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.”
― Eudora Welty, On Writing

“Art consists of limitation. The most beautiful part of every picture is the frame.”
― G.K. Chesterton

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

Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries and the Unbound

My partner Steve and I have often discussed the usefulness and the detrimental nature of boundaries.  To be safe is often important for growth…until it’s not.  Steve’s ultimate objective is to grow beyond boundaries and explore the Oneness of reality.  After all, boundaries are a concept that we can erect and dismantle at will.  Where is your will?  Do you elect to put up boundaries or break them down?

Stick to the rails or take to the sky?

Stick to the rails or take to the sky?

Do you go through life humming “Don’t Fence Me In”?  I feel that’s the position I take more and more.


Photography 101: Landscape

This is my passion.  Landscapes – wide open spaces, gently rolling hills, big sky.  When I was a little girl, my family went on outings to places like the Morton Arboretum.  We would follow a walking path and come upon an open field of dandelions or daffodils, and I simply couldn’t contain myself.  I would take off running, cartwheeling, spinning and singing….like Julie Andrews in the opening shots of “The Sound of Music”.  Freedom and joy as big as all outdoors is the feeling that landscapes give me.  I have met a few expert landscape photographers on the blog scene.  They go above and beyond (literally) to get spectacular shots.  I am not likely to be up at 3am to climb a snowy peak.  I take my camera where I’m going and shoot the scenes that present themselves.  I am still picking up techniques for making those shots more compelling.  One is to have something really interesting in the foreground:

the myth of nothingOr to put a person in it for perspective:

Storm in Western Oklahoma

It’s more challenging to get depth and interest in a scene without those things.  Of course, equipment plays a part.  I don’t use a tripod; I don’t have a special lens.  I end up with more flat, snapshot-type scenes.  They’re missing a bit of drama, I suppose.  Something to work on.


Earlier this week, we sold a book called I Want That!: How We All Became Shoppers by Thomas Hine.  The blurb about it reads:

“Shopping has a lot in common with sex,” Thomas Hine observes near the beginning of this wide-ranging exploration of the history and psychology of one of the most commonplace and important activities of modern life. “Just about everybody does it. Some people brag about how well they do it. Some keep it a secret. Most people worry, at least a little, about whether they do it right. And both provide ample opportunities to make foolish choices.”

Choosing and using objects is a primal human activity, and I Want That! is nothing less than a portrait of humanity as the species that shops. ”

Me?  I hate shopping.  My first reaction is always, “I don’t want that.”   I have been thinking about getting a place in a more rural area of Wisconsin.  Lying in the bathtub this morning, I was struck by a realization.  Even if I pay cash for the real estate (from the sale of my former home), I still would have to pay property tax every year.  I don’t want that.

I don’t want to be indebted; I don’t want to be obligated.  I don’t want to be coerced or pressured into a relationship with any thing.  I am beginning to feel a mounting sense of resistance.  I’ve resisted getting a full time job for more than a year.  I’ve resisted being a consumer, especially of clothing and beauty products.  I’ve resisted Facebook.  I’ve resisted television and movies.  What is that about for me?

I am still struggling to be my own person, I guess.  I am struggling to focus on the things that I do want in a manner that I like.  I’m not ambitious.  I am an observer, an appreciator, but not much of a go-getter.  I resist marketing, for sure, but I don’t mind discovery.   Maybe part of that is simple laziness.  Maybe part of that is wanting the freedom to choose my relationships and responsibilities.

When I first read that comment about shopping having a lot in common with sex, I didn’t get it.  I hate shopping.  I love sex.  I suppose my consistency is in insisting on having the freedom to be very particular about my engagement with both.

And now, for the photo portion of my blog.  Choosing images and focusing where I want to, observing and appreciating has led me to these shots.  If you discover you like them, great.  I will not try to convince you to, though.  (Do I sound testy?  Okay, so be it.)

A fungus among us

The pod people have hatched