I am taking a wonderful photography class from Kat of Kate Eye Studio. The first assignment was to think about the rules of photography that we are using that may be holding us back from either capturing a really great picture or enjoying the process of taking pictures. I am a rule follower. I always have followed the rules and I have always wished that I didn't feel it so necessary to do things the right way all of the time. When I began to paint and to take pictures I decided that I was going to enjoy the process and not worry about the rules. I wish I could tell you that I always did exactly that but that would not be true. But for the most part, I don't worry about whether my picture is perfect or follows the rule of thirds or if I leave off the top of the tree. I want my pictures to please me and hopefully others. Normally, I take pictures of nature. I love the bright colors of flowers, the green of the leaves against the blue sky, and I always love to take a picture of any body of water. So yesterday I decided to take a picture of something different. I live outside of Atlanta with all of its beautiful old southern homes and lots of Civil War history. Yesterday, as I was looking for something to take a picture of I stood back and looked at the town square. I didn't look for flowers but instead concentrated on the statue facing the water fountain surrounded by trees. It was different from most of the pictures I take, so I snapped away. Because of Kat's prompt, I realized that while it is true that I am not limiting myself from taking interesting pictures because of rules I am still limiting myself by just taking a small select type of pictures. There is a great big world out there just ready to be photographed. And I need to be the one to do it!
This has been a great week full of things to be grateful for. The weather has been cold and gloomy but I always enjoy listening to the raindrops on the roof. I am grateful that I live where I get to experience the four seasons. Each season has something special to offer and I look forward to them all.
I have been painting in my gratitude journal a little each day. This week for the first time I painted with acrylics. I always use watercolors or watercolor pencils but this week I added acrylics. It really was long past the time I tried something new. As is obvious I am a novice painter, but I love to paint. Time goes swiftly when I paint and I loose myself in what I am doing. I did notice something interesting this week. As I worked on the above painting, I asked myself and then wrote in my journal, " Should I embrace my childlike way of painting?" and my answer was, "Yes, embrace it." So I will. But what was more interesting to me was as I looked at the paintings I bought for my house over the years they were all the same style that I paint just much more professional. So actually I had already embraced the style. I just didn't realize it. Sometimes I am just too close to something to see it. I am grateful that this week I decided to embrace my style as an artist. That doesn't mean I won't try to get better. It just means I will have a lot of fun painting while proudly owning my style.
What are you grateful for this week?
When I took this picture I really enjoyed looking at the reflections of the trees in the water. When I got home and was playing with the picture; cropping out some parts, making the color a little more intense, straightening the photo etc., it made me think about how things are really not always as they appear. The trees in this picture are really not upside down and the water is not quite that blue but if you see only part of the picture that is what you might believe is real. When making decisions that affect our lives, it is so important to see the whole picture. Sometimes, like the original of this picture the whole picture is not quite as pretty but I have learned it definitely helps to see the whole picture before making an important decision.
To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan,
but also believe.
When I look at this sky I believe that anything is possible. There is something about nature that inspires me to think creatively while at the same time it brings me an incredible sense of peace. I believe that we are all capable of doing whatever we set our minds to. We just have to believe in ourselves and begin. What would you like to begin this week?
It is Friday time to write about what I am grateful for this week as well as well as to share something that I painted for Paint Party Friday. I have spent some time reflecting this week on how to be sure I always enjoy the time I spend creating. It is easy for me to let that little critical voice get into my head. But I have a powerful image that I am going to use to keep that critical voice away. This Christmas my five year old grandson asked Santa for an easel. E (my nickname for him) loves to draw and paint and Santa was listening and so he got his easel. After Christmas dinner the adults were sitting relaxing while E was busy painting. He would quickly paint a picture, rip it off his easel, and proudly present each masterpiece to an adult at the table. His paintings were full of joy and each picture represented his love of what he was doing as well as for the person he was painting for. We were all thrilled with the extra gift we got to put on our refrigerator. But most of all we were all thrilled to watch his exuberance and excitement at being an artist.
When I am drawing or painting I want to make sure that I feel the same way that E did on Christmas day. I want to enjoy every minute and feel excited by both the process and the product. I want to remember that my work doesn't have to be perfect to make someone happy. It just has to be done with love. That for me, just like it was for E, will be the easy part! Once again, my grandson has taught me an important lesson. That is something that I am very grateful for this week.
What special moment are you grateful for this week?
I have decided to change what I post on Wednesday. Although I try to include a picture I have taken with most of my posts, I want to dedicate Wednesday to a picture that I have taken in the present or the past that helps me to remember something important. It can be an event, a person, a moment, or just make me think of something that I have learned as I have experienced life. I've decided to call Wednesday's post (at least for now) Wednesday's Words of Wisdom. I am not sure that what I write will be all that wise but that title seemed to fit what I am trying to do and say.
I am fairly new at taking pictures. Not a total beginner, but I have a lot to learn. I am also somewhat critical of my own work and also always want to know why something turned out as it did. When I took the above picture, it was a bright sunny day. When I looked at the picture on my computer, it looked just as it does above. A flower surrounded by black. Of course I immediately wanted to know why. I am sure there are lots and lots of people who can tell me why. But what I have decided for now is to just enjoy the picture without worrying if I did something right or something wrong when I was taking it. It is great to always be learning and growing but there are times when it is perfect to just enjoy the moment or the picture or the person. So those are my first words of wisdom, which as I am sure you have figured out, are written by me for me. Enjoy the picture an don't worry about whether it is right or wrong. It is enough that you like it.
Creative thoughts percolate in silence, in an atmosphere where we can escape the noise and the
needs of others.
I love to be out in nature. For me, there is nothing more special than to be surrounded by its beauty. I love the way the green leaves look next to the blue sky. I love to watch the breeze in the trees and hear the sounds of the birds. I try to find some time each day to be outside, by myself, to think, to relax, and to enjoy all that nature has to offer. Is there a place that you go to enjoy nature that is special to you?
I wrote this intention on Tuesday which was my birthday. I finished the painting tonight for Paint Party Friday. I am so glad that I found this blog. Not only have I learned so much already from the wonderful supportive artists that post their work each week, but it has also given me one more reason to paint everyday. So thank you Kristin and Eva for creating this wonderful blog. I am really having fun participating.
There are many special moments that I am grateful for this week. I've been able to spend lots of time with family and friends drinking coffee, sharing lunch or dinner, talking about old adventures or new ideas. For me, staying connected to people that I care about is very important and something that I am always grateful to be able to do. Time seems to pass so quickly and I firmly believe that it is very important to remember to stay connected to the people that matter most to you. If there is someone you have been meaning to contact, why not call them this weekend? I can almost guarantee you will create a special moment for the both of you.
What special moments are you grateful for this week?
Something about small country churches has always fascinated me. I wonder when the church began, who came, and how the church influenced or changed the lives of the people who attended it. This church started in the 1800s in a rural area that is just beginning to grow. When you drive by, it is obvious that it is well loved and cared for. I have decided to create a series of pictures of small country churches. When I travel I am going to try to find at least one small welcoming church to photograph. Do you have a favorite subject you like to take pictures of, paint, or write about?
The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.
Aart Van Der Leeuw
I want to make this a week filled with lots of wonderful experiences. It is my birthday on Tuesday and the older I get the more I appreciate and look forward to all that there is to experience each day. I hope that you will fill your days with things that make you happy and smile. In honor of my birthday, let's all give ourselves the wonderful gift of enjoying each day to the fullest!!