Burnt

To burn is to ruin, to devastate, to demolish, to wipe out.

To burn is also to clean, clarify, and to purify

Life is a whirlwind combination of love and loss. I am realizing that my work is about the examination of this process. Since loss (death) is inevitable, I spend my time cherishing people, time, events, places,... and people that I know will leave one day. 

It is the fear of loss, and at the same time, the acceptance of loss. It is the knowledge that loss will inevitably happen, and the knowledge that afterwards it will be ok. I don't hold time in my hands, and the one who does has grace.

There is a beauty in the vulnerability of devastation. 

These are the things I am thinking about.

All images are from the neighborhood I grew up in Flint, MI. After leaving in 1998, I haven't been back until now. These are some of the images from this recent exploration.

Drawing Freely

I've recently started experimenting with spontaneous drawing.  The goal is to free my mind of any preconceived ideas of what the piece will look like.  I use meditation, prayer, worship to help with this.  I make a few spontaneous marks and work intuitively from there.  This is an attempt to break down barriers I may have set around myself in my artmaking.  I'm really not sure where this work is going, but I do enjoy the experience.

Graves

Near the end of the Ripley Neck Peninsula on the coast of southern Maine there is a path that few know of.  One can treck through fallen down trees and lean-to's, over moss covered rocks, and a few unstable tiny foot bridges over creeks to find the ancient graveyard of the Pinkham family.  Graveyards like this are not uncommon in Maine, but few are as bewitching as this one.  The pine trees that guard the graves make any spectator a voyeuristic guest.  There are graves that date back to the 17th Century, but it can be concluded that there are even older graves since many of the limestones have degraded to the point of illegibility.  There are many graves of young children, and one as young as 5 months.  

This site brings up thoughts such as:
Life stories - What we can tell from just reading a tombstone, and all of the person's story that we will never know, but can only speculate.
The human and nature - The creation story from the Bible indicates that humans were created from dust.  After death we return to that same natural state.
What is left after we pass? - There is a legacy, good/bad/or in-between, but only remembered and told for so long.  The ground and the grass above us is the last space we occupy.

These are just a few of the thoughts that brought me to focus on this work during the duration of my stay at the Golden Apple Artist Residency.  Below are some pictures from the studio and the pieces I worked on.

Maine

The first thought that came to my mind when we got out of our car was, "This is a new kind of quiet". The slow crashing of waves against boulders, the occasional seagull squak, and maybe a lobster boat or two were the only outside sounds we heard our entire stay there. 

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to explore the landscape of the southern coast of Maine this past summer, and work in a coastal view studio for two weeks.  Below are some photographs that I took during that adventure.  All photographs were shot on Canon F1 or Mamiya RZ 67, and on a combination of film: Kodak Tri-X, Kodak Ektar 100 or Kodak Portra 400.