Friday, March 23, 2012

Photo Art Friday - Fear

Abstract Art

This week's theme for Photo Art Friday was to attempt something autobiographical, and I was stumped...but as I looked at this photo I took last week of an iron fence at Quantico National Cemetery, it reminded me how our fears can fence us in. I've had this struggle creatively my whole life, and have often given up trying new mediums because the idea of making "bad art" while learning was unacceptable to the perfectionist in me. I snuffed out my creativity so many times because I was afraid I wouldn't be good enough. What a shame this was, especially when my creative self was such a vital part of me and desperately wanted expression. My spirit suffered - it needed nourishment I wasn't giving it. Sometimes we starve the things that feed our soul.

Without a doubt, photography has given me more creative courage than I've ever had before. I'm not sure exactly why this is, but I won't question it! Instead, I embrace it and am overjoyed that I want to keep trying more and more. It just feels so right. For my photo art, I placed a young woman (public domain image) behind the bars of the fence, and also added some hearts to symbolize all I could express by breaking through that 'fence of fear'. I used Bonnie's "Feelings" texture at Hue/51%, and also her "Dappled Dawn" texture at Saturation/100%. A few runs through Radlab were also added for the final effect. To see more Photo Art Friday submissions, click on the button at the bottom of this post.

P.S. Creative fear has been such a theme in my life that I had written a poem about it last year, before I discovered photography. I've posted it below for anyone who would like to read it. The words of my poem guided me on how I wanted this week's photo art to look.


I gaze from afar
Outside the gates
As my muse waits
In the stillness
Of a hidden garden
Lying on a quiet bench
In her yearning dress
With love in her eyes
Hungry for me to find her
Sad that I've misplaced her
And my heart aches
So sweet, so full
Wanting to sing her
Its tender song

And still she smiles
At the knowledge
Of her presence
In my dreams
Which swell in the night
Like the sea
Washing over us in waves
Our fingers interlaced
And better yet, she's aware
That her essence
Is always there
Inside the bare bones
Of my poems
I am not alone
And her heart glows
Through my loneliness
Like the moon

And still she waits
While fear trails me
Like an evil spy
As I circle the garden's
Wrought iron fence
Wanting to slip
Through the gates
Stopping to peek
Through the bars
At her face
And our hearts beat fast
So wild, so deep
As my muse and I
Lock eyes amidst the
Quiet, gentle
Night-entangled trees.

© Sherri Brannon 2011

Photo Art Friday


  1. I've not read your post yet, will do later, I shouldn't be doing this as I'm meeting someone for lunch soon! But just to are GOOD, I love that picture! Be back later. Suzy x

  2. This poem is beautiful - so full of yearning to be set free of 'fear'. And - what a stunning image you've created. Nothing to be fear-full of there!

  3. There's so much I like about this piece. The concept, the way you used textures, the image inside the fence, the shaded hearts. I could go on. Bravo! (from PAF)

  4. Looks like a gorgeous stained glass window Sherri!!! Well Done!!!

  5. Truly Sherri this is awesome and what a wonderful "piece of you" to share". Love it!!

  6. Your collage is great and so much more interesting because it has so much meaning and heart put into it....I can identify with you on this one.....
    Your poem is so heartfelt and transparent.....Thank you so much for sharing this with us...

  7. your art is great as is your poem and your strength to share your fears . . .

  8. Okay Sherri, this too wonderful for words and your words, WOW! The combination of the two just moves me!!

  9. the image you have created is really beautiful and is a perfect match for your poem. I don't think you should allow yourself to be stifled by fear if you can produce such fabulous work!

  10. Wow your poem and the art piece are just wonderful. You did a fabulous job conveying your feelings in both. I like them very much.

  11. You have created a wonderful collage
    and it fits the poem you wrote.
    You seem to be escaping the fear, because you post wonderful images to Bonnie's challenges.
    And always seem willing to try new things.

  12. You put a lot of thought and effort into today's challenge. The addition of the hearts was brilliant and I really like looking through the fence.

  13. This is a wonderful piece of art. I too have struggled with the same fears but I have found such courage since I started sharing in Bonnies PAF.

  14. Sherri, this is absolutely gorgeous!!
    I love the beautiful jewel-like tones.
    Such a wonderful poem too.
    A place where we have all been at one time or another for sure.
    Sending you wishes for a bright and beautiful weekend!

  15. Yes, great composition, I like those hearts, full of emotions, beautiful colors!

  16. This is gorgeous and the poem is wonderful...I wish I could be completely free of my fears.

  17. Absolutely perfect pairing, Sherri. A wonderful poem that led to images behind the fence of fear. Thanks so very much for sharing all of it. I have felt that way often enough also; photography has been a blessing. Beautiful color choices; and fabulous processing. Karen (visiting from PAF)

  18. Your image this week illustrates your poem perfectly! You certainly are singing your creativity now! This reminds me of words of Kipling (I paraphrase): "The greatest liars are our fears." That quote always reminds me I don't have to take my fears for the truth of the matter. Thank you for sharing this inspiring post with PAF. Wonder if there is a way to to marry your poem and art on a single canvas?

  19. Sherri I commented earlier, but did not say how lovely this poem is, and how meaningful!

  20. Great post-processing.

    Regards and best wishes

  21. Sherri, that's amazing, both the finished piece of art and the poem you wrote. I think we all can relate too, pushing our boundaries is scary but so rewarding :)

  22. I like your picture and what you tell us about your fear.