Monday, August 16, 2010

Light and Dark Places

Italy has changed me. It was so clear to me on our recent trip to Switzerland, where the perfectly clean and cared for towns were pretty, but not so inspiring to me artistically. Where was the texture, the peeling paint? Where was the reality, the truth? It seemed too perfect. Like a wall erected between me and the place. Just look at the pretty picture, admire the beauty, move on. Distracting me by the surface.

But what's underneath the surface? That's what I want to know. What is it like inside? What I see in the buildings and towns I visit is a metaphor for what is going on inside of me. I could have the perfect, controlled, beautiful exterior, but at what internal cost? Perhaps at the cost of creativity, the cost of self-expression. Or I can have an exterior that is not quite perfect, a little bit flawed, that doesn't follow all the rules, but is full of internal life and energy. Allows for a creative expression of the self. But with that must come honesty, an awareness and acceptance of the flaws.

Which do I want?

It might seem an easy question, of course I want the texture, the energy, the life. I want all of the creativity that comes along with it. But to get that I have to truly recognize and accept the flaws, the light and dark places inside of me. Boy, is that hard.

I guess the fact that I'm recognizing this is a start. The fact that I'm seeing the light and dark both, choosing the texture and peeling paint, feels right. Feels real. And I am amazed at how, once again, I learn about myself through my art. I can't hide when I express myself creatively, all of me is there, in the images I create. My photographs have something to show me, they show something of me, beyond the surface impressions.

Right now, they are showing me that my time in Italy has changed me. No doubt about it.

13 comments:

  1. Beautifully put, perhaps perfectly?

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  2. your photographs are so beautiful!
    I enjoy hearing the thought process too :)

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  3. When you look back in a few years, it will be interesting how much of Italy's texture still influences your life. I hear you about light - I am stuck in a sunflare state of mind. Glare, flare, the obsure is where My heart is. I so hear you, Girl. Shine on...

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  4. This photograph is VERY beautiful! I definitely choose the texture and the peeling paint!

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  5. This photo is just amazing. Lights and shadows, always inspiring. I am painting through synesthesia which makes me see colors when I hear names and numbers. These colors I transform in paintings. Colors are my life.

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  6. Another beautiful photo and the perfect image for your post. Isn't it wonderful to live in another culture and learn from it? We've lived in Central America and Spain -- it does change you and make you see your own home culture so differently.

    Your commentary made me think of the movie Io Sono l'amore--have you seen it? Tilda Swinton's character becomes so much more authentic as she discovers her real self. Love changes her, but art can do it.

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  7. Isn't it amazing how the feel and look of a place can take hold of the heart. Your photograph captures the authentic nature that is Italy. I too, will be forever grateful for the way travel has changed me.

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  8. Another great picture! Isn't true about discovering ones self through art... that's how I feel about my zentangle drawings. Great post.

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  9. Beautiful image and post. I agree with you, conventional beauty is often not all that interesting. I'll take the texture and character of imperfection any day.

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  10. Kat, I'm in love with not only the photo but your words - of finding *you* in the flaws and acknowledging where you find creative expression.

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  11. This is utterly beautiful photo. I love it. I agree with finding yourself through what you create. xm

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  12. Your description of how you are feeling, of the choice you are making (and we all must make), is eloquent and thought-provoking. Thank you!!!

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  13. This is what I loved so much about Italy. I try to get to this with my art, in painting, sculpture, and in photography. The thing that is weathered naturally, but to reproduce that somehow. This is beautiful Kat, and makes me want to return to Italy.

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