I have been feeling a bit low-energy these last few weeks, and I can’t really blame it on the weather, since we’ve been having beautiful warm weather, not too hot and some wonderful breezes.
I was thinking that my malaise was really due to my spending so much time focused on trying to promote my work on one of the websites I’m affiliated with and not finding enough time to be out in nature and get inspired again. It’s challenging to find the time to do the things that need to be done (job, yard work, cleaning house, family obligations, eating, etc.), as well as the things that should be done in connection with trying to “sell” art, without having that impact the energy that you bring to the work that you love to do and trying to grow as an artist.
There are these energy depleters. In one of the groups where members try to support each other by promoting each other’s work, there are a few who say “I (as in the BIG “I”) don’t have time to do such and such”: as if their time is more valuable than the rest of our time. Yet we all have the same exact number of hours in the day. And it is our choice how to spend them. And there are those who don’t play fair, who take and don’t give. All of us come across this each and every day, and it’s easy to fall into a place of the “It’s not fair” and “what’s wrong with me” reaction. But really what does that accomplish?
Last week, I was so tired, but wanted to get out and take pictures. But I was coming from this place of: “time is short,” “need more pictures,” “so much competition,” “that person’s grabbing support and not giving any” and “hurry up,” and as a result, I wasn’t focused, I wasn’t enjoying myself and the result was a lot of mosquito bites, only a few photos and none that I really”felt” connected to. (Although I did chance upon a lost dog on July 4th and was able to reunite him with his family the next day, so something good came out of that outing.)
While still stuck in that mode, I couldn’t sleep at all on Saturday and woke up feeling horrible on Sunday. I lost sleep not only over all the “why’s” and “it’s not fair’s” in life, but also my decision the previous evening not to reciprocate in supporting the few people who were not playing fair. After a couple of days, I knew I had to just let “it” go.
My goal is to set boundaries, but I don’t want to take the time to worry about what others are doing or play watch dog. I also need to change my normal habit of feeling guilty about the times when I say “no.”
What’s most important is that I need to set aside the time where I as in the BIG “I” 🙂 can find my nourishment and let myself be first sometimes. And I need to accept the fact that artistic growth is not consistent, that it comes in spurts and then stalls. I need just to slow down a bit. Time might be limited, but I don’t always want to be racing – I’m more of the meandering type. And besides, the season of Hummingbirds and Butterflies is upon us!
Here are a few of the photos I worked on or took after my “sorting my self out session” which by the way I sure will be a re-occurring thing!
Gray Butter on Pink – I added a texture to make the background a bit more interesting, and a verse that I found that seemed to suit the photograph.
Choosing the Right Bloom and Hummingbird Materializing were from the same hummingbird. I had noticed the hummingbird flying around, so I waited for it to return to the spot. The light was good enough that I was able to set my shutter speed high to capture the bird in motion, which was what I was going for. Since I was using a telephoto, the first photo here, I had followed him, panning and shooting. For Hummingbird Materializing, I let my camera rest on a bloom I knew he liked and waited until he came into view.
Ragged Wings – sometimes you have photos that there is something about them that you like, but in and by themselves, they don’t wow you. This was one. The focus was great, I loved the detail and the butterfly’s ragged wings, but it needed something more. I need to ponder a photograph sometimes, and then decide how I will process it. In fact, I may go back and rework Choosing the Right Bloom, so that the hummingbird stand out from the background more (have actually been in that process). Anyway, Ragged Wings, I used a number of textures and layers, masking in and out certain parts, which I think added a lot of depth to the image.