Call it fear…

“Do not call the inability to start laziness. Call it fear. Do not call procrastination laziness. Call it fear.” The Artist’s Way


Fear of what? Fear of failure or fear of success? It will be a failure if I do not get this exhibit together, what had stopped me mostly, was the cost, and the inability to see around that. The cost factor of putting this much work together had always been a major reason for my hesitation to agreeing to this Solo exhibit in the first place. Getting my work out there is what had motivated me to say yes, to see it printed and framed, to have work in this area of Philadelphia even if it is only a coffee/waffle shop. The Rittenhouse area of Philadelphia is a major shopping, and business section of the city. The possibilities are endless.

Well I broke my block, I walked through some of my fear. I went to the city with my chosen shots to be printed, while there I visited Bonte’s on 17th St. I introduced myself, check out the space, asked about having a reception on First Friday in May, no problem with that, other than the fact that they are only open until 6:30 pm. So I will have to work on that.  I also finally found and visited Balance Studio where my July exhibit is to be. It is a peaceful serene space, that is a massage, yoga studio, quiet with the sense of essential oils.


I was informed that there is space for six pieces not just three which I was told by my contact person. Makes the venture a little more worth the effort to exhibit pieces.  Opps ego showing. That is ok because I need a little attention, I needed to give myself attention. I usually do not doubt my work, my art, and creating a themed exhibit with a purpose stopped me in my tracks. It caused me concern, because it meant having new prints made, and not using prints I already had. That being said, I chosen the theme of “the life of leaves” or the evolution of a leaves, with a selection of photos that are from buds, to green, to shades of fall, creating I hope a cycle. These are common everyday events, of course through the seasons but everyday evolutions of life around us. My work has been about “seeing” that, offering the beauty that is right in front of us all the time. I had to call on, or listen to the call of my muse, nature herself. I would not be a photographer today without heeding the message, “that nature desired to be recognized.”

Yes the world get grand views of national parks, vistas beyond belief, and beautiful and as awesome as those are, the world of your back yard, the world of the city park, the path along a river, or a little piece of land with nature is calling for attention. See me, see the beauty, see the evolution that surrounds you.

I have had the honor and the privilege to do just that, to “see” to discover, to uncover nature and hopefully present it to the world.

The Artist’s Way also offers this about being blocked, “Fear is what blocks an artist. The Fear of not being good enough. The fear of not finishing. The fear of failure and of success. The fear of beginning at all. The only one cure for fear. That cure is Love. ”

“Use love for your artist to cure its fear.”

In the pink

That love is taking care of myself, finding the joy that photography offers me, not finding but allowing it to be that part of me that is joyful. Because when photographing I am lost in the moment, being in that moment allows moments to past unnoticed but at the same time I have been immersed in something deeper and more passionate, the witnessing of Life, ‘seeing’ life from a whole other level.  Once again the Artist’s Way states this “Over any extended period of time, being an artist requires enthusiasm more then discipline. Enthusiasm is not an emotional state. It is a spiritual commitment, a loving surround to our creative process, a loving recognition of all the creativity around us.” Being blocked, depressed, hiding in fear does not allow that to happen. Asking for help, from a higher source, from supportive friends, and even the muse itself will allow the commitment to enthusiasm and our creative work to continue to be a way of being.

Growth Question: How do you recognize your fear?


8 thoughts on “Call it fear…”

  1. hi jeff! i just adore your photographs. i want to answer your question “how do you recognize your fear?” i don’t. does that mean i have no fear? or does that simply mean i ignore it somehow? i am not sure. what people call “artist’s block” is a foreign concept to me, i haven’t experienced it myself, i don’t even know what it is. i’ve heard enough people talk about it to recognize that it does exist, i just can’t comprehend it myself. my problem is the opposite, i create so much crap art that the good stuff gets lost in the piles and piles of shit. but maybe by creating a thousand works in a month, i’m bound to come up with something someone might like out of all of it. LOL but then i don’t mind making art nobody likes. i like making it. and that process of creation is what i needed so much in my life. not recognition or validation from others at all. and it seems to me, it’s when we want others to like our art that maybe is what creates the fear? i wouldn’t know, i don’t have that problem, either. just a guess.

    1. Stacy,

      Thank you for reading and commenting ! In many ways I understand your view as well. I am sure I create “crap” too, more than I know. Yet there is awesome work created as well. I did not start out to get attention, I started out to have nature be seen from another point of view. When and if I seek attention than I am in trouble, and ego leads the way.

  2. I was going to ask if your July show was still on and am happy to see that you’re still planning for it. “The Life of Leaves” sounds great and your work has always brought me along to see the simple, yet profound, everyday beauty in all of nature. You have done and I know you will continue to do a fine job helping your readers recognize and focus on the wonders Mother Nature reveals through your beautiful photographs.

    How do I recognize my fear? With me it’s physical, tightness and pains in my muscles and ribs, other times it’s an uncomfortable sensation of having a turtleneck on when nothing is there on my neck.

    1. Barbara,

      Thank you for following on the path! I am most grateful! I just had a thought: My “The Life of Leaves” may become my “Leaves of Grass” ever expanding, ever unfolding…

      Fear is a crazy character to have a relationship with but one we do have, and one we have to learn to make the best of.

      I am Love, Jeff

  3. Hi, Jeff – my fear comes out in several ways; I sometimes get aggressive and overreact; other times, inertia sets in and I find all sorts of reasons to stay with what I know. I am slowly beginning to recognize fear as being the accompaniment to aggression, hatred, hostility, depression, and anything else that makes me nervous and edgy.

    Is your July show the one in Philadelphia you wrote about a few months ago? If so, let me know where. Philadelphia is only a couple hours drive from where I live.

    1. Yes, Barbara, the relationship we have with fear expresses itself in many ways, knowing how and working within that space is a place of recovery and healing.

      The July show is still on at Balance Studio/Gallery. There is a link on yesterdays blog.

      I would love to have you here! Thank you so much!

      I am Love, Jeff

  4. Jeff – In addition to the beautiful photography, this is the sentence that jumped off the page at me:

    “I had to call on, or listen to the call of my muse, nature herself. I would not be a photographer today without heeding the message, “that nature desired to be recognized.”

    Growth Question: How do you recognize your fear?

    It doesn’t happen very often, but when I do entertain fear, I don’t hear anything except the sound of my own heart beating in my ears.

    1. Laurie,

      the sentence is only too true, and the reason and purpose of my artistic creativity. When I wander off that path, than it becomes “work” rather then joy.

      Face Everything And Respond.

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