Landscape series: Mental Block

Placerita Canyon

Copyright Douglas Stockdale

I continue to reflect on the comments by Julie earlier this week about our muse quietly waiting for us to find it. That is because of a large mental block that I have regarding my earlier natural landscape work and many years of creating singular images. I know that there are some connections and themes that I have worked on over the years and I have had some off-line discussions with Colin with regard to metaphors and suggested meanings for these images.

But I have never been able to get my arms around a connected idea that would constitute a series for these natural landscapes photographs.  Maybe the simple answer (which can also be the best answer) is that when I am creating my earlier landscape images, that I did not think of creating them in the context of creating a larger body of work in the way that I work on projects and series today.  Again, back to the idea that these were all singular images.

So then the question could be asked, what is my intent for still taking the natural landscape images that I still occasional do? Again, that simple answer could be that I enjoy it. You just gotta luv the simple answers! Or perhaps, I am still patiently waiting for my muse to whisper the answer quietly in my ear……

Best regards, Doug


3 thoughts on “Landscape series: Mental Block

Add yours

  1. Maybe it is one of those things that we go searching for, and then realise that the answer isn’t at the end of the search, it’s what we learn on the way…? Hmm, that sounds rather cryptic but it’s the best way I can think to put it.

    I’m inclined to think, though, that as you shoot these nature/landscape images they will naturally fall into a sort of group of their own even without being a coherent ‘series’. I’m sure your own visual language will come through enough in that regard, rather than having a predefined meaning behind them. The contrast between simply enjoying something visual as opposed to your usual deep thinking photography, might be just what you need to allow you to develop both.

    Not sure where I just read it but someone put it down to artistic/creative people having a *need* to do it, like scratching an itch. Simple, but it rings very true…

    We can only have fun guessing, eh?

  2. I just wrote a really articulate and thoughtful post, and it got lost :(

    It was very much along the lines of:

    These images are likely to have the stamp of your visual style, and so will actually sit together well as a result even if they don’t have a predefined meaning in mind. Also, shooting them is obviously something that comes naturally so it may even be the case that they allow you to balance up the heavy stuff and shoot something for the sheer visual joy of it, and do both better in the long run… or even as I think it was Paul Butzi who I just read saying – it’s just like an itch you have to scratch!

    Very interesting to watch, from this perspective :) Love to see your take on trees, and the likes.

  3. Julie, I think that your original and equally thoughtful first post came through, the magic of good karma!

    But you did put it very nicely in your first comment. The journey really is the most important aspect, although we usually get judged on our “results”, thus get caught up in the need to have results. A frequent internal trap.

    I am also inclined to agree with you about sometimes you get an itch that has to be scratched. That thought provides a lot of creative freedom, as we sometimes are our worst enemy for tying mental chains to ourselves regarding expectations. That to me is one danger of tying to create a “series”.

    So lets continue to remember to enjoy the journey;- )

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