Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Art and Simplicity

I took these photos this past weekend at my parents' house in East Tennessee. There are two spiders somewhere in the five photos. Can you find them?

"When the light fell, like a wash of truth, every corner that held obscurity also held the potential for beauty." Deborah DeWit Marchant in Traveling Light, A Photographer's Journey

I'm rereading this book for inspiration. Mrs. Marchant's photos are so much like my own. Our writing is very different, though. Her prose is very poetical and sometimes difficult to understand. I'm tempted to say, "Just say it in plain English!" I really don't like to try and wade through words. It frustrates me. I like forthrightness and simplicity in writing; except for Pat Conroy. He's absolutely hypnotic.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't like pretentious writing. It especially irritates me in an artist bio. You know when you go to an art exhibition and you read what the artist says about his/her art. Sometimes I think you need a doctorate just to understand what they're saying. I think they believe that the more obtuse they are the better. It's so annoying.

When I wrote my artist statement, I tried to keep it simple and understandable. I didn't start out this post with the intention of posting my artist bio, but I think I will. Do you think it's understandable? Is it too simple?




Having grown up in the mountains of East Tennessee, I have a heightened awareness of the beauty of the great outdoors. I’ve always been happiest listening to wind whispering through the pines or lying in a field watching clouds float by. As a photographer, I now capture those pieces of the everyday and hold them as images of things remembered and cherished. If you look at one of my photographs, smile, and say, “I know that place…” or “That reminds me of…” then I’ve done a good thing.

Since early childhood I’ve been interested in many different art forms; especially music and photography. I’m proficient in piano but mainly piddle around with the lap dulcimer, recorder, and guitar. The hammered dulcimer is next on my list of things to try.

I became passionate about photography after a trip to Italy in 2001 with one of my sons. Since then I’ve tried different photographic techniques such as handtinting with translucent oil paints on black and white photos, copying my photos onto watercolor paper and painting over them, bleaching them, using many different film speeds to see what will happen, taking Polaroids with a 1970’s camera and then manipulating the images using different instruments while the emulsion is still wet, and attaching a photo to the back of an antique mirror after some of the silvering has been removed.

I believe in THE CREATOR who made all from nothing. I also believe all people feel the need to express their uniqueness in some way. As image-bearers of God, we can only re-create what is His. I want my art to show the goodness and beauty of creation. I affirm with the Psalmist David who said, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork.”

Never content to do the same thing day after day, my art is always changing into something hopefully better. And just like life, that requires patience and perseverance. So I keep pushing onward and hope that my art will bless you as we go along.


Beth Stone said...

Amen! I know exactly what you mean about wishing people would just "say it in plain English." I got so frustrated in my college art courses (and English courses, for that matter) when artists or writers would wax all philosophical about the profundity of their work, when to the rest of the world, it looked like blobs of paint on a canvas or pages of gibberish (both of which could have been done by a 2 year old). It always reminded me of the story of the Emperor's New Clothes - a whole subculture of people talking nonsense about "art" or "literature" that had no truth or beauty or even a point, really. So, needless to say, I found your statement very refreshing. Nice job! :o)

Pom Pom said...

I see the spiders in picture one and picture four, right? I like your artist's bio very much, Debbie!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

Love the artist's bio! Tell it, sister!

And the photos are beautiful. Per usual.


wayside wanderer said...

Great bio! I like that it is gives details that make me feel like I know you better and it flows well.

Love those spideys. Great pictures. They feel so warm.