My interest in photography as an art form began in 2008, when my husband bought me my first digital camera. After several years of photographing birds, flowers, landscapes and other traditional subjects, I began using the camera to create abstracts. Initially, I would search my pictures for details which, extracted and enlarged, revealed intriguing patterns, what I call natural abstracts. I still enjoy that approach, but in the past few years I have begun to use a variety of Photoshop tools to create a new piece of digital art inspired by, but often dramatically different from my original photograph. In doing so, I find I can see, perhaps more deeply, what it was — be it the beauty of a particular design, the combination of colour and shape and texture, an emotion suddenly conjured — that moved me to take a picture in the first place.
“Halleluiah, I’m 60 now, and even a little more,
and some days, I feel I have wings.”
– Mary Oliver
For as long as I can remember, what I’ve really wanted to do is paint – but, convinced I couldn’t even draw a straight line, it wasn’t until I was in my early 60s that I decided to give it a try. For now I’m all over the map – one minute I’m inspired to do a realistic (more or less) painting, the next, something surreal or abstract. I suspect the call to realism, for me, is in large part based on a hunger to figure out technical issues. And I get a lot of satisfaction out of achieving something I thought was beyond my ability. But the pieces that absorb me the most are the abstracts; these are far more difficult to do than I’d ever imagined. I am still very much at the stage of finding my way in this new medium, of losing – then finding – myself in the process of trying to express emotion and concept in colour and form on canvas.