My first project
Little did I know at the time how important projects would become in my work. It took me many years to actually figure it out.
As my friend Alain has said, "Projects are important, because they make you focus. And focusing and confining your art makes you creative." Or at least something like that...
The need to focus to become creative is what I remember from his counsel. His statement that focusing and confining oneself allows for creativity to happen took my years of trial and error to understand. After that epiphany though, my artistic life has never been the same.
I intentionally set out on these walkabouts to capture images of contrast, where the elements in the image were different. For the next month I worked on focusing on contrasts, trying to understand what visual contrasts were.
Why was understanding contrasts in art important at this time? It was because I had spent the previous 30 years synthesizing what I learned about the person sitting in front of me.
I spent millions of hours of my life taking disparate elements and blending them into one element, a diagnosis. That is the opposite of expressing contrasts. What I had been doing was taking many contrasting elements and making them into one entity.
It was in artistic language, taking many colors and making them into one. What I did as a diagnostician was the opposite of what an artist knows and does in the expression of contrasts. Hence it makes sense now why I had so much trouble with this idea earlier in the journey.
Unfortunately I subsequently forgot about the ideas of projects and focusing one's work until much later. I returned for quite a while to focusing on what was most interesting to me at the time. That diffuse, non-specific focus would slowly fade away as I became more aware and intent on what I wanted to share...and as I asked for more guidance.
In retrospect it seems that I needed to have competence in composition and color processing before I understood the importance of projects. (At least as I reflect back along this timeline.) I don't know why that was, but perhaps it had to do with following the rules until I understood them and could focus on something more artistic.
I was certainly entering the world of art bassakwards.
So here is my first project: Contrasts circa 2009 (These images were processed only with contrast and color adjustments.)