Imagine a favorite work, then imagine reducing it to a series of lines. Aside from outlining the subject, look for lines that place the subject within the broader composition, that provide perspective and context. It’s a standard art class exercise but one that also resonates in practice.
I probably fixate on lines, which could be a strength, or could be otherwise. One of the reasons benches are often part of my works is because of the strong lines they impart, and especially when captured at an angle they create a receding perspective to the work. When I was just starting with photography, which takes us about 200 years, I once captured late winter scene of a barren field in front of a barbed wire fence. A metal fence post had been bent at an angle, creating a diagonal line. An intersecting fence with snow at its base receded towards the horizon at a different diagonal. It was a very grey, colorless scene with really nothing else in it. And I LOVED it! I would bring it out as one of my best, and my colleagues would just shake their heads because they saw nothing there. I was told there was something vaguely Freudian in my attraction towards that work. What I didn’t know then is that I was already beginning to play with lines. To this day I would still trot it out as a formative work.
This new work reflects that fixation and also illustrates my philosophy of finding the art of everyday things. I’d probably sat in that parking lot a hundred times waiting to collect my son. On this occasion, just by happenstance, I parked in a different location. In the mid-afternoon light of an oncoming cold front my eye was drawn by all the intersecting lines of the building and the brick. To my delight, using the computer I was able to bring out color within the thick lines of the brick. Parts of the building had to be worked separately to create greater texture and contrast within the work. The lighting only worked if the cold front approaching from the west was reflected in the sky, but the sky wanted to wash out, so, again, separate layers, separate techniques, complicated by the trees in the background that let the sky through in places.
I invite you in for a drink!
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.