Man is a microcosm, or a little world, because he is an extract from all the stars and planets of the whole firmament, from the earth and the elements; and so he is their quintessence.
Philipus Aureolus Paracelsus
I have been struggling with the whole idea of being profound versus being boring. I started blog to be about what ever crossed my mind as I am on my artistic journey. I fell in love with blogging and reading blogs. I began to worry about improving the content, maintaining consistency, adding something of value. In short, I started to worry more about the quality and less about the quantity. This is one of the rules of the road from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. I have found that one line to be one of the most important for me to remember in terms of creating. At the same time I was reading a blog that kept going in an inward circle from the artist’s journey, to her life, to her personal life, to more personal detail than I ever want to know about a stranger. It became harder and harder to put fingers to keys to blog. My writing in general suffered. At the same time I started working on bigger projects, so I did not have so many of the smaller art work pictures that I like including.
In an attempt to spark a profound thought, I went back through my quotes. I collect quotes for just this purpose. When I choose the word quintessence as my word for the year, I gathered a bunch of quintessence quotes. I liked this one, because it said to me that you do not have to try to be everything, because you are the essence of everything.
I like the freedom this implies. I do not have to have the perfect blog for everyone, I just need to have my blog for me, if others enjoy it too, that is good. I am that way about my art, it is to please me, it is what I am making at the time. I hope others will enjoy it too, but the creating is the important part.
After typing the quote and feeling inspired I went looking for a picture. I decided it does not have to be a “fine art” shot, but just something that captured the feeling of what I was trying to say. I found this old picture, that is much older than the copy write date watermark. After trying to capture the lush feeling my backyard of ferns gave me for several years and not quite succeeding, I took this shot. I was taking a series of photos my daughter had requested for her to use in a book report. She wanted a cats eye view of the forest, and had been unable to find any for her report. The reason this one succeeds where so many had failed, is because it contains only the ferns and the trees, up close and personal. Most shots had that flattening effect, that make the subject seem far more distant than it is. I started thinking about why the up close and personal worked so well in this shot, yet it was such a disaster for that one blog I stopped reading. It is the important of staying focused on what is the essence.