Pens. Pencils. Paint. Photography. Each of these mediums creates a different essence in a composition. When I’m really fascinated by a subject, time seems to be suspended. The outside world dissolves into murky dust and gently vanishes. My mind quiets. I feel tuned into the energy of my subject in a mysterious, ineffable way. The way the light hits its surface. Its reaction to temperature. How the environment caresses and envelopes it. I love to capture these qualities and sensations with different media.
My acute sensitivity to the external world can be overwhelming if I don’t select the right environment. So I often make solitary journeys out into the woods. I pack a large bag, strewn with various media, and set out on foot. I generally start out photographing scenes and images that are pleasing to me. Photography offers me a way to quickly frame the subject, and determine the best composition. I can rapidly snap shot after shot, moving my vantage point and area of focus. After a few moments, the composition will reveal itself to me. As fast as I can, I unpack and set up my portable studio. I sit quietly, and compare my subject to the jumbled pile of markers, paints, and pencils. The process is akin to striking a tuning fork to achieve perfect pitch in a musical instrument. I can sense the colors and mood emanating from my subject. The work that unfolds in front of me is matching that energy.
As the environment changes, it changes my subject. The early afternoon is full of vibrant energy. The intense sunlight dances through the leaves, changing their color. First green. Then yellow. The wind blows, and the blades of grass bend and twirl gleefully. As the shadows creep over, the thicket turns turquoise and blue. Afternoon turns to evening. A sense of melancholy enters the scene, like escorting out the last guest at the end of a much anticipated party.
These delicate blades of grass changed so much before me. Each of my studies evokes the variation that played before my eyes. The photograph shows the blissful solitude of an untouched woodland. The drawing hints at the playful dance of the wind and grasses. The woodblock print illustrates the setting sun bidding farewell to the enchanting landscape. Using different media allows me to depict this mysterious shift.
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