Aiming High


drops 1, photograph

“If you would hit the mark, you must aim a little above it; every arrow that flies feels the attraction of earth.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Most of the time I find myself trying to do something I haven’t done before, trying to figure out something new. Usually something I don’t know if I can pull off.  There’s a downside to this in my experience that has to be managed.

I’ve been playing the piano for the past 5 years or so and I’m typically interested in playing music that is beyond my ability. As a result, I don’t play it as well as music that would be more appropriate for my level. I have to be satisfied with a more limited “success” in the interest of  stretching myself past my comfort level. And my playing is actually better for it.

In photography, I try to constantly explore styles, subjects and techniques that are new to me. The results may not be of as high a quality as what I have more experience with, but the effort informs everything else I do in a positive way. Plus, I have a restless artistic nature that gets bored easily – it’s more fun to try new things.

Is it better to try to perfect what you know or to move on to what you don’t? For now, I’m following the advice of Gertrude Stein who said, “If you can do it then why do it?”.

7 responses to “Aiming High

  1. You will never perfect what you know in art, but I guess you mean get a bit better at it.
    On the other hand, I have to say that this picture looks perfect to me and I know it’s one of your first attempts at this subject, so I would say you can’t afford to NOT keep trying new things! Only, first do some more of these spectacular colored water drops.

  2. Isn’t it a part of the learning process, much the same as play? If you don’t continue to learn and stretch what is the point? If you play just one song over and over again, and you play nothing else, how do you keep the passion for playing that piece alive?

  3. Hi Bob. This Amey Fischer:) It is very nice to meet you and your work! Wonderful & Fascinating Art! Am very happy Bob Towery told me about you. Hope we can share here as well. I will link your site to my blog sheltersky so I can keep in touch with your images. Take care!

  4. Bob, it seems every time I stop by your blog you are talking directly to me. I tend to experiment a lot, and constantly have to force myself to focus and try to just get better at one thing. Right now I’m focusing on two tracks — painting and collage. And each one of them has its own things to investigate. So that keeps me out of trouble most of the time.

    I agree with Susan — please do a few more of those spectacular drops before you move onto something else! 🙂

  5. Very cool image. Why not try new things, when you already have an excellent baseline talent? You’ll succeed in one way or another.

    This post has convinced me to reach for something I have been thinking about for a long time. It’s out of my league, but your words should convince her. I’m emailing Scarlett Johanssen to go on a date with me.

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