Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Me, my camera and I

It has been too long since I had an Artist's Date (as per Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way) and spend some time by myself, so I took my trusty Canon camera on an away day to Dawyck Botanical Gardens. I need a lot of solitary time in order to thinks things through, listen to my inner voice(s), contemplate life and the universe and analyze what I'm doing and why. As well as to daydream, appreciate the beauty of this world and give myself a good talking to, if necessary. When such activities can be combined with an opportunity to take photographs at leisure it's even better.
Although the bluebells, blue poppies and most rhododendrons and azaleas haven't started to flower yet there is one thing above all others that steals the show at this time of year and that is lime-green. Everywhere you go, in the garden or on the drive towards it and back, is full of that high toned, almost luminescent green that makes your heart sing (well, mine definitely!). So I'm taking you with me to show what a treat this is to the eye. It was omni present.  As were male pheasants. I saw more than 20 (stopped counting when I got to that), mostly in groups of 2 or 3, just mooching about. Quite shy but I managed to capture some unaware.
 Even though there were 2 bus loads of people present, once I started to walk I never met any other person. The only sounds that could be heard came from the birds and a lazy lawn mover somewhere in the distance.
I could lie on the ground to take photographs as much as I liked (and I did). I sat on benches and wrote down some of what I was contemplating. It might find it's way into a journal page one of these days and then again it might not. Writing is a good way of remembering even if you never read it back. But for the most part I simply was. Slowly I'm learning to stop wanting to do things and get them done, and instead to sit, listen, close my eyes,  venture into fantasy land, and dream away. A quality that has come under heavy criticism in the past (which is no doubt why I used to feel guilty about it) but that I now consider to be one of my biggest assets. I know it's the place where my art originates. And indeed, ideas soon started to flow. Of course most of them will remain a fantasy but some will come to fruition and that's why I need such contemplative mental space.
 Green can be at one and the same time, full of zing, peace, calm and tranquillity.
 It can also make you cry in delight.Another reason to come alone.

This pheasant came very close before he noticed me and even then it was the sound of the clicking camera that alerted him to my presence but by that time I had already captured his soul.
 There were of course other colours to admire, such as the yellow of these cowslips.
 And the red of this magnificent tree. And what texture!
The graveyard of Dawyck with it's beautiful yew trees is a reminder of how narrow the border is between life and death and an incentive to live life to it's fullest extent whatever might be happening. The dying daffodils seemed to enforce that message. I try (but not always succeed) to keep that in mind. Which is why instead of rushing home in order to do some work, I had a cup of Darjeeling tea and a piece of shortbread, and sat outside the coffee shop in Dawyck and savoured the moment.
Another day whose memory will be treasured with all the other beautiful days already stored in my subconscious mind. Together with the sad moments they contribute to who I am and who I will become.


Lenna Young Andrews said...

thank you for taking me along on your journey . . . capturing the soul of a pheasant, I loVE This!!

Jewels said...

Just wonderful Frieda - wish I could have joined you - I am due for an art date! Green is my favorite colour!


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