Saturday, September 5, 2015

Wabi sabi

This Fall is all about photography for me. I'm taking an online photography class called Camera Craft. Our first assignment is to post a photo expressing the Japanese aesthetic of wabi sabi. This aesthetic embraces and finds beauty in imperfection and impermanence. It emphasizes the simple, organic, accidental and incomplete and also invokes a feeling of solitude and loneliness. I've discovered the season of Fall is filled with photo opportunities of wabi sabi.

I took a walk last night in the drizzle, along the Rio Grande, with my sweetheart, taking in the lush result of a rainy summer in the desert. This is my wabi sabi photo:

Thinking about the aesthetic of wabi sabi I've thought more about my favorite photo subject written about in past blog posts- the old and decaying truck. And realized my love for this subject is really a love for the wabi sabi idea of beauty in aging, of authenticity in imperfection, and meaning in impermanence.

Often in making art I will see something as a mistake but as time goes by I see it as beauty. A happy accident of imperfection and chaos lending itself to a whole. I have a photo app on my phone called Diana. It will randomly combine 2 photos from my camera roll into one image and add an interesting filter to it. I get lots of hours of fun out of it. The random combinations resulting in more than the sum of their parts continue to amaze and bewitch me.


  1. I love quotes, so it's a pleasure to read one or more quotes with each entry and you have corresponding paintings and photography. I'm in awe. The boy on the rope swing over the water with the black-eyed Susan flowers on the horizon is so sweet. You really capture the joy, innocence and beauty of childhood. In another entry you wrote about the "particulars" of one's experience becoming the universal. Isn't that what all art does....communicates to our universal experience. The details vary, but childhood joy is childhood joy. On your blog titled, "I love my leaf," you discuss the act of falling in love by witnessing the essence of something. So true. Thank you for sharing the white iris with the purple veins. Now we all get to fall in love with the essence of the iris too. It's divine.

  2. Thanks for the comment Robin! The boy on the rope swing is my nephew and my sister in law took the picture. I combined it with a flower photo of mine and really liked it. I'm going to keep playing with the rope swing photo because it does evoke a lot of feeling. The purple veined flower is actually a flower on a desert willow tree. It is very iris or orchid like. I found it divine as well.