creative process: Sniffing Deeper

15 Feb

It is particularly challenging to be a proponent of still pictures in the YouTube era. And there is a lot to be said about that proliferation of videos. We see life in process. We see progression, transformation, evolution.

But what of the moment just passed? What of the richness, the subtlety of that second in time, that deep breath in, that long exhalation? As a puppy, Deuce jumped from one sniff to the next. After all, there was so much to smell out there. But as he matured, as his Spaniel wisdom developed, his nosing became more focused. Better to really sniff out a single subject fully, and even to return the next day to delve even deeper.

So it is with the still image. We have a wonderful opportunity for a deep sniff of a moment’s magic, for a deep contemplation, a full learning of that moment’s lessons.

There is a short docent note at the Audio Sparks for Art Website on Shelley Neff’s “sulfur butterfly” which speaks to the value of this deep sniff – this valuing of the point in the time. Here is the butterfly and the link.

a sulfur butterfly resting on a purple flower

a sulfur butterfly feeding, pollinating

Lolita’s Docent Note:


Posted by on February 15, 2013 in creative process


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4 responses to “creative process: Sniffing Deeper

  1. Linda G. White

    February 15, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    I so agree with you as this is just as true in the writing of memoir. Things happen and even as we recall them, they fly by even faster than they did as they were happening. Yet when we attempt to reconstruct them, to write them down and remember, our retrospective deepens. We notice things we didn’t before and can take the time to reflect, to, as you say, take a deeper sniff and contemplate. This is how we come to understand something we didn’t before, when we were unable to see the moment clearly because we were in, rather than above, it.

    • midisparks

      February 15, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      very much appreciate your comment. tying to the writing of a memoir is interesting. . . really sitting with a memory, like contemplating a photo. thanks again.

  2. J.H. White

    February 15, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    I think the same goes for “insight”… I find insights to be many layered. We do them an injustice by jumping to conclusions before sniffing around all sides, deep in the burrowing, nosing under and tipping over for a better look.


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