taking pictures of pictures…

While sorting old photos I was struck by the frequent composition I’ve shot for decades. The dominant landscapes of my life share something quite powerful with my sense of self. The proof is in the piles of photographs I need to sort through.

Without lots of breathing room, easily feel claustrophobic.

Walking Town Neck Beach on Cape Cod I get a familiar sense of spaciousness..and then often an accompanying longing for the South Dakota prairie where I grew up. The way these sensations are intertwined, my native Nebraska artist friend, Elizabeth Bunsen, and I have named our “interior geography”.

Interior might not quite describe how truly primal these feelings are for me.

I was going to edit all of these photos of photos which would’ve taken hours. However, since this is the first step in a series I’m working on I thought showing the images raw was more interesting.

What is your interior geography?

Town Neck…

“Only we humans make waste that nature can’t digest.” —Charles Moore, Marine Researcher

“With every drop of water you drink, every breath you take, you’re connected to the sea. No matter where on Earth you live. Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere is generated by the sea.” —Sylvia Earle, Oceanographer

beach rambles inside & out…

I often have a flood of ideas while walking the beach about what I want to create, write, transform, design and so on. Then I get home and the idea’s intensity subsides. I used to feel quite defeated by this. I don’t anymore.

I can’t possibly create all that I imagine…and there’s some sadness that sometimes accompanies that understanding. However, in this middle school stage of life (I’ll be 55 in October) I finally appreciate (accept maybe) the inevitable ebbing and flowing of my inner creative life, and stop fighting the tide so much.

Here are a few ideas that actually did come to life this week:

I think I’ll give myself a high-five for what I did accomplish. Beating myself up over what I didn’t do this week seems pretty absurd.

oh, what a complicated web we weave…

This morning a man in his 60s walked past me and I pointed the spiderwebs out to him. To me they would’ve been really hard to miss, and yet he hadn’t noticed. He was so struck by their beauty and quickly started taking pictures. He told me that he couldn’t wait to show the photos to his wife. He thanked me for pointing them out to him and walked over the boardwalk.

As I walked up the hill I passed another man, about the same age walking two little dogs. I said hello and mentioned that if he’s heading toward the boardwalk there are spiderwebs everywhere and they are so remarkable. He barely looked up and said one word to me, “disgusting”.

I thought about the stark differences of these two men. They were about the same age and visiting or living in the same area. I’m not going to make any assumptions here—not publicly anyway. However, if intellectual curiosity is a sign of open-mindedness, well…I know who I would prefer to hang out with if given the choice.

“You have been my friend. That in itself is a tremendous thing. I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”
― E. B. White, Charlotte’s Web

my art wants a change of scenery too.

bird lillibridge beach flowers blue skyace hotel girl lillibridge

boy on pier carving lillibridge dakota 1966old lady legs carving arno lillibridge dakota 1966beach roses town neck beach lillibridge

I am getting tired of the cold.

I think my paintings are too.

Look where they ended up?