The Way of Light

“That’s what a son is for.”

That’s the punch line. Here’s the story. I was texting my son this morning to thank him. Last week I emailed him two images I was struggling to choose between for my submission to a show I really wanted in.

His feedback has been helpful before and so I asked him which image he found most interesting to look at. He responded immediately with a simple statement: “The one where the stick is more prominent.”

The Way of Light

Well, it’s a vine, not a stick, but… I knew instantly that he was right. The zig-zag vine being struck by late afternoon light was the story of the photo and in one shot it was much more prominent than the other. I had invested too much time in the other version and was having trouble letting it go!

And the consequence of his insight? This image has been invited into the Alexandria Museum of Art‘s 33rd Annual Juried Art Competition. It will be an entirely online show running July 10 – October 24, with a virtual opening featuring a talk by the juror and a printed catalog. I’ll share info and links when available.

One of the most challenging aspects of being an artist is editing your own work–mercilessly editing your own work, I used to tell my writing students at the university. It is way too easy to get infatuated with a phrase, an image, an angle or color, and thus unable to make a hard decision to discard something, crop tighter, cut the excess words, and more.

All artists need someone who can jolt them out of that “can’t decide” trap! Thanks, son, you’re a treasure.

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