I have fallen into being a photographer somewhat unintentially. True, I made a few attempts at it over the years with an old Canon film camera that used to be my mom's, but I just never could get the hang of film. It wasn't until I got a digital camera that I really fell in love. The instant feedback of the captured shot allowed me to adjust and experiment until I saw what I was feeling in the moment reflected on the screen. The freedom to shoot many many frames has allowed me to hone my skill and my eye (really, practice does equal improvement). I have gone from years of not even owning a camera to having my big black beast nearly always with me, and always, always when I travel.
I'll never not be a painter first, but I've learned to recognize that I don't always have the time or attention or energy to make the kinds of paintings I want to make, and taking pictures is a good alternative creative outlet for those times. Painting is much like going diving for sunken treasure. It is hard work, and requires preparation, time, and recovery afterwords. Taking pictures is more like going on a scavenger hunt. Fun, easier, a much lower level of commitment. All I have to do is have my eyes open to the possibility of beauty, and then catch it. And chucking the bad pictures is so much easier than disposing of my bad drawings or failed painting.
I have also started exploring the ways that I can use the camera to catch things that I never would attempt on canvas. I'm not a portrait artist - I have no desire to paint people other than the occasional abstract nude. But I love taking pictures of people I love and catching some part of their personality in an image.
I'm a cat lady. I've lived with dogs that came atteched to other people, and loved them, but I have no desire to add a dog to my life on purpose. I like living with cats. I love their individual personalities, and how I'm never really sure if they're the boss or I am. I love their sensuality, their love of sunbeams and naps, their rumbling purring, and their intent focus on play, or sleep, or clean, or whatever the current task at hand happens to be. I think I may have been a cat in some previous life. I can very contentedly stretch out in a sunbeam on the floor and spend an entire afternoon there, moving only when the light shifts.
Many of my friends are having children, and I'm starting to feel left behind. I didn't feel that when my friends were getting married and I wasn't, but this feels different. I thought I would be a parent by now. I wanted to be raising my children together with some of my closest friends. I imagined us having kids all the same age, running around in our yards, in and out of each other's homes. It isn't really unfolding quite the way I had imagined it would. This picture is of Cash, and he's a "c" too.
I don't know if it is a difference in our weather patterns here, or just a difference in my attention, but it seems like we have had the most beautiful clouds here the last couple of winters. After a storm, sometimes, I will drive down to the ocean just to look at them hanging out there, heavy in the sky.
A am an artist, so it probably is fairly obvious that I would love color. But really, I love color. I'm very uncomfortable in spaces where there is not enough of it. Beige rooms makes me frantic. But I feel very alive where there is color everywhere (India and Italy come immediately to mind). I create color everywhere around me. Flowers, photographs, colorful fabric or candles or other accents. I love to find new combinations, and have had a lot of fun planting containers for the garden that pair and mix unusually colored plants. Oddly, for all of this color, an entire language of it, I often return to the same ones over and over. In my wardrobe, plum and red (with black, always black). There is a particular shade of plum that a friend of mine calls "the Doña color," and vivid blue-based claret red will catch my eye and my hand every time. If I had to chose a favorite color, this red would be it. In my paintings, deep gold and orange show up over and over and over. I'm trying to bust out, and have recently been exploring some green and blue watercolor paints in my journal. Eventually, I want to paint all the walls in this house different colors, but I'm having so much trouble identifying exactly the right ones. So far, we have oregano green kitchen cabinets, and an eggplant purple hall bath. But I can't find quite the right sun-kissed yellow for the living room, or just the shade of raw sienna orange for the dining room. So many colors, so little time.
Edit: I found a link to Colorstrology on a new (to me) blog I was reading yesterday. I don't have a whole lot of faith in the world of astrology, but I find it entertaining. Fascinating, then, to read that according to this site, the color for my birth month is none other than Claret Red: "The color for the month of November is Claret Red. Intense and passionate, this color inspires depth, strength and love. People born during this month can see beyond the mundane and into the hearts of others. This is a great month to integrate your qualities of perception with a more light-hearted detachment. Claret Red helps you stay inspired as you build your dreams and ambitions. You can wear, meditate or surround yourself with Claret Red when you want to increase your perception, persistence and drive." Well, no wonder I'm always drawn to that color. And for my birth day, Lavender Violet: "You are capable of making magic. Your intuitive insights coupled with your ability to manifest your ambitions are some of your greatest assets both to yourself and others. Try not to juggle too much or be pulled toward indecision. Your personal color inspires vision and confidence. Wearing , meditating or surrounding yourself with Lavender Violet reminds you to build your dreams one step at a time." And here I was going to paint my studio ferny green. Perhaps I should re-think.