I come from a family of artists. The Oklahoma City newspaper on occasion would turn over a full page to my granddad's art and poetry. My uncle designed incredibly detailed medallions and class rings for John Roberts Co. My aunt could draw very well too. Unfortunately, I didn't inherit their talent.
Near the end of my teaching career (high school English) in Richardson, TX, I went on safari to Africa and came back hooked on wildlife photography. Back in the U.S., I started studying and photographing whitetail deer, elk, etc. Magazines bought my work. I also began photographing families, high school seniors, and weddings. One night after seeing my Christmas lights on the patio under thick snow, I grabbed my camera and tried to capture that beautiful glow. I kept experimenting to get it exactly right. Unexpectedly, this led to the beginning of my abstract photographic art. It was a complete surprise.
One day walking on a nature trail near my house, I noticed all the different tree bark. I started paying closer attention to the bark and began photographing it. Some trees didn't deliver anything too interesting, but others fascinated me with the enormous variety in what I could see in just a single tree. This started me on a new path, literally. Hunting for interesting tree bark is fun and frustrating since it's rare to find anything worth photographing. (Oak trees don't deliver what I'm looking for and they're everywhere)!
So my work is quite diverse which is good for me. I can always jump from one subject to the other which is refreshing and keeps me from getting bored. What's next? I can't wait to find out.
ARTIST STATEMENT (tree bark)
Students often have to collect leaves from trees, identify the species, note their distinctive features and where they grow. Very few students, if any, are asked to collect tree bark. I do . . . with my camera. I hunt for unexpected “scenes” that can be found in certain tree bark and capture them in a photograph letting people see what they rarely notice: flowing rhythms, unique colors, textures, and even mysterious faces slowly revealed when viewers linger. Finding the trees that deliver what I’m looking for is always a challenge. The hunt is on.
ARTIST STATEMENT (abstracts)
“Happy accidents” is the best way to describe my abstract photographic art pieces. After years of experimenting and with no preconceived ideas, I continue to play with my camera, and only when I look at the playback do I know if an image will make the first of five cuts. I choose the colors, the bizarre objects, continually refine my extremely unusual techniques, and experiment over and over again hoping to see at least one image that will suit me. I’ve snapped the shutter at least 15,000 times to arrive at a collection of less than 200 images. No one knows anything about how I create these art pieces. It’s all a secret, and the shutter on my camera continues to get a workout.
“I love creating unique art pieces that start a conversation.”