Does having a camera change the way you work? Or even the way you think? I had been watching this particular piece of found art for about a week, and wondering what, if anything, I had to say about it. Could I put it in a story as a detail, or use it as an image to build some kind of analogy, or even (on a good day) a metaphor? I even thought, briefly, of writing some kind of poetry, maybe a haiku. Or would it be relegated to “weird thing I saw one time” status, not even good for an anecdote? Because really, what could I say?
“One summer, somebody in the neighborhood left a red pen, probably a Pilot G2 or a knockoff, in one of the black walnut trees, right where two branches met.“It was very hot, and the pen was open, point down, and over the course of about a week all the ink, the red ink, leaked out into the grey bark of the tree and soaked down the trunk in a thick coiled streak as long as the pen.“It’s amazing how much ink a G2 has in it.”
The words just don’t carry the weight here. And it’s not really something you could draw. Well, maybe you could, but I couldn’t. It took two days before I remembered I had my camera in my shorts pocket because of my ongoing and futile quest to photograph the koi when I go to feed them. Photographs and words make for a different artistic animal than drawings and words, the way I am used to using them. Experimenting with this is … interesting.
(Hey, at least I’m not asking you to read the haiku.)
(all images © Pam Bliss)