Friday, April 25, 2008

Wonder and Curiosity

Today has been a good photography day. Actually, a great photography day.

This morning, M had to leave early for work, so after sleeping in a bit (I can do that, thankfully, with the job I have...long hours one week mean shortened hours another) I took The Bug over to her grandmother's and returned home to a house empty of people but full of sunlight. It just felt right, to be here all by myself. Peace. Calm. Serenity. No way was I going to give all that up just to rush into work when I didn't even have so much as a meeting scheduled.

I pulled up The Beatles on iTunes and hauled my mat-cutting stuff out of the guest bedroom. Turns out the new dining room table functions just as well as a mat-cutting surface as the old one. I had two mats to do, both for people at work. One is for an image from Sante Fe taken a few years ago that was promised as a birthday present to a close friend who also happens to be a soon-to-be-retired office-mate. So what if her birthday was actually last summer? I finally got around to blowing out the print nozzles on the 2200 and making a fine print. This woman has more money than just about anyone I know (okay, really, I think she does have more money than anyone I least anyone I know personally) and is the Queen of Impulse Purchases. How do you shop for a birthday present for someone like that?

So I gave her the only thing I could think of that she couldn't buy for herself (at least not easily, as I blow out the nozzles once or twice a year, conserving my printing runs for times of high creativity and budget allowances). I gave her one of my prints. I took my portfolio to her birthday lunch and let her have a few days to choose one. I was surprised at her selection; to be honest it's not one of my favorites. But to each her own, so I printed it.

That was the first print to be matted this morning. The second was of an image I made Monday morning on the way to work. Another co-worker's husband recently opened a small Mexican restaurant in a nearby community. M and I were invited to one of the soft-launch nights, and from the instant I saw the place, I knew I had to shoot it (and how, incidentally, I was going to process and print it). I am so excited for the owner/chef, as it's been his dream for many, many years to open his own eatery. He has the guts to actually try to make his dream happen, and in this economy no less. He'll be incredibly successful, as his food is excellent and the place amazing, not to mention the lack of Mexican food anywhere in this particular community.

Anyway, I suppose in recognition of his efforts, and admiration of his courage, I made a small print of the front of his new restaurant. This was the second image to mat this morning.

So, with sunlight streaming in the dining room windows, "Let It Be" roaring out of the Mac, and two of my very own prints sitting nearby, I cut mats and mounted prints. It was bliss.

I did make one image today, with the Big Dog, but it's an image for another post so you'll just have to wait. Nothing artsy or particularly memorable...just another indication of the freaks I like to call "my neighbors."

Tonight, upon returning home from work, I found a long-awaited FedEx package on my doorstep. The Ted Orland books have arrived! It took everything I had not to lock myself in a room and force M to single-parent it tonight, but I managed to hold off until Zoe went to bed.

Since then (7:30), I've been sitting with M at the dining room/mat-cutting table. He's working away at something wholly unrelated to anything fun (i.e. work work) and I'm reading "Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity."

I am in photographic heaven. Nirvana. A photographer's garden of Eden. Paradise. I'm only on page 33, and I am absolutely amazed that this person, who I've never actually met, put down my feelings in letters to other artists. It is so enlightening to realize that I'm not the only one who struggles with art. I'm so freakin' happy I want to cry, but I can't because the way he writes I'm laughing out loud every other paragraph.

And it's even more amazing to me that he was writing all this when I was less than five years old.

I have been reading Edward Weston's "Daybooks," which has been one of my favorites ever since I first read it in high school (it's one of those books that the older I get, the more I get it), and since I'm a big proponent of finishing what I've started, I had determined that I was going to only glance through the Orland books and then return to finish up Weston. I figure I've got a couple good days of reading to bang it out.

Yeah, um, the problem lies with the fact that if you read even one sentence in an Orland book, you're hooked. You are sucked in and not leaving anytime soon. Hence, 33 pages into it and I'm tearing myself away just to post here. Call it savoring the moment. Call it not wanting a good thing to end too soon. After all, there will be only one first reading of "Scenes of Wonder and Curiosity." However, I can already tell, there will be many, many more.


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