stopping by,