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The Breakfast Bowl: Art or Awareness?

About four years ago, I pulled my iPhone out of my pocket and took (made? created? shot?) a photograph of my breakfast bowl. As I sat back after eating my oatmeal, I noticed the interplay of lines, colors, and textures of this every-day scene - red bowl, blue and brown placemat. Shiny surface, woven texture. On one hand, it's not necessarily art in the gallery or art show sense of the word. On the other, it's an image that awakens me (and maybe you?) to what forms of beauty can be discovered and enjoyed in the elements of our ordinary daily routines.

On the level of aesthetics, this simple image has a lot going for it: the interplay of lines and curves and textures, the contrast of the bright shiny red and the subdued blues and browns, and the mystery of the mat merging into the bowl as a reflection leading off into an infinity of a sort.

Then the question arises: what does one do with such a photograph? Hang it on the wall? Put it in a screensaver so that I see it flash before me occasionally? Throw up my hands because I have so many "seeing" photographs that I don't know what to do with them?

Fortunately, starting this blog has suddenly created a demand for interesting or beautiful photographs - I need three a week as the "doorway" into my writings. And each week I explore the nature of making and seeing photographs in one of these entries.

I hope these thoughts entice you into making/seeing beauty through the lens of your own iPhone or other cell phone camera. After all, it's almost always close by. I think you'll find that simply having the intention to see and photograph the presences of beauty and light in your daily life, you'll awaken more and more to the art that surrounds you.

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