Saturday, February 7, 2015

Emotions evoked by art, and the emotions of the artist

Today was a beautiful day, moderate temperatures, and a Saturday (so that many people with "normal" jobs - unlike mine - were free).  Our window of opportunity for a hike was noon to 1:30, and as you might expect, there were quite a few people, and their dogs, sharing the Crabtree Creek Trail with Ziva and me.  In spite of this contrast with our trip yesterday, when we were almost alone, I made two photos that I felt showed solitude, and even a sense of loneliness.

Revisiting the site of one of yesterday's images, I was intrigued by the strong shadow of the bridge, and allowed myself to become a part of it.

Does that look like a lonely person?  Maybe it just looks like a photographer with a phone camera in hand.  I can't really judge the effectiveness of my own works, but I will observe this: many great composers have created music which elicits powerful emotional responses from listeners.  Sometimes the feelings correlate with things we've all experienced in our lives - sadness, elation, longing, tenderness.  However, the composer is no more likely than not to have been feeling those things while crafting the music.  Having been there at some previous time is sufficient.  I'm sure the same thing applies to great visual artists.  Could Picasso have painted Guernica without being intensely personally moved by the horror of what happened?  Undoubtedly not.  Yet I think that in a lot of cases, a very moving painting results from an artist's memory, or wishes, or pure imagination.

I make no lofty claims about the rudimentary photos that I do to document my frequent walks, but I do think of some of them as art, simply because they are a way for me to explore my thoughts and share things that can be difficult to articulate.  Today has been a very happy day for me, so far, yet I felt like creating some images that I would not describe as happy.  Because I could!


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