Yes…I like it…but what is it? I’ve heard these words several times with regard to scenes I’ve photographed or painted and I push myself to remember a favourite quote from Alfred North Whitehead whenever they are spoken.

He said,

“Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of that pattern.”

Perhaps observers just don’t see the pattern or maybe I haven’t imposed enough structure on the scene.

Take, for example, these “randomly” spaced maple tree seed pods. Do they look like anything?


Is there a hidden message in these lupins?

calypso 024

I’m certain these are jewels.


Our minds search for patterns and even one or two simple lines can easily converge (or digress, I suppose) to convey an idea, image or emotion.

The other day, a friend mentioned how she had suddenly been shrouded by a sheet of sadness-a deflation of spirit while driving home. The feeling lasted for a few minutes then her naturally content personality kicked in. Still, she was curious about the origin of this dispiriting mood. Maybe it was brought on by a flat grey cloud on the horizon, stretching into the sadness of time.

And maybe her mind sought out the spiralling, up-reaching lines of the nearby trees to restore her to peace and contentment.

When the last snowfall threatened to tumble me into a grumbling pit of complaints, I turned instead to my camera and cropped a little here and there until I recognized a pattern that lifted my mood.

cardice 005

If you still need to know what it is-it’s a closeup of snow on the branches of the sumac trees outside the community centre.  But if you look a little closer, or squint a little (always a good look) maybe you’ll see something else.


One thought on “Patterns

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