timothy wells photography

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  • Finding footings

    Some days, I call "footless" days, are ones where you have things you need to get done but just can't find your footing in the morning and you spend the rest of the day off-balance.

    I've been doing my artist-in-residency at the Mayflower Arts Center in Troy, OH, since early July and it will continue on through October. During the residency I've been mostly immersed in studio and creative life. It's been a real refreshing charge to my creativity and creative batteries. But you can't live the 24/7 studio life forever. Or can you?

    Leaving that debate on the backburner for now, the last 10 days I've been outside the studio and residency doing various family functions and trips. Pulling myself out of the studio mindset has had its plusses and minuses.

    I've gotten to visit with both sides of the family as they are entering new and challenging life changing events in their lives. 

    I've gotten to make some photographs I'm actually pretty happy with and excited about. The new places and fresh eyes always awaken and stir creative juices, even though I've been to the various places I visited many times - you can still find fresh eyes if you've been away from a place long enough.

    I got to fly and there's something about being in a plane that makes my brain shift, relax, see things differently, and pieces things together in a way that doesn't happen other places. It's always been that way for me. It's like shower epiphanies, but different.

    But I also missed my residency studio space and location. I sit here in my home studio for the first time in almost 3 months and trying to picture it as the creative space I've created and found at the Mayflower studio and realizing the things I've made, discovered, created, etc during my residency would not have happened in this studio. Nothing against this studio space. I like it, but it had become normal and comfortable. It had become too easy to get online and dwindle away the day. And how easy it is to fall back into the old habits, routines, and patterns that I was trying to break by doing my residency.

    I have three more weeks (ish) left in my residency and I head back down there this afternoon. And I need to do some serious pondering about what I've done, haven't done, what I wanted to do, what I didn't do, why, what, etc over the last three months and what I want to take away from the experience. 

    I will say that after this nice extended residency, having a two week residency somewhere else would be hard to pull off. But then again, now that I've done this one, I have a better understanding of what you can and can't accomplish by packing up your (or at least my) studio for a short period of time and try to find or refind your footings in your studio and creative life.

    May you find your footings in this crazy world of creating things. It's not easy and there are days when the footing just isn't there. On those days, ride the current and see where the day takes you. Sometimes, it's pretty exciting.