Paulo Coelho said "the simple things are also the most extraordinary things, and only the wise can see them." Now that I've had some time to process my upcoming adventure to the Château d'Orquevaux Artists and Writers Retreat, I'm more than ever settled on focusing my photographic attentions during my time there on still lifes. I don't know what I'll find there in terms of artifacts or other daily life accessories, but I know there is beauty in the simplest of objects like a bench or the railing on a bridge, and where there's light there is are shadows, and where there are shadows there is mystery.
The still lifes come from my interest in cataloging all the wonderful antiques I inherited from my grandparents as art objects. But when I was accepted into the retreat, I thought it might be good opportunity for something other than just objects. So, I asked the docent at the Floral City Heritage Museum where I was working on a memoir project with the last living resident of the historical Duval-Metz House if I could be permitted into the house, alone, to photograph the house and its contents. He couldn't have been more gracious, and that first time I spent more than three hours there photographing anything and everything. This is the first picture that spoke to me. Nothing more than an old kitchen hutch with a stack of china plates, but something so simple and so beautiful that it might be easily overlooked--a past that is fading but for the efforts of a few people who have made it their mission to preserve life in a rural community; a testament to resilience and what is important in life. People have commented that my photographs often look like paintings--one person actually argued with me that one of my works had to be a painting, and struggled to believe me when I insisted it was a photograph--and I think I like this observation. The crisp, defined lines of a good photograph is a work of art, but the softer melding of colors and lines of some of my pieces makes the work stand out. This one, with it's deep shadows and tentative highlights, speaks louder than if the wood grain were visible or the plate edges crisp.