mobius faith imaging

I’d like to say that the creative muse has abandoned me. But I cannot say that in all honesty because she hasn’t left she has just been trying to help me understand my own work and take in new directions. I have no idea what the end result will be like.

I once wrote,

The photographic image is the tabula rasa up on which I ‘paint’.

And in the introduction to my first book I described my process thus,

I’ve never cared or desire to learn about my camera and it’s functions…. I am much more interested in the creative process and things that come from imagination and the human mind….I am interested in the “paints”, “brushes”, “strokes”, “Hammers and chisels” that allow me to sculpt and paint something new digitally. The images I create…in some cases…dissected,distorted and destroyed.

I’ve come to believe that the photograph in itself is not sacred, not art and just represents a fading, record of a moment, a memory, an occasion that is an illusion and pretends to be truth. Now I know a lot of people will want to argue and fight about that and that’s fine. I still take photos and am interested in abstract photography which I post on 500px.

I recently watched a film (only for the first time) and discovered that when it comes to creativity I definitely have Lettrist tendencies. That film was Lettrisme founder Isodore Isou. The film was VENOM & ETERNITY. In the film he states,

Photography is too banal… All attempts at angle shots, low key shots, double exposures… prove that one must go further…One must go beyond the image… And attack the film stock… Before anything, Photography must rot!

He then goes on to state that genuine film and photography as art must be destroyed and rebuilt outside of established conventions and expectations.

This really struck a chord with me. It’s what I’ve been doing for some time. I suppose it started in college when I was into punk and began to research surrealism, dada, situationist philosophy, etc that began to subconsciously shape my understanding of what is art and creativity.

The digital revolution has done two things. It has turned everyone with a cell phone into a photographer of the banal. If I have to look at just one more photograph of flowers, sunsets and cute children and animals I will become violently sick. But that is what has happened. The technology has turned everyone into a banal image taker. HDR photography has made it even worse because it pretends to be something it is not.

That was just the down side. BUT!!!!
There is also an up side to this digital revolution. It has given people with imagination new ways to destroy the image to manipulate it beyond recognition and create something completely new. I’ve always like Picasso’s quote (paraphrased), “The first act of creation begins with destruction”. That’s what I do. I destroy in order to create something new.

Here is an example of that work:
bungle and boggle

With this clarification and understanding of my work and process I’ve started doing something different. Not content to just have prints of my digital work I have started manipulating the prints themselves. I have started creating “photo weaves” for lack of a better term. I’ve been taking the prints I have and cutting them into strips. I’ve then been weaving the different strips together to create a wholly new and different work. I did the first photo weave about 10 years ago when the photo processing lab started giving me double prints and I didn’t know what to do with the extras. I only created one at the time out of two 4″X6″ prints and then set it aside as something to remember. Now, this notion has come back to me. Here is a photo of 2 recent works that I made. They are not framed (yet) so apologies for the presentation but at least you will have some idea of the result.
PW#3 and PW#2
new art


Learn It All Again…

I just heard this new song called LEARN IT ALL AGAIN TOMORROW by Ben and his mother Ellen Harper. It is from a new folk music album they recorded together titled Childhood Home.

This song reminds me about how many times I’ve had to re-learn the lessons in life – how often I’ve had to “learn it all again tomorrow”. Lessons in decency, kindness, compassion & understanding. The lessons may be spiritual, mental, behavioral or physical. The physical lessons are the ones we easily remember and are able to advance from – for example, walking. Once you learn how to walk you don’t need to relearn (unless some medical reason or accident forces you to). Muscle memory allows you to continue walking without thinking about it. You can then “mature” and learn something new or move to the next level by learning jogging and running. Even spiritual lessons tend to be more knowledge based and once that knowledge is gained it is not necessary to relearn the same thing. But behavioral/mental lessons are a whole different ballgame because they deal with behaviors and being in a way that requires flexibility. Each situation is different and each individual is different so flexibility is the key and this is why we often have to relearn the same lessons in different situations.

The bad and the beautiful:
So many people think of themselves as deeply flawed for having to relearn life’s lessons. Or as many Christians would say, “It’s because we are born sinners”. But I would like to point out that no one is a “born sinner” our weaknesses of character, and bad behaviors are learned/nurtured from our culture and surroundings. And many people go on acting as they’ve always acted – badly – without any recognition or thought of “Why do I…?” or “Should I…?”

Once a lesson is learned you will be “doing” what you’re supposed to be doing. You will have an awareness, or what Buddhists call Mindfulness, about yourself and others and be able to respond appropriately – if not initially; then, as a corrective measure – Whether it is compassion, understanding, peace-making, tolerance, etc – you will be doing it and others will learn from your example. They will see the change in you.


Here’s the good news. We should not think badly of ourselves for having to relearn life’s lessons as new situations arise. You and I are not bad, flawed or weak for having to relearn things like compassion, decency, respect, etc. When you were formed/created/born – just like the story of creation in the Bible – God said, “It is good.” You were born innocent and good. That innocence and goodness still resides within you and me. We should be grateful for the opportunities we have to relearn those lessons we need in order to be more adaptable. I am. It isn’t easy because whenever we interact with someone new their responses will be different so we will have a new opportunity to relearn a positive way interact with (and react to) them.

Monday Art Moment

Here’s a wonderful video featuring an interview with artist, Richard Tuttle. I can relate to so many of the things he says regarding identity, experience, and the need for artists to create. I hope you enjoy.

Richard Tuttle: Artists are like clouds from Louisiana Channel on Vimeo.

Sometimes I Fall…

Sometimes I think I know what I’m doing when I don’t. Another lesson is how to maintain a positive attitude when the unexpected happens.

DSCN0739a smlr

The weather was beautiful today. Temperatures in the mid to upper 70’s, no humidity, a warm breeze and sunshine. I’ve been on “vacation” all week and have spent most of it just doing some major spring cleaning around the apartment. Today on the spur-of-the-moment I decided to take a canoe ride. Now, the last time I went for a canoe ride was probably 35 yrs ago when I went with the youth group of the church I was attending at that time. When I was just a kid I didn’t care about getting wet. But this time I thought hey, I can do a nice leisurely paddle down the river maybe take a few snapshots and just enjoy the beautiful dry day.

All was going well. I thought I knew what I was doing and was managing rather nicely. The river was a little cluttered with fallen trees from past storms so it was a bit like navigating around a maze in places. But not major problem. I thoroughly enjoyed the six-mile trip. I even tested my self by paddling upstream for about 500 yards just to prove I could do it. Of course as I neared the portage site to land the canoe I was feeling rather cocky about staying dry and just having a good time. I was a bit worried about landing because there was no dock just a muddy river bank. I knew that I needed to land a good part of the canoe to avoid tipping. So I made run for the river bank. All went as planned. I managed to get 2/3rds of the canoe on land. I was feeling pretty damn proud of myself. I stood up and went to take a step toward the front of the canoe and promptly lost my balance and fell into the muddy water. I was soaked from head to toe – so was my camera, my money, my wallet, and my ego.

I made the mistake of promptly forgetting that I was sitting in the end of the canoe that was still in the river and should not have stood straight up. Oh well, I just started laughing. It’s good to have my pride shaken once in a while. “Once I was the King of Spain but now I eat humble pie.” [make that mud pie] 🙂

the fine art of lemons to lemonade

You may have heard the phrase “When life hands you lemons – make lemonade.” I was fortunate to experience this firsthand today. The phrase was first coined by Christian Anarchist Elbert Hubbard in 1915 as part of an obituary he wrote for a friend. The exact phrase was, “…He picked up the lemons that Fate had sent him and started a lemonade-stand.”

So how was I able to do this today? I’ll give you the recipe.

3 Raw lemons = a kitchen sink that started leaking, no experience or knowhow in plumbing, no money to pay a plumber, a landlord that would have to pay a plumber and wouldn’t have it scheduled for a couple of days.

Squeeze the lemons = the stress and pressure of the situation that has interrupted the daily routine and special plans.

Add sugar to taste = found YouTube videos that talked about where leaks occur in sink how to repair different leaks. With a positive mindset determined what I needed and went to the hardware store. I took the part that needed replaced to the hardware store and the employee knew exactly what it was and helped me find it. I have a double sink but only one started to leak. The part that needed replaced was badly corroded on both sides – so I decided to fix both of them.

Stir = Replaced the necessary parts and run water to make sure leaks were stopped.

Pour over ice in a tall glass and enjoy = after repairs were done and all leaks were stopped and future leaks prevented I had a real sense of satisfaction & accomplishment; and I learned how to do something I had never done before. An added bonus was the monetary savings: My cost $5.21 + less than a gallon of gas to get to the hardware store. A plumber would have charged me between $120.00 and $200.00 for doing the same work. The experience – PRICELESS.

And here is some smooooooth music to enjoy your lemonade by. Enjoy this song, GREEN LEMONADE by Herb Alpert from his 2013 album Steppin’ Out.