Inspiration (or, lack thereof)

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“Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen.” ~  Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The last few months have seen a flurry of photo sessions of many flavors leaving little time to work on my blog or my art photography.  2014 was very good to me professionally, so, this is not a complaint.  I intended to take the month of January to get back to my blog and art, however, ended up taking on two projects that, once again, put everything back on the shelf.

I have been seeking inspiration and feeling the need for a new perspective.  A new path, if you will, for the next steps on my journey.  I thought my trip back to my hometown in the Ohio river valley would do the trick.  With railroad tracks on my mind, my goal was set – a cold, grey day on the old, rusty rails in my small town.  I envisioned capturing haunting images of the overgrowth and the deteriorating trestle over the little river.  The best laid plans.  The overgrown tracks were gone, apparently replaced long ago with a bike trail and the trestle most likely collapsed into the river long before the bike trail came to town.  I got one thing right, it was cold and grey.  My camera stayed snuggly in it’s bag, I didn’t venture out once, and somehow I caught flu.  I came home sick and uninspired.

Fast forward to yesterday.  With the hope of a new vision or direction still looking bleak, an artist friend and I went to visit some galleries in San Francisco in preparation of an Open Studio this spring that will feature her paintings and my photography.  First stop, an old coffee shop on the pier.  As I sat with my coffee looking out the window of the empty cafe, I felt the first hint of an inspirational wave approaching.  Before me, the perfect vision out of the dirty old window.  As if the Bay Bridge was painted on canvas.  Snap.  As we waited for the curator to welcome us to the gallery, I turned to take in the Bay between two old warehouses.  Below me, above the water of the Bay were the rusty, overgrown tracks of some railroad of long ago.  Built on a trestle, these tracks came out of nowhere below and reached into the Bay, disappearing into the grey morning fog.  This remarkable and eerily beautiful sight, presenting as if it was staged exclusively for me.  Perhaps it is true.  I am a child of the universe and the universe is unfolding as it should.  I didn’t need to travel 2,000 miles to find my inspiration, 20 miles was enough.  The universe conspired to make it happen.  Snap.

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Black and White

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“No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist.” ~ Oscar Wilde

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My black and white work is what fulfills me the most as an artist.  I feel somewhat indifferent to how others view these photographs.  Black and white energizes me … touches my soul.  The same does not necessarily hold true of my color work.  With color, I feel much more vulnerable and judged and the work feels a little more commercial and contrived.  And, of course it would (and probably should), because I am commissioned for much of my colored work.  Don’t get me wrong, commissions and publications are a VERY good thing.  It’s just that I have recently been recognized for a few black and whites.  I can’t explain the joy it brings because it is in black and white where I feel and find my truth.

spurs“Spurs”  Rancho Viejo, CA

atrium“Atrium” ~ Casa Batlló, Barcelona

memphis car“Tennessee Ride” ~ Memphis

memphiscross“La Grange”

memphishouse“Abandoned” ~ La Grange, TN

Barcelona“Gaudí’s Neighbor” ~ Barcelona

Spain“El Quatre Gats” ~ Barcelona

Spain“Night Cap” ~ Barcelona

Spain“Closing Time” ~ Barcelona

Curved Lines“Curved Lines” ~ Casa Batlló, Barcelona

Gift“Desert Rat” ~ Palm Desert, CA

hakone“Hakone” ~ Saratoga, CA