Oyster River Pages: Does having a work published alter the way you think about it? Does it alter the way you think about yourself?
Sandra Fry: I think we all get that inevitable rush, and a sense of validation when we hear someone wants to publish our work. It's a way to connect, to be a voice that's heard or a vision that's shared. I think it's invigorating, and I'm more motivated, more enthusiastic. After I heard my photograph was accepted by Oyster River Pages, I signed up for a photo composition class I'd wanted to take, but hadn't made time for.
ORP: What advice would you give someone who has never been published?
SF: Here's the advice I give myself and seldom take -- Just submit! I'm really bad about doing my research, planning a submission, then letting the date slip by.
ORP: If you had to do something differently as a child or teenager to become a better artist as an adult, what would you do?
SF: I'd start writing sooner and I'd keep painting longer. I wouldn't have had the resources to do much photography then, so I won't put that in the equation, but painting trains the eye and writing feeds life.
ORP: What is the first creative piece that made you cry?
SF: It was probably something that made me laugh so hard I cried - Dada, or old Far Side comics. For real tears, it could have been paintings by Piero Della Francesca, haunting and timeless and other-worldly. Or maybe a room full of Hudson River School landscape paintings: Thomas Cole, Frederick Edwin Church, Asher B Durand, or Thomas Moran (whose paintings of Yellowstone helped inspire the creation of the National Park system). They saw the transcendant in nature, the beauty of the natural world, and worked to save it. That's what we should be doing.
Sandra Fry is a writer, photographer, traveler, retired computer analyst, and lifetime art student. Past publications include Minerva Rising, Number One, a "My Turn" essay in the AARP Bulletin, the regional SCBWI newsletter Borderlines, and photographs in Minerva Rising and The Longleaf Pine. Her blog, HoarderComesClean.wordpress.com, tracks adventures in art, travel, and downsizing. Oyster River Pages is proud to publish her photo, “Squaw Creek Pelicans,” in this issue.