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.