Sunday, January 31, 2016

How Do I Love Thee?


Falling In Love, 2016


"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

I love thee to the level of every day’s

Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
 

For the artist who falls in love with their own work ...  "thee" can be anything, from a person to a plant. Today, it was the Light. Capital "L."  For me, a life long photographer, it's always been and always will be about the Light.

At around 5:00 pm today the angle of the sun created a beautiful light and shadow pattern illuminating the fabric that still hung from last week's portrait session.  It was truly breathtaking and caused an internal alarm that almost shook me. I literally fell in love at first sight.  But I knew that I had a finite amount of time to create the artistic still life portrait I desired.

I started with the beautiful flowers purchased last week from Bachman's that were still looking good eight days later. I loved seeing them each and every day this week even though I was aware of  many minor changes as they aged and wilted.

While I was freshening the flower arrangement and changing the vase I was reminded of comments repeatedly shared by artist friend Jim Marion Foreman that "as we create our favorite art pieces we fall in love with them. We develop an intimate relationship with them that, in that moment, is an intense love affair between the artist and the art."

This was more true than ever today.  

I loved the first session of portraits that was just the flower vase when I was merely "flirting" with the sunlight and shadows. Then the Muse, who was my stand-in, caught my attention as she communicated that she too had an extraordinary attraction to the warmth and embrace of the sun. 

To add a thoughtful conversation to the budding relationship I added two big art books "so we'd have something to talk about" and liqueur in a glass so we could whet our thirst after talking.

As the sun went down and the colors became softer and warmer with a golden palette, the final token was shared, pearls. Pearls that spoke of our sophisticated, sexy and sensual affair that lasted only as long as the light illuminated our scene.

Standing in the dark later I couldn't see the vase or the Muse or the pearls but I remembered the deep love that we had shared during those moments together in the sun and the shadows.

How do I love thee?  
Truly, let me count the ways.

How Do I Love Thee? (Sonnet 43)
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1806 - 1861

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for right.
I love thee purely, as they turn from praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.











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