This weekend, I’m enjoying myself at a guitar retreat, where we focus on songwriting, performing, playing and general creativity. It is a great time, as I don’t often get the time to focus on guitar for this long a period of time. As you can imagine, I’m learning a lot and having a great time.
Another wonderful aspect of this retreat is its location, at Essex Woods Retreat & Meeting Center in Essex, MA. The center is set in the woods and we’re surrounded by Nature’s beauty and art, as the center used to be an artists’ center.
What you see here are a couple of the art works, from among the many great ones that are on the property.
A Fresh Perspective
Photography is more than just a vehicle for capturing the world around me; it provides me with a palette and a set of brushes, with which I paint not only what I see, but also look to express the emotions that are evoked by the scene in front of me in that moment.
Growing up in the Netherlands exposed me to a wide cross-section of visual arts that laid the foundation of my photographic view of all that surrounds me. Early influences were the Dutch Masters of the 17th century, to whom I was introduced by my grandfather during museum explorations; favorites among them are the scenes of quotidian life depicted by Jan Steen and Frans Hals and the vivid landscapes of Jacob van Ruisdael.
My classical high school education was supplemented by the Boijmans Van Beuningen museum, where I spent many a lunch hour exploring its great collection. Here I was introduced to surrealism with a particular love for the approach taken by Salvador Dali; Dali also rekindled my appreciation for the work of Hieronymus Bosch, who often showed the folly of us mortals.
My approach to any photographic subject is to look for understanding first; in this I look to establish either a connection between the viewer and the subject or capture the connection of the subject with its surroundings. The captured image then aims to portray this connection from a perspective that is part of my personal interpretation.
This interpretation is often a form of externalized introspection, which may alternately display the connection of isolated beings and items with their environment or highlight the whimsy of the profound world, in which we find ourselves. The universe is full of connections, many of which are waiting to be discovered; part of my journey as a photographer is to document these connections.
Any assignment, be it an event, a product shoot or a portrait session is always approached through communication with the client; this is where the first connection is established. Ideas are exchanged and a collaborative plan of action forms, ultimately resulting in a set of images that aim to exceed the expectations of each client.
And, lest we forget, it is important to have fun while practicing the serious business of photography!
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10 thoughts on “Guitar Retreat”
Love the art. What kind of guitar do you play? A retreat would be a great way to interact with others, sounds like fun. Enjoy?
Thank you! I play mostly acoustic and have several Martins that I really like. My song selection tends to range from the folk to blues with classic rock songs and some current songs that I like. It was a great weekend, which also gave me some clear direction on what I need to work on to strengthen my skills.
Rebel guy plays guitar too. Glad you had a good week-end.
The guitar is a fun instrument! I hope he enjoys it as much as I do.
A guitar retreat sounds bliss.
It was wonderful!
I’d love to hear more about your retreat. How about a post on your take-aways?
It’s a deal! I will do one later this week. Thank you for the idea!
How wonderful Frank. I love my guitar and I love art so this would be so up my alley. Hope you have a fantastic time. 🙂
Thank you, Miriam! It was a lot of fun.