Tag Archives: Elizabeth Gilbert

Time and Writing and Art

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It’s been nearly a month since my last entry here. I have these “spells” when writing calls to me and I ignore the call. I’ve been doing that lately—ignoring the class. Oh, I’ve been writing—in my morning pages journal, in my art journal/documented life unplanner/right-brain planner, fauxbonichi journal—Oh, yes, I am writing. Just not here in this space. Just not for publication.

I have been reading a lot. I’m several chapters into Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Big Magic. I have to thank my friend Mary for loaning me her book. Unfortunately, because she loaned it to me, I can’t mark it up! So, I bought my own Kindle edition so that I could highlight, underline, and comment. Oh, yes, I am writing quotes in my journals/planners/sticky notes, too.

And I’m reading one of Rick Sammons’ photography books on seeing creatively. I am reminded throughout the book that photography is more than settings on the camera and pressing a shutter button. It is about seeing the world, not merely glancing around, but looking deeply, and seeing what is not always obvious. I liked his analogy of using a shot-gun approach to photography versus a more considered approach. Sometimes, when we go out to photograph things, we take pictures of EVERYTHING in sight—aim and shoot! However, Sammons reminds me that while it’s okay to take the postcard pictures and attempt to capture everything, we also need to take the time to look closely, to see what “we” see and not what we’re necessarily expected to see.

The other aspect of Sammons’ book that I appreciate is that photography, especially digital photography, is not just about getting it right in the camera, but also about seeing our creative vision through in the post-processing stage. In most of the chapters, Sammons writes about some of the creative tools he uses—Lightroom, Photoshop, Topaz plug-ins, Nik software. .  . .

Last night, I played with some of those tools on images I took last weekend. And I played with layering textures and photo veils and other tools in my tool kit. I came up with this image of the dogwood. I think I like it. I like it very much.

topaz-adjustments-on-dogwood

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This is the original (SOOC), and I like it, too.

I am trying to salvage this image of the heron that Mama and I saw while we were at Bennetts Point three weeks ago. It landed in the pasture next to our place there. I was not dressed to go outside to get a closer shot, and I had to shoot fast! I think those birds know when I’m coming with a camera and they are camera shy.

This is the original. Trust me, it’s a heron!

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I cropped it, “fuzzed up” the grass a bit with a Topaz plug-in, and added several layers of textures, brushing each layer off the heron. This is the result.

heron at bennetts point

It does have a painterly look, and I like that. I like the softness of the background, but it’s still missing something, and I will come back to it again to see what I need to do.

Vision, creativity, writing, reading—it’s all part of what I want to do.