This is the start of a series of 5 posts expanding on questions people have asked me when viewing and discussing my work and artistic experiences. I wrote them down and decided to write about each one in greater and more thoughtful detail. They are published as part of the exploration of my creative life.
A good number of people have asked me why I chose the Southwest US for the foundation of my art work.
The answer is frankly quite simple and goes like this:
1. I got attached to Alain & Natalie Briot because of their approach to art as a noncompetitive form of expression. They work in the Southwest US. Alain was classically trained in Paris at the School of Beaux Arts. Natalie has been an art teacher for many years. Their workshops are in the Southwest. His teaching and work and her insights into the art of photography helped give form to my desire to create photographic art.
2. I perceive form first and then color. The forms of nature in the Southwest US are more clearly and easily seen by me as a photographer. (I have thankfully interacted with other artists who see color first. They have helped broaden the scope of my work as in the image below: 40% color-dominant and 60% form-dominant.)
3. The ancient aspect of the Southwest US attracts me as a way to understand what has happened before my life and the American cultural invasion of the West.
4. That ancientness is shown both geologically and archeologically. This world and those cultures have existed long before my presence on this planet.
5. It reminds me of my place on this planet and in this universe. I am here for a while and then pass on. Standing above Buck Canyon watching the sun rise over the La Sal Mountains makes me realize how short my time is here. Buck Canyon has been here seemingly forever, and the sunrise is so short. I think of my life as the sunrise.
6. Those experiences in solitude and silence remind me that I want to share most what is life-giving and deeply meaningful about my experiences.
7. The Southwest is the closest place to be reminded of what is most important in life in a setting of expansive solitude and silence.