A natural riverside park were I went to relax – a long time ago.
Posts tagged trees
In Praise of Trees is the name of my show with printmaker Kerry Corcoran, which opened about a week ago at the Bozeman Public Library. The Atrium Gallery is essentially the combined entrance halls from two sides of the new (environmentally-certified) building, resulting in a broad, L-shaped space intended for exhibitions. It does get lots of traffic, though much of it under 12 years old. We applied and were accepted over a year ago.
June’s recent post about trying to gain a sense of personal expressiveness in one’s landscapes—which, on the face of it, are more about the place out there than the one in here—set off resonances. All the more so as I had just returned from a day in the mountains where I had gathered one of my more coherent set of photographs in a mode (style?) I feel I’ve been seeking for some time (all in one 10-minute stint, the only halt of the trip). And then her mentions of Wood and Hockney added to the echoing cacophony.
I’ve been too busy too long, but I have accomplished one thing the last few weeks: with another artist, Kerry Corcoran, I submitted a proposal for an exhibit at a local public space. I got the idea when I realized that Kerry and I found the same subjects appealing: trees, especially bare ones. But we work in such different media—printmaking and photography—that the show becomes as interesting for the contrast of approach as for the intrinsic interest of the subject. Following are images from the abbreviated application (some of mine may look familiar from my Cottonwood series); the actual show (if accepted) would have about twice as many. For the moment, we’re calling it In Praise of Trees.
On a recent outing for another purpose, I found myself taken by the slender, skyward-reaching branches of the small trees I was among. I think it was the gray sky and the light drizzle that did it. It was a chill day, not unlike early spring, and I half remembered a William Carlos Williams poem which I’ve been unable to find. In searching, however, I came across The Botticellian Trees in Selected Poems, and the first part seemed to partially fit the subject:
Despite all the discussion and analysis on A&P, I seldom, if ever, carry it consciously in my head when I’m out photographing. If it happens to be there at the start, it soon flees as I focus on the subject. Sub-consciously, who’s to say? In any case, in my first outing after writing about complexity, I made some pictures that not only relate to that issue, but seem to have a loose resemblance to some of the drawings discussed. They also involve the edges June brought up recently, so I’ll have a look at that, as well.
When it comes to created work, most artists have little choice but to move on once they’ve produced a piece (admittedly, it can sometimes be difficult to identify or reach an endpoint). Photographers are blessed or cursed with a real choice. Probably most, having once achieved a satisfactory rendition of an image, are willing to leave it there. From that point, with digital technology, endless identical copies can be made (I’m ignoring printing technicalities, a different subject altogether). In the non-digital world of printing from negatives, a new print request may entail a repeat visit to the darkroom, but careful photographers certainly have notes on paper choice, development time, and any dodging or burning they might have settled on. Reproducibility is one of photography’s greatest strengths, despite the headaches and posturing over pricing that it may induce.