Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Why


I was sitting on the couch a couple of months ago, listening to some new music shortly before bedtime, feeling sort of meditative, when it hit me WHY it is that I take photos.  Sometimes the why of an artistic drive is hard to nail down, and it's easier to just say that I feel compelled to (which I do) but that doesn't really explain it.  It has taken me a while to organize those thoughts, and to write them down, but here they are:

I try my best to live in the present and to see the beauty in every day. To me, this focus is vivid and clear and full of glorious detail. I think in their aesthetic, my photographs reflect these values.
That said, I understand every photograph is of the past.

Not every moment makes for a ‘good’ photo, but because their fleeting nature is always in my mind, I am vigilantly looking for them. I ache to think of these moments as gone, even before they have passed. I want to be able to save them.

I take these photos for myself, in a vain attempt to record these moments so I can savor them later. I share them because what I see around me is painfully beautiful. What else can I do but share? In sharing, somehow, the hopelessness of never being able to seal every sight, touch, and emotion away for later in my inadequate brain, dissipates. All I can save is stored in my photographs. That will have to be enough.

Does anyone else feel this way?  Do any of you have different motivations for creating art?

3 comments:

  1. I came to photography (again) last year.
    It saved my life.
    Truly.
    The following is an excerpt from a blog post in early January about paying attention to my life because of my camera.
    (I found...)
    "Beauty.
    Everywhere.
    Inspiration to record and pay Attention.
    How lucky I am to be thrown into the position of Historian, scribe of my own life. With the attention lavished on the minutiae, my heart, soul and inner life has grown. In ways I never imagined could be true for me. Attention to the details of my life, so I'd have something to share, has brought me so much hope, joy and pleasure! It has been the most important lesson I have ever learned."
    This has given me the power to fix the big issues in my life too. I am amazed everyday at the difference in me...My life.
    A wonderful post Victoria. So important to know these things. You do a marvelous job sharing your life's minutes through your photos.
    Thank you,
    Andrea

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  2. No, thank you, Andrea. It's so nice to know that you feel these sorts of things, too. It is revealing - in a "I'm naked" sort of way - to really think these things through, and to realize that the place these impulses come from is a tender, emotional, scary yet uplifting place. A lot of my deepest thoughts revolve around mortality, and they can be so overwhelming, but my photography helps me take it one day at a time, and helps me stay focused on the positive and the beautiful (which is really endless, when you begin to see it).

    You do a wonderful job in expressing all these things, too, through your blog and I felt a kinship with you, right away. I'm so glad you found me on Flickr.

    Here's to seeing as much beauty as possible, though our human eyes can only see the surface. It's enough, and holds the promise of so much more :)

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  3. Oh my gosh, isn't it a terrifying thought when the "why" floats into your brain? I can't tell you how many times I've thought..."I paint because I'm not good at anything else, or I paint because it's all I know, or I paint because, I just can't explain it, it's part of my being, and I don't know how else to explain it..." I think all artists have to wonder at sometime, what motivates them, why is it so important to do what they do...I think you have summed it up beautifully, and Andrea too. Thanks for sharing!

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