I finally had to face the obvious -- I was stuck. Even worse, I didn't know why. Which makes it near impossible to get unstuck. Is this it? No more inspiration? No more photography? A serious malaise is lurking.

For two years, I blamed my stuckness on the coronavirus but that excuse faded with vaccines and rapid antigen tests and my return to a 'nearly' normal life. It had to be something else. I needed help!

So, I took a leap of faith and signed up for Sean Kernan's "A Piece of Work" workshop at the Maine Media Center. The workshop is nominally about photography but we mostly wrote, told stories, painted, danced, meditated, observed deeply, watched videos, threw spears and explored the mysteries of the brain (left vs. right, conscious vs. subconscious). A few assignments resulted in photos but my goal really was to get the juices flowing.

Did the workshop help? I think so.

For now, the stumbling block seems to have been my 'left' brain (analytical, judgemental) constantly rejecting creative suggestions from my 'right' brain (observational, imaginative). It feels like my left brain has said ’no’ so often to my right brain that it got mad and stopped sharing. I’m trying to get them to make up and start talking again! ;-) So far, so good. I'm working on a couple of photo projects, writing a little and drawing storyboards for a clay monoprint series.

One of the photo projects is making images about light. Here are three that came out OK. Nothing profound but part of my getting unstuck therapy.

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On a related note, I just listened to a wonderful interview from Atlas Obscura titled “The Guy Who Sings” with Matt Farley who has posted over 26,000 songs to Spotify. The whole interview (about 18-minutes) is funny and interesting and thought-provoking but his observation about getting ‘unstuck’ (at 13-minutes) is particularly timely. Highly recommended! Here's the link:

The Guy Who Sings

As I mentioned in a couple of recent blogs, last year I scanned 1,200 negatives from my first years as a photographer. During those first years, I definitely wasn't stuck! No subject was off limits and the rule-makers weren’t yet whispering in my ear.

A few photo-pals and a valued mentor (Rebecca Morrison who teaches at MassArt) suggested that I publish some of the photos. Rebecca and I selected and sequenced 75 of the most compelling images and I used my trusty Serif Affinity software to create Places Faces Best of all, the endlessly creative artist and teacher Gary Duehr generously agreed to write a pitch-perfect foreword for the book.

Here's the link to the web page for Places Faces where you can see all of the images and read Gary's foreword:

Places Faces

And here are links to Sean, Rebecca and Gary's web sites:

Sean Kernan

Rebecca Morrison

Gary Duehr

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