Still Learning To See


…I am still struggling with what’s next. Partly it is the continuing overwhelming situation of the world and partly it is the age-old question every artist faces: what’s next?

A long snowshoe up a favorite still snow-covered stream on the side of a friend’s hill farm quieted the voices and offered some real inspiration, even if I don’t (yet) feel I see what’s next. Maybe just being here now, even if unsettled and somewhat unsatisfied.  Maybe this is a time—appropriate for late winter—when seeing simply becomes challenging.

That said, I did notice when I was working over the photographs above that two small insects—snow fleas of some sort—”bombed” my photo of the Beech leaf!

And I did feel fortunate to see the crescent moon in a thick evening sky, setting among the branches of the Tamarack I planted forty years ago. And the Tamarack itself seemed to call to me to look at it in different ways, to see new inspiration. Who knows?



All this said, I am so often inspired by my fellow artists. One in particular, Dianne Shullenberger, seems to always be throwing sparks off that light the rest of us on fire! Once again, as she has done for many, many years, she is hosting “Delicious Words,” a salon with artists and a small bit of delicious food, to benefit those in need of shelter. There are two performances, both the same, hosted in her lovely studio which is the historic home of Snowflake Bentley. If you are local and free, please come and support this wonderful event. The “words” will be amazing and I can guarantee the “delicious” part will be very delicious!

Delicious Words

This entry was published on March 31, 2017 at 8:54 pm. It’s filed under Ice, John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Leaves, Photograph, Reflections, Spring, Vermont, Water and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

10 thoughts on “Honestly…

  1. As usual, inspiring and uplifting moments of light captured by your eye and camera. Thank you. Re: what’s next? 1. Cannot know 2. Makes no difference if we know or not 3. no need (except maybe for feeling safe) 4. it will happen anyway

    I know an artist wants to know what’s next because it informs his art. Artist as Seer. But for me, the present is so full we can’t begin to know it in any real sense. We can’t let ourselves be distracted from ‘this, here, now’ by something so ethereal as the future. That’s the land of hope and possibility. Love you, theo

  2. ehwfram on said:

    Such lovely colors in the leaf/water images. Every season has its palette. What’s next always tends to surface when you’re looking the other way – and then it seems just right. See you at Delicious Words on the 23rd!

  3. How wonderful “Delicious Words” sounds–and maybe THAT’S what’s next–a chance to share time and space and thoughts with fellow artists, remembering that there is an amazing world out there beyond the griefs of politics. I’m still doing my activist “things”–writing thank you’s to the 17 Republican representatives who came up with House Resolution 195 in support of Climate Change:

    But also taking time for the crocus–their brave small faces are inspiration. “What’s next” will always show up–“What’s now” is the place for the joy of you and Liz being “Dessert Chefs” for the “Delicious Words”. 🙂

    And for some powerful words, I turn yet again to Gandhi:

    “Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.”
    Mahatma Gandhi, The Story of My Experiments with Truth

  4. Many thanks, my dear, especially for your work and your amazing quote retrieval system. Clearly Google was modeled after your brain!

    • Julia on said:

      LOL, so true– Google lets us think like a star, leaping from point to point 🙂 Hugs to you and Liz on a day when the sun is finally showing its face here–yay!

  5. Karen Dailey on said:

    As I read and see your words and pictures, I feel your questions…and your stability to hang in there for the long run. The comments at the end add direction, joy, appreciation, and recognize the importance of one’s presence in the here and now. Have fun at “Delicious Words”. If we were closer, I’d be there for sure!

  6. Deborah Leu on said:

    Another fabulous set of images, John. And thoughtful, inspiring words.

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