The Gifted Eye

By: pbcmedia

Aug 03 2009

Tags: , , ,

Category: ART IS WHERE YOU FIND IT, Artists, COWBOYS, Creativity, Flora and Fauna, Flowers, Life, Photography


Focal Length:180mm
Shutter:1/0 sec
Camera:Canon EOS 5D

I fight the urge every day between April and November.

Each day I fight it back by taking my lens and focusing on some other subject.

But, ala Brokeback Mountain:  “I can’t quit ya !”

I keep coming back.

Flowers, instead of cowboys, in my case, but it’s all the same: men and these obsessional objects of artists .  They tempt in the early or late hours.  They sway unconsciously or swagger deliberately, leaning on my creative buttons tailored only to their charms.

I grow my own art on my porch (which makes dating my obsession ever so much easier) in window boxes and containers and in a small front garden that surrounds my condo door.  I occasionally wander into a neighbor’s garden or go to the pond for the Queen Anne’s Lace, but the bulk of my subjects are less than 20 feet away from me at all times.

I could post two photos a day easily that I find out of the ordinary.  Not just good photos, mind you, but ones that knock me out for one reason or another.  But, I fight the urge though I swagger a bit, too.

Narrative is part of this blog so my obsession with the inner world of flowers must be reigned in.

Except when the narrative is about artists and obsessions like today.

Artists’ blogs I visit tell me I am not alone.

Chris at smallformat, his sweet spot is architecture and if it has rust on it, all the better.  The boy earns my gifted eye award every time he posts a building, inner or outer.

(Tonys?  Oscars?  Nah, The “GE” is what I hereby call it)

Bonnieluria, a painter who lives in St. Croix earns my GE for her paintings of the human figure– not in heroic pose but simply bending down to pick something up or playing an instrument, leaning up against a fence or gathering vegetables or even collapsing in grief.  She is drawn to the unconscious moment in our lives.

In the same locale is Donald Diddams whose GE is earned by his color obsession.  He usually folds it into a form but I think his true calling is abstract forms swirling within color.

Dave at Photos4u2c is a pilot and one might think his aerial photography is his sweet spot as he surely produces some spectacular shots from his co-pilot seat or for his photos of his daughter, Ella.  I think she challenges his creativity and his equipment in ways The Rockies do not.  And, yet, I give the GE to Dave for composition.  I think wherever he goes in the world, he responds to the sum of what is before him, not just each part.   I call it composition for lack of a better term.

Tipota at spacesbetweentrees and most recently viewed here should get the GE for breadth of talent alone.  Video, Photos, Music, Words.  Her latest is called “suffering”.

A GE also goes to epicurienne— when she describes a meal, I reach for my fork.  Of course, she eats things that passeth beyond my understanding, but love her you will.  Her travels, her meals, her words.

A GE goes to planetross in Japan.  (He already received my “Big Meanie” award last year)  He’s a tall Canadian driving a ridiculously narrow van.  The award really should be renamed The Gifted Ear for the cheeseman because he hears words in about as many positions as an Olympian gymnast.

I’m NOT giving a GE to pomeroy because all he does is bring the goofy to Facebook and neglect his blog.  The man has more obsessions than neurons but still the funniest human on the planet.

And, lastly for this post, is Mr. Razzbuffnik who deserves a GE, at least for the times he has been able to defuse a volatile and likely violent situation by sheer cunning and animal instinct of self preservation.  He once sent me a youtube video of a fellow aussie telling the world to “harden the f up”.  I’m still laughing, and still grateful.  I’ll give him the GE for life experience alone.  Now, if he’d just write a screenplay, we’d have him on DVD.

These are just a few of places I visit regularly and make note of how they love their subject into creation.

For unlike obsessions in the clinical setting (and sometimes artists I’m not crazy about as well) which are less about the object itself, and more about the inner needs of the obsessed, the artistic focus that I can celebrate is about the selfless love of a form, a gesture, a streak of light.  It exists outside of the artist first and only after the act of creation does it exist within as well.

After 64 years, I know when someone is more about “I” than “Thou” in my personal life and, in my creative life, I can also tell when an artist is simply 100% besotted with an aspect of their world that only they see.

Their first order of business?

They want to share it.

Uh. Oh.  What’s that noise?

10 Bugles sound.

Attention, world! (Sound of throat clearing)

I am pleased to present…

“I call the photograph (taken this morning) at the beginning of this post, “Zinnia as Palm Tree!”

(She said swaggering slightly as lovers tend to do)

©Pat Coakley 2009


(If you feel someone worthy of ” The Gifted Eye” award, pass on their websites in an email and I’ll give them the GE ‘look’.)

14 comments on “The Gifted Eye”

  1. i would like to thank um my mother i guess for spoiling me with art music and dance lessons, the faithful academy of bloggerifics and most of all Pat for her unwavering creativity and her generosity in bestowing this prestigious award…bleep (cut to commercial) backstage, i enjoy a glass of champagne, cheers!

  2. Beautiful post Pat. You really hit the nail on the head twice – it’s exciting to share work you’re proud of, and even better for your work to be acknowledged by others as good. Many thanks. It’s nice knowing others are looking.

    Your garden pictures have been wonderful, and they inspire me to always go out and check the soil in the windowboxes in front of my apartment to see if they need watering.

    • Chris, I think I responded to this comment on another post! Duh. Anyway, I’m thinking of expanding my garden obsession to veggies as well! Healthy imaging and eating! I could teach a course. Hah.

  3. Well, ma’am, you’ve sure shown yerself to be a “pistil ” packin’ mama with this shot.


    The color, the disappearing edges, the composition ( and not just of image but of words….), your gifts come every time you post to your blog.

    Damn thrilled to be mentioned with your selected GE’s above, Pat.
    Including the two comments that precede mine.
    Many thanks, as the encouragement and recognition is my steroid.

    • Pistil packin’…indeed! I packin’ egg plant and some weird beet right now, trying to figure out how to photograph it. I may give up and eat the damn things. Always appreciate seeing myself through your mirror, Bon bon!

  4. An honor, Pat, and one you must also bestow upon yourself for your artful comments and images. Now, if any image shows an obsession with color, this is surely it. That gorgeous golden orange against the soft background of reds, blues and green is a pulse-raiser!
    Thank you so much for the mention, your visits and comments!

    • Don, these are some of your colors, aren’t they? Do you grow zinnias in St. Croix? I seriously am considering of broadening my focus to include vegetables! Nature provides form and color and I just came back from Whole Foods with vegetables I have never seen before to kick off my “new” series!

  5. This image has to be one of the best flower shots I’ve ever seen. I love the saturated colour combination. Usually I tend to look at flower shots like sunsets, in that although they have much natural beauty they are a bit of a no-brainer.
    Your shot is different. It’s a vibrant alien landscape.

    • Razz, no word of a lie, every time I post a flower photograph I can hearing you groaning, “Oh, not another one!!” So, I’m taking this very high praise from you and squirreling it away!! Vibrant alien landscape…I like that concept as well!

  6. Pat – thank you for the GE. It might help you to know that I make myself hungry when writing about food, but to make you hungry? Well, you’re the one who asked us to send you pictures of our fridge contents. Need I say more?
    As for the photo with this post, this is seriously arresting photography. In our office we have 3 meeting rooms where one wall in each is papered with a single photograph enlarged to fit the wall. In two of the rooms we have scenes of autumnal forests and in the third there is a wall of giant, green bamboo. I love the bamboo, one of the forests is nice but I wish we could take your photo to the photographic wallpaper people and paper it over the third wall. How about looking into selling some of your photos to photographic wallpaper people? Could be the next stage in the Singleforareason Empire.
    In the meantime, I send you a GE straight back for making me feel dreamy through your pictures on such a frequent basis.

    • Epic, just saw Julie and Julia and wondered if you’d seen it yet? I loved parts of it but…but it’s interesting you say that about large prints as I am thinking about having one of images made into an aluminum print, some are used specifically for display due to color saturation. Stay tuned!!! Thanks, of course!

  7. Thanks for the plug and the great compliment! I think you did a great job explaining my work. About two years ago I decided to change my photography style. I wanted more space and more stuff in my pictures. I wanted them to breath, but I still wanted a nice looking composition. It means a lot knowing that someone is able to see what I am aiming for.

    If I was to describe your blog… PatD enters her blog forge wearing a heavy, black leather apron and welders mask. Sparks fly. The windows flash with light. There is much smoke. Out comes a perfectly formed piece of work. A bold, bright photo seamlessly welded to a moving piece of writing.

    • You are so right about the satisfaction given by knowing someone gets what you are doing creatively. Having said that, it is not often I am speechless, so, I’ll just say thank you for your description of what goes on here. I have thought about this comment for the past day since you wrote it!

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