Friday, April 7, 2023

Time Marches On

Time Marches On by Sara Harley
Time Marches On

The past 10 months have been challenging for me creatively. Dealing with my own health issues, as well as being a caregiver to my husband, has taken a toll.

This is not to say that I have not been creative, just that I didn't feel I had the energy to create the way I had been. I turned to a different hobby and spent months using my hands. I sewed quilts by machine, a quilt by hand, many, many small slow stitched pieces, and have started on a few larger slow stitched wall hangings. 

My mind seemed to need a slower process...I found the stitching therapeutic. I could turn my mind off and feel calmness settle in as I pushed the needle in and out of the fabric. I enjoyed the tactile sensation of the fabrics in my hands (all second hand clothing purchased for how they felt just as much as how they looked).  

I made the above image in February, and it was my first post surgery photography based creation. Using photos I took with my phone, I layered shadows on the wall with a walking crow, a still shot of a watch and various textures to come up with Time Marches On

In retrospect, I believe this image was a message to myself. It was time to resume doing what I love...creating images to express my feelings and emotions. I still haven't done that, but I now feel that I am ready to take a step back on my creative path.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The Struggle is Real

Although I realize now that it's not uncommon among creative people, it is always a struggle for me when I go into a creative slump. I feel that I have not been productive since my cancer diagnosis in April.

However, when I look back on the year and tally up my "successes", I realize that 2022 has been my most successful year ever. A solo exhibit, my best year financially from sales, several covers, and many images published in various magazines.

But what is success? What if one's view of success shifts?

In late 2021 I decided that one of my goals was to get my work published and I set out to submit my work to various magazines. I searched online for calls for entry and selected the ones that I thought my images would work with. All but one of the submissions were sent in during the first half of the year. I answered 14 calls for submission and my work was accepted 9 times...a 64% success rate. Fantastic results, and I was thrilled each time.

After my life altering surgery in June, I spent a LOT of time thinking about my artistic life (thinking, not and wondering "where do I go from here?".  What does success mean to me now? 

As 2022 comes to a close, I still haven't come to any conclusions. I think I settle on the "answer" and then my mind drifts off on a different path. And then I chastise myself for having to come up with an answer at all. I am not trying to earn a living with my art. Why does any of this matter at all?

In order to try to capture some creative energy, I turned to quilting and have finished two quilts since October and have almost finished a third quilt. This has caused more speculation for my artistic life. 

Perhaps more thoughts to

My year wrapped up by having six of my images published in the Wander Magazine's Issue 10 - Lines. Instagram:


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Creating opportunities for yourself

Inside - Thoughts from a Pandemic published by Nevermore Press

In April 2021, I read an article in our local newspaper about a proposed book. There was an open call for authors to send stories and poetry for a "pandemic isolation anthology". The book would be published by Nevermore Press as a fund raiser for the South Shore Regional Public Libraries bookmobile.

Although there was no mention of a request for images in the open call, I prepared an email and sent some samples of my work that I thought might be appropriate for a cover. At the time, the proposed title of the book was "Isolation".

The editor responded enthusiastically and selected an image he would like to use for the cover. I was thrilled! 

Days later, I was horrified to read about his tragic death. Hearing about someone's sudden passing seems to hit close to home even when you haven't met them personally. I put all thoughts about the book aside.

Six months later, I was contacted by the new editor who had taken over. The project was going to go ahead. One year later, the book is being released!

An interesting online article about the background of the project is available to read at this link.

The book is being released on October 22nd, 2022. Inside - Thoughts from a Pandemic is available for purchase at this link. I am thrilled to be part of this project!

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The Antigonish Review

Way back in February, I was contacted by the editor of The Antigonish Review to see if I'd be willing to have my Colour My World image published as the cover of their upcoming Spring issue. I was thrilled, and that was before I found out I would be paid for the honour :)

One thing led to another, time went on, and the spring issue was finally published in October!


From their website: The Antigonish Review is the third longest-running creative-writing journal in the Maritimes and one of the oldest continuing literary magazines in Canada. TAR is supported by St. Francis Xavier University with the welcome assistance of the Canada Council for the Arts, and by our generous donors. 

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Humana Obscura Issue 05


I am thrilled to have two of my images published in the Fall/Winter 2022 Issue #05 of Humana Obscura Magazine. You can read the entire magazine online or purchase a print copy of the magazine at this link:

From the "about" page on their website: 

Humana Obscura is an independent literary magazine that seeks to publish nature-focused poetry, prose, and art by new, emerging, and established writers and artists from around the world.

As our name suggests—“obscured human”—we focus on work where the human element is concealed but not entirely absent, aiming to revive the nature genre.

Humana Obscura’s mission is to publish and promote the best work of today’s voices and talents. Our intention is to inspire readers and enrich their lives while providing an inclusive space for elevating the voices, expressions, and creative work of our contributors. 

Founded in 2020, Humana Obscura is published online and in print twice yearly, and features work from around the world. The magazine accepts poetry, short prose under 1,000 words, and artwork in various medium. 

Humana Obscura Issue 05 Sara Harley Memories
Memories, from my Flight of Fancy collection

Humana Obscura Issue 05 Sara Harley Ripple Effect
Ripple Effect, from my Trailings Project