Month: January 2024

Creative Work Needs Solitude

Close up of sea

Creative work needs solitude. It needs concentration, without interruptions. It needs the whole sky to fly in, and no eye watching until it comes to that certainty which it aspires to, but does not necessarily have at once. Privacy, then. A place apart – to pace, to chew pencils, to scribble and erase and scribble again.

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver (1935-2019) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American poet popular for her brief and poignant poems exploring the links between nature and the spiritual world.


To read more quotes, click here.


There is no Life or Death

  1. Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
  2. From Blossoms
  3. Wild Geese
  4. The Peace of Wild Things
  5. My Gift to You
  6. Departing Spring
  7. The Skylark
  8. What a Strange Thing!
  9. Although The Wind …
  10. The Old Pond
  11. Spring Is Like A Perhaps Hand
  12. Hast thou 2 loaves of bread …
  13. Youth and Age
  14. A Postcard From the Volcano
  15. The Kraken
  16. He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
  17. There Is a Solitude of Space
  18. Because I Could Not Stop for Death
  19. Mad Song
  20. Answer July
  21. Success Is Counted Sweetest
  22. Hope Is the Thing with Feathers
  23. The Bluebird
  24. A Vision of the End
  25. The Crying of Water
  26. A Rose Has Thorns As Well As Honey
  27. Winter
  28. The Dark Cavalier
  29. There is no Life or Death
  30. Sheep in Winter
  31. To a Snowflake
  32. Sextain
  33. A Crocodile
  34. Sea Fever
  35. The Giant Cactus of Arizona
  36. The Coming of Night
  37. Going to the Picnic
  38. Moon Tonight
  39. A Southern Night
  40. Greenness
  41. Twilight
  42. On the Wing
  43. In Summer
  44. Before Parting Scheduled for 23rd July 2024
Abstract painting in blue hues

There is no Life or Death, 
Only activity 
And in the absolute 
Is no declivity. 
There is no Love or Lust 
Only propensity 
Who would possess 
Is a nonentity. 
There is no First or Last 
Only equality 
And who would rule 
Joins the majority. 
There is no Space or Time 
Only intensity, 
And tame things 
Have no immensity.

Mina Loy (1882 – 1966) was a British-born artist, writer, poet, and painter labeled as a Futurist, Dadaist, Surrealist, feminist, conceptualist, modernist, and post-modernist artist.


To read more poems, click here.



A Great Photograph

Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus)

A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed.

Ansel Adams


Ansel Adams
 (1902-1984), American landscape photographer and environmentalist known for his black-and-white images of the American West.


To read more quotes, click here. To read more on photography, click here.


The Dark Cavalier

  1. Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
  2. From Blossoms
  3. Wild Geese
  4. The Peace of Wild Things
  5. My Gift to You
  6. Departing Spring
  7. The Skylark
  8. What a Strange Thing!
  9. Although The Wind …
  10. The Old Pond
  11. Spring Is Like A Perhaps Hand
  12. Hast thou 2 loaves of bread …
  13. Youth and Age
  14. A Postcard From the Volcano
  15. The Kraken
  16. He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
  17. There Is a Solitude of Space
  18. Because I Could Not Stop for Death
  19. Mad Song
  20. Answer July
  21. Success Is Counted Sweetest
  22. Hope Is the Thing with Feathers
  23. The Bluebird
  24. A Vision of the End
  25. The Crying of Water
  26. A Rose Has Thorns As Well As Honey
  27. Winter
  28. The Dark Cavalier
  29. There is no Life or Death
  30. Sheep in Winter
  31. To a Snowflake
  32. Sextain
  33. A Crocodile
  34. Sea Fever
  35. The Giant Cactus of Arizona
  36. The Coming of Night
  37. Going to the Picnic
  38. Moon Tonight
  39. A Southern Night
  40. Greenness
  41. Twilight
  42. On the Wing
  43. In Summer
  44. Before Parting Scheduled for 23rd July 2024
Shadow of tree branches on a wall

I am the Dark Cavalier; I am the Last Lover: 
My arms shall welcome you when other arms are tired; 
I stand to wait for you, patient in the darkness, 
Offering forgetfulness of all that you desired. 

I ask no merriment, no pretense of gladness, 
I can love heavy lids and lips without their rose; 
Though you are sorrowful you will not weary me; 
I will not go from you when all the tired world goes. 

I am the Dark Cavalier; I am the Last Lover; 
I promise faithfulness no other lips may keep; 
Safe in my bridal place, comforted by darkness, 
You shall lie happily, smiling in your sleep.

Margaret Widdemer (1884 – 1978) was an American poet, novelist, and children’s writer.


To read more poems, click here.



Beyond Reality: The Beauty of Photography as Art

Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

“This is not what that background looked like,” my friend said in a half-puzzled, half-accusatory tone. “And it wasn’t snowing.”

My friend had dropped by for a cup of coffee and some girl gossip and was peering at my computer screen while I was making coffee. The screen showed a before and after photo of a blue tit posing on a perch.

And this is the trouble, I thought, with everybody being a photographer nowadays. You snap a picture with your phone, and there you go, a dog, your children, a blue tit. What you see is what you get. Change that, and you alter reality. You fake it. You cheat.

What they fail to see is that even a “real” picture that seems to show you precisely what you saw is a two-dimensional depiction of a three-dimensional reality. Our eyes see more than that camera does. What you’re looking at is what the camera saw, not you.

And what you see is different from what I see. Ask a group of people what they saw, and you’ll hear different accounts of the same thing. We’re different, and we’re interested in different things. If I walk into somebody’s house, my eyes will instantly travel to bookshelves and pictures while my husbands will find the LPs. Same reality, different outlooks.

Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Before
Eurasian blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)
After

The important thing here is not what you look at but what you see. Some people would see a blue tit on a perch, and this is what they would attempt to record, the photograph an exact recording of reality. The result may be technically perfect but also impersonal. A good illustration for a bird guide, maybe, but no indication of the creator’s personality.

An artist, on the other hand, has a vision. S/he sees beyond the obvious, beyond the “bird on a stick.” S/he sees the promise, what it could be, the hidden layers of reality. S/he doesn’t attempt to record reality but create it anew.

Photographs are subjective, and it is the photographer’s vision that shapes the final result. This is where the line between photography and art blurs. While anyone can take a photograph, not everyone can create art. An artist sees beyond the obvious and captures the essence of a moment, not just the physical reality of it. They see the hidden layers of reality, and their photographs are a reflection of their unique perspective. The beauty of art is that it is not limited by the camera’s lens or the photographer’s perspective. It is an interpretation of reality; therefore, it can be anything the artist wants it to be. It is a creation, a representation of the world as the artist sees it, rather than a simple recording of it.

Everyone can be a photographer, but not everyone can be an artist.


To read more on photography, click hereArtsy has a good article on how to learn to see the world as an artist here.


Related Posts


If you liked this post, share it on your preferred social network or forward it to a friend.



Winter

  1. Things to Do in the Belly of the Whale
  2. From Blossoms
  3. Wild Geese
  4. The Peace of Wild Things
  5. My Gift to You
  6. Departing Spring
  7. The Skylark
  8. What a Strange Thing!
  9. Although The Wind …
  10. The Old Pond
  11. Spring Is Like A Perhaps Hand
  12. Hast thou 2 loaves of bread …
  13. Youth and Age
  14. A Postcard From the Volcano
  15. The Kraken
  16. He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
  17. There Is a Solitude of Space
  18. Because I Could Not Stop for Death
  19. Mad Song
  20. Answer July
  21. Success Is Counted Sweetest
  22. Hope Is the Thing with Feathers
  23. The Bluebird
  24. A Vision of the End
  25. The Crying of Water
  26. A Rose Has Thorns As Well As Honey
  27. Winter
  28. The Dark Cavalier
  29. There is no Life or Death
  30. Sheep in Winter
  31. To a Snowflake
  32. Sextain
  33. A Crocodile
  34. Sea Fever
  35. The Giant Cactus of Arizona
  36. The Coming of Night
  37. Going to the Picnic
  38. Moon Tonight
  39. A Southern Night
  40. Greenness
  41. Twilight
  42. On the Wing
  43. In Summer
  44. Before Parting Scheduled for 23rd July 2024
Snow

Cold, moist, young phlegmy winter now doth lie
In swaddling clouts, like new-born infancy; 
Bound up with frosts, and fur’d with hail & snows,
And, like an infant, still it taller grows. 
December is my first, and now the sun 
To the southward Tropick his swift race doth run. 
This month he’s hous’d in horned Capricorn
From thence he ’gins to length the shortened morn, 
Through Christendom with great festivity, 
Now’s held (but guessed) for blest Nativity. 
Cold, frozen January next comes in,
Chilling the blood, and shrinking up the skin.
In Aquarius now keeps the long-wish’d sun,
And northward his unwearied course doth run.
The day much longer than it was before, 
The cold not lessened, but augmented more.
Now toes and ears, and fingers often freeze,
And travelers their noses sometimes leese.
Moist snowy February is my last,
I care not how the winter-time doth haste.
In Pisces now the golden sun doth shine, 
And northward still approaches to the line.
The rivers ’gin to ope, the snows to melt, 
And some warm glances from his face are felt;
Which is increased by the lengthen’d day, 
Until by’s heat, he drive all cold away. 
And thus the year in circle runneth round; 
Where first it did begin, in th’ end its found.

Anne Bradstreet (1612–1672) was an England-born American poet, and the first woman to be recognized as an accomplished New World Poet.


To read more poems, click here.