Summer is a season that makes me want to hide. I cannot seem to escape a sun that is now high and white. And bright. For someone who lives in the shadow, the brightness is almost debilitating. I have come to embrace my hypersensitivity to light and to use it as part of my artistic process. While high noon on a summer day can make for intensely boring photos, there is a searing saturation to the images of summer that I often like.
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Being an artist is a lonely adventure. There are times when the truth about one's art can only be found in solitude. All the blabbing and chatter that go along with being a social animals gets in the way of seeing. And feeling. The light is in the aloneness which, paradoxically results in the ultimate in connection. More times than not, when we are socializing, our egos are front-and-center. But, egos and art are a deadly combination. Nothing destroys pure creativity more quickly than worrying about what others think. So, aloneness is key to connecting oneself to the universal energy that is the mystery of creativity.
Most artists I know, with few exception, simplify their work as they mature. It may be that the passage of life beckons us towards the essence of things. Maybe we simply tire of complexity. Perhaps our senses reach overload after accumulating a lifetime of details. Our attic gets cluttered and we need to have a garage sale.
There is a dark, dreamlike drama that I search for in landscape. Even on cheerful, sunny days, I try to find a deepening shadow. High noon in the summer is, to me, almost unbearable. I crave the places of mystery, the depth of brooding light. Summer is a tough time of year for me. There's no place to hide.
It's been a busy month. Often, life creates a big stack of chores and tasks. It's hard to see over the mound to the other side. April is often the month when it hits the hardest. Taxes and accounting and bills and serious people dominate the energy. There are forms and rules and procedures. Even my car registration is due in April. This year I need a smog certificate.
I've lived in Marin County, California for some 29 years. In that time I've met and married my wife, been promoted and fired, lost most of my hair, and had several midlife crises along with a couple significant reminders of my mortality. All in all a heady run down the river-rapids of life.
I needed to get out of the studio after a long week, so I went for a hike yesterday with a good friend and my camera—the recipe for a perfect day. Here in Marin County, California, we are blessed with magnificent trails. Sometimes, when destinations are too close to home we take them for granted. They lose their exotic quality and become too familiar. It is an aspect of human nature that frustrates me. I wish it were easier to see my quotidian world from a fresher perspective.