An ordinary person's thoughts on the complexities of art & life ...

An ordinary person's thoughts on the complexities of life ... or just ramblings from the mind of a working Mum with far too little time to think!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Second Glance

It never ceases to amaze me how much you can see in something you may have normally passed by with hardly a glance, when you actually take the time to focus on it for just a few seconds. 

From time to time I have noticed the unusual ornamental Kale plants in various floral displays and thought they looked really interesting. However I have never taken the time to look at them closely or photograph them in detail.

Last week, when visiting a flower shop for my weekly bunch of lilies, I noticed two lone Kale blooms left in a bucket. On an impulse I bought them to explore at leisure with my macro lens.

My week filled up with seeing to the needs of my three busy teenaged girls and I totally forgot about the strange flowers nestled in with the Lilies.

Recently I have been feeling particularly uninspired about my fine art photography business, dwelling on how difficult it is to sell fine art and wondering whether I should be storing the camera and pursuing a totally different source of income.

After all, I have more than enough images on file to fill hundreds of galleries as well as open my own stock library, and the world has more than enough struggling photographers!

For the last year we have been focusing on selling large framed wall art – I have even had several commissions - and thanks to three particularly loyal clients, there are now many large artworks adorning the walls of their homes and businesses, as well as a series of cutting-edge glass sliding doors bearing my images.

However there is no consistency and I can’t seem to stop wondering what makes me pursue fine art photography in a city that takes no pity on photography that is not about weddings or baby portraits.

A few days ago, still feeling disillusioned with the business, I walked through the dining room on the way to my office and spotted the still vibrant Kale blooms amongst the fast wilting Lilies.

I had forgotten all about them. Knowing that they would not last for much longer I set them in a glass vase in my tiny studio and started clicking. Wow! What incredible plants they are up close.

Flowering Cabbage and Kale are ornamental versions of the cabbage and kale we use in our soups and salads, hybridized for their ornamental features including their bright foliage colours and compact growth.

They are not flowers in any real sense of the word. Even their petals are just fancy leaves that superficially resemble the petals of flowers.

They change colour according to the temperature, with pinks and purples becoming more vivid as the weather cools.

When looked at closely, Ornamental Kale blooms are delicately intricate in design with fine branches of colour etched onto each petal like miniature trees.

Their stems are most interesting of all when seen through my macro lens, with tiny green curly hair-like protrusions like little aliens patterning the entire length.

Twenty minutes spent exploring the flowers through my lens and I am a passionate believer again, full of enthusiasm and ideas for what I can do with these images.

It is incredible how somehow things fall into place when you are in a positive space. When I sat down at my computer to download these images I noticed an interesting email in my inbox.

It was a note from a well-established Gallery in the heart of New York’s famous Chelsea district. They had come across my work and were inviting me to consider gallery representation with them...

Even although I know I will probably never make a real living out of my photography, I also know that the creative outlet provided by the process of capturing life on film and the absolute joy I experience by indulging in that creativity is something I will always need in my life.

So, for now, the camera stays out!


  1. Renee, thank you for opening up your heart to us and expressing a concern I believe we all, as artists, experience. I have come to the realization that my art is best served as my passion and joy, and not my means for income. That way, I can enjoy it to its fullest. Your talent and work is an inspiration to me, and I know to many others. And congratulations on the connection with the NY Gallery...that's awesome!!

  2. A famous Alien (Tim Allen) said it all - never give up, never surrender!
    Love you