Brooks Jenson - "Single Exposures"
"I propose that if your objective in making artwork is to avoid conflict, or if your fear in making artwork is that people won't like it or it will be controversial or it will put you into a position of conflict, the only practical outcome of that avoidance of conflict is the procrastination to do work."
It seems my cabin fever from last week has slipped into the comatose region on the heart monitor, so while spending time preparing notes and examples for my last workshop tomorrow I got involved doing some "abstract extractions" while sitting in front of the computer looking out at a dismal gray sky this past week. The above is a triptych from an image I posted last week on the blog which I think turned out quite interesting. While it's evidence that old dogs can be taught new tricks the exercise also reminded me that plunking around on the computer can be a way to freshen up dusty brain cells.
Teaching these workshops has been very exciting and, while the participants are both young and mature in age as well as ability, I found out that the differences blended together well and class members were eager with questions. As with most adventures I'm involved with I do think I gain as much, if not more, from the experience of having conversations which engage ones mental apparatus. I know that the class preparation, notes and research have helped revitalize concepts and applications that I have let fade into the background. From going through endless files of images looking for samples for discussions I found that I really, really do need to make more vertical images. It is quite clear that I've been thinking too much along the lines of an upright hominid and not using all the formats provided within the rectangle viewfinder.
Just when I've pinched myself from falling asleep in one area, my eagerness to challenge some abstract compositions kick in and I start searching to re-energize some other area of my past photographic efforts. Before long the clock on the wall says 11:00pm and I'm wondering where the night went, yet realize that the time spent was fulfilling and challenging. As I begin to think about
putting the "sandbox" away I see another temptress that begs for a visit to the abstract and, not wanting to stop, I continue my experimentation for awhile longer.
Our vision of the world is exactly what we want it to be and I believe the same is true about our artistic vision. We can be satisfied with our conventional view of what the camera (or the world) gives us, or we can challenge and activate our concepts and artistry. Rain or shine, today a photographer is not chained to a camera and tripod as may have been the case during the film era. I've spent hours in the darkroom and can say with enthusiasm, this digital thing is pretty cool!
"A Piece Of Work", Spirit Lake, Iowa www.apieceofworkinc.com
Art Of The Vine Gallery http://www.artofthevinegallery.com
Artisans Road Trip www.artisansroadtrip.com
The Cornucopia Art Center, Lanesboro, Minnesota www.lanesboroarts.org