Original Nature

It was David Gans who introduced me to the Nomad Cafe’s very generous owner, Christopher Waters. In April of 2009, the month of my 60th Birthday, I presented ORIGINAL NATURE, my second photography show. This time I moved up to 11×14 images, and also included in the show the images foam my earlier FIRST VISION show. This show was a breakthrough for me in a couple of ways: it was a larger show, a larger public venue, and when people actually started buying my work.
Through my artist’s statement, I also continued to refine my articulation of what my photography means to me.

To revel in, and reveal, beauty, is the  purpose of my photographs. Since childhood I have had the good fortune of hiking, exploring and camping the wilds of the western worlds, appreciating the aliveness and depth that this experience of nature offers me. When I enter the world of nature, my priority is to awaken.  As the Buddhists say,  to let the small mind drop away, to become alive to the senses and to the tactile experience of the moment.

A couple of decades ago, I started carrying small compact cameras with me, and bringing back images of these moments to share with friends and family.  My vision is to display graphically a moment of awakening using the palate of the natural world as the vehicle for this awakening. My images span the macro (a feather floating in a tide pool) to the grand (sunrise over the glaciers of New Zealand.) They often use  the natural occurrence of opposites (stillness and motion, light and dark, or above and below) to capture how the two and the one are inter-connected, each essential to the other. Always they illustrate how stillness and change are integral to our life on this planet, and  essential to being human.

My photographs spring from the intersection of  Eastern spirituality and Western landscapes. Their predecessors are Zen’s “Things just as they are,” Suzuki-roshi’s Beginner’s Mind, and the poetry of Gary Snyder and John Muir. They are glimpses into the universe in a grain of sand as viewed in California’s foothills and High Sierra, the rainforests and glaciers of New Zealand, the fjords of Tierra del Fuego, the rainforests of Guatemala.  My intent is to have as little filter between my immediate experience and the capturing of what is seen. There is little or no preparation in my  capturing of an image other than being outdoors in nature, and an eye that is constantly alert and awake to the natural occurring beauty of the world.

“Although we say that mountains belong to the country, actually they belong to those who love them.”(Dogen Zenji,  Mountain and Rivers Sutra)