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Friday, May 27, 2011

When NOT To Compose

Earlier this spring, I visited a sheep farm to watch the annual sheering.  I had expected to see the sheering process, but had not anticipated that everywhere I looked there would be subject matter. It was close to overwhelming.

I saw potential paintings in every direction, hundreds of them.  At first I was a bit stunned by the overload of images. 

 ...a newly sheered sheep on the way back to pasture...

...freshly sheered sheep grazing... 

...a young girl riding her bike... 
.
...lamas in the back pasture guarding the sheep...

 ... unsheered sheep in the holding areas...

...sheep being shifted in place for a sheering...

...and the sheering, itself.

And it all was in motion.  Positioning the camera and taking pictures as fast as I could, I was still missing stuff in between shots. There was no time to think. And certainly no time to compose.  It was simply gathering raw images while trying to stay aware of all the surrounding sensations--the smells, the sounds, the atmosphere.

This is another side of being a painter. It's a time NOT to compose, just to tune into whatever images get your adrenaline going and gather as many as you can.  It's the flip side of having your subject in the studio with plenty of time to study it or of setting up to paint on location where the light moving is the only thing that makes you hustle.

What is done with the images gathered may or may not be significant.  They could get filed into the archives of my computer or they could become the subject of a spate of work.  That doesn't matter.  What matters is that I not miss an opportunity to record something that spoke to me, even if I didn't understand at the moment what it was saying.



3 comments:

Anamaria said...

But, Dianne, dont you think you were already composing when you focused the lens of your camera in a certain point of the landscape?

I think you made wonderful choises during your visit to the sheep farm. You composed quickly, instinctively, and very, very well. No thinking, just doing

Your pictures are fantastic!
Hugs from Brasil

Dianne Mize said...

Ah, Anamaria. You're right, but how I framed the photos was automatic. I think it's like practicing a musical instrument or even a basketball maneuver: after you work out the mechanics, it comes automatically.

Thanks for tuning in from Brazil. It's humbling to know my little tutorials are being read from around the world.

Dianne Mize said...
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