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Sunday, March 3, 2013

diligentia


mouse over to see the original

Diligence is a very great help,
even to a mediocre intelligence.


There was lots to play with this week in our Beyond Beyond class (nicknamed 2B). Shooting from above; Kim's brand-new Cloth & Paper Collection of textures (I used Bamboo, Cameron, and MagicFilm); another preset in Lightroom; and Kim's own brand of heartfelt wisdom. I am being sufficiently challenged...and enjoying every minute of delightful diligence!

You gotta make art with what you've got around...with what's in your heart and what's on your mind. At least that's how it has always worked best for me, whatever the medium. I had to remind myself of this yet again as I tried to make something happen with this assignment. And then I slowed down, stopped worrying about what it was finally going to look like (i.e. what other people might think), and just went with my own instinct.

So, I dug into a box of my father's old school books, and chose three Latin primers. Young Aldo's photo was tucked in amongst them (honestly...that part was true serendipity!). I included his old typewriter, and rounded it out with some artificial greenery that provided a little "organic" contrast...and just felt right. I arranged everything on a piece of white foamcore board, got out my camera and a stepladder and the rest is history.


The precise arrangement of it all was a process that I found meditative, relaxing and oddly rewarding: achieving just the right compositional balance via the placement of elements, the amount and use of negative space, noticing every little nuanced line, shape and color. I learned this years ago by studying - and imitating - the work of British textile artist Janet Bolton. You know you're having fun when you look up at the clock and realize that it's been hours - not minutes - that you've been playing around with this stuff...and that you'd better wrap it up or you're gonna be late for work.

All the while I was remembering Dad, the diligent scholar, and his love of languages, especially Latin and Greek. As I paged through his Latin books, I remembered my own high school Latin class back in 1978, which I took just for fun my senior year. It was the best class ever. Far from a "dead" language, studying Latin helped me learn much about the roots of my own language, got me translating bits of wisdom from Cicero, Virgil, Seneca, St. Augustine.

Tell me again why we stopped teaching Latin in our schools?

I am linking up with February's Photo-Heart Connection 'cause I did most of the "work" last week. Thanks Kat for reminding me what it's all about.

xoxo
Cindy

12 comments:

  1. Wow, this takes me back! I remember my own high school Latin classes with great fondness. I also have a foreign language book that belonged to my father, a little French pocket dictionary. I love the setup you did, the books and photo of your father, the old typewriter, along with that great quotation. Lovely processing, too. A great image for PHC!

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    1. Nice to meet you. It is fun to hear how others connect with my PHC, and interesting to hear about the memories it generates in others.

      xoxo

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  2. Great photo Cindy I love your process isn't foam board great ?

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    1. Yes...it's just not big enough. LOL

      xoxo

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  3. thanks for explaining your process here. I don't take near enough time setting up my shots, I could learn from you!

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    1. Nice to meet you. I enjoy the set-up process, but I stop when I start feeling stressed out about it.

      xoxo

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  4. I remember taking Latin in school. I remember liking it a lot more than French, but all my friends were in French so I switched. There is a beauty to Latin. I love how you arranged everything. Great work.

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    1. Thanks Sarah. I took French as well, and even lived in Canada for 12 years, but Latin still wins my heart.

      xoxo

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  5. My daughter took Latin because she knew it was a non-speaking language...she had so much social anxiety. This is simply wonderfully done and I love your written part, as well. Wonderful work. I am drawn to Italian...

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  6. I think "social anxiety" would describe my senior year: It was my decision to transfer to our big, public HS, after 11 years in the parochial school system...parachuting into a social setting when everyone's friends and cliques were already well established. I remained the invisible student. Latin was my favorite class that year, followed closely by Honors English.

    Thanks for visiting!
    xoxo

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  7. Love your photo, so beautifully done, and your text. Fantastic photo-heart connection. I loved my latin class for the same reason than you. I too usually take much time to set up my photos without even noticing it...

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    1. I enjoy still life photography...it puts me in the here and now and is a good way to focus on the art and craft of photography.

      Thanks for visiting!
      xoxo

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