The Zen of Creativity

duck potatoes
Duck Potato – Orlando Wetlands Park – March 2015

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science.” Albert Einstein Just finished The Zen of Creativity by John Daido Loori, He was a Buddhist monk, photographer, and artist. Very insightful book. Great follow up study to Frederick Franck’s work. Perhaps in a couple of months if I get over the wonder of new discovery I will be able to focus more on the art side of photography. Info on John Daido Loori can bve found at . More on Frederick Franck  and The quote was in the book.

A Day with Albert Schweitzer

Hawk on a Stick – Orlando Wetlands February 2015

“You shall draw everything and everyday” Frederick Franck from the Awakened Eye. (I, of course substitute draw with photograph.}

Just finished A Day with Albert Schweitzer – A Lambarenene Landscape by Frederick Franck. A wonderful book sprinkled with great drawings. Frederick Franck was a dentist and artist who spent several months at Albert Schweitzers’ hospital in Lambarene in 1959 and then wrote this travelogue with an honest portrait (written and drawn) of A. S. and late colonial Africa. You can see the early development of F. F.’s later Zen philosophies and  love of all living things.

Red Winged Blackbird – Orlando Wetlands February 2015

I was very happy to find this book in the library, yet sad that it had not seen the light of day since 1990. The book also bore the markings of F.T.U. which was renamed to UCF in 1978. It will be my last Frederick Franck book for a while as I have exhausted the local library resources.

The Awakened Eye – Part 2

Droplets – UCF Arboretum February 2015

I didn’t want to leave the topic of The Awakened Eye by Frederick Franck without mention of this one last passage, As part of seeing/drawing and his Zen beliefs he has written an enlightened passage on how we treat the earth as follows:

“It struck me like a whip, Only in America, I believe, does one speak of earth as “dirt”. Are we products of dirt?”


“Where Earth is seen as dirt, the bulldozer is destined to mutilate, to “develop”, to “landscape” what is mere dirt. Mother dirt….”

So far all his writings and drawings have touched me in various ways, I am onto my third book. I enjoy it so much I am able to forgive him for his distaste of photography.

Previous posts on Frederick Franck –

The Awakened Eye by Frederick Franck

Morning in Gold
This is the follow on book to Same the Zen of Seeing and presented in the same format handwritten text and drawings. It is filled with beautiful drawings and insightful writings. Part of the book is an in depth review of one of his seeing/drawing workshops that give you an insight to what it may have been like attending one.
Surrounding this are many gems of zen wisdom and what comes through as a raw love of the the earth and all it’s inhabitants.
I substitute photography for drawing even though photography wasn’t F. F. favorite thing. He ended the book with 10 “commandments”   my favorite was number 2 “You should not wait for inspiration, for it comes not while you wait but while you work”  – Frederick Franck.

Little Things

Mushroom in the Path – Econ Wilderness Park
Lichen Patch – Econ Wilderness Park

As I began my wandering on Sunday I firmly had my goals in mind. Seeing/photographing (my morphism od seeing/drawing) from Franck and nature’s interrelationships from Patterson.

I started walking in the Econ Wilderness Area, a small Seminole county park in Oviedo that I had not been to in several months. After a bit of walking, listening to birds singing, I began to notice the smaller things. A mushroom, a patch of lichen, spider webs, and the beginnings of a flower blossom. I have chosen not to clear debris or remove items from my pictures. You see what I saw in all natures perfection and imperfection.

On the technical side I had to use a flash for the mushroom and lichen because I couldn’t maintain a handheld shutter speed with the available light within the forest. The technical aspects of shooting are becoming second nature and not interfering with capturing the moment.
I need to remember to slow down – a common theme with me. I become so excited with the wonders that I see, I do not take the time to capture them properly. I should have walked the park 2 times.

Basket Web – Econ Wilderness Park
Signs of Renewal – Econ Wilderness Park

More Inspiration – Addendum

Winter flower. Black-eyed Susan taken Sunday at the arboretum.

I finished The Zen of Seeing by Frederick Franck and the last paragraphs were so beautiful I feel obligated to share. Plus if I document it here I will have it forever. I hope it’s OK to copy this. He wrote:

“This life is my windfall! That it happens to be a human life is the one chance in a trillion to be able to realize That Which Really Matters.

In seeing/drawing, that which matters can be perceived through the senses, not denied but maximally affirmed.

While seeing/drawing I glimpse into Nature, I taste Nature, The Nature of Reality. THE WAY OF SEEING IS A WAY OF KNOWING!”  -Frederick Franck

I would ask – What is your seeing/drawing?

More Inspiration

Sunrise at Orlando Wetlands Park. November 2014.

I have begun reading The Zen of Seeing by Frederick Franck. What an unbelievable book, much like Freeman Patterson I will now seek out all his publications. This book is handwritten rather than type set and includes numerous sketches by the author. Here’s a link to his website for more info.

Although the book is geared towards drawing, it easily transfers to photography. His main premise is something he calls see/draw (substitute see/photograph). He speaks of observing a scene as it exists, without labels, judgments, thoughts of a prize winning picture, etc. Everything stands on its own the merits simply because it exists. I’ve probably muddled the message somewhat but that’s what I got out of it.

He also speaks of drawing the “ten thousand things” which is, a Buddhist idea pertaining to the makeup of the universe. I a going to pursue this idea a bit over time.