Sometimes it even turns into a week.

When you are left with a completely empty canvas… you really don’t know what to put on the pallet to start painting. It’s scary, nerve wracking and really uncool. The same thing happens to writers. They know what they want to talk about… but can’t write it. I hated those assignments at SCAD. The ones where the phrase “Do whatever you want to do” pops up. I would become wide eyed and just stare. There had to be some guidelines. Something to start with. Some direction to move in. But no… especially in the printmaking department. There were a couple projects where I became stuck just trying to figure out what kind of paper I wanted to use. {It’s really important for printmaking, I swear.} Usually I would end up developing some huge idea and fail miserably in trying to accomplish it.

I did that often.

I still get nervous when I pick up my pencil to sketch. It’s hard to try to carve into a blank block. It seems so easy to screw it all up and waste a lot of money in the process. There are so many stages where you can screw it up. Its tactile and final every step of the way. Sure, there are ways to repair damage that has already been done… but the actions stilloccurredand the scars are all marked into the canvas or paper. There is no going back.















I’ve never had the ease with which to create as I do with my camera. Never. I’veburiedmyself in traditionaltechniquesfor over a decade now {damn… I feel a little old now} and constantlybattledwith the blank slates and the unending threat of ruining each single piece of art I’ve spent 80+ hours working on. Even when I studied older photography… that was film.You are shooting blind and trying to trust your math and/or instincts. It takes a completely different set of cahones to do that all the time.


But my camera – my little D40x – my nothing really fancy about it Nikon – frees me from all of that stress. It’s pretty simple to me. Look through the hole and your canvas is already filled. Move your body to see the composition. Aim for perfection. Press the button and you have something. Not the best it could be? Do it again.Immediately. There is always an improvement and if you keep working at it you will find perfection. The longer you spend with the camera the easier the perfect moments presentt themselves. There’s no waiting. There’s no screwing it up. There’s no ruining something. There’s no worry aboutwastinglots of money in thepursuitof the one decent composition.

Thousands upon thousands of photos have cost me less than one printmaking project. With less stress.

It’s such a relief that I can walk out my door with my camera in hand and know, for a fact, I will be completely satisfied with the art I create.


2 Replies to “Some days it’s hard to think

  1. She takes after her mother! I like the shoes – I painted 35 canvases once with shoes of all kinds. Still have some, couldn’t part with them.

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