The practice of Mindfulness is just that– a practice. To me that implies that we will not be able to do it perfectly, and even if we do ‘it’ doggone good, we will still have to practice again. And, again.
It’s like a great basketball player or those wonderful ice skaters– hour after hour throwing themselves against the gravitational pull of the earth to dunk that ball or to twist in the air! Practice.
Sometimes that requires sitting in a relaxed, upright pose, and counting breath in, then breath out. Other times it’s looking at the sunset or a sunrise and simply saying “Thank You!”
Some people have found weaving, chanting, hand movements, watching a candle flame, petting a dog or cat, watching the fish swim–as a practice. But some people find practice in great artistic form. Artist David Leaser discovered that by going way, way into the depths of a flower he could exhale and click his camera shutter so that it would catch the smallest details.
I recently received notice that the Huntington Library & Gardens would be having a reception and gallery showing of David’s latest work. I saw the words ‘macro photography and flowers’ and knew I would do my best to attend. As I walked back to the Botanical Gardens and classrooms I was wondering if I would be seeing something new or not. Years ago with my own Canon and macro lens I would lie on the Mojave Desert sands and try to capture the smallest flowers that pop up every now and then after a desert rain. I know how difficult it can be to quiet oneself enough first to notice and then to coordinate the breath and camera.
David’s work is amazing! Large stretched canvasses filled the walls with super-intense close-ups of flowers. Dark-black-backgrounds allowed the bright details of pollen, stamens, inner petal colors and shaded outsides their royal stage of importance. Many of us stood or sat in front of each canvas and for me it was a Mindfulness experience. Slowing down from a hectic day, and watching—just looking, letting go of distractions.
David was very happy to share his story with me. While working for a large, well-known corporation he took a quick side trip to Botanical Gardens to alleviate some stress. He engaged in very unique and different photography techniques (he has published some excellent books on Palms and others plants). He then started looking into the smaller flowers and he felt peaceful! Over time his technique has developed into these beautiful studies, and his life has also improved for the better–a change in jobs and focus, a lovely wife, and in the last year a beautiful baby!
And he also practices Mindfulness! He told me “Now I DO take time to smell the roses!”
I’ve included a link to David’s website and know you’ll want to learn more about this remarkable artist. You’ll also find information about how to see his beautiful works of art on exhibit now at the Huntington Library. David Leaser Fine Art.
And please enjoy another article about David’s work: Los Angeles Artist Uses Space-Age Technology to Show Flowers in a Different Light (prweb.com)