Fine Art Photography Daily

2021 in the Rear View Mirror

Sunset 2021

©Aline Smithson, Sun Setting on 2021

Nothing’s gone, not really. Everything that’s ever happened has left its little wound. – Sarah Manguso

Oddly, I think 2020 might have been a slightly better year.

These last two years, 2020 with a re-setting of priorities, and 2021 with a definite hard look at one’s mortality, have shifted a lot for me. I’ve been to too many funerals, lost too many friends and heroes, I discovered I am not invincible as fully masked and careful, I experienced a Covid breakthrough, and ended the year with a different kind of mask, bandages covering surgical wounds. There is loss everywhere and I feel a profound sadness that hangs in the weighted air that surrounds us. Like the banging of a drum in a slow march, each day we turn away from the news, from hard things in our lives, to seek refuge elsewhere. For many of us, we find solace in our art and community. We have certainly been traveling a serpentine road these past two years.

The problem is that there is no destination at the end of the road, only hope that in this time of not knowing, of making and canceling plans, there will be a conclusion. It’s exhausting, living in a state of limbo and considering our mortality on a regular basis.

A profound thank you to this incredible community for your friendship, support, and the work you make. You are simply amazing. Here’s a toast to a better year ahead.


©Aline Smithson, Almost Gone

Each December 31st, I try to share some inspiration for the New Year. This year, since I’m not feeling very inspirational, I’m tapping into the some of the insights of An Artist’s Life Manifesto: Marina Abramović’s Rules of Life, Solitude, and Silence,


An artist should not lie to himself or others
An artist should not steal ideas from other artists
An artist should not compromise for himself or in regards to the art market
An artist should not kill other human beings
An artist should not make himself into an idol…
An artist should avoid falling in love with another artist


An artist has to understand silence
An artist has to create a space for silence to enter his work
Silence is like an island in the middle of a turbulent ocean


An artist must make time for the long periods of solitude
Solitude is extremely important
Away from home,
Away from the studio,
Away from family,
Away from friends
An artist should stay for long periods of time at waterfalls
An artist should stay for long periods of time at exploding volcanoes
An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at fast-running rivers
An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the horizon where the ocean and sky meet
An artist should stay for long periods of time looking at the stars in the night sky


©Aline Smithson


©Aline Smithson

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