The snap, the chat and no selfies allowed.

Its blog time. That itch to write is here again. Yet, it is only a breath, a brief focus of a few pages, without characters or story line. Not true. Each blog tells a story. Of a part of my life and how it fits into the puzzle of me, today, a year and a half into a pandemic, no longer locked down. 

I re-read some of my blog posts just now. Not bad. Just when I thought I’d not said enuf, not said all I’d felt and thought on one particular time period, about one particular thought that had sparked a blog, there comes another line to say that last thought of that page. Those words I am now reaching for, in place of different colors. That long thought now used as a story line in place of one image locked inside a frame.

I look up at my wall of photographs. A white wall, crowded with captured moments of my life. Places I’ve been to, days remembered, scents felt again. I will soon offer them as prints from my shop, (watch this space) but for now let my words suffice. 

This is who I am, who I’ve always been. A clicker. Before that, a sketcher, then painter, then sculptor, now writer. Who says I can’t name myself as the title of what I do? What I’ve done?

I’m wandering now… Perhaps for the first time in my life, I’m looking at my snaps, and just…remembering. Feeling again. Soaking in all the scents, the flow of thought, and just seeing again, the life I have lived. 

Not running toward the next photo, word, painting, sculpture, to capture it as a moment, before it is gone for good. No. At last, I am, just in a moment, remembering.

Gurus would say, ’If I am remembering, I am not really in the moment, but the past’. To them I say, “You live your life, I love mine.”

Because I’ve always, Always, had a toe in one ocean and another in the river beside it. I’ve always felt sand beneath my feet, squeezing between my toes the cold sand beneath hot surface of burning white sand. Then looking back to see the footprints I’d made, the pattern of toes and its long and winding path, glistening in the sunset as the ocean laps and flows into the shapes, filling them one by one, then disappear.

It seems I am a wanderer, but not a nomad, nor gypsy. I have always needed a home, or at least a room, an inside place in which to put my days onto canvas or stone, whatever the day had given to me in the form of inspiration;    A hovering bee through my window, a news flash, a moon fat and full, a pear colored sun squishing into the city scape of brick buildings as it sets. The absolute glory of every color painted to make one sky, all for a few minutes. And then, like an opera, Drama, then The End.

I paused to look at Facebook. Because a famous writer once said to find inspiration anywhere you can. So this allows me to ‘Waste time’. But guess what? I got inspired enough to come back here and keep going.

Do you think that’s a little thing? 

While not being paid for it, with no boss breathing down my neck, glaring at me, no emails piling up on my desk?

Just to come back and keep writing, when no one cheers you on, no pep rallies, no crowd applause. Not even cars honking like when you were, “Just Married”.  Without any of these Hurrahs!!, I come back and lift my pen.                 

Not for really any reason at all except that I always have done. Yet now, I pause to live, to remember, to let my work inspire me anew. It is, after all, why I created in the first place. For money? Nah, not really. Other jobs certainly would have paid better , not taken such a big cut, and not had so many complications, like…travel costs, studio rentals, bla bla bla…

One day I’ll write a blog about all the studios I’ve rented in my life. And believe me, none of them looked like the glass ceilings overlooking New York, like I’d seen in the movies. Or maybe I’d just not gotten paid enough. Yeah, that’s probably it. Or never having lived in New York. But I don’t regret nixing New York.  I also don’t regret the jobs I had in my life. Most of them part time, giving me time to paint.

Looking up to focus on something other than the ex-jobs of my life, (These too will get their own blog page one day.) I see a white wall of photographs. A lot of oceans. I love the sea. There are many snaps of doorways as well. This was a theme I snapped over a period of many, many years, around Greece, Europe, California and London. 

With the common occurrence of themes of my work, you’d think I wrote Broadway musicals. But no, only a humble artist, a snapper. I also work in projects, not jobs, in series, not single pieces, in blogs, not novels. A grasshopper from one time period to the next.

Why? Maybe my training as an artist; Paint at least 2 or 3 paintings at a time. This will always give me something to work on but not overwork, (and messing it up) “Fiddling it to death,-“ as my teacher Martin would have said, “-Turn this one (painting) to the wall and start another.” 

Some of the best advice I ever got in my life. 

Perhaps I should not have taken that advice into my personal life, but hey, I digress.

Funny thing about the photographs of doorways was, the photos are not just typical doorways, like church doors in Italy or entry ways into train stations.                       They welcome the viewer into worlds perhaps not, or not often seen; An opera house in London, an anonymous Asian wedding couple in Pisa, a now shuttered arena that for centuries had run bullfights; corrida de toros (“bull-running”) in Spain. Plaza de Toros de Las Ventas in Madrid being the most famous, and the one I snapped. Upon deeper investigation, I see that this arena still conducts bullfights but are not as popular as they once were. Snaps of history, once praised, now booed.                Honestly, looking at the wall of moments makes me want to grab my camera and go out and snap. I am truly my father’s daughter: He was also a snapper. 

So why do I have so much resistance to selfies? Because I do like the few I have taken with friends. What bugs me though, is those who take selfies at every venue they travel to. In front of every famous painting or monument. Yikes!

I know its a new generation, taking technology and using it to record their lives. Good. 

Hell, I used to manipulate polaroid photos (Google it) by scratching the photo with my fingernail as it developed. This gave the image a unique, one of a kind pop art look. Art plus photography equals new art.

What bugs me, or what I wish these younger people would think about and do, is shoot the painting or monument without themselves as part of the scene. Why?  

Because of what I am looking at now: A wall of photos and each one is telling not one story, (ie: me and Jane at the museum in front of Van Gogh and his pipe). But the moment he, Van Gogh, captured and then painted and now is giving to us. We were not there, or alive when he painted this, so why put ourselves into that (and every other) painting?  If I really was gonna bitch, I’d say, “Do you know that this brilliant artist did not sell even one of his paintings while he was alive?” And, “That you did not put in the effort to learn how to paint like that, so back off and learn what he is trying to teach you.”

But yeah, that’s just me. I must remember, art is not like that. It is more spontaneous and silly. To remember the experience of filming women alongside my paintings, in Butterflies don’t sing.  I had to admit, this was an exceptional moment and was great to see my work with people, live people, interacting with the images I painted. 

So, I take it all back.                                             I go back to what that sci-fi writer had said: Get inspiration wherever you can. Because really, what is more important than to see, hear, feel, love, respect, and become inspired by all the arts. And from their sources of the human spirit and Mother Nature’s incredible palette. 

So now, go out there, see some art, see some nature. Respect it, and know it may not last forever.

Because while you’ve been stuck inside, in lockdown, Mother Nature is outside, with fewer cars, less traffic, getting cleaner and reminding us of her brilliance. But she needs our help.

Because while you’ve been stuck inside, in lockdown, a lot of people: the galleries, museums, artists, dancers, all forms of art makers, have been without work, no pubic or government to pay them.  And the behind the curtain artists and technicians too have had no work. A hell of a lot of creative people go into one production, one event, one Broadway musical, one theater play, one opera. 

So get out there and see some art, hear some music, experience the art humans make from what Mother Nature gives them, what they give now, to you. 

Look, Listen and Learn.

Without the selfie.

The above print, Pacific Moon, can be purchased via my website, to my webshop.

2 thoughts on “The snap, the chat and no selfies allowed.

    1. Thank you Journey. What you say about no limits I agree with completely. I wrote a book featuring exactly this called, Puertas. I’ll post if here when its published. Watch this space as they say…best of all on YOUR and those who liked this piece an said so. Thank you for your interest.

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