Good news came twice this week, in forms that illustrate both the unity and the diversity of my life in photography. How gratifying!
First came a letter from TAG at 120 ART in Taylor, TX. Dune Jazz, one of my pieces invited into that gallery’s “Far Country” national juried competition, had tied for 3rd place. Out of the letter fell a gift card I will definitely enjoy spending!
A photograph winning a prize in a national competition is a real boost to self-confidence. It goes a long way toward easing the self-doubt that comes with the inevitable rejection letters that bemoan a plethora of “excellent works like yours” that didn’t get invited!
The very next morning I received an email from Theo Witsell, Ecologist & Chief of Research at the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. He and two others have written a book about the woody plants of Arkanses.^ He had located a number of my plant images online and was writing to ask permission to use them in the book.
I could not wait to say, “Yes, I would be honored to have my photographs in the book.” And here’s why: Because just maybe a beautiful field guide to the woody plants of Arkansas will inspire someone to pay a little more attention, to learn a little bit about, to come to a better understanding of this amazing, awe-inspring Creation we are part of and caretakers of.
Oh, that we would be better caretakers!
So.. this week my artist self and my naturalist self both got a boost. I am humbled and grateful.
I will let you know when the book is off the press and maybe you’ll support the work of the Ozark Society Foundation (OSF), a non-profit conservation publisher, and honor me by buying a copy!*
^Field Guide to Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Arkansas (working title), by Jennifer Ogle, Johnnie Gentry, & Theo Witsell. Forthcoming.
*ALL proceeds from the book will go back to the publisher to advance its good work. I will receive photo credits but no payment for the photos.