Illustrate

Interesting phenomena occur when two or more rhythmic patterns are combined, and these phenomena illustrate very aptly the enrichment of information that occurs when one description is combined with another.

Gregory Bateson

We’ve spent the spring inside, unable to visit parks, beaches, wide open spaces.. This sudden onset of an unwelcome new-normal pushed me to reevaluate favorite views through a changed perspective, searching for new techniques to create images more appropriate to where we find ourselves. An artistic shift to renew, reuse and recycle as I view our natural surroundings through the surreal framing of present time and social distance instead of the past-normal habits of easy travel and casual conversations.

Representations of natural elements and the dynamics of family connections have shifted to focus on color and emotion instead of traditional photo realism. An opportunity to capture singular feelings of mystery, nature, freshness and color. We’re staying home together yet looking out to a new, changed future.

Filled with contradictions I have pages of ideas and images to share but these budding stories conflict with an equally sharp need for privacy. For safety in the quiet solitude of home, my carefully controlled space. I want to go exploring, leave the boundaries of my yard, but I also want to stay inside just a little longer. The desire to re-engage in public life warring with the desire for privacy. It’s hard to find a middle ground when everything shifts by the hour.

As I work through my own conflicting thoughts I’m spending time immersed in two different creative styles and techniques expressing different emotions. Green, lyrical and peaceful balanced with red, bold and loud. Moods and emotions complementing this time of intense change and growth.

Letting the days go by

Kalaloch Beach, WA

And you may ask yourself, well

How did I get here?

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

Hello, I’ve missed you all! Last spring I didn’t think taking a short break would lead to anything more than a chance to catch my breath but here we are, catching up after more than a year and quite a few changes. I’ve had a lot of time to think about if I wanted to return to blogging, wondering if I had anything unique to say in these strange times and I changed my mind multiple times yes/no/yes/no/maybe but one constant was the fact that I couldn’t stop hearing The Talking Heads song Once in a Lifetime. I took it as a sign.

You may ask yourself

What is that beautiful house?

You may ask yourself

Where does that highway go to?

And you may ask yourself

Am I right? Am I wrong?

And you may say yourself

“My God! What have I done?”

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

Seven years ago I was an excited newbie, unsure if anyone would be interested in my Pacific Northwest photos but I had experiences I wanted to share and a desire to try something new. I learned a lot, met some truly wonderful people and slowly but surely grew my audience. At my peak I was posting seven days per week with an engaged audience and felt like I’d really found my stride.

Life goes on though, I ran short on time to take new photographs, home improvement projects were put on hold and I came to rely on the WordPress weekly photo challenge for interesting blog prompts. The task of meeting a random word or phrase with something relevant to my niche of family, travel and PNW scenery was fun for me and when it ended I’ll admit I felt a little lost. I know a blogger should be able to plan their own material but again, I liked the challenge aspect and when this ended my enthusiasm for the platform waned. I’ve continued to share photos and comments on Instagram and Twitter but the longer form of illustrated posts and storytelling wasn’t where my heart was.

Same as it ever was

Same as it ever was

Same as it ever was

Look where my hand was

Time isn’t holding up

Time isn’t after us

Same as it ever was

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

Before my break I tried to return to the photo-a-day format that had worked so well in the past but life got in the way. I made a huge career change, leaving the industry I’d been a part of for 25 years, family members faced renewed health challenges, chapters ended and new doors opened. Each piece brought new demands and left me with little free time for independent thought or, if I’m being honest, even time to step outside and take a photo. The things that had held me creatively engaged for so many years seemed out of reach. For most of this time I simply hung on and kept moving forward, taking care of what was right in front of me while trying to keep my head above water.

Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down

Letting the days go by, water flowing underground

Into the blue again into the silent water

Under the rocks and stones, there is water underground

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

Some things have settled, some I’ve grown accustomed to and some I’m resigned to wait out but finally, I’m feeling the need to rejoin aspects of my past that fed my creative side so here I am brainstorming how to share interesting content while keeping the process fun. I’m looking forward to writing again, using words for more than business correspondence and quick conversation but the (self-induced) pressure of returning to my old style and posting calendar has held me back from fully committing to a return. It all felt too hard and not authentic as our life has changed and my creative outlook adapted.

Letting the days go by

Same as it ever was

And here the twister comes

Here comes the twister

Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime

Just because I haven’t posted here doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about blogging though, my old habit of keeping lists and journal notes for inspiration has continued, now I’m looking to them for direction and clarity of purpose. I have pages filled with one word blog prompts, thoughts about why I started Northwest Frame of Mind and notes-to-self about finding my own voice and being emotionally honest with words. I suspect many of these will appear here as I work through what makes me happy and how I can share something of value in a very crowded space. My posts may be infrequent but they will be authentic and I’ll continue to frame each entry with a PNW focus as it’s our home and a thing I love. My hope is as I continue to explore a few of you will trust me enough to follow along.

Kalaloch Beach, WA