Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Just do the work . . .
I am lucky enough to not have to work full-time now, but I still get up early and cherish those few hours when the house is still (not that it's ever loud), and I feel free to just play with my photos.
Lately I've been reading Ray Bradbury's Zen in the Art of Writing, and yesterday I read where between the ages of 24 and 36 his routine was to sit down at his desk every morning and just write the words that were in his head, no matter what they were. The result was a book called Dandelion Wine.
I've taken a similar path these days where each morning I go into my photographs, choose a directory, pick a photo, and see what I can do with it. There's no pre-planning. I just see what I have and go with it.
The directory might be a grouping of texture photos that are all paint. Or it might be a directory called "San Juan Capistrano." It doesn't matter. I just click a directory, see what's there.
Today it was a directory called "mustard," and contained photos I'd taken in the Napa Valley a couple years ago of a mustard field. The photos are horrid. I should just throw them away. I was there in the late morning hours, the lighting was flat, and I was uninspired. Just before we left that scene, I wandered down the road and took a photo of a bare tree. How it got left in the "mustard" directory, I don't know, but this morning that tree photo appealed to me.
And that was the beginning of this picture. I tweaked the tree, added this and that, removed things, added more, and came up with this. It's unlike anything I've yet created, and I think that's why I like it. I like the warm feeling, the autumnal vibe, the weirdness, the starkness. And it's new! It surprised me. And I always like surprises in my art.
What's my point? My point is that if you just do the work, -- even if it's just a few minutes, a few hours -- on a daily basis, good things will happen. Just get up and do the work.