The Inner Path of Photography

We yearn for the taste of the sacred…and through our cameras discover it, the world, and ourselves.

Tag: Houston travel

“One More Chance”…My scroll hanging at Peter T. Brown Gallery

"As if in a dream…" scroll wall hanging, Peter T Brown Gallery Houston, TX, Heidi Straube

Below is the original post about  my scroll wall hanging “As if in a dream…seaside contemplations.”

The exhibition will be up until March 12 – so I invite you to see my work and other wonderful images if you haven’t had a chance to do so. Enjoy…

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I’m pleased to share with you my latest scroll wall hanging,
“As if in a dream…seaside contemplations”

in the inaugural exhibition
“Over Time: Photography from the Advanced Photography Workshop”
Peter T. Brown Gallery, Houston, Texas.

I’m enjoying integrating my love of meditation, Japanese sensibilities, and beauty of the sea in my current work, and am happy to share this special hanging with you.

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“As if in a dream…seaside contemplations” is my contemporary interpretation of the art and intention of traditional scroll wall hangings created by Japanese Zen monks.

In Zenga (Zen art) the scrolls come from an act of meditation. The monk/artist immerses himself in the essence of Spirit, then expresses it visually, to share and inspire a similar experience in the viewer.

Hangings such as these are placed in a contemplative space in the home, to remind and reconnect the viewer to the ever-present inner bliss and beautiful outer manifestations of God.

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I believe deeply that we all deserve to be connected to our joy…whether we call it God, inner peace, or Spirit.

Life challenges us, and we forget about this beautiful essence within. My work, in the spirit of Zenga, is to bring that spiritual experience to people, and to feel it myself as I create my photographic images and the forms they take.

I invite you to the experience of meeting your soul through photography.

hstraube_asifinadreamscrollhanging_frontv2_petertbrowngallery_2014-9080"As if an dream…seaside contemplations" scroll wall hanging, Heidi Straube - Inner Path photography

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The scroll: I chose three images from my contemplative series, “Sea Dreams,” printed them on archival velvet-style paper, and designed a hand-stitched silk Jacquard scroll wall hanging to complement their peaceful presence. While the front of the scroll highlights the images, the back also radiates it own beauty with hand-stitching, a subtle golden Japanese leaf print on green silk, and a small signed contemplative seaside image gracing the top.

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The Peter T. Brown Gallery, located in the Anderson-Clarke Center at Rice University, is open Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM, Thursdays until 8:00 PM. Enter Entrance #8, at University Boulevard and Stockton Drive. The Anderson-Clarke Center will be on your left. There is free 15-minute parking behind the building.

More about the Peter T. Brown Gallery & the Glasscock School of Continuing Education, Rice University

More contemplative images from Heidi Straube

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“Must We Be Consistent?”

“Sunset Beach Play,” Galveston, Texas © 2010 Heidi Straube

“The worst thing we can do it to plan a conversation;
to decide ahead of time where it will go and what will be said.”
– David Bowie

I was looking for some different images to print for my walls this weekend, and came across a whole series that I had done in Galveston last year and not paid much attention to. The image you see above is one of them. I like it!

And now remember why I printed it once, showed it to a couple of people, and then put it in a box.

At the time, it wasn’t enough like the images I’m really fond of (see my book, “I Dream of Galveston”).While the book images are soft and foggy, the images in this new series were crisper, more finely focused. Sorry, no fog.

I felt the magic when shooting, but after printing, even though I still felt they were “me,” I discounted them, felt they didn’t “fit.”

Fit with what? My vision of what my work was, who I was as a photographer, a kind of image that had become my “identity.”

But what is our “identity”? The same kind of image, over and over?
Or an exploration of who we are and how we see the world, and a wonderful dance of finding the many ways to express it?

I think we may sometimes confuse consistency of truth with consistency of image.

In photography and in our lives, we make the mistake of thinking that if things continue to look the same, we’re good, we’re doing it right.

We look at a body of work; we look back at our lives. And as we reflect on what we consider the good and the bad (always judging, can we stop that?), we look at the outer results. Did I achieve what I intended? Is my work consistent?

Instead, perhaps we could soften our vision, and in the mode of consistency, ask if we were true to our values and sensibilities. Because consistently living our truth, both artistically and in living a life, the outer results don’t always look the same. They don’t necessarily follow a predictable pattern.

And while sometimes uncomfortable, that’s a good thing. It challenges us to stretch, use all facets of our being, discover exciting possibilities, and ultimately create amazing art, relationships, and lives.

After having some time away from my crisper images, as well as the book images, I can now see that the new series is still very much “me,” me expanding on a theme.

Actually, it expresses a more personally expansive sensibility.

While I had cropped the earlier images and printed them small (I wanted more focus on the people, less sand, and an intimate quietness), these more current images are printed full frame, large, celebrating the beautiful vastness of the beach, waves, and sky, and the people who are happily a part of that.

We are all of the images that we shoot….the foggy ones, the crisp ones, the people, the places…All reflect who we are.

Must we be consistent?


Consistent in our sensibility, the truth of our vision, and the expression of our values…in our art and in our lives.

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