Sunday, September 26, 2010

LISTENING TO THAT STILL, SMALL VOICE

This was a most unusual week because I had two photography shows.  One was with the opening of a new restaurant and the other was part of an invitation-only show in connection with the Baltimore Book Fair.  I put in many hours of work in preparation for both of them, so many that I questioned if it was really worth all this effort to pursue my passion for photography.  People liked my work, but sales were disappointing.  A sign of these recessionary times, perhaps.  Or perhaps a sign that my efforts aren't worthwhile.

By the end of the second show this afternoon, I was drained of enthusiasm.

Some friends had said they would meet me at the restaurant after the other show closed, but they didn't show up.  I sat there contemplating a salad and latte for what seemed like a very long time.

Then the most wonderful thing happened.

A young well-dressed man came into the restaurant.  I smiled at him, for I was sitting right next for the door, and then went back to my gloomy thoughts.  After several minutes he came over to my table and said enthusiastically, "I love 'Carnival Midway'!"  I invited him to sit down and talk.

"The people at the counter told me you were the photographer who took these great pictures," he said.  I thanked him and did feel a sincere wave of gratitude.

He continued, "I don't have a lot of money, but I would like to buy one of your pictures."

As luck would have it, all my prints from the other show were still in my car because I had been too tired to move them into the house.  So I went out and hauled two large carrier bags of prints into the restaurant.

We sat and looked at many pictures for a long time.  Then I found that I had printed some 13x19-inch prints of the image he liked, and he bought one.

We continued.  He is a biologist at at prestigious research institution and takes pictures of developing fish embryos through a microscope, so he has a trained eye.  He said he likes to support local artists, and then said he'd like to be my patron!

He shared an idea for an abstract image for me to work up, based on "The Emergence of Consciousness" series (see previous postings).  Then I suggested a different twist on his idea.  Before long, building on each other's thoughts, we had developed the genesis of a new work.  Then he had to leave, possibly to check on something in the lab.  We had talked for over an hour.

As I walked out to my car, carrying the bags of prints, I felt completely confirmed as an artist.  This was all the more remarkable because I had been so discouraged such a short time before.

I think my "patron" was an angel, sent to give me a message at just the right time.

And now, we will see where this path will take me.

The Emergence of Consciousness:  Cell 01-02-08

-bjd

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