Truly Powerful People (405)

Join me in inspiring truly powerful people. Each day I will add a new thought, story or idea to support your quest and mine.

Lora takes photographs of my paintings when I have a new batch ready. She shoots the full image and then does a series of sections. Often I liked her cropped images much better than my original composition! It always makes me laugh how her photographer’s eye can help me see my paintings as if I’d never seen them before. I am tempted to cut my paintings into her compositions because they are more dynamic – they are better paintings.

I am a slow study and did not recognize the possibilities until a earlier today: I sent Megan a photo I took on my phone of a painting in process – and I recognized that I was seeing things in the photograph that I did not see when standing before the painting. I was seeing compositional strengths and weaknesses. Looking at the photo I knew exactly what to do to with the painting! The photograph isolates the image, frames it and eliminates all the visual noise from the peripheral. It helps me see beyond what I think is there to what is actually there. This view helps move me beyond my idea of the painting and into a dance with the painting; it frees me to play.

As I went back to work on the painting I thought about how a magic camera could help educators or organizations (or people everywhere) when they are lost in the politics or consumed in a cloud of visual noise so that nothing seems clear. I’d like to help them put a frame around it. What we need to do to facilitate great learning is simple and clear when cleaned of the power plays, business interests and intentions that have nothing to do with learning and everything to do with controlling learners. A magic camera might help us see beyond the clutter. Business leaders could use it, too. There is so much noise when an organization’s original purpose fuzzes out of focus: myopic short-term market performance is the driver of all action. The picture torques, the composition falls apart, the values disintegrate.

As I write this I recognize that the clutter comes from the mistaken notion that reason and rational thinking rule the day; they don’t. The real work in our lives happens when we hit the resistance or feel out of our comfort zone – the first person to abandon ship in a hot moment is our reason. Heart and fear are left to sort out the confusion.

Pull out your camera and aim it at the painting of your life. Don’t think too much about it and take a quick picture. Cut out the peripheral noise. Do you see your heart’s composition or fear’s work? Either way your next steps should appear: simple and clear.

One Response

  1. Beautiful perspective. This also reminded me of a converstation I had this morning with my partner about a photograph of a painting in progress that I was doing with my stepson and that I liked that version better than the more refined final version. The photo was taken when my stepson was painting his part and it had all this red coming through the ship we were painting where it was gray in the photo. It was powerful and alive. When we finished it – looked more like the ship, but felt controled and not as alive. I am looking through the eyes of the camera in my life to see where I am trying to control and where I am alowing the colors to come through and feel more alive! Thanks!

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