November can be full of grey.
Maybe because the month comes on the heels of exuberant October, it seems even more grey than other grey months. (I’m thinking February now – a Toronto February is very, very grey!)
It was a day of November greys. Both in colour and mood. There was a shot of sunshine first thing in the morning. A disk of muted yellow rose above the horizon, but it didn’t last long. The grey gauze sky tucked it away.
When the sun can’t be the guide, it’s the light of the leaves that carries me along.
Yellow leaves and the lingering autumn greens lit the way.
There’s nothing like a new day, and a change of scene, to break out of a creative block. Not to mention being surrounded by beauty.
Spent the weekend at a friend’s gorgeous, gorgeous farm, soaking up the fresh air, and the view, and the light. Nourishment for body and soul.
This photograph was taken just as the sun was rising over the barn.
And, just before it slipped in behind the clouds.
What a beautiful moment in time.
A sense of stillness in the midst of constant change.
And, I am reminded how much I love the light, and photography, and that there’s nothing like the start of a new day.
I’ve been struggling with the creative flow.
I take photographs. I don’t like them. I take some more. I don’t like them either. And, then, I try again. Nothing.
I play with photoshop. But, I don’t like the outcome. I try again. And, again. No luck.
I’m not finding the sweet spot. Not getting that wonderful ‘a-ha moment’ when you see something you really like!
Nope. Not happening.
And, it’s kind of lousy.
Discouraging. Unsatisfying. Definitely, un-fun.
And, then, unexpectedly something gives. I don’t know if it’s me, or the circumstances. But, something shifts, and I find a connection to the work. An image I like. Or, more than one. And, a narrative begins to emerge. Everything starts to flow. And, it’s back to being an experience that is…creative and engaging, and, definitely…much more fun.
So, what’s the trick to unlocking the block?
I don’t know.
No trick. Not that I can find.
I think it might be the creative cycle.
Ebbing and flowing.
Some combination of opportunity, mood, skill level and the learning curve. All of it rolls up into one, and depending on the dose of each ingredient in the whole magic formula, I move between inspired by the work and not liking it at all. Between productive and not so much.
If there is a trick, it may be in not quitting. Not giving up. Not abandoning my art. Nor myself, for that matter. For the two are intertwined. My art and me. I can’t give up.
What does not giving up look like? Well, here are a few shots from Saturday’s photographic adventures. Wasn’t sure I’d like any of them. Turns out, they’re growing on me. Pushing forward in order to get back into the creative flow.
I have also learned that when all else fails, take some pictures of the dog!
On the move. (I love this one!)
And, finally…Not again! Not another ebb in the creative cycle! 🙂
What’s your way back? When you’ve lost some of that joy in making your work, or you find you just don’t like what you’re producing, how do you keep going? How do you find your way back to creating work you love?
I love the way the gentle morning light flows across the dark lines of the wooden decking. And, I love the chaos of colour and leaves framed within. Oh, yes, and the little footprint left by my canine pal, imprinted in the last lingering frost of the morning.
Small portraits of a November morning in the back garden.
A solitary autumn leaf…
lies still on a wide open deck…
Bejeweled with droplets of dew.
The morning sun cracks open the day…
Subtle beauty, transformed…
Into a poem, ethereal.
30 Shots, One Leaf – is the story that flows out of Kat Sloma’s photography assignment, for her course, Find Your Eye, Journey of Inspiration. Kat asks us to select a subject, and take 30 shots of it, from multiple perspectives, to discover and play with Point of View.
Shots two, three and four are photographs I would have taken. Shots one, five and six – are the ones I reached for – pushing my range of photography. (All of the shots are straight out of the camera, for the purpose of the story.)
Thanks, Kat. What a wonderful learning experience…another wonderful learning experience from your course..
On the morning after the clocks turned back.
An aging urn holds springtime pansies.
Imagine, they’ve lasted this long.
April to November.
And, still, they hang on.
in the November morning sun.
Delicate beauty nestled in
Two forms of strength,
Enduring and resilient.
Side by side.
On a November morning.