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I seek to make compelling imagery and distill the best of it into well-curated and coherent sets of fine art prints, applying effective tools and disciplined craft throughout that creative process. I emphasize two domains of fine art images: wildlife naturescapes and cultural portraits of people and their environments. My goal is to share with you, the viewer, connections I’ve made in those domains. For wild naturescapes, I aim to inspire you to care about and support the conservation of those places and their wild inhabitants. For environmental portraits, my hope is that you will find beauty and empathy with the people in the image and their ways, be touched by our shared humanity.
Two key themes thread through my work in both those domains: reverence and empathy.
Reverence is a feeling of deep respect, with a tinge of awe. Growing up, I was marinated in reverence. Now it is a primary theme of my image making. I was born in Thailand of missionary parents and had the majority of my education through college in Christian institutions. I did not embrace Christian doctrine, but the reverence, and especially the magical four-part harmonies, moved me deeply – particularly when I could join in them!
Empathy is the ability to understand or share the feelings of another. My youth was also an almost continuous series of empathy exercises across a multitude of communities and cultures. By the end of high school, I had attended15 different schools in 5 countries. Now, empathy is another primary theme of my work.
My 2019 exhibit Finding Reverence illustrates how I tap these two themes in both the cultural portrait and wildlife naturescape domains of my work. In this exhibit, I celebrate the deep reverence that can be found among the Hindus of India; empathy helps me welcome and appreciate that reverence. Another theme of this exhibit is reverence for our fragile natural world, with a focus on the earth’s polar regions, both north and south. I aim to deepen and convey my recognition of the substantial challenges faced by the human and creature inhabitants of these regions, especially with the accelerating impacts of climate change.
My travels in search of compelling imagery can be rewarding adventures in themselves. That was certainly the case for my experiences above the Arctic Circle in the Svalbard Archipelago of Norway and capturing the Holi Festival in India, while coated in paint and powder.
Photo credits: Vicki Santello at www.vsantellophotography.com and Burt Johnson at www.MindStormPhoto.com.