Sunday, 2 September 2012

blog for blog's sake

Reeds, Rye Harbour © Caroline Fraser

Exactly what is this all blogging business all about?

Having run dry of inspiration and enthusiasm after a particularly exhausting month at work, looking after the shop while everyone else sits by their pool in the sun, I find that the stats for my blog are not looking good. It seems that taking a rest is not an option if you want to maintain good readership numbers.

My monthly visits had been climbing inexorably since this blog got started, but then drop to almost zero just because I couldn't  sum up the enthusiasm to put fingers to keyboard for a whole three weeks. I should have prepared articles for release during this time to keep the readers happy and the visits coming.

But I didn't, and so I find myself in a quandary, wondering what all of this is for............

and whether I should carry on.........


I believe that it is a personal diary of the kind that I used to keep locked with a key under my bed, and which is now lost forever. I have no idea where all my childhood diaries are. Nor, for that matter, what was written in them. At least with this blog, I can commit it to paper at any time that I choose, and leave traces of my life for those who might possibly be interested. It is not a personal, secret collection of thoughts but more a record of my photography and how my daily life impinges upon it.

Inspiration for new work requires effort; visiting galleries, reading, going to new places. Deadlines are needed to force the production of work. Writing allows time for reflection, and this blog allows that time. All of this has been a challenge in the last 4 weeks. A recent trip to Northumberland was devoid of inspiration and light; every time I had time to visit the wheat fields with their abstract forms of machinery tracks on the hillside the sun went down. Trying to combine photography with a  family holiday is not the way forward.

Brassicas by Shelley Rose
The Leek by Shelley Rose
Yesterday I popped into the September Art Exhibition in Wadhurst to see the works on show, and in particular to see more of the work of Shelley Rose, the photographer and print maker whom I first met at Central St Martins.

His new still life series is printed on gessoed canvas.

What is gessoed canvas?

According to Wikipedia it is a mixture of paint, chalk and gypsum, used in art work as a base for use on wood, canvas or other surfaces.

The effect in Shelley's still lives is masterly; light and delicate, yet at the same time having the appearance of something created long ago. It is always tempting to try new ways of producing images, but this method, I am sure, is beyond my capabilities at present. How does he print on canvas? How does the printing process cope with fabric? Shelley has many years of experience of print making.

A quick search of the web gives some ideas on how to transfer images at this blog "More than Photography" that discusses experimental photographic techniques.

 If  the 10,000 hours theory of becoming an expert in a particular field suggested by Malcolm Gladwell in his book "Outliers"  is true, then I probably have a way to go. 10,000 hours of practice, at 10 hours per day, 5 days per week equates to around 4 years of continuous work, without breaks, and without holidays, so more realistically I would think 5 years of full time practice. And does this just apply to straight photography or does it include branching out into printmaking with other media?

I need to give up work. I am counting the days.

Meanwhile I am preparing work for the Pure Autumn Arts Fair  in Battle. My image above of reeds at Rye harbour that I have just had framed has received a mixed response, from great enthusiasm to a statement that "there is nothing for the eye to settle on" to "it needs to be turned on its side and then it looks like a pond". Ah well, you can please some of the people some of the time..............

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