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Creative Flow Soothes the Soul

Posted in art, fine art photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2020 by squintphotographyart

helping-hands

What do we do with this time that has been given us? Times are strange, indeed. We’ve all been forced to “shelter-in-place”, to social distance and self isolate. This virus has taken a hold on most everyone’s life on this planet, in one way or another. And like most everyone else, I am struggling to find a voice in all this. I am struggling to find joy in what I do right now. I am feeling out of sorts, to say the least.

My photoshoots have been put on hold, understandably. The instinct would be to drum up new work, but I’m finding it hard to “promote” myself right now while so many people are suffering. Also, I can’t really get out much to shoot new photos and admittedly, I’m having trouble gathering up the enthusiasm to do so anyway.

But in spite of all this, I feel in my gut that when times are tough and the stress of it all seems to weigh a ton, delving into our creative spirit can soothe the soul in numerous ways. Whether you feel called to create something that reflects the emotions of our current climate or you just want to play with an art form that will allow you to break away from the daily barrage of doom and gloom, there is no better time than now, to indulge your artistic side.

Ever since cities around the world started to go on lock down, a lot has been shared on social media about what to do creatively while we’re stuck at home. Here are some of the ones that resonant with me, as wells as some ideas I’ve come up with (some to do with photography).

 
1. Watch a play, go to a museum, listen to an orchestra – virtually. Watch livestreaming and online performances of plays, orchestras and gallery tours. Now more than ever, many in the arts are sharing their works with the world. What a rich opportunity to see performances from across the globe, that you would never get a chance to see!

Gallery

2. Write. Anything. A short story. A play. A poem. Write whatever your heart cries out to say. We all have a story that wants to be told. If you find you gravitate towards writing, maybe now is a good time to start journaling your experience of social distancing. Write about how this crisis has changed you. You just might find it therapeutic.

Blog_type

3. Still life photographs. Whether you consider yourself a photographer or not, this is one everyone can do with a cell phone or an SLR pro camera. Gather together interesting items you find around the house. You can group them together by color or style or just simply because they mean something special to you. Arrange them on a table, next to a window for some soft light, and see how many unique compositions you can come up with.

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4. Watch films about artists that inspire you. There are so many great films about artists out there. Do an online search for your favorite artists and see what films, both documentary and fictionalized, have been made about him or her. For me, to see the passion and dedication of all types of creatives infuses my art with enthusiasm and curiosity to try something new.

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5. Self portraits – drawings or photographs. How often do we really look at ourselves? I mean, really look at who we are? Look at how we “feel”? Can you convey that in a raw, honest way through a photo or sketch? It doesn’t have to be perfect, we’re not. And besides, no one will see it. Unless you want them to.

A Shroud

6. Do nothing. Be still. One of my favorite things to do, but like most of us, something I rarely do. Try it, just for 15 minutes. See what happens. Let me know how it goes.

 

I know times are tough, they are strange for all of us right now. But, we’ll get through this, hopefully as more compassionate and stronger human beings. Until our days see some semblances of normalcy, try to take a few moments at home and allow for some creative play. Some creative, healing flow. See outside yourself, outside the current situation. Let your creativity take you there. It will lead the way.

Stay safe. Stay healthy and take care!

Sonja / Squint Photography

 

Italia, I love You

Posted in fine art photography, travel photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2020 by squintphotographyart

Rome Ruins

My love for Italy is vast. It is a magical place, whose beauty and sheer wonderment is boundless. I dare anyone who has witnessed it for themselves, to say that it is not one of the most beautiful places in the world. The awe invoking architecture, the delectable food, and the lovely, lyrical language are a few of many things that draw tourist to this land year after year. There is a mystique about its history and culture that can not be denied. As a traveler, it has been a unique blessing to explore a few of its many marvels.

So, my heart is breaking for this majestic country and its people today. I was supposed to be in Northern Italy last week and this one. I was going to explore Milan’s Duomo. I was going to walk the hollowed grounds of the Cimitero Monumentale. I was going to finally feast my eyes upon da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’. Coronavirus took that away from me. And it has taken away much more from many people around the world.

The world feels off kilter right now. So many lives and industries are being impacted from this virus. And it only seems to be getting worse. How to remain calm, but not complacent? Vigilant, but not mired in panic? We are all in this together. Let us be considerate of those who are most vulnerable. Let us all do our parts to safeguard our health, so that we don’t put others at risk. But mostly, let us live life. When things have calmed down, let us get out there and explore our world and all the amazing cultures it has to offer.

As I’ve said, my love for Italy is vast. And I know the strength of its people is also vast. They will make it out the other side. They will prevail and come out the other side all the stronger for it.

Thinking of you, Italia….

GondolasFirenzePantheon

All photos by Sonja Quintero/Squint Photography

 

 

Where I’ve been. Where I’m headed.

Posted in art, fine art photography, travel photography, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 12, 2020 by squintphotographyart

Road
It’s been a long time. Almost two years, actually. Wow, that’s sad! Keeping up with a blog is tough, especially for someone who doesn’t have much of an affinity towards writing. I’ve been struggling for what I should post. I’ve been struggling with coming back to it at all. I used to think writing was something I loved. Nowadays, it seems more like a chore. Ok, I’m exaggerating, but the words do seem much harder to come by lately. But, I’m going to give it another try. Maybe focus more on visual content, than words. AND, I will definitely try to check in at least every month (or two!)

Probably what I would like to do in this first blog post back (in two years), is put up some images I’ve worked on since my last post. They’re been a lot. At least there was a lot from 2018, but not as much in 2019. In 2019 I was dealing with health issues which I think contributed to some creative blockage. I found my artistic well drying up. I felt depleted and lost focus. This year, I’m working on regaining it and getting back on track, physically, emotionally and artistically.

I’ve started rereading the ‘Artist Way’ by Julia Cameron. It’s a guide to rediscovering your creativity. It’s become a bible of sorts to many people, I highly recommend checking it out, whether you consider yourself a creative or not.

Ok, on to the visual good stuff. This is where I’ve been the past two years….

I finally went up North. The beauty that is Toronto.

Toronto Night

I’ve lounged on the beach in Galveston.

Galveston
Discovered the serenity on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe Vibes
I’ve embraced the charming lifestyles of Belgium and Amsterdam.

GrandAmsterdam Bike
I visited my nations capital for the first time. And shed a few tears for our state of things.

Washington
I made it out to Marfa, Texas again. So glad I did!

Prada Marfa
I got to see my favorite place in the world again! NYC

NYC
I made a trip to Seattle for the first time. And, yes, it rained!

Public Market
Wow, putting this together and realizing how much I’ve seen and done, especially last year, makes me see how truly lucky and how grateful I am. I am blessed to be able to explore and experience these places. I am in awe of what this world has to offer. I know I’ve barely scratched the surface. I know there is so much to see and adventures to be had. I hope, in this life, I get to do some much more. And I hope you do too!

Sonja Quintero/Squint Photography

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