30 December 2009

The whole story doesn't show --

Farm History

The [artist/]writer is either a practicing recluse or a delinquent,
guilt-ridden one; or both. Usually both.
Susan Sontag

My respite is over. It's been too long, and I miss communicating with my fellow bloggers. But I just had to get through these last weeks. There is something about this time of year that just drags one down. Creative energies were at a low ebb, and all I could cope with initially was painting my living room.

But then I turned to the camera.

Why? I've given this great thought (or almost great) and conclude that, for me, it was something I could control. I could sit for hours doing the processing, fidgeting, starting over, creating my own textures for overlays -- so you see, the creative spark was still alive, just operating at a different level, a more controllable level unlike oil paints and watercolors that don't cooperate, that slide around and do what they want to do -- sort of like children or a herd of wild kittens!

I also like learning new things, new techniques and reading fairly boring how-to manuals. It takes my mind into that left side where I did not have to be creative, just thorough -- no, make that thorough and boring.

And I've learned so much, not only about the photography, but also about seeing, perceiving and composing. This was something I had always struggled with on canvas or paper, feeling clumsy and stumbling around in the dark.

Old Apple Farm

But with the camera and a viewfinder/grid I was suddenly composing vignettes and making images come alive. Now when I review my photographs, I can "see" them as paintings in my mind. The potential, the possibilities are there; I know now a bit more about how to tease the image out, to make it visible -- intellectually and emotionally -- how to translate and interpret.

Waiting Beneath

Also, I think the season allows for a different way of perceiving -- the excessiveness of colors and brightness we have in summer and fall are now gone. As Andrew Wyeth put it:
“I prefer winter and fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape - the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn't show.”
. . . and so I hope that as time goes by my creative story will begin to emerge, a slow process of repousse, of pushing out from behind . . . or from beneath!


nancy neva gagliano said...

hooray, you're back...your sojourn to your self seems to have been deep and dear. that sontag quote is perfect, as are the images as paintings. i have that angst over paint, too...it having it's way. stubborn. confusing.
... the magic you make with your camera is incredible.
on monday, i ordered the cape cod boat of yours for my husband's birthday which is coming right up. looking forward to receiving it from red button! all the best, neva

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Welcome back Kelly,

It is necessary to retreat and refocus. Like you I gravitate between painting and photography as a way to express my creative urges.

However there is also another mix, I also love to write and wish to expand into short stories, to see where it all will lead. But lets return to your beautiful photography and the emotional images you have created, for they do touch one deeply. They seem to also silently tell stories if one just chooses to look long enough and listen. For this I thank you.

Wishing you all the very best for 2010.

Warmest regards,

Kelly M. said...

Neva -- what a great present to me (and hopefully your husband, too!)-- have a wonderful new year's eve!

Egmont -- any creative act seems to slog us through emotional upheaval no matter what medium or genre. I am learning that so much is cyclical. Telling stories -- yes, I feel these farm/barn shots relay small histories, many of which do not have happy endings.

here's to a new year/decade--think good kharma!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful that you are back, missed reading your blog. I love the photography particular favourite is Farm History in sepia with the writing weaving through the image. It has a real nostalgic feel. Best wishes for a really productive and creative 2010 Kelly.

Kelly M. said...

Thank you, Carolann. :-) I feel good about the new year -- and on being back with you all! Happy New Year!

layers said...

such beautiful imagery-- and poetry..
the medium does NOT MATTER-- whether one paints or uses the camera-- still composing, still creating..

chrome3d said...

All 3 photos were really good and I liked the editing a lot. I couldn´t choose a favorite as they were all so good. Your quest to search and learn has given you the paintings that you were seeking for.