I grew up on a working farm in Iowa, which meant early morning hours feeding the pigs during ice-cold winters before school, followed by more chores after school and on the weekend. Though nick-named “copy machine” in high school for my ability to draw anything, I thought I wanted to study International Law in college. Aha, I thought, I could make the big bucks and escape the world of manual labor. The initial course work didn’t suit me though, so I picked up architecture and design.
Eventually I found my way to the Fine Arts department. Since I was paying my own way through college, studio fees and materials for painting and photography were not in my budget. Remember, this used to mean film, paper, chemicals. I ended up in the Ceramics and Sculpture departments and graduated with a B.F.A. in Ceramics with minors in Sculpture and Drawing at the University of Iowa.
I picked up my first DSLR camera in October 2009 at the urging of one of my very talented photographer friends. (Thank you Vu Bui!) I began experimenting with digital illustrations and digital painting on my iPhone around the same time.
So now, almost 20 years later, I find it very interesting that I’ve started painting and exploring photography, and specifically abstract photographic processes, as a way to create photographic abstractions that at first glance appear to be gestural paintings, complex line drawings, or digital creations either created or modified on the computer and/or in Photoshop.
Most of my photographs are created by experimenting with Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) and by manually adjusting aperture, focus, and shutter speed with my Canon DSLR. They are then imported directly from the camera into Aperture. I don’t use filters or plugins of any kind. What you see is what I shot.
Others are entirely shot and edited on my iPhone and iPad.
My favorite element of this work so far is that my pieces are entirely unique and unreproducible. Even by me! I can’t return to the place I took the photographs and reproduce them. It’s a combination of light, luck, technique, and being in that moment. Even if someone stands next to me, with the same camera, lens, and settings, and mimics my movements, we won’t create the same image.
Living in Hawaii we are surrounded by beauty. The sunsets. The beaches. The flowers. The people. So much beauty everywhere. I am excited that I’ve found a way to capture the hidden beauty around us and present it in a fresh, new, contemporary way.