It’s new moon today.
2 weeks ago, I was in Lanzarote. Walking along the ocean.
In 2 days, we will reach winter solstice. Then the days grow lighter again.
And in 2 weeks, it will be next year. 2018.
It’s a thing I do regularly: checking back and forward in time. For me, it’s a small balancing move, a positioning in a larger frame of time.
The photo above, it’s from last Thursday. I still remember the moment: it was an overcast morning, windy, with huge clouds moving along the horizon. But at one point the glow of sunrise was visible – and when i opened the window to take a photo, and looked up, I saw: the moon. And knew: that’s my photo for skywatch friday.
While writing this now, a thought surfaced: maybe one of the characteristics of photos is just that, too: a way to pick a moment, and place it in a larger frame of time by adding its date and place.
From images to words – here’s a quote from the new issue of Poets and Writers, from its special section with suggestions for inspiration:
„Join a workshop. It doesn’t matter if it is informal or formal. Being around other writers, and getting feedback, is the best fuel to spark your creative process.“
– Leah Umansky
I only recently realized that I have access to the new issues of Poets & Writers via a German magazine-app that also includes American magazines. This discovery was brought along by an overcast day and waiting time: an own kind of inspiration. Here’s the online page, with poet interviews: The Whole Self: Our Thirteenth Annual Look at Debut Poets
Another quote from the issue that spoke to me:
„I will retype another’s book until I feel love and not despair.“
– Lo Kwa Mei-En
The quotes about writing, they made me think of painting, and of photography, and of the art academcy classes. The aquarell painting, our tutor showed us the way into it by bringing prints of aquarell paintings, so that we can re-paint them and learn from that process. And of course, in a group, you constantly learn from each other: not only the practical painting, but the dedication, the showing up, the staying with the pages, the trying again, the dealing with difficulties.
Looking at it from that angle, that probably also is the energy that makes me cherish the daily prompts on instagram, like the current #decemberreflections2017: of course I could reflect on the themes by myself, but the stream of shared responses creates a much broader perspective.
Today’s prompt was: „Brings me joy“. Should be easy to answer, right? But it made me ponder. The answer probably would be a bit different each day, depending on what is currently missing most. Here’s what I wrote:
Brings me joy:
Sunlight. Colors. Flowers. Tiny beautiful moments. Sharing. Connecting. Painting. Taking photos… now for an image to go with that. maybe this sketch from the art group session, using up leftover color and arriving at this winter flower?
Interesting, too, how this end-of-session time of „Just using up paint“ brings unexpected paintings that sometimes turn out better than the „serious“ paintings. Maybe it’s a combination of being-in-the-flow from the session, while at the same time, an ease kicks in, and you paint without real expectations, „just for fun“.
5 Things About Me
Another interesting prompt of the recent day was: „5 things about me“.
Where to start with that? I wondered. And later, had the idea to take a small tray, and actually pick 5 things that I like, and that also are symbolic:
5 things about me:
– when i find a feather on the ground, it feels like a winged gift
– when i travel, i take my little „travel-buddha-in-a-box“ with me
– i am a cat person
– as kid, i used to play with buttons. i still have a box in all colors
– i like wood
Next: Sweetness and Star Wars … and Leaning into the Wind, with a Mandala
The next prompts are: „Sweetness“, „This year was..“, „Skyline“, „A secret“, „Stillness“…
And tomorrow will bring, apart from „Sweetness“: going to the movies, to see the new Star Wars film, together with the others from the comic team. The cinema is just around the corner from the Stuttgart Christmas market. Which will be a fun contrast.
More contrasts: after watching the trailer for Star Wars – The Last Jedi, I looked for an online review, and arrived at the German film magazine: Kino Kino.
In their recent edition, they also talk about a new film that features landscape artist Andy Goldsworthy, the film title is Leaning into the Wind.
Which connects to this summer, when I joined an art workshop, and worked on a mandala painting – and the artist who led the workshop picked a book from her huge art bookshelf, to show me some works. It was: Andy Goldsworthy.
Here’s a photo of the mandala I painted, together with a page of the book. That was half a year ago, in the middle of June, when time moved towards summer solstice.
Photography is a way of putting distance between myself and the work which sometimes helps me to see more clearly what it is that I have made.
– Andy Goldsworthy
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