Write Around PAM: Laura McPhee

Image description: Midsummer, (Lupine and Fireweed), Laura McPhee, inkjet print. A landscape-oriented photograph of charred tree trunks densely packed with few branches amid a forest floor abundant with greenery and purple lupine spires. The upper two-thirds of the photo contains blackened tree trunks against a gray sky. The trunks can be seen receding well into the distance. The bottom third of the work shows bright green foliage and clumps of spiky purple lupine blooms in the sunshine. The trees in the foreground show crenellated, burnt, black bark. A tree on the right has lost parts of its bark and has its pale beige wood exposed.
Laura McPhee Midsummer (Lupine and Fireweed), 2008 Photograph, inkjet print Courtesy of the artist. © Laura McPhee. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

 “Photographing in the burned forest was one of the great, joyful experiences of my life,” Laura McPhee has said, “finding that catastrophe to be so beautiful,… so stunningly unexpected.” In McPhee’s Midsummer (Lupine and Fireweed), landscape provides a metaphor for loss and the regenerative power of natural cycles. This week, we invite you to contemplate Midsummer (Lupine and Fireweed) as you write. Go further by watching this video of McPhee discussing her work or by seeing her stunning, large-scale photographs in person in the Ansel Adams in Our Time exhibition, on view now through August 1. 

We have 2 prompts to help you get started. As always, you can use one, both, or write whatever else comes. Just set a timer for 6 minutes and keep your pen or pencil moving.

Things I have lost… / Things I have found…

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past Sunday posts and look for continuing weekly posts through the summer with a focus on Ansel Adams in our Time during May, June, and July. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM @laurapmcphee

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