Monday, June 14, 2010

Daily Practice 165/365

Title: "A single tear glistened on the crying rock"
(click to view larger)
I'm re-reading a book titled "poemcrazy" by Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge. In it, she writes about a reading she did at a university, where "I talked about my poems being messages from me to myself". I think this really speaks to the crux of what art-making is all about. I really consider my photographs to be messages that have a personal meaning for me. Without that deep connection, the work would seem contrived and soulless. Art is internal, it comes from within, comes from knowing something about oneself, and a willingness to learn even more.
Elsewhere, Wooldridge wrote "Sometimes we think poems need to be about important, dramatic moments. The events of our lives seem mundane. Often the small occasions in the front or backyard are the most magical. We just need to notice and then create a way to experience and enjoy this ordinary magic." To my mind, this is part of what a daily art practice is all about - raising our awareness of those small occasions, coming to see the beauty or intensity or emotion of the mundane events. I've written before about Jennifer Bartlett's year in France, where confronted by a rather mundane garden, she set herself a project to make images of that garden in as many different ways possible. In the book "The Accidental Masterpiece", Michael Kimmelman writes about Pierre Bonnard - the happenstance of his meeting his future wife Marthe in the street one day. Out of that single moment came a marriage to a woman who became reclusive and chronically ill, requiring considerable attention from Bonnard. And yet Bonnard went on to make the most compelling images from what was a very circumscribed life, precious messages to himself about that life of devotion to Marthe's care.

Today the tide was well out, and the wind was gusting strongly from the west. The sea was surging, the sun shining in a beautiful sky. Yet along the exposed shore, I came across this little quiet moment that seemed more compelling to me than all the big drama of sea, sky and wind.

1 comment:

J. M. Golding said...

Maybe this is one of the meanings of that wonderful phrase, "ordinary magic" - infusing an abstract image with emotion by creating it from a place deep within the self.