Adrift and in Stillness
What began as a childhood fascination with the painted flowers on my grandmother’s china has become a life long love of botanical imagery. I am drawn to Karl Blossfeldt’s illustrations and Imogene Cunningham’s flower images. For a brief moment I even considered a career in botany. It is no surprise that I have made plant material both my subject and my teacher.
When photographing outdoors in natural light, nature and I are partners in designing the composition. I secure plants in gentle brooks to create what seems a contradiction-still lifes in moving water. My botanic elements drift with the wind and currents. They shift in and out of focus as the water curls around sharp edges. Dancing in the brook is a world of rapidly changing patterns with dramatic flashes of brilliant color.
In the stillness of the studio my compositions are no longer buffeted about by wind and water. Instead of being at the mercy of ever changing cloud cover and tree shadows, the light is literally in my hands. Using a variety of hand-held light sources I slowly and methodically paint my scene from multiple directions and with different qualities of light.
Some of the images in this collection are as I first saw them through my camera lens. Others are more akin to the many layers of an artist’s canvas. The digital darkroom allows me to make painterly changes in color and composition and to sculpt form with intentional brushstrokes.
Creating the images for Adrift and in Stillness has not only challenged me as an artist, but also given me the sense wonder and excitement I felt as a young girl tracing patterns on her grandmother’s china.