Being a photographer, who came from an early background as a painter and printmaker, my influences have been many and varied . The cumulative effect of these experiences have affected my growth, the directions I ‘ve taken, the medium that I work in as well as my intensity and dedication.
As an art student and aspiring painter, I was particularly drawn to the work of Andrew Wyeth. I was excited by Wyeth’s weathered architecture, rustic interiors, textures and soft color palettes. Most importantly I was influenced by his incredibly beautiful treatment and handling of light. Wyeth made me realize that as an artist it’s important to become a good observer not just of the obvious but in the subtile qualities of the world around us. This is especially true of light and shadow and how those qualities affect color intensity, mood and depth within a scene. His
influence is still a part my thought processes today.
Life changing moments can sometimes seem insignificant at the time they occur. When I first saw a simple but elegant photograph entitled “Farmer’s Kitchen-Hale County Alabama 1936”, I didn’t realize it would become one of the most powerful experiences to affect my creative direction and development. For the first time, I became aware of the power, intensity and emotion that was obtainable through the photographic image and I knew I wanted to create images with this power. The photograph, the work of Walker Evans became the catalyst that changed my artistic direction
from that of a painter to a photographer. Evans use of available light combined with his simple compositional style, and architectural subject matter had a quality and beauty of light that was as exciting to me as Wyeth’s paintings.
Even though Wyeth and Evans were different in medium and style, the similarity in their abilities to capture beauty in the seemingly ordinary, mundane and by some observers, ugly subjects was inspiring. My vision, driven by their work has been further influenced by Wabi-Sabi, the
quintessential Japanese aesthetic(See link below). In its purest and simplest form and unlike the Western ideal of beauty, Wabi-Sabi finds beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature, accepting the natural cycles constant state of change of either becoming or dissolving. It celebrates the cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather and loving use or even abuse leave behind.
It is because of these collective influences that I continue to seek out the perfection that can be found in the beauty of light and shadow especially as they interact with a variety of environments and subject matter. Finally, a major focus of my work is to seek out the underplayed and modest; the kind of quiet undeclared beauty that waits patiently to be discovered