Monthly Archives: August 2019
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Framing the Shot
“The frame through which I viewed the world changed too, over time. Greater than scene, I came to see, is situation. Greater than situation is implication. Greater than all of these is a single, entire human being, who will never be confined in any frame.”
― On Writing
“Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.”
I am in rehearsal for the premier of a musical written and composed by two local women who have become dear friends. The title of the musical is “Girard’s Nude”, and it tells the story of an overweight, middle-aged housewife who is asked to pose for a renowned artist. It is set in the 1950s in a conservative small town in Pennsylvania. It brings up the opportunity to ponder the meaning of FRAMES in art and in life, how we see ourselves, how we see our world, and what part we allow freedom to play.
Frames and structure are useful for lots of reasons. Containment can provide safety – a way to explore a place without feeling overwhelmed.
Framing is also a useful way to state your point of view as an artist. “This is what I want you to see and focus on!”
Mindfulness encourages the awareness of what is outside the arbitrary frames we impose on the world for our own comfort.
Transcending the frame is perhaps the greatest artistic challenge. How do you go higher, deeper, beyond?
Framework is worth pondering. Freedom is worth exploring.
Thank you, Amy, for inviting us to engage with this Challenge!
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Angles
Ann-Christine challenges us to illustrate the difference angles can make on our perception of the world. I am reminded of the ancient Indian story of the blind men and the elephant, retold in the poem by John Godfrey Saxe that begins like this:
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
From my photo archives, I found an album of pictures taken five years ago next week on my “birthday cruise”. I had been working at Discovery World, a museum in Milwaukee that owns a replica of a 19th century cargo ship they named The Denis Sullivan. For my birthday, I was gifted a short trip out of the harbor and back to dock. There was absolutely no wind that day, so though we unfurled the sails, we didn’t go very far or very fast. In the calm, I found that taking photos from all different angles became the excitement of the day.
My perspective on sailing Lake Michigan, therefore, was all about tranquility and discipline. The crew had everything “shipshape” and moved like clockwork. However, I’ve read accounts of shipwrecks on the lake that must have been the picture of chaos and terror.
Perspective makes a huge difference. In this complex world, we must remember the danger of a single story and humbly leave room in our imaginations for something outside of our own experience.
So, oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Something Old, New, Borrowed, and Blue
I remember my grandmother telling me that it is lucky for brides to have “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe”. Patti has cleverly used this as her photo challenge for this week. Having just returned from a hiking event this morning, I’m too tuckered out to do a scavenger hike with my camera this afternoon. So, I’m putting my feet up and “visiting” my archives. I may even include an actual bride on this one!
Something old…at my daughter Susan’s wedding, that would be her grandmother. No offense, just pride in that. And she’s wearing blue!
Something new…obviously, brides are new wives. Here are a couple: my daughter and my daughter-in-law.
I borrowed the mannequins at David’s Bridal for a close up. My daughter’s wedding party borrowed the dance from Rocky Horror Picture Show. My brother borrowed his bride’s bouquet.
Something blue…decorations that my daughter-in-law made…
… and my son’s eyes.
And since silver sixpences are hard to come by, we’ll just go with some sparkly silver stuff that I’ve photographed around wedding time.
Now, if I could just get invited to bring my camera to two more wedding celebrations…(hint, hint).
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Taking a Break
I just came home from a walk along the Ice Age National Scenic Trail to check on the photo challenge theme for this week. Our host, Tina, encourages us to slow down and focus on rest and relaxation. “Taking a Break” for me is also “Restoring My Sanity” by being out in nature.
Nothing restores me to a grounded pace as well as hiking in a natural area where the presence of people is the exception to the rule.
Look around. Breathe. Listen. Feel. Birdsong and running water do wonders for the soul.
An outdoor walk helps me take a break from sitting down at a computer screen…something I spend far too many hours at every day. And if my feet start to swell and feel hot, dipping them in a cool stream is the perfect antidote.
And if walking tires you out, you know what to do…
Taking a break is quite natural, of course. (If you can’t tell, that’s a bat sleeping in a tree).
Thanks, Tina, for reminding us to take it easy. It’s a long road, and it’s not a race.