Today I decided to take a break from art journaling, painting, inking, or doodling and focus on photography. I have tons of photographs I need to edit and categorize. I decide to focus on a few today as my creative activity. I’ve categorized these under the title “Lines and Shadows”. I’m sure I will have several more to add to this classification in the future.
My partner, Gary, and I decided to take a quick 3-night mini-vacation to the White Mountains in eastern Arizona this week. It is Apache country, home to the Fort Apache Indian Tribe along Arizona’s border with New Mexico. It is beautiful country with yellow pine forests (a mixture of deciduous oaks and aspens as well as evergreen juniper and pine species). There are deep canyons, rolling foot-hills and tall mountains, lakes and hiking trails. The altitude along this area is 7000-8500 feet but is still considered high desert. The nights are cool (in the 30’s right now) and the days are pleasant (in the 60’s). Perfect weather, in my opinion!
We drove there from our home in west central Arizona, a 3.5 hr drive along the Mogollon Rim. And we brought along the newest member of our family, Dixon, a rescue from our local humane society. The three of us spent our days hiking trails in and around Pinetop-Lakeside and driving into the Fort Apache Reservation. It was just beautiful! And it provided an opportunity to take photographs of the area, some of which I’ve included below (you can click on any photo to see a full-size version).
These first photos were taken on a hike around Woodland Lake State Park in Pinetop, Arizona. The park includes a natural lake and wetlands full of migrating ducks and geese and has a walking trail that circumnavigates the lake.
The next photos were taken the same afternoon on a drive into the high country of the Fort Apache Reservation, headed toward the Sunrise Ski Resort which was closed for the autumn. The trees with the gorgeous gold and orange leaves are aspens which only grow in the higher elevation mountains of the southwest.
These last few photos were taken on Thursday, our last full day in the area. We took a good long hike along the Hitchingpost Loop and Turkey Trot trails just west of Woodland State Park. It was much hotter that day than the day before with few clouds. And the trail was rocky and dry with only a few spots in full-shade. Luckily it was a rather flat trail so not much climbing was required. Still, we were all hot and thirsty by the time we finished . . . having drunk all of our water during the first 2/3 of the hike.
We loved our mini-vacation in the White Mountains so much we plan to do it again soon. Maybe in the Spring. Getting away really feeds the creative spirit!
A friend of mine who is an amateur photographer, among other things, challenged me on Facebook to post three photos that inspire me every day for seven days. And to do so with no words of explanation as to what/where/who they are of or why they inspire me.
I love photography and, even though I do not own a DSLR camera, I enjoy taking photos of the great outdoors as well as micro photos of other things (animals, patterns, food). So I agreed to the challenge. All photos I post over the next week will be ones that I have taken myself and that inspire me in some way.
Day 1, Photo Inspiration Challenge
“Reality is to be found in lightness and darkness.” ~Pablo Picasso
Have you ever thought about who you are behind your need to please, your need to look good to the world, your desire to be perfect? Which is more authentic, the self we let others see….or our shadow selves, the darker (or maybe lighter) parts of our being?
If you thought I might have any wise words about being true to oneself or presenting an authentic face to the world, you would be mistaken. I am on a journey to find out what is true for me. You’ll certainly have to do your own work in that arena.
In the meantime, I’m obsessed with shadows and the interplay of light and dark. What I pick up in my photography mirrors what I am searching for within. Creativity is like that. It often brings out the exact issues or conundrums in ourselves that we are consciously (or subconsciously) needing to work on.
I took the first photograph, above, a little over a year ago at Lake Powell, Arizona. It was a cloudy and windy day. It shows that I needed to lose weight. (Okay, okay! I’ll stop being hard on myself.) Honestly, I just liked the looooong shadow that my body cast on the pavement.
The next two photos were taken a couple of days ago in Sedona, Arizona on a hike in the red rocks with my sweetheart. It was a particular sunny and warm winter morning. I’m not sure what they tell me other than that there were more shadows than people on the trail that day. But I like the light and dark they reflect. Much like me.