Happy New Year! A couple of weeks late. :-) New year, new goals, new work, new possibilities. I am hoping 2019 is the year I stick to blogging because I actually have a lot to share with you! It’s a new year’s resolution of sorts. So here goes.
Today I am exploring the “why” behind my fine art photography. To get to my why, I need to go back in time and remember who I was as a child.
I have been an artist for as long as I can remember. As a young person I spent countless hours doodling, painting and taking art classes at the local recreation center (thanks for signing me up, mom!). I just couldn’t stop. I was wildly creative. I wrote and illustrated my own books, created paper dolls and entire wardrobes for them out of card stock and was obsessed with spirograph and the patterns I could create with it.
I have also always been a nature girl. Growing up in the 80’s, I was allowed to roam my neighborhood from the time I got home from school until the time the sun went down. I was fortunate to grow up in suburban Southern California and there was plenty of nature for me to get immersed in (year-round I might add). In fact, I distinctly remember following a tarantula walking down the street in our subdivision. He (or she) was so gorgeous and slow and I remember feeling just a little bit sad for the animal life who had been displaced by our new construction neighborhood. I was fascinated by the bugs, plants and animals I encountered in the eucalyptus groves and wooded areas behind our house. So much so that at one point I spent a little too much time in a poison oak plant (probably admiring it’s leaves) and ended up covered head-to-toe in a terrible rash for two weeks. But that’s beside the point.
Fast forward 35 plus years and I find myself living in the urban city of Chicago, desperate to connect with my creativity and the outdoors. I have been a professional photographer in many capacities for the last decade but chose to promote my fine art photography a little over a year ago. Since then, I have discovered my personal style and have narrowed down my choice of subjects.
I have chosen to marry my love of art with my love of nature. Why nature? Because I feel it connects us to the divine. It is truly a spiritual quest for me. I feel most at peace and closest to God, higher power, source energy, etc. when I am at the lake or in a forest or standing on a beach listening to the waves. I sense the enormity of our world and am humbled by the great design of our earth. Have you ever REALLY studied a leaf? Or noticed the patterns of waves? Have you studied the colors of blooming flowers or analyzed the perfection of tree bark? It all takes my breath away. And I can’t stop making art out of it. But I tend to manipulate it a bit. Not because it isn’t perfect just the way it is. But because when I create a more abstract version of the scene before me, I feel it invites one to take another look. Or to see it in a slightly different way than before. And when I created mandalas or kaleidoscopes out of my nature imagery, I am fascinated by the patterns that are created. I see faces, and crosses and shapes that I didn’t see before. I feel that it makes me appreciate the design and symmetry found in our natural world on a deeper level. This and the fact that I am struggling to make sense of nature in the digital age.
So take another look at nature. Take another look at my pieces. What do you see in them? Now go take a nature walk and feel the presence of the divine.
And here’s a little sneak peek at a new series of mandalas I’m working on. More to come on that later.