We are blessed daily with one of my favorite views in all the world – the ever changing Puget Sound and Elliott Bay looking towards Seattle from Bainbridge Island.
Each morning whether clear or cloudy is a study in an artist’s color wheel. Some days the pinks and oranges slowly emerge from behind the Cascade Mountains. Other days the multitude of grays, fog and rain close in around the water.
And some days are meant to be painted. The following sequence shows the original photo, the Google Photos Stylized Photo and my abstract painting of this sunrise:
For the last couple of days, I’ve had the painting on my table in our living room. By accident, I placed the painting so that it catches the morning sun and the evening sun.
In the middle right, you can see the sunrise shining through the “sunrise.” I just created a double sunrise. Is this like a double rainbow? Can we build a myth like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?
Whatever it is, I like the photosynthesis. There are at least four phenomena going on here:
- The original excitement at seeing the sunrise and grabbing my camera to capture it.
- Google Photo’s automated enhancement of the colors it “saw” in the original sunrise photo.
- Translating the observed experience and the photography into an abstract painting.
- Seeing the morning sun shining through the sunrise in the painting and the capturing a a photo of the “double sunrise.”
Each of the phenomena is about being awake enough to see the world around me. Each of the phenomena is about being interested enough to record the observation. The “recording” creates another artifact to remember the initial observation.
This blog post is another attempt at a meta-photosynthesis. That is a new thought. I’ve just created a synthesis of multiple photosyntheses. Well, this discussion got circular in a hurry.
Somewhere in here is a personal creative process:
- Be awake and observe
- Take a photo
- Paint it
- Write about it
Or as my colleague David Robinson always reminds me: Experience First, Make Meaning Second!
As I reflect on these steps of my personal process, I can feel the learning effects of sleep and memory. Of all the observations I make in a day, what rises to the level of consciously being awake to observe and photograph. After living with the memories and the photographic artifacts, what leads me to paint something in the abstract. Then what rises to want to explore these right brain processes with some left brain writing.
As I sit here writing this blog post with the morning sun blinding my screen, I wonder if the title should be “triple sunrise.”
Now I know I need another cup of coffee. Wake Up!