Monday, February 10, 2014

Feathers on a Rainy Day...

Creativity is a strange thing. As an artist, it is not always convenient to be ruled by such an illusive force. 

Lately, I have found myself working continuous hours at my computer, day after day, overwhelmingly focused on marketing, advertising and business related tasks. Winter is like this as a wedding photographer. Everything slows down and work becomes endlessly centered on the upcoming season. I still manage to fit a few portrait sessions in a week and from time to time there are commercial shoots, but more then not January and February are an ongoing hustle to prepare, plan and schedule.

This winter, California has been cursed with an incredibly severe drought. It seemed that it hadn’t rained at all until a few days ago. Not an inch. But on Tuesday it started to rain and it didn’t stop for six days. It has been the kind of rain that persists, steady and strong. It wasn’t a sprinkle, yet the drops weren’t overwhelmingly heavy either. It was a consistent rain, steadfast and unwavering. With the water came what felt like a long, alleviating sigh of relief. It was as though I had been holding my breath, waiting in anticipation and concern for this most important nourishment of the earth.

With the California rain I found a pull – no a need – to make something. As a photographer, I am always being creative, I am continually capturing peoples visions and finding beauty in what is all around me. This was a different urge though. This was an undeniable and loud serge of creativity. Sometimes this need to create something comes to me like a hunger, not letting me do or think of anything else until I feed it. It just pushes and lingers until I do something about it.

So, to feed my hunger, on Wednesday I stopped everything, took a break from my desk and looked around my house to see what kind of appealing objects I had laying around that might make some interesting photographs. I looked above my refrigerator and saw one of my vases filled with feathers.

All through 2013, this odd thing kept happening to me - I would find feathers. It always seemed that I would find them on an important day, or before a big event or moment. As the year progressed, it almost felt as though the world was whispering to me every time I found one. It was telling me something like “Dawn, keep your eyes open, something beautiful is about to happen.” And so, I collected these random feathers and I stuck them up there above my refrigerator in that blue glass vase.

On Wednesday I took them down, spread them on a lovely piece of hand made blue paper and began shaping the light. Here are a few images from my rainy day surge of creativity.  

By Sunday it seemed that all of Sonoma County was flooded. California got some much-needed water and I got to have a vital creative release as well.


  1. Very nice "retreat for the soul"! The lighting is so soft and easy to look at. I love these and as you make more of them I keep looking at my naked dining room wall!

  2. Dawnzell, beautiful goddessdaughtermamasisterfriend
    Your offerings here today (and always) are so so beautiful.
    Thank You for all the ways that you welcome love, light, beauty and Awe to flow through you, beauty girl.
    I love you,