“What is Art? It is the response of man’s creative soul to the call of the real.”

RockSculpture_JohnDay


Wednesday May 29, 2013


What is Art? It is the response of man’s creative soul to the call of the real.  Rabindranath Tagore

Art is not easy to define, yet it is virtually ubiquitous in the history of mankind. To me, life would be a good deal less full without art; in all its varied forms, from music and poetry to painting and sculpture. There are lots of things I could do without, but art is not among them!

It is amazing how many times one can find in nature, objects that echo the art of man. If I could transport this stone out the John Day wildness area into a modern art gallery surely people would see it as a modern sculpture.

Enjoy,
Tom

“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.”

Hay_Pano


Wednesday May 22, 2013


Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.  Japanese Proverb

Believe you will fail and you will, believe you can do it and you will. This could be an anthem for the creative. It’s hard to be good, even harder to be great, but what‘s the alternative? Mediocrity? Not acceptable!

This is a common enough image in the Autumn in the western US. What’s interesting here is the feeling of infinite space.

Enjoy,
Tom

“Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.”

RedHill_LoneTree


Wednesday May 15, 2013

 

Art is the elimination of the unnecessary.  Pablo Picasso

For me, I have always loved the art of elegant simplicity, to me Haiku is the purest poetry, because so much is expressed in so few words. I love early Korean and Japanese ceramics because of their total simplicity, as well as Zen for the same reason. In photography, the work of David duChemin moves me because he is able to create images that are extremely expressive, yet simple and clean in their execution. Picasso, reveals the secret in the above quote. Eliminate all but what is required to express the essence of your subject, more just adds unnecessary noise and confusion.

In this image, simple in concept and execution, everything I wanted to express about the place and day is revealed.

Enjoy,
Tom

“Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts.”

Abandoned


Friday May 10, 2013


Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts.  Walker Evans

Well, some would argue this (the eye trafficking in feelings rather than thoughts), but for me image creation is all about feelings, but then, a lot of thought goes into processing, considering how to best convey those feelings in the final image, to be specific. I love both aspects of the process, the original capture and the final processing, but has been said many times before, you have to start with a strong image in the camera, or all the post processing in the world will not save you.

Some images just shine in black and white. To me, this is one of those images where color adds nothing; in fact color hinders the expression of the mood I was seeking to reveal.

Enjoy,
Tom

“Passion is in all great searches and is necessary to all creative endeavors.”

SheepRock_JohnDay


Wednesday May 8, 2013


Passion is in all great searches and is necessary to all creative endeavors.  W. Eugene Smith

Passion is the essence that drive every creative person in any endeavor. It’s the force that makes one strive to constantly improve one’s work, to constantly strive to be better this time than the last. If you have passion, all else will follow because you will never settle for less than the best you can do. Without it, you can have the best equipment that money can buy and your work will never rise above competent at best, mediocre at worst.

Here we have an image from the John Day Wilderness in eastern Oregon. The day was hot and as evening come on the temperature began to drop steeply with the fading light.

Enjoy,
Tom

“As far as I am concerned, a painting speaks for itself. What is the use of giving explanations, when all is said and done? A painter has only one language.”

HighDesert_ColumbiaGorge

Friday

May 3, 2013

 

As far as I am concerned, a painting speaks for itself. What is the use of giving explanations, when all is said and done? A painter has only one language.  ~ Pablo Picasso

I have always been amused by the artist who feels they must go on and on, most often with multi-syllabic words to explain their work. After all, we work in a visual medium; we may have elements of poetry, storytelling, or drama in our work, but it must be contained in the visual elements. I have always felt if an artist must go to great lengths to explain their work, that the work itself must be lacking. My experience, I feel, has borne this out. When I, personally, have attended shows where the artist has a long, tedious “statement of purpose” the work itself has been less than stellar. Now, don’t misunderstand me, some very good artists also have a great gift for words, and I appreciate when they use that gift to talk about what excites and motivates them, but this is a horse of a different color from explaining the work itself. If the image cannot speak for itself…

The Columbia Gorge is one of the wonders of nature, and I am fortunate to live only a short distance from it.  Inspiring images are possible through all the seasons of the year, with an endless variety of weather conditions. This image is from early spring, and the sky was in constant change, from sunny to dark and gray. Here is a capture from one of the day‘s darker moments.

Enjoy,
Tom

HF37XM65JX4V

“Man will begin to recover the moment he takes art as seriously as physics, chemistry or money.”

BigSky_Bingen


Wednesday May 1, 2013


Man will begin to recover the moment he takes art as seriously as physics, chemistry or money.  Ernst Levy

I would preface this quote with the modern man, as early man took art very seriously.  But, the sentiment surely holds true, art is an intrinsic element in being human, it has been around a lot longer than civilization and we even measure early civilizations by the quality of their arts, yet today artists are often looked down upon by the general public as somehow second rate, not carrying their own weight, etc. Think how ubiquitous and incredible art is; there are a finite number of musical notes, yet the variety of music, as created by various musicians and composers seem to be without limit.  We can draw and create images before we can write. Few interiors are without some form of wall hangings, even if in poor taste. Words are finite, literature infinite. Art is not a secondary human endeavor!

I love “skyscapes.”  There was a painter of the Hudson River School of painting who lived near where I grew up in Connecticut by the name of Eric Sloan. He was famous for his painting of barns, but what really spoke to me was his paintings of the sky. I now dwell in the Pacific Northwest and find the skies to be totally captivating. Here is one such image from central Washington, along the Columbia Gorge.

Enjoy,
Tom