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Wrapping Up and Resolving

Updated: Jul 24, 2023

Part I: wrapping up

In the end, my 6-Ten mini-project ended with a bit of a whimper.

I’d always had in mind a time limit – one that would fall nicely before a holiday to Scotland in October. What I didn’t really allow for was the fact that towards the end, time would run away from me, and that by then the initial shininess would have worn off: there’s a limit as to how much brown I can do. By the time we went away, I’d managed 9 trips. Autumn colour was limited, and with the rains, clarity and light also departed. I did learn or at least remind myself of a few things however:

  • My natural tendency to want my images to show a degree of consistency that isn’t always achievable. I should remember that even within families, characters vary. It’s a trait that I’m challenging myself to counter in a new body of work that I’m developing.

  • That you can’t force things – preconceptions are dangerous things, especially when it comes to water.

  • That despite my reputation for being through, I’m better at starting things than finishing them.

So in the end they make a mini-project, but they won’t go beyond that - the time I’d spend making a small book of the images I’d rather devote to the new work. And for the last image I’m going to bend my rules: rather than share something from the last outing I’m sharing an image I like from a previous session.

In the end, there are no rules, only the boxes that we make for ourselves and the lines that we draw in the sand, only to trip over.

Part ii: resolving

I have the beginnings of a series that started back in May 2017 that I wanted to make inroads with – in all honesty it has been ‘beginning’ for a while, but has usually had to be set aside for other things. A first image appeared for the exhibitor’s exhibition associated with On Landscape’s Meeting of Minds Conference in early November. I also have a separate new piece of work underway for exhibition next year. And I managed to add an unexpected third thread while we were away, something that I’ve found has a resonance for me, and while I’ve been unable to resist the temptation to add to it since my return, I’m trying not to let it become too much of a distraction. Ideas are great, and I love the way that it’s possible to stumble across new things, but I do want to feel like I’m getting somewhere. So for now, I’m wrapping up the 6-Ten (it’s something I may come back to) and resolving to make this winter period a productive one. If I’m honest, that largely requires me to be inside reviewing, editing and printing, rather than outdoors making new images.

There’s also a little pile of books, some visual, some just with beautiful words, that I have unfinished business with. You may find me this festive season in a quiet little corner, turning the pages. Whatever you plan to do over Christmas and New Year, I wish you and yours a happy time.
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