a field guide to getting lost/ the blue of distance

Getting lost is an interesting concept to me as I feel like, especially while traveling, there isn’t a moment where I am not lost. Even once I think I know a place like the back of my hand I am still somehow lost. Both in thought and in the physical world, being lost is a scary feeling. The unknown that Solnit describes is the most terrifyingly exciting feeling that an artist can venture into. She says artists “transform unknown into the know” which is an interesting way to look at my work especially since it is often coming from a commercial base.


The way she connects getting mentally lost to getting physically lost in nature was interesting but slight less relatable to me. I feel as though the physical act of getting lost is very different than the mental one, although sometimes they do coexist. I find it hard to get too mentally lost while out in the world, there are too many distractions. I much prefer to think through writing or through being alone. Solnit describes getting lost as a choice, which I completely agree with. I have gone through phases of my life where I feel lost all of the time and then other times I feel like I couldn’t get lost if I tried. So maybe it’s not so much a choice but more a state of being that I exist in only sometimes.


The idea of being lost as a science is also interesting as well as the idea that people try to “calculate the unforeseen”. I believe there is no real science to how the brain works, so how could we calculate what we're going to find on the other side of being lost.


I think a lot about the color blue a lot. I think about all the colors a lot, but blue is by far the most important. I find it very interesting to read about how other people see the color blue. Solnit sees it as equivalent to the distance due to the way the mountains fade to blue in the horizon. I never really think about that type of blue; I usually focus on the water. Solnit says “Water is colorless, shallow water appears to be free of the color of whatever lies underneath, but deep water is full of this scattered light, the purer the water the deeper the blue.” Water is my favorite blue and makes me the happiest. The idea of scattered light makes me want to capture the blue of the water as such.


Her thoughts on cyanotypes being flat and distance-less due to the fact that the whole image is blue are odd. I often see cyanotypes as a depiction of how I wish the world looked. I often wish everything was blue, then everything would be pretty.


Jess Caughron       New York, NY || Connecticut        contact@jesscaughron.com

© 2020 By Jessica Caughron 

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