09 June 2014

From responses that I made for the Virtual Blog Tour:

Photography and writing are two sources of internal fulfillment that is never truly fulfilled. Each completion has no future bearing on satisfaction. It simply spurs the next moment’s desire to capture the omnipresence of the magnificent and struggling universe that we inhabit.

See read all my responses, click here.

29 March 2013

The visual language of photography and dimensionality of prose have become platforms for self-expression. Each provides an opportunity to reappoint and redefine who I am through storytelling.

Photography offers a vantage point to seize the small, unnoticed and unseen:

•How to exhibit the unusual in the ordinary;

•How to show another side of beauty;

•How to discover my individual voice.

My photographic palette includes the abstract, architecture, design, nature (my muse), everyday objects, and the play between dark and light. I’m drawn to the oeuvre of the early masters of photography that created black-and-white prints with aesthetic and technical precision.

Inspiration often comes from the juxtaposition of angles, contrast, lines, reflections, shadows, shapes, and texture. As a lifelong learner, travel inspires my inner spectator to observe and record, but I can as easily be awed by the appeal of an aged leaf or small paring knife.

My blog began as a vehicle to share narratives that are told through my lens and pens. This online life has moved me deeper and deeper into photography by encouraging exploration of new inner and outer vistas.

05 February 2011


Sally W. Donatello is an educator, photographer and writer. Until recently she worked at Special Collections Department in the University of Delaware Library. Her interests are eclectic, but her passions focus on art, gardening, human nature, nature and reading. Mostly, she prides herself in being a lifelong learner.

She has a Master of Arts and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware. Her Master’s thesis examined how creativity shares a confluence with ordinary people’s lives. She is the co-author of three books: two about crafts produced by artists living in Delaware, and the third is a catalog titled Celebrating Women’s Friendships: An Exhibition of Delaware Women Artists (essays that explain how each artist’s work was inspired by a friend). Ms. Donatello also has written numerous articles that have appeared in local and national publications. She was an editor for a national arts publication from 1986-1992. Her photographs have been shown in juried exhibitions and are in the private collections throughout the country.

About my Blog:

Lens: Photography has been a thread throughout my life. It has been a side-kick for forty-plus years. I am drawn to nature and its architecture. Color, light, shadows and spaces are points of arrival and departure. As a lifelong gardener my gardens are fodder for my subjects. The challenge is to find the unexpected and frame its simplicity or complexity through the camera’s (and my) eye. My portfolio spans the 1970s to the present, and includes black-and-white, color, and Polaroid (which were hand-manipulated and taken in the 1990s). Currently, a Nikon digital camera is my usual tool of still photography. On occasions, I use my Canon Powershot (my first dive into digital) or my cellphone. Photography is morphing culturally and technologically. But I am convinced that the camera in itself is only a vehicle. The outcome of the image taken is dependent on the photographer’s seeing the visual landscape. Experience, knowledge and passion are helpful, but the key to personal success is the way the viewer interprets or records what is seen. I can take a hundred shots, and maybe I’ll like one or two. It’s never a done deal. There is always another sunset, another flower, another angle, another expression on my grandchild’s face. Possibilities abound.

[Occasionally, I will post photographs that were taken prior to 2011. These photographs will appear under the masthead with the title Photographs, 1990s-2010.]

Pens: For over three decades I have been tipping into white spaces flashes of self-narration. These are small electrical jolts that are inspired by any infiltration into my mind: a wisp of nature, a word on a page or sign, a sound, another thought, a phrase in a conversation, an image, a sentence in a story, a walk’s silence, or… Virtually, anything can spark the spontaneous combustion of thought. Mostly, I am clueless to know their origin or when they will surface on the edge of my mind. Regardless, they are built on echoes of the past that become part of the present: the self over time.

Certainly, these personal notes exhibit my philosophical and psychological leanings. Each word covers the white space, and becomes a small seed to sprout its life like the rainbows of colors that spring from my gardens. Some of the flashes are consequences for acts performed or not, and reflect decision to do this or that. They are largely daily beams of light filtering through my mind’s cache.

There has been a long-term love affair with language, words and etymology. My mind cues snippets for frequent digestion and visual renderings. The words tumble out like the letter cubes in the children’s game “Spill and Spell.” They become devices for thought and inspiration that perpetuate more flashes and more cleansing (and more and more questioning).

These writings seem to be a way to see myself mirrored into the reflection of who I am today. They epitomize a transformation and metamorphosis of character, behavior and philosophy. They are decades of roads avoided, explored, strolled, skipped, trotted, and wandered.

My affinity for penning bits and pieces started in the mid 1970s and never stopped. First, I used daily calendars as record keepers and a source of my meanderings. Then I filled blank pages that became stacks of small books. Today I can peruse those pages and understand who, what, where, when, but not necessarily the “why” of me. My life can be recreated by those thoughts shaped into physical words—the construct of human ingenuity. And I feel blessed to have a compilation of over thirty years of my mind’s pilgrimages.

My life is filled with the stuff of everyone else’s—the commonplace trials and tribulations of human existence, but strangely these writings strike me as being personal and impersonal all at once. I am and have been careful to reveal what I want and wanted. The stream of conscious flows uninhibited, and yet it is also censored by my emotional boundaries. Where I needed, I avoided recording certain subjects—subjects that would unveil a layer of my psyche unacceptable to broadcast. These are not confessional ramblings.

Possibly, the passion for the written word comes from my metamorphosis and transformation into a lifelong educator and learner. Maybe these flashes are a source of self-education and self-narrative that fulfills some internal need to reinvent and redesign all that is absorbed into my psyche—emotionally, intellectually, physically, and spiritually.

[Excerpted from the Introduction to my manuscript titled, Charting the Mind’s Voice, which covers my writings from 1970s-2010. Occasionally, I will post some of these writings. They will appear under the masthead with the title Writings, 1970s-2010.]

The content (photographs and writings) that appears on this blog is copyright by Sally W. Donatello. Any reproduction or use of these images or words without written permission is strictly prohibited.


88 Responses to About

  1. I am deeply enjoying your blog. In this age of uncertainty (Maybe all ages are uncertain?) I am drawn to others who are keenly aware of our headlong dive into the unknown. I am curious how you are thinking about that uncertainty, and how it shapes your work.

    • Michael, I appreciate your comment and response to my work. It’s a time where I shifting from anxiety to serenity. Nature provides the calm and my country’s state of affairs provides the anxiety. My goal is to show nature as majestic and profound. That mission is a fixation, because of the assault on Mother Nature by the current administration. Over the years I edged unconsciously toward a blog that was dedicated to nature. And now I am offering Mother Nature’s charms and mysteries as the focus of this weekly blog.

  2. Delighted to have come across your work – thank you for your visit on my website and enjoy a great week 🙂 / Luiza

  3. Very glad to have found your blog and thank you for sharing your stunning work! Many greets from Germany and have an inspired week!

  4. Daal says:

    so glad I happened onto your blog 🙂

  5. dishdessert says:

    You have a very interesting blog! good luck!

  6. Cardboard Express says:

    Hello there! I just wanted to say that you have an incredible blog, and that I find your content insightful, refreshing, and apt!

  7. Good Woman says:

    I clicked into your blog from a comment you had left on another blog. I am so glad I came here. I am a very amateurish photographer myself. I enjoy your photos but more than that your beautiful writing filled with great imagery. I appreciate your descriptions of why you chose a certain subject or view or technique. It all helps to gain appreciation of your art.

  8. Jane Lurie says:

    Hi Sally, Thank you for following my photography blog, Jane’s Lens. I hope you are inspired. I am enjoying reading your blog and taking in your photographs. Look forward to more.

  9. Hey Sally, I have nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blog Award! You don’t have to accept this award, but I would love for you to pop over to my blog and come celebrate! There will be imaginary champagne and lots of glitter! http://insidethelifeofmoi.wordpress.com/2014/11/03/my-big-fat-award-ceremony/

  10. Sally, I’ve long admired your work, and now you’ve honored me by following my blog. Thanks for showing all of us so many great photos — flowers from your garden, etc. — that you have created. You’re right — the lens is only the vehicle. It’s you we admire! Thanks and best wishes from Oh, the Places We See. http://ohtheplaceswesee.com

  11. Love your work and your words!

  12. aaanchalk says:

    Hi Sally.. I loved your blog. I nosed around in a lot of posts and have lots to read and peek through 🙂 You are an amazing blogger, glad to have found you.


  13. Hi Sally, i have been following you for quite awhile and have been a fan of your amazing photography and creative writing skills … thank you for following me back, am so honored and encouraged 🙂 — April

  14. emeraldwake says:

    Good Morning , nice to meet You and Your blog 🙂 Great posts, great ideas , pleasure to be here , I wish You the best, in free time see my little place too, Regards from Poland, EM

  15. Hi Sally,

    i enjoyed visiting and nosing around your blog. Thank you for stopping by mine, and liking my post today. Your space is filled to the brim with beauty and creativity.

    Cheers, Margie

  16. Hi Sally, I just wanted to let you know I have nominated you for the Lighthouse Award. Your photography, challenges and comments brighten not only my world, but many others I am sure. Cheers, Irene

  17. djmrakiey says:

    I am so charmed by your delightful site. Thanks for stopping by and look forward to more visits and posting from you. ☮

  18. Aleks says:

    Great blog.

  19. redstuffdan says:

    Bonjour Sally

    I’ve only been at this blogging business for 6 months and am discovering new people all the time. Your iphoneography sounds like something l am doing a little bit of already but l want to learn more. Your blog will help and encourage me and l look forward to taking part in your weekly challenge.



  20. Michael56j says:

    “But I am convinced that the camera in itself is only a vehicle. The outcome of the image taken is dependent on the photographer’s seeing the visual landscape. Experience, knowledge and passion are helpful, but the key to personal success is the way the viewer interprets or records what is seen.”

    Or, as an old photographer taught me nearly 40 years ago, Cameras don’t take photos!

    I like the concept of your blog. It gives me inspiration for how I want to change mine. I look forward to reading more.

  21. Oh, looks you’ve already gotten the Versatile Blogger Award. But I enjoy you blog so much that I couldn’t help but nominate it! http://polymathically.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/the-versatile-blogger-award/

  22. First, Thanks. Curious, I went straight here, and discovered that you have achieved what for most is so elusive…your visitor wants, wants to return and see what else you’ve gone on to post. I write this especially with your images in mind. They begin the tale, but leave the ending visually open, awaiting ….
    Jeff Zablow

  23. Nancy Power says:

    Hello! Love the look of your blog and such amazing photographs. Only had a quick peek but have decided to follow you..wherever you may go.

  24. Scoop Jackson..."News 60" says:

    A very impressive bio. indeed! This is a good bit of information to share with readers and really opens doors into who you are. We do use words as tools to “paint a picture,” but things are more impactful when combined with pictures.

    Thank you for your visit and I look forward to seeing you drop in again!


  25. Thank you for letting me share in a great community 🙂

    Please join the WordPress Family Award party at – http://weliveinaflat.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/my-dog-is-a-mystic-pack-leader/. We want to give you the same award. No obligation to repost if you decide not to :3

    Sniff around and maybe you’ll find virtual treats and other human bytes 😛

    • Oh, I’m humbled. I feel like we’re cyberspace pen pals in the best of ways. It’s a pleasure to visit your blog, and be lifted each and every time. Thanks for the award. This journey is one where I am enriched by the community that we are building.

  26. Hey there! I love and follow your blog, Just letting you know I have nominated you for the Shine On Award.
    More info here: http://delicatedandelion.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/shine-on-award/
    Good luck!

  27. Junsjazz says:

    Hello Sally! Can I have the honor of featuring you and your works in my digital magazine? It’s not a commercial endeavor, just an ongoing online project of mine. I plan to come out with Issue #7 by end of March. Here’s a link to the previous issues where I have showcased some photo bloggers: http://junsjazzimages.wordpress.com/digital-magazine/ It would be great to have you in the upcoming issue. Much thanks. I await your reply. Keep on clicking with your wonderful images. Best regards! ~JJ

    • Truly, I’m the one who is honored. I thoroughly enjoy each of your posts. In addition I have perused your digital magazines. They are professionally executed, and provide a terrific platform for the artists who you spotlight. Additionally, each issue is packed with useful information. How does this work? Do you want to select images from my posts? Or do you ask the photographer for ideas? Let me know how you go about the selection of photographs and text. I’m humbled by your request.

      • Junsjazz says:

        Hi Sally! Thank you for the go signal. I don’t want to bother you with anything so just trust me to pick out 6 to 7 of the best images in your blog. But I do have a small request. Can you make a short write-up about yourself? 4 to 5 sentences on how you started in photography (and writing of course), stuff like that. Please email me the write up at jazzmanjun@gmail.com Welcome aboard Issue 7! Best regards!~JJ

      • I’m happy to compose a short monograph. But I’ll need time to think about the
        content. When do you need it? Is early next week suitable for your schedule? I
        am quite touched by your request, and trust that you will select photographs
        that represent my oeuvre.

      • I’ll get back to you by mid week. Being part of your digital magazine has added a new layer to my online experience. I’m exhilarated and grateful. Enjoy the weekend.

  28. rtd14 says:

    Sally, I enjoy your photos and writing whenever I have the opportunity to read. I have nominated you for the Illuminating Blogger Award. Whether or not you accept, please know how much I enjoy your beautiful blog … http://rebeccatdickinson.com/2013/03/04/when-you-are-recognized/

  29. melmax says:

    a nice place to stop by and watch….thanks

  30. Hello from another Sally, one who loves words and people and nature and photography and learning and life…….
    I’m enjoying what I’m reading here and your most recent post, Green, and will be back 🙂

  31. icastel says:

    Sally, thank you so much for the nomination for the “Beautiful Blogger Award”! Humbled.

  32. You shared the most beautiful images and words.

  33. I found your site purely by accident by clicking on various blogs and some of the commenters which eventually led me to your site. I have only begun to view some of your posts but I like what I have seen thus far. It is good to finally find some WordPress bloggers. I have a blog but it is not completed. I would like to add you as a blog that I follow, if that is okay with you. Just let me know.

  34. fstopfun says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog : ) Its so inspiring! Also, I think we as artists can become an island unto ourselves and By seeing others work it keeps us all connected.

  35. smshamma says:

    I’ve named your blog a recipient to the Kreativ Blogger Award because I enjoy reading your stuff and think you definitely deserve it. Check my site/latest post for the details and keep up the great work.

  36. Sally – some wonderful photographs. I adore the way you reply to every message. Good luck – Carl

  37. Sally,
    I really like the image of “electrical jolts” that pop into your mind and stimulate thoughts, feelings, and narration. These jolts are unexpected gifts, I think. Good luck with your blog!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s