355: Artist’s datesPosted: September 13, 2011
Early this morning, I sat at the dining room table looking out at the pond every now and then as I scribbled my morning pages. Most of this start-of-the-day writing is blah, blah, blah, but I’m surprised by the occasional insight that creeps in. That’s what happens, I suppose, when you de-clutter your mind.
I had the patio doors open so I could listen to the sounds of morning. As the sun came up, the cicadas took over for the chorus of crickets. The kingfisher chattered at the back of the pond, his rattling cry rolling along the surface of the pond and up to the house. The water carries sound well.
There was no fog or mist this morning. It was surprisingly clear and still until the sun came up. The sun brought the wind with it in the form of a lovely, cool, refreshing breeze.
Once I finished with my morning pages, I went out for a walk around the pond. The grass was soaked with dew, as were my feet within a few minutes. I stopped by the wildflower meadow to say good morning to the Praying Wotsits. I’m not sure but judging by the glower on this mantis’ face, he probably hadn’t had his morning jolt of caffeine or breakfast yet. He certainly looks as though I disturbed him.
Back by the cattails, masses of yellow flowers are in bloom. I’m having trouble identifying them. I suspect we’re going to have to do something about them. That area of the pond is slowly turning into a marsh with all the growth of emergent plants. M and I have been talking about building a boardwalk back there. It’s on the list of future projects. Between the two of us we have so many future projects that we’ll have to live forever to complete them all.
As I was walking, I got to wondering about the artist’s dates. Do I really need to have an artist’s date every week? Do I need to have one at all?
I do have one scheduled for this week, and I’m looking forward to it. However, it seems to me that my daily walks have become artist’s dates.
I walk the same paths most days, yet find something new each time. Then I bring those new things home with me via the camera (the memory card in the camera, if you want to get technical about it).
Once the photos are uploaded, I can play with them and create something that represents my view of what I saw while on my walk. Most of the time I do little or nothing. Just some resizing for the web. A little adjusting of the contrast or exposure. Some sharpening. But other times, I use post-processing to turn it into something else. The crow pictured above, for instance. The photo straight out of the camera was so stark and bleak. I wanted to do something to honor the spirit of the crow.
Every walk has been a learning experience, especially in terms of my art which is photography. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out how to capture the light and shadows in the woods. Auto settings tend to make everything one level of light, missing the nuances. Through a lot of trial and error, I’m learning how to use the manual settings so the camera will come close to capturing what I see.
I have to admit that I’m becoming increasingly dissatisfied (frustrated?) with the limitations of my point and shoot camera. I work at being grateful to have it at all. The DSLR I have my eye on is a long way off in terms of my budget and my future. It’s best to appreciate what I already have and forget that greener grass on the other side. For now. (Unless, of course, someone from Canon wants to give me my dream camera just to see what I can do with it.)
The positive thing about acceptance of what is, of course, is that it forces me to be much more creative with what I have on hand (or around my neck, as the case often happens to be). All of which brings me back around to the artist’s dates and the question of whether or not I need to schedule them if I’m already doing something creative on a daily basis.
What do you think? I know it is entirely my decision, but I also know some of you have worked your way through The Artist’s Way and have been praising the artist’s dates. Any thoughts on the matter would be appreciated.
Out of the woods and back in the meadows, I stopped to talk with another praying mantis. Neither of us had much to say so we just stared at each other for a moment, and I moved on, heading back towards the house where I could dry my feet, have a cup of tea, and get on with my day.
Thank you for dropping by and joining me on my morning walk. I watched the weather report on the local news at noon today and our weatherperson is saying today will be the last time we see the 80s for a high temperature for a while. Best to enjoy it while we can. 🙂