I want to go back a bit now, to the days at Cornish, not that it has a lot to do wIth cameras and f stops, but because there are many things that inform who I am as a photographer, and in a large part I owe a lot of my visual aesthetic to what I was exposed to during my time at Cornish College of the Arts from 1975-1978. And for that matter my time spent as a potter at the Good Earth Pottery in Bellingham when I was just out of high school. But that’s for another post.
For now let’s just say that coming to Cornish I had a good innate sense of form, balance and perspective. I had been drawing for as long as I could hold a crayon, and I had art in my genes, My mother was a Fine Art major at the University of Minnesota and my Dad was artistic as well.
At Cornish my concept of art and imagery exploded. I had been engaged as a potter for several years prior to that, and my visual paradigm had been built around forms, textures and surface glazes. When I started to explore large scale abstract painting at Cornish it was natural that these surface patterns and textures from my pottery days would spill over. It was exciting to be freed from the constraints of the limiting scale of pottery, and let that unbridled energy spread across a canvas of 4×6 feet. This only belongs in a photography blog because these same colors, patterns, and textures became recurring themes later in my visual language as a photographer of nature.
Or was I simply informing my artwork with visual patterning that I had acquired as a boy growing up on a remote wild island, where I could roam for days unconstrained by fences and boundaries, to freely explore the natural world? This is kind of a chicken and egg question. What came first.
But I believe, and for now, let’s just say, when I started painting, and potting, and photographing, I had a wellspring of experience to draw from, and that has remained a source to this day.