Once I started painting, my photographs began to change.
I'd been working on a series of dark, haunting pictures that were clearly a reflection of my mood since the 2016 Presidential election. Going to the studio to slather colorful acrylic paint onto canvases was helping, but I needed a way to lift my spirits using photography, as well.
I enrolled in a two-day iPhone photo class at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Susan Bein, a Portland photographer whose work I'd been admiring on Instagram, turned out to be a knowledgable, talented and generous teacher. She gave the class the keys to begin our own explorations of applying filters to our digital imagery. I took what I learned that weekend and ran with it.
That's when my series called "Dreams and Other Things" came to be. Since April I've been combining elements from several different images, using filters to create strange and beautiful atmospheric "canvases," and even adding my own drawing/sketching to the digital files.
These landscapes have become my places of refuge - dreamy escapes to which I can retreat from the angry, divided, hateful, and intolerant place we currently inhabit. Creating them has also helped me feel as if I have at least a modicum of control over what’s happening around me, which provides grounding and a sense of power amidst the chaos. Between making these and continuing to work with acrylics, I've found a way to connect with light. And bringing light into darkness feels like a good thing to do.
The photo pictured here, "Henry on Dunes," was one of the first successes I had.