Recently I realized how much of my time is spent actively looking for things that inspire and captivate me. My camera is always with me and I'm constantly on alert for interesting shapes, textures, colors or iconic items. It wasn't always that way. Before subcompact digital cameras, taking photos usually meant going on a trip or to an event and involved finding my camera and making sure I had film and batteries. Almost literally, I put on my photography hat.
Before deciding to become an artist, I wondered what inspired painters, sculptors, musicians and artists of all makes. Now I know that it can be anything and everything. Gradually, I am learning to be on alert to everything around me. I am beginning to see things differently, things that I never noticed before as well as the interplay of light and shadow, color and shape, texture and meaning. And, this new awareness seems to spiral outward pulling more and more things into my consciousness, revealing amazing things about the world around me.
Slowly, I've realized that artistic talent is a gift given to each of us in varying degrees but developing the perspective of an artist is a choice each one of us can make. And, for me, the payoff for making this choice is in the discovery of a world of detail and beauty that I had overlooked before. Joseph Campbell once said, "One looks, looks long, and the world comes in." How delightful it is to see the world slowly coming into focus.