Monday, May 7, 2012

Artist in the Library

It's a scary thing to show your true self.  Where's the line between being genuine and authentic and being foolishly transparent? Nowhere am I more vulnerable than in the pictures I make. I try to tell myself that I do not care what others think, that making pictures is for my enjoyment only. But really, joy does not feel real until it is shared. To have even one person say, "your photo of the old suitcase reminded us of our Mom who had one just like it," or "this one will be perfect for my best friend's birthday gift," or "you make the ordinary seem special," is a tremendous reward.

In my mind, I play the evil art critic.  He claims my work is . . . ordinary and dull. Perhaps he will use a fancy word like "pedestrian" to describe my work.  What does that even mean - that my pictures can't cross the street?  He complains the pictures do not evoke emotion.  The compositions are stilted and too perfect. There are technical flaws and many rules broken.  My only response, "But, I am a blueberry photographer, and there are no rules for pictures such as these!"

I take comfort in the words of the 19th century historian, Thomas Carlyle -
The merit of originality is not novelty; it is sincerity. 
I am grateful for our local library, the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, for sponsoring the Artist in the Library program.  My photography will be on display and for sale at the Salem Church library during the month of May.  Special thanks to Sara Toye and her husband for hanging my pictures in such a beautiful arrangement. Swing by the library, check out a book or two, and take in the view.

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