Thoughtful Thursday: Feed Your Soul

Society talks a lot about feeding your mind, body, and spirit. As an artist, how do you feed your soul? I’m talking about those moments that fulfill you as a singular person… not as a mother, father, employee, student… but as YOU. At the end of the day and the end of our lives, we are alone and have to account for how we spend our time. Do you take care of yourself in all facets?

Curtis has been traveling. A lot. It is hard to be the one left behind. When he’s home, I have more purpose and the days fly by. This week, he is gone for six days and can’t communicate as much as he usually does (he is in Panama!!!). I am lonesome. With Anna at school, Dominic spending more time online with his friends, and my mom busy with her music life, it’s just been me and the dogs for quite a bit of the day. I’ve been contemplative and thinking about how I define myself.

Something I used to do frequently that I’ve not done in some time is have an Artist’s Date. It’s from Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and basically is a scheduled block of time where you go out (or stay in!) and purposefully do something to feed your artist’s soul. This weekend, I had an accidental Artist’s Date and was so thrilled with the results that I wanted to share my thoughts and images here on my blog.

The accidental nature in which I found my soul-enriching experience made me sad and a little angry with myself. I used to do a better job at creating this balance where I would block time to feed my soul. I haven’t done that in a very long time. Instead I’ve been reacting to whatever’s next on the list. The next #portraitsofme theme is Window Light and next Macro Mondays theme is Relaxation… that’s what drives my shooting time these days. But these images below are what truly feed me. When I slow down and connect with nature… especially the tiny, unseen with the naked eye moments… that’s when I feel like I’m my singular self, offering the world something completely unique that no one else can offer.

Down the Throat

My mother and son planted Dianthus in my photo garden this spring. This tiny white blossom isn’t even an inch across… it’s very delicate and wispy. Last weekend I was shooting for my Macro Mondays Broken theme and discovered a bevy of busy, itty-bitty ants running to and fro across these flowers. Balancing my camera along the wooden edge of the garden allowed me to reduce camera shake since I didn’t have my tripod. I captured this moment of an ant entering the throat of the bloom. <3

New Braunfels nature macro insect flower photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/7.1 | 1/200 | ISO 400

Basking and Busy

So take a moment and view this image as large as you can… now hold up your thumb and see the true size of these flowers… the full blossom is less than an inch, smaller than your thumb, so this budding bloom is even smaller. Now imagine how tiny this ant is, you can barely see it with your naked eye! The fading sunlight hits the ant and bathes him in warm light, making him appear both basking and busy.

New Braunfels nature macro insect flower photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/7.1 | 1/200 | ISO 400

The Dianthus and the Ant

My favorite of the series is this ant running down the outside of the flower. The ants were moving so quickly and they were so tiny that it was extremely difficult to get one in focus before it was gone. I wasn’t using a very fast shutter speed either (allowing more light into my camera) so I had to get the ant in exactly the right focal plane. I love that this ant is nearly silhouetted against the dark background, the light reflecting off of his body creating highlights. The light and color in this image is glorious and makes my soul sing!

New Braunfels nature macro insect flower photographer

Nikon D750 | 105mm | f/7.1 | 1/200 | ISO 400

I’d love to hear how you feed your soul, artist or otherwise. I am making a commitment to have an Artist’s Date at least once a month and I promise to share those images here on my blog. Thanks for reading and looking!

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