Posts Tagged ‘Anne Miller’

Delighting in the Details

June 19th, 2015 28 comments
Vase Impression #1
Vase Impression #1

You might notice that in my photographs I often take pictures of a small portion of something much larger. I lift the “details” out of the context of a larger subject which allows me to accomplish a number of goals for my photography… and my life!


I’m a high energy kind of person. It is not a slam-dunk for me to be thoughtful and still. I am doing, moving, taking action, setting goals, and checking off boxes on my to-do list all day. I doubt if anyone would argue with the idea that there is benefit to slowing down and reflecting. Some folks do it by meditating. I find that taking photographs is a way to slow down and let go of the clamors of life. And I seem to step out of time when I look at the details that surround me.


When I zoom in on what is here right now, close at hand, in my environment… I see the amazingly ordered, the impossibly complex, the deceptively simple, and the highly purposed arrangements of the natural world. I can’t help but be reminded of a higher intelligence, a creative spirit in the universe. My life’s ups and downs start to get right-sized. I gain perspective, and humility about humankind’s influence. I reconnect to my ideas about God. I can do this anywhere, anytime I want to.

Palm #18b

Palm #18b

Be Positive

This feeling that “life is good” sneaks up on me whenever I slow down and look around. Seeing, feeling and thinking about what attracts me to a scene and making decisions about how to capture the image all work together to lift me into a calm, pleasant, introspective zone. Thoughts about puzzling or troublesome life events or situations recede. I don’t even remotely think that I can represent reality, the total experience of being present to what surrounds me, through a photograph. But I want to try.


When I look at the results of my best efforts, I have a grateful heart and that prompts me to share. If just one person looks at my photograph and is uplifted, then I feel like the work I did was totally worth it. I have given back a little bit of the experience!


When I am overwhelmed with information, with too much to do and too many commitments, the beauty of the colors, the shapes and patterns, the textures, and the interactions of nature and humankind and time to be found in the world immediately around me are relaxing and inspiring. Writing about this reminds me to: Slow down. Smell the roses. Be grateful. Look at the clouds. Savor the flavor. Feel the texture. See the rainbow. Keep it simple. Pass it on.

Life is good!

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Evolution of a New Collection

July 30th, 2011 No comments

Wire #8425b

Wall #8806

Paint #8366

Wall #7981

Here are a few images from a collection I am working on. For now, the working title of this collection is called “Alleys” since many of the images are coming from walks down urban alleys and streets.

I am wondering how other artists develop new collections… I don’t seem to be conscious of a change until I am almost through it and on to the next. The first sign of change is boredom with what I am doing. This is very subtle and I often don’t even realize I am bored until I find myself stopped. I wonder what is wrong. I stop work for awhile. I don’t feel like “playing”.I’ve tried pushing through it and the result is boring. I have to accept that it is time to think about something else for awhile.

I truly believe that unless I allow myself to have that down time, the creative spirit within me can’t be restored. Then after the pause — sometimes instantly, sometimes very gradually — I am rejuvenated. Wonder floods back into my soul. I am back in love with what I am doing and seeing. I am operating at a very intuitive level again. Playing, experimenting, breaking my own rules, breaking everybody else’s rules. Wahoo!!!

Slowly I start to see a method to my madness, a pattern or a process or a theme. The process of refining that new direction, and zeroing in on what it IS that fascinates or attracts me, requires me to become more conscious of it. That is where I am right now with my Alleys (and Streets) theme.

It is really interesting now that I think about it… I see a parallel with how I change and how musical styles (or artistic styles) change.  My own artistic efforts follow the same lifecycle as an artistic movement on a much smaller scale.
Artistic Style Lifecycle (music as an example)
  • Bach thinks of a new way of structuring or expressing music. He breaks or bends the existing musical “rules” in a new and liberating way. Others start breaking the same rules and extending the new vision. Then gradually the rate of change slows down a little, those new “rules” and style get codified into the status quo.
  • Mozart comes along. He focuses on taking the now newly established “rules” to their logical conclusion. He continues adding more depth and refinement of those “rules” to the point of taking that vision to its highest realization. And other musicians build success on that style that is a culmination of a set of “rules” or aesthetic sensibilities.
  • Beethoven takes the status quo and warps, bends, and breaks it as Bach did… another rule-breaker composer who ushers in a new movement of musical expression.

Ok, they didn’t explain it exactly that way in music school, but you get my drift.

Anyway, I see a similar (albeit smaller) pattern in my own development of style and collections within my work. And the best part is that I get to be Bach, Beethoven AND Mozart for my own artistic journey!!

I am now standing at the midpoint of a new collection’s development. I can see it shaping up and I will do some more writing and sharing about it to help clarify and refine that new vision. I will also be continuing to add images to it as I distill my interest in this next body of work.

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