Thursday, June 11, 2015

Once Again, Is It Retrogressing or Regressing? Or Does It Even Matter?

From Creative Authenticity, 16 Principles to Clarify and Deepen Your Artistic Vision by Ian Roberts

Principle Six—Showing Up
Keeping a sketchbook journal can give us a resource of possibilities. No matter how much or how little time we have for their development, writing down notes on ideas or images is crucial. WriIting them down the moment they come to us is also crucial…
When we give them attention, they grow stronger.

As Emerson wrote, “To believe your own thoughts, to believe that what is true for you in your private heart is true for all men—that is genius.”

Your call is unique. No life is like yours No one responds to life the way you do. Giving precise expression to that personal press of spirit in the stuff round you—that is “genius.” The word comes from the Latin meaning “in the spirit of a place.” We give voice to how our spirit blossoms in the face of something that moves us.

The screen that these ideas fall on, yours, is different from all others. Genius is recognizing its personal importance, trusting it and doing something with it. Because when we start, and start boldly, as Goethe says, “there’s genius in it.” Things start to happen. There is an expression, “with practice comes luck” or as Louis Pasteur aid, “Chance favors the prepared mind.”
I read a lot. Probably more than I should. I probably read when I should be doing something more productive. But I enjoy learning what people that are much more knowledgeable than I am share or discuss about what they think. I promote reading. I try occasionally to promote books At one time I tried to promote Creative Authenticity on another blog that I had. Frankly I am not sure that the people on the blog read what I copied from Creative Authenticity much less made any further effort to pursue the book.

Maybe it is simply easier to have me read the book and share what I find to be personal high points rather than it is to read the book to absorb the knowledge being shared so that you might find what has importance to you.

Toward the end of last year I attempted to start a meet up group to study the writings of David duChemin. I wanted to use his Photographically Speaking in a text book fashion, front to back for a thorough understanding of what he had written because it is excellent stuff to know. Some bought the book but no one that was at the meeting has since mentioned a single passage from the book that they found relevant, interesting, inspiring, educational or that they questioned. That partially influenced my new year's resolution previously mentioned. I concluded that I am really the only person that wants to know this stuff.

There has been a drought in photographic writing but it has been broken in the past few years. David duChemin, Chris Orwig, Bruce Barnbaum and several others are doing excellent writing. It  reminiscent of the days of Ralph Hattersley, Minor White, Lou Bernstein and others of the Fifties through the Seventies. Regrettably most amateur photographers only want to know the latest jazzy technique rather then trying to understand what photography is. Technique for technique sake is a sad state of affairs but I am trying to become comfortable with it--more so than in the past.

I whole heartedly agree with Robert's statement that everyone's life is unique, that no two are even close to being the same but as much as I love the writings of Emerson I must question that I any longer have to believe that what is true for me is true for all men. Maybe it is okay if what is true for me is only true for me. That has not always been the case but it is the premise that I started the year on and so far it has not been so terrible.

1 comment:

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