Art needn’t be about special people doing special things. All you need to be an artist is awareness. No media are required. No lessons are needed. No venue is mandatory. All you need to do is… LIVE.
Life is your art.
An open, aware heart is your camera.
A oneness with your world is your film.
Your bright eyes, your easy smile is your museum.
Sure, there have been times when I spoke disparagingly about other photographers. Not about their work but about their “professionalism.” It seems that every Christmas a million new “professional” photographers are born when someone in their family gives them a digital camera and they decide to go out and earn beer money — with no overhead, little experience, and a lot of chutzpah — and anyone can call themselves anything and who’s to say “No!”
But today we want to open our lens wider and encompass something far broader. Part of the reason I find inspiration in Ansel Adams is not only the beauty of his photographs (I’m a sucker for most anything B&W) but the expanse of his intellect. His approach to photography and to life makes a person think.
And thinking is good. At least I’ve always found it to be so.
We needn’t be anyone special to make a work of art. Our lives are works of art if we allow them to be. Which, I suppose, is partly why I am thoroughly bewildered by the unending attention given to depression and poor self image. People seem to spend so much time feeling sorry for themselves that they have no time left to let their light shine and their soul soar.
An Open, Aware Heart
Our eyes, ears, nose, — those physical senses aren’t really the way we “take in” the world. We absorb the world through our heart. Whether it’s open and aware is entirely up to us. Whether life has been easy or difficult doesnt’ matter. There are plenty of examples of identical twins who turned out extremely differently because of how they allowed life’s experiences to mold them. It’s up to us to decide how we will react to any experience.
People “oooh,” and “ahhhh” over Adam’s images but few realize that even though he spend hours and hours at the site waiting for just the right light and just the right clouds — that the power of his images was in understanding how his media — silver coated paper — reacted to light and then spending even more time in the darkroom dodging and burning to get the absolute black and absolute white into his images that form the full spectrum of color that is his hallmark.
Just because something happens to us, an RV tire blowing, or a dreadful diagnosis, doesn’t mean that the image we capture on the film of our life is the image we show to the public. We all have our “darkroom” moments when we shine a little more light on one area of life or hold back some light from another — where we augment the lights and darks in our life and when we decide what it is that we want other people to see in us.
A Oneness with Your World
One might easily ask oneself “Am I at one with my world, or am I fighting it?” Discontent is an ugly thing — because it disfigures what other people see about us. I can be determined to make my life better than what it is at any one time, but I don’t have to be discontented. I can accept that this is where I am, and start plotting out ways to fix that.
And sometimes we can’t change where we are, or what’s happening to us — all the campsites are filled and we’re stuck next to the railroad tracks, or the noisy camper — and what we do about our predicament says a lot to everyone tho sees our “canvas.”
What people “see” about our life, our exhibit, our art, our gallery, are our smile, our shining eyes.
They remember far more how we despose ourselves than what the circumstances might have been that brought our beauty or ugliness. They remember how you treated them.
One of my favorite images is this trawler heading out of the Newport Oregon Marina. It’s a small boat going out into a “rather large” ocean. 😀 Who knows what joys or sorrows they may encounter on this voyage, all that lies ahead of them is opportunity.
I think Adams is right. We can all be works of art. We can all be artists. The only thing that matters is what we do with the life we are given. Whether we’re still working, or going to school, or retired, or lying motionless in a hospital bed it’s all about how we react to whatever happens to us. We can be shining examples, or miserable creatures. The choice is up to us.
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be here again tomorrow, if you want to stop and chat.