My photography show, quiet devotion: PHOTOGRAPHS, is still on display in my studio/gallery. People can visit and view these new images by arranging a time with me (firstname.lastname@example.org)
My studio is surrounded by our exuberant summer garden. Inside, it is quiet and the works hanging only increase this silent peacefulness. There are no hums from my aging refrigerator, no pings announcing new emails and, best of all, there is the absence of vehicle noise. Several times a day I sit quietly with my photographs, not so much seeing them, but rather feeling them.
For a number of years I tried in vain to adopt a sitting meditation practice. I was part of an intensive Mindfulness class, based on the teachings of Jon Kabat -Zinn, and I actually enrolled for a second time, trying again to sit silent and still. No, my body and mind were not playing!
I have found my own meditation practice: photography.
At this time of year, I may simply remain in our garden with my camera. In the early morning, my collection of various hostas, their containers grouped together in the shade, gather me into their leaves' textures and shapes.
If the irrigation system has been on that morning, the multitude of droplets sit waiting.
Mid-day, I have become fascinated by the shocking near-white areas the sun creates and the contrasting black shadows.
An hour passes quickly. No thoughts. No itches that used to plague me at mindfulness classes.
Some of the fun for this summer photography show was how it came together. As Tofino is my very favourite place to be, these ocean and sand photographs became the early foundation for "quiet devotion".
The cacti were a surprising addition.Visiting my friend Margo in Tucson this winter, I photographed magnificent cacti every day. Morning and evening. How could the spines work with the serene sand-scapes?
As I printed more images, the consistency of my colour palette was remarkable. This created, I believe, a flow and mood, even as the images' subjects diverged.
Besides sharing a similar palette, the repetitive patterns of both subjects emerged. The show became stronger and I believe, more interesting, by this unplanned direction.
The Southwest and the West Coast became partners.
My "silence series" added still another layer to the show.
(Another amazing Canadian. I can't find him on Canada411 and, for all I know, he lives down the street from me!)
It was on his website that I noticed a photographer's manifesto. In this treatise duChemin says "I do what I do to see the world differently and to show others what I see and feel." And, he concludes, "I believe photography opens my eyes to a deeper life, one that recognizes moments and lives them deeper for being present in them." I have often voiced these same thoughts, both in earlier blog posts and when I try to describe to friends my deep connection to my photographs.
Friends say that I have "an amazing eye".
I see it more as having a heart connection to the small gems that surround us. The treasures that are so often overlooked or considered unimportant.