B.F.A., Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, 1974
M.A., Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, 1977
C.C. Photoshop/Illustrator, Lake Washington Technical College, 2008, President's List for Academic Achievement
My imagery is built around a concept. After a central idea is established I explore possibilities within a set of creative and aesthetic parameters. From my perspective visual art is idea, expression, experience and process fused to create a perceptual synergy.
Nature has always played an important role in my art. In the late seventies and early eighties it was the focal point of several commissioned installations in Seattle and Chicago. During the next two decades or so landscape painting and drawing were my primary areas of interest. The work was exhibited in minor venues in Washington and Hawaii.
It was in 2005 when I bought my first computer and digital camera. The initial attraction was the speed that imagery could be produced. It was exciting to work at th... Read More
We are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we're in the present, but we aren't. The present we know is only a movie of the past." (Thomas Wolfe)
My reality like all of nature is in a constant process of evolution.
"In ordinary perception, the senses send an overwhelming flood of information to the brain, which the brain then filters down to a trickle it can manage for the purpose of survival in a highly competitive world. Man has become so rational, so utilitarian, that the trickle becomes most pale and thin. It is efficient, for mere survival, but it screens out the most wondrous part of man's potential experience without his even knowing it. We're shut off from our own world." (Thomas Wolfe)
Seasonseye is an excercise in ordinary perception.
The idea for the images presented here originated in January of 2007 when I decided to create a series of digital collages that would focus upon seasonal changes as they occured. In the short cold days of winter life endured. It was found in bare branches that were alive with birds. It could be seen in the marshes as ducks gathered for the winter. When a snowfall would cover the land there was a silent kind of beauty. I would go out and photograph these things. Later I would edit the pictures into collage imagery. The purpose was not to capture the way these things looked as much as it was to visually present a feeling that related to experience.
With the arrival of spring there was an abundance of color. Beautiful forms burst onto the landscape. I attempted to capture as much of the arrival of spring as I could. It seemed like no matter how many pictures I took it was never enough. There were always things I liked that got left behind. It was all too much. As I edited the colors and forms of spring random chance played a significant role in the creative process. I didn't want to take a heavy handed approach. Instead I wanted to allow the beauty to reveal itself in a natural way. The idea was that in doing so the essense of the experience would prevail.
The transformation from spring to summer was a subtle one. Things were green and lush as plants and trees matured. Many of the spring flowers were gone. They were replaced by an abundance of summer blossoms. In photographing the transition I noticed many subtle changes on an almost daily basis. I worked with areas that were close to me so that I could visit them often to notice the transformations. All of the while creation of collages continued.
As the days became shorter there was a feeling of autumn in the air. At first it was subtle. It wasn't long before it was quite apparent. The hue of the landscape was changing. That which was recently green and lush had begun to take on the brown and yellow hues of fall. During this time I focused primarily on the forest. This is where the changes were the most dramatic. Green was quickly shifting to yellow and red. With the lower angle of the sun shadows were deep and rich. Everyday there were changes to be seen. Like the mix of green and red in the branches autumn is a season of mixed emotions being the transition from the warmth of summer to the cold of winter. I wanted to let this feeling show through in the compositions of the autumn collages.
Eventually the early winter storms stripped the trees of their colors. For a brief time they carpeted the forest floor and then faded to the brown tones of winter. Still there were the deep greens of ferns and evergreen trees blended into the landscape like reminders of the past and a hope for the future. The idea to capture the mood of the time remained in the digital collages.
The first snow of the season had a wintry feel. It covered the land with a quite beauty. It was not too heavy so vestages of green and yellow could still be seen in places. Life still went on. Water bird moved about open patches of water while other species could be seen looking for food hidden under the snow. Life would go on despite the cold. That is one of the beauties of the winter season the process of making my art allowed me to see.
When the cycle was completed the focus the the project became one of reflection. Taking some time to look back over the course of the year I did some re-editing and have come to present the series here. My hope is that it is enjoyed by viewers as much as I enjoyed creating it.