Sights like the sugar maple above will derail my plans any day. Why wouldn’t I stop and take a luscious photo right up into the tree canopy with every possible shade of leaf? The question is really, shouldn’t I drop what I’m doing and capture that photo? Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?
I’ve spent more of my life than not putting my creative urges in their places and continuing on with the task at hand. I obviously couldn’t go flitting off in my day job, so I set myself up in self-employment so I could manage my time better for more creativity, but I still had to set some boundaries. Even though creative efforts were what earned a portion of my income, the income-earning activities had to be done first before creative activities with potential income.
Then came taking care of things for others, and it was a practicality. Doctor appointments, hospital visits, were added to the things to be done before running after paintings and pretty pictures. That extra unpredictable block of my schedule taken up with unpredictable day-long activities, I actually turned my back on creative opportunities. In fact, when not tied up with caretaking I would not even leave my house, not even go out into my yard, so I would not be tempted by creative ideas and the time they would take. Even when some of those caretaking activities were no longer part of my life, the effect that extra time lost had on my income was still an issue so I continued to avoid creative influences. That has a deadening effect on all my creative activities. Obviously, I can’t do that for too long, though I’ve actually been at it for years.
Add to that the activities for building Portraits of Animals and posting often enough to build an audience. I’ve been building my e-commerce site all year and I’m still not done simply because of the number of items to post and how long each one takes, running sales, making new products. Getting all the images together for a post, taking new photos if necessary, pulling copy from older sites or writing clever new copy, building the purchasing script for the product, adding it all to the site takes 15 to 30 minutes per item, sometimes more, then I have to let the world know it’s there. I knew this process was time-consuming, exactly why, although I build websites, I hadn’t wanted to set up my own site myself. I had really wanted to pay someone because of the time it would take. Now, because building that site is an important part of my income, maintenance and posting comes before all my other sites. And, sadly for me and frustrating, the time at night I once spent writing rescue stories and research articles is more often spent updating and adding to the website. I hope by the end of the year I will be caught up with all the prior items on the site and only have to keep up with what’s new.
I would be taking some autumn-themed photos for two customers along with a pickup at a printer some miles away, and got a little carried away. The leaves are colorful, not quite at their height but still, on a bright October day, surprisingly warm, I could cover a lot of ground and visit some of the places I wanted to photograph for myself too, both for the photos and for future paintings if I couldn’t get back during the season.
Weather in autumn is the catch, and last Thursday was unusually warm but a cold front was coming in so I knew I wouldn’t have two or three days to work on this, I had only a few hours. And as it happened the cold front rolled in earlier than I’d expected so I managed to get my customer photos, but not all of the ones I wanted for me. The winds picked up, the rain was biblical, and the day turned cold and dark and wet, but I have memories and many photos of the places I visited yesterday, and over the winter months, if I don’t get the time on a sunny day during the season, I may spend some time on a few autumn paintings.
I had work to do at home and posts to write, but it had been so long since I’d taken off and run around to places where I knew the the light was right for good photos and took the time it needed regardless of what else was waiting. So I did. And knew I’d get behind. And as I’ve done every few weeks lately, I didn’t catch up.
Then every weekend has an event, or more than one, or something that takes part of an afternoon or evening. This weekend Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation had a pet first aid class that I’d wanted to attend to brush up on my certification, which is five years old! I can hardly believe it’s been that long.
On Saturday evening it was the Panhandle Trial’s annual Night Walk, always a challenge to photograph, but so much fun. The night was chilly and all were bundled up, but the feeling was festive. For all the times I’ve photographed night events for the trail I think I finally captured my favorite bonfire photo.
And then on Sunday the library was looking swell in autumn finery as each of the trees is a different color, but I haven’t even gotten to edit those photos yet.
The photo at the top, “Autumn Rainbow”, is my absolute favorite from all the places I visited. Each of the photos is linked to a blog post where you can read more and see more photos. The first four photos represent four of the many stops I made on Thursday: my favorite sugar maple tree by the creek in Carnegie, the farm market where I often shop, Kane’s Woods conserved by The Scott Conservancy and Old St. Luke’s Church in Scott Township. Some of the photos I took for customers are not included here until the project is completed.
But I invite you to visit my post on my photo blog Today. I established a site for my photography called “Today” in 2005, before I began blogging, and when I gave my website its second rebuild and added more and more content. In 2009 I began “Today” as a real daily photo blog, with each photo posted in the evening from that day. That’s difficult to achieve over time, but many of my photos are still a photo from the day.
I will eventually put several photos from that wonderful Thursday up for sale as prints, and know I’ll be painting from them as well. For now I have “Autumn Rainbow” on my website—adding a half dozen or so would have taken too long and I’d never catch up again! If you’d like to purchase a print, use the ordering menu below or visit Portraits of Animals.
Back to Business!
My fine felines actually had a few days off while I was out photographing other subjects, at least with my better camera. Just as Today had been established to feature a photo from that day, so my daily cat photos had been established, and as schedules changed that was just as difficult to keep up with on The Creative Cat. Some of the featured photos are actually from “today”, but are also from yesterday, last week, two months ago…just as I did with the autumnal scenes, I often take a dozen or more photos of my cats in one scene and spread them out over time. In fact, that Chewy box has been making the rounds over the past few days and they’ve been awfully darned cute…
Thank you for hanging on! I appreciate every reader, and you are all on my mind when I choose what to present. I look forward to each person opening up a digest or a single article and enjoying the art, images, and text. So now, on to another week.
Read other Essays on The Creative Cat.
All images and text used on this site are copyrighted to Bernadette E. Kazmarski unless otherwise noted and may not be used without my written permission, although links to your site are more than welcome and are shared. Please ask if you are interested in using and image or story in a print or internet publication. If you are interested in purchasing a print of an image or a product including it, check my animal and nature website Portraits of Animals to see if I have it available already. If you don’t find it there, visit Ordering Custom Artwork for more information on a custom greeting card, print or other item.
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© 2016 | www.TheCreativeCat.net | Published by Bernadette E. Kazmarski
Weekly schedule of features:
Sunday: Essays, Pet Loss, Poetry, The Artist’s Life
Monday: Adoptable Cats, TNR & Shelters
Tuesday: Rescue Stories
Wednesday: Commissioned Portrait or Featured Artwork
Thursday: New Merchandise
Friday: Book Review, Health and Welfare, Advocacy
Saturday: Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat, Living Green With Pets, Creating With Cats
And sometimes, I just throw my hands in the air and have fun!