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Artist Statement

My art is black and white photography, inspired by many, but especially by

the photographs of Ansel Adams, the plein air paintings of the Sierras by Edgar

Payne, the paintings of the Hudson River School, and the deep understanding of

aesthetics by my teacher, Dr. Shozo Sato, a master of the fine arts of Japan.

All are natural compositions. The medium is digital, each photograph bears

my personal “chop,” a stamp that is the traditional way of indicating authorship in

Chinese and Japanese ink painting and calligraphy. My prints are archival-quality

giclée. I have chosen to use basic, inexpensive cameras to stress the importance of

composition in my work. New York photographer Sylvia Plachy helped me to be

confident with this choice.

The compositions are based largely on the concepts of Japanese flower

arranging, incorporating the dominant/subdominant/subordinate triunity, as well as

abundant use of empty space (in sky, shadow, water or snow).

The experience of awe is central to my orientation as a photographer.

Contemplation of beauty has led me to a yin/yang experience of comforting and

shocking beauty (corresponding to exhalation and inhalation). I am primarily

interested in shocking beauty--what people call a “moving” or “inspiring” scene. I

find black and white prints to be more striking and dramatic, and more readily

experienced as sublime.

If we are presented with an awe-inspiring image of nature, we have the

opportunity to feel that emotion fully, and to inquire why we feel it. My suspicion

is that most people will then conclude that Nature is in some way sacred, or even

divine. Maybe then the dominant utilitarian view of Nature will begin to shift

towards one of reverence.

This shift is essential in this age of environmental decline. I see my work as a

contribution to the very survival of humanity.

It is my hope that my images will bring the viewer to aesthetic arrest,

stirring awe and instilling a reverence for the spectacular planet that we inhabit

and must care for if our species is to evolve to our full potential.

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