Artist working with different kinds of medium experience from time to time different phases, adjusting ones visual compass, afterwards returning to any project left undone and seeing it with a new vision. As I have looked back these numerous weeks upon the body of my work, from writing, photography, collage, painting, or drawing, even my attempts at combining any of these expressive forms, it seems I am still seeking a different structure of expressing my thoughts or creative urgings, not having settled into a comfortable set of combinations with a predictable outcome.

A repetitious humdrum of beautiful patterns
Engine World, Emeryville, California
Digital duo-tone photograph, June 12, 2006

In reviewing my body of work, I look for a common thread that unites these various elements and forms in the end a unique composite identity by which I am identified and one recognizes the artwork as being of my hand.

Yet there is also the work that is an exploration of an idea or an opportunity, one that is infused with the influences of time and distance. What is created is not entirely ones own, rather the results of ones education, ones exposure to the ever changing surroundings. And though art is what we make it, it is still a reflection of what surrounds us.

My artwork is no different; it has not escaped these influences, despite my reclusive lifestyle.

The industrialization of the machine
Engine World, Emeryville, California
Digital duo-tone photograph, June 12, 2006

Like many of us, we remember one or two things with vivid detail going as far back as our childhood, even if it is just an image we remember. For me I recall when Mr. Crawford, my sophomore high school art instructor and for an additional two more years, showed us paintings by the Dutch artist Piet Mondrian. Unbeknownst to my instructor, the exposure to Mondrian’s work and class assignment that followed, which was to recreate our own version of Mondrian’s artistic style had forever a profound impact in how I viewed everything around me and how I would interpret what I saw in artistic terms.

The primary coloured squares and rectangles acting as weights to balance the vertical and horizontal black lines, intersecting into non-representational form in neoplasticism style of De Stijl, these areas became for me mathematical sequences with which to build upon a compositional idea that is then overlaid onto the sectio divina (Golden proportion).

March of the machine
Engine World, Emeryville, California
Digital duo-tone photograph, June 12, 2006

Though Mondrian’s compositions continues to have a considerable influence, it is occasionally draped by supplementary influences affecting my other work and as I photograph the rows and rows of transmissions, motors and other vehicle mechanics, I am reminded of Margret Bourke-White’s photography. In 1929 she started working for Fortune and a year later for Life magazine, when she became the first Western photographer allowed into the Soviet Union, capturing industrial images at a tractor factory in Stalingrad. Her career as an industrial photographer in which she captured the beauty and power of machines, later became known as the photographic essay technique.

1513.C — 3.0-1 Transmission
Engine World, Emeryville, California
Digital duo-tone photograph, June 12, 2006

While the many images I produced at this location are not consciously following in the style of Margret Bourke-White’s photography, a selection of images were treated as rich duo-tones with a slight overall softening to emulate a series of industrial photographs she took. The photographs I represent with this post, not only pay tribute to her body of work, but also remains true to my own vision and voice as a fine art photographer.

Engine World, Emeryville, California
Digital duo-tone photograph, June 12, 2006


layers said...

It is normal to always be in flux-- to always be in search mode-- taking in all your experiences--with what you read and see and with who you interact with-- and see what sticks and what goes by the wayside-- as you continue to express yourself. Of course you will want to try different mediums and techniques along the way but you will eventually land on the ones that fit your nature best-- and the more personal your work becomes the more connection there is with others.

Ian Foster said...

I think there is a danger of trying too hard to achieve a personal style, this will come quite naturally all on its own. As Donna implies in her last sentence we all take a few wrong turns in the artistic journey but that is all part of the learning process. As you say yourself the work we produce is the result of our life experiences and these cannot be removed. Eventually you will find it impossible to produce work that is not recognisable as yours.

I think these industrial shots full of pattern and repetition are excellent.

ArtPropelled said...

I too love pattern and repetition. The first thing I noticed when I arrived on this post is the rock shapes in the beach photo (sidebar) echoing the shapes in the Engine World photos.
I agree with Ian's comment about finding one's style. It can't help coming through naturally when you follow your gut feelings, staying true to yourself.... and just keep on following the joy ....
Creating art is just the most wonderful thing in the world isn't it?

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

You have touched on a very interesting subject...influences. Of course we are influenced by artists, and actually all other things large and small but in the end it is our hands and our eyes that create...therefore, easily we create our mark in our own way.
This series is remarkable...both hard edge and somehow soft in the distance...almost moving.

Trudi Sissons said...

Your thoughts have opened in me so many different layers of influences to reduce them to a single comment would be impossible. Suffice is to say, I would like to create a more complete response and will respond in detail in a week or so.
Thank you for approaching this subject. I grow each time I read one of your entries.

Laura Haviland said...

I found your blog so inspirational and really lots to think about.
I joined as a follower of your blog and will be returning to see what is next.
I found your blog on Amazing and Talented Trudi's blog.
Your very interesting and really enjoyed your wonderful art work.
Thank you,Hugs Laura.
Have a nice day, best wishes to you.

kenflett said...

Your blog is impressive, your writing, your beautiful photographs, and most importantly your wise and passion filled thoughts. it fills me with inspiration.
Thank you.

kenflett said...

style, composition... they need to be forgotten, they are not important. :) You write of mr. crawford who obviously appreciated art and shared it with you, and your reference to margret bourke-white, you just have to read a little of her to love her and what she did.
This influenced you, the memory, the passion shared, history,
doesn't really matter what you do, all of you, all of who you are will come through.
i'm sorry for blundering on in your blog. Your writing make me think, feel.

Lori Saul said...

An amazing set of photos and thought provoking writing. There is a beauty and power to repetition and black and white that can be both alarming and comforting. Wonderful post and thank you for your inspiring comment on my blog!

Chandra Garsson said...

Woa, man, how much so beautiful here!