Gratitude For 2019

I’m a big lover of podcasts. I have 25 subscribed podcasts in my feed, most of which update weekly & I pretty much listen to them all each week. Last week I listened to two podcasts, back to back, that made me pause and think about my 2019. The first, Photography Radio, was a discussion from the host about why he picks his favourite 10 photos at the end of each year. He finds the task a good way to see where his photography is taking him and to note changes to his style that he may not have seen whilst actually taking photos.

In the second podcast, called The First Time podcast – the two hosts reflected on their 2019. Their career successes as authors but also books & podcasts they loved reading & listening to in 2019.

Inspired by these podcasts I decided to reflect on my own 2019. I feel like I tend to remember negative things that have happened more frequently than positive things so I thought it would be a great idea to take the time to think about good things from 2019. I’m also attempting to pick my favourite photos from the year, although that’s proving to be difficult. I’d have finished this post on Friday (it’s now Sunday) save for the fact that I’m having trouble picking favourite photos! I’m surprised at how many of the photos I really like. I’m also really happy to see how my photography has improved throughout the year. I can see where I’ve gone wrong, but most importantly I can see my growth.

Sometime during 2019 I became aware that what I want from my photography is to capture moments of everyday beauty. I was already doing this every week, when I was taking photos of my friends at my local Pole Fitness studio or during the times when I’d grab my phone to take some backyard sunset photos. However I wanted more. I felt if I took the time to look, I’d see there were moments of beauty all around.

Instead of writing a paragraph with each photo I’ve written a few words below them. I’d love to know what you think of them but more importantly, do you reflect on your year when it ends? Why or why not?

This is my favourite dog photo taken in 2019. I feel I have captured Zena’s personality perfectly
This photo of Paige was, I think, the first time I felt my quest to photograph my pole friends was starting to come together. It captures the beauty that I see in every class I attend
I spied this dog on Degraves Street in Melbourne, patiently waiting & watching as his owner ate lunch
I took this photo in Melbourne, it evokes the mood of the weather that day

I got to thinking about my highlights from 2019. Moving into our house at years end was the biggest thing to happen all year. It’s been a long process to get to this point & I’m grateful we finally made it.

Reinvigorating this blog is another highlight. I enjoy writing however I’ve long had trouble giving myself permission to write. Part of the work I did with my mentor Naomi Bulger during the year (another highlight for the year) was to work out what I wanted to do with my creativity. I came to the conclusion that writing weekly here was something I wanted to do. It’s great writing practice & I’m surprised how often I think of something that I’d like to share here. I’ve mostly kept to my weekly posting schedule & I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s especially great when someone leaves lovely comments on a post, it makes my day 🙂

I continued interviewing people for the Art Supply Posse podcast. I spoke to a wide range of artists throughout the year, learning a lot about what they do & bringing their story to our listeners. I’ve made friends with a couple of those people & it’s been great getting to know them better & watching their artistic progress.

2019 was also a year of short breaks – weekend trips to Melbourne & to Adelaide, with friends or on my own. I enjoyed the opportunity to move out of my daily routine & do something a little different. These moments were brief but impacted me positively, inspiring bouts of creativity & propelling me further into the year.

I took this with my iPhone, on a weekend trip to Melbourne with Paige. The light was stunning as we walked along St Kilda Pier. I couldn’t resist taking photos

I hope 2020 continues to bring creative inspiration, both for me & also for you.

Another pole fit photo taken during 2019

Backyard Sunsets & Zines

Sometime after my husband & I purchased a one acre block of land to build our new home on, I realised that the location affords beautiful views of the setting sun. These unexpected views have provided a source of photographic inspiration for me, especially on days when I have little time for anything other than taking a quick photo with my iPhone.

I thought I’d like to take advantage of these sunsets & set about working out how to predict when one would be particularly captivating. I found an iPhone app called GoldenHour & used it to forward plan sunset opportunities. I noted that if the cloud cover was not too heavy it would add an extra dimension, providing another place in the sky for colour to be reflected. If an evening storm was forecast the preceding clouds did something incredible to the sky, like in the above photo.

Slowly I learnt when to expect a sunset that required my attention & I began to group the photos into an album on my iPhone, allowing quick comparison of them but also allowing me to easily enjoy their beauty again. Flicking through this album I realised that I want to share these photos with others. I just wasn’t sure how to best share them.

After considering this for a while I decided that making a zine would be a great way to showcase these sunsets & share them with others. Each photo would be accompanied by the date it was taken & nothing more allowing the photos to convey their beauty.

I have never made a zine before. I’ve done some research, going down an infinite rabbit hole of possibilities only to stop myself mid way realising that this zine can be whatever I want it to be. I’m going to work on it during the coming weeks & will share my progress here, as well as the completed zine.

On the subject of zine’s I was excited to discover that a tea story I wrote was recently published in a new zine by Naomi Bulger on her website Naomi Loves

In the name of full disclosure I engaged Naomi as my mentor earlier this year. I feel it’s important that you know that although I doubt that is why my story was published. Perhaps talking about mentorship is something I should write about in another post.

It feels special to see my words printed in her zine & I wanted to share it with you. Without Naomi I wouldn’t be here blogging every week & updating this website. I hope you enjoy her Tea Stories zine. And make sure you check out the rest of her work. You’re bound to love it as much as I do.

Art For Breakfast

For the past couple of months I have been making art every morning as I eat breakfast. I began simply because breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. When I’m travelling I always take the time to relax & eat a yummy breakfast whilst either sketching, people watching or both. I decided to implement this practice at home so I could always take the time to enjoy my first meal of the day. And to linger over a cup of coffee too 🙂

I’ve deliberately left the door wide open in terms of what art I will make. Often I’ll wake up with no idea what to create but whilst I’m walking the dogs (which is done pre-breakfast) an idea usually will form. If it doesn’t then I’m not above creating random colourful shapes on the page.

Initially I was making art that meant nothing to me; I realise now however that it has come to mean a lot. It’s helping ease my anxiety around being a creative person. I’m more accepting that that is the sort of person I am. We can’t all be mathematicians or neurosurgeons or other high functioning sorts. It’s ok that I’m creative.

Someone please remind me of this statement when I’m an anxious mess because I’m offering nothing to the world because all I can do is create 😉

Uncomfortable With An iPhone

Boats moored at St. Kilda marina

This weekend past saw me in Melbourne holidaying with a newer friend. When packing I decided not to pack my camera. My thought process being that I wanted to focus on relaxing, instead of feeling like I “had” to use my camera. Of course as we pounded the pavement of Melbourne’s CBD on Saturday the urge to capture the scenes that caught my eye was strong. I took out my iPhone with the intent of using it as my camera.

Weirdly enough I found myself stuck. I couldn’t use it. I felt ridiculous, wanting to use my iPhone in lieu of the camera I didn’t have. So I put it away. I replayed this in my mind that evening as I was trying to fall asleep. Without a camera in hand I felt exposed. Yet I have read probably hundreds of articles over the years about photographers who exclusively use their camera phones. Surely if they can then I can too? Everywhere we went people were using their phones for one thing or another.

So on Sunday I vowed to try again. This time it felt a little easier, I guess because I’d talked myself into letting go of the unease. I took photos that I’m happy with. Which is really all I want from my photography. I want to makes images I’m happy with, that I can hang on my walls to admire. Preferably with my camera as it seems I’m more comfortable using it as a device to capture things than I am with my iPhone.

The repeated lines from the masts of boats are pleasing to my eye

When There Is No Time

I’m trying to grapple with the fact that sometimes life gets in the way. There isn’t time right now for me to do the creative things I want to. So I’m left with making do, either by looking at photos taken in the past, trying to learn what worked in an image & what didn’t. There is also a stack of photos that need editing, which I’m working my way through. And there are photos I can think about making, that perhaps might require a trip somewhere or might benefit from a certain type of light. Then there are the moments when I grab my phone & take a photo of the setting sun. Yes I know the image resolution isn’t as good as it could be. But I think the actual act of making (taking) an image is better than not doing it at all. And it inspires me to keep on going.

Art Meets Photography

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I continue playing with apps to turn my photos into digital art. This isn’t something I want to do with all my photos. I prefer my photography to be about capturing something I’ve seen. But every now & again I like to step away from what I love & try something different. Digital art is an easy way to do this. I used Prisma to create this image & I like how it has turned out.

kim

Grateful For Sunsets

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Pouring oil into a pan, out of the corner of my eye I notice the colour of the sky changing. A pale blue that is becoming something else although I can’t yet tell what it will become.

Looking up I notice wisps of white cloud stretched long across my view.

The pan is warmed so I begin adding ingredients for tonights dinner; chicken pieces go in first. Letting the chicken brown I look out the window properly this time. Yellow is becoming the prominent colour. The wispy clouds are no longer white. They take on hues of yellow with the promise of another colour.

I quickly stir the chicken and dash outside grabbing my iPhone on the way. A couple of snaps and I head back inside to continue with dinner. Adding carrots, mushrooms and cooking sake I glance up and marvel at the deepening colours in the sky. There are hints of something coming, something spectacular but I pretend to ignore the possibility. Dinner must be made.

However I cannot resist and dash outside again. Quickly taking three or four photos, not daring to take more in case I ruin our meal.

Inside again I add noodles, honey and soy sauce. Stirring for a minute all the while watching the sky. Could it be? Will I get the colours I love?

Dishing the finished stir fry into bowls, I give David his bowl and put mine down. One last photo I say.

Outside the sky has deepened to rich tones of golden red. It’s fleeting beauty but one I revel in every time I witness it. I take another few photos then simply admire the view.

Satisfied I head back inside to eat my evening meal and remain grateful for sunsets.

Kim

 

Unexpected Tension

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Come outside. Quickly.

Moving fast, trying to breathe life into something that should have given up a long time ago.

Back and forth. dashing here, there. Spraying something cold. It fires. then stops. Again. this cycle is repeated.

I see the tension pulsing through his body. Tamping down an underlying anger. This is not what he wants, not now. Now he should be relaxing. Not this.

I expect him to yell, can see it rising up inside. Not yelling at me. Yelling at the car. At life. At the world.

He contains it. Pushes it down. I watch as he takes control of his body, stopping it from doing what it wants.

How does he do that? Has his breathing changed? Perhaps. I’m not sure. I go to ask but hesitate. Will that make things worse? I let the question go.

Success. The engine turns over and this time stays running.

It sounds terrible. My untrained ears know this. It doesn’t sound like it used to. When it was not so old. I cannot describe it but it is a sound I have unconsciously came to know.

Now it sounds unwell. Old. He knows this but doesn’t mention it. Instead, as the engine continues to run he guides me to see what he’s found under the hood. It’s not the problem he thought was there but something else. It’s a good thing this knowledge as now he knows exactly what to replace.

I think perhaps, he is happier. Relieved. But tired.

The part can be replaced. The car will continue to function. Not as it was; its much too old for that. But for long enough to see him through until a replacement can be found.

kim.