After having a pivotal experience about 6 months ago and starting to produce landscape photography in a new way, I am now convinced of the uniqueness of this direction in the world of digital photographic art.
I recently participated in a local art fair. My work was clearly different and even in a world of its own. Many people commented on the nature of my new work, often saying they came into my booth to see if my work was painting or photography. Many who stood long enough to hear the story about this new process loved it, smiled, and said, "carry on". There was a surprising amount of verbal support for something new in landscape photography, something other than a "good photograph".
I was very gratified and sold more of my new work than I have of all my old work in the three previous shows put together.
My new work adds a lyrical movement to the scenes as well as a painterly development that from a distance piques the mind. That lyrical movement mirrors the happy dance I often feel when photographing in the wild and feeling connected to the land, time, and scene. I also add a lyrical complexity to the image with layers of movement deeper into the image.
One girl of probably 8 or 9 years said it most succintly. "When I stand here (outside the tent) it looks like a painting. But when I get up close it looks all whirly." Out of the mouths of babes....
For the first time in the 9 years of this journey, there is no path to follow. There is no one to teach technique or style. There is no one to follow. It is a venture into the wilderness without a path or guide.
I suppose every artist, who applies themselves persistently and diligently to their work, hits a moment when their mind or soul or whatever it is within says, "Let's turn off the road here." But there is no road where you turned off.
It is creatively exciting to be moving in a unique direction with a unique vision for my work. It is also unsettling and even surreal (as my friend Alain shared recently). I know in my mind that these transitions are fraught with uncertainty and fear. I also know that the worst thing that can happen is that someone will not like it. That's really not so bad in the big scheme of life.
I also think there must be a point when an artist must take full responsibility for their work, regardless of the feedback. One must move forward in that new direction alone, because no one else has been there before. I suspect there are many more aspects in life than art where this is true, but I can only at this time comment on my artistic journey.
So, this is the beginning of a great adventure into a land unknown. Continue to follow as I share the experience and newness of this new approach to my art.