I was trying to create a still life last week, for a photography challenge over at Kacey's blog, Wine on the Keyboard. I love those very lush Dutch master still lifes, so I tried to take those as my inspiration. Here is what I came up with. Click to enlarge it, because the details are the fun part.
I am struck by the thought of a still life -- a moment in everyday life captured, pinned down like a butterfly to a board. I've given a lot of thought lately to moments -- choices, really -- and how they lead us to where we find ourselves today. Some choices I have made blithely, without much thought given to the consequences. Others have been made with eyes willfully closed, as if to refute ownership of the consequences should the decision prove to be wrong. And a few have been not really my choices at all. Serendipity, kismet, my guardian angel watching over me. I have been blessed.
When I was in high school, I thought about majoring in Art in college, but decided that English would offer better paying jobs. (Yes, I was really that stupid.) Then I got married right after college, and never really pursued a career at all.
But I think I also considered a life in search of beauty to be somehow not valid or meaningful. That to be driven by the visual would be shallow. That pictures are not as important as words. And so I got on with life, and gradually the need to create something beautiful became a distant memory. It occasionally surfaced when choosing a paint color or a fabric, when planting some flowers, or setting the table. Always when setting the table. :)
But now, when I can suddenly see more years behind me than there are ahead, I have begun blogging. I have met countless creative people, and watched their talents bring forth one beautiful thing after another. And suddenly, there is a need in me. It is real and compelling.
Does anyone else feel this way? I guess a large part of it is a function of the aging process. Greater self-awareness, less time, the road not taken. What a cosmic joke, huh? So from now on, I will give in to the need for beauty. Is it important, is it useful, will it pay big bucks? Who cares. Maybe I'll put my photos on note cards or make a Little Red House calendar, and open an etsy shop. Maybe I'll paint house portraits on tole trays; maybe I'll even paint still lifes.
Wish me luck.